Thursday, January 28, 2010

We can create our birth experience

Oh boy, having just returned from attending a birth I have a hundred things going through my mind! But what I want to share is that over and over again I see the same thing in birth. What you bring in is what you get. Let me explain.

Every birth is so individual, so special in its own right. We have the power as women to decide what the first day and moments of life for our new family will be like. What I am learning in my work with birth is that the experience is actually determined long before you feel those first twinges and tightenings. Time after time I have seen strong women prepare themselves both mentally and physically for the birth experience they dersire and then I have the pleasure of witnesssing as they achieve those goals. There seems to be at least 2 factors involved. One, these women want to own their birth experience. They are not ready to just let it happen to them, they want to see the map, check out altenate routes to the destination and even pick up some tools and skills that will make the journey easier. Secondly, they act on their desires! They ask questions, face their fears, seek out other sources of information and truly desire to do what is best for them and the child to come.

This pre- determination of your birth experience occurs whether or not you invest yourself in the process. We all carry our preconceived notions of birth, pain, and parenting, We all drag our baggage along with us. We have those terrible or joyous birth stories that we have been told by other mothers swirling through our heads. We have our own issues around self confidence and trusting that our bodies can actually do this thing it was created to do.

Regardless of how you plan, intentionally or by default, your experience will bear that out in the end. Now, I am not saying that every women can plan herself a quick, painless, effortless birth. I am also not saying that things will always go the way you have planned. What I am saying is that when you plan you can handle whatever curve balls birth might throw at you with confidence.

A huge chunk of our birth experience depends on how we mentally process the things that are happening through us and around us. Any competitive athelte will tell you, physical preparation is vitally important, but the mental stamina to complete the challenge is just as important!

The first step is finding out what you don't know about birth that could influence how you prepare and the choices you will make for your child. Start by questioning the obvious. Challenge notions that have been accepted as truth. For example: Why do we feel 'pain' in birth? Sounds like a stupid question doesn't it? But, could our experience be a reflection of our expectations? I have seen the full spectrum of responses to the work a woman's body does during birth. They have ranged from intense pleasure to out of control writhing. The factors affecting these births all seemed to lay within the mother's mind. Her responses to the work. Her ability to flow with and relax into the experience all aided the coping with 'pain'. When we are prepared for the work ahead, when we realize that the work is really coming through us. Women seem to be able to tap into an amazingly deep well of strength and focus.

I am going to be posting some birth stories and reflections from women I have worked with at some point either prenatally or during their their births as a Doula. They are filled with wisdom. I hope they will help you to start asking yourself how you need to prepare. What do you really want from your birth ? What can you do? What is within your power to control and what is not?

Welcome to the journey.

Believing in Birth,

Lisa Wass

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Other Side of the Glass -- the trailer

The YouTube version of the fund raiser trailer is finished!! It is a very full ten minutes.

The other side of the glass

SO MUCH is in that ten minutes and so much yet to say! I actually am doing an 18 minute trailer that will be more inclusive, and will even be a stand-alone to just get the basic premises out there -- babies are conscious, fathers are also disempowered, it's not about where or with you give birth, but that they know that the baby is feeling and remembering the experience, so fathers must be re-trained to be protectors in the hospital.

It will be the first 18 minutes of the full film .... which will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The 18 minute video is going to be available soon for a minimum donation of $15.

It is designed for women and men to present to their caregiver -- midwife, nurse, or doctor; and for childbirth educators, midwives and doctors to show to expectant men and women. It will provide the basic information men and women need to have to make birth safer -- wherever they give birth.

This final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

With the information in the film, a father can defend this critical need of his baby's without any doubts.

Finally, and very importantly, most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

Monday, January 04, 2010