Shalome Doran Wants You To Know that You Can Have A Rock Star Birth, Mama!
It was the moment the obstetrician gloved up and started unwrapping the episiotomy scissors that I thought, ‘Mmm… this is not cool’. The midwife-on-duty whispered in my ear ‘Honey, you do not want her coming near you with those things. Push that baby out NOW’.
And so I did. With gritted teeth and an almighty push, my baby girl was born. And she was amazing, fantastic, breath-taking. But it was hardly the drug-free, water birth I had dreamed of. Strapped to a hospital bed, bright lights bearing down, feet in stirrups, catheter & epidural & foetal monitor & syntocin & antibiotics all tubing into me, a stranger between my thighs threatening me with scissors. This didn’t feel natural and blissful. What was going on here?
Surely there has to be a better way
A way that isn’t surrounded by horror birth stories, wrapped up in fear and loneliness, and so heavily influenced by hospital protocols defining ‘how’ we will birth.
And yet when I look around, pregnant women everywhere are being inundated by friends, family, and strangers on the bus, all describing how (for them) giving birth was ‘the worst pain ever!’. Friendly neighbours ask heavily pregnant women if they are ‘getting scared yet?’. And TV shows consistently depict birthing women as a shrieking, screaming, out-of-control mess. Everyone seems to have a traumatic birth story to share.
And so your knees involuntarily come together, your cervix tightens, the fear factor rises, joy evaporates, and you then start to wonder exactly HOW are you going to get a baby’s head out of your lady bits?
We live in a world where we are taught that birth is to be feared. Is it any wonder that you are terrified at the thought of giving birth?
And so I started investigating. And I discovered that there is another way. An alternative to the scary view of birth. Less fear, more trust. Less pushing, more flowing. Less focus on risk, more on self-belief. I found a way to approach your birth with excitement and awe. And I want to share it with you.
I created the Rockstar Birth Magazine – a 12-issue digital magazine full of empowering information, positive birthing experiences, and rich expert insights – to help you focus on the empowering steps YOU can take towards creating the birth YOU desire. I want you to know that you can birth your baby AND feel like a total bloody Rockstar whilst you do it.
When it comes to birth, you have a choice
In fact you have many choices, and each of them will help create your very own unique birthing adventure. Let me be really clear, YOU are in charge of your own birth experience.
What I really want to do is make sure that you are informed about your birth options, that you feel empowered by your choices, supported by your birthing team, and that you are excited about birthing your baby. And I mean REALLY excited. I want you to be looking forward to birth. Ready to bring your baby earthside feeling informed, empowered, and raring to go!
And that’s what the Rockstar Birth Magazine is all about – surrounding you with amazing birth stories, giving you the knowledge and information to understand your options, and reinforcing the self-belief that you can birth beautifully.
Each issue of the Rockstar Birth Magazine is aligned to an aspect of your pregnancy, or birth, or the first few months after your babe is born, bringing you positive birthing insights, experiences, and information to support your physical, emotional and spiritual growth. It can be read online, downloaded to your favourite device, or printed out to read at your leisure. You can read it on the train, snuggled up in bed on a Sunday morning, or beside the pool whilst you’re on your baby moon!
You see, when you read about other women’s positive birthing tales, know that you have options and can make informed choices, and understand the physiology of your own amazing birthing body, something will shift inside you. A flame will flicker and start to burn. The fear will subside and the belief that you CAN have an amazing birth experience will grow. And grow. And GROW.
I know this, because it happened to me. After experiencing a heavily-medicalised first birth, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back and do it again. The impersonal room with the beeping machines, numerous hospital staff who came on shift and inspected my lady bits, my pale-faced husband standing beside me feeling out of his depth, whilst I was informed that ‘you’re not birthing fast enough’ and prepped for an episiotomy. I gotta tell you, it was not much fun.
In hindsight, I realised that although I had wanted a drug-free water birth, I didn’t have any idea about how to make that a reality. I guess I just thought that I was a woman, my body was made for birthing, it would just happen. But birth is rarely like that. Especially not birth in a medical environment with equipment and protocols and interventions. I realised that I had not been an active participant in my birth experience. I had just done what I was told. And the result was completely disempowering.
When I became pregnant the second time, I was dreading going through that experience again. Just thinking about it gave me shivers. I desperately wanted a DIFFERENT experience this time.
I went to the local hospital when I was 20 weeks pregnant, and I had a conversation with the midwife about how I wanted to ‘come in here as late as possible, have my baby, and leave as soon as possible’. And in that moment, as I said that out loud, something shifted inside me.
I made the decision to OWN my birth
To step up and create my preferred birth experience. And I felt it in every fibre of my being. I just knew it was the right thing to do.
I decided I wanted a birth team that knew me, understood my needs, supported my birth vision, and brought buckets of positive birthing energy to me. And I wanted to birth in an environment that felt like a private and safe birthing cave. Where I could get into my birthing groove in the full knowledge that my support team knew me well, and were backing me all of the way.
And from that point forward, I invested in my birth experience.
Let’s face it, there’s prams to buy and names to choose, but I went CRAZY learning everything I could about birthing. I explored the benefits of different birth positions, I investigated various breathing techniques that supported me to work with my body, and I immersed myself in stories from women who had LOVED giving birth.
And the result on my state-of-mind was amazing. Within days I stopped feeling scared. I stopped worrying about the pain, or freaking out about tearing. And you know what? It was actually really easy. Sure I had moments of anxiety but I was determined not to be shut down by the fear. I wanted to stay open to birth. And so I focused on how I did want to give birth. I did the work to reinforce my birthing desires. And I did it consistently.
I visualised myself giving birth smoothly. I meditated on how it would feel to work with my contractions instead of fighting against them. I sought out women who had rocked their births and asked about their experiences. I started trusting in my body and my baby’s ability to birth together. And most importantly, I started getting excited about birth. And by the time my contractions started I was shouting ‘Bring it on!’
Let’s face it, birthing another human being out of your own body is a big deal. Like a REALLY big deal. And when everyone around you is sharing birthing horror stories of the ‘it was like pushing out a watermelon” kind, it’s tough to not be scared. It is also completely natural to be sceptical about whether you can really make it happen.
Trust me, Mama, you can do this. Do you need to be a happy hippy tree-hugger to rock your birth? No. Do you need to commit to a drug-free vaginal delivery? Nope. What about if you plan a water birth and end up having an emergency c-section? That’s just fine, Mama. No matter the way you birth your baby, you can still feel like an absolute Rockstar.
You can be a warrior who can birth without fear.
The truth is that every birth is intense. And challenging. And every mama has moments where she thinks ‘I just can’t DO this’. But you can. And you will. And you will do it by calling on every positive + empowering message you’ve received along the way. By drawing on the collective power of all the women who have birthed before you. And by tapping into your own inner awesomeness.
And if I can do it. So can you. I don’t have a higher pain threshold, more self-discipline, or a hunkier lover (although he is pretty hunky!). I am just a regular amazing woman. Like you.
You can have a Rockstar Birth, Mama.
Shalome wants to live in a world where women approach their birth with excitement and awe. A highly-medicalised hospital birth and 2 sensational home births taught her that a little preparation can make ALL the difference, and that you can feel like a total Rockstar when you birth, regardless of how you birth. Shalome works with pregnant mamas to replace their fear of pain with the insights and self-belief to roar their baby out – by creating their own informed, empowered and amazing birth experience. When she’s not gushing about empowering birth stories, you can find Shalome pouring over her digital-baby, the Rockstar Birth Magazine