An unlikely metaphor.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine something you’ve never done before. I imagine this impending adventure… to be similar to a bad trip I had many years ago. 

A friend and I were spending a few days in Amsterdam. These were college years, so you can imagine what we were doing. The evening before we were departing back to the States we experimented with a ‘pastry’ that turned out to not be whatever easygoing vegetation we had expected, leading to what was the worst – and I guess only – bad trip I’d ever had.

I don’t remember a lot of it; it went on all night and into the morning and then remnants of the experience continued into the flight home. What I do remember is this: At some point, I was curled up in a ball on a lobby couch of a hostel, holding myself in perhaps a fetal situation, in and out of pseudo-clarity, thinking to myself: ok, ok, body, you need to do what you need to do to end this… Only my body and time can end this… 

All in all, it was a very physical experience. I don’t really have many physical experiences in general, outside the obvious daily routines. I’m not a very physically-oriented person.

There wasn’t much my mind could do but hallucinate and wait for my body to work itself out. Mind-me had this subconscious or lower-layer trust in body-me.

And that’s what I keep hearing in birthing class, birthing books, from friends with positive birth experiences: trust the body; the body is built for this; it will work itself out the way it was designed to. Mind-me will give way to body-me and all of us will experience something we’ve never known but have always been prepared for, somehow.

Ok, so I don’t know that any of that is actually true. And comparing labor to a bad trip might be kind of mean and insensitive. And at the end of the former, you get a baby… not a hangover.

But for the sake of trying to imagine something I’ve never done before… that’s what I’m thinking.







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