Please do not misunderstand, there is a time and place for intervention and having qualified support to help recognize that time is a great fortune we have in this "modern medical" world. I am just saying this HARD thing where we bring Life into the world, isn't to be feared - in fact, fear complicates it and changes the experience of it so dramatically.
When we moved to Atlanta (1979) for her to attend the CNM program at Emory University, her new friendships were formed with classmates and colleagues. Rather than find a sitter, my brother and I were often drug along to her "grown up parties" where she and her friends would share a meal, glass of wine, and watch birth videos...after all, that was the world they were immersing themselves in.
Later, I watched my mother birth my siblings (at home) and I had my own (5) children. I have tried to lean into the HARD parts that come with raising kids with the same awareness that there are contractions that are SUPER uncomfortable and there are respites between.
One of my labors seemed like one LONG contraction, no breaks...and yet, pregnancy did end. New Life is expressing itself outside of my body; still giving me (different sorts of) contractions mind you. (she's 14)
Life has it's HARD moments...and beautiful ones. The most recent Int'l Day of Women (March 8) marked 5 years since my mom left her body. And today is my birthday. Where her 1st pregnancy ended 50+ years ago...and my Life began expressing outside of her.
Leaving me to accept and practice that grief and loss aren't to be feared; they are also part of the Life experience. In a recent article describing behaviors of emotionally healthy people, I found the helpful reminder about finding meaning in loss and trauma:
"One of the main factors that distinguishes those who thrive emotionally after experiencing loss or trauma from those who do not is their ability to eventually find meaning in their experiences and to derive purpose from them. Of course, doing so takes time, as does the process of grieving and adapting to new realities.
However, adopting the habit of searching for ways to recognize not just what you've lost, but what you’ve gained as well, will allow you to develop a new appreciation for your life and the people in it, to make important changes, and to find value, meaning, and purpose even if you lacked them before."
As I move through this ongoing process of living my healthiest and happiest Life without my Mom in her body and baking myself a spice cake for my birthday, I find so much meaning in the life she lived, the lessons she passed on, and the MANY ways she is woven into my daily Life still.
When you find yourself in the contractions, the HARD parts that are birthing something new, please remember to breath through it, trust it, and participate even. It changes how we experience the process and postures us to receive the gifts (even the losses) with more ease and grace.