I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before and you can find it on my Emotional Healing page but I still wanted to post it here again. Attending Elena’s retreat was truly TRANSFORMATIONAL for me! A NEW part of myself truly was REBORN over the 2 weeks I was there. A plethora of fears were released and replaced with new thought processes and truths and beliefs that brought only PEACE, GROWTH, FULFILLMENT and JOY to my heart and my life.
(I must add here as you watch the video, you will see me with yarn in my hair. The reason I have yarn in my hair is because I felt such a POWERFUL shift and transformation during my 2 weeks stay that I longed to see it physically as well. The yarn is colorful and bright! There is a spiritual belief that all our memories are stored in our hair. I decided that I wanted to weave this memory deep into my psyche…. hence the yarn. Even watching this video brings back the LOVE and PEACE I felt there! )
I remember taking Sandra Bardsley course on “Creating a Joyful Birth.” There she gave us the acronym she created for the word FEAR!
F=False E=Evidence A=Appearing R=Real
When it comes to birth, this acronym is TOO REAL the majority of the time. We create and stimulate our own fears and feel pain, then proceed to make choices for our birth experience based upon those fears….that MOST of the time are NOT reality for our GIVEN situation.
I am saddened by the stories we pass to each other about our personal pregnancy/birth experiences. These stories tend to be HORRIBLE in how they portray birth and how scary they believe it to be. These stories pass false information about birth by merely sharing their personal birth experience. When hearing these stories, it becomes difficult (mostly because of our lack of understanding and education surrounding birth) to weed through and find the truths from the lies.
How often do we hear someone share their birth story like this…”Hey there, I want to tell you all about my AMAZING birth! We decided to have our baby at home. We prepared ourselves in a variety of ways by educating ourselves about the pregnancy and birth. We read information daily on the subject. We ate super healthy and made sure to exercise. I did a lot of work emotionally about my birth experience and fears I had. Then when the birth came it was MAGICAL! I had a water birth. I caught my own baby. I held him/her skin to skin right away. I am a NEW WOMEN because of how I chose to birth. I’m sharing this you so you can realize you can have the same thing!”
I believe that once these stories are passed regularly, that ideas and beliefs surrounding pregnancy and birth will change as well. There are 1000’s of women who birth in PEACE and BLISS and feel afraid to share these stories for a variety of reasons. The more women share their WONDERFUL birth stories….the more each women will believe in herself, her body and her baby!!
I teach in my childbirth classes about how outcomes can change when fear is present especially in the birthing environment. HERE is a link to an article about childhood FEAR and a made up entity called “The Beast.”
“The current study examined the effects of negative information on the enhancement of childhood fear. A large group of normal primary school children aged between 4 and 12 years (N=285) received either negative or positive information about an unknown, doglike animal, called ‘the beast’. Children’s fears were assessed at three points in time: before, directly after, and one week after the information about the beast was provided (i.e., pre-, post- and follow-up assessment). Results showed that type of information changed children’s fear of the beast in the predicted direction with negative information increasing fear levels and positive information decreasing fear levels. This was not only the case directly after the experimental manipulation but also at one week follow-up. Furthermore, fear of the beast appeared to generalize, that is, children who became more fearful of the beast after receiving negative information, also became more apprehensive of other dogs and predators.”
This is an example of how sharing a story can effect us both positively or negatively. And unfortunately, it is the stories we heard when we were children, just like this story above, that shapes and defines our images and ideas regarding pregnancy and birth.
I believe its VITAL that each of us work through our own birth trauma, along with fear, phobias, myths and lies we believe surrounding birth. As a midwife, I believe its part of my job to work through my own fears and birth trauma as well. A midwife can carry her own birth phobias into the birth experience of one of her clients and deeply effect the birth. I have spent the last 10 years thoroughly conscious of what I need to work out so as not to have my personal energy shift outcomes of Moms and babies.
I heard of a study recently…that I can’t find online at the moment….where they took a dog and placed it in front of something that a dog would naturally be afraid of. They then placed other dogs surrounding the 1st dog but the other dogs could not see the thing the 1st dog could see that was stimulating fear in the 1st dog. The 1st dog then proceeded to bark and bark and produce HIGH levels of adrenaline. Within minutes, all the surrounding dogs, who could not see what the 1st dog could see, were repeatedly barking and producing the same levels of adrenaline without even KNOWING the source of what to be afraid of.
This same scenario, in my opinion, is played out in the birth environment over and over and over. The doctor/midwife starts to see things he/she feels afraid of and then once the adrenaline enters her system…it then proceeds to enter the systems of all others present. This creates a vicious circle where it seems impossible to break free from. It seems as if the more the fear escalates, the more potential complications could arise. The way that this happens is through creating self fulfilling prophesies. A belief/fear is held about pregnancy/birth. That fear is then held in place OVER the reality of the situation and eventually the very thing we fear comes about.
An example of this would be how I was sexually abused when I was young. When I am making love to my husband, he is always tender, thoughtful and kind. But because of my beliefs regarding my own sexuality and those beliefs are stored in my system or the limbic brain, I struggle at times to really see that I am not being abused any longer and my fears that I project on my husband are completely unfounded.
My hope is that ALL of us who are striving to make positive change in the birth world will look greatly at ourselves and how we might be effecting outcomes. I do believe that the majority of creative energy present in the birth scene does come from Mom, baby, Dad and close family members but I will not deny my emotional part and the energy I carry into it.
Birth is NOTHING to be afraid of. Birth is inherently safe! I choose to hold strong to this belief and only carry that into the world of birth and ask all of my human family to strive to do that same thing. This isn’t the first time I’ve said this and it won’t be the last. PEACE on EARTH truly BEGINS with PEACE at BIRTH!