Wednesday nights are the nights that Christian and I attend our natural birthing classes. Classes up until this week has focused on all the details leading up to active labor – maintaining a healthy pregnancy, signs of preterm labor, early labor, and the transition into active labor. Last night’s class focused on comfort techniques. I have been motivated and inspired by all the classes up until last night….
Last nights class brought to the surface some unaccepted insecurities.
In classes prior to last night, our doula’s mentioned that things have a way of surfacing during the birthing process. Any leftover “issues” that haven’t been addressed in our past can bubble to the surface. I didn’t think much of it when they said it. I’ve had my share of “issues” in my past, but I feel confident that I’ve addressed all the skeletons in my closet. I’m very happy in my life. I’m surrounded by great people who love me and support me.
Well……….sometimes things do bubble to the surface.
While we were practicing the comfort positions in class, I became incredibly overwhelmed. All of the positions require me to trust and rely on Christian. I trust Christian. I rely on Christian. This should not be problem. He is my biggest and best supporter. What I didn’t take into account was that we were in a room with 12 other couples from all walks of life that I don’t know, that I haven’t established trust with, and that I’m not comfortable with.
Let the issues bubble to the surface….
When I become uncomfortable in my environment (which happens when I feel vulnerable in a situation surround by people I don’t know), I tend to laugh nervously. When that self-defense mechanism doesn’t work, I tend to withdraw. I turn inward and try to protect myself. I feel the need to protect myself from everyone around me, Christian included.
We were asked to work our way through 13 comfort stations. Each station required me to relax, trust Christian, and accept the fact that I will be vulnerable during delivery. I couldn’t do it last night. Before I even realized what I was feeling, I felt like I was going to cry. I wanted to go home. I wanted to push Christian away. I wanted to be by myself. It wasn’t the positions that made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t my relationship with Christian that left me feeling insecure. It was being surrounded by strangers while I was feeling vulnerable that made me feel like I needed to protect myself. I still don’t know how to let down my guard enough to allow my support people in when I’m feeling insecure. I still need to learn to trust my support system.
The entire evening left me a little shaken. More than anything, I was so surprised to experience feelings that are rooted in experiences that happened in my life almost 15 years ago – things I’ve dealt with, things I’ve worked through, things I’ve overcome, things that have made me a strong person. What is left over is a distrust of support.
My childbirth journey isn’t about strength. It isn’t about achieving something on my own. I’m good at strong. I’m good at being self-reliant. This journey is going to teach me to remain strong while feeling vulnerable. The only way for me to remain strong is to allow Christian to my backbone. (holy crap! that concept is scary for me!) I need to learn to turn inward while trusting Christian to protect me.
With each passage of human growth we must shed a protective structure [like a hardy crustacean]. We are left exposed and vulnerable – but also yeasty and embryonic again, capable of stretching in ways we hadn’t known before. ~ Gail Sheehy
After a good nights sleep, I’ve been able to put perspective on the situation. Accepting support and trusting the support I receive is challenging for me, but I can learn and grown from this experience. I’m thankful that Christian and I were able to experience this prior to our delivery day. I’m even more grateful that Christian is my support person in my life. He understands me. He supports my way of thinking and my way of life. He encourages me to further explore and define the important things in my life.
I also have another motivator to remain drug-free during labor. Vulnerability plus medication might be disastrous for me. I need to feel my way through the entire process.
I know this entire experience will not only bring a new love to my life, but it will also add a new dimension to my love for Christian and Cole. I value growth in life, and I know this journey will teach me to accept and to trust support.