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  • If you have given birth, watched a birth, been told a birth story (perhaps in graphic detail), you will know this about how babies come into this world: the very top of their head is the first part of them to 'crown', to reveal itself (usually, excluding breech births and, of course, cesareans).

    Slowly, more and more of the head makes its way out, but oftentimes, between contractions, it slips back in a little. As if it's regressing. But it's not really, it's just preparing itself for the next time it moves forward, so that that movement might be bigger and get them further out.

    Before you know it, the head and shoulders are out. They slip back in, they move out, they slip back in again. But eventually, FINALLY!, after all that labour, all that effort and feelings of “When will this ever freaking end?!”, that beautiful child is born. And all effort, all struggle, ends in an instant.

    Sometimes, it feels like we're all still being born. We slip back, regress, feel as if we're not getting anywhere. And then, out of nowhere, a huge rush of energy pushes us forward, allows us to break through former obstacles, and we feel ourselves make progress.

    In a way, it's all forward-movement, it just doesn't seem like it sometimes.

    Photo courtesy of Makalp, from Wikimedia Commons.
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