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Birth Bundle (long)

Posted by on May. 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM
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I'm taking a Birthing from Within Class.. and this is our final homework assignment (other than practicing).

I'd like you challenge you to find your symbols/objects - this wasn't an  easy task for me.

Birth Bundles


As part of her spiritual and mental preparation for labor, a mother collects three objects that hold special meaning for her, places them on a specially chosen piece of fabric, and then ties the corners together to form a Bundle. Whenever the need arises, she can open her bundle to remember and renew the messages and energy that the objects she chose generate in her.

To fully understand the purpose of making a Birth Bundle, it might be helpful to consider how traditional cultures prepare their people for rites of passage. Unlike the western model of medicine and education, the "initiate" is expected to "actively prepare" for her rite of passage; just showing up at the right time and place to "receive" the ceremony or certificate (e.g., weddings/graduations in our culture) would never do!

Initiation rites typically begin with a period of isolation from relatives and friends. In this sacred solitude, the initiate's mind is quieted and re-focused; it is the ultimate hope that she will become receptive to her own unconscious knowing. (It is interesting to note that this same introspective, quiet mind comes naturally in late pregnancy and advances during labor. Therefore, many pregnant women experience a "natural" containment; a rare window of opportunity for women to learn from "within."

In traditional cultures, one way elders attempt to draw the initiate's mental energy within, toward her own yet untapped truths, is to give her a task to collect certain things she will need during her containment (isolation or confinement). In her search for the special objects, the mother inadvertently collects her own thoughts, examines memories, and sorts through beliefs. This search often leads her to "see" what she had not seen before; new understandings bring her into a new relationship with herself, the baby's father (or her partner/family), and the baby.

In the spirit of tradition, I instruct expectant mothers:  "You are about to journey through Laborland, an unfamiliar place where you will be taken to your physical and mental limits-in the midst of exhaustion, you don't want to lose your way. You don't want to forget what you know in your heart---or forget that you will not make your journey entirely alone-your baby will make the descent with you, and the presence of the father (either in body or spirit) and perhaps another loving labor companion will be felt.

"To acknowledge and celebrate the primal trinity that comes together in this rite of passage, you can make a Birth Bundle to carry three symbolic objects; one object or symbol to recognize each person or energy that will be with you in labor. 

"It's not often as easy as it sounds at first to find symbols that speak to us. Elana Burton, a Jungian psychologist and friend of mine, urges mothers not to rush or to choose a symbol that is a familiar, collective, or commercial one, unless, of course, it completely resonates with them.  When you hold it in your hand, whether it is an ordinary looking rock or grandmother's baby ring, it should resonate, have synchronicity, speak to you. If it doesn't, keep looking.  "The idea is that seeing or holding your object(s) in the haze of labor might invoke instant, unspoken reminders:  that everything you need to know is within you; that you are connected to all mothers through space and time, to your husband and/or birth companions, and to your baby who journeys with you, and simultaneously has its own journey-one that you cannot entirely control.

"The three objects you gather must have a special, intrinsic meaning for you.  Don't ask others what your symbols should be.  Go within and find out for yourself. 

"The first one speaks to you-the Mother, a symbol that will remind you of your spirituality, and/or your connection to the strong women in your family (or all women who have ever given birth).

 "The second represents the energies the Father (physically or spiritually) is bringing to this transition. Find an object that acknowledges his presence, his journey into fatherhood, and your love for one another. If you prefer, this symbol could represent the energies you will draw on from your birth companions.

 "The third will remind you that you and your baby are working as one to be born. It may remind you that you are bringing a baby into the world (you are not just lost in pain for no reason).

 "Then, find or sew a piece of cloth large enough to both contain the three special objects you've selected, and for the ends to be tied loosely together. The cloth can be any fabric or color, it can be new or a family heirloom. One mother brought a square of the satin cut from her wedding dress; another used her husband's favorite hiking bandana. 

"Finally, when you've collected the special objects, place them on the cloth and tie it into a Bundle. Tying the Bundle together with mindfulness is crucial; the way you tie your Bundle together holds special significance. It needs to be tied securely enough not to open until it is time to open, but loosely enough that when it is time, it opens easily without a struggle (like your cervix!)."   

CafeMom Tickers

by on May. 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM
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by on May. 24, 2010 at 5:15 PM

well I'll tell you mine...

For my faith/connection to birthing mothers symbol - I chose a necklace that is heartshaped with a cut out of a cross in the middle that my mother gave me to when I was young (it was hers growing up)

For my spouse symbol - I chose the heart shaped water containter that we used for the water ceremony during our wedding

and for my baby symbol - I chose a baby blanket that I crocheted at least 8 years ago, that i loved and couldn't part with.

I put them in an old pillow case my mom gave me that she & my dad used for years.

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