I will begin with a disclaimer: I am a womb healer.
I bring knowledge, attention and healing to this deep, hidden, powerful magic aspect of our feminine being that has long been forgotten.
Womb healing was a practice well known to our ancestral midwives.
A midwife today cares for all stages of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Yet there is also the ‘unseen’ aspect of preparation for birth and parenting, the one I am most involved with: The tending to the ancestral spirit world a woman is operating within, as well as any negative traces of people and emotions that are commonly held within the womb. Focusing on womb healing can remove obstacles in our relationship with parents, wounds from our own birth, childhood, as well as clear any sexual abuse trauma too.
Having practiced a lot of the above, I thought that my own womb was in pretty good shape.
I had wanted a home birth. I had prepared and worked so hard for a home birth.
When it came to the day I had dreamed I would finally allow the creative essence of my being to flow uninterrupted and bring my child forth, I stalled. Well in fact, my labor stalled. 40 hours of labor. We tried everything – make-out sessions, herbs, squatting, energy work, acupuncture, birthing pool…as my midwife put it, I experienced almost every single ‘birth story’ under the sun, until I could go no further.
A nighttime rush to the hospital and two epidurals ensued. The first one didn’t work and the anesthesiologist thought it was a good idea to go home early so I had to wait for him to come back whilst I was screaming murder at the nurses during escalating contractions.
Despite everything, I was already dilating fully and pushing my son out of my vaginal canal in record time. This isn’t so bad I thought to myself, I’m having an almost natural birth, without the full concoction of drugs.
Alas no. It wasn’t to be. A few seconds later, blood started streaming. My placenta had abrupted (which in layman terms means it had begun to detach from the wall of the uterus) and I was rushed in for an emergency C-section. My husband didn’t even have time to come with me. I kept repeating, ‘this is too soon’ – it’s too soon to be back in hospital I thought. Just a few months earlier I had said goodbye to my father in an IC unit of a Roman hospital. Here I was attached to the same amount of machinery, thinking I might not make it, reminded that life and death happen within the same portal. Even if that portal is a hospital.
Everything that I had ever dreamed of childbirth had been lost. Good-bye delayed cord clamping, good-bye being awake for our son’s entrance into the world. The slow gentle birth I had wanted for him ended up being the exact opposite. What happened in the operating theater alone could fill pages so I won’t go there. I didn’t hold my son until hours after he was born. And yet in a beautiful turn of events, he spent the first hours of his life skin to skin with his father. We had both made it. And we had a healthy, willful, strong little being in our arms.
In the weeks to come I was devastated. My uterus had been cut open, my womb space was completely numb…I had been given so many drugs that I couldn’t think straight for the fog clogging my brain.
And yet a little voice inside said to me…this is how the real healing begins. I had no idea how this could be true. Suddenly I was questioning a career change as I was so riddled with shame. How could this happen to me? The exact thing I didn’t want. My husband and I had both been C-section babies and had gone through healing and therapy with our midwife to prevent the same patterns from playing out. We had left no stone unturned.
It has been 11 months since Nico was born, and since then I have been pulling together the pieces of what happened. People say you can milk your birth story for as long as you live…and I’m beginning to believe it. It feels like I could be unraveling this for a lifetime.
So how am I seeing the healing come to be? Mostly in the expansion and the compassion that comes from having been through my own worst nightmare. As any healer will tell you, there is nothing like guiding someone through the process of healing when you have been through the worst of it yourself.
I have unexpectedly begun a deeper process of healing my womb; not through the gentle, mystical opening of the orgasmic birth I had wished for…but in much more subtle, albeit painful ways:
- Healing the mother wound: All the places where I still judged my mother and could not forgive the dramatic way I had come into the world myself, were now replaced by feelings of gratitude for Western medicine. I found deep forgiveness for my own birth story.
- Healing my wound with the masculine: The medical industry has always felt very masculine to me and I have always been averse to it. Deep inside I still felt anger at the artificial boundaries the medical industry placed between women and their power. In a sublime turn of events, the two doctors who operated on me were both the sweetest, gentlest most considerate men I had ever met. They held me the whole way through and I couldn’t believe my ears when one of them held my hand and said the actual words, “I realize this can all feel sudden and disempowering for you so is there anything at all I can do for you now?” It was like a scene out of a movie. With my eyes full of tears my resentment just melted away. I just wanted the doctors to keep us safe, which they did. The Goddess works in mysterious ways!
- Healing from shame: I felt so much shame that after preaching to women how birth is the most natural thing, and teaching them to trust their bodies, I wasn’t able to rely on mine. Again I experienced so much anger. I felt abandoned by my body, by God/Goddess…by everything I held true. Yet to come through the worst of it and jump back on the bandwagon, being incredibly humbled by it, only reinforces my love and respect for my body.
- Healing from separation: No matter how many times I had opened my heart compassionately to women who had had a C-section, a part of me was so terrified by it that I always had a voice at the back of my head that said it couldn’t happen to me…or that somehow I could beat fate and avoid it. Most of all I never believed my son could choose a cesarean birth. Truth is I am no different to anyone else and my life is just as unfathomable.
- There is no such thing as ‘a better birth’! There is just life unfolding, with our myriad of stories. We all have to deal with more difficult aspects of birthing and mothering, and we all get dealt hurts. Sometimes there is no explanation to the story.
So to all the women out there who had wished for a ‘good birth’ and ended up in surgery…I have realized that grace and beauty are found any time there is unconditional love and respect for one’s voice and humanity in a birth room. No matter where you are.
Ask yourself what you have learnt from your birth story? What gifts did it bring you?
Everything I learnt was fundamental to my womb healing. The womb calls us to dissolve any energies in our core belief system that don’t serve us anymore and keep us separate from self and others. It is a path to wholeness. And perhaps we find wholeness precisely in the black light of the womb space, where all darkness is alchemized into love.