If you prefer to just listen to or watch my embellished video version of this letter, PLEASE CLICK HERE!
Good morning my friends.
I’m feeling rather exultant this morning because Canada once again dominated Olympic hockey with the men’s and women’s teams both winning the gold. Canada and hockey has a mystical relationship. Two gold medals were born from their labors.
Today I want to talk about our roles as spiritual birthing partners.
Three of my most graphic memories are the birthing of our three children. For all three of our kids Lisa and I went to prenatal birthing lessons. Lisa gave birth to all three naturally without any medication or intervention. I was glad to be coaching and not delivering because, well, I don’t like the idea of being torn apart for 20+ hours. Lisa performed excellently at that. I think I performed excellently as her coach.
What were my responsibilities? There were basically three ways I supported Lisa:
- EMOTIONAL: It was my job to keep encouraging Lisa. I was her cheerleader. Everyone knows that if you can keep your spirits up it can relieve stress and even physical pain. It was exhausting work being positive and uplifting during her labor, but it worked. Especially for the first time, convincing her that she could do this was my mantra to her. Trying to keep her outside of her head and her pain was my full time job. Even though there were times I was crying watching her in pain, I knew that my pain was secondary to hers and it was my responsibility to support her through hers.
- PHYSICAL: When our first was being born, Joshua took over 20 hours of labor to come into this world. Lisa paced the floors of the hospital while I rolled behind her in a wheeled office chair rubbing her back since that’s where she experienced most of the labor pain. I remember her turning around once in a while telling me to hurry up and keep up with her. I held her hands. I wiped her brow with a cool cloth. I fed her ice… her particular craving at that time. Then during the actual birthing I had to coach her when not to push and when to push, even mimicking for her how to breathe when she was entirely focused on the pain and pushing.
- ADVOCACY: I had to make sure Lisa had all the resources she needed and fetch them when she couldn’t. It was me who called the nurses. It was me who told the interns to stop trying to persuade her to take medications, a drip, or even laughing gas. It was me who demanded that they find a birthing bed NOW because the regular hospital bed wasn’t made for birthing and wasn’t working. Going to get more ice or juice or food, guarding the bathroom door, keeping our families at bay, telling the staff that we would wait for our own doctor stuck in a snow storm on the way to the hospital. These were some of the things I had to do. Although most of the staff was amazing, some nurses get so calloused by seeing so many births that lack sympathy for those in pain. So I had to call these one to their stations as support people. Advocating for her was one of the more important tasks.
It is the same spiritually. This is why I love doing TLS. It is like being a spiritual birthing coach. I’m not the only one of course, because many of you perform this same function in the lives of other members… giving each other emotional, physical and advocacy support.
The emotional support we give one another is so gratifying to give and to receive. We all know how painful transitioning can be, and having support around us cheering us on, is invaluable and sometimes even necessary. It is good to hear, isn’t it?, when we are in the thick of our pain, that we are going to make it.
The physical support we give one another, metaphorically speaking, is also crucial. Helping one another to relax, to give a cup of refreshing water in the form of encouragement, suggesting to one another not to rush it, but also giving people permission to push when the time comes, is amazing to watch. Even sending books, money, messages or letters to one another is the kind of physical support many people lack, crave and need. Good on ya!
The advocacy support is necessary as well. I love watching how you guys advocate for each other. You know what people, books or other resources to suggest at the right time. You know when to suggest to someone when they should demand their rights, when to ask for help, and when to cry out for proper treatment. Saying to someone that they have the right to advocate for themselves and that you’ve got their back is more than just helpful. It is liberating! All these things are so critical for our spiritual births.
What I’ve discovered is that I’m always giving birth, it seems. So I find TLS continually helpful in getting me to the next stage. Even though I had a kind of birthing when I started TLS, I’m also experiencing a kind of spiritual birthing now, and I so appreciate your support emotionally, physically and in advocacy. It makes it easier. It really does.
So we’re all a mix of people having babies and at the same time being birthing coaches for each other. My goodness! Look how far you’ve come! Look at all the beautiful babies that are being born. In your own life!
So! Here’s to more spiritual births! And here’s to spiritual birthing coaches!
Congratulations! It’s a ___________!
(Again, if you would like to listen to or watch my video version of this letter, PLEASE CLICK HERE!)