Is it even possible to heal from birth trauma?
I’ve seen this question in various forms posted frequently by mothers who have survived birth trauma. Often, these mamas have been working so hard for their own healing – going through their birth notes with the midwives, seeking out counselling or therapy, networking and sharing support with others online, and telling their stories.
And yet they have hit a wall, a dead end. It feels like there’s been such deep damage done that it can never be healed, that a part of self has been lost. I know that feeling well.
There are traumas in life that can leave us feeling like the best we can do is mourn what’s been lost, patch ourselves up and get on with it. This hurts a lot with motherhood – the time when we should be most supported, most loved. When we are most open and vulnerable – and when so much is at stake, when we are at a pivotal moment in that process of ‘becoming a mother’. Being hurt at that time is unlike anything else, we are so open, so vulnerable, so trusting of those caring for us – it is simply not something that any of us expect to happen.
And if you find yourself pregnant again, with another birth fast approaching, it can be absolutely terrifying.
What I want to say to women when I see this is, “You do not need to suffer in silence. Deeper healing than you might expect is possible – it is absolutely possible, others have found it, and you can too.”
When I see this question, what I really want to say “Deeper healing than you can imagine *is* possible. Please don’t give up but keep seeking it until you find it, because you and your baby most definitely deserve it. And it is absolutely possible.
What I do
This working with women in the realm of deep healing is what I do. Experience has shown me that deep healing, healing beyond anything we might conventionally expect, is indeed possible. Not only is it possible, it can happen more quickly than we might expect. Working on the energetic and spiritual level can bring deep shifts and changes that might not otherwise be possible. Shamanic healing allows us to focus in on the energetic patterns underlying specific issues and restore balance. It allows us too to restore personal power and parts of self that have been lost through trauma. There is often work beyond receiving healing that still needs to be done, of course – emotions that perhaps we haven’t let ourselves experience that need to be passed through, the fabric of our every day life that needs to be woven back together step by step. But that kind of work, of restoring ourselves to life, becomes possible and so much more effectively done when we are restored from within.
Why I do it
As a child, I experienced trauma that I was convinced I could never fully heal from. You know, the kind stuff that changes who you are as a person, and not for the better. And when things happen to us at pivotal moments in life (like childhood or at the moment of entry into motherhood), they have the power to shape us deeply. After many, many years of therapy, self-help, yoga, meditation, Reiki and just getting on with life, I was pretty certain I’d reached a point of stability – that there would always be within me a certain level of loss, of damage that could not be healed. And I would just have to accept that. So I had accepted and forgiven a lot of what had happened to me (a great help in this process were two wonderful books – Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz). I thought that was it, all that could be done for me. That part of life was just learning how to get by despite the wounding. And then I stumbled across something that changed everything for me – I had a soul retrieval. At the time, I didn’t really know what that meant or what it entailed, but it was part of the package of healing and mentoringI had gifted myself with to help me through a difficult time. I walked away from that soul retrieval with a part of me restored that I thought had been lost forever – that I didn’t know was gone until it was returned to me. I walked away with a restored capacity to love, to be more deeply connected with my own children – things I thought had been taken from me by my childhood trauma. Of course, the trauma itself wasn’t gone. All the experiences of the past were and are still there. But in having these parts of me restored, in having this capacity to love restored, I was no longer affected in the same way by the events of the past – quite simply, they no longer hold the power over me they once did.
