All memories of pain disappear over time whether the memories are associated with birth or not. That’s par for the course in all our lives. Who remembers any sickness other than ‘I was so sick’ or ‘it hurt so much’? Unless we are sick or in pain right now, we aren’t. We remember we were but we can’t create the intensity at will. Women do not have amnesia about birth plans. They know it hurt but can’t replicate it right now. When they give birth again then they remember the pain just as when we get another headache we remember the pain.
Births never go as ‘planned’ that’s why Birth Plans should never be seen of as choosing items from a menu or a wish list.
What the PK SKILLS do is permit us to adjust to reality as it unfolds. In other words, when we have the right skills then we adapt how we use them at any moment.
Many women explain birth so well
‘I want things differently next time and have learned greatly from this birth experience’.
Given that we give birth so infrequently in Life, it’s quite amazing how fast we learn what we could have done differently were we able to replay it. That’s what our mind does for months and sometimes years after each birth. If we don’t have birth skills to add to the ‘replay’ then we just often ‘wish’ our birth was different. Sometimes we believe a different Birth Plan will be the solution to change our next birth experience. Yet this can often fails. As you know the ‘outcome’ is very significant BUT it’s our own process of ‘doing labour’ that we learn from.
After 35 years of listening to Birth Stories, I can actually tell you that there are certain types of births … we’ll talk about labors and vaginal births.
Not an infinite variety
Yes, every birth is different and unique however, in its simplest form labour is a series of contractions that arrive one after another spread out over ‘time’ and with levels of intensity ranging from ‘don’t feel anything’ to ‘I feel a tightening’, to ‘yup it’s a bit painful’, to ‘yup it’s quite painful but manageable’ to ‘wow this is intense’ to ‘I’m not getting on top of this pain’. Many women go through the whole gamut of painful sensations as labour progresses. You can hear that in your own story if you have already laboured and given birth.
What is unique to each birth, is how fast we move through those stages. The quicker we move through them, the faster our labour is progressing.
Progression of labour
All births progress by contractions becoming longer, stronger and closer together. Here’s a response I gave to a woman who felt overwhelmed by her labour and was pregnant again.
‘When you say that from the start you had strong but bearable contractions and in 6 hours you were 7-8cms this should tell you (in hindsight) that your body’s ability to labour effectively and quickly is part of who you are. Which means next time, you might have a shorter birth with contractions coming close together, although next time they might not be as ‘strong’ at first. Some second time mothers who have had similar births as you have a vaguer early labour and then suddenly full on for a very short time. Because they confuse the early part as ‘non progressing’ they can end up suddenly finding themselves pushing.
You’re the type of woman who needs to think next time about not being able to get to the hospital. However, if you want to birth in hospital then you need to really learn to ‘check’ yourself so you can feel how quickly your cervix is dilating. You’ll also know by how fast the intensity changes. If you have questions about this or anything I say, please feel free to ask.
One thing you mentioned is that you changed position ‘not really thinking about what was keeping you open but just doing what made me feel better’. May I ask a question here? Were you told in childbirth class or read that you should get into any position that makes you feel comfortable?’