I was sitting in the warm water of the hospital tub in deep labor. Those are the moments that I would best describe as profoundly internal. I had my eyes closed. I was likely groaning. From my perspective there was very little that existed in the world aside from my body, this baby moving its way through my body, and my mind. There was only the three of us! 😉 (body, mind, baby)
During my labor with my second child, I was sent to the local university hospital. (I had hoped to have my baby at home—but ended up needing to labor in the hospital.) What that meant for me, was that the “doctor” was actually still in training. She was heavy on book learning and shy on experience. Us birthing moms were her training ground.
While I was laboring in the tub, the woman/the “doctor” or the “doctor still in training” or the woman I eventually came to think of in my mind as “faux doctor” came into the room to check on me. Without any real understanding or gentleness of touch, she jammed her instrument into and over my belly to check on the baby. It hurt actually. Then, she declared suddenly in a loud, pitched and panicked voice: “The baby is breach!”
Remember I said that I was in deep labor? So during this whole situation—from faux doc entering the room, jamming her machine against my taut protruding stomach, interrupting the flow of the three of us 😉 (my body, mind, and baby) I had hardly opened my eyes.
Still, I remember vividly the energy of her panicked high-pitched declaration, given just inches away from my face. I also remember the slow internal blink that came afterward for me. Still with my eyes closed I remember thinking, “Well, that’s not what I expected.” Then, “… Wait, is that true?… No. That is not true. The baby is not breach.”
Remember that I also said I had been hoping to have my baby at home? What is important about this, was that my mid-wife had also come with me to the hospital. (Thank Goodness!) She was crouched down on the floor on the other side of the bathroom watching the whole scene—(care for me having been obviously given over to the hospital staff). When I received my internal response that no, my baby was NOT in fact breach, I opened my eyes. With barely a turn of my head I locked eyes with my mid-wife, Gail. In a heartbeat, and with zero words at all, she confirmed for me what I knew to be true: my baby was in the perfect head down position—making her way earthside.
If Gail moved her head at all in that moment to confirm my thought, it was minimal—like barely detectible. All of this—this whole entire exchange with Gail— took place in the amount of time it can take two eyes to pierce into each other. Lazor sharp, certain, and quick, our minds spoke to one another without words. Getting her confirmation that my assessment was correct, I rotated my head back slightly to where it had been, and shut my eyes again to dive back into the work required of me in that moment: moving a baby down a birth canal.
I let the “faux-doctor” go about her panicked business. It did not take me, even for a second out of mine. Eventually she got the “real doctor” or her supervisor. Who used the machine with MUCH MORE finesse—not actually causing me pain at all—before declaring—“That’s the baby’s bum, not the head. This baby is ready to be born.”
Gosh I could tell you so many more stories about those 6 hours with Faux-Doctor! I’ll spare you though! But what I will tell you is that in this story— “faux doctor” symbolizes using the intellect alone. She had ALL the book smarts. In her mind she was paging through them constantly to see if everything added up. If everything was going according to the script. FYI—there aren’t scripts for babies being born. Just like the scripts for life—they are very loose and require presence and attention to navigate.
In this story, my mid-wife symbolizes using your intuition. She had all the book smarts too. She had done her schooling, her research, her study. She had checked my baby’s position only a few hours earlier (without a machine). She also used something else: her intuition. In those moments of supporting women in labor she relied heavily on her internal guidance/ her inner knowing. It gave her the ability, to keep all the important details in mind, but also assess the situation IN REAL TIME, staying congruent with what was actually happening—even if it didn’t align with the script.
Later, after other bits of crazy advice and scare tactics from “faux doctor,” when I looked to her for guidance, Gail would tell me simply, “Trust your body. You’re doing fine.”
When your intellect takes its proper place, as supporting guidance— while you pay attention to what your intuition tells you is actually happening— even if it doesn’t follow the “exact script” you thought it might or should or were told about— you are guided again and again to your version of “doing fine.”
Which in my case, that day involved naturally birthing a healthy and sound baby girl.
So if you find the script not-aligning right now—take some deep breaths—relax as best you can—and know that the (metaphoric) baby will find its way out—and it’s going to be a MUCH better journey if you can remember as you go that you’re actually doing just fine—even when you feel like you don’t know what you are doing!