Making a Difference: A Blueprint for Harmony
by Sunni Karll
© 2001 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 58, Summer 2001. It is excerpted from a longer article by the author.]
Waterbirth photo by Cornelia Enning
Waterbirth photo by Cornelia Enning
In many traditions, the father has the duty and honor to welcome the newborn to Earth. In these traditions, the first sound and the very first impression that the baby hears is the voice of her father. He will whisper in the left ear of his newborn the most sacred word known. To the Hindu, this word is a mantra, a most sacred name of God. To the Sufi, it is the phrase, "There is no God but God." The Native American father touches his baby's feet to the floor, symbolic of greeting the Great Mother Earth. The people of every culture offer what they feel to be highest.
Before becoming a midwife, I was a Waldorf teacher and a past-life therapist. My interactions with both students and clients revealed that a blueprint or pattern is set into place from the birth experience. I learned how the experience around birth creates the blueprint that is at the base level of our reality, for health or otherwise, out of which we live our lives and create our sense of self, trust and relationship. The seeds of patterns that will be seen later in life develop in this bonding time, from the time baby comes down the birth canal until baby falls into her first deep sleep. So why not take utmost care to protect everything surrounding these first hours of birth? By seeing this wholeness and working backward, I knew that creating a birth of love and trust could influence an entire lifetime. Every birth contains this potential to make a difference. As midwives, this can be our highest offering: to support babies to hold their clearest energy in their blueprint.
Birth Creates Our Blueprint
There is something happening in bonding which is even more expansive than falling in love with baby. On an energetic level, bonding is the space and time where all levels of the baby are open and asking to receive the energetic imprint of her new world. Newborns are voracious observers of every interaction, thought and emotion in the room. Their memory banks and cellular memory indelibly imprints all birth encounters as archetypal experiences.
Unless born enlightened, we are all born with a blueprint of varying degrees of translucency. Absolutely everything that happens in the presence of the baby creates this blueprint. A newborn's needs include those of relationship, food, time, gender, "I'm not OK," being unwanted, belonging, etc. Unmet needs create a blueprint that is more opaque and this imprinted blueprint will repeatedly magnetize the same occurrences to baby as she grows. The blueprint gives rise to the (our) emotional "homework" of an entire lifetime. In this way, the opportunity to heal what hurts is presented many times through life. Until these patterns are healed, they act like a horse's blinders that can keep baby (us) traveling in the same emotional rut as she grows. Eventually they demand attention. Conscious intent, understanding and compassion will help sever their hold.
Healing the Blueprint
The healing of birth trauma is no longer new. Stanislav Grof is a psychiatrist who spoke of newborn memories in the early seventies. Dr. David Chamberlain tells us in The Mind of the Newborn that everything matters, for the fetus and the newborn remembers it all. Santa Barbara Graduate Institute offers the first MA and PhD degree programs that focus on prenatal and perinatal psychology. They teach the relationship of the perinatal period to the development of a healthy autehntic self, family and society and offer this training as self-healing and for clinical licensure (see www.sbgi.edu). Also available to midwives, birth practitioners, parents and therapists is consultation relating to optimal birth and healing of perinatal trauma in infants and children. See Wondrous Beginnings, www.wondrousbeginnings.com.
There are those in this new field who help resolve birth trauma by working with the newborn and her parents. (Contact Birthing Evolution, Birthing Awareness: BEBAray@aol.com.) The Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) is dedicated to in-depth exploration and education of the pre and perinatal time and the affects of the psychological, emotional and social development of babies and parents. "Womb ecology becomes world ecology" (see www.birthpsychology.com).
These are some of the professions that offer ways to heal the blueprint. They can help us relieve our misunderstood psyches that we were led to believe were only the product of our genes and environment and not, too, our birth experiences.
Most of us born after 1940 intimately understand what life is like with an opaque blueprint that calls for healing. In this country, we have had the type of birth that inflicted pain and fear and disallowed bonding. Our births included forceps, drugs, unconscious mothers, absent fathers, long separation in a nursery, and the assumption that infants could not feel pain or remember it—hence were treated that way. Because of these procedures, babies were kept apart from the only ones who could truly comfort them. Bonding did not happen. We bonded instead with our "walls," and the attitude of "I'll do it myself." These birthing practices produced opaque blueprints of emotional patterns of withdrawing, being in overwhelm, connecting fear with stress, fear with excitement, fear with abandonment.
Blooming or Recoiling?
