Childbirth Fears

By Gillian Wightman EFT CERT-I AAMET Level 3 Practitioner

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My sister has given me full permission to share this story and I am really excited about this on a personal level.

Recently I received a phone call from my sister in a highly distressed state. She lives 450 miles away and at 40 weeks pregnant this caused instant alarm for me, so tapping whilst talking to her I discovered she had been told there was a possibility of having to have the baby by cesarean section next week and the baby’s head was not engaged indicating there was still some time to go and it was a big possibility.

Her doctor had explained that if the baby’s head did not drop by the end of the next week he would be insisting on elective surgery. They can’t induce her, which would be normal practice, due to a previous cesarean and induction would cause too much pressure on her scarred uterus. This consultant never allows mothers to go over 42 weeks.

I asked her how this would be a problem for her? She told me it made her feel very angry and that all control was being taken away from her.

I explained to her that our emotions can cause tension in our body and that if there was any negative emotions remaining after her last baby was born this could be affecting her now or fears for the birth. She assured me there were none and she was fine and she really didn’t want to go there, she was upset enough and I would just make it worse. (A comment I knew was unfounded but which indicated the level of her fear about 'going there'.)

I asked her to imagine sucking a lemon, what did that do? She was aware of a sensation in her mouth and tongue. So then I suggested she may feel the emotions physically, to be aware if she felt anything on ‘I am going to have this baby next week’.

Immediately she felt restriction in her chest and throat, her bump felt tight and bruised. At this point she was aware of feeling very afraid of having the baby and also angry because she wanted to do it ‘properly’ this time and she was afraid of 'failing'. A cesarean section would mean failure to her. As negative feelings from the birth, and a failure to adhere to a cherished birth plan, has been at the root of postnatal depression for many of my clients I knew. Thus it was important that we clear her feelings either way as there is no real way to predict how things are going to work out in a delivery. I asked where it felt worse, chest or stomach.

Even though I have a tight and sore chest...
Even though I have tightness in my voice box...

She felt okay now but her attention was now to her stomach.

Even though my stomach feels like a bruise...

I asked her to only think about the memory of her son’s delivery, who was born by emergency C-section at 6 months gestation and at 1 lb 12 oz and spent 2 months in SCU (sick children’s unit). I had the benefit of knowing this had happened, but wanted her to tell me how bad it would be if she thought about it.  She said it would be a 7.  I invited her to think of it as a movie and ask her what she would call it. She called the movie ‘Birth Hell’ and felt her heart was sore and tight and an intensity of 7.

Even though the thought of this movie memory makes my heart sore and tight...
The thought of the movie was now a 5 and her chest was hurting. I asked her to now think again what she would call the movie, being more specific.

Even though I have this Series of my Unfortunate Events movie, I accept myself without judgment.

I asked her now to be aware of any intense scenes.  She said it was when she first spotted the blood when she went to the toilet.  She rated this at a level of intensity of 7 out of 10.

Even though I have this panic in the loo (toilet) memory...

I asked her now how intense the movie would be and she said it was all fine now, no problem at all and that she had no memory of what happened next as she was anesthetized. So I asked her to make up a movie of how it would have been. She told me she could do that but there was no intensity, she said she found it interesting and had no sense of panic. I wanted to thoroughly test and asked her to tell me the story and check for any parts that felt difficult.

First of all I asked how she felt about telling the story and she told me she could not believe it but she really could talk about it, and had never been able to talk about this before without crying. This was the first time, by the way, she had admitted that to me.  Some people really have to feel it to believe that tearless trauma really is possible.

She told me she had returned from shopping and been aware of a sensation of wetness and found there was blood running down her legs.  Her friend was with her and phoned an ambulance and contacted her partner who immediately came round and helped keep her calm.

She was taken into the labour ward and they put monitors on, took blood, injected steroids for the baby’s lungs in case anything was happening.  They arrived at 2pm and by 7:30 his heart rate starting fluctuating.  So they explained what they would do. After 11 his heart rate went down from 134 to 50. She was highly intense at this point, a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

Even though that happened, it’s over, he survived...

She gave a deep sigh and said that it was OK, its a 0 now, its not going to happen like that this time round; its a completely different set of circumstances. She continued... "They told my partner to get scrubbed up for surgery and wheeled me down, I had been in panic and shock, went cold." Doctors explained everything step by step, another peak of intensity now a 7 out of 10.

Even though the injection felt like a piece of ice going into my arm...

"When I woke up I heard he was fine and breathing and everything was okay then, I relaxed and didn’t care what had happened as long as we was ok. I remember no concern of where he was but was just happy he was alive."

