Labor is often compared to a marathon.
And it’s a comparison that goes a long way (see what I did there?)… but it doesn’t go all the way. I’ll tell you what I mean.
The analogy works when we think about the fact that labor is quite a journey and often takes a long time too. Coping with labor can be like coping during a marathon when we think about “staying in the moment”, “putting one foot in front of the other” or relying on breath and rhythm to keep us going.
But when we think of sporting events we also often think of “toughing it out” or “powering through” or “gritting your teeth” to get to the end. These are phrases might work if you’ve hit a wall while doing a marathon but they just aren’t helpful in labor.
Because labor isn’t something you tough out, it’s something you soften into.
Coping with labor–it’s bigness, it’s intensity, it’s unpredictability–works better when we can let go, get soft, and actually take away our tough layers until we’re loose, mushy, and vulnerable.
When we can stop tightening up to brace for the next labor wave, the labor actually becomes easier. For some it might actually feel enjoyable to ride those waves in the process of bringing new life into the world.
As a birth doula, I can help prepare you for a birth that you can relax into. I can sprinkle calm dust all over your room and help you to breathe out any worries and breathe in the steady, soft strength you will need.