Moms know it’s both powerful and healing for us to share our stories of childbirth. We tend to talk a good amount about pregnancy but not as much about childbirth itself. And we should.
Our culture desperately needs increased awareness about birth, in all of its forms and all that it can entail: the excitement, fear, joy, sadness, struggle, grief, perseverance, self-doubt, courage, achievement, relief, surrender, beauty.
Sharing our personal childbirth experiences is deeply empowering. Every birth story is different and provides such gifts of wisdom when shared. Gifts for both the woman telling the story and for the person receiving the story (female or male).
It helps heal our society’s fractured relationship with Nature because birth is a core experience in the Cycle of Life. (Our relationship with death also needs a whole lot of healing!)
Ultimately, sharing the story of our child’s birth is about connection. Our Soul connecting with another Soul about the natural experience of birth. And our Souls light up when we connect!
Today, I find myself thinking about another birth story. My own.
It’s my 47th birthday as I write this, and it’s a day that I feel especially close to my dear mom. She died almost 9 years ago. A wretched journey with Lewy body dementia took her from us far too early, and just two months before our first child was born. I now know the timing of these major life events propelled me onto an accelerated path of answering my inner calling. And I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on and processing what I experienced during that time.
I’ve recently realized that I haven’t thought nearly as much about my own birth story. And I suspect most other moms haven’t either.
What do you know about your own birth story, and your first few days of life?
And, why should we reflect on this?
Two words: Compassion & Love.
When we understand the circumstances of our birth—what our mother experienced, what our father experienced, what we experienced—our Soul fills us with an abundance of compassion and love.
Compassion for ourselves and others. Love for ourselves and others.
When your child was in the newborn stage, do you remember looking around at the world with amazement and realizing that everyone, everyone, started out that way? The innocence, the complete dependency, the purity, the wonder at everything. I came to understand that I was filled with deep compassion for everyone.
Everyone has a different story, but our core Cycle of Life experience is the same.
This is compassionate connection. And we need a lot more of it within ourselves and in this world.
My own birth story involves a difficult delivery and then being transferred to a major hospital shortly after birth (I was born with an Rh factor incompatibility and was severely jaundiced). I was hospitalized an hour away for several days, in an incubator and with almost no physical contact with my mother. My parents went home without a baby, and deeply concerned about my health. Happily, I quickly recovered and went on to have a healthy childhood. My mom didn’t talk much about my birth and first few days. It must have been terribly traumatic for her. Now that I’m a mom myself, I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been.
So when I reflect on my own birth story, my love and compassion for my parents is powerfully strong. I can actually feel my relationship with my mom deepening from across the realms.
And when I reflect on my own birth story, I’m honoring myself by acknowledging what I experienced in the very beginning of my journey here on Earth. The self-compassion and self-love that I experience is powerfully healing.
If you’re hard on yourself and struggle with self-compassion (as many high achieving women do), I lovingly encourage you to reflect on your own birth story.
You could simply reflect on what you already know, or even better, talk with people who can share their memories of it.
You may be fortunate enough to be able ask your mother or father, or another person who was present that day. Consider asking other family members or family friends or neighbors what they remember. You may be surprised to learn new bits and pieces that add to your understanding of it.
If you feel awkward or even self-centered asking about it consider telling them you’re exploring ways to increase your compassion and love for yourself and others. What a beautiful reason to ask the question, and a beautiful reason to provide an answer.
You never know, your question may inspire your family or friend to reflect on their own birth story, and imagine the ripple effect you could create of increased self-compassion and love in the world.
Finally, whatever your birth story, whatever your relationship with your parents then and now, know that your Soul has been with you all along, pouring out so much love and compassion to you through your entire life journey.
You are deeply loved. And always will be.
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