Our children’s birth stories carry a lot of valuable information for us. Patterns for both you and your child are set and /or reinforced during the birth process. Unfortunately, most births in the U.S. are not supportive of mothers and fathers. Parents aren’t supported and thus make decisions they regret later. Identifying and releasing this sense of guilt and need for forgiveness can have huge impacts on how parents see their children in the present moment. By telling your child’s birth story and making note of where you feel intensity or emotion, you can wipe the slate clean and release limiting emotions.
For those of you new to EFT, the language presented here might feel a bit harsh. Once you have experienced the relief and release of the EFT process, you will understand that using language that exaggerates our issues and really sounds awful is a wonderful way to clear out the issues. The perfect test is to say the statement and see if there is any charge or intensity to it. Do you notice a tensing of your body or a pain appears? That is a sign that those words carry a charge for you. After clearing the emotion with EFT, restate the statement and check to see what the charge is.
Sandy, a mother of two, worries about her first born daughter, Claire. Sandy is quick to notice when Claire is unhappy and feels like she has to pay extra attention to her needs. She doesn’t treat her second child this way and so I asked Sandy about Claire’s birth. As Sandy recounted her story, I noticed stress in her voice when she told the birth story. She cognitively wasn’t aware of her guilt about the birth until she retold the story and we started to tap.
“I had planned to have my child naturally. However at 41 weeks, the doctor decided to induce labor. After 12 hours of pitocin, I gave in and had an epidural. My son was born a few hours later and was taken to the nursery. I was so sick from the epidural that I didn’t even recognize him when I first saw him.”
Each of these statements has a charge for Sandy. So we tapped on each statement until it felt clear.
“I had planned to have my child naturally.”
Even though I had planned to have my child naturally but nobody supported me, I forgive myself and others for giving in.
Even though I really wanted to have my child naturally but I couldn’t do it, and I feel I failed as a mother, I forgive myself and know I did the best I could.
Even though I wanted the very best for my child, and it didn’t go the way I wanted, I forgive myself and love myself even though it wasn’t a natural birth.
“However at 41 weeks, the doctor decided to induce labor. “
Even though I was scared to disagree with the doctor, I forgive myself and know I did the best I could.
Even though I was too chicken to speak up, and my son paid the price by having a drugged birth, and I’m so angry at the doctor and everyone else who didn’t help me, I love and accept myself and all my feelings.
Even though I’m so angry and so disappointed that I couldn’t give my child a natural birth, I love and accept myself.
Even though I’m so sad that I failed my son, I am open to the idea of forgiving myself and releasing this grief now.
“After 12 hours of pitocin, I gave in and had an epidural.”
Even though I didn’t want an epidural, I felt so bad and I had no choice, I am open to the idea of forgiving myself.
Even though I was in pain for so long, and I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I’m so disappointed in myself, I love and accept myself and how I feel.
Even though I gave in, and I feel so guilty for not being stronger, I forgive myself for being weak.
“My son was born a few hours later and was taken to the nursery.”
Even though they took my son, and that was unbearable, I accept myself and how I feel.
Even though they took my son and I was powerless to stop them and I feel so heart-torn, I honor myself and my maternal instinct.
Even though every cell of my body wanted my child with me, and no one honored that, and I’m so ticked-off that they took him, I accept myself and how I feel.
“I was so sick from the epidural that I didn’t even recognize him when I first saw him.”
Even though I didn’t recognize my own child, I was so sick, I forgive myself for not recognizing him.
Even though our natural bonding process was interrupted, and I’ve been trying to fix it ever since, I forgive myself and choose to see the strength of our bond.
Even though they took my son and I didn’t recognize him, (what kind of a mother am I?), I forgive myself and know I did the best I could, even though it wasn’t enough.
Now it’s your turn …
Clearing your birth story
- Write out your child’s birth story or record it on tape.
- Take each sentence of the story and check with your body/self to see if you have any intensity around that statement.
- Tap on any sentence that has intensity until you feel calm and relaxed when thinking about it.
Rate the following statements on how intense or true it feels to you on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is minor and 10 is intense. The goal is to get each statement to zero intensity, regardless of what happened. Grief and anger might be appropriate in the moment but unresolved emotions aren’t helpful in the long term. Guilt is especially insidious as it saps our self-worth and limits our choices.
I damaged my son/daughter during birth .
I feel guilty about what happened to my son/daughter.
I failed my child.
2) Tap on any statement has intensity using a variety of wording to cover the different aspects of the issue.
Birth Story Tapping Sequence
Even I damaged my son, and I ruined his life, I accept the fact that I damaged my child. No, I don’t.
Even though I damaged my son, and I’m worried I ruined his life, I accept the fact that I feel like I damaged my child.
Even though his birth wasn’t what I had planned, and I’m worried I damaged him, and all I want is to be a good mother, I love myself and accept that I want to be a good mother.
Eyebrow: I damaged my child
Side of the Eye: I wasn’t a good enough mother
Under the Eye: I damaged my child
Nose: That wasn’t what I wanted
Chin: I made bad decisions
Collarbone: I damaged my child
Under the arm: I’ve ruined him for life
Head: I damaged my child
Eyebrow: I just want to be a good mother
Side of the Eye: I didn’t mean to damage my child
Under the Eye: And I did.
Nose: I did the best I could
Chin: And I damaged my child
Collarbone: I did the best I could
Under the arm: And my child was harmed
Head: I damaged my child
If you have felt some relief, move onto the positive statements.
Eyebrow: I just want to be a good mother.
Side of the Eye: I am a good mother.
Under the Eye: I can make mistakes
Nose: and still be a good mother.
Chin: I get lots of support to be a good mother
Collarbone: I am a good mother
Under the arm: I love being a good mother
Head: I am a good mother.
Now, “good mother” can also be a loaded term. If you encounter any resistance to the words “good mother”, tap on that resistance and find words that describe the type of mother you want to be.