From the moment of conception, the child’s life journey begins.
I had always heard women speak about labour and delivery with such horror.  I’m sure you have too.  I remember the stories recounting the awful pain, long labours, c-sections, and on and on.  These stories can be downright terrifying, and next thing you know, you’re imagining the worst.

As I prepared for the day I was to give birth to my son, I realized I was excited and not feeling fear and anxiety.  I had learned to avoid the birthing horror stories by kindly asking women to share their negative experiences with me only after I had delivered my son.  I committed to thinking of the delivery process as a positive experience and envisioned exactly how beautiful it would be when the day arrived.

I decided to practice a birthing method called hypnobirthing.  This involved a daily practice of breathing exercises, relaxation, and visualization techniques to stay focused and centred throughout  labour and delivery.  Using this technique, I stayed tuned to the reality that birth is a natural process that doesn’t have to be painful.  I believed that if I removed my fears, anxiety, and tension, and allowed my body to relax, I would have an enjoyable birth process.

As I continued to prepare and get closer to the day I would finally meet my son, I began to embrace the act of birthing. I realized that it was important to think about the way I wanted it to be, and then to let it go.  I knew that ultimately I was not in full control. I needed to be open to whatever possibilities presented themselves.

I began to see my son as my teammate in the birthing process.  He and I would be working together.  I began speaking to him about it and letting him know that I would be respectful of his entry into the world.  I realized that this was his journey and he would be utilizing me, literally my body, to enter life outside the womb.  In a sense, as his mother, I was simply the medium. So I let it go. I allowed my son to decide when he would enter the world and kept reassuring him that we were partners, helping one another through the process of birth. I promised I would listen to him every step of the way.

This concept of letting go and ultimately acceptance allows us to be fully open. The process can then unfold without our perceptions and fears altering or hindering that process in any way. There was a freedom in surrendering. Not only for me, but I imagine for my son as well.

Now that he’s in this world I continue to let go. I believe that my child is not “mine.” My child is his own person. I have simply been gifted with giving him life and being his parent during this part of his journey. I’m here to support him and keep him safe so that he can live to his potential, whatever that may be for him. He is separate from me and I strive every day to make him as independent, strong, and knowledgeable as I can. I want to provide him with every tool possible so he can make this journey as full, far, and wide as possible. I want him to see that there are no limitations to what he can achieve in this life and to what this life can provide him.

I have no preconceived notions or expectations as to what he may become in the future. My only hope for him is that whatever he does, he does it passionately from his heart.  Whether I agree with his decisions or not, my job is to love him and accept this is his life and journey, which is separate from mine.

To learn more about Jennifer Laurent’s conscious parenting concepts, and her new book Excerpts From The Heart of a Mom, visit www.LiveThroughTheHeart.com.

photo courtesy masja3 (CC-BY)