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This article was primarily written for men...yet it is important for the ladies to read also...you may see yourself in it.  To know and understand the Mid-Life birthing process, the easier it will be to go through it.

Mid-Life Crisis (MLC) is very much like childbirth...whether it be for a man or a woman, it is the re-birthing of a person....it has it’s stages of labor...and we transition from one stage to another.  Many women handle this birthing better than others...many choose to take medication or numb themselves to get through it, while others opt to have a C- section and remove themselves, so they can be reborn....while some learn about their bodies, understand the process, know what to do when certain things  happen and allow their H’s to play the role they are given in the process.   

The childbirth method I am speaking of is called The Bradley Method...it is a totally non-medicated/avoid the C- section method.  It is a hands on coaching method, where the H plays a key role in the coaching and monitoring a women’s progress in childbirth.  You could probably say that we here are the instructors on how to preform The Bradley Method of MLC...we are trying to teach women how to get through their MLC without medication, allowing their H to play the role of moderator of those things that may get in the way of successfully birthing themselves in to excellent, significant and graceful women...a re-birth with no regrets in the end.  

No matter how you look at it...childbirth is childbirth...it is never painless....MLC is MLC and it is never painless.  In both, you have choices to make...methods to use to avoid a purely horrific birth, problems and tragedy.   The transitions are within the process or stages of the MLC or childbirth.  This is what the women are referring to....they transitioning through the stages of the process of a MLC.  They are really one in the same...not two different things.     

If more women approached their MLC in a Bradley way, like they approach childbirth...then you would probably see more women going through it with less pain and hurt and they would be partnering with their H’s to get it done.   

I have always considered writing extensively in this manner because it makes sense...women can relate to this metaphor...many have gone through childbirth and understand how it works.

As H’s...think about how your W dealt with her pregnancy and childbirth...Is she following suit with her MLC?  Is she choosing medication or is she opting for the section?    It would be interesting to hear if their is a relationship here...please let us know.

Interesting comparison between the Bradley method of childbirth and MLC :

Bradley teaches that if a woman has chosen to not have medication or a section at childbirth there is a stage where the labor becomes extremely difficult.  A women’s tolerance for the pain becomes next to non-existent.  This is when the woman will start asking for or even demanding to have medication, even if her original decision was to go without.   Bradley teaches that at this point it is the H’s job as coach to talk her through the labor pain, telling her that this is the sign that she will start pushing soon and within a short time the baby will arrive.  If the H doesn’t do a good job at coaching and allows the W to medicate at this point, contractions will slow down, problems may occur during the pushing stage and the result may be detrimental to the health and progress of the newborn after the birth and the recuperation of the mother.  

The MLC Bradley Method:  The H’s job is to be the coach, the moderator/mediator...He is watching...he is making decisions...he is determining whether or not the W is truly moving in to the next stage or transition.  He is looking out for the signs that are very apparent of what happens and doing what he can to make sure that the W has a healthy re-birth.  The differences:

First stage:

 W is not happy, smiling, discontent...struggling, overwhelmed. (Take a picture of your W or look at pictures of your W back when she was not necessarily saying that she unhappy...what do you see?  If you see, non-verbal messages of her discontent, such as forced smiles, distance or ensuring you are not close in pictures, distance from your children or not touching, absence from pictures completely) this was your first sign...you missed it.
 

Your job: Acknowledge the fact that you see that she is visibly not happy.  Help her to realize that you understand what she is going through.  Get her the help that she needs.  Make her as comfortable as possible, because the real work is yet to come.  She is labor and there is much more that you will be dealing with...Prepare ahead of time...know and state your boundaries and deal breakers...make sure the two of understand that you will be going through this together.  Knowing what you will do in the worst case scenario will save you from having to think on your feet, shock and making mistakes that you and she will regret.

Second stage:

In-efficient dealing with the labor pains of MLC: filling the empty space with material things, partying, getting new friends...dramatically changing their look...escaping...keeping secrets, lies, deceit....or more importantly deep depression, inability to meet her obligations and responsibilities.  This is the longest stage...just as in childbirth...how you handle this one will determine if the rest of this process will be a healthy one or be disastrous...   This is the stage that women are already self-medicating with A’s, spending money, thinking or or acting on D or separation...they have already chosen that they will self-medicate way back in the first stage...the one that you missed...this is like the woman who goes in and gets the epidural from the get-go or even the planned C-section...she has made her plan...she will not deal with the pain...she pushes the Easy button.  You are out of the picture from the start...you are not her coach...you have to say “No!” in how she will birth her new self.  Many women decide to go it alone continuing to self-medicate, extending the birthing process with more pain, hurt and frustration...sometimes the labor pains stall completely, which ends up having them medicate more with more things that will only make the labor longer and harder...they no longer have their coach...they have ensured that he is sitting out in the waiting room waiting for the news that she is done or she has dismissed him completely by telling him he is NOT a part of this labor...it is hers and hers alone.  Even if he was brought in to the situation, he would be ineffective because he has never had a voice in the process any ways...UNLESS...he comes back in to the situation and takes over where he should have been in the first place....taking control and insisting on what is right and in the best interest of the woman and her family.  The problem with this and what is key...the woman NEEDS to listen and allow the guidance and coaching from the H...if she doesn’t...then it is still totally out of the H’s hands.  If he had been involved in the first place, he would have been able to tell her that she was getting ready to see the light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended)...she would be seeing a healthy woman, who is happy...living an excellent, significant and graceful life with out the regrets of prior mistakes that were made during the birthing process/transition.   

Pushing stage:

  Healthy scenario: A woman does the work, gets the help that they need to resolve childhood issues, dealing with grief, gains coping skills...works on herself in a positive manner, along with seeking maintaining her health in that it  promotes the best possibilities for herself, her marriage and family.   In the end, the best possible scenario is that she is able to regain her M/R...BUT...it may also mean that a woman decides, even after the H has coached her through the process that her birthing will only occur outside of the M/R...in the end the H may still be dismissed to the waiting room or even straight out of the hospital for good, because his presence in her mind is impeding her progress. The question at this point would be if indeed there were things that were in the M/R that were indeed impeding her progress...only you will know this for sure.  Decisions even at this stage can turn out disastrous.   The woman that is born...is still-born or has major defects in her re-birth...all will have to be dealt with in some way or another.  

NOTE to H’s:  All the anger, name calling, resentment that you may hear at this point in the birthing process is exactly the same as the anger and frustration that you hear from your W when in childbirth...she is working hard...she is lashing out because of the intense pain...it is not really about you...she is screaming at the pain...hit the ignore button...it is not about you...it is about her pain.

Interesting fact about this process:  Many women who go through this process tend to have the same sort of ability to forget the worst of the pain and hurt that has happened while laboring through MLC.   Do NOT be surprised by this...this is why your W’s come back and expect to be friend’s...her recall of the experience has been all encompassing...the brain, just as in childbirth is amazing in that it conveniently forgets the intensity of the pain...the job of a healthy woman who has gone through this process is to remember what she has done wrong and what she has done right during the process or she will go through the process all over again.   A woman needs to be able to check the signs, listen to her body or her mental state and adjust accordingly, so she will not have to go through this again.  This is also true of the H, whether it be with their W or another new relationship...don’t forget what you have already seen and lived through...it is your best protection.

(C) Amy L. Harden 2008



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