Posts Tagged ‘birth trauma’

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you would like to receive a Spiritual Astrology interpretation or process-oriented bodywork, you can check out my website at

As some of my readers may know, I have been studying process-oriented bodywork, pre- and perinatal psychology and Tibetan Buddhism for some years now.  I have been giving and receiving treatments since 2004, and every day, I am amazed at how many layers there are to plumb the depths of.  For instance, I recently received a treatment when the practitioner asked if I was a “forceps baby” – meaning were forceps used to get me out of my Momma?  Yes, I was.  So I am going to describe what happened next, but first some context.

I have been taking regular classes – at least 60 hours of class time per year since 2005, I have been giving and receiving regular treatments – I need my self-care / bodywork maintenance (!), and I have gone through some intensive birth process workshops and somatic process retreats.  So I am probably not a novice anymore, right?  I am blessed and yet I make stop-and-go progress which is occasionally frustrating.  So this is the context in which I was receiving this most recent treatment.

So yes, I was a forceps baby.  Keep in mind I am not a doctor, I’m not an obstetrician, and I am not licensed to practice medicine.  So this is just for entertainment purposes or to be used as experiential testimony.  After going through some basic listening stations along my body (feet/ leg bones / hip bones / ribs / paired cranial bones, etc) and then checking my sphenoid bone (the bone behind the eyes), she told me that my cranial bones were pretty locked up.  I was feeling that.  She asked if I wanted to try something.  I said sure!

So she asked me to put my hands on my head, above my ears, and then she put her hands on mine.  Keep in mind that this practitioner working on me has years of experience and she is certified as a registered craniosacral therapist, and on top of that, she is more of a listener and a healing coach than a “I’m going to fix you” type of practitioner, and that is why my body responds so well to these treatments.  I am not recommending this to be tried at home – if you want a treatment like I am describing, you should research who in your area has studied some solid modalities like Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, Somatic Experiencing, etc.

Back to the story, her hands were on top of mine, applying very gentle “pressure.”  Then she asked me to put all my angst and feelings about those forceps into my hands as I pushed hers away from my head.  She recommended I make some sounds.  So I did. I grunted and expressed my objection to anyone using a harsh, invasive, powerful force on my malleable baby head.  And then we did this another two times, each time I was moaning or groaning or saying “No!” with determination.  She resisted my hands a little, so this was not easy.

Then, after the third time, I told her I noticed a small, vulnerable part of me that wanted to cry.  She asked where I felt that in my body, and I said I thought it was in my gut.  Keep in mind that it is not easy for me to get to this baby part of me.  I have done years of work, and yet I think some non-verbal aged trauma (pre-one-year-old) is very difficult to touch and process.  So I was amazed at how such a simple exercise could do this.

Then she re-checked my cranial bones and she said I needed to take it easy for the next few hours as my bones had loosened up, but that I might feel wonky for a little while as a result.  And sure enough, that afternoon, I could really only do about half an hour of work before I felt a strong need to rest for the same amount of time.  It was like a magnetic pull to rest down!

I just want to express my little non-educated opinion on the subject of using forceps.  First, I am glad forceps was the “worst” intervention used to get my baby body out of my mother!  If a C-section was the next step, I’m glad they used forceps.  And apparently, for babies who are sort of “stuck” in the birth canal, the use of forceps can sometimes be forced to be done blind.  So I hope my doctor was very skillful!!  And I certainly hope doctors are still skillful using this technique today.

With that said, the use of such a strong force on a baby, even if done right is an invasion.  Therefore, I think it is necessary to talk to the mother and baby ahead of time – tell them what is coming.  And just as importantly, it is necessary to have someone (a nurse, a mid-wife, a doula, etc) present at the birth who understands how to adjust babies’ cranial bones so that they don’t internalize that loss of control.  I wanted to make my own way down the birth canal – but after 8 hours of contractions and pushing, the doctors decided things for me.

So there I was at the tender age of Zero, already developing a distrust of doctors, a fear of the medical system and I was already getting my sympathetic (fight-flight-or-freeze) nervous system geared up as I wanted to fight the doctor who had that horrible contraption around my head.  BLEHCK!!!!  No thank you!

