Where a mum is born and a baby is born.
My story is really quite interesting and I’m not surprised I do what I do for a living.
When I was born, my Mum suffered and she’s never really healed from it. Although my mum is the first person I taught my HypnoBirthing course to, she still doesn’t believe and trust in birth. I think that her birthing experience of birthing me has impacted on our bond as mother and daughter – and it sucks because it impacted in a very negative way. All of my birthing, studying, learning, birthing journey has been about catharsis; opening up wounds as well.
As I write and record this my mother judges me for still breastfeeding my baby – who is only seven months old. There’s a projection, based on my assumptions, a projection of her own unresolved breastfeeding struggles and unresolved birth trauma which I can’t fix. I worked bloody hard to make and help my birth journey easier because I knew I couldn’t got through what my mum had gone through. I think that making decisions to change something is the way to start on a journey, it’s the only way.
Bonding, what is the bond between a mother and her child, a child and her mother? What is it? It’s tangible in the sense that I can feel the link, an energy, a bond, it’s always there. When both my kids were born I loved them and adored them, and even had to pinch myself sometimes that they were actually here. The definite and concrete realisation that the babies were here took weeks and weeks in the wonderful deep hormone haze of newborn fresh-born care; and it’s easy to let the hormones override.
And yet with my son, I think he was about ten weeks old when I was bowled over by the bond of love. LOVE intensely powerful and incredibly beautiful. It’s hard to explain, yesterday I was reminded of it because the same thing happened with my daughter and she is just 33 weeks old this morning and she was looking at me with a look of utter joy and love and admiration. There was no doubt, no question, it would be impossible to mistake that look for anything but absolute Love – and we are bonded.
Prior to that moment I’d not even thought that we weren’t but it stepped up yesterday into an absolutely incredible, and yet not incredible because it’s totally believable, totally incredible… words aren’t enough. Strong delightful relationship.
I’m thinking of ways to describe what that wave of love is like when it hits me and bowls me over and it’s gazing into my kids’ eyes and seeing the joy. It’s the smile that’s contagious, it’s a reaching out to touch my face, it’s a smile that she gives me when she sees me when I’ve been gone for a moment. I know that she trusts me and that we have this connection and it’s very physical because I feed her with my body a lot; and it’s verbal, and it’s heartfelt because when she’s uncomfortable or she’s upset and crying I feel it too. And when she’s happy and joggling away with the joy of life I feel that and it uplifts me.
We are like a reflection of one another and I’m recording/writing this and we are walking thought beautiful Kent, the clouds are beginning to burn off as the sun gets stronger, and you can hear the birds and there are little insects buzzing and flying around and the sheep in the fields and baby sheep – I bet none of those mummy sheep got induced ha ha ha, babies come when they’re ready and not before. It’s a wonder, you know I’m really happy with the way things are.
I sacrificed a lot to have another child. When I say ‘sacrificed’ I mean a career that I love; I’m dabbling in it at the moment but my daughter needs me more. I sacrificed physically, my body has given plenty to her and I’m still recovering – but it takes time and it’s this bond that keeps me going. You know, I can jokingly say no more babies and I say that because I don’t think I could again, it’s taken so much out of me to grow Meg. The yin and the yang of life and you can’t have the light without the dark.
My head was popping and buzzing with ideas last night – about bonding – and now I feel like I’ve said everything I needed to say.
Sometimes, I think people imagine that the bond is instant; I think I’m starting to believe that it’s something that grows and it keeps growing and it’s always there. The more that you nurture it the more attention that you give it the stronger it gets.
I’m experiencing such a different story with the bond with my baby this time rather than the first time around with my son; and it continues to be so. My bond was criticised and judged by my ex-partner and his family and because the bond was under threat, because it was criticised I had to defend it and protect it, I knew it was healthy and I knew it was right. And when my little boy was less than two years old and going away to his father’s and crying that he didn’t want to go I was so torn. That bond was kept going and it was like it was tied in at my naval, into my very soul into my guts – the further away he went the more it pulled on me. I realise that as kids grow I have let them go and be their own person out in this amazing world. I hope that bond is always there.
This time, the bond is safe. Nobody’s trying to get at it, undermine, criticise it, judge it – it just is and what a difference. Pleasure.
I think it’s very interesting to see what comes up when you do a walking meditation like this.
I remember that the first time I was a mum, when I became a mum with my son, our breastfeeding was under threat as well as the bond. I had fed him in secret because it was considered (by my ex-partner #creep #coercivecontrol) that he was too old at 20 months and in the end I did finish too early, my son was still looking for the breast when he was 3. It’s really sad and I wish that I had had the friends and the support that I have now back then; but if I did I wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.
My pregnancy with my son was easy physically, emotionally pretty tough and the birth was straightforward and inspiring which is why I teach what I teach because I want to myth bust and boost the confidence of more women. And then Megan’s pregnancy was so tough, straightforward birth, much easier postpartum. I have a partner who is asking me what I need, what kind of support I need.
So if I had to summarise all of that I would say that a bond is very much something that is there form the beginning and the more attention the more love the more openness that we show the more intense it becomes.
Contact me to look at how bonding begins way before the birth and how HypnoBirthing helps that bond to form.