Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let it go!

 It's so big to give birth, our ability to surrender. Yet, somehow I couldn't neatly package  the recent "aha" moment that I had with a friend about it, that surrender is not being submissive, forced action rooted in fear but rather expansion, that we become so enraptured in something that we are rekindled to the kind of enthusiasm that we all once had when we were children, that we loved so much that it was indeed a pleasure to give. Where and how could I fit such a powerful, lofty characteristic about surrender into an experience that is so heavily draped in contraction?  It had to fit somewhere into the equation though, since love is what got us here in the beginning, and if we chose, it is love that will carry us through to the end!

My teacher says that our ability to surrender requires our attention and effort and is a conscious choice on our part.  Help yourself surrender to birth with the following ritual.

At some point in the last trimester of pregnancy, after you feel complete that you have done everything in your power to give birth the way you intend to,  let it go and give it over to the god of your understanding. To help strengthen your surrender, consider integrating ritual.  For example, if your tendency was to explore every appropriate childbirth preparation book under the sun, take three flowers, each one representing the corresponding zodiac flowers for you, your partner, and your baby and place them in a page of your most inspiring, frequently visited pages. Or, if you are the scrap booking type, place them in your baby photo book. Or if you're like me and enjoy creative writing, place them in your journal.

As you close your chosen book with the flowers that are destined to become a very special triad book mark in its pages, verbally state your intention of letting go of your birth experience.

Say it out loud with feeling so that it becomes your mantra, words that protect, enliven, and guide.

"I surrender all my thoughts and concerns and energies about giving birth over to the almighty power that conceived my baby.

With your days and nights leading up to birth, continue to steady your mind on surrender by repeating your mantra over and over again. I think that what you will find with approaching your labor in this way is that  you will be more likely to surrender to an experience like Nicole's who described herself as "euphoric"  just seconds after giving birth.

Together, forever, in our hearts,


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pushing by far is the hardest thing I've ever done!

Truly, we are so fortunate to have an experience in life that gives us still another opportunity to test the very one in us that believed that we can do or be anything, and if in that moment we have someone courageous enough, committed enough, clear enough to let nothing, absolutely nothing prevent us from the challenge, then such a moment is a blessed event that is a gift to both the giver and the receiver, because in order for the teacher to provide such alchemy, she herself  in that moment will need to remember her own strength seen by her own teacher, when all else failed her. 

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.
Then comes the real challenge, will you put forth enough effort to keep your towering inferno of awe for yourself  from cooling to a dancing, struggling tear shaped flame too deep in to grow? Or will you tend to yourself enough to provide for a gentle, soft breeze that will help sustain the flame to a steady, still white glow? All too often we are so absorbed in mothering that we fail to receive the fruits of our labor and they go unpicked and rot on the vein; and it's the very substance that can help us to remain confident and inspired to grow deeper in our understanding of how brightly lit up we all are.

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.