Hi Mary Eastland --
Birthing has nothing to do with internal power as some here are describing it. Labor and birth are about oxytocin and processes that are automatic and hormonally induced, not about something we females train for (Lamaze and breathing exercises aside
). And furthermore, I think that there are women out there who are learning internal skills and "softness" without ever having given birth. Now cramps... that might be another issue.
BTW, this thread has two (count 'em!) Marys.
Mary Eastland (the OP) is the one out in the Berkshires in her independent dojo. Mary Malmros (hiya Mary -- remember the ol' days at Jae Kim's?) is eastward of W'ster if I recall correctly.