A recent birth I “attended” vicariously, as mom and dad & two midwives at the other end of the phone, and myself on speaker phone in their bathroom at the couples residence.
The parents and I had worked together as we do in all my classes, establishing a certain level of trust and overcoming those invariable obstacles that we sometimes get fixated on as ‘potential problems’.
The calmness of the mother, and the appreciation of the process we undertook together created great moments I believe for both herself and ultimately her infant. Her husband and father to this little one was blown away by his wife's unending supply of courage and ability to get the job done. Understanding the requirements of new motherhood on a “maiden” woman is simply impossible before the event occurs.
For guys it would be like trying to grasp what changes might occur in yourself, your beliefs, your life, following getting married. Everyone does their best to inform you of just what to expect, just how much things will be changing, and how much you will change. What starts out as lust then love for this person is going to shift rather exponentially, and no matter how hard others have tried to guide you, it’s impossible to literally say what that is until you just go through it. It's one of those "you can't know until you do it" things.
Like your first skydiving experience, or the first time ....well you know what I mean...try and explain that to someone that hasn't had that experience yet.... "It's like flying, and diving and you feel caught in the feelings, and then there's the shaking thing that happens, I think I blanked out ...and I don't really know what happened after that...just believe me it's great. "
This is sort of like having a baby….for a woman. Now there is a relatively similar path the father experiences in the birth of his child as well, however, it’s like the wedding…all eyes are on the one in white…and then there are a bunch of guys down in front all dressed the same….during a birth you can often find yourself as one of the guys down in front watching this creature that is soon to become your wife, become the mother of your child. It's humbling!
The shift essentially happens to both parents, and there is no way, no matter how much you read, think about it, or ask others, "what’s it like?" That you will get this figured out for yourself before hand. Most of the beforehand referencing actually can just confuse things a whole lot for you. “Should I be feeling that? I don’t, is something wrong with me?”
This in itself is the shift in consciousness that is about to occur in the new parents, and yet through the entire pregnancy remains aloof, tucked away, somewhere between the pickles and the sushi.
The birthing event however, significantly marks the change in consciousness. It’s a huge gateway of hormones, chemicals and releases that occur. It’s primal, It’s messy, it’s got it’s moments, there’s a wall in there – or two – and once you go beyond them, there is just no going back. Essentially you can have a runaway bride or groom, but there's no running away once labour has started. Once it's started - well that baby is coming out one way or another!
Choices about how the process is going to go, are all about the shifts in consciousness of the parents, and they are just plain working hard. Relationship issues, trusts, empowerment…all are on the line.
It’s a time when life is straining to evolve, and through it we reshape ourselves rather uniquely as new parents.
I’ve laughed at how many parents have shared, “oh yes, we’ll take our infant mountain climbing, and no worries, she can swing in the lines over the crevasse with us “ or “ Snowboarding is safe, he'll be fine on my back, sure we can take her water skiing, she’ll love it”
After the rather shocking interruption to ones life, new parents are amazed at just how much time, energy and demands one tiny little being can take! Four pairs of hands just to change a little top! And watch those diaper changes because they can get really messy when you don’t…watch everything!
At 3pm in the afternoon and mom still hasn’t had a shower, and baby is still demanding mom be there for him… life unfolds, eventually you experience just how to let the good time roll again, somewhere between 10pm and 5am the eyes all close and you get to rest deeply for a moment or two….but never deep enough so you aren’t “listening”.
Then there’s the first smile and it’s one you recognize is not gas, your heart melts so deeply into it that you know your child has just innocently removed all barriers to love and you drift into the awareness so completely….I believe it’s the thing that saves the child’s virtual existence as it crests age 15 and slams the bedroom door for the millionth time …turning up the sound blaster - and your nerves just wince ….one more time you remember just how much you love this little being!