The 3 Best Times for Birth Story Healing
Birth is a monumental moment in time - a time of profound vulnerability, strength, surrender, love, and transformation. Telling the story of this moment can feel really big (or even overwhelming) - but- dear sister, if you feel the call to share your story, there is a reason and reward. There is medicine that can only be accessed through leaning into the stories held in your body, learning to hear them, and to honor yourself as part of the story.
Storytelling is an ancient form of wisdom-sharing and of healing. It has been practiced in every culture around the globe through many, many generations. It has been used to make sense of the world, find purpose that embraces the human experience, bring communities together, and to teach others through the experiences of oneself.
Your voice is powerful, and the action of choosing to tell your birth story with intention awakens the divine connection with your ancestors who used storytelling as medicine before you.
All Birth Stories Are Sacred.
Telling Your Sacred Story
For many mothers, activating the power of voice is the key to unlocking continuitiy throughout the body system - opening the passageways between the womb, heart, and throat spaces. Storytelling with intention bridges your internal world with the external world. Usha Anandi from Womben Wellness speaks to the womb-voice connection beautifully here.
Speaking your story out loud activates the air element, who brings movement and change. When paired with guided embodiment, through the presence of a Guidess or other space-holding person, the stagnant energy held within your body can be dislodged, processed, transmuted, integrated, and released.
Telling your birth story can highlight the key moments of your experience, and give valuable insight to which parts of that experience are being energetically stored in certain areas of your body. This occurs in the form of heightened emotional responses and bodily sensations. Telling your birth story to someone you trust with this information is important for beginning the deep work of moving through these feelings and accessing the pieces of your story that are asking to be seen and cleared.
What is the Best Time to Work Through Your Birth Story?
If you are feeling the call to work with your birth story, and are feeling a little hesitant or vulnerable about the experience - that's okay! The best time to work with your birth story is when you feel called to, and there is no one "right way" or "right time" to do it! The beautiful thing about sovereign healing is that you are in control of how you choose to walk your journey, and that there are countless valuable tools along the way to support you.
Within the Sacred Window
The delicate days of your sacred window, known in Ayurveda as a kayakalpa ("body time") offers a unique portal of somatic wisdom & influence. The Sacred Window is a time of settling back into your greater world as you acclimate to this new life chapter after birth. Although commonly thought of the first six weeks after birth, your sacred window may be as long or as short as you need it to be.
Processing your birth story at this time offers the benefit of a fresh experience and somatic openness. Because your birth is so fresh, these early weeks (or even months) postpartum may be best suited for working with the surface of your story: the framework and subtleties. Storytelling in the first few weeks after birth is a great way for you to process the timeline of your birth, celebrate your body, explore the simple relationships between birth and life, and accept your newfound journey of motherhood.
Within the First Postpartal Year
The first year after birth is filled with many milestones, the biggest of which might be your baby's first birthday! Milestones can feel tender to the wounds you carry regarding your baby's birth.
Milestones can be especially tender if you are grieving the loss of your baby and approach your baby's anticipated birth date, or if you encounter anniversaries of significant parallel events to your birth and postpartum experiences.
These milestones can be a bittersweet reminder of our swiftly moving world when parts of yourself are feeling stuck on a past moment in time, and awaken the call to soothe these tender areas with love, compassion, and intention.
Often times the sacred window can feel blurry, due to it's quick-paced nature and the many changes in routine. This blurriness paired with the biologic design of focusing on your newborn baby does not well support the deeper conversations around birth trauma. Approaching your birth story after the sacred window offers you the gift of space from the birth itself, allowing you to see your experience through a broader lens - the mighty gift of hindsight. This may be accompanied by a greater sense of groundedness through your birth story work, as you've likely acquired some sort of daily routine, and of course strengthened your agni to more efficiently digest your past, present, and future experiences!
Within the Years After Birth
Our births are part of us. They are never erased from our bodies, nor could they be. It is normal for us to reminisce on our pregnancy experiences, our previous births, and the early days of mothering long after our children have moved on to new phases of their life journeys.
It is not, however, easy or ideal to reminisce on these and feel pain, guilt, anxiety. Working with your birth story can help relieve post-traumatic symptoms like depression, anxiety, and flash-backs so that you can be more present in your life and in the lives of your children as they grow and flourish.
Time may also bring forth additional pregnancies. As you dream about the care you desire for both yourself and your baby throughout this new childbearing year, you might find yourself reflecting on past birth experiences - what you enjoyed and what you would like to have happen differently moving forward. A new pregnancy is a ripe time for unpacking these desires, fears, and cultivating understanding of previous birth experiences so that you can better actualize your priorities through a newly strengthened somatic intuition.
For some women, the birth of their younger children resurfaces grief related to the loss of a desired experience with their elder children. A new birth, while healing in many ways, can shine light on the potential of previous births - and highlight these restrospective desires. Advantageously harnessing the power of these internal messages can be timely, so that you can utilize your sacred body time after those births to tend the deepest wounds - and heal previous traumas through intentional birth & postpartum care.
Your need or desire for peace and healing is not dependant on the amount of time passed between that birth and the present moment. Whether your birth was 12 months ago, or 12 years ago, your feelings are both valid and important!
You are deserving and worthy of support.