Just in case anybody cares
here's the definitions:
-an individual interested in others or in the environment as opposed to or to the exclusion of self
-a gregarious and unreserved person
-a person concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings
-one whose thoughts and feelings are directed toward oneself
-a reserved or shy person
-a person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts
I'm definitely an introvert. I can be
social and sometimes even seek it out and enjoy it, but for the most part I am, as a good friend of mine calls me, a mole.
I like peace and quiet and solitude. I don't like a lot of activity; I am in my head a lot of the time. I want physical and emotional connection, but only with my lover and children. I have BIG boundaries, and woe is you if you cross them.
All this certainly makes it feel an intrusion for someone I'm not normally intimate with to be present at my births. But don't even extroverts prefer privacy at times? Most, I would think, want it when they're having sex, and like I pointed out on the other thread, birth is a sexual process of the body. With most people this is obviously not psychologically so, but that doesn't mean their body doesn't think it so, and it makes me wonder what the ramifications are of them pretending or believing that it isn't.
For some people, there are none; their bodies take care of it no matter what the environment. I read this story somewhere on the internet -- it may have been on MDC -- about a woman who was planning a UC but for some reason decided to transfer near the end. She was in the ambulence, sirens blaring, and strangers touching her and watching her, and out pops the baby. Not only that, but she had an orgasm as he came out.
I wonder if she was an extrovert?
All I know is that wouldn't have been me.
But it just goes to show the huge variation in how our bodies interact with the environment around us.
Now, I don't know how tied up in introversion this is, but for me even more affecting than my introversion is that I am extremely
sensitive to what's going on around me. I mean, maybe that's what's made me an introvert. And when I think of why it is that I want privacy in birth, I don't think of it being because I'm an introvert. I think of how I cannot wrench my awareness away from others long enough to go within myself to the extent that I need to in order to allow my body to function properly in labor.
My husband was
there for transition and birth itself, but in some ways he is almost part of me. We've expressed before to each other in rather, um, intimate encounters
that we don't know where one of us leaves off and the other begins. The nature of my relationship with him is such that under certain circumstances, I can let go of the world around me and enter an altered state of consciousness even when he's there. I know that I wouldn't do it as well as if he wasn't
there, but it's a compromise, a trade-off: letting go of a little bit of that altered consciousness in order to have the beneficial effects of feeling secure and loved, which also positively affects the hormonal process.
Some women get that with a midwife, or at least historically that was (at least partly) the role of the midwife. The midwife was a woman one could enter that altered state of consciousness with the woman. Imagine a village wise woman, revered and a little mysterious. She is already
a part of that other world, that inner birth place. Modern midwives, for the most part, aren't. They aren't in it with you. They are there to make sure the baby's heart is beating as it should, to tell you to walk to quicken the labor, to give you that shot of pitocin and weigh the baby. In order to do these things, they must be operating with a very neocortical awareness. They are outside of it, and when you are outside, you aren't in. You can't have both.
Well, to many women that's the point. They say they want someone outside of it so they don't have to be. But for me to have *anyone* near me who is outside of it inhibits my ability to go inside for myself.
I never really managed to swing it back around to be on the topic, did I? Sorry about that.