Life Before Birth

Unfolding possibilities

About a dozen years ago, I stumbled across a mystery. I was working on a book about the postpartum bonding time, gathering parents' personal stories, when I was struck by an unexpected fact. Quite a few parents emphasized that their connection with their baby had begun long before the actual birth. They told of sensing contact and communication during pregnancy--and in some of the most spine-tingling accounts, even before conception itself.

Can our unborn children communicate with us--even before conception? A surprising number of people have experiences that suggest this possibility. Their stories raise intriguing questions. Do children come to us from a spiritual dimension? Do they come randomly, or to a specific family? Do they have any choice in the circumstances of their birth? The answers to these questions may be found in the personal stories of parents who have experienced what they believe to be prebirth communication with their children.

Some experiences are dramatic; some are subtle and fleeting. And some, like the story of Steven and Miriam, are life-changing. Long before she met her husband, Miriam realized she had a strong aversion to motherhood. She was so determined to avoid pregnancy that at the age of twenty-three she underwent tubal ligation. Later, when she and Steven married, they agreed that children were not an option.

"For the first three years of our marriage," Steven says, "we didn't give it another thought--it just felt right to be a couple. We worked with a series of counselors over the years, to improve our communication and understanding of ourselves. Then we met Dr. Helen Bonny, the creator of Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, and her sister-in-law Rosalie Lindquist." As Miriam and Steven explored this type of therapy in a series of individual sessions, their experiences were profound--and very different.

Miriam recalls: "My sessions centered on what seemed to me to be past-life experiences, many horrible events surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, continual loss through dismal and/or violent means! After each session, the people acting as our guides had us draw a mandala or some other representation of the experience. My drawings were uniformly depressing.

"My final session was much different from all the others. A guide, obviously myself in fairy godmother garb, appeared to me and took me back to several of the key figures I had identified with in my past-life experiences. She mediated for me and asked the people from the past to help me out by keeping their fears and sharing with me only their talents and positive aspects. It was incredibly healing, and it prepared me for my husband relating his experience."

Steven picks up the story: "During one session, I saw a beautiful toddler with blond hair and blue eyes who held out a box which contained a lotus flower and was illuminated. I drew a picture of this child afterward. When I arrived home I showed Miriam the picture and told her that I had seen our baby. She was a bit taken aback, and suggested that a baby might be a metaphor for some new aspect in our lives. Besides, there hadn't been anyone with blue eyes in my family for three generations. I told her that I thought it was the image of a real baby.

"From then on, we both had numerous dreams and images of this child, and eventually decided to be open to him joining us. We spent a year doing pre-conception preparation--our health, environment, and relationship were reworked." This period of preparation included surgery to reverse Miriam's tubal ligation. She adds, "I also made a commitment before our rabbi, family, and friends to raise our child(ren) as Jews. Interestingly, this was June 10th, and our son Langston was conceived on June 11th."

Says Steven, "We didn't 'hear' much from him during the time between his conception and his birth. I guess he didn't have much to say. As you might have guessed, he looked just like the picture I drew, blue eyes and all. Langston just had his bar mitzvah earlier this month and has always been highly motivated about participating in this religious path. He's been an exceptional person since pre-conception and we cherish our relationship with him."

The possibility that we can connect with a child before conception may seem almost incredible. It's easier, perhaps, to believe in experiences that occur in pregnancy, when there's a tangible "somebody" who might be communicating. Yet some parents claim to have sensed contact with a baby-to-be as easily before conception as during the pregnancy itself. Martell's experiences provided a continuous connection from long before conception right through babyhood. She recalls: "My son was born five months ago. The first contact that I remember happened three years ago when my husband and I met and fell in love. It was during our first month together that I entered into my journal a dream where I saw our son Austin playing with his dad. The dream was very vivid and the image of him as clear as a photograph. I wrote a physical description of him and knew what a beautifully special little soul he is. I fell so in love with this child that for two years all I could think about was getting pregnant and being able to hold him in my arms.

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