Despite all the prenatal yoga, organic food and deep healing work we’ve done, many smart, educated and vibrant spiritual women have had birth experiences we were not expecting. The underlying causes are often hidden and overlooked.
What follows here are some of the feelings and issues that conscious women have revealed to me and that I have observed in my work as a midwife, doula and birth healer over the last decade. The following list is not evidence based, complete or conclusive; rather it is my opinion and a reflection of some of my own experiences and also those of the women I work with. If any of the following resonates with you, or triggers something within you, please do your best to be compassionate and gentle with yourself and others, both during and after reading this. If what you hear here brings up old feelings you are welcome to contact me here for more support.
So, why has it been so hard for caring, educated, conscious, smart spiritual women to have natural births? Here’s what I’ve noticed that is linked to some of our most disappointing birth outcomes.
We were unprepared for the pain of childbirth and nobody mentioned pain or spoke honestly about pain in any of our childbirth education classes. When labour came, we didn’t know how to meet the power or intensity of contractions.
Looking back we had no real experience of labour and birth apart from what we’d heard or seen on movies and videos. We thought it would be much easier than it was.
We are results driven women and successful in the world and we had high expectations of ourselves to perform well and succeed at birth.
We had a plan for our birth. We aimed for the perfect birth and what we got didn’t fit that picture. Deep down we may feel we failed at birth.
We didn’t really want to birth in a hospital and got caught up in a cascade of intervention.
We were told we had to have an induction and ended up with a c-section.
We had an epidural that led to an instrumental birth.
We didn’t have the practical or spiritual support we needed to navigate labour and birth naturally when the time came. We got scared and looked to our care provider to sort it out and tell us what to do.
Deep down we didn’t really get along with or trust our care provider during birth.
We thought we could project manage our birth via an app or birth plan.
We didn’t know how to open up and be powerfully vulnerable during labour. We didn’t tell anyone how we were really feeling inside and we didn’t know how to let emotional support in at the difficult times when we most needed it.
We felt completely overwhelmed by the pain of labour and chose options we thought we never would.
We know ourselves to be strong women and for some reason during labour all our support people got sick and couldn’t be there for us.
We felt hurried and pressured during labour. We felt watched, observed and under surveillance during birth.
We got caught in power dynamics. We were unsure of our own role and power in the birthing process. We did what the care provider said whilst knowing deep down that the choice didn’t feel right for us.
When we got to the hospital we got swept up in a world not our own and felt captive and frightened.
When the shit hit the fan we lost our voice and we were unable to ask for what we needed or even say what we were feeling and thinking.
When it came time we felt alone and realized that we didn’t feel supported.
We didn’t know how to ask for our needs and desires to be met in a way that inspired others to meet them.
We were in relationships where we weren’t seen, respected or properly heard and it impacted our birthing process.
We have prioritized the needs of others over our own needs and we haven’t been able to ask for what we want and need during pregnancy or birth.
We had children with partners who abused us. We carry shame about this.
We didn’t know how to stand up for ourselves or value or worth.
We’ve been afraid to let go of the fathers of our children even though we knew deep down they weren’t right for us. We’ve stayed in relationships too long, especially if they were safe and secure ones.
We’ve stayed in unhealthy relationships where there was good chemistry in the hope it would get better but during birth the truth was revealed to us and we had to face that truth with a baby in our arms.
We’ve had sexual abuse and other trauma in our past or childhood. During birth we were unable to trust or surrender into our own body and birthing process.
We grew up catholic and we have not felt fully at home in our female body or with our radiance or sexuality.
We were terrified of birth and overwhelmed by the pain of labour.
We had an awful birth previously and haven’t healed from it yet.
We did what the obstetrician or midwife or doula said because we felt we didn’t know enough about birth and babies and they knew more than us.
We were led to believe that the hospital was the safest place to have a baby, so we found an obstetrician and talked to them about our wishes for a normal birth. We were shocked when close to the arrival of our newborn the scissors came out and our vagina was cut to ‘deliver’ the baby from us.
We were labouring well until suddenly the baby’s heart rate dropped and we were rushed off to have an emergency caesarean.
We had an epidural and a vacuum or forceps delivery. We came home with a deep cut, a wound, lots of stitches or worse. Years later we still deal with incontinence, unresolved feelings, vaginal prolapse and trauma that impacts our sex life and intimate relationships.
We didn’t know how to say no. We said yes when we wanted to say no. Or, we said no, but were not heard. We felt pressured or even threatened to agree to something we didn’t really feel good about.
These are a few of the many reasons why spiritual women have unexpected birthing outcomes.
If any of these resonate with you, know that you are not alone.
These are the experiences of many women I work with, including my own.
Instead of blaming ourselves or others, let’s show a lot of empathy towards ourselves. All of these experiences can be gateways into power moving forward.
How we birth is linked to a much bigger story of women and power. No matter what happened we can heal.
Our birth story can teach us how to live powerfully in a female body on planet earth if we are courageous to look at what happened and how it made us feel.
Women and Birth have formidable Feminine Power, the power to create, relate, expand, radiate, regenerate, rebirth and heal worlds.
You can have the support now that you did not have then.
You can have the voice now that you did not have then.
You can have the power now that you did not have then.
You can be now who you were not then. You can rise. You can heal. You can expand. Your voice matters. Your body matters. You can take up more space here on this earth.
Here’s what I know… there is beautiful treasure for you within your birthing story, exactly as it happened.
If any of the issues raised in this post are having an impact on your life, then you are most welcome to reach out to Angela for personal support.