Hopes and Fears

May 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm (Doula, Education)

At the beginning of the first class of my childbirth series, I give the parents in my class a questionnaire.  I ask about their impressions of pregnancy and birth, and their hopes and fears.  I love hearing what each person shares.  Is pregnancy exciting for them?  Scary?  Tiring?  Spiritual?  I also enjoy hearing about their fears.  If we can be honest about them, our fears can shine like a spotlight on areas where we need to focus.  If someone is afraid of a Cesarean, then we can explore that fear.  What would it look like?  What is the process?  Why might it happen?  What are the worst parts of it?  How could it be empowering/joyful?  By exploring fears, we find opportunites to turn disempowerment into choice and freedom, because we have the freedom to choose how we will meet any challenge that arises.  Fears can be tough to look at, but they allow us to do some really deep and powerful work.

I am also delighted to hear parents’ hopes.  At this class, we heard from the mamas first.  Their hopes resembled one another- hoping for a peaceful birth, a natural birth, a birth with lots of support.  Then, with a bit of prodding, the first dad shared his hopes.  One of them was that his wife would be able to “fully realize her potential as a woman.”  She giggled when he said that, and he blushed, but I was brought near to tears by the sincerity of his wish.  What a beautiful hope- that birth, this big, powerful unknown, would allow the woman you love to show herself in all her glory.  What an amazing love this young papa harbors for his wife, that he would want her to fulfill her potential.  This is the kind of love that is deepened by childbirth, and by the creation of a new family.  I’m excited to see this dad react to the awesome ability that I’m sure his wife will show when she gives birth.  And I’m looking forward to hearing him say, from that moment on, “You won’t believe how amazing my wife is.  She’s incredible.  She’s strong.  She brought new life into the world.”

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