OPEN!

Yes. Being THAT open can be painful. Being vulnerable, raw, open to change, opening your heart and your arms to welcome a new life is almost always an intense, powerful, painful, and mind blowing experience.
http://wonderfullymadebelliesandbabies.blogspot.com/
I wonder why we call childbirth “Labor” instead of “Open”? “She’s in labor”, is what we often hear. “She’s opening, it’s her birthing time” resonates more with me. What words would you like to use? How can we change the language around birth to better draw a visual picture of woman’s power and beauty during her opening time? Much of the way we communicate has changed in recent years. Many new words have been born. Some old words have died. Some old words carry new meaning today. I propose that we rethink the words we associate with birth. As part of the work we are doing to improve birth I believe language around birth must be considered. Childbirth is about opening! It is eye opening for sure! Discovering how you got here, how your mom opened for you to be born is eye opening. Discovering how 300,000 women are opening every day to birth their precious baby is eye opening especially when you are one of those women on the day you give birth. The day you OPEN.
Your doula will encourage you to go for it! Be courageous, allow yourself to OPEN.
Your doula will not judge you if you want to take it nice and slow. You are going to OPEN in your time. Not your husbands time. Not your doctors time. Not even the worlds time. Actually I often think THERE IS NO time in birth. Only opening. Lots of opening.
You should know this too. That when you are opening and your mouth opens, and your instinct may be to bite something or someone, your doula will be watching closely so that you won’t bite your partner or your doula. In the photo above it is possible that the working woman is at that place where biting may be her instinct. This is just one of the little things that people don’t talk much about. We may have a good laugh about this moment at our postpartum meeting. But it’s not really dinner party talk (except for in doula groups). This biting story is one that slips into the footnotes of your birth story and is soon forgotten….except by your doula. ♥

Something else.

When looking at the photo above what do you see?  I see a woman pushing her baby out. She is working hard. Please look again at this image and imagine with me that this woman just crossed the finish line after running a full marathon. Imagine her partner is just giving her a towel and helping her dry her wet, sweaty, cramping body as she’s bent over catching her breath. Image she is SO relieved to have crossed the finish line that she is crying. Pause. How does the marathon story make you feel (feel in your gut)? Inspired? Marathon runners invoke admiration and positive emotions from most of us.  Why is it that very different feelings, like sympathy and fear, surface for many people when they realize this is a photo of childbirth?

What else do you see in this photo?  As I notice the woman who is bent over, working hard, I also notice that she has ‘another woman’ by her side and that woman is CLOSE to her. The other woman is leaning in to assist the working woman with something. This helper looks confident to me.  She probably loves the working woman. The helping woman looks like she has done this before.  To me the dude appears to have a furrowed brow. He may have never been in this position before. He is loving and willing (he’s there isn’t he?) but he may be baffled and a little disturbed by this emotional, raw, display by his loved one. Another thing I notice is that the working woman is encircled by support and love. This is the thing she will remember. Even more than her gold medal. In twenty years as she is driving down the street she will be daydreaming of that finish line and remember her power and she will remember these two people. Or she will be overcoming another life hurdle and remember her successful work on this day. She will draw from the power of this day. She will remember to call on a support circle and she will face this new hurdle with confidence. ♥

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