My Birth Story and Imprints

I started an active, conscious self-discovery path and a healing journey all at the same time about 10 years ago. My relationship with both of my parents was not a healthy one (from my perspective, I had lost all feeling of connection to them), and I felt the need to repair that and return to a place of love with them. Oh! the adventures I have had! From becoming dependent on alcohol to numb out, procrastinating along the way, ignoring my true feelings (actually not allowing my self to feel at all), recognising that I am co-dependent on my husband, being overprotective of my relationships with my own kids, searching for others to ‘fix me’ and of course the magic button to make it all reset or go away. During these times I was led towards amazing beings, who, like me, have experienced life in all its light and shadows. Each one bringing a new perspective on how I can view me, who I AM. Last year I found myself called to journey within and learn all about my Sacred Birth Story and how it has guided me (unconsciously) up until this point. I learnt that my Sacred Birth Story provided the foundations and insights into what I needed to feel nurtured, ways of nurturing myself, challenges I may face, patterns I may develop and much, much more. Now that I am an adult and have the ability to rationalise and make sense of my Sacred Birth Story, it astounds me on how accurate it is, a mapping guide to all the answers to my personal life’s long questions. Why am I the way I am?

Mum, Dad and I

My parents were both very young at the time of my conception. This caused many concerns for my Dad’s family and the generational expectations of the time, leading them to suggest that Mum not go through with the Pregnancy. Their biggest concern was what the neighbours might say and the disappointment that my great grandmother would feel, however, my Da said that she already knew I was on the way before anyone had even told her and that she was delighted. As far as my Mum was concerned she held on to me with all her love and excitement. I know that Dad had many reservations too including denial about the whole thing.

Dad and I, We share the same Life Path

The pregnancy progressed as one would expect back in the late 70’s and Mum continued to smoke (mindful not to smoke too much) and prepare for my arrival based on typical Western medicine protocol. Some would say that both the pregnancy and birth were “By the Book” back then. Mum didn’t seem to have much morning sickness, just slight nausea but no vomiting. By 12 weeks Mum said it was smooth sailing and she felt my first flutters at around 24 weeks.  At 8 months pregnant Mum said that I did a complete 360 degree turn and it caused a severe burning sensation on her stomach, this is when I created the massive stretch mark on her belly. Overall Mum said she felt the healthiest and happiest she had ever felt.

Mum with my Great Grandmother Hedi and me snug in the womb

Labour initiated independently 3 days after my initial due date and at 2 am Mum was taken to the Hospital with strong pain and regular contractions. Now back then the “By the Book” thing to do was to dress the birthing mother in a white hospital gown, give her an enema and a shave, then put her in a sterile room. This is where Dad was asked to join Mum. Here, Mum and Dad waited!!!!! There was one Midwife who checked in on them from time to time and without any consideration of what Mum wanted, the Midwife examined Mum, said she was half dilated and gave her a shot of pethidine for the pain (typical “By the Book”, acceptable practise for that time). Mum said that this made her sleepy and so she would nod off in between contractions.

Resting, Relaxed, Safe, Nurtured

At 6 am there was a shift change and a new Midwife appeared and gave another examination. Mum was then moved to the birthing suite where she was made to lie flat and was “tied to the stirrups”, Mum said the ties looked like lovely white shoelaces (he he). By 10 am Mum was fully dilated but feeling very fatigued. She said that she never had the urge to push. This caused the Midwife to intervene again and broke my amniotic sac. Mum felt that this was prematurely done because she said that she hadn’t sensed that the labour had transitioned into the final phase because she had no urge to push! But because she was young and was repeatedly told that everything was going “By the Book”, she was afraid to question their actions. Meanwhile Dad was in a panic about his big up and coming hockey match and went home to get his hockey gear and then came back. The premature rupture of my birth sac caused the labour to stall and intensified the labour pains in Mums back. Mum said it was about an hour after my sac had been broken that she felt a transition happen. She described it as if her body was elevating off the bed, lifting and shifting to the right, floating, suspended and then dropping back down on to the bed. It was after this had happened that she actually had the urge to push, but the doctor was called in and he intervened and used the ‘scoop’ (forceps), not the tong looking ones. I was placed straight onto Mums chest and she began to kiss me all over. Apparently, Dad told Mum to stop kissing me because I was covered in gunk! It was the vernix caseosa (or otherwise known as  the cheesy coating! I will let you look it up). The doctor clamped and cut my chord and once I was cleaned up and had spent some time with my parents, Dad went off to play and win is Hockey match and I was taken to the nursery (again, “By the Book” for those days). Overall Mum said that during the labour she felt frightened at first, tired and nervous but there was a nice midwife who helped her to deep breathe through it. We stayed in hospital for five days as I had a bit of jaundice 2-3 days after my birth. I was nameless for 5 days as Mum had her heart set on a name that she said just did not suit me. Eventually both my grandfather’s contributed to both my first and middle name.

I still have this bear!

Mum tried to breastfeed me on demand but found it to be very painful, so after trying for three weeks she put me on to formula and Yep! You guessed it, I feed “By the Book” for those days! Every 6 hours. My grandmother was always there for Mum and I and helped me to get into a routine.

So what does this all mean?

Learning and embracing all that is around me

It means that our birth stories provide insights into our implicit memories and therefore our primal ways of coping. They create ‘the how to parent me’ handbook, a blueprint to how, who and why. There are many imprints that I developed due to how I was born but I will just bring to light the most dominant ones:

Dominant Imprint: Arriving after my due date

Challenges it brings:

  • Often I would be the last to catch on to things, or know about what is going on around me, a few steps behind you could say, particularly when it came to pop culture, fads and anything to do with technology.
  • It would make me complacent at times or leave things to the last minute.

The imprint medicine:

  • This would allow me to become non-judgemental and gain different perspectives before making my own mind up.

The gift it offers me:

  • Time is not of importance but the details in the moment are. Presence in the moment is the most important thing, not what time you arrived.

Dominant Imprint: Born on pethidine

Challenges it brings:

  • I had a patterning of avoidance behaviour. When I was younger, I would try to avoid situations that needed to be dealt with but the problem would persist or get bigger.
  • Found it hard to persist or show determination to push through.
  • Would find ways to deter or numb my way out of things (alcohol) I found to confronting or hard to deal with.

The imprint medicine:

  • Taught me the importance of being fully embodied and use my breath to go within the challenge, engage with it and call it for what it is.

The gift it offers me:

  • It is ok to feel uncomfortable, just remember it is an e-motion that will pass and that it is ok to ask for help.

The most dominant imprint of all: Being born ‘By the Book!’ labour preparation for the late 1970’s

Challenges it brings:

  • Was always conflicted between following rules and regulations ‘By the Book!’ and questioning them. This would often see me in conflict with someone or something.
  • I would come across as inconsiderate, stubborn and self-absorbed.
  • Always felt like I didn’t belong or fit the expectations of the ‘norm’.

The Imprint Medicine:

  • There are those natural laws that will never change and are a staple; breathe, love, connectedness, trust and letting go. These are ways to a healthy state of being. But, all else is open to my choosing – my life journey, the lessons, gifts and messages I AM to hear, receive and give.

The gift it offers me:

  • The freedom to honour my truth and just be me.

There are several more that have come to play out in my life but these have been very dominant in my patterned behaviour. Knowing now that we actually do come into this world with a guide on how to be looked after (our very personalised one) it is time we start honouring them and use them.

Art Work by Nathalie Verdejo
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