This is a new year, a new decade and I’m surely starting it with quite a massive change coming in our lives soon and all that I can do is give a possible or tentative final chapter to this series of blogs related to pregnancy now since I am officially 37 weeks, and from next week on, baby can decide to be born any time. I didn’t find something that relevant or different to share in the past month since I definitely kept on the same routine and habits I had shared about in the previous blog and everything has been going well and I had been feeling quite fine. I started this new year though with a flu and with that not being able to ‘keep up’ with the routine I have set for myself and then, suddenly I started feeling more discomfort and weight on my belly and more tiredness and aches in parts I had not had it before and that also came as a realization that, well, yes, we’re now officially into the ninth month and so it makes sense that I’m coming to experience that shortness of breath and tiredness everyone was talking about. But, I am still recovering from the flu and I haven’t moved as much and I may be speaking from that kind of context of hitting the nine months and having a flu – nonetheless, I am thankful though that sleeping isn’t yet much of a problem or aching so much. I do seem to have some kind of contractions, but it’s also part of baby gaining more weight and positioning to get out, but I know it’s all quite ‘chilled’ at this point compared to what may be the actual birthing process, but even that, we can’t really know how will actually go.
I want to write about the birthing process and my relationship to my own birth since we’ve had some interesting support from midwives about certain conditions I may have and how it could relate to the way I was born. Perhaps this is something that may be entirely an assumption or ‘linking of the dots’ in a convenient way, but I do see that it is nonetheless timely to open up about it and walk through any remnants of that as I prepare to give birth and to use this opportunity to heal from my own birthing experience as in ‘how I came into this world.’
I had at some point written about the idea of having had fetal suffering with having the umbilical cord around my neck. I’m recently learning that’s not really ‘a problem’ to be given birth in a natural way, and more like how some doctors may use that as a reason to get the woman into a surgery, which is a whole topic in itself when it comes to the various reasons why some doctors prefer to induce women into labor or getting c-sections without there being a real need for it. In my mother’s case after she explained her labor process with us, it seems that this was the case. That means, I probably wasn’t really having fetal suffering and all the ideas that I created in my mind about ‘having had fetal suffering therefore I have this inherent ‘emotional suffering’ as part of my nature’. What I did go through though is the inducing of labor, which implies this rush to get me out and compressing in time the whole labor process that my mother could have naturally gone through, but was sped up artificially. How could that have affected me? There were some lines drawn to certain experiences that ‘could be’ linked to it, and I’ll share about them here.
I’ve noticed how up to this day in certain conditions I may show some signs of lacking air, feeling a bit claustrophobic for example if being in a bus with too many people – or having little to no space around me empty – suddenly seeing myself almost gasping for air or wanting to open up windows because of perceiving that ‘I can’t breathe’, almost like claustrophobia and having this urge to ‘get out’ as soon as I can. I actually even recall this kind of experiences quite vividly whenever I’ve had them, including the time when I didn’t know how to swim as a kid and I ended up at the bottom of the pool and having that same anxiety of ‘wanting to go to the surface’ and not knowing how to and feeling quite desperate and afraid of not being able to ‘get out’ and breathe. I end up having similar symptoms when having low blood pressure, all of a sudden getting tired and yawning after having been just fine the moment prior to me thinking : ‘I’m in a packed place, it’s hot, there’s little oxygen, I have to get out quickly’.
Well, the suggestion was made that this could be a remnant of my birth experience where I basically was pushed to go out through chemicals that induce and rush contractions in an unnatural way and even though this was happening, my mother didn’t dilate. I didn’t know this, and this was essentially medical negligence because then it simply meant it wasn’t my time at all but, it was all forced to fit a certain timeframe and with the assumption that me having the umbilical cord was a sign of fetal suffering = therefore I had to be taken out. What happened then is that because mother was having contractions, but there was no dilation, I felt most likely trapped, being pushed to go out but having no way of going out.
It also reminds me of the kind of panic I would go into, like petrifying fear whenever I would play with my sisters and they would lock me in a closet, I’d go into some kind of trauma in those moments because of not being able to get out as well and start crying desperately, also gasping for air even if I was say locked in a bathroom or a closet that had sufficient oxygen. Well, it all sounds a bit similar to what I could have gone through at the moment of birth and that being the cause of my fetal suffering: being pushed to go out but having no way to go out and so having had to be taken out surgically through a c-section.
