I was once at a home birth when the concern of doing an internal exam came up. I had done one about 4 hours before which showed positive substantial progress of labour and I thought the baby would be showing more signs of imminent delivery by now.
But she refused.
So instead of scaring her into letting me force my hand inside or getting upset with her for not allowing me – I consulted my intuition.
I went quiet.
I observed what was happening around me.
I plugged myself into a higher and divine energy.
I opened my heart.
I sat in prayer for guidance.
I opened my path to receive information and messages.
I observed what was happening around me. I stepped out of my mind and I observed what thoughts were “telling me” to do this examination.
I saw – The time protocol drummed into me with partograms willed me to plot this time “deviance ” by doing an internal.
But I was not keeping to hospital protocols here – I was working with other factors in sync with the mother, baby, contractions and environment. A homebirth has shown me again and again that the partogram limits and restricts and labels or causes pathology when there is none. My observations of her labour, baby and her reassured me.
These were my thoughts:
– It was now morning and neighbors were waking up – her mother and the close-knit community would be wandering why the baby was not here yet.
This was opinion. Not fact. And since when is social pressure a factor in intervening? (You may be surprised how often in fact, but not for this one.)
– It was her third baby so it “should” have been quicker.
Opinion again. Not fact. Haha! How often has this one been proved? Third babies surprise!
– I wandered how my own young son was and if I needed to get back home.
Yes, one of the challenges of balancing motherhood and midwifery. I had made my choice my son was in good hands and I was at this birth now.
None of these had any real impact or anything to do with her health, the birth or the babies health or well-being.
In actual fact – the necessary factors were all very reassuring:
Surges were coming regularly and powerfully with time to rest in between. The fetal heart rate was excellent. She was in “her zone” and in her own power and control.
I felt light, clear and connected. I prayed for guidance and a healthy birth like I do at every birth.
I trusted her.
I trusted me to know when to interfere.
We watched and waited. Soon the crowning started and she delivered a healthy boy into her arms.
She went completely at her own pace. Feeling and following her own body. She did not tear at all. I knew she was very connected to her body and I knew she would know if something was going wrong and so would I.
They don’t teach us intuition or anything about connecting and using it in medical school. They should. We all have it and use it subconsciously anyway.
It may be the most important tool we own in our birthkit!
How did or does intuition enter your birthing work or your own birth experience? Please share in comments, I would love to hear.
I loved this Gauri, thank you for sharing. This way of being is missing in the medical world of hospital births and is a very rare guest. As a doula it is always difficult to manage this, as we may not interfere or get involved in the processes – yet we hold the space for mothers – trying to get them into their intuition – trying to get them to trust themselves, their bodies and their amazing babies – but even this is a problem as they trust the medical model wholeheartedly. This has to change prenatally, yes, but that in itself is a hard nut to crack. My wish is that intuition moves through the hospitals and into the hearts of medics who need to engage it…
Thanks Charlene. Yes, I hear you – can be hard in the medical paradigm especially. The thing is it starts in a circle….if we are born to mothers who were able to trust – and tap in to their intuition – it really helps us to trust ourselves as inherent mothers – and not have to second guess or be dependent on "expert" advice for so much more…but to hold an instinctive trust to guide us…then raised as such we can birth as such…so the way we birth is So important…impact forever…generations. Not the method as such but the WAY WE are TREATED. <3
How did intuition enter your birth work?
I have found that intuition needs a safe, grounded and nurturing inner space to come forward more clearly. Intuition does come easier forward for me in a birthing space in a specific moment when you want to tap into it, when you are grounded and trusting, and when you feel that ripple effect of trust between you and the client and the caregiver. It is wonderful to tap into your Intuition when you, your client and the rest of the birth team are confident, believing and trusting. When you feel that you ‘got out of the way’ so that you can merely be an observer of the wonderful birthing experience a woman has. It is different when you have intense emotional experiences such as we can get with long exhaustive labours where mothers feel they can’t go on anymore. Or that moment when a premature baby is born on 26 weeks via c-section as the mother has high infection after rupture of membranes on 25 weeks. The baby died 9 days later. To nurture your intuition in challenging circumstances like these is to focus on staying openhearted to your intense emotions and mental chatter, and being even more honest and gracefully accepting of yourself on an emotional, spiritual and mental level. Then you realise that no matter how much you support, you also have to ‘get out of the way’ and be open to accept the circumstances, and outcome, however difficult. As much as we celebrate and accept a wonderful birthing experience, as much we can then reflect on inner learning and acceptance on a deeper level and embrace a deeper connection of who we truly are and our purpose. Being intuitive is to feel integrated and whole on an emotional, mental and spiritual level.
Thank you for asking a comment and I found it very valuable and heart-warming to read your blog.