This post is a follow on to last week's post on reflections on the meaning of my birth stories. It details some of the deeper meaning for me behind my encounters with the breech position. I won't give any more away. I invite you instead to read on to discover how my son and his playful positioning supported me on my path to healing and growth.
Were you ready to give birth? I was asked gently, kindly.
The answer came in a flood of tears. 'No!' I wailed.
My heart felt it would burst against my ribcage. The long suppressed pain now released was overwhelming in its intensity. I stayed with it. Waves of grief, loss, anger followed each other. I surrendered fully and lived the emotions as they poured through me. For a few long minutes the painful emotions were all I knew. They were all of my existence as I heard and experienced them fully. Then as they had come they subsided, spent at last.
I was 34 weeks pregnant and at my last antenatal appointment, a week earlier, my baby was lying breech. As I walked home I felt the red warning flags flying and alarm bells sounding.
What was I worried for?
Not as you may think because his choice of position was threatening my natural home birth plans. No! I knew that breech was a variation of normal, I had read Mary Cronk’s paper- Hands off the breech and devoured Ina May’s book Guide to childbirth several times over. I was determined to birth the way I wanted, it just felt so right.
I had time too. I mistakenly thought at the time that I had only 4 weeks for him to turn to a more favourable position.
I don’t quite know where I got the idea from but I was under the false impression that babies could no longer physically turn after 37 weeks due to their growing size. I have since heard all kinds of stories of babies turning just before and during labour. This was yet another myth that underestimates the capabilities of us women. Still I thought 4 weeks was a good amount of time in the grand scheme of things.
I did have a vague sense that I may have a job of persuasion to convince my midwife of that my choice was the right one. I think the way she rolled her eyes, bit her lip and pushed her unspoken words back down into her paperwork when I casually, unthinkingly mentioned that I would not automatically have a caesarean if I was breech that gave me some clue to her view of the subject…! But even this was not what was bothering me.
So why was I worried given that I knew it was ok for babies to be born topsy turvy, I had a month to turn, and wasn’t too daunted by the difference of opinion with my midwife?
‘He is lying breech and I was born breech… I was breech and now he is too…’
The phrases kept repeating themselves over and over in my mind. On the one hand part of my confidence that he could be born breech came from my own direct experience.
I totally knew it was possible to be born breech just fine because that was my experience.
I don’t remember my birth on the conscious every day level of reality but I knew that the memory of my lived experience was informing my confidence as it came to my turn to give birth. Which leads us neatly over to the other hand.
Had I inadvertently imprinted a bottom first approach and was now repeating history?
It was slightly confusing and contradictory. I knew it was possible but still wanted to try and change his position to a more usual head down position that I believed would be easier for him, me and my midwives. I didn't really want a fight with the system but I didn't want to push or force my baby if he was happy. The only way to resolve such conundrums for me is to go within. I needed to go within to find out and clear the imprinting. Free of the imprinting I would then be able to see clearly along the path of this birth. Then if he chose to be born breech I would know it was a free choice that was beneficial to him in some way.
Which brings us back to the question at the start of this post. I was half way through the kind of 1:1 session I take my BirthEssence clients through and this question was the breakthrough moment of that process.
My friend and colleague gently guided me through the process of discovering the cellular memories that were stored in my body and I spontaneously accessed the memory of my birth quite easily. It popped up in my awareness, strong and real. Some details were hazy but the general gist was crystal clear. I was not ready to be born when the doctors assisted my stuck head. I was resisting life with all my might but got pulled out anyway against my will.
These moments of heightened emotions at such a vulnerable time caused significant imprinting that affected how I related to the world. I saw all the times since that I didn’t feel ready for my life experiences. I saw how often I felt caught in a ‘tug of war’ over which direction to choose; How often I felt frustrated over outside circumstances that seemed to dictate what I should do that I had no control over; How often I felt pressured by others to do things a certain way or by a certain time.
I also saw the gifts in this birth experience. I had chosen a less common route to be born, one that was not so easy. I wanted to experience things my way, do things differently and explore how that felt. I was learning to be myself no matter what circumstances came my way. I was learning to stand tall and true to me no matter how unconventional that looked and no matter what obstacles I needed to overcome.
Did I have to experience disempowerment and separation during a birth I found deeply traumatic before I could feel empowered and connected?
I don’t know all the answers to that but I do know that I found peace that day with my choice and timing of birth circumstances. I healed the pain of not being ready or in control and in so doing two more gifts were revealed to me.
It is my hope that those reading this will be inspired to make peace with and heal the challenging aspects of their own birth. I hope that even as you realise that a difficult birth experience does indeed shape you just as a peaceful experience does, that it does not have to scar you for life. I hope to offer a pathway for you to appreciate all parts of your birth story and know that even the painful parts bring you gifts. Gifts that offer you comfort, peace and ultimately deep insights and wisdom that will serve you, your children and the long term future of humanity.
In case you are wondering, shortly after that process my son turned. I don’t even know when, it was almost an anti-climax. No drama of fanfare, but at my next appointment the midwife announced he was in the perfect position and there he stayed. You can read more about his birth story here
Resources for Breech Birth and texts mentioned in the post.
Here is a list of the resources I mention in the post plus a few extras. If you would like personalised support to clear energetic blocks to helping your baby into an optimal position for birth or to clear trauma from a previous birth experience including your own then please check out my 1:1 Transformation page. Thank you and enjoy your pregnancy and baby.