So here, also clarifying that it’s not about the c-section in itself that was the problem, but the conditions around it that (mis)led to it and what I most likely went through within my mother and what my mother went through as all the worry, apprehension and stress of having these heavy contractions but having no ‘opening’ at all. I was suggested to make peace with what transpired at the time and instead focus on being grateful for having being born, being alive and healing that birthing process within me, so that it doesn’t reverberate into the experience that’s coming up for me next in giving birth myself.
I am aware that what I experience as let’s call it the ‘claustrophobic’ experience may or may not be related to the birthing process, but since understanding things usually leads me to the ability of making peace or making amends with things, I decide to for now take this ‘connecting of the dots’ to self-forgive it, walk through it, understanding what happened, what was done, why it was done and let go of it, not harboring any bad feelings around it either since it was a different time back when I was born and there might have been mistakes made. But hey, I’m here and alive so, now that I’m aware of what actually transpired, I can stop creating stories or reasoning about it and simply heal from it, let it go, understand it and focus on what’s here for me to look at now that the birthing time is coming closer, and so have a blank slate on how a birthing process can be.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to harbor an experience of claustrophobia as in going into a physical perception of lacking oxygen, lacking air to breathe, not being able to breathe, feeling suddenly weak and sometimes even having cold sweat pouring out as signs of distress that could have originated from the time when I was ‘induced to be born’ through chemical means that would try and accelerate the birthing process, yet not having a ‘way out’ naturally as the opening of my mother’s vagina to actually have a way out, and in the end, having to be taken out through a surgical maneuver that may not have been necessary if proper time was given for me to be birthed.
I realize that at the time, my mother and doctors did what they thought was best for her and for me as a baby having the circular around the neck – the umbilical cord around the neck – and believing that was a sign of fetal suffering that they had to act on, and that my mother followed doctor’s orders and perspectives because of not knowing any better, and with that comes then my own forgiveness to doctors and my mother for not knowing any better way to deal with that situation and doing what was common to do at the time.
I realize that currently I have the opportunity to live in a different time, different era where a lot of the misconceptions around pregnancy and giving birth are being opened up for discussion and clarifying a lot of beliefs that would usually lead to surgical births for example, and that are now not considered a reason to induce labor, speed up labor, doing c-sections or intervening mothers in other unnatural ways to give birth – and that I now have sufficient information and education about it to make different decisions on how to give birth, what is doable and what is not and having this opportunity to perhaps prevent my own child from going through what I went through in my own birthing experience, and with that, allowing myself to be birthed again with her in a more suitable way.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to in any unconscious way harbor resentment or anger towards my mother and the doctors for the way that I was born, for the experience that was perhaps traumatic and claustrophobic as I was pressured to go outside of my mother’s womb, of not being ‘respected’ enough to allow me to naturally show signs of wanting to get out, but instead be intervened because of a belief around fetal suffering at the time, even if it wasn’t yet my time to go out.
I realize that they all did what they could in my best interest with the knowledge that they all had at the time and that if I had been in their exact same shoes and responsibility and with the same amount of information or education they had, I would have done the same thing in the consideration of what I would know to be best.
Therefore, all that is left for me to do is to prevent such same or similar scenarios in my own process of giving birth to our child now that I have access to more information and education about the real contexts or complications where I’d have to go into an emergency c-section surgery and knowing when not to worry to be unnecessarily rushed into one, such as having long labor or not dilating as quick as it would be ‘ideal’ or having a circular around the neck or losing the mucous plug ‘long before due date’ – but mostly realizing that now I’m also in the hands of people that have their best interest on me having a natural birthing process and that we could only consider a surgery if it is strictly necessary – and this is then the trust that I can give to myself and to my baby to be fine with either outcome based on how things evolve on the birthing process itself.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to recreate the same suffering or traumatic experience I had in my own birth whenever some elements I’ve defined as ‘distressful’ are in my environment, such as when feeling like there’s a lack of oxygen in the air, when feeling like I don’t have enough space around me to move and so feeling like I have to ‘rush to get out’ and in general the experience of ‘having to rush’ constantly and not being able to slow down may even come from that experience of having to ‘quickly’ move somewhere or go out and not being able to be just stable and calm even if having a small limited amount of space around me in certain environments, or if seeing closed windows and perceiving that ‘I need some fresh air’ in moments when going into this kind of physical distress that may – or may not be- related to the experience I had when being forced to get out from my mother’s womb as a baby.
