Great Wall Story: Why the Easy Way Is Not So Easy
By Katrina Zaslavsky, Founder of Birth Goddess: A Positive Birth Revolution, Author of A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth
“We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are STRONG.” -Laura Stavoe Harm
I was fortunate to have the trip of a lifetime with my husband when I was five months pregnant with my first baby. We were on a tour bus in Beijing, China. It was very humid and misty, and as we approached one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall in all its glory, the tour guide said something I will never forget, “There are two ways to climb the wall – you can either go the hard way or the easy way.” He added, “Only the hard way is not so hard and the easy way is not so easy.” At that point we were thoroughly confused.
In the end we did go the hard way (my husband always loves a good challenge and dragged me and my pregnant belly up all those steep steps that seemed to go on forever!) and I must admit looking back, it was an incredible experience.
This curious riddle back in China managed to get stuck in my head and quite literally “drove me up the wall.” It really got me thinking many months later, after the birth of my baby, about its deeper meaning. I started to relate it to the journey into motherhood and life in general. There was so much wisdom there. For instance, sometimes modern women believe that booking themselves in for an elective c-section (too posh to push or just plain scared) or taking all the drugs is the easy way out because then they don’t have to feel anything or can bypass the whole process. Yet when you look at the big picture, it is actually not so easy after all – in fact I would say the opposite: a medical or surgical birth (while totally necessary in the rare case of real emergencies) is taking the hard road.
While I chose the ‘hard’ road by going au naturale and feeling every single bit of my labor and birth, afterwards I felt on top of the world as if I had climbed Mt Everest. I wanted to shout from the rooftops and it wasn’t about boasting either but giving women a new possibility of how positive and powerful giving birth could be. Why didn’t anybody tell me about this? The feeling of accomplishment was incredible, the recovery was fast and I was fully active, functional and empowered as a mother and a woman.
More than that, I was totally euphoric and high for many days on those natural hormones the body produces (who needs drugs when the body makes a whole factory of them for free) and in that amazing little love bubble with my sweet baby girl. Does it get any better than that?
So in this case, I can wholeheartedly say that the ‘hard’ way was actually the ‘easy’ way in disguise and highly recommended for any healthy and willing pregnant woman. What are you choosing? Will you take the easy way or the hard way? What is your biggest mountain to climb right now?
Katrina Zaslavsky is an inspired author of “A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth” and international voice for women. A former public health professional turned Mum on a Mission, she is making positive waves across the globe as founder of Birth Goddess, committed to being a part of the “Positive Birth Revolution.”
“A breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to an otherwise overcrowded shelf full of fear-inducing, confidence-eroding horror stories that solely focus on medicalised birth.” ~ Birthwell Birthright
“It changed my entire mindset towards my birth and I account this book for the most beautiful, serene, calm birth that I could ever have imagined.” ~ Erin Malinder (mother)