One kind of learning comes from books. But the learning necessary for you to participate completely in your birth must come from you. In making birth art or journalling, just bringing an image to light can be surprisingly revealing (and sometimes healing). Listening to it speak to you can tell you even more.Dreams, reverie and art all carry messages from the unconscious. When exploring birth art, "We must," as Carl Jung observed in his discussion of imagery, "take the consequences of messages received."An active, gentile exploration process not only brings overlooked resources and strengths to conscious awareness, but identifies obstacles and inhibitions that might prevent you from using them.Birth art doesn't have to be pretty, colorful or carefully planned. It is as raw, honest, and spontaneous as birth itself.- England, Pam, and Rob Horowitz. Birthing From Within. Albuquerque: Partera Press, 1998. p.32
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So i ended up creating a yin-yang of sorts, starting with my hopes for labour.
The heart on the left is surrounded by flames - the flames symbolizing mine and B-rad's love. The heart is growing bigger and bigger as our love for Chewie grows.
i drew was the lotus flower opening up as the baby crowns. B-rad is pictured behind me supporting me as i push. The spirals that surround us represent our birthing energy - all in very calming colours and natural flowing shapes.
Next, i'm sitting holding and nursing our baby - just calm, surrounded by love and peace. Bonding with my new child.
As i flipped the paper over to start on my fears of labour, the first thing i noticed was how my mood shifted, dramatically. I instantly felt agitated and stressed. I wanted to get this side of the drawing over with as soon as i could. I noticed i didn't take as much time or care on this side as i did on the other side. All the images were coarsly sketched.
The fetal monitor on the left symbolizes my fear of something going wrong with the baby. The monitor representing the medical community stressing and then not including me in what's going on, losing control of my own birth experience, having it taken away by the medical profession.
The next image i found to be very interesting. I am on a delivery table, on my back - with no arms. I am helpless. B-rad (the green image) and i are both faceless, unimportant. We are surrounded by faceless doctors and nurses we don't know, and the doctor has a very egotistical air about him, standing back, holding a clipboard with his hand in his pocket. The God of the delivery room. His head is also the biggest.
The third image is the Medical Red Cross, a needle, and a scalpel. I am afraid of medical interferences, unecessary drugs, and procedures like episiotomies and c-sections. The baby under the glass is my cesarian baby from my dream. It is faceless too, i'm afraid that i won't be connected with the baby.
The colours on this side were harsh blacks, yellows, and reds - and the lines were jagged and angled.
I flipped the picture back over to fill in the background with cool coloured spirals and swirls, and instantly felt calmer. Again, amazed that when i flipped it back to do the black and red jagged lines, how it made me unhappy.
When i explained it all to B-rad, i was able to finally verbalize the fact that i am terrified of having a c-section.
Later that night, B-rad held me as i cried and voiced out loud that i. am. scared. That this is the scariest thing that i have ever done in my life.
I'm scared of failing.
I'm scared of my body failing me - of complications that will rob B-rad, Chewie, and I of the birth experience that we deserve.
These emotions have been bubbling under the surface for a while now, and through artistic expression i was able to realize these emotions and have a platform to talk about them.