When it comes to pregnancy and birth, I really believe in “going slow”. I’m not talking about having a 4 day birth process (though, yes, that can happen!), and I’m not saying a 3 hour labour disqualifies you. I’m just talking about slowing down and reclaiming the rhythm of pregnancy and birth. I encourage you to take all the time you need to slowly consider the physical, emotional and spiritual process of starting a family.
Going slow is a big commitment. It’s easy to dash headlong through life, ticking off goals. You might focus on working right up to the end of pregnancy, buying stuff, going to all the classes, prepping a baby room, buying a bigger car, and on and on. You might never have thought about the deeper journey of pregnancy. The reality of what is to come might only hit you on the first night after birth…when you hold your baby in the dark.
My mum tells a story about just after I was born. Two cleaning ladies came into the birthing room to tidy up. Mum was holding me and said, “I’m so glad I’m done…and you’re here!” And the two ladies just stopped cleaning, looked at each other, and laughed. “Oh, dear,” said one, “she thinks she’s done! It’s only just begun!”
So, please think about the concept of Slow Birth and take whatever time you need to do the deep work that this journey demands. And, once the baby is here, is it still helpful to “think slow”? Well, it is at first. Breastfeeding naturally demands slowness. One client wrote to me (during a 3am nursing session):
I cannot believe how small my world has become. However, it's nice to be small with little Malia. Life is really simple and it restarts again every few hours. I used to wish sometimes that I could start this day over or wish this day gone so I can start again tomorrow. I get that chance every few hours now to start again, but now, I never seem to wish for the time to hurry up. I am already trying to slow it down and remember all the little nuances of Malia right now because she is changing so fast.
These quiet hours finally allow us almost infinite time for introspection. I know I loved night nursing and watching the stars move across the sky. These early days and nights can allow time for quiet shared introspection for the new family – a time of whispered communication, family stories, connection. This may be the first long period of time that both parents have been home together, and not on holiday. They may see this as a time of creativity and discovery. This time might allow them to consider the new reality they want to forge as a family…
I know one new family who used those long quiet nights with their new baby to envision a new project. Our Alex and Alanna (my son and belle-fille) have been home together with baby James since he was born on August 21st (listen to the first podcast to hear their birth story). Together they are creative, entrepreneurial, tech brilliant…a perfect mix for today’s world. They know their family will need to keep adapting in this quickly changing world. They don’t want to be too fast-paced to deal with the stress. They just have to be agile (to borrow a concept from the world of business!) So, the Agile Family blog and podcast was born.
Agile Family dovetails nicely with Slow Birth. While the childbearing year is a time for slowing down and allowing nature to set the pace (like a sabbatical), there is always the eventual return to work and a “new normal” life. Alex and Alanna will be sharing their own parenting experiences, successes and struggles each week (if James permits!) Going agile is about continually adapting, empowering our children, and telling our stories. You’ll hear about breastsleeping, RIE, birth choices, creativity, independent development, family fundamentals, family meetings, and more!
We hope, too, that we can build an Agile Family community. So, please subscribe, read the blog for background content, then comment, ask questions, and, together, we will adapt and grow.