I came across an article while reading about going natural again with Olive or not. Here is an excerpt from one that really drove it home for me to go for it again. I know going natural is NOT for everyone - but this was inspiring. I underlined and added parenthetical comments ;) Working and not fearing Labor is challenging, a powerful process marking the miracle of bringing forth a new life and a new being onto this planet. It is a rite of passage, a psycho spiritual training ground for both mother and child. The laboring woman must put aside her own comfort and learn to surrender to a process so intense that it threatens to consume her. (yep!) She must have the willingness and openness to dive deep within herself and find the stamina to endure, to focus, and to trust. She may have to stretch beyond her own perceived limitations in order to experience this act of creation in the now. (I was there)
How many mothers' eyes have filled with tears as they asked "When will it be over?" only to be told to "take each contraction as it comes, be with it, and let it go, for as long as it takes." As she copes with the successive waves of contraction she develops patience and persistence. She forms a bond with this child she is birthing that is all the deeper because it has been forged with hard work and sweat and tears. It may be the most difficult work she has ever done. It is a labor of love and the most precious gift she can give to herself and her baby.
At some point during labor, many women may come face to face with some form of fear: fear of pain, fear of the inability to cope, and at a deeper level, fear of death. It may be that some part of her ego must "die" in order to get out of her own way and surrender control to the instinctual part of her being that knows how to give birth.
When a woman is able to release into her own intuitive consciousness, she gives birth to the spirit of the "Divine Mother" within, opening herself up to experience birth at a profound spiritual level.
Letting go of fear Gerald Jampolsky wrote in his book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, that there are only two emotions, love and fear.
Fear always distorts our perception and confuses us as to what is going on. Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of expansion and extension, not comparison and measurement. Love, then, is really everything that is of value, and fear can offer us nothing because it is nothing. As we let go of fear...we start to see beyond our old reality as defined by the physical senses, and we enter a state of clarity in which we discover that inner peace and Love are in fact all that are real. Through the process of letting go of fear, a birthing mother may begin to experience a personal transformation which will prepare her to be a more loving mother, a mother who loves unconditionally.
Empowerment Perinatal psychologists have researched the long term effects of the birth process on women and their families and conclude that giving birth is a momentous event which can impact all involved psychologically and spiritually for an entire lifetime. Pushing a baby out of her body with her own efforts can be one of the most exhilarating and joyful accomplishments of a woman's life. And yet, indisputably the most important outcome is a healthy infant and mother, and not where or how birth takes place.
Those mothers who attempt natural childbirth and fail to achieve their desired goal due to life threatening emergency or medical complications often feel extremely angry, frustrated or depressed. If they perceive that the cause of their difficulty could have been avoided either through more in depth personal examination or with different management of their birth, they may be motivated to educate themselves, or explore other available options in childbirth for subsequent births.
Mothers who feel that they made the best possible choices throughout the course of their pregnancy, labor and delivery, and still required intervention are offered a different but no less profound lesson in empowerment. Having done their best to manifest their ideal, they have the opportunity to learn surrender and humility, and embrace this "birth" process on a higher level. As one inspiring mother expressed so beautifully after having had a C-section for the second time after an undescended breech;
"The important thing was that we were both alive and thriving, not that she (her daughter) be born vaginally. It's not what happens to you in life, it's how you perceive it. I could feel like a victim or a victor. I chose to see the opportunity for growth. I did everything in my power and then let go. Even though I didn't get what I wanted, I accepted the experience and I found peace." And so, "Why have natural childbirth?" Because it is our birthright; because the capacity to experience giving birth and mothering is one of the greatest gifts God has bestowed on women. Because we can, and when we do, we are changed in some way forever.