September 8, 2012

Excerpts from ‘Birthing From Within’

A close friend of mine asked for some pregnancy related book recommendations. She is pregnant with her second baby and a bit anxious about the upcoming experience. I thought for her, Birthing From Within by Pamela England would be a good fit. My friend is fairly spiritual and could really get into the therapeutic birth art that is so prevalent in this book.

It has been a while since I sat down and read Birthing From Within, I decided to take another look. I remember being really blown away by it when I first started on my path into the Childbirth Education world. As I skimmed through the pages, I was delighted to see my old markings and highlights of the little gems of wisdom through out. For this blog, I decided to share a few passages that really resonate with me.

~Pain is an inevitable part of birth, yet much can be done to ease suffering

~Through soul-searching
and listening more more deeply
to the women I was working with,
I finally understood that women
have to prepare for birth
in their heart and soul,
not in their head.
And that giving birth is something a woman does
in her body,
not in her head.

I came to realize, as a mother and a midwife, how even a well-meaning focus on potential birth problems and birth the mother-technology throughout pregnancy distract the mother to be from the more vital task on inner preparation. The choices in birth technology available to women today are so mind boggling that in trying to understand the complex world of obstetrics, many lose faith in their own ability to birth. Thus, many women cannot give birth, and in the end must rely on the very technology that mystified them in the first place.

~if there were a secret door to birth, to giving birth, what would it look like? what would it look like? what’s behind it, around it or in front of it? is anyone in the picture?

~Where Mothers Build Their Nest

If you envision giving birth in only one way and one place,your chances of being thrown off balance by the unexpected increase dramatically. The more ways you can envision yourself giving birth, the more power you bring to your own birth.

When you think about it, women give birth every day in unbelievable places and circumstances. Even as you read this, babies are being born…

in hot tubs, and warm ocean pools…
in rice paddies, mountain villages and igloos..
in beds, birth huts, and birth chairs.

Mothers the world over give birth
counting stars and under bright lights…
in fields, dugouts, and by fireplaces…
in planes and trains…
om one-room shacks and operating rooms.

Mothers and nature always find a way.

~How could there be just one right way to give birth when there are billions of women in this world?

~Power From Surrender

“I was so in my head with my first birth, trying to think my way out of this painful dilemma. I squirmed and tried to push away the pain. The pain only intensified. Although I was committed to a natural birth, after 24 hours of labor I was ready to just cut the baby out. But I knew I didn’t really want that.

My midwife in her wisdom sent over a good friend, Mary, who was very jolly and round. Her babies practically fell out of her. Mary positioned herself in bed next to me and said, “It’s just like surfing. Let’s ride these contractions.” She taught me how to let go and surf with the force of nature.

It occurred to me a lot of my pain was caused by resistance to surrender. I was fighting it, trying to get away from the pain. I was judgmental of myself, wondering why I couldn’t do it “right”.

Mary was not in her head. She was completely jolly and happy, and she brought joy into the room. She took me out of head and into my body.

~Cross The River No Blame- I Ching

So, no single decision, no one doctor, and no mother is solely responsible for a birth outcome It’s over-simplified to blame or praise any individual or isolated event for how a birth turns out. Out challenge is to live with ambiguity, embrace the birth that happened and move on with our family into its future

I found these excerpts inspiring, I hope you did too.

Happy birthing!




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