The Secret to Natural Childbirth
One of the things that I have come across so often with mothers when discussing natural childbirth, is that they always say, “If I can.”
I’m going to tell you the biggest, craziest secret of all. Are you ready for this?!?!
Oh mmmm gee. Those words just really came right out of my pie hole. Can you believe it?!?!?
Now hold on for a second, I know you’re thinking about ALL of the scenarios, possibilities and crazy events. Life happens, yes. Birth plans go out of the window, yes. Shit hurts, yes.
But all jokes, bad scenarios and unfortunate events aside, natural childbirth is about “I CAN.” Natural childbirth is about understanding that you indeed can and was created to. In fact, one of my biggest revelations when researching and preparing for my first natural childbirth was that THIS is what was made for us. This was how God designed our bodies to work and this was how childbirth was destined to be. I’m not saying that opting for an epidural goes against God’s will, heck no. But what I am saying is that God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle. He so creatively and perfectly designed us to do something so incredible.
Say it again. “God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle.”
I have approached each of my births with the idea that I am indeed having a natural birth unless emergencies take place that require other actions. From my experiences I can tell you that with each and every birth, I have questioned my ability to do it. I longed for pain relief. I tried to convince myself that there was no way my body was capable of doing it again because each time it was almost as if the pain was worse. As each labor would progress on, I would try to convince myself that it was going to be too hard this go around.
But then I’m reminded about the fact that “I can.” Not because I am a superhuman or because my pain tolerance is just higher. No, it’s none of those things. It’s because I went into with the realization that I CAN because God designed me (and you) this way.
Looking back now I wish I would have told myself through those hard moments and hours of labor that “God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle.” As cliche as this sounds and as hard as this can be to accept in certain situations, God wouldn’t design our bodies to birth our babies if the pain was so intense that we’d be unable to cope with it. He designed our body to do something extraordinary! What we decide to do in that situation (assuming we have a normal, healthy pregnancy with no complications) is totally up to us.
It is truly mind over matter!
Natural childbirth is truly such a mind game. While there’s endless coping mechanisms, ridiculous positions and odd contraptions to help you work through the pain, the truth of the matter is that natural childbirth is more mental than it is physical. You have to mentally walk yourself through contractions, positions, labors and more. You have to mentally push yourself for just one more centimeter each time. You have to mentally tell yourself to walk, to move, to breathe, to just be. You have to be your own coach and your own voice.
Having a doula, a coach, and/or a supportive spouse is wonderful and recommended, but if you’re not your own voice and support, then your journey will be that much harder. If you didn’t pregame with some good books such as Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Natural Childbirth (just to name a favorite), then your mind may not be in the right place. If you can’t visualize the end goal and remind yourself that YOU CAN, then your birth will be that much harder (especially for longer births).
We reach goals, promotions, ranks, and dreams in life by educating ourselves and working hard for it. Childbirth is no different and natural childbirth may be the exact depiction of “mind over matter.” People will think you’re crazy, they may tell you insensitive things, but the truth of the matter is that natural childbirth is normal. It was always normal until recent years made epidurals such a common procedure. And don’t get me wrong, natural childbirth is not for everyone and that is okay too! Never guilt yourself just because natural childbirth wasn’t for you.
Again, never think that you can’t do it. Never think that only the lucky ones get to do it. Never think that it’s only for certain women. No my friend! Natural childbirth whether done in your bedroom, a bathtub, a hospital or a birth center - is truly magical. It’s hard, no doubt. It’s exhausting, no doubt. But it is my far one of the most amazing things to feel, experience and witness and most women CAN experience it. Sometimes life takes curves and throws us kinks in birth plans, but for the majority of us - we can experience it!
Remember that there will always be an end to what you’re experiencing and the end result is divine. Our womanly body is capable of something fierce and breathtaking. We have the ability to grow and nurture life and bring that life right into this world. God evolved things in such a beautiful way and I hope that you realize that you CAN do this. You my friend are more than capable.
Just breathe. Just move. Just pray….God is not going to give you anything you can’t handle! Birth is beautiful and wonderful no matter how it takes place. But if natural childbirth is for you, I hope you simply remember that “I CAN.”
For more on natural childbirth, make sure to check out our childbirth section. Read my latest birth story here and use our helpful natural birth plan as a tool here.