“Really? I didn’t know my body could do that!”
I’ve heard this a number of times whenever I mention a fun fact in a birth class or in a casual conversation with mamas at the table.
It so happens that I attended a course recently which sparked the idea behind my FB post and this piece in my blog: how do I create abundance in the world?
The idea of scarcity is not new to any of us -
“My gynae knows more than me, maybe I should just keep quiet even though I’m uncomfortable with his suggestion.”
“She went through a natural birth without epidural! My birth story is nothing compared to hers!”
“I really want to breastfeed but what if I don’t have enough milk for my baby?”
“What if there aren’t enough beds in the ward I want?”
“Am I ENOUGH?”
Since the beginning of time, if we start with the proverbial forbidden fruit which Eve consumed, the idea of there not being enough in the world for all of us began - scarcity of resources, positivity, love...beginning with one question: How am I enough?
Me with our first born - feeling entirely nauseus and upset that I couldn't even carry myself to the shower because I felt so yucky...could you tell?
That was precisely how I felt when I was pregnant with my first child, seated in front of the gynae recommended by friends. I didn’t know any better or could I have? All I know is that I automatically assumed the role of a patient - my gynae knows better, I should listen to him. So, right from the get go, my birth story began in scarcity. I am not enough, I need someone more knowledgeable to affirm my choices. As a result of this, I chose not to have a voice or rather, I just couldn’t find it. This led to me shelving my birth plan, changing into hospital garments which made me feel naked in my most vulnerable state, having an enema where I felt violated thereafter and, an episiotomy which happened during labour when I hadn’t the wits about me to stop or think about (I guess the epidural made me none the wiser too).
So, what if we, mamas, begin our pregnancy with and from abundance?
I would like to suggest to mamas out there that one way we could do this is to address our fears by knowing more about them. For instance:
“I’m uncomfortable with strange and new surroundings - I could take a tour of the delivery suites and wards to familiarise myself with them so I lower my level of uncertainty come the day of my baby’s birth.”
“I cringe at the thought of needles and sharps. Maybe I could find out more about the hospital protocols and procedures so I’m better prepared for what’s to come when I get to the labour ward.”
“If my baby is too big, I might tear and it’s going to be so painful! Or is it? I’m not sure. Maybe reading up on tearing during birth and having more knowledge about the statistics will give me a better sense of whether my fears are valid.”
“I want a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). I don’t know if my gynae supports this and I haven’t asked. I could read up more about how other mamas have broached this topic with their caregivers. I could also read up more on VBACs.”
This would mean that we then change our birth stories (and change the story we tell ourselves) and begin from abundance. Just looking at or even being aware of our fears, discomforts, uncertainties and doing nothing, feeds them; leading us on a path of self doubt and asking if we really are enough, if we matter enough and if our voice should be heard. I have yet to meet a mama (nor a spouse or parent) who didn’t want what’s best for herself and her baby so I truly believe and maintain that we each have a voice that wants to be heard.
So mamas, bask in all your beauty and glory. Claim your strength and use your voice. You are making a life inside of you and if that’s not important work, I don’t know what is.
And yes, you are MORE than enough.