Fantasy – Its Value in Preparing for a Homebirth
By Marilyn Moran
Before we do anything of great importance we always practice just how the event will go – or rather how we’d like it to go. Before going out on a job interview we act out the scene, sometimes in front of a mirror, of how we will walk, and sit, and talk. We anticipate the questions our interviewer will ask and how we will respond to them. We also plan just how we will broach questions regarding salary, vacation arrangements, and coverage by medical and/or retirement plans. This fantasizing, this mental practice, is an important exercise which helps to insure success when the real thing comes along. Simulation is the greatest tool in the world.
The common thread for successful people down through history has been “seeing the dream in advance and being obsessed with it.” Golfers mentally practice their shots before a tournament. Olympic swimmers, ditto.
Birthing couples, however, have not traditionally practiced ahead of time for the upcoming birth (in a positive manner, that is). On the contrary, most deliberately put it out of their minds.
For thousands of years young men and women have been enculturated to believe that birth is something horrible that a woman has to endure in order to get a baby. In the past few decades men have been enculturated to stand by the side of their wives and watch as some other man “fiddles” around with their wives “private parts.”
But if birth is really a sexual act and part of the communication of love between man and wife, then there is another mode of behaviour possible; that is birth as an intimate husband/wife love encounter.
The best time to fantasize about intimate birthing and to mentally rehearse for it is during love making. Then each is in the mood for total sharing of thoughts and dreams as well as bodies. That’s the time to get to the heart of the matter, and to really get to “know” the other.
Georgia Tapp said that she and John practiced perineal massage for about six weeks before their baby’s birth. “It helped us to open up to each other a lot and besides, it felt good!” she wrote. “After our ‘practice sessions’ we often would lie in bed and dream aloud together of how our birthing would go. I can’t tell you the closeness we felt during this time.”
Diane Shie’s husband, who ‘caught’ their baby as it was being born, said, “The Lord gave me my heart’s desire.” (The New Nativity #22)
What is your husband’s heart’s desire? Have you ever asked him, while in a tender, cozy moment?
Have you ever told him what your deep-down desire is? If not, open up. Let him in on your secret wishes. Make your bedroom your very own Fantasy Island – where dreams do come true.
This article originally appeared in The New Nativity #26.
Photo copyright Dejan Dizdar.