Who is it for
I work with women who have experienced difficulty or trauma connected with childbearing or motherhood. There are no judgments here. If you have suffered loss, disappointment, betrayal, or trauma in your pregnancy, birth or postnatal experience(s) I am here to help you. My own experience with this kind of healing I have shared above, but I’d also like to share with you the stories of two women I’ve worked with (names have been changed). Penelope messaged me following her birth where things had not gone as expected.She was finding events from the birth were affecting her deeply. She had decided to do a rebirthing for her baby with only herself and her husband present, and asked if I could do a distance healing session for this rebirthing. Their session was beautiful one where I was able to bring healing to them both in the space of the rebirthing and the birth experience itself. Here’s what she wrote to me after the session:
What an experience! Gosh I am so so glad I did it. I did wonder if there was value in making so much effort or if it would just feel like taking a bath with her. But Oh my goodness! It was incredible. For a while I leaned over the side and instinctively began to move my hips just as I had with my labour. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. My baby got hungry at this point so I fed her in the pool and just drank in the moments. The smell of the candle I had burnt for my labour, the sounds of the music I had listened to, the soft lighting. I remembered sat in the warm water things I had forgotten, wonderful empowering things about my labour. Then a song that meant a lot during my pregnancy came on and just as it did I was lifting my baby from the water to wind her after a feed and it all just came together in a moment of perfect and powerful love. It hit me with such a force I burst into tears feeling just as I had when I birthed her but this time there was no one there to interfere, just me, my baby and my husband. I let the tears fall and I respoke my first words to her. It was incredible, so so powerful. I sat with her for some 20 minutes after that just taking her in by candle light. That vision of my baby in the pool by soft light is burned into my memory and no one can take that from me now. It was just so so wonderfully beautiful… Since the healing you did for me and the rebirth everything does feel positive. As I was writing the story I was thinking I could say she did this and she did that but it no longer feels relevant I feel like that’s because of you. So thank you for making our story a happy one.
Amber came to see me in person for healing session to work through a traumatic birth experience in hospital.She had already done a lot of work on her own to heal from this experience, but was ready to move forward on a deeper level. In our session, we did some cord cutting as well as a womb clearing and healing. Here’s what she wrote to me in the week that followed:
I feel as though if I close my eyes and go within to imagine what’s happening, that my body is trying to reawaken and make me take notice of the strength and power that is deep within me, to trust what I feel and to allow myself to feel at a level that I’m not sure I ever have. I feel as though I have been cut off for so long, maybe as long as I can remember, that I need to now connect with the truth and potential of what and who I am as a woman and a mother. I don’t just feel that it’s time to let go of my negative associations with the birth but also to let go of past physical violations of my body, the rape, the giving of myself emotionally and physically to please and the emotional violations engrained in me from a young age about the inferiorities of my body and my appearance.
This healing work can be done in person or by distance healing (my own soul retrieval was a distance healing as was the rebirthing described above – it really works!).
The beauty of this healing work too, is that it is very easy to combine with anything else you may already be doing for yourself (whether self-help, counselling or therapy, etc.) and it typically enhances the effectiveness of these other approaches.
Try it for yourself, for free!
I’m offering a FREE distance healing for women and for birth on 23 June from 9.30 to 10pm. The full details on how to join can be found here. The free healing is a group healing so it is a little different from the 1:1 work I do, still it is an excellent way to give it a try for free…and (if you like!) to connect with other women from around the world.
Special Offer for Summer 2013
I am opening 16 spaces for 1:1 healing at a reduced rate of just £30 for a full length session which includes an initial consultation, a healing session that is specific to your needs and follow up support These sessions can be used any time now until 16 September 2013. Each session is tailored to the individual woman I am working with and your needs at that time. There is no ‘one size fits all’. I have trained with StarFire Alchemy in healing techniques of power retrieval, cord cutting, Shamanic regression and past-life healing, extraction and soul retrieval (amongst other things!) and I may use one or more of these in our session together. I also work with rebirthing and womb clearing and healing. Most people find 1-3 sessions make a significant difference to their lives.
Still wondering if this might be suitable for you? It’s so easy to take the next step, and there is absolutely no obligation (I like to talk with people ) – just contact me and let me know what inspired you to get in touch, and we can arrange for a free 20 minute consultation via Skype to discuss your needs and what I might be able to offer. The consultation is totally no-obligation, so if you decide not to go ahead, no worries! Just contact me here or email me durhamdoula [at] gmail.com.
Ready to book?
You can book by clicking the PayPal button to pay – I will be in touch (usually within 24-48 hours) to discuss your needs (we can do this either via email or Skype as you prefer) and to schedule a time for our session.
Do you have a story of deep healing to share? Please do in the comments! I’d love to hear about your path, and what worked for you – as will the women reading this, so please share share share your inspiration!