By Gervase Kolmos
I’ve had two natural births.
Depending on your unique life experiences, you will now likely make a subconscious judgment about what kind of a person I am, but can we be real for a second?
I’ve had two natural births because I’m a control freak.
I didn’t enjoy losing control of my body for my two pregnancies.
I pushed hard against losing control of my identity after becoming a mother.
The illusion of control held court over every other aspect of my life up until having children, so, honestly, a natural birth should have surprised no one.
As my new reality became abundantly clear during pregnancy, for some reason, all I could focus on was what I was losing.
My body’s going to do what when I’m pregnant?
I’m going to start napping in my car on my lunch break?
Bye bye to my thriving social life revolving around ashtanga yoga and happy hour?
I couldn’t contort my body into the same yoga positions about six months in, and watching my friends get tipsy after a long work day where I’d already napped once at my desk was just not doing it for me anymore.
Not to be a Debbie, but this was all very real for me five years ago.
Even though I excitedly chose to become pregnant, I found myself resisting every single change brought on by my pregnant “condition.”
As if it had been inflicted upon me.
But what I was really kicking and screaming about?
What felt like a loss of control over my entire life.
So a natural birth became my obsession.
I prepared in all the ways I would still strongly encourage any woman to prepare for the day when her baby moves out of her body, but mostly, I became quite curious about the concept that my thoughts about my labor could have any correlation to my labor, itself. I was excited by anything that might help me pull off this charade, and I was leaving no stone unturned.
As I prepared to surrender all control over to my body during a natural birth experience, I declared dominion over my mindset. And while I recognize that even the mightiest of mindsets don’t always guarantee the birth story we hope for, it worked out for me.
This process of redirecting my controlling tendencies from my external environments to my internal dialogue — unknowingly — began the mental bootcamp that paved the way for my 360 degree inner transformation in the minutes, months and years after becoming a mother.
But it really just started with your average first-time preggo gripping onto the last shreds of control she had over her life up until that moment she met her maker.
And my firstborn was my maker, indeed. The one who turned it all around for me. The little life who reminded me who I TRULY was with hard human lessons I never thought I needed to learn. When you are someone who prides yourself with having it all together, it’s hard to accept that an identity crisis that evolves into postpartum depression and slams into an abrupt career change is what you need to be your best self.
I didn’t know I needed to lose my sense of control to find myself.
But can we be real one last time?
I honestly did.
Gervase is Certified Life & Leadership Coach for Mamas, and the founder of Shiny. Happy. Human™. A self-proclaimed “Real AF” coach, she asks hard questions to help mothers remember who they truly are. But for real. She created the Mommy Soul Tribe Facebook group and the Charleston event series, Champagne Society, to give mothers the opportunity to find their tribe while exploring what it means to have it all in business and mom life. Gervase has spoken throughout the Lowcountry to groups like MOPS, Charleston Moms Blog and at the Center for Women’s 2016 Passion, Purpose and Power conference and has been featured on Lowcountry Live. In 2017, she was voted “Woman to Watch” as part of the Center for Women’s Charleston Most Influential Women contest. Her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, Best Kept Self, Charleston Moms Blog and more. Learn more over at www.shinyhappyhuman.com