One Billion Dollars

That headline got your attention, didn’t it?

A billion dollars is a lot of money.

In fact I can’t even fathom how much money a billion dollars is.  The truth is, I can’t really even fathom a million dollars, let alone one million times one thousand…

If you’re a dad (or mom) and you or your spouse is pregnant, you’ve likely heard all manner of unrequested comment, opinion and advice concerning pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and even marriage.  And, if you’re like me (which I think you are  more than you’re not since you’re paying attention to this blog) most of it was not helpful, uplifting or encouraging.

One of the most common themes I came across before my wife was even pregnant, before we were even married or together, but that I have heard my entire life from TV shows, movies and society in general, is what a headache kids are.

Children are loud, demanding, high-demand, expensive, they don’t let you sleep, and the list goes on and on.  My generation (millennials) in particular has bought in to this message so fully that they’re waiting until they’re around 35 to start marriage and family.  They think kids are so expensive and so difficult that they want to “enjoy themselves”  before they settle down.

They want to make their money, enjoy their single life, live for as long as possible with minimal obligations until they’re tied down by a wife and kids, forced into a life of semi-slavery, relinquishing all their freedoms and joys.

There is definitely some truth to their belief.  The biggest and most important part of being married and having a family is sacrifice, being willing to lay down yourself for your family in any number of ways.

But this view of marriage and family is also deeply, profoundly misguided.

I guess in many ways this conversation hinges on deeper, more profound things than I’ll get in to in this post, but the truth is I’ve always believed that my life would be enriched, that I’d have more joy and even become a better, stronger version of myself, when I had a wife and family.

That belief has set me a part from most of my generation.

If you’re reading this and you find yourself identifying more with them than me then I’d like to encourage you with something.  You’re probably very apprehensive about all this childbirth/parenting talk.  You might already be mourning the loss of this or that freedom.

But I’m sitting here with a one year old daughter, hoping for  two or three more children, feeling like a billionaire.

Of course I’m not actually a billionaire.  But when people ask me what it’s like to have a daughter I struggle to find a better response.

Just think- what if you were offered a deal.  In this deal you’d lose all those pleasures of single life (do what you want when you want with who you want, etc.), gained the responsibilities of a parent and spouse, but instead of receiving a wife and child you received a billion dollars?

I wager most would very willingly take the deal.  Sure, it would be a bummer to lost some freedoms, to wake up to tend to your billions in the middle of every night, to be obligated to keep constant tabs on your billions.  But come on, we’re talking a billion dollars!  And yes you can enjoy it and spend it and use it!

Well that’s how I feel having a daughter.  I love her, I care for her so much, I take so much joy and delight in her that the idea of spending all the same energy caring for a stash of one billion dollars actually falls short.

Everyday she grows, changes, becomes more and more beautiful.  Every laugh, every new word, is a new source of joy and it never ends.

You may or may not believe me.  But my hope is that you will soon understand me when I say you couldn’t offer me anything in the universe to trade for my daughter.  There simply isn’t anything that compares to my love for her and what it has done to me.

I hope you’ll soon share this love as well.  And I understand your fear and apprehension towards childbirth and parenthood because, truly, you don’t have anything to compare it to.  I now know that even being a child doesn’t prepare you at all for the love you’ll feel as a parent toward your son or daughter.

In the meantime while you wrestle with worry, lies and the unknown, know that my belief is that you will be deeply and truly be blown away by what grows in your heart once you first meet your child.

Don’t buy into the lies of our society that really do wish to strip you of this joy, to distort your view of your little billion dollar bundle.  Block out the noise and let your little baby speak for itself.  Let her blow you away just like mine has.

 

I’d like to take this moment to take one of our sponsors, Plumber Costa Mesa.  These guys do what they do because they understand the value of  a functioning, healthy home.  Thank you guys!

Hypnobabies

What follows is not a paid endorsement of any kind, but an honest reflection of a customer on their experience with a product.

Yes, Hypnobabies sounds absolutely crazy from the start.  If you stumbled across it on the internet you would likely just keep on stumbling away.

At least I would have.

Thankfully neither me or nor my wife stumbled across Hypnobabies on our own, but had it recommended to us by a close friend of my wife.  Even then I was thinking, “What the heck is this?!”

As shocking as the name is the actual concept of Hypnobabies is even more shocking.  Nevertheless the training and mindset they teach was an enormous part of our incredible birthing experience.

So what is it?  Well it definitely involves hypnosis, which is wild!

Part of the belief of Hypnobabies is that hypnosis isn’t some weird state brought on by a swinging pocket watch (although I’m certain the pocket watch works!).  Hypnosis actually happens to us all the time.

Have you ever driven home from work, arrived at home, and not remembered actually driving?  Have you ever watched television and not been able to remember the last couple minutes of commercials, even though you were watching?  These are common states of hypnosis.

