Birth Invites Mindfulness
"Finding our center during birth is a primal form of mindfulness .... we are encouraged by the power of birth to come into the present moment."
Recently a mother in our practice had a baby vaginally after a previous cesarean section. She moved through her labor powerfully but she was surprised by the pain. She stated a few times that she wanted to go to the hospital for pain relief, forgetting that she had chosen to birth at home with us and knowing that pain relief was not an option. We and her supportive husband held her and soothed her through her contractions. At some point in the active phase of her labor, she calmed and quieted. She stopped saying she couldn't do it. She rode the waves of pain and cessation of pain with grim determination. When the urge to push hit her, she again fell back into doubt that she was capable. It took her a few contractions to once again find her rhythm and trust in her body to release and let go to the process.
And she was rewarded. She pushed out a healthy, lusty crying boy who was interested in nursing immediately. He was so present in his body and he let us all know it. Sometimes babies need to be encouraged to breathe and cry. It's not unusual. But this child was fully here and wiggling in his mother's arms. We kept saying, “You did it! You did it!” Dad shed a few tears.
Finding our center during birth is a primal form of mindfulness. Birth can reveal deeper truths about ourselves; forbearance, courage, strength and letting go are some of those qualities. Regardless of our unique labors and deliveries, mindfulness is always available. In fact, we are encouraged by the power of birth to come into the present moment.
The day our children are born is a day we never forget.
By Beth Coyote, LM, she/her