In the three weeks since this warrior moved into our apartment, he's offered lots of lessons- one is right here.... we're born with the ability to self-soothe. Seems like somewhere on the journey that process gets more complicated and harder to find, but its important to remember it's in there. Our body's want to find ease and it's our job to re-learn what works and get out of the way.
In hindsight, I believe Milo started teaching me a lesson many months ago, when the world of medicine told us he was too tiny. He taught us how to balance worry with trust.
Trust I'll stay in here.
Trust I'll tell you when I want out.
Trust I'll tell you when I'm too hungry.
I promise- that is not an easy lesson for a first time mama to learn. Nor is it a lesson I learned in real time. (And its probably not an easy lesson for anyone!)
Then a week came when I woke up and said, "We need to feed this guy." Nothing changed. My body was the same. The ultrasounds were the same, but I felt in my core that he needed to join us on the outside. My body was better equipped to serve him here then it was in there. My insides did all they could do.
In my yoga classes I talk a lot about the wisdom of our body. Usually it's in a gut-check sense, or a movement sense or in a breath. I encourage my students to trust the wisdom of their bodies, move with instinct and then just see what happens. There are no wrong choices. Milo's story is an extreme version of this lesson.
I spoke to my MFM doctor (who if you ever need a recommendation I will shower you with the good juju of Dr. E) and told her- this guy needs out. He wants to eat. Her response, "If you feel good about it, I feel good about it. Lets get him out."
My plan for the entire pregnancy was to have a natural childbirth. And despite perhaps stereotypically falling into a "natural" childbirth category, yoga had absolutely nothing to do with my plan. I hoped for a natural childbirth because my body has a vicious and unrelenting reaction to pain medicine. Couple this with a known trigger: the inability to move or have sensation in my body- ie. an epidural/C-section- and the plan carried heavy weight. Knowing we had a tricky little babe on our hands, I did all the therapeutic pre-work in case the cards fell in a different direction. But from day one- my mind was clear, if it was medically safe for Milo and for me- we'd go natural.
Milo taught me to trust the wisdom of my body and in the day's leading up to his entry into the world my body began to prepare for his arrival. When I was induced my body told me to walk and so we did, many laps, and in circles. When the opportunity was posed by the doctors to wait a while and see what happens, my body said- nope- break my water. And so they did. And when they broke my water, it didn't even take 20 minutes for my body to take over. Milo wanted to eat and 7 hours later, he joined us on this side, naturally and medication free.
Childbirth is an extreme example of trust. The variables are wide, the risks are real, your support system is vital and things can change fast. I will never be so bold (or naive) as to say that trust in the body prevents loss, grief, unplanned challenges or trauma. I have lived in that pain too.
And although I am sure part of Milo's story begins with luck (and lots and lots of en-utero protein shakes from his mother), part of Milo's story also starts with trust. Our body's are smart. I desperately wished for my body's compliance. I prayed that I wouldn't "miss" the first hours of his life due to a medication reaction and panic. Ultimately, it would have been ok if I panicked, if I needed medicine, surgery or a change in plan. We all would have caught up. The goal was always to keep everyone safe. But boy, oh boy, am I glad that my body showed up, my mind stayed certain and the end game was a slimey, tiny, HUNGRY heart beating on top of mine.
Milo affirms my belief: There is wisdom in our bodies. And I think this little yogi has lots more to teach. This is just the start.