Giving birth in the modern world

Jasmina Red
Nov 24, 2018 · 6 min read

It is the brokenness of the modern world that came over me as an inevitable reality, and I made peace with it.

From my experience of giving birth, I had issues that I did not understand and couldn’t grasp at that moment. Now I see it is the broken society I born my child into and a lack of sense of security or nurturing conditions.

If I knew at the time what I know now, I might chose to live without an experience of having a child.
I am talking about wars and famine, terrorists and polluted environment, colonialism and patriarchy, and than also broken family connections, lack of a safe space and support a to raise my child with.

At the time of giving birth, I had issues in my family and the hospital conditions, which were not humane, added to the helplessness I felt and this gave rise to instinctual reactions that I need to save us. I felt immense fear. But there was nowhere to run — bars on the hospital windows of the room I was delivering in underlined this.

The only thing that kept me going was thinking of the other 7 billion people who were given birth by their mothers and who live, in spite of the insecurity in this world and the troubles in their lives that are, in many cases, even bigger than what I was living through. I knew this is a sad excuse, but that was my only straw of salvation. It worked. I kept going.

After giving birth, things got solved. I think that I had an episode of concentrated fear for all the things that might or are likely to happen to my son and me during the course of what awaits for us in the future. Debilitating as it was, it actually helped me set a course for direction I should point our lives to.

Like an animal, I kept orienting, sniffing and searching for exit — the escape towards more safety.

Day by day, I found solutions or life granted me with small reliefs that gave way to new and better things.

Giving birth to my son was a stepping stone of the healing process that started to take part in my life.

I come from Balkans, often referred to as “bloody Balkans”. “Bloody” comes from the history of wars as this region was a colonial battlefield since millennia. No doubt than that my family was toxic, as trauma spread through out my lineage, generation to generation.
I am a survivor of child abuse, which continued throughout my life as emotional, psychological, physical, sexual and verbal abuse. The society I was born in is always in some transition, changing with the change of politics ruling over our area. I lived through a war. Freezing cold. Famine. Without electricity or water. Under the siege. I was displaced. A refugee. A returnee. I worked for the army. I have been to war zones and in all sorts of dangerous war conditions. I worked with traumatized women and children.
I survived a heavy car crash. I got out of several attempted rapes as a teenager. Many times my heart got broken. By men, colleagues, family and friends.
I was traumatized. I forgot my childhood, I forgot everything that came to pass. Thus, I had a distorted picture of my life and who I am, but this kept me going — this was the naive innocence that sustained in me the will to live no matter the circumstances.
I kept surrounding myself with people who were toxic, as victims do. I kept living in unhealthy environments. I lacked a safe and supporting family conditions and married into similar ones. But I was unaware of my condition — there were many beautiful moments, too, and I took things for granted.

When I got pregnant, the experience of pregnancy and giving birth had, in a way, put my “internal life’s system” back to default structure, as de-fragmentation does to a system of a computer. At least for some time, but long enough for me to become aware, I could sense all the brokenness I live with.
A strong need to make things better for my son led me into a long process of healing.
I survived.

Life is fragile, beautiful and it persists.

Our instincts are at play. Survival instincts. We are more of an animal than we think we are, and spirituality is an intrinsic part of our humanness.

Our hormones are created through process of evaluating what is there in our lives in each moment. That is how we are informed. Spirituality teaches us that if we learn to live in the present moment, which is all that ever is, we come out of depression or anxiety. Present moment is a paradigm a few people are aware of, but more and more of us are getting glimpses of it. I view it as a process of coming back to who we truly are, and some people see it as evolution of consciousness.

We create our reality with our thoughts.

Our observation of what is comes as thoughts. Our thoughts are a process of evaluating what we perceive, feel, smell, touch… with our senses. Thoughts create assumptions which influence reactions in our brains which than give information to our organism about the external conditions we live in, or about the object of our perception (people, situations, conditions). Our brain informs our body through neuron connections to the glands which produce hormones and than we have an emotion about what we observed. It is what happens naturally and is a part of our survival instincts. Our bodies have a mind of their own.

The modern world gives us unrealistic and illusory ideas of who we are and the natural processes of our lives. We grow and learn as long as we live. Also, modern world is far from being a natural, safe, supporting environment, and we are much less in control than we are made to believe.
But still, nature of life and the truth of what is is strong in all of us and calls us to come back home to who we truly are. If we allow things to happen and we observe without prejudices, we can see the situation we are in with more clarity. Thus, our reactions will be more inline with what is necessary in each given moment.

Spiritual part of us knows there is freedom awaiting for us around every corner. Truth be said, freedom is our nature. We just need to remember.

I meditate and this helped me change my thoughts and thus, change the chemistry of my body. Instead of dwelling in problematic situations I found myself in, I learned to look for solutions. It is empowering to do so.

Postpartum issues some women experience, as I see them now, are a natural reaction to unnatural conditions.

There is nothing wrong taking place when women feel lost, dislocated or restless after giving birth. I see this as a symptom of a social disease that is kept under a rug — an enormous wound in our collective psyche that is a result of a broken world we are born into and than hurt by other individuals who are themselves in pain. It is a cycle of abuse, as history does repeat itself.
Pregnancy and giving birth must set on a variety of functions we were never aware of before. Nature lights up some parts of us that until this time lay dormant.

Until there was a child to be born, I did not take good care of myself. But, as an animal to give birth to a cub, I felt certain needs and an impulse to satisfy them. My instincts told me I needed safety, protection, nutrition, support.

In Balkans we call pregnancy another condition. I think this is reminiscence of our ancestral view of life — the language that gives way to a more natural knowledge to come alive in our realities and be accepted by new mothers so they can care for their newborn in an appropriate way.
It is not easy to find peace in the middle of a chaotic life conditions, but it is the road one needs to take.

Life gives us possibilities and solutions over and over again. It blesses us with each given day. If we realize the inner path is the way, we are standing at the doorway to a world in which we know what we can be in control of.

I hope life gives many blessings to you and yours.

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