For nine full months the child grows in the womb of the mother, enveloped by warm water, connected to the maternal circulation through the umbilical cord, and thus in constant contact with the mother. It’s not possible for the child to withdraw form the mother at this time. If her heartbeat is accelerating, the child synchronizes. If the mother experiences stress and produces high rates of cortisol part of it infiltrates the unborn child, despite the placenta filters. In the end birth is a cooperative action of the mother and the child.
For both it is a path into the unknown. The mother does not know whether her child will be black-haired or fair-haired, slender or rugged, whether it will walk through life cautiously or daringly. Also it is not clear in advance how long the birth will last and whether the child will find birth easy or have a hard time. The uncertainty must be even bigger for the child.
This is this fictitious conversation between twins, just before birth they talk about whether there is life after the womb. One twin believes that they are «in here» to grow and become strong for what lies ahead. The other one can’t imagine that «out there» life goes on: «You’re crazy! Nobody ever returned from ‘after birth’. With birth life is finished. Period.» In this very moment it doesn’t really matter which one of them is right. The only thing both know guaranteed is that there’s no way back. They have no other choice to move bravely forward. Or die.
Karina Schelde, founder of «Soul Voice ® », a sound healing method using the voice, divides birth into three stages and suggests to look into them closely. «The experience that we make while we progress through the three stages are reflected in our future life as hidden patterns», Schelde says. As we all know, during birth many things can go wrong. If we can look closely, recognize and embrace our own birth journey it can have a tremendous healing effect.
The three stages:
First stage: I go forward. I have a goal.
Towards the end of pregnancy it gets really tight in the belly and the unborn child can hardly move. Also for the mother the pregnancy becomes increasingly uncomfortable. When the contractions of the uterus start, ideally the child is pushed into the birth canal. The baby itself supports this process by its own slight movements. The dynamics of the first birth stage are influenced by the circumstances in which mother and child experience. Drugs, strong maternal anxiety or an unsafe environment can disturb the natural flow. The experiences of this particular phase have an impact on how we do things later on in life: Can we take action to strive for a goal? Do we trust that we will receive the necessary support to achieve the aim? Or do we remain caught in fear, afraid of taking risks, refusing to face reality, doubting our own forces and getting stuck? The first stage is a combination of surrendering and being active.
Second stage: I am received and heard. I am accepted.
From the wet and warm tightness into the width, from darkness into light, from muted silence into the unfiltered jumble of voices and sounds. Fortunately there are kind hands that hold the sensitive being, wrap it gently in warm towels and put it on the mother’s soft belly. The baby is held, caressed, welcomed. Once the newborn has somewhat recovered from the great effort, it perceives the smell of mother’s breast. It turns its head, stretches and aims to reach the new source of nutrition. It opens its mouth and grabs the nipple, attempting to suck. These first sensations are exciting, but often unpleasant as well: glaring lights, hustle and bustle or the former common slap on the butt are disturbing for the child. The formative experiences in these first moments of arrival have an influence on how safe we feel with ourselves. Are we good enough just as we are? Or do we get the impression that life is somehow unsafe? Do we feel unwanted, intending to please at any price? Can we accept the conditions in which we are born into or would we even prefer not to be here?
Third stage: The umbilical cord is cut. I breathe independently and am connected.
During the nine months in the womb, blood containing nutrition and oxygen passes through the umbilical cord to the unborn, at the same time waste products are disposed. By cutting the cord and interrupting the connection to the nurturing mother the child becomes an individual. All of a sudden it needs to breathe, drink and excrete independently. The baby gets to know his father, whose voice might already be familiar to him. Soon it meets the siblings, grandparents and friends. Welcome, little Earthling! Welcome, Soul! But this separation process can also be a big shock for the child. Particularly when the umbilical cord is still pulsing, this triggers stress because the baby is not yet ready for the separation. This shaping experience does have consequences. We often may feel cut off from our energy, from our soul essence, from our environment. Or we might believe that we are powerless and it’s hard for us to set healthy boundaries.
Much wants to be born. Whether it may be a business idea, a book or an art project – at the end of the process there is the transition into the world. The «child» must step out, it needs to be seen by the public, it must connect with others. Whatever wants to be born needs to pass through the three birth stages. When we are aware of that fact we can consciously shape and form the process, we can become aware of our patterns and not let them hold us back.