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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letting go
I read this post, and it really summed up what labor is like for many women. What happens many times during labor, is that we have this perfect image of what it is supposed to be and how things will play out. But like many things in life, labor doesn't always go as planned. Even if it's just the fact that you didn't get the epidural right when you wanted it. Interestingly enough, most research shows that it's not the amount of pain a woman experiences that determines how you feel about a birth, but how much control you feel. But sometimes labor is uncontrollable.

Here's the almost almost nonsensical thing about labor and birth. Yes, you need to have as much control as you can, but you also have to learn to give up control. It's interesting, but by giving up control(to your body, to the fact that your baby really does need resuscitation help, to allowing the contractions to role through you), you are really allowing yourself more control. Does that make sense?:) Sort of.

I read in a book about different women's birthing experiences and how they perceived them. With two different women, they both were pressured to have iv's in labor. One fought it and got what she wanted but she perceived her experience as being negative. The other knew that she would have to fight and choose at that time that it wasn't worth it and let them give her an iv. She perceived her experience as being positive. So who gave up control in these situations and was it worth it or not. That's really not for me to decide, but I thought it was interesting.

Another example from my own labors: When I fight contractions, they hurt more. But there is an innate desire to be in control of them. To conquer them, to take charge of your body. So when I try and control those contractions, I have more pain. When I take a step back and allow my body to just do what it needs to a sense giving up my desire to control it, it is less painful and more fulfilling. When I accept the pain as just being, that pain decreases. So by allowing myself to give up control...I become more in control? Sounds funny, but true.

This happens in so many walks of life. There are so many instances when I can say that I am more peaceful, more fulfilled and happier when I allow myself to let go. For instance, the other night I was upset with myself for something I said to my daughter. I wanted to make it better, amend my wrongs and apologize. But, it was 11pm...she was sound asleep. So I sat and stewed for a while. I couldn't let it go...I needed control and to see it through. I slept horribly that night. If I had been able to let go of what I couldn't control, I would have had a much better night, and things would have still turned out the same(I was able to talk to her the next day).

Now I would never try and judge another's situation and whether or not they should let something go...that's a very personal issue, but I do think there is a value in letting go of things. And as odd as it sounds, peace really is gained sometimes when we are able to let go of control.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.