I’ve watched the clip, below, now, about five times. Those of you who’ve taken my childbirth class know I think video (oy, especially a 2 minute video!) is a pretty limited way to learn what birth is like, and that I think a great birth can take many different forms as long as the mom feels dignified and respected at the end.
But this video is interesting because of all that it is not. I’ve taught childbirth classes to over a thousand couples and heard many of their birth stories. Women who are happy with how it went often sound thrilled, moved, grateful and awed, and universally they describe it as challenging. When a mom tells me her “great” birth story, the narrative arc includes the moment of self-doubt that comes along with any challenge, and the thrill that came when she learned she could cope with it. I’m not just talking about unmedicated births, here, or even about vaginal births. But the “good” birth stories I hear involve a mom who discovers she has the tools to cope with a situation she couldn’t fully anticipate in advance, and the tools worked. Hallelujah!
Facing a challenge can certainly be thrilling (and “challenge” doesn’t need to mean “bad” or “dangerous”). But what’s notable in this video is how the mom’s thrill doesn’t seem to have anything to do with challenge. Here, the mom seems not just thrilled and moved but enthusiastic, untroubled, even … delighted! Look at the way she kicks up her legs into a full body hug after her baby’s arrival. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
By far the sexiest birth film I’ve ever seen. Looks like Marilyn Monroe shot by Godard. Also, no sound, which helps. http://su.pr/2Poe0B
What do you think? Can birth be delightful?