Birth happens best in a relaxed environment with a more contemplative mood. At some point you will probably want to be totally alone, whether during the actual birth or just for a while at the beginning. I've always thought that it would be nice to do an oil painting on canvas, write poetry, or compose songs while in labor. Then the baby would have something tangible that represents his/her mother's feelings while giving birth. The creative process would also be an outlet for feelings that would help the mother. Journaling would be another idea.
Another good idea is to begin your ideal birth fantasy at this time. This is something you can use no matter where you give birth, whether in the hospital or at home. Get in a comfortable position, perhaps propped up in a semi-reclining position in bed, close your eyes, relax, and let your mind wander. If you could give birth anywhere, where would it be? I've always thought it would be wonderful to give birth in the warm summer waters of the southern Pacific ocean. I can see myself sitting on the sand at the edge of the water with just a couple of inches of water covering my legs. It is late afternoon. The sun warms my body, and the water that laps at my feet is a comfortable temperature. I close my eyes and listen to the sound of the waves. I feel a gentle breeze blowing my hair. The sun is starting to go down; the colors on the horizon are beautiful. I find a calm pool of water sheltered by some rocks. I lay back against the rocks, which are still very warm from being in the sun all day. The warm water relaxing my body, the warmth of the rock against my back, the gentle breeze and relaxing sounds.....I drift off to sleep for a few minutes....I am so relaxed........
I am awakened by a feeling of tightness in my belly. It is only there briefly, then goes away. The tightness comes and goes for a while. The sun is almost down now. I crawl up onto the sand, and when I try to stand up, my feet sink down under the sand. This automatically causes me to squat down. When I do, an uncontrollable force grips my body that makes me let out a long, low moan, and I suddenly feel totally submissive to it. I follow where it leads. I feel immersed in it; it's the same feeling I have when making love. It's the feeling that you are racing quickly towards something, faster...and faster...and faster...I am rocking back and forth on all fours, moaning...moaning, breathing faster and faster.....it is so good, it is almost too much....so powerful....it's coming....it's coming.....
Suddenly, something appears between my legs. It's out...and my body is suddenly peaceful. I lift it up, and gaze into the face of my child. We sit down into the water so that we are both partially immersed. We look into each other's eyes, we float about. We are two, but we are one.
Could you imagine it? Wasn't it like you were really there? Make up your own birth fantasy, and spend your labor living it out in your mind.
Or, if you are birthing unassisted, you might really like to live your birth fantasy!
When you are in labor, especially in the later stages of labor, you are focused inward on what is going on inside of you. When a contraction comes, it often feels like you go to another place in your mind. Giving yourself a birth fantasy gives you someplace to go when you leave the conscious world. It helps free you from the distractions around you, and helps direct your labor.
However, you mustn't get so involved in your fantasy that you forget to pay attention to your body. It is a given that your fantasy should be interactive, and include whatever is happening to your body at the time.
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