as i spend some time in texas with the fam, i’ve had some time to reflect and ponder as my ‘normal’ responsibilities are fewer here than at my own home where chores must be done and animals must be fed. we are patiently waiting for my nephew (?) to make his debut onto Earth. he is quite the gymnast in my sister’s belly and we all can’t wait to meet him!
something that i have been thinking about just this week is trust. trust applies to a multitude of things but the trigger this week was birth. and then as i started to think about how trust applies to birth, it led to me think about how we can apply trust to all areas of our lives.
trust: the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something
right now my sister is “due” with this baby. from a mathematical calculation of some formula a man came up with years ago, it has been decided that she has reached 40 weeks gestation this week. according to most doctors, she would be considered “overdue” next week. but as i thought about this, how do we know we are correct? yes, we have been using this formula for years but all it gives us is an average. the average length of gestation will be about 40 weeks, plus or minus two weeks. so why do we put so much emphasis on this “due day”? and then make so many significant decisions based off that day? decisions that affect our unborn babies for the rest of their lives? why do we not trust that the baby will be born when s/he is ready to be born? why do we immediately assume our “due” date calculations are exactly correct and that this baby is under some sort of urgent need to come out of his/her mother’s uterus right away upon passing this 40 week mark? why do we immediately assume something will go wrong because the baby’s birth is not lining up with our expectation of when that should happen? it is a scientific fact that babies are the ones to initiate labor within their mother’s bodies so why don’t we trust them to do that? why don’t we trust Mother Nature to do what she has been doing for millions of years and continues to do within the animal kingdom? why don’t we trust ourselves to wait for this unique and perfected process to take place without our management or assistance?
trust also applies to health. as a society, we do not trust our bodies to heal on their own. we believe we need doctors and prescriptions to solve any, and sometimes all, ailments. some even as minimal as the common cold. why don’t we trust a real, whole foods diet to preserve and protect our health? and if/when we do fall prey to some illness, why don’t we trust that with enough rest and proper nutrients, our immune system will fight off the sickness?
trust applies to children. children, if left to their own natural instincts, are not going to do something they KNOW will put them in harm’s way. an 18 month old toddler does not fully understand the danger associated with running into the street since he knows nothing of driving a car or has any understanding about reckless drivers. therefore, he does not inherently KNOW that running into the street is dangerous – he must be told. but that same 18 month old toddler will not instinctively jump from a six foot ledge because he inherently KNOWS that will harm him just by assessing the situation himself. why don’t we trust that 18 month old when he is walking along that ledge? why do we immediately assume he will fall so we go running to him in a state of emergency before he has the chance to prove that he will indeed carefully walk along the ledge without falling? we all have built-in self-preservation skills that have been passed down for millions of years through evolution – children are not any different. where is the trust that a child will examine each individual situation he faces and use his best judgment accordingly the same way we do as adults? this same logic can be applied to teenagers. as a society, we are notorious for immediately NOT trusting anyone between the ages of 13 and 20. due to their age, we assume they have no “good” judgment and will choose unwisely when presented with the option. instead of a 16-year old kid being granted trust from his parents until proven otherwise, he is granted suspicion until proven trustworthy. how does this build any sort of confidence in him to go out into the world as an adult if he feels he must prove himself before even given the chance to do so?
trust is imperative to human development and the building of relationships. maybe the chronically unfaithful spouse was never trusted as a child therefore feels untrustworthy as an adult so has zero expectations to be so? i think we all live up to the expectations placed on us as children and it interestingly starts at birth. if we cannot trust our babies to be born when they are ready, how do we trust them to know when they are hungry? or tired? or needing/wanting to be held? and then as toddlers, how do we trust them to walk or climb or run? and as children, how do we trust them to follow directions such as “don’t run into the street” or “don’t get into cars with strangers”? and then as teenagers, how do we trust them to make wise decisions? it goes on and on and on.
but it begins at birth. trust begins at birth.
i’m so thrilled to be a part of a birth this week that is trusted. the baby that is wiggling around in my sister’s belly is just not ready to be among us yet. if he was, he would be here already. my sister trusts that he will be born in his own timing and development. as a doula-in-training and a mother, i already know this will most likely lead them on a path to true bonding and successful nursing. my sister trusts the millions of years of evolution that has preceded us that knows far more about birth than we ever will, no matter how advanced our technology becomes. when UNDISTURBED, babies come Earth side with not much complication and/or error.