And what Hypnobabies does is train the mother to be able to enter and exit this state of hypnosis at will.  When you purchase the course you can either join a local class or do it at home.  We did it at home and it mainly constituted to listening to hours of recorded tapes dedicated to different parts of pregnancy and then birth.

So, what’s so important about being hypnotized during birth?  Well here’s what makes Hypnobabies so amazing: you train yourself to experience pain as pressure.  In the state of hypnosis you can be trained to control your body in endless different ways and the training of Hypnobabies is focused on your body’s interpretation of pain.

Mother certainly still feels all the stages of pregnancy and birth, including contractions and pushing baby out, but she is psychologically trained and prepared to experience what mother’s normally feel as pain as pressure. And while pressure is still uncomfortable it isn’t the same as pain.

Soon I’ll have my wife write her own first-hand experience of this training but for now suffice it to say it works!

But the key, like any training, is dedicating yourself and buying in.  You must believe what they’re telling you is possible in the face of all the doubt and ridicule you’ll likely receive from those who subscribe to societies view of childbirth.

Thankfully the training focuses very much on tuning out the negativity of the world around you and focusing on the beauty of childbirth.  You’ll learn techniques not just dealing with hypnosis but dealing with ignoring and brushing off the “haters” who won’t support your decision of natural childbirth.

There’s a quick look at Hypnobabies for you.  A more detailed perspective is soon to come from my rock star wife.

Until then next time!

Misconceptions

I have a 14 month old daughter.

Her birth was a phenomenal, amazing, unforgettable experience.

From check-in to delivery our baby was born in 5 and a half hours.  There wasn’t screaming, cursing or vows made in haste.

Think I’m lying?  Is that the first time you’ve heard of a birth going that way?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

See, our society perpetuates this idea that childbirth is a horrible, nightmarish experience.  The wife is racked with pain for 20+ hours, lashes out so intensely at her spouse that stress is put on the marriage itself, and they eventually end up getting a c-section anyways.

This depiction of childbirth is found in television shows, movies, and (like a self-fulfilling) prophecy plays out in the lives of everyday people.

OF COURSE childbirth is a wildly intense experience.  OF COURSE it’s dangerous.  But the narrative pumped out and spread around is a false one, even if it turns out to be the experience of the majority of women giving birth.

From the get-go, my wife didn’t buy in to all the hype.  She found, first through a friend and then through more resources online, that childbirth should and could actually be a beautiful, even desirable, experience.

She believed it could and would be something to be treasured and remembered, not covered in layers of painkillers and drugs and then swept under the rug never to be talked about  again.

The sad thing is when people asked us about being pregnant and we shared our high hopes for a natural, amazing childbirth, we were mocked and scoffed at multiple times by very good people.  We were labeled as naive and misguided, even arrogant for hoping for such a thing, let alone with our first child!  People would try and make us feel guilty for hoping for such an experience, mainly because their childbirth experience was such a nightmare.  It was truly incredible the reactions we repeatedly got from other mothers and fathers.

Well, to all those people I’d like to lift a gigantic middle finger.  Because all your negativity did nothing to stop us from having the childbirth we dreamed about.  And shame on all of you for disrespecting us so directly.

FIVE AND A HALF HOURS.  That’s how quick our birth was, with no drugs at all.  No screaming, no cursing, no marital strain.  Oh, and with our first child to boot.

The truth that society doesn’t want you to know is that the female body is made to give birth!  Newsflash!  The body instinctually, primordialy knows how to grow a baby and push it out when the time comes.

I remember in our birthing class that I first admitted to my wife that I was “terrified” of childbirth (my exact words).  I shared my worry of the stress of it, the screaming and the danger.  But I was blown away to learn throughout the class  (and from my wife) that rather than get geared up for some hellacious experience, the entire focus of preparation and planning for childbirth was to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible- the exact opposite of what I was expecting.

We were told we could bring snacks and drinks of our choice, mainly foods that would help nourish my wife and give her energy, and we could even bring wine!

We totally did bring wine of course but didn’t end up opening it.

Rather than scream, strapped into a hospital bed for a full day straight, my wife spent the majority of the time in a warm bath lit only by candles. My job was to gently pour warm water down her back (she was on her knees leaning on the edge of the tub).  It was absolutely beautiful.

There’s much more to this story that will be shared in later posts, but know right now, from the start: DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES!

Childbirth can and should be hoped to be a wonderful, incredibly beautiful experience.  Is it intense?  The most intense thing I’ve ever been a part of. But would I use these common words to describe it- pain, anguish, regret, tortue?  One hundred percent NO.

Know that there is another way and don’t let anyone mock you for believing so.

 

Hello!

We here are Birth Navigators are so excited to share life-changing content with you.

Our goal is that you’ll come to share the same love and appreciation for the incredible experience that birth truly is.

The inspiration, knowledge and affirmation is all coming soon!  While you wait for it to roll out enjoy this incredible video.  While we don’t have any partnership with Hypnobabies we do believe in their product and believe you’ll enjoy this video: