Thursday, October 21, 2010

Old School Labor

Next weekend, I’m leading a nature hike for Buffalo Audubon. The walk’s focus is on the Iroquois and their seasonal lore/customs. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve led a hike of this sort, so I’ve been reviewing my old notes and books. Not surprisingly, the sections on birth and children are enthralling me in a way they never did before. Back then, four hundred years ago, a woman who was ready to give birth went off into the woods, usually with an older, experienced woman from her clan, but often by herself. I can’t imagine the mindset that was required; to feel the contractions or to have your water break and just look around and say, “Well, I guess it’s time to go. No, no - you stay here. I’ll be back in a bit!” Labor was also a way for a woman to prove her strength and her courage. Cry or yell during labor and you’d be scolded for setting a bad example. It seems impossible. I’m scared of labor, and I won’t even be the one feeling it. Staying quiet doesn’t seem like a viable option. I jokingly mentioned this to Linda – the idea of not making a peep to show how tough you are. Unamused, she said, “I’ll see what I can do.”

29 days until baby. Please comment and follow.

1 comment:

  1. Whatever it takes.... Bearing down requires a certain amount of groaning!
    In my experience labor can be natural, easier, and faster if
    your water breaks;
    you ask for an enema to speed things along;
    you do not lie flat on your back for delivery;
    you have calm, encouraging, reassuring support by your side.
    Breathing is important, but I never mastered it to the fullest. Oh, the pain, but you forget it as soon as you hold that precious baby!