A taxicab driver is transporting his pregnant and groaning passenger
to the hospital when he hears the desperate, pressing words:
The baby’s coming! The driver’s first reaction is:
No way, lady. Not in my cab. But what he says is:
Hang on. We’ll be there soon.
Next he hears the woman vigorously panting and shrieking in his backseat.
Although he is bewildered, the urgency of the unavoidable reality forces him
to pull off the road. On the spot, the taxicab driver switches modes. He shifts
out of his denial and reluctance to participate,
and shows up. He morphs into a willing attendant, ready to do whatever he can.
With no prior experience and no training, he attends and assists the woman
while she births her baby. Telling the new mother what a great
job she did
and what a beautiful baby she has, he places the babe in the new mother’s
arms. The woman is so grateful, she asks him his name, and announces she is
naming the baby after him. Then the taxicab driver, with renewed perspective
and wonder, continues the drive to the hospital.
So why am I telling this story? Everyone has heard a version of it, and no
one wants to consider a taxi delivery as an option for birth. But what does
it have to do with you, a father-to-be?
Just like the driver, an expectant father is already equipped to attend
his partner during childbirth; the secret is switching modes. The driver has to shift
out of his angst and habitual way of thinking so he can see and respond to the situation
as it is. Not how he wants it to be. He has to show up and play it as it lays.
In this story, the driver and the woman discover their capacity beyond
the edge. While neither wants a taxi delivery, when push comes to shove,
they immerse themselves, and they succeed. Often the biggest
challenge we face is the challenge of getting out of our own way, so we
can see and respond without an agenda—without doubt, anxiety,
or desire superimposed over the situation. When we release tension
in the body, let the breath flow, and focus the mind, we are free to
draw what we need from our innate resources, and respond to the situation
Discovering we have greater potential than we realize is one of the
irrevocable truths of an immersion event like birth.