9.24.2008

You do have a break.

I have created enough posts now that I find myself wondering did I already write about that? Well, I am sorry if I have, but this is one of those revelations that I keep reawakening to, and not a bad thing to state twice, (or more if it happens again!)

About a year ago Alex and I took a birth class through the midwives we used for Lili's birth. This wonderful experienced midwife named Nancy was our teacher. We learned a lot of the basics of birth, and also did a lot of exercises from the book: "Birthing from Within". (Highly recommended) I came into this class with quite a bit of knowledge already. (I am sort of a birth dork) I had already devoured all the birth books in the library, and already read "Birthing from Within" twice. The class was all good practice though, and I enjoyed the company of the four other pregnant couples also taking the class.

I did come away from the cla
ss with one pivotal lesson for my birth experience, and this lesson has also seeped into my day to day life post birth as well. Nancy explained and even acted out a woman in labor experiencing contractions. This is what I gathered from what she said: You need to be completely and utterly in each moment. You may feel like you have no break. It probably will be overwhelming. The contractions might be coming at you like a rough sea, and you'll feel like you hardly have time to catch a breath. However you do have a break*. If each contraction is 60 seconds long for example, often there will be 30 interval between them. If you spend your labor like this: Oh this is painful, oh it's bad, oh @*%#, oh it hurts...Oh that was painful, oh I hated that, I can't do that again, that sucked, oh that was bad, oh I can't do that again...Oh #$(%*$ here one comes again, Oh ahhhhh, this is painful, oh it's bad...you feel like you don't have a break because you are spending the little minuscule break you do have reminiscing about the torturous last contraction and dreading the next. Rather, once a contraction leaves, if you are in the moment completely you DO have a break. Taking it for what it is, and accepting the small gift and making it work for you. This is such a fundamental lesson for me, and yet so hard to practice. I managed to remember this lesson during the birth and it helped keep my spirit up during that incredible journey. As a mother, and someone who is working away from home more than I want to be, and feels like the chores bundle around me tirelessly, and feels like the time to make art is sparse, and as someone who gets way less sleep than I wish... it is very helpful to remind myself: this is your break, enjoy it!*In birth, and also in life, there are exceptions to this. I know that the in the labor of a sister of a friend of mine, she spent every "break" between contractions barfing and could hardly breathe. There are also times in life when the cards you are dealt are almost unbearable. This lesson may not pertain in these instances.

6 comments:

Daisie said...

Brilliant post! It is so true and I do try and live by it, I often have a phew! momnet here and there.
xxx

cara lou said...

Haha -- I'm a birth geek, too. My baby is almost a year old and I still read birth books and other people's birth stories. (just read The American Way of Birth --read it if you haven't already!)

Andyou're right, that is something important to remember while giving birth and in life. Thanks for the reminder!

katypark said...

what a beautiful post...thank you. i so resonate with this and it is such a helpful framework. i am gearing up to complete my doula certification (as i found birthing so hugely transformative)...i am working with a mama, expectig any day, and this such a great reminder...i will share the link with her!

bottomland said...

Oh, Kelcey, this is just the post I needed to read tonight... How is it so easy to focus on everything piling up instead of the break that is there? Thank you for reminding me to breathe, and for helping me to enjoy my quiet, if messy, home.

bottomland said...

I forgot to mention the degree to which I am in love with this painting! You consistently knock me off my feet!

Supria said...

WOW...lovely post...and it is so true...we each have that choice to embrace those glorious moments in our day, within our journey to relish the breaks ...thanks for a well written reminder....
Supria