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Is it pain in labor and birth? Or something deeper?

I have yet to come across a woman who has not wondered about the mysteries of childbirth, and what the actual feelings, sensations, pain, surges, contractions, whatever she may choose to call them, are going to feel like. It is a marvel to think how the female body will grow a child and then prepare to meet the mother at the apex of birth.

Many times I am asked what I do for a living and when I tell people I am a Midwife, often I hear, oh I could never do natural birth! I would never be able to handle that kind of pain. I like to say, most of my friends would tell you that I am a kind, compassionate, merciful person. So if that is true about me, do you think I would be able to sit and watch as women go through agony? No!

I do not watch women go through agony as most of the general world would portray birth. What I watch is the transformation of a woman who once believed she could not, but then she did. Who once had fear, but now tremendous faith. Who once said I cannot do this, and then saw, I am doing this! I witness triumph, perseverance, sweat, tears, cries, swaying, rocking, humming, praising, singing, whistling, loving, hard work!

Is this pain? Or is it something deeper. Is this the meeting place of all the fears, tensions, childhood memories, traumas, joys, laughs, tears, pain, sorrow, joy, fear of life and death? I feel the presence of my God, the creator of all things, Jesus Christ in the midst of every birth. Longing to be called upon for the strength in those moments when a woman is at the end of herself. A beautiful place to be if we can surrender into the feelings. I often tell my clients, you will get to that last door of your birth journey and want to draw back, as if touching a hot stove. However your child is just on the other side! You can draw back in fear and have to return, over and over, to that door. Or you can surrender, let go, work with your body and all it is doing, and bring your baby into your arms.

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