To the baby, birth is about being received. We unfold to the world and know our value when received with love and acceptance, in our own perfect timing. If someone yanks us out of a place intrusively, we naturally recoil and go within in order to maintain balance against this outside force. The difference of being "received" compared to being "forced" results in opening to this world or shielding ourselves from it. Out of this experience comes baby's first decision, either, "The world is a friendly place" or "The world is a hostile place." This decision is the initial filter that determines if baby opens to or shields herself from the world, from then on. All other decisions about life spring from this original one inlaid within the blueprint. The personality of baby exhibits the blueprint.
If we constrict at birth from fear, inflicted pain or trauma other than from birth's natural process, our nervous system constricts and imprints our blueprint. Our emotional body develops a personality to match the severity of our physical constriction. Our mental body takes on belief systems to reflect this stance. Our spiritual essence is overshadowed and we shine a little less. The blueprint forms from birth but lies in a somewhat dormant state until fully activated around the age of three, when an important event happens that triggers it. This event is often the content of our first memory. Our life becomes a mirror of birth's tension.
The less hindered a birth is, the more opportunity there is to bond. The whole purpose of having an unmedicated, natural birth is to allow and support this experience of bonding. Bonding cannot happen when either baby or mom are medicated or in pain. The whole purpose of bonding is to fill the baby's needs and NOT create an opaque blueprint. By meeting all of baby's needs, balance and harmony are integrated within her life. By being vigilant to protect and support these few hours after birth, baby will benefit continually. A natural birth results in an alert, pain-free newborn. Mother, too, is tired but pain-free. After most natural birth there is little need to interrupt for we can quickly, quietly and invisibly attend to necessities. The interventions of the modern birthing protocol require interruptions after birth, in the place where bonding should be. For good reason the staff must oversee mother and baby until they are stable. Instead of the needs of this newborn life taking priority, this time for bonding has been lost to hospital necessities.
Bonding is the parents' opportunity to offer support that encourages a foundation of emotional safety and trust. After a natural birth where parents have worked together to love their baby forth, the hearts and energy fields of mother, father and baby are open to their fullest. No other experience of life produces this vibration/energetic reality in the human body, not conception, nor even deathing. The ecstatic experience birth offers is not to be missed for fear of pain. When mothers understand the soul-needs of their baby and wish to offer them a life of grace through the clearest possible blueprint, they often find new inner strength to select a natural labor for their baby as well as this powerful and boundless initiation available for themselves.
In being aware of the importance of the birth blueprint, we become aware of our every act in the presence of the newborn. Everything matters. Whatever happens that is loving becomes part of the child's make up and is harmony exuded throughout life. Anything less than loving creates multiple opportunities to be addressed, rebalanced and healed. Birth is the stage to offer our best to the babies we touch.
This is the whole reason we are midwives. This is why we work so hard to protect a woman's natural ability to give birth as she feels to. When Nature manages birth, everything else has the opportunity to fall into place for the highest outcome. We know this and work in our various ways to protect it. By protecting the sanctity of birth, we save lives and lifetimes.
We can teach our parents about the blueprint early in pregnancy to allow for parents' deepening responsibility and intention. We can offer this overview so that it stimulates parents to ask questions of themselves, like, "Do you feel the baby's need for emotional support changes, when in the belly, at birth, out of the belly?" "How does my mental/emotional state affect my baby in the creation of the blueprint?" "What response of my baby at birth would indicate to me that baby has the clearest possible blueprint? How do I plan to help baby realize that response?"
At childbirth classes, we can remind them again of the balanced nature that the clearest blueprint would offer to their baby's life. Few have ever heard of a birth blueprint for it is offered out of a holistic perspective that includes an energetic layer. Those parents who recognize it as the way that feels right to them will be able to act on it. Trust your parents to always make the best decisions for their baby.
The experience of birth determines the vibration of life that a soul will live and filters the way that person experiences the world. This vibration becomes their blueprint. Only by creating a birth of absolute safety, gentleness, warmth and acceptance, internal peace, love and a state of wonder can we have a baby who knows within herself as she grows, "I am all this. I am secure and loved." Only by giving each baby a gentle, natural birth to allow the clearest possible blueprint, will we have children who act out of an inner peace and interact with others in a balanced, harmonious way. As these children grow up and those of us with wounded patterns heal, we will have jointly created a new society. As we take this step individually and as a group, it will be mirrored in the health of our world.
Sunni Karll is a midwife in Hawaii and the author of Sacred Birthing, A Spiritual Perspective of Birthing. Her Web site is: www.sacredbirthing.com
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