One Year Ago

“We have a secret in our culture, it's not that birth is painful, but that women are strong.” (Laura S. Harm)

One year ago today I was completely giddy with excitment.  I woke at 6am and made my way to the bathroom, shaking the whole way.  I continued to tremble as I tried desperately not to spill a cup of precious “FMU” (first morning urine, for those not hyper-focused on trying to conceive), dipped that little pregnancy test stick in the cup, lifted it out, and waited.  3 minutes later I convinced myself there was nothing.  I went back to bed.  Fast forward a few minutes and I couldn't help but look again.  To see this:

A very, very faint line. But a line. I didn't really believe it until I saw four more lines. Yes, I took five pregnancy tests. My temperature stayed high. No period arrived. I was thrilled to be pregnant.

One of the first things I started to think about was birth. 9 months off and it was at the forefront of my mind. I still think a lot about birth now, with my baby 3 months old.

I love the quote I put at the top of this post. It's so true. Women are strong, and we are able to give birth to our babies.

I do think women should be able to give birth how they want. And if they want to be in a hospital, that's fine. If they want to be with a doctor or midwife, that's fine. If a woman really wants to elect a c-section or have drugs during childbirth, that's really her prerogative.

But I think a lot of women and coerced. I think a lot of women are even lied to. The medical industry and even our governments hide the truth behind scare tactics.

I don't understand why it's so important to hide from women the fact that birth is an awesome experience. I love the women on my birth videos page. Even though some of these women are feeling pain while they're giving birth you can see the incredible ecstasy on their faces as they hold their new babies.

It's an awesome experience. Women are made for it, and to do it in full awareness. But our culture lies to women and says there is no purpose to the pain, and that the pain is inevitable.

I wouldn't call Galen's birth “orgasmic” or anything like that. “Orgasmic birth” has made a lot of headlines lately. But ecstatic? Yes. His birth was awesome. It was work. It was a lot of work. I even had self-doubt creep in. But what an amazing experience. It was awe-inspiring for me to know that I was opening up to welcome another human being.

While I was opening for Galen I kept telling myself I wanted it to get stronger, heavier, and I wanted to open for my baby. I was able to welcome what I was feeling and be totally part of the experience. I got to be aware of just what was going on, even getting to feel Galen's head just before he began his descent.

I'm so glad for the births of each of my children, and I'm so glad that I was able to seek out women who told me the truth – that I am strong, and that birth is an awesome experience. I want more than anything to help other women realize that birth can be something to look forward to, something to empower them, something to grasp in awareness and confidence.

A year ago I could look forward to the dance of birth with my newly-conceived baby because I know the truth. Birth is good. And women are strong.

(NOTE: Want a Perfect Birth Plan Template? Use this template and step-by-step videos to write a birth plan that gets your birth team on your side for a beautiful birth experience! Get the birth plan kit here.)

Handle Labor Pain

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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  1. Wow – it brought tears to my eyes to read your post. I totally agree, we are strong – much stronger than we think we are. I gave birth naturally at home, without any pain killers. Of course I did it with the help of my husband and midwife – but wow, I did it!!!
    But I actually realized I’m stronger than I think I am, before the birth. In my mind I told myself I’m too weak to work, drive a car or go out anywhere. So I started working from home, and was on maternity leave a month and half before the baby was actually born. I was expecting the baby to be born any second! Well the wait was long – and by the time I was actually/finally close to going into labour, I was so strong – being out and about in the malls, cleaning house, washing dishes!! If I knew I was that strong, I could have rather used my maternity leave to spend with baby and not just sitting at home waiting for him. I believe it was in my mind, and also as you say, being influenced by people around me making me believe I’m not strong enough! But now I know I am!

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