Unassisted Birth – Part Five

This is so much longer than I intended, but I would rather be thorough than skip things, especially with how taboo Freebirth is.

Part 6 will be up later and will close up the series/review.

You can read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four first you wish.

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When you let go of all the negative beliefs that you have surrounding not only birth but yourself in general, you are more open to see the happy parts of life and have a successful life (and birth) doing so.

Since the negative beliefs need to be filled in, there are many things to fill them in with.

The first is Faith.  Whether it is a faith in a diety or faith in yourself, faith is needed to know that you can do it.

Faith, however, is more than simply believing in God.  It is trusting in the natural workings of the body.  In Childbirth Without Fear Grantley Dick-Read writes, “A woman must remember that faith is not only an ethical and emotional acquisition, but a state of mind which creates within the body physical harmony of the activities of living which maintain the highest standard of health and resistance to disease” (235).  Our faith, or lack of it, literally causes us to be healthy or sick. – Shanley 71

A lot of people discuss your aura or chi or a whole bunch of other things, and all it comes down to is harmony within yourself.  Having faith in yourself.

Since God has dealt to every man a measure of faith – and all we need to move a mountain is a mustard seed’s worth – we don’t need to worry about whether we have faith or not.  All we need to do is to decide to apply the faith we already have in the right direction. – Don Gossett, What You Say Is What You Get, 31-32

If you can believe, truly believe, that you can birth naturally and without pain, you are another step closer to truly giving birth without pain.  It is more than just thinking positively.  This is a true belief that your body can do this.

The second is Forgiveness.

Physician Bernie Siegel gives numerous instances in his book Love, Medicine, and Miracles of people who have healed themselves of supposedly terminal cancer by letting go of hatred they have been harboring toward themselves and others.  Ina May Gaskin writes in Spiritual Midwifery about a woman whose labor had stalled until she realized she was angry with the child’s father, who had deserted her.  When she was able to let go of her anger, she was able to let go of her baby.  This is because hatred consumes our energy, and forgiveness frees it. – Shanley, 73

Many people believe that forgiveness is the coward’s way out.  However, forgiveness is so much more than doing nothing, and so much more important than getting even or getting revenge.  Forgiveness requires that you let go of all of your anger, that you let the past be the past and not impact the future.  Yes, things in the past shape us, and it can be hard to forgive, but forgiveness is what makes us whole.

Forgiving ourselves and others is just another thing we need to learn to do in our lives so we can positively move forward.

The third is Hope.

Hope is the expectation that our faith will be rewarded.  It is the opposite of cynicism, dread, and despair.

Today, many people speak of false hope.  If we are realistic, they say, we will not believe in miracles.  Isn’t life itself a miracle however?  Perhaps hope has been planted in us as surely as seeds have been planted in the earth.  If a seed can grow into a beautiful rose, is it unrealistic to have hope that our dreams can become reality?  “You are never given a wish,” writes author Richard Bach, “without also being given the power to make it true.  You may have to work for it, however” – Shanley, 73

So many speak of the American Dream.  And in this day and age, so many people think it is something you are entitled to, that you don’t have to work for it.  So many kids now days have zero work ethic because they are given everything.

Yes, hope is just one half of attaining something.  It is the basic dream and then the work needs to follow it to make sure it comes true.  When you have hope, you are able to reach for something attainable.

You can hope to have a painless birth, but that is only part of the process.  Hope replaces most dread, and helps you visualize the birth you want.

The fourth is Patience.

Patience, writes Gerald Heard, is a creative waiting.  It is not a lying about, waiting for destiny to do its worst.  Instead, it is a trusting that, in time, what we have desired will come to pass. – Shanley, 73

Many people have a problem with being patient.  Most times this magnifies in the idea that they need to know the sex of their child while pregnant so they can “prepare”.  Or planning their entire life so they know what they need to do.  And when you have children, patience is maginified as another way to step away and not get angry with them when it is a long cranky day.

