In the months building up to the birth, the body of the mother-to-be goes through massive physical changes. The abdomen expands, the hips widen, the breasts swell, and she might even put on some weight in other areas.
On top of these more obvious physical changes, she’s also going through some drastic internal changes. In pregnancy, the amount of blood in her body increases by about one third. Her blood pressure changes. The Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) hormone comes into the mix, and she experiences an increase in oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Basically, the whole hormone balance shifts to prepare for the upcoming birth.
The external changes to her body often make a woman feel unsure about her looks, and this has an impact on her spirit. Combined with the internal hormonal changes, it makes her very vulnerable to moods. It is also known that in men, the hormone levels change during this time. I wouldn’t know though if this would help the situation or rather make it worse!
For me as a man, the months before the birth of both of our children where always a time of letting go. Letting go of personal desires, needs, space and time. As difficult as this was sometimes, it was easier than trying to resist the change. Once the decision was made to have the baby, there was no turning back. I felt deep within that there was a bigger force working, and resistance would be futile.
Giving birth is a massive act of transformation for the mother, father and of course, the baby. During childbirth, the mother shows her innermost self and reveals who she really is. During the ‘trance’ of the contractions, she can show a side of herself that is very different from the usual way her man perceives her. Paula and I felt that this transformation was very profound, and that it was crucial to go through this experience without drugs during our second birth.
The time of pregnancy is not only necessary to prepare for the birth, but also prepares the couple for parenthood; the letting go of personal desires doesn’t stop after the birth.
And it is like this with every skill; the better you learn the foundation, the easier it is to advance to the next stages. If you try to avoid the lessons during the early stage, it will get harder and harder over time.
Having a baby is a massive personal challenge for the parents, as probably every parent would agree. For me this wasn’t really clear until i had my first child. I learned that having a child was not just another addition to my life, but would turn everything upside down and shake it through until nothing was quite in the same spot anymore.
Childbirth is a journey of personal growth as well as an opportunity for growth in the relationship between the mother and her partner. It is an incredible opportunity if you let yourself go into it completely.
It would be great to hear if you too have experienced childbirth in a similar way, or entirely differently. What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below if you feel like sharing.