We all know what it feels like when a plan doesn’t go as expected. Perhaps you’ve had a goal in mind and you did everything right to achieve it. You planned, prepared, and became convinced that you would, and deserved to, reach your goal. And then, to your shock, the outcome is not what you had anticipated. You don’t reach your goal, and suddenly your world is turned upside down. This experience can be so very difficult because it leads you to question what you thought was true, and can even cause you to question your understanding of your own identity. If I followed the rules and did everything right and I still did not reach my goal, then are the rules flawed? According to Birthing From Within author Pam England, we can find peace from this self-destructive way of thinking by examining where we learned these ‘rules,’ and by recognizing that the journey has just as much to teach us as the supposed outcome.
Pam England is the author of Birthing from Within, a world-renowned book that provides a holistic approach to childbirth by examining it not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery. Pam lives, works, and paints in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She teaches workshops and speaks at conferences all over the world, on topics such as preventing and healing birth trauma, cesarean birth, storytelling, visualizations and hypnosis, and many other aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. In addition to working on a number of manuscripts (including ones on prenatal nutrition, birth trauma, and cesarean birth), she teaches childbirth classes and does Birth Story sessions in Albuquerque, NM. In this episode, Pam and I chat about how her birth experience led her to reexamine the way we approach birth preparation, how we can look at big ordeals in our lives as transformational, and what steps we can take to change our unconscious stories about ourselves.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode
- How you can use Pam’s tips for self-discovery to view all of your experiences, even the disappointing ones, as a means for growth
- How to question some of the stories you’ve grown up with to be more flexible and forgiving with yourself
- What you can do to prepare yourself for a new position or role in your life, such as a new job or motherhood
More About Pam
Pam experienced her ‘shaking of reality’ moment at the birth of her son. As a birth educator and midwife, she was shocked, disappointed, and utterly confused when her planned home birth ended up in an emergency c-section. How could she, the authority on avoiding hospital intervention, have ended up in the surgery room on the day of her son’s birth? As she lay on the operating table, “all of [her] belief systems fell apart.” In her shock, a question popped into her head; “what is it that I need to know as a mother to give birth that I didn’t know as a midwife?”
After the birth of her son, Pam began to question the stories we have been told about birth. She has come to understand that “birth is a right of passage,” no matter what kind of birth an individual experiences. Since childbirth is something that cannot truly be planned, it is inevitable that during the birth some side of yourself will come out that you did not know was there. Pam saw that as an educator, she “needed to help women, not with education about the medical model or breastfeeding, but with their beliefs: what do they believe about themselves.”
Only when we change our unconscious insecurities and expectations about ourselves can we grow in our experiences, and not be met with disappointment and self-loathing.
We need to prepare women for the role they’re about to take on//We need to question the ‘stories’ we learned as children. At the time, interpreted them as truth. Now as adults, can see that they don’t hold power.
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!
Pam England’s Birthing From Within