Jacquie Munro, founder of the "Slow Birth" movement, is an experienced doula and childbirth educator and is well-known for her individualized, intuitive approach to supporting families in the childbearing year and beyond. Since 1987, she has provided support at over one thousand births, at home and in hospital, and taught thousands of expectant parents. At home, Jacquie lives only a bike ride away from four generations of her family. You can usually find her at the park or beach, playing beside her twin grandsons who call her "Deecy".
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Birth is a challenge of the mind, not the body
Think of all the challenges that you have faced in your life - physical, emotional, and intellectual. You have been preparing for this for all your life. You will need to draw on all your life lessons to make it through labour. You don’t need to have experienced extraordinary pain - this isn’t like breaking a leg, or undergoing surgery. All you need is to have lived, faced difficult times, and struggled through to the other side.
Have you ever walked out of your house, and been amazed that everyone is walking about, laughing, doing their shopping, unaware of the challenges that you are facing? You have been facing such a trial that you have stepped out of space and time for a while. You ask yourself, “When will things go back to normal?” This happens in labour.
Have you faced adversity with your partner, greater than anything that you could ever have imagined, only to find that it has forced you to live more deeply and fully together, to love each other without masks or pretense? This happens in labour.
Have you ever lost a loved one, only to discover that you now see the world with greater clarity? You are surprised that there is intense joy even in the face of such pain. This happens in labour.
Have you ever had to take a leap of faith - into love, or a career challenge, into an exam, or even sky-diving? You are open, vulnerable, naked. You have given up control. Yet, how often do you find that you were a prisoner of your own fears, and that the reality of the leap is freeing? In relinquishing control you gain control. This happens in labour.
Are you surprised when you are in the middle of an emotionally painful event, realizing that you are going through what you most feared, and you are making it through, one moment at a time? This happens in labour.
Birth may be sacred, but it is something you will recognize. With support, you will discover so many things which are similar to your past challenges. You have been prepared for this.