Mary Cronk's wisdom about Breech Birth: http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol10No3/handOffbreech.htm and
Some Beautiful photographs of Breech Birth: http://londonbirthpractice.co.uk/index.php/educational-info/36-home-breech-birth-photo-series.html?start=1
For optimal positioning: http://spinningbabies.com/
Uk based Facebook Support Group for Breech Birth: https://www.facebook.com/groups/371624862918154/
Inspirational Reading, the book I started with:
‘Look’, my son cries, ‘a rainbow’. We stop and gaze in wonder at the vivid colours leaping across the sky towards their fabled pot of gold that promises new beginnings and richness beyond imagining. My son is delighted that it appears to start just behind our road somewhere. I am delighted by his innocence, joy and enthusiasm. I am reminded that I need not chase after an ephemeral, always just out of reach, external source of riches. My son’s excitement and the rainbow’s own glory prompt me to stop and savour the riches I am already living. Right here, right now my own pot of gold laughs with me at the amazing colours of life unfolding before our eyes.
As if a joyful reminder to notice the richness already surrounding me, and a promise of hope and renewal weren’t enough, today the rainbow also directed me towards the power of forgiveness via my much loved deck of Mother’s Wisdom Cards. I pulled the Rainbow card and was invited to reflect on forgiveness. I remembered times I had forgiven a person or event that was weighing on my heart. the resultant joy and lightness causes me to soar to heights on a par with the rainbow’s dizzy display of colour.
As I reflected a strong memory surfaced of one of the most memorable and significant times I have felt forgiveness. The back story shows me at a time in my life when I was single and had just tried, luckily unsuccessfully, to have a relationship with a highly unsuitable man. He did not treat me well and still I chased. My huge grief at the realisation that this was not going to be the relationship I wanted it to be was totally out of proportion to the handful of times I had met him before he ran away and refused all contact. Every attempt at real communication felt catastrophically wrong and painful. I became angry and bitter at the way I had been treated and despite previous attempts to find closure had not managed to let go of the story. Even I could tell I was obsessing over something that from the outside looked relatively minor. Why did it feel so big to me?
So I sought support from a friend and colleague in the form of a Journey Process.* During my process I was transported back to what appeared to be a past life memory of my execution. I was about to be beheaded by someone I knew from my village and as I looked into his eyes I recognised him to be this man from my present life who’d mysteriously run straight out of my life. I felt such a strong connection to this person and felt that they had been important to me in this life yet here they were about to execute me. His eyes were full of guilt and anguish. I continued to gaze at him and consciously opened into his heart and asked to be shown how it was for him. I was blasted into such a powerful shock and grief with the words ‘I am sorry, please forgive me’ repeated over and over and over again.
I felt our village was being ransacked and women were being targeted and punished, particularly healers or medicine women and there was a kind of civil war happening with villagers being pitted against each other in cruel twist. He was utterly horrified at what he was being forced to do. but although he did not want to kill me, in that moment, at that time he had no choice.
As I felt this I really had no choice either. I forgave him completely. Or more accurately forgiveness flooded my heart and being as I felt the totality of the situation and the enormity of his grief and regret. He had been punished enough. I let go of my blame, anger and betrayal. I allowed love to flow through me again. I felt whole and healed.
As I brought this energy through to the present day me I felt only compassion for my would be suitor and instead of the ranting email I had planned I found the only words in my mind and heart were ‘I love you, please forgive me and I let you go now.’
I never saw or spoke to him again. These words were expressed only in this process. But I have no doubt that they set us both free. As I let him go, both in the past and in the present, I let go too. I felt relief and joy. I felt as if I was flying across the sky like the rainbow propelled by my forgiveness into a pot of golden freedom. I didn’t need to chase it. The gold was pouring into and from my heart as love replaced the heavy weight that unbeknownst to me I had been carrying for far longer than the few months I had known this person.
Memories like these concerning what I term ‘witch hunt mentality’ seem to be occurring quite commonly at this time. Whole groups of women are releasing this stored collective consciousness from our past. It is time for women to step out of the shadow of these previous eras when to survive it was necessary to hide our talents and the ways of feminine healing and leading. It is time to forgive and set aside the past and to create wholeness. A wholeness where the feminine and masculine energies within each of us live in balance and unity. A wholeness where love and forgiveness shine forth like the rainbow leading us to the gold within.
This deep spontaneous forgiveness that came with understanding and emotional release set me free, set both of us free, and it is this kind of work that is setting a whole generation free. I am amazed by what I discover when I enquire within, how much can be imprinted and stored from traumatic events and equally how much can be released. We are creating space for new lives, new beginnings. A space that is much needed.
In this case, new beginnings spilled their colours quickly onto the canvas of my life. Shortly afterwards I met my amazing husband and my life took on a wonderful new direction.
And so I leave you with the reflection, Where in your life is forgiveness needed? What rainbows would brighten your sky brighten your sky when you forgive?
For more information about The Journey pioneered by Brandon Bays and how it can help you find freedom and forgiveness please click here.* For a 3 free guided visualizations created by Brandon Bays for healing and relaxation please click here* and for the free e-book The Journey click here *
Follow the link to learn more about and buy Mother’s Wisdom Deck: A 52-Card Inspiration Deck with Guidebook (Book & Cards)*
If you feel like you may benefit from some forgiveness work check out my 1:1 page to see what I offer or call me to chat about how I can help you.
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