My goal with these blog posts is to create a resource for mommas who are planning a pregnancy or birth and find a lot of insight through 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 Nine as defined by The Enneagram Institute. After that, I have some insight from women who are type nines 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!
9: THE PEACEMAKER
“Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.”
“I am a nine with a natural bent to melancholy/slothful everything. I often times have to talk myself into going to social situations but end up loving the experience. I find it hard to spend intentional time in my head, but also always find myself going down random rabbit holes of memories I wasn’t really braced for remembering. I have to practice self care in a very different way than most of my friends, because it can easily lead to me being in bed and sleeping the day away. I force myself into creative spurts and love going to small town coffee shops for people watching and social interaction.
I went into pregnancy being told I would never have children or carry to term, so when I started to show and feel my son move, I was elated and enjoyed every moment, even the being sick constantly bit. So when it came to delivery, I told myself that whatever needed to happen to birth my son safely, I would do it! I ended up having to be induced at 41 weeks and 3 days which wasn’t the plan, especially since I had broken my leg the week before. I knew delivery would be different than I expected so I just told myself to breathe and get to the next step. I didn’t want an epidural, but was persuaded since I had a huge boot on my right leg that maybe it would “help” a little. It didn’t work, but I pressed on and delivered my 9lb 2oz boy in two pushes. It didn’t feel real the whole pregnancy until he was on my chest. Breathing. Crying. Nursing. Looking back, it was a whirlwind, but I had one focus – my boy…when I’m hyper focused, I get stuff done. As for when I’m not focused, that’s a different story.”
“So being a nine for me means living a lot of my life going with the flow, which is good mostly, but can be problematic when I have looked back and wished I’d been better in touch with what I wanted/needed in situations. I think this played out in my pregnancies, too. With my first, I had a rough plan for how I wanted my labor to go and prepared for an unmedicated birth but was always open to however it needed to go, so I felt perfectly happy with how it turned out (hospital birth with epidural). With my second, I made the informed decision to switch care providers and was able to have an amazing labor experience.
I will say in general that being a Nine helped me keep perspective around my childbirth experiences and not get too fixated on it going a certain way. As far as the actual labor, I truly think that having a calm nature helped me get through the intensity of active labor/transition without panicking. Nines are able to retreat into the ‘inner sanctum’ and that is totally what I felt myself doing as labor got more difficult.”
“My nine-ness comes out mostly in the form of avoiding confrontation at almost all costs. My goal is to keep the peace in my family, with my friends, and in my online presence. This can sometimes look like me “going along with” what others suggest with little regard for (or understanding of) what’s best for me.
During my first labor and birth, this played a huge role. I had planned for (and thoroughly researched) an out-of-hospital birth center birth. After being in labor for 24 hours and only being 5cm, I was easily convinced that a transfer to the hospital and an epidural was the right decision. Looking back, I wish I’d had someone to talk me through the decision and make sure it was what I wanted (it wasn’t) and not just something I was doing to avoid conflict.
My second birth went much more smoothly, but I’ve realized that in an effort to avoid the “chaos” of labor, I pretty much “checked out” mentally. I’ve seen beautiful births where mom is so present and catches her own baby and I would love to be that person, but in the moment, it’s hard for me to sit in that chaos and my instinct is to seek peace internally.
Another thing I’ve realized is that I haven’t fully healed from the disappointment of my first birth. I’ve had many wonderful friends and colleagues willing to talk to me about my experience, but another tendency of mine is to feel like I’m burdening others with my problems. So even when I intend on sharing, I downplay how I’m feeling and often end up saying ‘I’m fine’ when I’m really not.
My biggest piece of advice for a Nine who is about to give birth is to embrace the chaos. Embrace the changes of your body – don’t ignore the stretch marks, but instead try observing them, feeling them, memorizing them. If there are ‘unknowns’ in your birth plan, embrace that by visualizing all the different ways things could go and how that birth still ends in a healthy baby. Take this opportunity to rely on the Lord, your partner, your family and seek peace through those support systems. Mentally prepare yourself for the way labor may feel chaotic and try to find the beauty in that. Talk to others who know about birth or have had a similar birth plan. It’s all going to happen in the perfect way for your baby and that’s the only thing we can know for sure.”