Two and a half months ago, on November 1st 2013, I gave birth to my son, Connor Forest, on the floor of our downstairs guest bathroom after 26 hours of the hardest work of my life.
There is so much I could say about this event, which was hands-down the most transformative experience of my life to date. It changed me. It turned me into a Mother. It brought into the world the most exquisite creation of my life. I did it without drugs and encountered reservoirs of my deepest resistance and my greatest strength.
I could write a book about the whole experience – what transpired and what I realized about life and myself.
But these days I pretty much am one handed and have a baby at my boob. So, instead of sending you a post of Biblical proportions, which my posts often are, let me cut right to the chase and share with you the greatest piece of wisdom I gleaned from this experience.
I have been hankering to share it with you ever since Connor was born, so here it is:
20 hours into the labor, I was in the downstairs guest bedroom with my two midwives and David. I was fully dilated. Little Connor had a hand up by his face and something funky going on with his elbow position, so I had pretty intense back labor.
Though he was making his way slowly but surely down the birth canal, I was utterly consumed with the feeling that I could not do this.
This was so much harder than I could have ever imagined, the sensations so beyond anything I’d ever known.
Pretty soon I could even reach way in and feel the top of his head.
Even though I could feel him, even though the end was so near, I still was utterly rocked by doubt. Was this really going to happen? How? How on earth was that baby going to come out of my body? I kept proclaiming – “I can’t do this!”
“I don’t think I can do this.”
“Oh God, really??! I can’t!”
I thought I must be doing this wrong. Surely I was doing this wrong. Though I had had other moments during the birth of feeling in tune with the birthing energy, and a particularly triumphant moment of “We can DO this, baby!” in my backyard under a juniper tree, this last hurrah in that dark downstairs bedroom wasn’t anything like what they said in those Orgasmic Birth teleseminars.
I wasn’t feeling a lick of ecstasy. And I certainly wasn’t feeling the deep calm my Hypnobirthing CD had tried to prepare me for.
All that existed were radically intense sensations and the prevailing sense of disbelief that this baby was going to somehow make it out of my body. My entire mind was filled with doubt that I could do this. I kept fantasizing about jetting off to the hospital for an epidural, even when my baby’s head was smack in the middle of the birth canal and so close to coming out.
At one point during Connor’s descent, I looked at my midwife, Shell, and proclaimed for the umpteenth time – “I don’t think I can do this!”
She looked me straight in the eye and said to me words that have changed my life forever: She said, “You ARE doing this.”
And that’s when I got it –
DOUBT IS PART OF BIRTHING, WHETHER IT BE A BABY OR A DREAM.
Recognizing that that’s just the way it is frees you to get on with the thing and birth what you’ve got to give.
Yes, there is the believing and the inspiration and the strength and the determination . . . they are all part of the process as well. But doubt has just as must real estate in the act of birthing our greatest creations as any other positive emotion or mental self talk.
I realized that I have spent so much time in my life trying to eradicate self doubt from bringing my creativity and my voice to the world because I believe it’s holding me back.
But in truth, it’s not. It’s just part of the process.
Doubt is an essential part of our epic creative acts, especially the ones we have never done before, that are unlike anything the world has ever seen, or that are right at the precipice of being unleashed in the world, like the transition period in birth when the baby is about to make its descent down and out the birth canal, or that moment when you are about to walk up onto that stage and sing your heart out or give that soul revealing talk.
Seeing this frees us to become centered in what is ACTUALLY happening.
We can get so brainwashed to believe that we must be free from doubt in order to bring our creativity to the world and realize our dreams, when in reality feeling doubt is a natural part of the whole darn thing and is actually a sign that we are in the creative act itself. If we weren’t, then the doubt wouldn’t be there.
My mind was spewing “No Way!” and “Really? Is he really coming?” all the way up until his little head emerged. Holding him afterwards, I felt simultaneous awe and complete shock that I actually did it.
I realized that what gave me the strength and ability to carry on in the face of the most intense resistance, pain and doubt I’d ever experienced in my life was Love.
Love for my son and my deep desire to hold him in my arms. Love for his well being and my commitment to giving him a drug-free entry to our world.
And love for my self and my desire to meet the part of myself that I knew I might only be able to access by going straight into the fire of natural child birth.
Love is the very thing that inspires us to birth our babies and our deepest, most authentic work into the world.
And love is the very thing that will see us through. It is so vast and utterly endless that it can hold all the self doubt and resistance our mind can throw its way.
So this year, whether you are birthing a baby, a book, or an inspiring artistic vision, I hope that you remember this:
The more your creative undertaking comes from who you authentically are and from the ways you feel inspired to love this world, the deeper the resistance and self doubt you will feel.
The key is to know that your resistance and self doubt are part of the process, not a barrier. There is nothing inside of yourself to get rid of, only to love and allow.
This realization is essential to opening ourselves as the clear, pure channels of love and creativity that we are.
To a year of birthing the deepest truth of who we are, and seeing that – truly – nothing stands in our way.
About the Author: KC Baker is an international women’s thought leadership and public speaking trainer, speechwriter, and two-time TEDx speaker. A former investment banker and legislative assistant to two US Senators, KC’s own struggle to claim her true voice triggered a decade-long spiritual and vocational quest. She blends Eastern philosophy, tantric energy practices, and spiritual inquiry into the way she supports women in finding the freedom to stand up and speak boldly from the heart.