At a birth a short while ago I had the privilege of witnessing a couple grow deeper in love with each other through their birth experience. At one stage, when she was feeling the contractions really intensely, she asked her partner to tell her about how they met and how he fell in love with her. He did just that and she felt her body calm down. She felt more in the zone with her labour and she went on to birth her baby soon after that.
I wasn't there in that exact moment of him sharing this, but what I saw was the way they gazed into each others eyes as they met their baby girl. It was just mind blowing or should I say heart expanding! I do try to remind couples that stopping for just a moment to gaze and acknowledge each other in the coming and goings of day to day life can make such a difference to feeling connected.
I hope lots of couples can see birth as a moment in life where love can grow and help create strong foundations for parenting and partnering.
I’ve just started training rides up Mt Dandenong on my road bike again. I ride from Ringwood to Sassafras, drop down the other side of the ridge and then peddle back up a rather steep Perrin’s Creek Rd, to finally enjoy the well-earned descent back to dinner. It was on one of these hills that I went into a cycling trance and blissed into a state of simple acceptance of all that I was feeling. Although my body was working hard, I was also appreciating the smell of the air, the trees and ferns, the wending road, the singing birds, the connection to my body and interestingly the creative thoughts of my mind.
What stood out to me was the nature and quality of my breathing. I paid attention to it and realized that I was using it to help me ride better. I noticed the length of my breath matched my cycling stride and it gave me rhythm. I noticed how controlling it to slow down a fraction made me feel calmer inside. I found my will power and strength circulated through my body and encourage me on.
I enjoyed my thoughts on how perfectly similar this was for birthing women. Women that can respond to the workout in labour with these principals in place do well in birthing their babies. They find their way to dance the baby down to the rhythm of their breath, stay relaxed, conserve their energy and keep going in their power until the baby is in their arms. Women who are willing to do this work and partners who fully support this effort benefit greatly from this process. Strong, aware, healthy, connected birthing families lays a great foundation to the structure of their family life. Just like I am now motivated to do it again, or even ride a harder hill, so too are women and men that embrace the birthing and parenting journey as one that they can continue to actively participate in – mind, body and spirit.
Breath awareness and practice is one way to create this special birth dance. Help bring your baby into the world in a calm and powerful way. Make a positive difference to your life each time you practice and create a better birth experience to your family life.
Erika Munton Nov2013 – inspired after a tough training ride.