Our impatience with Nature, with our fellows and with ourselves, is always spoiling the beauty of design God would otherwise show us every moment.  All work has its rhythm: wine, wood, stone, all have their tempo, the time they take to season, to mature.  And most of all, our souls. – Gerald Heard, Prayers and Meditations, 71

Patience can also be considered a vulnerability to life.  Trusting that things will work out instead of taking an active stance in the problem.  Most people hate to be vulnerable to others, especially in our day and age where you want to be self-sufficient.  Vulnerability always causes a problem, even if it is only in our mind.  We have heard to many times that people can’t be trusted, so even if we do find one that can be, we don’t want to give our trust and be vulnerable with them.

Especially in birth women hate to feel vulnerable.  They don’t like to let go and just be, because it shows a side that most people don’t like to show.  When you have patience with yourself and trust, you are one more step closer to having the beautiful painless birth you want.

The fifth is Persistence.

All too often we start out on our path full of enthusiasm and commitment.  When we begin to encounter resistance, however, many of us simply give up, unaware of how closer we may have been to reaching our goal.

Persistence is the sister of patience.  Patience alone will not carry us through.  We must be persistently patient if we are to accomplish our goal. – Shanley, 74

Nowdays quitting before finishing projects is just considered ADD or ADHD, a medical condition.  We medicate to regulate it, instead of persisting to finish what we start.

Realizing that being persistent to get the birth you want doesn’t make you crazy and irrational.  It means you understand what you want and are going your own way to get it.

The sixth is Humility.

If someone says they are humble, they aren’t.  That simple.

True humility is based on self-respect.  It is having enough confidence in ourselves to be able to admit that there are others in this world whose knowledge surpasses our own. – Shanley 74

Knowing your own limits and knowing there are others that are smarter and more compelled is one of the steps to true humility.  Realizing that sometimes you do need help, can make for a beautiful birth experience.

The seventh is Love.

Love is often confused with idolatry.  We place the objects of our affection on a pedestal and claim they are something that we are not.  True love, however, necessitates loving ourselves first – not in an egotistical sense, but in a humble self–respecting manner. – Shanley, 75

I do believe that you must love yourself before you can truly love another.  The love most people have now is more of a controlling type of love.  I am guilty of this too.  Loving our partner so we try to control how they learn, what job they have, forcing them to do something they don’t want to take care of family or friends.  This isn’t true love.

We need to have respect for them, and know that they control their own life.  Even if we are married to them.  We need to love them for who they are, not who we want them to be.

The eight is Courage.

A lot of people tell me I am brave or courageous for wanting a freebirth.  And yet, it has nothing to do with courage.  Yes, you must have courage to stand up against others, specifically about how birth should be, and you have to be able to keep that courage up to keep fighting.

However, our most formidable opponent is us.  We have to have courage to stand against our fears and come out on the other side.  We need to have the courage to change our views, even if we are afraid.  The courage to stand up to ourselves.

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The first step to creating what we desire is to believe that it is possible.  The next step is to imagine that it is already a part of our reality.  Daily visualizations, combined with belief suggestions or affirmations, are tools we can use to change our lives. – Shanley, 76

Instead of focusing on the negative, we need to only focus on the positive.  Yes, things go wrong, but what good is it to focus purely on that?  All that does is bring up fear, and fear can control your life, especially your birth.

I refused to take the “realistic” approach and focus on all the things that could go wrong, and instead focused on what could go right.  I wasn’t ignorant of my body’s basic physiology; however, I didn’t concern myself with the technical aspects of birth.  (Physicians, for instance, have an intellectual understanding of the process of digestion, yet it doesn’t prevent them from having one of the highest ulcer rates of any profession.)  I never imagined myself timing contractions or checking to see how dilated I was.  I simply had faith that my body would give birth in its own time.  Consequently, the births went according to my desires. – Shanley, 76

Focusing on the good doesn’t mean you are ignorant.  Focusing on the good doesn’t mean you don’t understand the process.  Focusing on the good purely means you have a basis for a good birth.  Your beliefs impact your thoughts and actions more than you know.  Even the beliefs you don’t know you have.

Can women give up their fears and focus on the positive instead of the negative?  Is it possible for women that are as self-conscious and worried as our culture ever learn to put the mental state of themselves aside and truly just trust their instincts?

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One Response

  1. Great series! I enjoyed reading about Freebirth. I didn’t know much about it before. I think it’s a great option. I am eager to learn more.

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