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For an astrologer to have a child can be a nerve wracking experience. At least it was for me. I often set the timing for events like marriage for others, but this was a birth chart that I had no control over. It happened to also be the chart that was going to effect my life the most, which meant that I'd like to try to have some control over the thing. Wouldn't you? 

Before my wife became pregnant I thought that I fully believed there were no mistakes in the Divine's selection of the birth time. If she became pregnant I won't even look at an ephemeris before he's born. It will be absolutely perfect. Right? 

Right... Preparing for our child's birth tested my faith to the max. I teetered on the fence between surrender & trust, and fear & control on a daily basis it seemed, especially as we got closer to his due date. There were moments when I freaked, like when the Moon passed through Aquarius where it was conjunct Rahu, and opposed Saturn and Ketu. As an astrologer I witness how powerful the moment of birth is to describe someone's life. I wanted to have the baby I wanted, but was afraid the process was like having a box of chocolates and Forrest Gump was right - you never know what you're going to get. It's one thing to know that the 5th house in the parent's chart describes the 1st child, but another to apply it to your own child, and fully trust in the process. 

I needed to surrender, and wasn't doing a very good job of it. At one point I told my wife "Okay, this weekend you should drink castor oil to induce labor!" That was the point that I finally realized how crazy this was. I was trying to play God, as if I could control his birth time, which is not something I believe in. This was his birth time after all - his soul's glorious entrance into the world, and I needed to stop interfering. 

At the hospital after seven hours of labor, the doctor gave us an interesting choice - to either continue to induce labor or to have a cesarean section. Now it felt as though we really did have control over when our son was born! My wife and I talked and prayed about it. We both felt like we should have the c-section, especially because she was still only 2 centimeters dialated, which was where she was seven hours earlier! I had the list of the timing of the ascendants for the day and had memorized the planets positions. The doctor said we could be in the operating room by 7:30pm. It intuitively felt right for him to have Virgo ascendant, so I asked the doctor for a little more time (to allow for Virgo to rise). They said they couldn't promise anything, but that they would try, with obvious reluctance. As it turned out the operating room was delayed anyway. 

It was very interesting to have finally come to the place of surrender by the time we arrived at the hospital and then be given the choice in the timing of the c-section. Did we actually have the power to choose his birth time? Or was the whole thing orchestrated? I believe it was orchestrated and believe every birth is as well. 

Vaughn Paul Manley and son Jai
A happy father and son - baby Jai

In the end, after it was over, I could have saved so much mental energy to have just relaxed into the process. It came down to trusting that our son's karma, even if it was challenging, would be the best for his soul's path, and also exactly what my wife and I needed as well. It turned out that our son was 9 lbs 14 oz, which is quite large, maybe too large for my wife to have a vaginal birth. We named him Jai (and nicknamed him "little Jai-gantic"!).