I always thought that the whole concept of maternal instinct was a load of bollocks. People kept telling me that once I was a mother I would understand it, but I didn’t believe it, especially after our twenty week scan. I was absolutely positive our little kidlet was a boy, so much so that I had refused to even consider girls’ names. ‘Oscar Harry,’ I would say when anyone asked. ‘We’re sorted. That’s what he’ll be named.’ When the sonographer told me that she was 99.9 percent sure that the baby half way through gestating was a girl my first response was ‘She’s going to get teased at school with a name like Oscar.’

As it turns out, maternal instinct is a thing, something I worked out pretty damn quickly when I learnt how to decipher between a ‘this-is-just-me-being-a-baby-and-not-having-words-yet-but-can-I-please-have-some-cuddles’ cry and a ‘this-is-something-serious-mum-please-take-action’ cry.

The way I see it, maternal instinct is just another name for intuition. And that is something we all have. What we do with it though – and just how tuned in we are to our own instinct – is completely individual.

Some of us have a finely-tuned ear, able to pick up whatever our intuition is telling us, never second guessing it and simply accepting and acting accordingly.

Others hear it, ignore it, try to convince ourselves of something more convenient. Because sometimes it’s just easier to believe what we want about a situation or a person than to try to work out what doesn’t feel quite right.

That intuition can be a life saver. But it doesn’t work in isolation.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how my resilience level contributes to how well I respond to situations around me. And it seems that there is a very distinct connection between how resilient I feel and just how much I pay attention to what my instinct is gently whispering. Or yelling.

When my resilience levels are high, I listen to any and all messages of intuition and trust what I am hearing unreservedly. If it is telling me something, I believe it and act accordingly. When not feeling resilient, there is other noise in there. And that results in me either not recognising what my instinct is telling me, or I just outright ignore it.

My diabetes intuition has been put through its paces over the years. It’s what tells me that a pump line needs changing, even though it feels fine. It knows when to calibrate according to Dexcom instructions, rather than the more lackadaisical approach I take most days. It alerts me to an off CGM reading, suggesting I double check with a glucose reading.

When I pay attention, it pays dividends. Clean and new pump line in and glucose levels continue along their merry way, as compared with a site that is producing numbers that can only be because insulin absorption is not happening properly – even if I don’t want to believe it. A well-calibrated Dex equals numbers I know I can implicitly trust rather than double guessing every number I see. Double checked CGM number – even if it is smack bang in line with what my glucose meter tells me – gives me the confidence that Loop can and should continue to hum along quietly and do its thing.

It’s not rocket science. It’s just paying attention to what my intuition is telling me, instead of trying to explain (or rather, excuse) things away with pretty much anything else I can think of. Because, you know, if it walks, swims and quacks…well, you know the rest.

I know there have been times when I’ve certainly almost deliberately ignored my intuition, instead convincing myself that something, or someone isn’t necessarily what appears before me. Sometimes, it takes a while – often far too long – to realise that I should have listened to my intuition in the first place just believed and accepted what it was saying.  It can be easy to get swept up – especially when I am not feeling resilient enough to see what is right there in front of me.

And then I wonder how the fuck duck I missed it in the first place.

 

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