Thinking about birth the second time around

Last week, I saw an extraordinary film called Birth into Being at a screening by Relaxed Birth & Parenting and Welcome World Herbal Teas. I’ve been doing some work with them to help them market the training course they’re doing together for antenatal teachers and doulas. It’s been fun because I am so immersed in the world of babies at the moment and social media is my thing. But I’ve so far been able to keep all of the amazing birth stuff they’re talking about purely at an intellectual level…until recently. Suddenly, understandably, it’s a whole lot more meaningful to me. Because in a few months I’ll be giving birth again.

As Dominique Sakoilsky from RB&P gave an intro to the world of birth work and their unique perspective about it, I found myself tuning in more attentively than I’d expected. In a phrase, what she was saying “spoke to me”. The call to “Go inside and figure out why you want what you want” and to ask “What’s getting in the way of your birthing?” is so personal to me as I begin to debrief what happened last time and, with more difficulty, to peel away at why I found the experience so traumatic and disempowering. I’ve started arriving at some answers to this and taking responsibility where I need to but that’s for another post. I want to tell you about this film.

The births we saw on screen were stunning and simple. These were images of women seeming so utterly connected to themselves, so able to let go. Births in water, in a clear tank-like birth pool and in the sea. It’s stuff that would have seemed absolutely mental to me just a few years ago but now, I recall these moments shared and just think, that’s life. That’s real, beautiful, vulnerable, random life.

And it was absolutely not a performance. These women were so supported. There just seemed no atmosphere of pressure. Upon reflection, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve some imaginary standard of birth I thought I should. I really struggled with letting go and when I did finally let go it was because I was drunk on a combination of gas and air and exhaustion – forceably taken out of the experience, an onlooker rather than “in the zone”. I’m not speaking about this with regret, really, just observation. It does make me think there’s a lot to slow down and think about a bit more over these next few months. That, and that a doula might be a really good idea.

Join the discussion

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Haha, don’t think I’d be up for the sea but we’ll be blowing up the pool again and – who knows? – it might actually get used this time.

  • Ms XPat is right – every birth is so unique. For me, I found there was almost a competitive edge around conversations before and after my labour. I was surprised to find people asking me how long is laboured for and what type of labour I had – then eagerly sharing their own experiences. It’s such a personal thing and every woman is so different, that the idea that one mother does it “better” than another seems absurd to me.
    Molly recently posted..Hypermobility – reaching the top of the hill

    • Everyone experiences their birth differently as well. I think there is something really helpful about sharing our stories. It seems to be something we need to do with such urgency when we become mothers. But it is very important to be mindful of how we share things and of whether we’re actually LISTENING too.

  • I trained with RBP and the course was such an eye opener and so enriching. Have you read Dom’s book? It’s the kind of thing which is a great read even when not pregnant!

    It sounds like you are allowing yourself to think deeply and honestly about your birth experience, which is a wonderful start.
    Lauren recently posted..Growing our own

  • Do try and be kind to yourself – research, read, inform yourself and work out what you want and how best to get the support in place to enable that birth to happen

    And then work through what the back up scenarios are and how you will bend them to be closer to what you want and need

    Have you read the AIMS website at all?
    Muddling Alog recently posted..Wobble

    • Yes, doing lots of reading, including the AIMS website. I read a fair bit last time too but I think the key was that though I had a lot of knowledge, I hadn’t gone through some of the psychological processes I needed to in order to really let go when the time came but I’m getting a chance to address certain things now.

Further reading