Chandra articulated beautifully how powerful such a connection can be. She gave up several times in the midst of pushing, exhausted, the words barely audible beyond her eyes sunken in the tears of despair, and the beads of sweat formed on her brow, "I can't do this anymore", and even asked her physician to take her baby boy out of her body as he descended closer to her vaginal opening.
I was able to reconnect with Chandra the next day and inquired about her experience. She said, "I was so unprepared for the pushing stage. I felt confident for the first stage, working like it was an extension of my daily yoga practice, holding steady to the breath with each contraction. But I had no idea how hard pushing was going to be. By far, it's the hardest thing I've ever done".
I asked her to identify what factors helped her to ultimately give birth to her baby the way she intended, all on her own, from start to finish. She said, "my physician's calm, steady presence" and "when I was at my wits end, I would look at you, and then push one more time, for you."
It's what a good teacher does, she sees our strength sometimes before we can see it for ourselves. When we have lost all faith, she is there, like a loving, strict mother that is committed to taking our next step, just another staircase in our ascending, evolutionary need for growth.
The teacher is an energetic connection, and can be anyone that you feel is vested in you, a nurse,childbirth educator, midwife, physician, husband or even your own mother. All that need happen is that an authentic, full connection be made. For me, it was my daughter's father that provided this invaluable, crucial role. Truly, it made the difference in my ability to conquer what I had given up on so long ago. It took another decade for me to cultivate enough of the strength that I had gained through childbirth to allow for a bigger, more powerful connection, one that helps me now to see pregnant/birthing women more and more in their true, energetic form.
To give you an idea of how difficult second stage is and how valuable a teacher can be, consider the following:
1. Identify 3 of the most difficult experiences that you've had in your life.
2. Identify what factors helped you to endure and meet their challenges.
Now multiply the level of difficulty of each experience by 10, maybe even 100 or 1000. If one of the factors that helped you to endure was support by family and/or friends, multiply it by the same factor.
If you welcome childbirth with an open heart and a positive mind, it's an experience that can reward you with the gift of what was one of Chandra's original intentions, to feel triumphant.
Consider that the experience of feeling triumphant is about as rare as how often it's sought after and in terms of priority belongs in the front row seat cozy up with mothering.
Together, forever, in our hearts,
In my next blog we'll look to the universal, developmental movement patterns to help give more power to our push.