Tag Archives: pushing

Undistrubed Birth… A Quote

I read this in the June issue of the Midwifery Today e-newsletter and I wanted to share. I LOVED the visual… Its calming, radiant, strong, rhythmic, primal. #BirthSomethingBeautiful

“If undisturbed and able to stay instinctual—moving about and pacing her breath—[the mother] will work her baby out as if she were on an island by herself. Confidently, she will twist and turn, bellow or moan, breathe deeply, squat or lie, drink or seek a corner. The most important thing for the midwife during the pushing phase of labor is to refrain from engaging the mother’s thinking brain. Stay sensual with her. If you feel she needs to slow her breathing down or to breathe more deeply, sit nearby and do that. Breathe the way you want her to breathe. She will do exactly what you do.

Sister MorningStar Excerpted from “Midwifing Second Stage,” Second Stage: The Pushing Phase of Labor, a Midwifery Today e-book. How to order

What words/images come to mind when you read this?

Feeling Resistance and Pushing Through The Ring of Fire

In December, I participated in a personal development challenge with Rosetta Thurman over at  www.HappyBlackWoman.com. This challenge was designed to help participants “Reset your Life in 31 days,” (For the record, if you are a woman of any color or a man for that matter you are welcome to participate :D)

I joined along with over 100 women, full of enthusiasm. I saw it as a timely challenge, one that would move me toward my goals and prepare me for a prosperous 2011.  As the days of December rolled by, I quickly realized that I was going to have difficulty completing each “assignment” on-time.  I didn’t worry, because I knew as long as I continued to move forward I would eventually finish.  Unfortunately, I watched December days come and go and I looked up to find I was stuck on day FIVE!!

I noticed on twitter that @happyblackwoman had put out an announcement for participants for a January #31DayReset.  Surely, having already started, I could finish by January thirty-first.  I was determined to get all assignments done, and reset my life. NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Well…. Here we are in February and somehow, I barely got past Day EIGHT!! The great thing is on day 8, not only was there an assignment, there was a “bonus post” aptly named  What to Do With the Resistance.

It prompted me to ask myself…
Why has it been so hard to complete a thirty-one day challenge over sixty-two days?  Am I feeling resistance? If so, where is it coming from? How is it sabotaging me from reaching my goals? And what can I do to get rid of it?

Like most topics, I like to examine the parallels between life’s lessons and lessons learned from observing birth.  As I thought about pushing through resistance to reach personal goals, I began to think about pushing through resistance to birth a baby.

One of the statements in the bonus post that REALLY resonated with me was:  “When you feel the resistance, that’s when you know you’re next in line for a miracle.” I LOVE this.  Surely I am due for a miracle!! Aren’t we all?!  :-) And furthermore isn’t this what also happens with birth?? Many women initially resist the intense feelings of pushing and in the end experience the miracle of birth.  I felt relief, and thought to myself… I am on the verge of a miracle.

@HappyBlackWoman wrote:  “When you’re in the clutches of resistance, you begin to doubt yourself.  You begin to resent the process.  You feel yourself wanting to give up and throw in the towel.” I have seen all of these emotions come up for women just before they birth of their infant.

For each woman, the pushing part of labor is different. For some it can be hard and painful.  For others it provides much needed relief from the pressure and discomfort of contractions. Regardless of a woman’s initial pushing experience, for most, there comes a time when they encounter the “Ring of Fire,” the stretching of the perineum, the feeling that your baby won’t fit, that this birth won’t happen unless your entire bottom rips open. Some women get to that stage and for a moment, stop pushing because that which once felt good and provided relief, all of a sudden becomes painful and scary.  I have seen many a mamma, on the brink of birth, baby hair actually visible, who stops pushing and suddenly says “I can’t!” They are RESISTANT to pushing and stop just short of their miracle.

The thing is, this resistance, is futile.  When baby and maternal forces are ready for birth there is little that can be done. And low and behold, just when she thinks she can’t, she deals with the pressures, the pain, the stretching and moves past the resistance to birth something beautiful!

Now what about me?? As I read the Day-8 resistance post not only did I think about birth, I thought about my life, this blog, Sista Midwife and asked myself… “Where are you going?”  I revisited my last post where I state clearly I am ready to push and I wondered if I was feeling my very own sort of resistance to life’s “Ring of Fire.”

The fear of the pain, possible failure, and the unknown can keep all of us paralyzed where we become resistant and we stop pushing. I began to think about the difference between wanting to push, feeling ready to push and actually pushing.  There is something to be said about actually pushing. Not talking about pushing. Not thinking you need to pushing, not simply wanting to push but actually bearing down, putting in the work, putting forth the effort and making your birth happen.

