Today I’m writing for my sister. My actual big sister, who is soon to bring her second child into the world. Also for any and every other woman who comes across this post, whether you’re expecting or not, because to me we are all part of one universal sisterhood.
My big sister is an incredible woman. I mean truly, she’s a force of nature. She is a wonderful loving mum to her little girl, a conscientious wife to her very hard working husband, a super daughter and sister to all the family (and we are a seriously big family), a caring and generous friend and she’s really good at her day job too.
My sister is also the biggest control freak I know. And I say that with complete and genuine love and affection 🙂
Pragmatic, organised beyond imagination, and the master of forward planning. She also happens to be the family’s best prankster (but we’ll save those stories for another time). She’s the kind of person who has all of her Christmas presents bought and wrapped before we reach December. The kind of person who has highly detailed plans before any ‘event’ (her daughter’s birthday party for example) with tasks and stations allocated to the ‘party committee’ (her husband and sisters). I mean I really need you to understand how deep the control factor goes… think someone who secretly plans her own ‘surprise’ hen do… and forbids her younger sisters from drinking a drop of alcohol at her wedding until after they’ve given their speech* (yes even at the champagne toast!).
And we all love her for it. We embrace every last neurotic drop of control and organisation. Without her insane levels of planning we wouldn’t have half as many family gatherings as we do and we’re definitely grateful for that.
But… my sister, who I love, respect and admire in so many ways… I have taken it upon myself to be the bearer of vital information for you. As you prepare to bring what I’m 150% sure will be the world’s cutest baby boy ever, into the world in a few short weeks, I need to share with you the big secret to giving birth so that you might have a different experience from the first time round…
Before you start protesting, don’t worry it’s not the pre-natal yoga I’ve been trying to convince you to do, or the hypnobirthing breathing techniques. It’s not the essential oils or homeopathy I promised would help. And you’ll be relieved to know it’s not even the “you-know-what” massage I’ve been assuring you will make all the difference (well actually I still stand firmly by this one it really will help when the time comes to get baby’s head out!)**
No, the secret I want to share with you is nothing remotely practical like any of these things… which for you, I guess is going to make it so much worse to swallow. I’m just warning you now, you’re not going to like it. But nonetheless you should definitely embrace it ….
If your amazing little girl hasn’t already taught you, nor the two pregnancies you’ve experienced thus far, this second baba is definitely going to remind you that as much as you might want to, you simply cannot control everything. Please take this as a not so subtle hint to stop all those wacky ideas of evicting him early so he’ll be “smaller to push out”… nice try but it doesn’t work that way!
Instead I urge you to please let go of every single preconceived notion you have about giving birth. Most especially the fears. Let go of your ability to plan everything. Despite your best efforts, you will not be able to plan how or when or even where your baby is born. Tiny as he is, he calls all the shots on this one. Trust me when I say that it’s actually a really good thing. Have complete faith in your sweet child and trust that he will choose the perfect moment to join us in this world, all you have to do is allow him to. Trust your magnificent body, that when the time comes it will know exactly what to do.
In letting go, letting be, there is peace, silence and clarity that arise from complete abandonment. Let life be.
Once you accept that this is a situation in which you simply have no control over, it will instantly become a thousand times easier. That may sound like an oxymoron but it isn’t. Lean into the birth experience like you would lean into a triple layer chocolate fudge cake. Eyes closed, a smile on your face and complete blind faith that you’re about to experience something amazing… because you are!
Be fully present in each and every moment. That incredible ability you have to focus and get shit done (truly, nobody gets shit done like you) is going to take over you; mind, body and spirit. Let yourself go into that state of mind that beckons you when the time comes. That incredible birthing zone. Harness the power from deep inside of you and just know that you can do this.
It really doesn’t matter how you choose to birth your baby, or how you end up birthing him. Whether it’s in a hospital room with “all the drugs”, or in a stream by the light of the full moon. All that matters to you and baby is that you give in to whatever happens. That you are open and accepting, you embrace the unknown, the unknowable.
Trust your intuition, always, because you are powerful.
The challenge… Or opportunity that birthing gives us to call on our higher selves is really just a reflection of life itself. Once we give up attempting to control everything, we are able to live authentically from moment to moment. Only when we let go can we experience the magic that is just waiting to happen all around us. And giving birth is truly one of the most magical moments life has to offer.
So… my sister, I knew you probably wouldn’t like what I had to say, but I also promise you that like everything you put your mind to, you can absolutely do this. I know that, your baby definitely knows that, and if you search deep inside of yourself I’m quite sure you know it too.
You are badass. And giving birth is badass. Why else do you think Mother Nature has women in charge of arguably the most important physiological human process? 😉
Let yourself go… And enjoy the magic.
*Confession: Mandy and I downed a glass of wine together before we hit the stage but it was for dutch courage and anybody who was there can attest that we delivered a grand if not slightly humorous speech… ok… we were pretty much the laughing stocks of the wedding… I see why the no alcohol clause was imposed now.
** Pregnant mamas, I highly recommend perineum massage in the build up to giving birth. Drop me a comment if you’d like me to elaborate in any way!