Phase #4 is the time to hone your awareness. Whenever humans learn something new there is a starting period that often feels very awkward. Then as the skill begins to be learned there grows a determination to self-improve. This is ‘awareness’. As your skills flow more easily (second nature) then you can begin to use your awareness to refine them. All human beings go through the same phases of learning … feeling uncertain (conscious incompetency) then feeling more confident (conscious competency) and finally developing a sense of mastery. Sure, there are many things we all do that never achieves ‘mastery’.
Mostly we get by. Most human beings are a jack of all trades and master of none.
Right now you want to perfect (improve or increase) your awareness during your practice sessions of the Birthing Better Childbirth Preparation skills both of you are learning. At this point you should be able to see the process of birth as an unfolding experience throughout which your skills will be used.
We’re blind until …
Because you can’t actually ‘practice’ labor before it happens you will find that the skills make more sense once the birthing process commences. However, at this point your awareness should be increasing and with it your confidence.
Your focus must be on increasing your skill level for this coming birth. As you move closer in time to The Birth the rest of the world begins to dim. Once the birthing process begins, settles in, continues, intensifies and proceeds the more concentrated you need to become (another form of awareness).
Even the shyest women are required by the biological imperative to focus on the task at hand … giving birth. A woman’s awareness increasingly heightens and focuses on this finalization of pregnancy.
As you read this now, stop for a moment and become aware of what is around you. Listen, observe, feel, pay attention.
See what needs to be done but don’t go do it now, just sit and become aware. Become aware of how you are feeling, what is happening in your relationship with your baby’s mother and how ready do you feel if she were to go into labor tonight.
Take a deep breath. Commit to yourself to fill in any gaps that still exist. Experience the difference in your chest between feeling confident and skilled from how you feel if you know that you still don’t know.
Once your child is born you are going to have to be a father. Fathers stay aware. Good fathers don’t always know the answer immediately but they sure are willing to self learn and improve their skills moment to moment. In fact, a good father becomes a good father by becoming fascinated (another form of awareness) in how to keep and maintain a balanced home with both the children and partner.
Having a depth of awareness and having a willingness to continue to grow it is a sign of maturity. Awareness is what gives us, as human beings, satisfaction.