Wednesday Aug 17, 2022

Episode 9: Crossing Thresholds

Inanna was a queen and priestess and she felt a call to descend into the underworld. She prepared by gathering everything she needed. Inanna made her descent, but at every gate something was demanded of her to give up, which she did. She gave up a scepter, a breastplate, bangles, her necklace…and finally, her robe—enabling her to cross the final threshold at her most vulnerable and powerful.

Katie speaks about rites of passage that are too often under-celebrated, such as menarche, motherhood, and more. She talks about how all of these significant rites of passage have a distinct threshold over which we cross, and the more we do so intentionally the smoother that crossing will be. How we prepare for birth often evolves, where it's less about "the stuff" and more about the support. Like Inanna, there will be parts of you that will be shed and surrendered, and not because they weren't useful but because they fulfilled their purpose. The work we do prenatally is building up "me" and the work of birth is stripping "me" down.

No matter the journey, there will be threshold moments—some of them very hard—that will reduce you to "nakedness" or deep vulnerability. There is potential that lies there for our whole lives. Within birth itself there is a threshold known as Transition. That is when you are experiencing the most softening, opening, and releasing in preparation for expulsion of the baby. Adrenaline often shows up here, sweating, flushing, over-heating, etc. This is often a distinct shift, both physically and mentally. You may start to encounter your self-limiting beliefs: I can't do this, I can't keep going, this is too much, I can't go on. How big have you allowed yourself to be? Transition takes you beyond that limit. That can feel terrifying. It can also feel wild, intense, and powerful. Some often feel ashamed of how they may have acted in those moments, if they were "too loud" or "too wild" or "too big." Wouldn't it be amazing if we instead celebrated and marveled at that burgeoning side of ourselves?

Katie and Stephanie have a discussion on voice in the labor room. Sometimes we hold subconscious or conscious expectations about how loud or quiet we want to be during labor. On one hand, we may be afraid of sounding animalistic or wild, or on the other we may shy away from sounding too sexual with moans and groans. That can result in a desire for a "silent" birth, where you restrict your noises and voice, but this restriction can flow downstream and also closes your cervix. And partners? You can show up for your loved one during labor by validating their sounds and normalizing whatever comes out of their mouth (or any other orifice for that matter).

We invite you to share your transition stories with us!


References from this episode:

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Untamed, by Glennon Doyle


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