When I was pregnant with my older daughter, I wanted an unmedicated childbirth. However, when I went into labor, I was overwhelmed with fear. “How much longer will this go on?” “Will the pain get worse and worse?” I was filled with so much fear of the unknown that I continued to ask for an epidural. My doula knew about my intention to have an unmedicated labor and was able to coach me through each contraction. Before I knew it, I was pushing without any medication and my daughter came screaming out into the world. I’ve never felt so astonished and proud of what my body was able to do.
Fast forward three years during the birth of my younger daughter, Cora. Having been through labor before and knowing what my body was capable of, when I went into labor I leaned into the discomfort. I remember swiveling my hips and thinking about opening my body to the experience. Twenty-five minutes later, my little baby was snuggled on my chest. Labor was a bullet train that I chose to get on. Of course there were moments of fear, but I put those aside when I reminded myself that discomfort was necessary for my daughter to be born. I made a choice to be uncomfortable knowing that I would be immensely happier if my baby was born out of courage, rather than fear.
The world is facing a new challenge right now. Rather than pulling back and looking towards the future with fear of the unknown, I have to remind myself to lean into the discomfort and take the unexpected as part of the process for the birth of a new chapter in our lives.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Cora. You continue to inspire me to be brave.