~Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, 1953
Throughout my life, anyone who knows me, knows that I devour knowledge and am always eager to share my insights with others. I truly believe that we are here to hold a space of love, healing and kindness as we do our personal work. The mere fact that we are breathing is hope enough that we can change and reach new levels of understanding about ourselves.
Dr. William Emerson, a trained birth psychologist has dedicated his life to understanding the traumatic impacts of birth. Before I go any further, my disclaimer statement is that this information is being offered as a vehicle of curiosity rather than an instrument of shaming. I am just touching the surface of this astounding field and I profess to be at best a novice in recounting the information. Dr. Emerson has concluded that infant birth trauma is nearly universal. With that being said, he has also discovered that 'good things' can rebalance trauma. He concluded that just because trauma occurred during birth, doesn't mean that the whole birth was traumatic. He has determined that the imposition of 'interventions' by medical professionals seems to constitute the majority of trauma experienced by both mother and baby.
One of my assignments in this class is to write a paper on how I imagine my birth experience as well as the impact that my birth experience has had throughout my life. In doing some of my own personal work with one of my teachers, he has helped me to discover that due to the medical interventions used during my birth, I have unconsciously recapitulated this experience throughout my life.
To recapitulate in a biological sense means to 'repeat the evolutionary stages of development.' For instance as I was being born, my mom was given Pitocin. As this induction method was introduced it created a cascade of effects in my system. The erroneous belief I took on was that I lacked a clear direction and instantaneously felt a sense of being overwhelmed in the womb. Mother and baby are naturally designed to work together to allow natural labor to occur. In my instance, once the Pitocin was introduced, my body froze and my breath became almost non existent. Studies show that once inductions begin, babies lose 1/2 of their natural ability to push. The next part of my birth resulted in an emergency C-section.
Fast forward this 'recapitulation theory' in my present life, and my dear teacher has helped me to identify that when transitions occur in my life, I return to the Pitocin experience in my mothers womb and experience a parasympathetic reaction. I become over taken by the Pitocin and freeze. I feel the same biological overwhelm that I felt when I was in the womb. I marinate in Pitocin time and time again. My breathing pattern becomes very shallow. In essence I recapitulate this experience unconsciously. Researchers suggest that we repeatedly relive our 'womb' experience. I am here to tell you, this recapitulation experience can be released and transformed!
I don't know about you, but I find this world of Pre and Perinatal Psychology to be quite astounding. I share my personal experience in the hopes that it sparks your curiosity. I also share, because there are trained individuals that can help us to break free from the impacts of the interventions used during our births that cause us to recapitulate our womb experiences in personal relationships, romantic relationships, and work dynamics.
I am so very grateful on this Thankful Thursday for this life changing information! If you would like to check out Dr. Emerson's work, click this link.
May You Sweetly Seek:)