Analogous in Nature

Hanging yesterday with a totally non-unschooled lot, I was reassured internally that I didn’t harbor curriculum envy. I had no lingering closet-shame about all the what-ifs. And I had absolutely no shifty moments of secretly thinking that this other family ought to change!

In fact, it inspired me to think of a lovely analogy that works for me.

Natural Childbirth, like natural parenting and learning, can seem to take a lot longer and be a lot more work. But the ends are similar, if not much improved. (heh–like shorter recovery time and fewer injuries).

It is helpful for me to think of schooling and other traditional methods as interventions. They have their place but generally there is no need-just as I can trust the body to create and birth a baby and then feed it and nurture it, I can trust the babies to learn and grow as needed.

It is difficult to seemingly allow events to unfold in their intrinsic rhythm.

In a natural labor there is little for a medical staff person to do. (In fact, a truly natural birth need not require anyone not involved in the creation of the baby, but I digress and was also, personally, not quite that brave…but I get it, I do). It is often difficult to tell that any progress is being made because the the mother is exhibiting few symptoms of traditional laboring: she isn’t necessarily screaming and panting and you can’t see the contractions on a convenient monitor. There’s nothing to tell you that everything’s okay, or not. You just have to trust and be patient and continue to believe that all is well. Given enough time and introspection and peace, a woman’s body could push out a baby with little conscious effort on her part and with few dire consequences. I suppose there are exceptions, but I wonder now, as an aside, how many of those times when intervention was needed was there also external interference?

And that is how I can reconcile the use of intervention.

Because we are modern humans and live in a wild and unpredictable world, we don’t always have the relative luxury of unlimited time and patience. We don’t always exist in a self-supporting vacuum. We have to depend upon and coexist with others that may not share our faith in the natural order of things. And so we find ourselves negotiating and compromising on interventions. I think that’s just fine. We just have to always see them for what they are, as interventions, not as intrinsic to the pathway.

So, we all do the best we can with what we got. Some of us have coparents that don’t trust the process because of the way they were raised or because of damage from their past, or because they never thought about it. Some of us have financial or temporal restraints that are far from ideal (the combo of those two is a doozy! No money and no time to figure out a way around the no money? I hate that one! BTDT) And in these cases we incorporate some interventions into our lives to assist and try to interfere with and arrest the process of learning/growing as little as possible.

Workbooks, schedules, even goals can be support that we use when we aren’t feeling the sort of one-ness that makes us confident in the process. Just like external fetal monitoring, arbitrary positioning, and hospitals help us feel confident when although we desire a natural birth, we just don’t feel the sort of faith that seems to be necessary in order to just go squat in a field and squirt out a young’un.

Luckily for those of us that are trying this path, it is a positive-feedback system. The more we do the next good thing, the more we trust, the easier it becomes to trust and stay on this path!

I am so glad I thunk this up. I can now remind myself to go to laborland to help keep my head about me — or without me — in the stressful moments, or to get centered any old time.

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~ by merialiss on February 2, 2007.

One Response to “Analogous in Nature”

  1. […] think I wanna go back and read more. I should post some of my favorites though. I was a lot wittier and snarkier then. This was the content for a long time, observations […]

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