Breathe, love, and own your pain to bring your baby into this world.
Last week I got an email from a good friend the week before she was due with her first baby:
With one week until our due date, I’d love to solicit your wise words regarding labor/delivery and bringing a new bebe home. All thoughts welcome, especially around:
- What did you wish you knew or really heard going in?
- What surprised you in a good way?
I know how much y’all have going on so this is an “as you think of it” request.
Sending lots of love!
Her email was a prompt to both process and share my experience of bringing three amazing little humans into the world over the course of the last five years.
Here’s what I wrote:
You really are the best lifetime-learner and curious mind out there. You never cease to amaze me, even in your final week of pregnancy. You are going to be the best mama/parent/inspiration to your little one!
I always say, birth is truly the most powerful thing/event/transformation you can do as a woman. It’s primal. It’s natural. It’s fucking scary. It’s fucking beautiful. It’s almost like a drug experience, you feel outside your body, but if you can harness your yogini-powered breath which you’ve spent years mastering this will be all yours. It won’t be easy, it will hurt like hell, but it will be truly amazing, meaningful, and powerful. Remember, 300,000 women give birth each day around the world. We are meant to do this.
The pain is part of the process. If you work with it, you know when your baby is coming. You know when to push. You know when to let up. You know when to breathe. Own the pain…use it, harness it, and breathe through it like you know how to because of those thousands of hours on your yoga mat.
First make the room yours, whether in a hospital, birthing center, or your own bedroom. Turn off all the lights, there’s nothing worse than fluorescent lights when trying to touch into your primal self. Go get a box full of those remote controlled LED candles from Target (best $30 you’ll ever spend) and place them in your birthing room. They are also wonderful for the recovery room when you want to see your baby, but not turn on the overhead lights. They provide a lovely, warm glow.
Also, make sure you wear your own little black birthing dress, so you don’t feel like a patient. Who says you shouldn’t look good, and feel good, during birth by wearing something that makes you feel hot and sexy? I wore this dress: Pretty Pushers in black for two out of three of my births. Put it on when you plan to go to the hospital, throw yoga pants on underneath, and top it off with a light wrap on top. All layers can easily be removed as baby gets closer.
Additionally, music gets you out of your head so don’t forget to create your very own birth mix made up of your favorite tunes that you can play on a Jambox. My birth playlist was a crazy mix of Kirtan (Sharon Gannon, Bettie Roi, Jai Utal), Michael Franti, Kanye, Jay Z, and Frank Sinatra. The key to birth is getting out of that left brain and tapping into what’s deep down inside. Music is your friend here.
Also, don’t forget to bring your own squeezable water bottle. Chris handed me mine in between every contraction. Much easier than the hospital paper cups that make you feel like a patient. Hydration is key. Also, bring your own warm cozy throw blanket, your own warm socks, and your own pillow cases (nothing worse than hospital linens).
Make the birth room your sanctuary. Don’t be afraid to ask everyone to leave. Your partner can be the guardian of the den. If someone is bothering you, ask them to go. Also, during birth you never know how you will feel. Chris and I practiced all the birth positions and massaging, etc, and in the end I didn’t want him to touch me during the actual contractions. I’ve gone on to learn that this is a really common reaction and many women want to be left to birth with as much space as possible.
You are going to be amazing. My mantra through all three births and to help me breath through each and every contraction was “this too shall pass.” Write it (or your own) on a sheet of paper to put by one of your candles. Trust your body and your breath.
Keep in mind that there’s no one right way to give birth. If things happen to veer off of your original birth plan, just be sure to stay informed and roll with the birth you are blessed with. If you have to intervene for some reason, then flow with it. All that matters is that you go home with a healthy baby.
Once baby comes, let him spend time on your chest after the marathon of birth. Nothing beats coming into this world and being skin-on-skin with mama. Well-intentioned nurses will want to take your baby to wash them up or run some tests, but really there’s no hurry at all. Savor these first special minutes, and just be right there.
Breastfeeding is natural, but can be difficult for various reasons. My first two had no problems latching right away, but my third had some issues from how she came out the birth canal which meant she wouldn’t latch for over ten hours. It was scary, but we listened to the doctors and nurses and eventually had to have her suctioned before she would eat. Since then, she hasn’t stop. I highly recommend using the lactation consultants, there are so many tricks to breastfeeding that they can help and share. With each baby, and with each new lactation consultant assigned by the hospital, I learned new tricks of the trade.
Enjoy the first special moments, and first few days, just the two of you and your baby. We made a concerted choice not to share the news with anyone, not even family in the waiting room, until we had our first hour alone with our girls. Then we shared with family, but not on social media for a few days or even a week. That way we could just focus and be present during those first days. You never get those back.
You are a goddess. Breathe, love, and own your pain to bring your baby into this world.
Healthy and happy.
Happy birthing, my friend.
Published by: wpconcierge in Uncategorized