Does using technology render our intuition useless?
This is a thought that flashes through my mind quite regularly. I only work with women choosing homebirth, and for what it’s worth, most of them are choosing ultrasound.
I find it to be a hard situation; for me, that is.
I support the use of ultrasound when it is for a real reason… and wanting to find out the sex of the baby is not a “real” reason to me, although I understand the rationale.
But, I want the women I work with to be educated and make their own choices, whatever the choices may be. Even if they go against what I would personally do.
That said, most women I work with do choose to get an ultrasound. But it has yet to be chosen for a diagnostic reason (i.e. something seems not quite right with baby, pregnancy, etc.).
How does this change or affect the course of empowerment that comes with pregnancy and birth?
Maternal Intuition – the sense that starts to develop as soon as we become mothers, which is as soon as we become pregnant.
It’s my goal to draw this sense out of some women, encourage it in others.
But often times, I am faced with the fact that in some instances, the mother does not want to fully take advantage of this skill that we all have, hiding somewhere.
Or she doesn’t realize that in choosing ultrasound, she could wind up shortchanging herself. Our pre-ultrasound meetings are exciting and somewhat mysterious as we wonder about this little being together.
For the few that do not choose ultrasound, we continue in this way for months, with the excitement really building up to the birth. Truthfully, it has it’s share of ups and downs–this “not knowing.”
For some women it is really simple, and the trust they have in their bodies and their babies is overwhelming. Other women worry from time to time, is the baby “normal” or is the baby developing OK?
Ultrasound puts an end to these normal fears that all women have, by offering the (sometimes false) reassurance that pregnancy and birth are predictable and what you see is what you get. Ultrasound not only tells us who this baby is way too soon but disengages the mama in a certain way.
Technology offers the reassurance but takes away the journey that maybe the mama needs to go on to continue her transformation. It deprives her, in most cases, of having to truly connect with herself and her baby to reassure herself, or to be truly worried.
I wholeheartedly believe that a woman who uses her intuitive sense WILL KNOW that either everything is fine, or that something is not fine.
I experienced this phenomenon personally in the last few months during my fourth pregnancy. This baby was “different,” that I knew, but exactly how was a mystery.
There were several times during the pregnancy that I was tempted to sneak a peek, and make sure that the baby was “OK”. Each and every time I struggled with this decision, I learned a valuable lesson and strengthened my inner sense.
I faced all kinds of issues within myself–my feelings and thoughts about something being wrong with the baby, if the baby were to be really sick or not make it through labor.
Each and every thought I had was real to me, and I had to process all the scenarios I could be faced with. And each and every time I had to get calm, get centered and talk with my baby. To talk with myself about my fears and how in birth, life and death, there are no guarantees.
Sometimes it took longer than others, but each time I used my intuitive sense as a mother I was reassured. For me, more reassured than I could ever be by a machine.
I wasn’t looking for everything to be perfect, just for the ability to make peace with what IS, not with what I thought it should be.
So, although we are all different and all make different choices as we come from different places, I still believe in the power of our intuitive sense. Using our intuition doesn’t mean that everything always turns out the way we want it to. It means using our power to grow and change and accept things the way they are.