Lessons Learned from Labor and Birth Part 5: Wounds of Perfectionism


This blog is part of a series. To read part 4 click here

I felt a lot of discomfort and pain as I was in labor. However, it was never more than I could handle. I’d be on all fours, in the tub, with the hot water of the shower streaming over me.

I’d stare ahead. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk.

Yet, for all the fear I had around birth, it really wasn’t bad.

As I say that, I cringe. I mean, what am I saying? It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

And yet, I did it. Mostly alone. I went through my entire labor at home, accompanied only by my partner and the babe in my womb.

I stressed about a doula. Should I birth at home? Could I handle it? Would it be complicated? What if I had to go to the hospital? What if I have a cesarean?

And it’s hard to share my wisdom, for it is only mine.

Birth is different for every babe and for every mama.

Yet, here’s what I know to be true.

You can handle it. We can handle it.

For the longest time, it felt like bad period cramps. I thought I wasn’t in labor because it wasn’t painful enough.

We’ve been so trained in this culture to fear birth. Our fear is the worst part about the whole process.

The whole time, even when I pushed my babe out, it wasn’t exactly painful. It was interesting. It was intense pressure. It was fascinating.

I’ve got etched in my mind the feeling of her head coming out. Then her shoulders, and quickly, the rest of her body.

It was thrilling. Amazing. It didn’t hurt.

My wish for women everywhere is that we deal with and heal our fear around birth.

I remember that when I first found out I was pregnant, that’s all I could think about, how scared I was to actually go through birth.

Now, I have to admit. I have a lot of tools. The reason I think I could birth my babe almost without assistance is because of the meditations that I do and the tools I have from being a psychic.

I spend so much time meditating, in a trance like state, that I was able to breathe through much of my labor and be fine. I didn’t know it was time to go because I kept waiting for it to be worse.

I can see now that I was trying to accommodate others. I was trying to control my process. I was trying to do it right.

So, in the end, the person who ended up not getting the connection and support she desired, was me.

I longed to be seen, witnessed and held during my labor. Instead, I did much of it solo. I didn’t even arrive to the birth center with enough time to have the full team arrive. It was me, my honey and my midwife, aside a half-full tub that I wasn’t allowed to get in.

It’s typical, for women especially, to try to do it right. To be perfect. To accommodate others. And, over and over again, we end up over-giving and not receiving what we truly long for.

This was one of a great many lessons of my birth day. Can you believe that I didn’t want to bother my midwife? Would you believe that I wanted to let my honey sleep because I wanted him to have rest?

One of the greatest, once in a life-time journeys, and I couldn’t ask for help. I couldn’t take center stage and allow it to be all about me, even in the midst of birthing a human.

This is the energy of a mother. A helper. A care-taker.

So, I grieved after my birth day. I had a lot of sadness. And, I know that I’m blessed with a beautiful babe, and that’s all that ultimately matters.

In the end, I did the best I could with where I was at the time. And that’s true for all of us, always. So be gentle with yourself. When your mind starts repeating that old tape, telling you you’re not good enough, you’ll fail, or you didn’t do it right, just breathe and take your attention to your heart chakra.

There, in the center of your chest, your heart knows how to heal. And there, in turn, it can shift your consciousness and the energy between you and others.

It’s simple, really. Our healing. It’s all about the heart. And love. And allowing ourselves to receive. And we can start by receiving our own loving attention, in this moment, right now, at the heart.


Rachel Claire

P.S. To read more about my experiences around birth, check out this blog: What it’s like to be a new mom and what it takes to raise a child

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