Word Associations

If you could choose only one word to describe the type of birth experience you want, what would it be?

Something might come immediately to you mind, or perhaps you need some ideas…

Some possibilities:

gentle

fast

loving

relaxing

long

adventurous

exciting

emotional

charged

transformative

active

beautiful

orgasmic

at home

homebirth-like

natural

vaginal

surgical

harmonious

intense

empowering

amazing

medically managed

with drugs

serene

safe

pain free

comfortable

controlled

drug free

joyful

intimate

I don’t care, just get the baby out

triumphant

calm

free

family centered

——

After you pick your word, then consider what your answer might be if you eliminated the following ideas from your consideration: fear of birth, fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of wasting people’s time, fear of medical procedures, fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of disappointing someone, fear of the baby dying, fear of annoying your medical care providers., or any of a variety of possible fears. After you’ve cleared out these “cobwebs” is your one word different? Would you ask for/expect something different once you’ve removed fear? Or, is your one word still the same?

My one word is “powerful.” I’m not sure what I would have chosen before having children–perhaps “beautiful” or “joyful.” If I had to describe each of my sons’ births in only one word I would choose “empowering” for the first birth and “intense” for the second, and “transformative” for both. For the mothers reading this who have already given birth, what one word would you choose to describe that birth?

Source: Modified from a Teaching Tip from Lamaze

5 thoughts on “Word Associations

  1. One word is HARD!

    For my son’s birth, I suppose I’d say “powerful,” but that seems like such a weak word in comparison to the actual crazy-intense romantic sacred effortful joy of the experience.

    My hopes for the next one? I don’t know. I just want that burst of triumphant energy in pushing again, and that sudden bizarre shift from immense power to sweet relaxed family time. “Indescribable,” maybe? “Delicious”?

  2. I love this post and have been mulling over how I would describe my last two as well as what I want for my third. I think I would go with adventurous for my first as everything was new to us. Some parts were very exciting and fun and others were a little surprising – in the end it felt like an adventure – similiar to mountain climbing expeditions I’ve read about – sure there can be surprises some unpleasant others more demanding than expected but in some ways those add to the euphoria of the finished experience. I almost feel foolish for saying it (as it is so bizarre in our current culture to admit that labor can be anything but horrendously painful and exhausting…) but I would use fun as my primary word for my second. In many ways it was so many other things – enlightening in the way it opened me up to really listening to my body, triumphant in deliverying a breech baby vaginally, relaxed to be able to do so in my home, in a tub – all those probably more so than fun but I can’t help but remember it, fun is the first thing I think when I remember it. In half the pictures we are smiling, laughing, having a great time together. I’m fast approaching the third delivery date and am trying to decide what I want from this birth. As much as I loved each of the other two experiences I want to gain something new and different out of this one – I’m just not sure what. I want to know what I want this birth to be like so I can let those working with me know so we can all work to that end – at the same time I wonder if I had clearly stated what I wanted beforehand on my other experiences if I would have come out with what I gained or if I would have been too focused on some other end to see what else was there. As I said I’ve been pondering this since you posted and will continue to do so – thanks for such a great blog (I check on it regularily) and will write back when I figure out what I want/gain from this upcoming delivery. Thanks again.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Stephanie! I liked reading about your past experiences and your associated words. I’m curious what you’ll come up with your next birth–keep me posted! I hope you have a beautiful birth!

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