With only 3 weeks left until the home-birth of this baby, we have been watching videos of births as a family to get our 2 daughters (ages 8 and 3) ready for the big event. This will be the 3rd home birth that my husband has been a part of, and the 1st for our girls.
My hubby and I have occasionally had some slightly heated conversations about how to talk to the girls about what to expect. I believe in being honest and telling them “mommy is going to experience the worst pain of her life and will be cursing and screaming like a banshee and possibly hitting daddy in the face…” OK- I do not say that to them. But I DO believe in preparing them for the fact that I will likely be VERY vocal, and they will see blood, and it will be “hard work.” Now my husband is a deeply philosophical and spiritual man. He has read more Ina May and Bradley books than I have. He has also studied a lot of anthropology and believes that we have lost a lot of our innate knowledge over the centuries by being disconnected from our bodies and experiences like natural birth. When discussing our upcoming birth with the girls, he tends to think that I am conditioning them for a ‘painful’ experience by telling them that it will be ‘hard work, and ‘might hurt some and mommy will yell’ etc. He feels like I should leave it open to the possiblity that it will be pain free and a pleasent experience so that perhaps they will not be mentally programmed to experience birth painfully should they choose to have babies themselves one day.
What a load of crap, right?! Well, maybe he has a point, but the bottom line is this Mama is a screamer so thats what I am preparing them for.
Now- back to the videos- last night we watched a video that has officially Shut Matt Up. We found a family that had a home birth, out of the water and the whole thing was shot from the front. We are talking Full Monty. Matt has never actually seen what the female form does to get that human out of it -at past births he has been conveniently positioned so that all he sees is a baby slide out and handed over to mom. This video captured the head as it crowned, paused, mama kept pushing, waiting for the rest of the body to be born…I wish I had his face on film. With wide eyes, pale complexion and jaw dropped, Matt quickly decided that if I needed to scream that was A-Okay. He spent the rest of the evening quietly meditating over what he had just seen and how completely impossible it should be for that to phyisically happen to a woman’s body.
“No wonder” he said “that ancient culture created so much art and sculpture of mother’s giving birth. They needed a way to process what they had just witnessed. Like therapy.” I have to admit I was pretty blown away too. It does look like an impossible feat that is only made possible by forces completely outside of ourselves…oh wait – thats exactly what birth is like! You do have to get out of yourself to make it possible.
“My hat is off to you” my sweet hubby said to me. “And you yell as much as you want to, babe.”
Oh I will. I will indeed.