When I was younger – twenty-something – I was determined I didn’t want any children. I was too much of an activist then, I thought the world was in too much of a poor state to have kids. I thought there were too many people on the planet, and I thought I would rather adopt an already-existing child than make a new one.

‘Lovist’ vs. activist

Well, the world clearly is not be in a better state today, and I still think there are too many people on the planet (especially in India), which is why I only want one child. But with age and maturity (I suppose, haha!) I have become more of a ‘lovist’ than an activist. I just think as long as my child lives surrounded with love, s/he will be fine, always, however many years s/he may live. I also guess I do manage to see that the material world as an illusion, sometimes anyway… It may sound too idealist for many, but the world is definitely a mirror of our thoughts, of our projections, of the content of our minds and of how much our minds cover our hearts with clutter. So all we can do to help the world, really – and it is our responsibility – is to work towards uncovering our hearts from these layers of ‘mind-clutter’.

Basically, the world desperately needs LOVE, and the most important thing we can do in our lives is to work on being good. Deep in my heart this has always been my life’s main mission, and deep in my heart I believe I can also raise a human being who will know how to spread love. Or at least I want to do all I can towards this goal…

Challenging birth fear

When I was younger, there was another reason why I didn’t want any children: it will probably sound clichéd, but it is the memory of a biology class, when I was about 14, in which we had been shown the video of a birth. A medicalised birth in a hospital, obviously, a woman screaming lying on her bed, an ugly, slimy baby coming out of a gaping vagina, and a lot of visible pain. I always knew these images were also motivating my ‘decision’ not to have children, even though it took me years to come to admit it…

Baby's feet - CC0 / Public Domain”

CC0 / Public Domain

Today I know that birth shouldn’t be like that, as it is not meant to be like that. I know women have the power to give birth; our bodies are designed for it. We are not patients, and we have to listen and trust our bodies through birth. Birth is empowering. Birth is beautiful. I always thought that if I have the opportunity to be a mother, great; if I don’t, equally fine. Still, for some years now I have been thinking I wouldn’t be a complete, accomplished woman if I didn’t go through it. This belief disturbed me for a long time, and I always knew what it was that was disturbing me: fear, obviously. But as one of my favourite quotes says, you have to “look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you” (Sri Yukteswar Giri). And so this is what I will do, like I have always done with other fears. It will be way more intense, but I will go through it, breathe through it…

Preparing myself & trusting…

Most days today I feel confident that the birth of my child will be smooth. I definitely want it to be as natural as it can be, and I hope and believe it is possible in that wee Varanasi hospital. I don’t want to ask myself too many questions though. I know “it would probably be better” with a midwife, “it would probably be better” if I had a doula, “it would probably be better” if I could take some Lamaze preparation classes or whatever. But I have decided to trust myself, my heart, and my body. I have already read a lot of articles on the internet, including a midwife’s blog entries on home birth, I do my prenatal yoga and my meditation and my Reiki. I have read some good books, and a friend is bringing me two more in December, which greatly helped a trusted yoga teacher/accomplished mother/friend go through her births. But most of all, I am convinced that Life gives you those experiences which you can face. I’m going through all this precisely because I am strong enough to face it. I also believe I am where I am supposed to be in my life, and if Life has indeed decided that I should live in rural, traditional India, I believe the birth of my baby is meant to happen here, and it will be fine here.

A birth near Assi Ghat in Varanasi?

A birth near Assi Ghat in Varanasi?

Read more:
A new chapter & reflection about motherhood in India
Delivery options: Where in India?