How to give birth (and live) like a rock star
By "giving birth like a rock star" I mean hearing your inner voice loud and clear, believing in your abilities to do great things, all the while feeling compassion towards others as well as yourself. But how? How in the WORLD can one achieve rock star status not only in birth, but in life? In love? In everything?
First, a rock star birth story:
Waves of determination shot through me as she gripped my hands. She let go for a second to wipe away the single bead of sweat that was moving from her eyebrow to her ear.
“I need to move,” she said as she stood up from her seated position on the bed. Taking small steps, she moved towards the window.
The moonlight beamed in, creating a perfect outline of her messy bun, strong shoulders, and heavy pregnant belly. She looked tired and beautiful.
I moved towards her again. We swayed together.
“Here it comes.” The wave started slowly. As it got more intense, she held on to my body for support. We breathed together. Long and slow.
Then we were quiet for a minute.
“I think the baby is afraid of something.” She said.
I waited to see if she would say something else. She didn’t say anything. She looked at me.
“What would you like him to know?” I asked.
“That he’s safe.”
She looked out the window.
She had chosen this hospital for her birth because she could see her grandmother’s building from the window. Her grandmother always told her that she could do anything she put her mind to.
“It’s still gonna be me on the outside, baby boy.” She spoke softly. Her hands stroked her belly.
A wave started more suddenly this time. She turned quickly towards the bed for support. I threw a pillow on the floor so she could be on her knees and lean on the bed. When the wave subsided, she stayed there to rest.
“We can do this baby boy. It’s okay to be afraid. I’m a little afraid, too. So we can be afraid together. Just do your thing and I’ll do mine. I’m not givin’ up so don’t you either.”
They didn’t give up. Labor picked up, slowed down, then picked up again. There were moments when she felt impatient, doubtful, hopeful, desperate for it to be over. Just before the baby was born she cried a big cry. She asked me if I thought she could do this.
“You ARE doing this.”
30 seconds later, her baby wriggled out of her and she held him in her arms. She beamed with pride, partly because her baby was perfection but mostly because she had done it. She thought she knew her limits. She thought she knew what she was capable of, but this birth showed her that she was capable of even more. She had achieved more than she ever thought possible.
The wise and strong woman birthing in this story came from my imagination, and the story is pieced together using tidbits of birth stories that I have either been a part of or have heard about from friends. I created this rock star mama to illustrate the mindset and set of skills that can help make birth positive, powerful, and transformational.
So, what about this birthing woman makes her such a rock star?
1. She is connected to her inner voice
She knows what feels good to her and what doesn’t. She honors her instincts, and responds to them. When she feels like moving, she moves. When she feels the need for support, she reaches for it. She is also connected to her baby’s inner voice, which is the amazing thing about pregnancy. Mothers have the opportunity to be intuitive times two, as they feel the needs and wants of a soul that is part of their bodies.
2. She knows that she is capable
She knows herself. She knows she can do this. She also knows that doubt could creep in at some point, so she strategically decides to birth where she can see her grandmother’s house, a constant reminder of her abilities. She is also aware of her limitations, which, and this is cool thing about birth, get shifted on up. She learns that she is actually capable of more than she thought.
3. She can shift perspective
She notices that moving from dark, warm, amniotic fluid where baby can hear her heartbeat to an outside world where SCARY things could be waiting, may be terrifying for a new baby. She is able to shift her point of view and imagine what he might be feeling or experiencing. And she relates to him.
She’s a rock star, right? She honors her inner knowing, she believes in herself, she understands other people and how to relate to them.
Now imagine a child. Maybe a baby. Maybe a toddler. Maybe a child you know.
Can you see how children are effortless rock stars?
1. Children’s inner voices are just . . . their voices.
Children's voices are inner and outer. They let the world know when they’re hungry. They do random cartwheels when they need to move. They climb up in your lap or cry to be picked up when they need physical touch.
2. Babies know that they are capable because DUH what else would they be?
When babies are ready to start walking, they don’t think, “Hm this is going to be hard. I want to try and make it from the couch to the chair but let me just think for a minute about my balance.” No, they just go for it. When they are ready they KNOW it. It’s instinct.
3. Kids place themselves in other people’s shoes (literally and figuratively)
They get to work on this early on. They pretend to be each other. They pretend to be their parents, a superhero, the bad guy, a unicorn, Elsa. Boys dress up like girls and girls dress up like boys. They are trying to experience the world from a different perspective. They want to see what it’s like.
So basically, our best teachers for having a rock star birth and living a rock star life are our kids. We should be more like them, making decisions according to our gut reactions and "dressing up" like each other so we can understand each other.
And the next question is, how can we make sure that our kids don't lose this super power of staying connected to their intuition like the woman in the story?
How about this..
Let’s leave them alone.
The other day my daughter was practicing dance moves in front of the mirror. Totally uninhibited. If she stumbled she tried again. Or she tried a different move that worked better for her. She was her own judge.
And it dawned on me that the most powerful thing I could possibly do for her in that moment was to be quiet and mind my own business.
Because I want her to grow up to be the rockstar woman giving birth in the story. Whether she's birthing a baby, an idea, a business, or a solution to a problem, she needs that inner voice to stay strong.
So I'll stay quiet, and let her do her thing. She's already a rockstar, and I hope she knows it.
Are you getting ready to give birth? Are you working on quieting the noise so you can hear your inner voice? It's a process isn't it? I'd love to read how it's going for you in the comments.