The likelihood that you’re reading this in the middle of The Birth is nil. There’s some chance you’re reading this after the birth but most of you will be reading just before the birth. Well here’s the simple explanation of the birth journey. As mentioned before, childbirth is an exercise in plumbing (that’s the technical explanation). An object (your baby) has to open a diaphragm (the cervix) then move through a tube (the pelvis) then move down a short passage (the birth canal) then open an aperture (the vaginal opening). However, a technical explanation is not the same as experiencing that journey. The journey is much more like driving on a long journey.
Before you drive on this journey you actually need to learn skills. Once you’re behind the wheel you can’t stop until the end and you must use your skills at each nano-second. Whatever happens to or around you on this journey you still must drive at each moment. Birth is like this.
Birth is a journey and activity
Every moment of the experience and process needs to be filled with skills … from both of you … even if that skill is being present, right now and paying attention. As the process gets more intense that’s no different from having to drive up the mountain … windy roads, paying attention to curves, animals in the road or anything else.
At the very beginning of this birth journey use the skills to learn how to use the skills as the process unfolds further. Prior to this you had to practice and perfect these skills without the experience happening. Now that its happening, you get to use the skills to learn about their interface to the experience. If your baby’s mother is going to labor and have contractions then both of you are learning how to overlay your skills to the 5 Phases of each contraction. Use skills right from the start. Don’t wait until the labor pains are intense. That’s the wrong time to put in place skills. The right time is to become increasingly more skilled when the pains are non-existent or manageable.
Usually there is little pain (although there can be ‘discomfort’) so it’s easy to not think about the importance of using skills but it’s important to do so. As the natural occurring pain increases you want to have a habit of using your skills. As labor intensifies you’ll refine your skills even further and that’s where the moment to moment use of skills is very much like driving in very challenging conditions … full concentration.
If you are going to have a non-laboring surgical birth then you’ll want to use these skills on the way to hospital, while being prepped and during the surgery so neither of you become disconnected from the birthing process. You don’t want to find yourself thinking ‘This is unreal’. Birthing Better families choose to stay connected by treating a Caesarean birth as important to participate in as a labor … this is your baby’s birth!
If you labor and then have an emergency Caesarean continue to use the skills while being prepped and during surgery so you remain connected to the process. Yes, the birth has changed but No it hasn’t. You are still within the birthing process of your child so continue using your skills.
That’s about all. You’ve grown. You’ve learned lots of skills. You’re more skilled.
Welcome to the world of being a father and mother.