Now this is where I come in, I know what it felt like standing and willing this tiny scrap no bigger than my hand, to breathe. I asked her to cast her mind to anything that could still feel intense about what happened next. She got a severe tightness in her throat.

Even though the heart monitors were bleeping, that panic, the pads were on but there was no registration and we had to watch to see if he would breathe again...

Even though it was the hearing of it, I can still remember that sound...

She said all throat tension was gone and she could fully breathe again (and realised she had not been properly breathing for a long time). She now felt like this was something that happened to someone else or something she could look at from a far, far distance, and was astounded how easy it had been.  I suppressed the urge to say I told you so.

I asked her to remember the conversation with the doctor and what if he didn't come naturally and they tell you that you have to have a C-Section?  She replied   ‘That’s absolutely fine, having a healthy baby is the important thing here, I’d rather have that, it would be easier than an emergency section as I could be awake. I really feel fine either way. I reminded her that her first baby had his cord tightly wrapped round his neck and she had been told that if she had him naturally it may have been a tragedy.

So we tapped.

Even though my baby and my body knew what to do, I choose to release all fear and expectation and trust my body and my baby.

Next day I phoned to check in, she told me she was relaxed and happy with no tension in her chest, throat and all the bruised feeling in her bump was gone but she was fearful of having a spinal block for the C-Section - clearly she was able to plan for this event now. She was afraid she would try to move and be paralyzed.  I asked her statistically what where the chances and she said emphatically IT CAN HAPPEN. So we did some tapping and I used my intuition and knowledge of our family’s history.

Even though I am scared of this spinal block injection, I am scared I will move and be paralysed...
I am scared I will move ... I might be paralyzed like dad ... I might end up unable to move like dad ... it happens, I know it happens ... and if it’s going to happen to anyone, it’s going to happen to me...
Even I am scared of that needle ... that big hook ... that huge needle ... this fear in my legs ... I’ll never feel them again ... I know its going to happen to me ... everything happens to me ... nothing is ever easy for me ... if something will go wrong it will go wrong.
I choose to relax and let this fear go ... I choose to know if I relax then I won’t move ... I choose to remember they explained everything to me every step of the way and kept me calm the last time and they will do the same again.

By this time she felt completely relaxed and not at all worried and we spoke about using the tapping for herself when she needed it and went over her emergency points so she could keep herself calm at all times.
In the end she was booked for a cesarean as the baby decided he was not coming out the other way!  She felt calm and excited.  She realised that without the EFT she would have been devastated by this outcome.  I am now the proud aunt of another beautiful little boy and his ecstatic mum said her cesarean, for which she was awake throughout, was the most magical, beautiful, loving and supported experience of her life.

I am glad I could help her be prepared for whatever would happen and to let go of expectation of what is THE RIGHT way to have a baby.
I asked her why she had changed her mind and let me tap on the memory and she said it was making the connection between the thought and the feeling in the body, that’s when it hit her just how her memories were affecting her physically and she knew that couldn’t be doing any good.  I am so glad we crossed the bridge after 5 years!


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Author's Bio:

Gillian Wightman uses EFT & MTT techniques at an advanced level to help people deal with chronic anxiety conditions and the aftermath of childhood trauma, known or unknown. My passion is helping people understand their own behaviour and reactions to past traumas and let go of shame, guilt and blame.

In 1996 I began my road to recovery from fibromyalgia and a severe depression and anxiety disorder.  At the time I was on unacceptably heavy medication and no hope was held out for recovery.  I started to search for other options, this was not going to be my life!  This led me to train as a complimentary therapist initially in the field of nutrition, which was the area where I first started to experience some improvement.  I saw clients also improve but something was missing so I started to look for ways to help people with what I clearly saw were the emotional roots to their illness, whilst being rather afraid to look at my own!

This led me to discover EFT and at first I was very sceptical but small results impressed me and then I developed severe trigeminal neuralgia which was eased within two days, a miracle to me, and I was utterly hooked.  However a series of extremely traumatic events and bereavements meant I fell headlong back into the old patterns I had thought I was escaping from.  This time however taught me much about stress and emotions and I realised how strong were the emotional drivers in producing physical and mental illness symptoms.

As a result of the work I have done on my own life experiences with EFT and related energy therapies, including CST, and with the help of some gifted EFT therapists I now enjoy a standard of emotional and physical health I never thought possible and its improving all the time!  This includes full and complete remission from Fibromylagia. 

At 29 I was heading towards a lifetime of medication and a wheelchair.  At 43 I am skiing black runs and and feel better and younger than I did at 20.  I am making dreams coming true both personally and professionally by using EFT and I am passionate about its power to remove limiting negative emotions, self beliefs and neutralise the pain of traumatic memories as I have witnessed in my only life and that of 100's of clients.


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