And this is just one trauma that I experienced as a baby.  You know, I wonder if this (and other traumas too) is why I do not enjoy celebrating my birth day.  I always thought it was because I wanted to be humble or modest, but it might be more than that.  Why would I want to remember the most important day of my life when it was marred by complications, mechanical interventions and potentially insensitive doctors?  Yeah.

If you have read this far, you might need to take a deep breath.  I am fine.  Fortunately I have met with teachers and practitioners who know how to help me process all this “stuff.”  I have overcome depression and headaches and other issues and I am really doing well.  I am healthy and I continue to enjoy plumbing the depths of these psycho-emotional layers of what it is to be a body and be a human.  Yay!

Thank you for reading.


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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  To support Kirby in his business and blogging efforts, please visit Kirby’s website.  Thank you for visiting!

What in the world does this title imply?  I have studied and experienced a lot of process-oriented bodywork and pre- and peri-natal psychology.  This means I am aware of many facets of my birth process and I have done some work in healing misunderstandings and resourcing wounded childhood parts of myself.  Let me explain in a little more depth.

When I was born, first I had the umbilical cord wrapped twice around my neck.  I did not need to be resuscitated but I am sure this was one birth trauma.  Second, the medical staff felt they had to use forceps to pull my head out of the birth canal.  This is another birth trauma.  And third, and possibly the most traumatizing, was that because of my Indigenous American blood, I had dark splotches on my lower back.  Well, the doctors in Hawaii had never seen anything like this before, so I was taken from my mother and placed in a NICU for at least 12 to 18 hours.  This was definitely a third birth trauma.  Research has been coming out recently about the need for babies to have skin to skin contact with mother to be psychologically resourced and to feel safe.  Because as the newborn baby orients to its world, unconsciously its nervous system is deciding: “is this world safe or do I have to struggle to survive?”  Although, let’s be honest, this unconscious decision often gets made long before the baby is born.  If the mother is struggling, or making a major move, or working in a stressful job, or dealing with stress in the relationship with the father, then those stress hormones will probably already have the baby in utero deciding that the world is not a safe place.

With this context in place, now why do I have the above title?

Because I am about to move to Florida.  This is going to be a major transition for me.  And I am now in charge.  And due to the large amount of personal growth work I have done on myself, this is the most conscious I have ever been in this lifetime.  Therefore, if I notice feelings arising with regard to this big move, I can now slow down and say, “Okay body.  I hear you.  I feel [blank].  Now what do I need to come back into alignment?”  (for instance)  Yes I have moved about a dozen times previously, but those moves were all within Central Virginia – I had friends, family, teachers and I knew the area very well.  In Florida, I have one spiritual teacher who I know well and a handful of friends and acquaintances and that is it.  I don’t know the area and I don’t have a job.  Plus I am not able to practice bodywork there until I become licensed to touch.  So this transition is huge for me!

What I am trying to say is that my upcoming move to Florida is like entering a new world.  Similarly, when I was born, it was like entering a new world.  So I am comparing and contrasting my birth with my move.  But now I am more conscious than I was as a newborn.  So I will have more choice in how ease or challenging this present transition is.

And judging from the description of my birth above, there are definitely reactive childhood parts of me still deep in my subconscious who are influencing my emotions and making their own judgments about what is going on around me.  Therefore it is my intention to do things at a manageable pace.  I am slowing down enough to stay grounded and present in my body, despite the rare days when I start to drift away.  And luckily I have set things up so that I do not have to find a job ASAP upon arriving in FL.  That would be nice, but I need for that job to be part-time or very supportive.  Too much stress and I am just repeating old lessons that lead to pain and suffering – NO THANK YOU!

With all this said, I have set certain boundaries and I intend to maintain those with regard to dates and my activities.  If I feel I need a day off, then I am taking it.  If I have a busy few days, then I would like to have the day prior to that window be slow and gentle.  I am proud of myself so far.  I have been fairly disciplined and I am noticing what is arising without too much judgment.  Yay!  <Patting myself on the back.>

Now I just have to take things one day at a time and stay relaxed and alert.  We will see if I can manage this massive transition with ease and grace.  And we will see if I can notice the reactive childhood parts of me as they raise their yellow and red flags of concern, and then I will sooth them and tuck them back in, safe and snug until I am ready to work with them (on my time of course).

