Not having a choice… It’s by far one of the most excruciating feelings ever. Like for real. It’s like your freedom being taken away only for disappointment to take its place… Ouch!
I’ve felt that way multiple times in my life from simple shit like buying that PERFECT dress and they’re all out of your size, to purchasing your dream house and it gets bought up right underneath you, all the way to choosing to love who you want to love and then they disappear.
So much of our experience is determined by the options available to us. So what do we do when what we want is no longer an option?
I often hear women say they feel powerless in birth because someone told them they don’t have a choice or that they have no other options. Here are some of the scenarios they give…
I have a breech baby.
I have twins.
They’ll only “let me” do a c-section.
Or, I have pre-eclampsia.
I have high blood pressure.
I have gestational diabetes.
They’re “making me” get induced.
Well, I’m here to tell you that, first of all, no one can “make you” do anything one way or the other in your birth so you ALWAYS have the option of not doing what’s suggested which means you ALWAYS have a choice.
There are options and then there are choices and when it comes to birth or anything in life in general, it’s super important to learn the difference between the 2 and how they relate.
So here it is:
An option is a noun and means all the possibilities available to you.
To choose is a verb. And it means to pick out from the possibilities available to you.
So as long as you have an option of doing something or doing nothing, you have a choice too.
The ugly thing is (and a common reason women get upset and disappointed with their birth experience) is because they have a problem with the options available to them. If what they really want is no longer available, they get bummed because they just don’t like the options that are left if they feel they have any at all.
So how do you make an empowering choice for your birth when you don’t like your available options?
1) Write down a list of ALL your options no matter how ridiculous, insane, or absurd they sound. This is a no-excuses, no holds barred game so get rid of the “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the money”, “I don’t have the guts for that” and lay it all out unfiltered.
Let go of judgment and just write as fast as you can every option you can possibly think of without filtering through the “but that’s crazy, I could never do that” filter. When you don’t filter your answers, you’re more likely to find a nugget-o-gold in there somewhere.
2) For each option available, ask yourself the following questions:
B – What are the benefits of this option?
R – What are the risks of this option?
A – Are there any alternatives to this option?
I – What does your intuition tell you about this option?
N – What happens if you do nothing and revisit the matter later?
3) Make a choice based on facts, not emotions.
When you base your choice on facts and not emotions, you open up yourself to empowerment. And that’s what empowered birth is about…letting go of a specific who, what, when, where, why, how and focusing instead on how you want to feel through it.
Do you want to feel supported, loved, cared for like a queen or goddess, empowered, or healed through your birth experience? Or do you want it to happen a certain way?
When you let go of the certain way and focus on how you want to feel through it, you let go of attachment to an outcome and allow birth to happen for you not to you.
Using the B.R.A.I.N. acronym is a process of inquiry that I give my clients for those tricky births where unplanned and/or unexpected events happen because it helps you see that you really do have options even if what you really want is no longer available.
This process of inquiry helps you let go of the “how things are supposed to happen” and move forward in an empowering way regardless.
Have you been in a situation where you where told that you don’t have a choice as to how to birth your baby and you chose something different anyway? How did you come to the decision to go against the grain and take back your options and choose differently instead? Let us know in the comments below.
With so much love,