In cleaning off my desk this weekend, I found the following note from a webinar by Rose St. John that I attended some time ago:
“Labor is all about finding your threshold and learning you can go beyond it.” –Rose St. John
I think one of the powerful lessons of birth is about one’s own immense capacity—each of my births has had a “threshold” moment and, indeed, I have some notes taken for a possible future article about “At the Threshold: Pivotal Moments in Birth.” With my first son it was during pushing when I realized I had to just do it, I had to push him out even though it was scaring me to do it. With my second son, it was when I realized that I was actually in labor—I had a distinct sense of literally crossing a threshold. A sense of, “there is no turning back now. I’m going back into the house and I’m having a baby.” With my third son, it was when I got up in the night feeling contractions and went into the kitchen. There, I talked to the baby, telling him it was time to let go of each other—“Lets do this. Lets get it done by 3:00” (and we did).With my last baby, it was when I was talking to myself prior to pushing—fretting that I was too “in my head” and not letting go enough. After this moment, I did let go and she was born very rapidly after that.
So, looks like I had two “pushing” thresholds and two “bring it on—labor is beginning” thresholds. The pushing thresholds occurred during my longer labors and the bring it on moments during my short labors.