For me ignoring my intuition cost me my computer- my lifeline to my business destroyed in an instant of madness.
For others it is the confident birth experience they dream of and have been planning for months.
How many times have you heard someone say, "I knew. I just knew somewhere inside that something wasn’t right." or "I knew I just knew somehow that it would be ok."
If I had a penny for every time I hear from mothers who intuitively knew before the doctors what was going on with their baby, growing inside their own body, I would be rich. Sadly, many times the story continues with the mother not being believed, leading her to question and doubt her own feelings and sometimes ultimately go along with what she is being recommended against her instincts.
What is upsetting is when the woman feels she has no voice and no confidence to speak up through fear of ridicule, dismissal (not unfortunately an irrational fear at all but that’s for another post) and not trusting her feelings over the other person’s perceived expertise.
Often if it comes to something for the baby’s safety you will persevere, even when you have to push back against deaf ears and eye-rolls. Even if it’s a fight and you hate conflict and normally shy away from all arguments. Because when you know, you know and this is your baby’s life at stake.
But it shouldn’t be so hard and such a fight. Sometimes, and especially if we know the baby is ok and its our own comfort or dreams that are at stake, we don’t have that confidence to go up against someone who is holding all the perceived authority and information. We downplay our intuition and play it off against our rational logic that says, 'Oh it will be ok, the doctor must know best.' Or we keep quiet and play along knowing in our hearts that the concern is unnecessary because all is well but not wanting to rock the boat too much. We end up compromising on what we truly want because it is too scary to go against the flow of the establishment or our friends and family’s beliefs. You diminish your pain and disappointment, rationalising it away with, "at least he is here safe and sound." A sentence that tends to get universal approval from all around as it puts a soft blanket over the uncomfortable feelings and patterns that for another day you will not have to face. It may make you feel better but doesn’t lift the unacknowledged pain in your inner world where all the programming happens. Where your subconscious reality is running the show. You can’t fool your inner world, just shut it down and numb it out temporarily.
What we can know through intuition is incredible.
Here’s an example from a friend of mine:
When I was pregnant with my first child I *knew* he wasn’t ready when they wanted to induce me, so I said no. While birthing I also *knew* I was going to tear before I did, I even told them! When I was "overdue" with my second I *knew* she wasn't in the right position not because it felt any different to me, it was just a *knowing*. I booked a local doula to come and rebozo me and she did the most enormous flip (made me feel like I was going to be sick actually) and I went into labour four hours later and she foetal ejected into the pool 4 and a half hours after that
In this case my friend stayed strong and true to her intuition despite the pressure to be induced both times. She took action based on her inner knowing. Her conviction and strength meant that her babies came when they were ready and for her second helped her daughter get into a better position for a smooth easy birth.
It is not just what we can know, it is when. There is a recent study conducted on premature infants in Nepal that was looking at benefits of kangaroo care versus their standard care. A point that came out of this research was that mothers who were carrying their baby with monitors attached at the same time, often knew something was wrong with their baby before the machines did. They knew before there was anything to measure scientifically. This is contrary to the common tendency to trust the machines blindly without taking into account the mothers intuition and feelings. Just to be clear I am not saying the machines are always unnecessary or wrong just pointing out a reliance on something that cannot see the whole picture and can only measure what is showing up to be measured. Machines have a certain level of sensitivity and are programmed to measure clearly defined signals. As humans we assess and measure far more and subtle signals and this skill is relatively little understood or trusted.
And the truth is we know. When we tune in we always know. When we practice and learn to trust this as its own science we can use our instincts as a guide to what steps to take. Whether that be in birth planning and which kind of birth is right for us, or when to transfer, or to ask for checks if something feels wrong, we will get the guidance we need.
The constant overriding our intuition with rational thoughts and downplaying the important role it plays and I would go as far to say the science of intuition makes me scream with frustration. Even and especially when I catch myself doing it still.
Ignoring that little voice inside is how I come to be writing on a new computer. Ok so having a new computer is super fun, and the old one needed replacing. But having to replace it because I found it swimming in half a pint of water that my two year old had gleefully poured over it and then pointed it out to me -‘look, water mummy,’ is not the way I would have gone about it!
And I knew better. I knew when I saw him come into the room with a bottle of water that I should take it off him and put it high up and far away. But did I?
No. I didn’t. Surveying the ruins of my computer sadly I checked in with myself with what had been going on inside that caused me to ignore that clear but quiet voice. Firstly I was rushing around trying to juggle too many balls , work and prepare for the school run at the same time. Point one SLOW DOWN. We all need to hear this. Slow down, take some deep breaths, and then continue mindfully with what you are doing one thing at a time.
Secondly, also overrode the wisdom automatically with sneaky fast thoughts that got under my radar and passed through before I noticed partly because I was rushing around.. What i discovered when I slowed it down and unpicked what was going on was interesting. The crazy stories that don’t add up – like 'oh I’m so cool and an experienced mother and I can catch him before he does that and in the nick of time then I will look so good and impress everyone at how good I am.' Seriously. I see this as some of the crazy ways we internalise the archetype of the good mother which gets really warped when it comes into play with low self esteem issues or similar wounds that so many of us carry,
This is why inner work and exploring what is going on is always worth it. It can be as simple as stopping when you notice you arguing with your intuition , checking in with your immediate resistant thoughts and asking asking if they are true. Often they are so ridiculous you can drop them just like that.
Other times you may need to take out your tool box and do some deeper enquiry and clearing work. There’s always in my experience some kind of version of a wounded part acting out whenever something like this happens where there is a clear intuitive hit or guidance then you don’t follow it. When you check in with what is going on at a deeper level you have an opportunity to clear out the saboteurs, to heal the wounds. This leads to the freedom and confidence that will allow you to heed that voice and act on it.
In the words of my friend:
Always listen to your body. Never "rationalise" those feelings. I never believed it when I was told in hypnobirthing that I would just *know*. I was a first time mum, I thought I knew nothing but I couldn't have been more wrong.
You do know. I really want you to hear that. You know, and your concerns always matter. Your intuition matters and you have the right to be heard.
There is one more step to this- Practice. You will have heard the phrase practice makes perfect right? It’s true of course. Practice builds your intuition muscle. Practice on smaller things, have some fun and then when the chips are down you will have built a new habit that will serve you well as you come to stand by the birth you want.
Let’s give it a go right now. You may place your hand on your heart or your womb and intentionally connect to the wisdom there. We are so used to going to our brain and mind for information. In some cases this is a perfect place. Finding our way for example, remembering the shopping. But when it comes to making decisions, we always make them from an emotional basis in the end.
So, place your hand over your heart or womb and ask a question. Wait to hear what answer you get. It may be in pictures or feelings, it may be in words or just that inner knowing. Notice how it shows for you as this is your inner language you are learning. This is how your body talks to you. It is different for everyone.
Intuition and the role it plays in preparing for your birth is just one of the subjects we are talking about in the Free Online Birth Confidence Summit that is running for 30 days from 1st of November. This is a summit unlike others you may have been on . It has value and content you would usually find on a paid course. It comprises 30 days of Journal prompts, tips and energetic healing and block clearing classes in a private facebook group, set against the backdrop of 20+ of the most knowledgeable and experienced birth professionals and mothers I know.
Sounds interesting? Ask your heart and womb if this is the next step in your birth preparation and then act on the answer you get.
If it’s a yes click right here
Incidentally research points to roughly 30 days being the amount of time it takes to build a new habit to the level it becomes automatic. Come and join us for the summit and use it to build your confidence muscle so you can really enjoy your pregnancy and go for the birth you want, not the one you are settling for.
( Photo credit Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash)