I was thinking of my grandfather, Ed the other day, and I couldn’t help but chuckle as I remembered him at a family Thanksgiving gathering. It was the year that our family invested in a camcorder. Not the neat and tidy handheld ones of 2021, but rather the 1990s model that sat upon your shoulder and you had to plug the battery pack into the wall, and you couldn’t move any further than your extension cord. My dad was all about making movies and recording these special moments with our family. This one gathering, in particular, I can remember my dad panning to my grandfather who was well into his 70s asking, “Bob, what is that thing? What exactly are you doing?” It was a mind trip for my grandfather, his face full of curiosity and wonder. You can hear my dad in the video chuckling and explaining it to him.
As I think about my work as a birth educator, it feels as foreign as a camcorder in the ’90s. When I talk with individuals and share this cutting-edge information with them, they sometimes look at me as quizzically as my grandfather did. When I suggest things such as the prenate having sentience, or that the template for so much of life gets laid down in utero, sometimes people have a very hard time digesting that. Sometimes they seem to get angry. Sometimes they appear to feel guilty. Sometimes they lean in curiously and ask to know more.
The Earth has more inhabitants than it ever has and the need to talk about the importance of the pre and perinatal time feels more urgent than ever. We know scientifically that the unborn child is laying down the template of health and well-being in the womb. Doesn’t that make you take a breath? This time period before conception and during gestation is critical. What we do matters. How we take care of our mothers and birthing persons matters. How we “do our personal work” before conception matters and so much more my friends. I think back to my work at a girls group home in my early 30s and I can remember thinking at the time, why don’t we start earlier?
I can’t help but wonder now how they grew their bodies in utero to match the world and environment that they would be coming into. Not only their physical environment but their familial environment, their social environment, their generational environment, the environment of their mother. We know in this work that our mothers are our first home. We literally grow our bodies in her health, her stress, her nutrients, her excess, her lack, and so forth. At this point in my life, I look back at my experience at that home and think, brilliant girls, you grew a body to match your environment, and that environment was structured around surviving.
The work of pre and perinatal psychology continues to inspire me and to leave me in a state of awe. Not long ago, it seemed outlandish to have an electronic device recording the moments of our lives, but friends, our time in utero is also a camcorder of sorts, recording all the seen and unseen events happening for both mother and baby. This time period becomes a template for how we will “do our lives.”
Prenatal time is imprinting our genetic makeup, our physiology, our psychology, our emotional patterns. Are we entering a safe environment or one where we need to be wired for stress and survival? I am also here to offer that repair and coherence are possible at any age or stage of your journey. Whew! I’m deep diving into this work in my own life friends and it continues to be transformative.
Big breaths. Big love. Big gratitude. May we all have the courage to be beginners and pioneers of the unknown. Thanks, so much for following along my friends. This work means the world to me and I do believe it has the power to change our world.