Differences in Ideology

I was sitting with a mom doing a private childbirth class this past week. I have some phrases we go through and discuss what it means. Like… “Control is merely an illusion.” And one of the ones we discussed was , “Doing the next best thing.” It is something I taught for a lot of years- decades. It was taught to me by an educator and author who teaches it as part of her method of being flexible in labors and births. She also had an unexpected cesarean with her first child. I think  her ideas could have stemmed from that experience although I am unsure. I used to tell folks to write their birth plans in pencil so as to be able to erase some things as the journey takes an unexpected turn. I held that ideology close to my heart for a lot of years. But, I  feel differently about this now.

There are so many areas of our lives where we plan, hope, dream and expect things to be as we desire in our deepest recesses of our hearts. Like, the person you marry- for most of us we do not marry someone thinking it is a temporary event nor do we settle for the next best groom… but one we feel is the best and one we plan to endure the test of time with. When we do things like plan big events like our wedding, we may have a strong opinion of things like the flowers we desire for our bouquet.  My daughter wanted sterling roses for her wedding- she hates “torn” petal flowers like carnations. If the florist had made her bouquet with carnations she would have been disappointed for sure.

So how does this relate to birth? Well when I asked the mom what “doing the next best thing” meant, she said it means you did not get what you most desired. I took a deep breath and thought, yes she is right,  it does.  Do I mean then that a woman does not need to be flexible? Well sorta. I think a woman needs to be really determined. I think she needs to dream vivid and clear dreams for her birth. I think she needs to do all she can do to make it happen- choosing the care provider carefully- the location for her birth- her team of support, etc. And with the knowledge of her options, she will be able to make wise, informed decisions as her labor unfolds. She can change her mind or even detour from her plans- but when we begin the journey with the expectation that it is not a real plan- that it is written in pencil- that we need to have an alternative plan… then it undermines her dream and vision for her birth. It makes the ideals for her birth not as strong or determined from the beginning.

Women are afraid to dream big dreams for fear of being disappointed. This fear of disappointment undermines their ability to full dream it and hold onto it. Folks around them discourage them and they do not want to set themselves up to loose. But what they are doing is setting themselves up to loose from the beginning. If they do achieve their birth dreams, they are surprised rather than encouraged that they did it!

If she makes a different decision based on how her labor unfolds- that is not doing the next best thing- it is doing the best thing for her at that moment. I want women to dream in full technicolor… I want them to grasp what is possible and hold it in their hearts. I want that to be their goal 100%- fully committed to it! That is probably the biggest thing about the BOLD Method for Childbirth that resonates the most for me!

DREAM BIG, Have VIVID VISIONS, engage your FULL body and mind and put those thoughts and dreams into ACTION.  You just may get exactly what you dream and prepare for! And if you don’t- you will be making great decisions that are right for you along the way- doing the BEST thing. Do not enter your labor expecting to have to compromise or change your mind- instead be prepared for your birth to unfold just as you dream it!

If you dream it, you can achieve it! Want an ecstatic and empowering birth? Go for it!