Everyone is born, but how many of us understand the process? Become a fly on the wall during one woman’s unmedicated labor at home, getting first-hand insight from everyone directly present. Is birth as scary as it seems? How painful is labor? Is the experience positive or negative? What influences our perceptions of the experience? Take a journey into the mindset of birth in its rawest form, and your assumptions and preconceived notions may be challenged in the process.
Historically, women attended births within their family and community prior to having their own children. Today, most women witness birth for the first time when they go into labor themselves. This film facilitates the vicarious attendance of one unmedicated birth. In so doing, it illuminates the qualities associated with the experience, shatters misconceptions around the subjective perceptions of labor, and ultimately speaks to the psychologically transformative power of birth, for those who are open to it.
Every expecting parent faces a mountain of uncertainty. Having no direct familiarity with birth, we try to prepare for it as best we can, reading books, watching movies, going to classes, and talking to others. But as educated as we may become in the abstract, when we finally experience the real thing, we discover we hadn’t properly understood it beforehand. If only this newfound understanding could be communicated. While many have tried, and while much valuable information has been conveyed through the existing resources and mediums, the fundamental essence of birth continues to evade description and popular understanding. This is no accident, as it is quite difficult to articulate that which is intangible. And yet, it is important that we find a way to accomplish this, as birth entails so much more than a baby - our failure to know or appreciate this puts us at risk of losing touch with something truly profound.
While most tend to focus exclusively on the physiology, the methods of delivery, the outcome statistics, etc that surround birth, we must understand the psychology of birth if we are to properly navigate the encounter and make informed choices. We must unpack the subjective experience - because what it looks like to an outside observer can be very different from what it feels like internally to the laboring woman. So this film is my attempt to capture and communicate the essence of birth. It brings you as close to the phenomenon as possible, short of experiencing it directly. It doesn’t tell you how to birth. It doesn’t render judgement. It simply presents the experience in its full context. What you take from it, how you interpret it, how you feel about it, and what you ultimately do with it, is up to you. It’s an intense ride, even as a viewer - but for those willing to take the journey, something awaits on the other side.