Looking back on my babies' births is always something that gives me a rush of joy and accomplishment – giving birth naturally is truly a powerful experience. I always find myself reflecting on the births, too, figuring out what went into them to make them the empowering experiences they became. These are my reflections on Corwin's birth.
Excellent Physical Health
My pregnancy with my fifth baby, Honor, was challenging on many levels. Physically I gained a lot of weight with her. I had a large separation of my abdominal muscles (called diastasis recti). I was in pain and felt physically weakened in early months after giving birth to her.
I first focused on closing the diastasis, which made a huge difference in my sense of well-being. Then, when she was around 7 months old, I worked to really lose the baby weight and Scott and I started doing some weight lifting at home. I felt so much better to have the extra pounds gone, but the functional strength I got from exercising really made me feel tons better.
An excellent diet at this time also made a big difference. I was careful in the kitchen and we were eating very healthy meals (with an occasional Sunday lunch at the Mexican restaurant ;p).
These factors came together to mean I was in great shape and really well-nourished when I fell pregnant with Corwin. That continued throughout his pregnancy, as I made sure to keep healthy, easy snacks on hand and had freezer meals and other simple meals to make a good pregnancy diet easier. I also did prenatal yoga and belly dance throughout my pregnancy. I think these things really helped with Corwin's birth.
I worked through birth skills using The Pink Kit and daily relaxation using Hypnobabies again, as I did during pregnancy with Galen and Honor.
Both of these resources came together very nicely for me in the last days of pregnancy with Corwin, and during his birthing.
I was especially intense with doing the Pink Kit's Internal Work, since I was visualizing pushing my baby out smoothly and in a totally mama-directed fashion. I wanted to catch my baby in my own hands, with only my husband right there to help. I knew it would take work to make that a peaceful reality, so I did the Internal Work daily.
I do think that the Hypnobabies cues helped with Corwin's smooth crowning and birth, too. I practiced my cue words, especially the “Peace” cue often. As Corwin crowned and was born, the words “Peace” and “Soften” (from the Pink Kit) were what literally echoed around in my head, keeping me grounded, in control, and most importantly soft and open for him.
All the awareness of my body and what helps open me up, gained via the Pink Kit, were again priceless – especially experimenting with exactly what pushing positions kept me open. I pushed in the position I found kept me most open and relaxed throughout my birthing muscles. And before I even started pushing, it was in this soft, open position that I spiraled my hips and let my body open for Corwin.
Scott and I also worked together very well – we talk a lot (about everything!) and have reviewed birth skills together before each baby (in varying amounts). His understanding of my cues and needs, verbal and non-verbal, were so important to me during Corwin's birth.
MamaBaby Birthing Motivation
We moved early in my pregnancy with Corwin, but after we got settled in I knew I wanted to get back into some projects. I felt like I didn't do much of anything while pregnant with Honor, and it was important to me to feel like I had my own projects to motivate me during Corwin's pregnancy.
With home and family things going smoothly, I started considering creating my own interactive, online childbirth classes, but felt a little nervous. So I began slowly, just doing complimentary tele-classes on a variety of pregnancy and birth topics. I discovered I loved teaching these and felt encouraged to go ahead and create the full course – and MamaBaby Birthing was born 😉
I think that creating the course while pregnant was a super win-win situation. I felt excited and passionate about creating the classes – almost on fire to work on them! And that creative energy of pregnancy was well channeled to work on a pregnancy course!
One benefit I didn't expect was the support and love of my students. They enjoyed hearing about my pregnancy experiences and the wisdom I'd gleaned from this and my first five pregnancies. Their excitement for me helped me get even more excited!
Perhaps the best thing, though, was the strength of my students. Many have had hard previous births, and seeing their strength and courage as they overcome the past and move forward with hope, strength, and skill toward birthing a new baby was inspiring. It's a privilege to watch their personal growth and get to feel like I was able to listen to them and be a small part of that tremendous work. How inspiring it is to work with such awesome mothers and mothers-to-be!
MamaBaby Birthing is one of the defining forces in preparing for Corwin's birth – not only intellectually as I literally worked on every lesson, but emotionally and even spiritually as I was (and am) blessed to help amazing women a bit on their mothering journeys.
A True Gift
It is such a gift to carry and give birth to a baby, and it is such a gift to share wisdom, skills, and even the practical stuff on preparing for a natural birth with you.
I think realizing those gifts is what really gave me the strength to birth my baby in such peace and confidence.