Why mindfulness skills are useful no matter what kind of birth you intend to have OR end up having.

It is important to clarify that this class is not only useful for, or particularly about unmedicated labor. Mindfulness skills can be useful for anyone, in any birth experience.

We just had a couple come back to talk to our current class who had given birth less than 2 months ago and ended up with an emergency C after a long, very difficult labor. The father talked eloquently about how when he was left alone in the room in scrubs and told not to sit down or go anywhere while they prepped his wife for surgery, he nearly fell apart as a mess on the floor. The time seemed to drag on forever and he couldn't do anything, he didn't know what was going on, or if his wife and baby were ok. In his head, he said, "I was 3 months down the line at Christmas dinner with my family and my wife was dead". His thoughts were carrying him to far flung places. He talked about how at that moment, he thought back to class and said to himself, “Dude. This is it. You've got nothing else. Either you're gonna fall apart on the floor right now and be useless, or you're gonna find your breath. Find your breath, Buddy!” And he did. By bringing himself back from 3 months down the line to the only moment he had  - the present moment - he got himself through that incredibly difficult experience of awaiting surgery.

His wife, as well, talked about how important the foundations of mindfulness were for her not only during her birth experience when things didn't go according to plan, but afterward, when processing her experience. She had to remind herself repeatedly about non-striving and non-judging - that things often don't go according to plan and that wasn't because of some fault of failure of hers.  

These are two small anecdotal examples, but I feel they're important to point out because this class and these skills are for anyone who is interested in the nature of their mind/body and inquiring into their own experience and the nature of life - it is really not about a certain kind of birth experience, as we know those are wholly unpredictable. But mindfulness skills are specifically useful for the reality of the unpredictability of life. Given that we cannot predict what will happen, it behooves us to keep our attention in the present, so that we may work with whatever comes our way.