Disclaimer: This editorial has used the term female to refer to people with wombs. However, we understand that not all people with wombs are female.
I feel that it is important to note that I am writing this from within a female body.
I bear a womb.
The subject of Intergenerational Womb Trauma is great, deep and expansive. A topic that stretches out through endless time before me and will continue unravelling forever after me in generations to come. So, I suppose the only place I could begin is with my own, personal experience. This is what I wish to share with you.
Just know, that for me to share MY experience on this topic, inevitably I will be sharing my mother’s experience and her mother’s experience.
A female fetus in utero at 20 weeks old (five months) has a fully developed reproductive system. She is already complete with all the eggs she will carry inside of her throughout her life – all six to seven million of them.
This means that she has spent four months of her existence inside her grandmother’s womb. Or, at least half of her original chromosomes were present there, existing within her mother’s ovaries within her grandmother’s womb. WOW! If that is not mind-blowing enough to consider, this also means that her mother spent her entire life, even before she was born, with a part of her body, living inside of her mother’s body. Therefore, everything that the womb-bearer’s mother experienced throughout her life until she gave birth, a part of the womb-bearer was present for. On some level, they have also experienced all that their mother has.
It has taken me my whole life to put all this together in my own healing journey. And ironically for me, my womb trauma healing began with plant medicine, Mother Earth medicine. The Mother herself guiding me to heal the mother wounds which we all carry.
My two younger sisters and I always grew up knowing that my mother was adopted, just as she always knew the truth about her birth as well. The details were kept to a minimum back then, however, even when we were young we had many questions.
Back in 1965 Australia, unmarried women were shamed by the patriarchal, religious society around them and pressured to give their babies up for adoption. My mother was birthed and immediately adoption papers were forced into her birth mother’s face. As a baby girl, she spent two weeks motherless in that hospital while the paperwork was being processed. No mother, barely any physical contact and no breast milk. Can you imagine how those babies must have screamed for their mothers?
Mum was eventually adopted and taken home by people who were not her biological family. She was brought up by a mother who had never given birth, an amazing woman who took extra care to raise someone else’s child.
Unlike many in our situation, my sisters and I grew up with our biological grandmother close. However, we didn’t know who she really was. Mum wanted to keep her identity a secret from us while we were young so that we didn’t get confused with nana and her. I think it was an unconscious form of punishment in many ways. Mum didn’t want to give her birth mother, Lois, the satisfaction of being a grandmother. Mum still held within her so much unprocessed trauma.
I was ten years old when I lured the truth out of mum with my maturity and longing to know my biological grandmother. I exploded with tears, laughter and overwhelm when she revealed the truth that we had always known her. However, it has taken 20 years from this moment to be able to accept who she really is. There was too much intergenerational Womb Trauma to process first.
Lucky for me and my ancestors, I found my way to South America. In my very first plant medicine ceremony, I was shown my mother. I felt her, I understood her entire journey from the core of my being. I was flooded with the purest love.
Over the past five years, I have been alchemizing mine and my mother’s connected trauma into healing. I became aware that every major struggle in my life was related to my mother’s experience of me in the womb and the first year after birth. I began to notice the threads of rejection, abandonment and shame that kept my sisters and I from loving and accepting our mother. She was rejected by her birth family at conception and abandoned by her mother after birth.
Three weeks ago, I sat a very powerful healing ceremony during which I experienced the pain of a mother losing her baby. I felt the depth of my grandmother’s heartbreak erupt from deep within my womb – the pain that she never allowed herself to fully experience, feel or be witnessed by another human. Present within me, for me to transmute: the unexpressed emotions of a mother and child torn apart after a miraculous vaginal birth. A divine creation, shamed and broken, disrespected and undervalued.
I processed it and screamed it to the heavens as others watched and witnessed. I was flooded with compassion and for the first time ever, I felt my grandmother in my blood.
In my bones.
For the first time in 30 years.
I prayed to Creator: ‘Please help me to love her.’
The thread of rejection passed down through our wombs, through our genetics had been blocking us from loving and excepting each other. The unprocessed trauma held onto by my grandmother caused a blockage for all of us.
The same evening of this ceremony, my sisters and my mother, all in different locations, were all bedridden with fever and cold-like symptoms.
Deep ancestral cleansing.
One week later, I found myself sat at a table, sipping my grandmother’s favourite Sauvignon Blanc with my mother and her. The moment I saw Lois, I had more love for her than ever before. All tension and resistance
had dissipated. Once again, we asked Lois her story, which deserves an entire article of its own. She shared as we all cried. We had heard it before, however, this time we felt it. We asked questions and received all answers with liberated love.
For the first time, I was truly seeing my mother with her mother as mother and daughter. I was also feeling present as granddaughter and daughter. My mother spoke loving words of forgiveness to her birth mother and comforted her through the most traumatic parts of her story. Of our story.
WE ALL CAME FROM MOTHER. We all begin within the womb.
If you find yourself on a path of personal healing, regress to the womb. To your mother and then to her mother. What are their birth stories? What is your birth story? I invite you to ask details with compassion and appreciation for the being who sacrificed everything she was and all she would become, to be your mother. Remember that she did the best she could and you chose her for all your largest life lessons.
For the first time in 56 years, my Mum felt ready to acknowledge her birth mother as her mother on Mother’s Day.
May we all remember where we came from.