Does it feels like you waited a lifetime for this moment? Did you expect it to happen or was it something completely unexpected?
The moment you’re holding in your hand a positive pregnancy test, or a blood test that confirms you’re pregnant, is unforgettable.
Perhaps, when you got the news, you started jumping up and down with joy, or you cried uncontrollably, or yelled something unintelligible or maybe you froze and were speechless for some seconds…
Now you’re getting used to the idea, depending on your personal experiences and personality, with elation, or disbelief, or apprehension, worry, trepidation, or even with shock… or with a mixture of all these feelings.
No matter how you got here, you are instinctively called to share in the mystery of life. Something big has happened. And something amazing is about to happen!!! 😆
Even if humanity has tried to unveil its tricks, mechanisms and secrets, life remains an elusive concept, escaping from the paradigm of control and rationality we would like to apply to it. That’s why you may feel as if you were naked, or maybe unprepared and worried, if not afraid, of giving birth. If that’s the case, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And if that is not the case at all, don’t worry either…You’re not alone! 😉
As Beatrice Benfenati says: “Here’s what a woman feels when she knows she is expecting a baby: incredulity, wonder, but also feelings of inadequacy because something really great is happening within her. She feels the irreversibility of what has happened, that she will never again be who she was before and does not know yet who she will become. Her feelings swing between wonder and fear – along with the sensation of nausea that we, too quickly, consider a digestive or hormonal problem: the nausea instead says that the woman is in a suspended state, in which she is no longer who she was before, but not she is not a mother yet. Who is she then? This would be a very fertile time, from a point of view of inner growth, and also the not pleasant feeling given by nausea could become interesting, if we understood what question it channels, if we understood its value. “
We can’t keep under control every single aspect of pregnancy and birth, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. That’s what we do in our culture: we take control, or find someone who can help us feel in control. And that, generally, is not a bad strategy. We are often in the “doing mode” in regards to many physiological states of our body. Be it hunger, thirst, sexual drive, premenstrual syndrome, morning sickness, anger, sadness or other physical alterations, not to mention discomfort or pain, the question we ask ourselves is: “What do I do? How do I fix this?”. Then we find appropriate ways, techniques or routines, be it medical or not, to bring our body back into a state of balance, so we can keep going with our daily life, as our role of wives, sisters, mothers, workers, friends, demands.
But before “doing something”, in pregnancy and birth there is ONE THING you need to know, the most important and powerful thing to know: It is your animal instinct that drives the act of conception, nourishing, growing and giving birth to your baby. The key for a great experience of birth lays in this simple, but not banal, statement. In pregnancy and birth, the “being mode” works better and it’s safer than the “doing mode”.
Our animality begins to take over in pregnancy, affecting the newest and less instinctive part of the brain, the neocortex: forgetfulness, mental tiredness and fatigue, lack of concentration are all common symptoms of the pregnancy hormones at work. Your body is saying to the rational area of your mind to give way, to let the ancient, intuitive brain take the lead.
Nine months are the time Nature wanted us to have, in order to become experts of “being with” the bodily signals. Sometimes your body forces you (read morning sickness) to listen to it, more often you have a choice: to listen or to not listen? Whatever the answer may be, and regardless whether the choice is personal or imposed by circumstances, it is very important to feel good about it, to make peace with it so that the hormone of calm, relax and happiness (i.e. oxytocin) can flow.
Physiologically speaking, in pregnancy there isn’t much to do. There is to let be. To let the body do what it was designed to do.
The good news is: all you need is within you. The changes of your body in pregnancy and birth were not intended to be painful or dangerous, they simply signal and accompany the transformational work being done, as Benfenati says. Giving them time, space and calm acceptance, they can trigger internal coping resources, that are naturally meant to surface and facilitate the transition from womanhood to motherhood.
Hypnobirthing is a very efficient way to learn to trust yourself and your baby, release the fear induced by a negative culture of birth, and relax while the body does what it knows. My personal and professional commitment is to speak to you with respect, embracing the notion that your body, your mind and your spirit are going through one of the most intense experiences of life, and that all of those parts of you need nourishment.
Your pregnancy is not just a series of exams and numbers, as much as your baby is not just a series of ultrasound pictures and measurements. You’re a body who is changing, a mind that leads that transformation and a spirit that lighten the path of your journey towards being a mom.