Surrender…

Surrender...Pregnancy Yoga in Southsea

….where the wind blows…

The flower does not know where the seed will take root…The wind carries the seed surrendered to it…

As mothers there is so much that we cannot control…we can make the right choices, take the good birth classes, the informative parentcraft classes, carry our babies, breastfeed our babies, use a pram, mix feed or formula feed, we can take the *easy* route, we can co-sleep or cry it out…what we cannot predict, what we cannot control, is the outcome…

Pregnancy is your first lesson in surrender…you can be an olympic athlete & be floored by hyeremesis, or a binge-drinking chain smoker and not suffer a day of sickness or fatigue…You can walk and swim and yoga for all the right reasons in all the *right* ways, but your baby may resolutely stay spine to spine…You can slouch and slob and eat junk and find yourself in labour for short hours and pushing 1-2-3 “It’s a boy!”…

We cannot decide our lot in pregnancy.  We cannot dictate the nature of our labour or the birth of our baby…

Good birth preparation is about knowing how to manage labour, comfort measures, positive intervention, support, love and communication…and it is about knowing when to surrender…to the waves, to gravity, and also when the need arises to the medical intervention that may save the life of your baby…

Learn what you can, take the classes that mean that you feel calm & positive approaching the birth of your child…but be prepared to surrender to Nature, to accept that the birth you want may not be the birth Fate has designated for you…

Pam England holds fast that Fate decides the birth you will experience…that if her first had not been hard, and ended in caesarean, she would have remained in her own words *arrogant* and would have kept on lying to women & their birth companions about the reality of birth…

And if I had enjoyed the home water birth I planned with my first, perhaps I would remain arrogant…I consider myself lucky, the bumpy ambulance ride in case my son was *stuck* did the trick, and due to lack of labour ward staff, my midwives remained with me and a natural delivery followed, but it was on my back, in hospital, not what I wanted, not what I planned…and it stung that I hadn’t *achieved* my home birth…

But it taught me lessons…that we have to surrender sometimes to the experience & knowledge of those caring for us…that finding the right support gets you in a frame of mind that means you can accept that things may not be as you wished but will follow their own course…That babies have their own journey in mind…That motherhood is not about control…That birth is transformative & empowering no matter how it unfolds…it matters how we perceive it and talk about it, but the transformation, the power, the courage, the beauty ~ they are in every birth…

So, I say to the women in my pregnancy yoga – I do not guarantee you a pain free natural birth…I do not suggest that you opt for home birth…I suggest that you choose a birth place where you will feel safest, most secure, most supported…I suggest that you do what you can to communicate to those who will be with you your ideal of birth if you get to choose as it unfolds…I suggest that you surround yourself with love & positive stories so that you know  that birth can be natural…But too, you should know the medical interventions and what they involve, but that means risk as well as benefit…Learn to ask questions that will keep you empowered and involved as the most important person in the room as you exert that great pure effort to bring your child earthside…And then I suggest that you begin the work of surrendering…

Surrender to gravity…spend time on all fours, keep your posture upright to encourage your baby head down, in labour be upright, forward leaning, legs open…UFO…

Surrender to your breath…connect with your breath…if all else spirals away from you, if you have to surrender your *dream* birth to be safe, for your child to be safe, then breathe through it all…Stay connected, stay present, know every inhalation & exhalation, let it bring you to each moment, awake, aware, and let the outward breath be a release, a letting go, as you soften into the birth of your baby, however it may unfold…

Beautiful Mama…breathe as the wind blows…surrender…

OMx

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Breathe your baby into your arms

Breathe.  Inhale…Exhale…find the small pauses at the end of your out breath, just before the breath returns to your body and again just before you let go of the breath.  Find the stillness of your breath, and as you notice those small pauses, those brief stillnesses, feel yourself connecting to your breath.

