Enneagram + Birth | Type 8

My goal with these posts is to create a resource for mommas who’re planning a birth and enjoy the Enneagram. This is just one tool in your toolbox when preparing for birth but I hope it’s an eye-opening one!

So, let’s dive in! Below is a description of the Enneagram Type Eight as defined by The Enneagram Institute. After that, I have some insight from women who are type eights and have given birth. At the end of the post, I’ve shared a few insights and “homework” for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

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8: THE CHALLENGER

“Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.”

Mom with tattoos holding dad's hand during labor in a birth center. Unmedicated birth.

Blake’s Experience:

“I’m an 8w7, which means I’m opinionated as hell, strong-willed, love to have fun and for things to go my way.

For my birth experience, I had all of the plans for a natural birth – the balls and the breathing and the pressure patterns. But when baby was big and very late and I had to be hooked up to pitocin, that strong willed-ness came out to play as I labored on high pitocin with no epidural for 9 hours until my nurse whispered that I might want to ask for the epidural, which I did. Once I progressed, I was an incredible pusher (strong, again) and she was out in 4 pushes. I look back on my birth and see a woman who tried to make everything go her way and when it didn’t, rolled into her 7 wing, went with it, and made it work anyway.”

Baby girl with lots of hair in the hospital laying on the warmer next to a suction bulb.

AJ’s Experience:

“Basically, I didn’t have a birth plan. With my first I read all the books/blogs/apps and remember around halfway through everything was telling me I should have a birth plan. I remember going to my next OB check up and asking her “is it ok if my birth plan is just to go to the hospital to have a baby and get an epidural?” She laughed and said that was her favorite type. I ended up being induced a week late, got my epidural, had just about the smoothest textbook delivery ever (except for almost 2.5 hours of pushing).

With my second, I proceeded with the same plan as the first. Except this time I went into labor three days after her due date, delivering four days late. Her birth story was NOTHING like my first. It was crazy and insane, and one of the hardest days of my life.

Walking into the delivery room at midnight in intense pain after being in labor for 24 hours, I remember waiting for the epidural. I looked at the nurse and said “I do not know how to do this. You’re going to have to walk me through it.” She helped me breathe and relax while I waited for the epidural and three hours later (and LOTS of excitement later) Isla was born. I was so exhausted after her birth that I couldn’t even hold her. I hate I’ll never get those moments back, but my body was done and all I could do was pass her off to family and sleep.

I have no idea how these play into my numbers, but know that if I have a third I’ve already started with conversation (aka begging) my doctor for a scheduled induction so I can be in a more controlled environment. I do not want to go into labor naturally again! I know that’s so backwards, but to me that’s how I can feel safe and in control, and hopefully not have those precious newborn moments stolen from me again. So maybe that’s how my numbers come into play here.”

INSIGHTS:

  • Eights are up for the challenge of birth and may desire to do it on their own (with little support).
  • Birth is a vulnerable event, something that eights struggle with.
  • Consider your wing – as seen above, it could come in handy during labor.

HOMEWORK:

  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable this week. Talk to your partner or birth team about your fears, goals, or things you’re looking forward to in birth. Don’t hold back.
  • If choosing to hire a doula, make sure you’ve found someone that knows you and compliments your personality. Maybe even another eight? Your strong-willedness could intimidate the wrong person. Most doulas should be able to work with lots of different personality types, but it’s worth bringing up.

Are you an Enneagram Eight who’s given birth or is planning to give birth soon? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

How to prepare for your birth using the enneagram for Type Eight. Mom laboring in a birth tub surrounded by midwife, doula, and nurse.

Read about Type One, Type Two, Type Three, Type Four, Type Five, Type Six, Type Seven, and Type Nine.

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