As a doula, I trust birth. I just do. I am constantly amazed at the power and strength of the women that I support and I feel so honored to be there for them and with them. I feel their trust in me and I mirror it back as trust in them and their bodies’ wisdom in knowing how to birth.
Our western culture has really undermined the natural process of birth. As we have moved towards a paradigm of Dr. knows best, birth has been moved out of the realm of intuitive guidance and patience for a natural occurence into active management of a medical process.
The birthing experience is powerful and transformative, for too many women it can become a traumatic whirlwind of interventions that undermine a woman’s trust in her own body, leave a physical scar on her belly and an emotional one on her psyche.
There are definitely situations when a cesearean birth is medically indicated, but there are too many women out there that have been subject to surgical birth without true medical indications. This practice most often occurs in environments that “actively manage” the birth process.
If you had a previous cesearean birth and are considering a vaginal birth this time, take care to prepare your mind, body and spirit so that you can have an empowered birth wherever the path may lead.
Gather information. But not too much. While it can be good to know the risks and the stats, it can also be overwhelming and downright scary. Words have power and can lodge in your psyche creating a seed for negative thought forms to grow on.
Seek out the information that pertains to you individually. Ask for your maternity records, go over them with your care provider to understand the interventions that ocurred in your previous birth experience.
Take notice of the thoughts and emotions that arise in you during this process; do you feel anger, pain, resentment or something else? Who is it directed at? Your care provider? partner? family? or yourself? What do you feel in your body as you process these thoughts? Is your heart pounding? Is your breath shallow? Does your chest feel tight? Or perhaps you don’t feel anything.
In order to move forward you will have to connect with and release these lower vibration thoughts, they will only keep you in this cycle. Consider that no one set out on a path to cause you harm. Be willing to forgive.
Build your trust. This begins with letting go of what happened in the past. What happened then does not dictate what will happen in the future. Is there a pattern of fearful thinking that you surrender too? Let go of that which does not serve you. Your perception is perhaps your most valuable tool to release fearful thought patterns. It is, in fact, the only thing that you truly have control over. Birth is a journey into the unknown, a sweet surrender. It’s a step off the ledge of control and a gigantic leap of faith, we can only control how we respond.
How do you feel about birth? Do you trust it? Do you trust that your body can do what it is so perfectly designed for? To really believe that your body posesses all the knowledge that it needs, surround yourself with affirmations of this innate wisdom. Read positive birth stories.
Every child is unique; this spirit is very different from the spirit that you previously birthed. This child will look different, have a different temperament and therefore the way that you experience this child will differ from the way that you experience your other children. Opening up to the idea that this is a brand new birth gives you license to break the mold that has been created. Be willing to see the whole situation differently.
Create your bubble. And I don’t mean devoid of reality where rainbows and unicorns live and everyone can only be happy. Opinions and stories from well meaning friends, families and strangers can influence you. Don’t listen. Don’t share. You do not have to defend yourself or rehash someone else’s experience. This is YOUR birth and it is sacred.
Start early. Be choosy. Who you choose as your care provider is a HUGE determining factor in whether you will have the support that you need when you need it. Find out what care providers truly support women who want vaginal birth after a cesearean birth.
Consider a midwife, their model of care embraces birth as a natural process. Ask what their success rate is and what way in particular do they support these births.
When you are meeting with potential care providers tune into your intuition. How do you feel when you are with them. Is this person’s views on birth in alignment with your own?
Hire a doula, someone who has much trust in the process and is there to give unconditional support to you. She can be a great resource for you and your partner.
Connect with your partner, address any fear or apprehension they may have about this birth. Their thoughts and feelings will permeate to you.
You need people around you who can still be your sounding board for fears/thoughts/doubt but will affirm your decision and not feed any negative self-talk.
Be willing to heal.
Set your intention. Seek connection to your baby and your own inner wisdom through stillness, quiet reflection or meditation. Visualize yourself birthing this child.
And then…let go.