I realize that I’ve been explained how no matter how ‘tight’ a place can be with people, the idea of lack of oxygen is mostly a belief in my mind and that the experience of ‘having to rush to get out’ may also be a remnant of that initial experience within my mother’s womb that I can now let go of and instead direct myself to practice remaining calm, learning to breathe properly as well, deep enough so that I can actually replenish my body with necessary oxygen and at the same time, to use that breathing process to settle myself down in my body, to not fuel ideas of ‘having to move or go somewhere’ but instead to embrace that moment where I can redirect my focus and attention from ‘lack of oxygen’ to ‘I can breathe, I’m here, my physical body has what it needs, there’s no rush to go somewhere, I can slow down, be here, I’m here’.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to recreate a sense of resentment and anger towards medical professionals that have and may continue to induce labor to women for unnecessary reasons, causing more babies to go through the kind of experience that I went through – or worse – and within this to realize that my own pain, suffering or emotional distress now that I know how these things work only do a disservice to my own body and the baby that is growing within me, therefore I let go of the emotional stress about it and remain calm.
I realize that the real path to change is to be informed, to get educated about what really goes on in the birthing process so that I can know how things may be, how ‘complications’ may be approached, how to handle certain obstacles during the birthing process and how to also make peace if intervention is needed in case my body does require it and it is in fact the best option for everyone involved, myself and my baby.
I also realize that I have to be open to the unknown in this birthing process and that a lot of ‘stuff’ may open up that day that I need to physically work through and go through, and that all that I have for now as a preparation is knowing that I can trust myself. I also have to listen to my body, to not get ‘hooked’ on a particular idea of ‘how I want things to be’ but to always place our wellbeing as a priority.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to mentally resist and fear the idea of having to go through surgical procedures or further intervention to give birth, instead of realizing that if I resist and fear it, it persists. Instead, I need to embrace that as a possible path if it is necessary to go through it.
I realize that as much as I’ve set myself to do it in a natural or less intervened way, things may not happen the way that I could prefer them to happen – therefore, I embrace the possibilities of what may be needed or required to be done when the birthing process takes place.
I realize that flexibility and being open to ‘the unknown’ is a key here considering that we may sometimes want things to be in a particular way and create expectations about it, which may simply not turn out to be the reality that we create and face and so, that becomes the origin of resentment, guilt, dissatisfaction and even anger for not being able to ‘accomplish’ certain birth plan, as it is called. I’m making peace with whatever has to happen that day and time whenever baby decides to come out into this world.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that my body will not handle this kind of process properly and that I won’t be ‘strong enough’ for it, not realizing these are fears from times when I would actually have this kind of ‘lack of air’ in certain physical situations and feeling like ‘fainting’ which might be once again related to this belief that there is something ‘wrong with me and my body’ and ‘I don’t have a physical body that’s suitable for demanding exercises’ or situations – however, I have been physically challenging that idea and I have to make peace with the fact that anything can happen, but I can have the certainty and can be proud of myself of how I have invested on my physical wellbeing to be prepared for that birthing process and for what’s to come, regardless of the outcome and regardless of how my body can handle things and how baby decides to come into this world.
All that I can be and focus on is on my own trust, strength and confidence to do what it takes to walk through the birthing process, something I never thought of going through in this life to be honest and that I can also feel now proud of being willing to go through and have the courage for it, after having been so fearful of anything related to giving birth for most of my life, mostly because of hearsay, misinformation, lack of proper education and will to learn more about it, because of fears really. I now see the capacity to turn things around if I decide to do so with awareness, dedication and willingness to do this with all of my being, a once in a lifetime process for sure, because even if one has more kids, no process is ever the same, and that applies for everything really.
As a closure, first of all, this is all a result of walking the Desteni process, I do not know how I would have handled something like this without the support and tools to break through some of the main limitations I’ve had lived in for two thirds of my life. I also can be glad and satisfied with how I have carried this pregnancy process on, for the most part it became quite enjoyable to be honest after the first three or so months. It’s perhaps the kind of challenge I consider I wouldn’t have taken on with full awareness or deciding to do so explicitly – as that worst of me was overriding my ability to see beyond my initial fears – nonetheless it has been an opportunity to grow as a person, and I’m extremely thankful for it, we both are. And even though it has its challenges, difficulty in making certain decisions and even if discomfort emerges from time to time, I embrace it as part of the whole actual miracle that creating a baby inside me is, without me being aware of it at all. And on top of that, the time that’s left is really nothing to go through some more ‘slowing down’ processes, some more ‘weight of life’ to carry on in order to give birth to the new part of us that is coming into this world J
All the best for us and for all of you, let’s see how life unfolds J
Happy new year 2020