Birth stone created for a friend
expecting her first baby

The more you connect to your breath, the calmer you feel…

Really?  Yes.  Mindful of your inhalation, mindful of your exhalation.  Mindful of the pauses as the outward breath ends, as the inward breath is at its deepest point.  Mindful.  The breath loves to be watched, witnessed.  It luxuriates in our attention, revels in our awareness.  The breath slows down.  It rejoices in moving more deeply in our bodies, taking us on a mindful journey from the warm air in our nostrils to the expansiveness deep in our bellies.  The breath coaxes our heart into languid rhythm, slowing our heart rate as breath & heart unite in an opportunity to take life at a slower pace.  The heart rate slows.  Blood pressure follows suit, slower, less hurried, less…

Breathe.  Inhale…Exhale.  You have all the time in the world.

Connect to your breath.  Let it connect you to your body.

Warm air in your nose as you inhale, feel it travel through the back of your mouth, down through your throat, into your lungs…bring it deep into your belly, down to where your baby lies curled in your womb…feel it fill your abdomen & be aware of your diaphragm descending into your abdomen, massaging your digestive system &  your lymph tissues, gently massaging your baby…feel it expand your body, creating more room for you to breathe and move, more space for your baby to move & grow…feel your breath in your ribcage and moving up into the topmost corners of your lungs, your heart centre lifting towards the sky, your heart & chest opening, a soothing, gentle stretch across your collarbones…the space between your shoulder blades opening, widening, easing tension out of your upper spine…bring your breath up through your spine, lifting your crown to the sky, lengthening & extending upwards, creating space between the vertebrae…welcome prana, life energy, full of new strength, stamina, healing…

Feel your inward breath nourishing & nurturing you…know that you can breathe to nurture yourself, and your baby…

As you exhale, let go…release the used breath, let go of tension, release fear & anxiety, allow the outward breath to cleanse your body, remove your doubts, and send your exhalation down through your spine, to its root…and beyond into the Earth, connecting you, grouinding you, and feel surrender as you allow yourself to feel completely supported, embraced by the Earth beneath you…let the Earth absorb your negative emotions, your tensions, your fears, she will gladly do so, recycle them, reenergise them, and return them full of goodness & nurturing…

Breathe…breathe into your body, breathe to heal & nurture yourself, breathe to nurture & nourish your baby…

As you breathe mindfully, you bring more oxygen into your system, meaning that you feel more energised, more awake…you help to prevent your digestive system becoming sluggish by naturally massaging your abdominal organs, it also gently massages the spleen & other lymph tissues in your abdomen, further helping to cleanse your body of waste products & toxins…your heart rate slows and your blood pressure may lower…you slow down, noticing how your breath feels in your body, and noticing how your body feels…you are connected to your body and your baby, able to take time to connect, to breathe…

There are myriad ways to control the breath, to enhance your breathing for more energy, to cool or heat the body, to bring balance to your breath & to your mind & emotions, to release anxiety, tension and fear, to prepare for meditation…

There are myriad ways to prepare for labour, for birth, for having your babe in arms…

Cradle of Love ~ Nancy Bright

Other posts will explore those myriads, and some of them you may like, others you will leave, but the one truth in all of it, is that ultimately in mothering, all you can do is surrender… and the only way you can do so, is to trust your breath – it is the only thing over which you, and you only, always have control.  You can learn all the breathing techniques in the world, but getting to know your own breath, learning to watch your own breath, is all you ultimately need…trust your breath & it will teach you all you need to know…trust your instinct & you will know how to breathe when it is time to bring your baby Earthside…
Your breath is your best friend, get to know it.  Breathing mindfully is all you really need to know – simply watch your natural breathing rhythm & don’t even try to change or control it.  Witness your breath.  Connect to your breath, your body, your baby.  Keep coming back to your breath.

Mindful mothering can start now, with your baby in your womb, sharing your body, sharing your breath.  Mindful breathing brings mindful labour & birth, it guides you into mindful mothering.
Breathe…you have all the time in the world…

OMx