I have heard many women say “I think I need to push.” I usually smile and wait awhile because I know that they will soon move from thinking it to saying directly “I have to push.” OR… they will say nothing at all and will simply begin to bear down and push without announcement.

I was reminded that the results of my life just like birth will not come simply from talking about pushing but from actually doing it.  Just as a baby won’t be born without the maternal forces in place, our dreams, and the lives we imagine won’t manifest without the actual force of moving past resistance, buckling down, getting dirty, perhaps bloody and pushing THROUGH that ring of fire.  Birth is hard work. Life is hard work. But as @HappyBlackWoman said so succinctly “… anyone who’s ever accomplished anything in life has had to push through the fear and the resistance to get to the good on the other side.”

I am pushing now. I spent the month of January talking, thinking and planning it.  Now I am actually bearing down. How do I know? Well for starters, I moved past a bit of resistance earlier this week when I finally went in for The Big Chop (Something I had been talking about for months!!) A simple action but one that I believe says “I’m Pushing!!” (Said in the best grunting, bearing down about to give birth voice I can muster up. And if you have been in the room when a mother says this you know EXACTLY what I mean! LOL)

Is there something holding you back from what you want to manifest in your life? I hope you can find the inspiration you need to keep pushing… through the fear… through the resistance, through the ring of fire onward to your miracle and onward to Birth Something Beautiful!!

In Birth and Love

What was pushing like for you? Did you stop or get fearful when you encountered the Ring of Fire?

Is there a Ring of Fire in your life holding you back right now? Are you ready to push through it?? A good place to start may be at Happy Black Woman’s #31DayReset available to you right now.

I would love to hear your experiences!!

I am READY to PUSH!!

As many people enter the New Year, they create a list of Resolutions.

For some, the resolutions become a new fabric for their lives, and they experience success in areas they never thought possible.   For others, the resolutions are forgotten faster than the champagne goes flat.

I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions because ultimately, I believe each and every day can be the first day of its own new year; One that starts today and ends in 365 days.  In spite of this, I do use this time to reevaluate my life’s vision.  I use this time to set goals and to fine tune the plan that will be used to move me in the right direction over the next twelve months of my life.

“They” often say, in order to know where you are going, you have to look back on where you’ve been.  One thing that I know for sure is that 2010 was a year of transition.  That’s where I was. NO DOUBT!!!

Things were new, exhausting, fun, hard, exciting, confusing, painful at times and seemed to be fully out of my control.  Yes… I have definitely been in a REAL transition and NOW… FINALLY… it is really, Really, REALLLY time and I am READY to PUSH!!!  ( I thought it was time to Push in April 2010. Boy was I wrong… That transition can last longer than we anticipate! )

So what does it mean to PUSH?? From the internet we see Push means:
to  move with force
to press, drive, or impel (someone) to action or completion of an action
to tug; strive and make an effort to reach a goal
to press against forcefully without moving
the act of applying force in order to move something away
to exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end
to engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for
to move strenuously and with effort
an effort to advance

No matter how you define it, Pushing seems to involve force, movement, and an end goal. With that in mind… I am VERY excited because I see so many things happening in my world and I am sure that the time is NOW for me to “Birth Something Beautiful!”  I am READY to PUSH and to birth the life that I know is possible when we follow our heart’s path and allow the Universe to lead us.

I believe that when we choose to follow our path, we move closer to God and closer to personal, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment.  When we fight our path, we live forever in a black hole searching for the light.

I know I am READY to PUSH because while I have often seen a glimmer of hope, now I am actually beginning to see the light, and in 2011 I am committed to moving toward it.  With each small step, with each PUSH the light gets brighter.  I know my passion/my calling is birth and helping women see the strength they possess as they move through their pregnancy and birth process.  I pray that I will be an agent for positive change in our maternity care system; helping women have the empowering birthing experience they deserve.   I pray that the information I share, will inspire thousands of women, some pregnant with child, others pregnant with ideas, to “Birth Something Beautiful!”

I am READY to PUSH and I will constantly strive to serve in love and to move by faith.  I pray to remain the humble student, forever learning and growing.   I am READY to PUSH and I know that as I “Let Go and Let Birth” a wonderful life will be created, my passion will be fulfilled, and my life’s work will be accomplished.   As I begin to PUSH, I hope that you will continue to walk with me on this journey.

Here’s to a GREAT year of Birthing Something Beautiful!
Nicole ~ @SistaMidwife