Thank you for reading and wish me luck!

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This blog post is by M. Kirby Moore and it is primarily speculation. However he has a little experience and education in the field of embryology and birth dynamics. The material is copyrighted so please ask permission before reproducing.

How many people do you know who seem to actively seek out information about the world coming to an end? (How does this information benefit anyone anyway?) Sometimes this type is often a loner or isolated in other ways (whether psychologically, socially, emotionally, etc). But when we come across this personality type, what goes through our mind? Can we have compassion for them? Do we wonder what the hell is wrong with them? Are we faced with an internal reality check – is it me or them?

As for me, when I speak with one friend in particular, I need to be a little wary because I’m very sensitive to what I put into my mind. And if I read an innocent seeming article which ends with predictions of the upcoming “vast earth changes, UFO activity, harmful chemicals being spewed into our environment, speculations about why Atlantis fell, financial collapse and hundreds of upcoming nuclear disasters…” Sure, some of this information may be true, (and some of this info might be research-able) and there may be (many) organizations in the world which do not mind or care about the risks associated with their business practices… But to speculate that there are people out there trying to kill off humanity, or that there are entire organizations with this agenda (or that reptilians are doing it – dear god! really?)… Well that is where I draw the line. That sounds certifiably crazy to me!

At the same time however, we must keep in mind that people who actively seek out this info are doing the best they can. There must be some reason that they are so consumed with fearful theories and philosophies which cause their body / mind to contract and tighten up beyond typical self-regulating health. What are these reasons? What provokes someone to spend time combing through material which could inspire fear or dread? I’d like to speculate that one of the primary reasons is due to birth or early trauma.

Often times, we hear about trauma, neglect and potential abuse everyday, but it seems so innocent that we might not recognize it. What I’m saying is that birth trauma is much more prevalent than we often know. But what do I mean by innocent-seeming trauma? Ever heard someone say, “Oh yeah… My mom was too busy to hold the bottle for me, so from an early age I had to hold it myself.” Does that sound like trauma or abuse to you? Probably not. But in reality that babies needs are DEFINITELY not being met, and probably more than just one need. And if there is potential neglect happening around feeding (nurturing, feeling un/loved), we can pretty much guess there will be issues elsewhere.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to point fingers and say, “Hey you! Mother! Get it right!” Nope. That is not what I am trying to do here. But I’m just saying that if you were born with one of many birth difficulties: the umbilical cord around your neck, or if they used interventions like forceps, or if there is something wrong or unusual about the baby – they might yank it away from the mother for a few hours / days to be alone in an ICU (premature babies obviously but there are other cases too), then there is definite birth trauma. However, unless there are gross problems later in life (depression, significant structural alignment issues, etc), it is often times not treated.

And a reprieve from that long-windedness, what I am trying to wrap together here is that birth trauma can also lead to hypervigilance, fearful assumptions (glass is half empty would be putting it very lightly!), reactive parts and an overall perception that A) the world is out to get someone (because they have had a hard time from the moment they started their descent down the birth canal) or similarly B) the world is justifiably a frightful, terrifying place. It does not take much to get a young person to adopt a negative belief. And then that negative belief stays buried somewhere deep within their cellular structure, gnawing away at them occasionally.

Luckily there is a way to treat such conditions of birth trauma and buried trauma, but the person has to want to change – they must see that something does not add up and desire to shift. I would recommend birth processing workshops, body-psychotherapy and / or biodynamic craniosacral therapy as good places to start if someone does desire to transform. There is much to be hopeful for – as a practicing Buddhist, I believe we all are blessed with Buddha-nature (an innate goodness which is, was and always will be pure) for one.

In conclusion, if you hear someone talking about the catastrophes coming next year (2012) or about the nasty changes coming after 2012, maybe now you can react with compassion and kindness. Give them some attention, ask critical yet clear and kind questions. Try to get them to explain their theories. Maybe you can plant some seeds – empirical evidence tends to break apart some if not most of their radical ideas. And most importantly, see them as beings who want the best for the world, but who have just had a difficult background getting to this point.

Yay! Then pat yourself on the back and say, “Sadu, sadu, sadu!!!” which means, well done, well done, well done.

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