Before I was working artist I was an obstetrical nurse and lactation consultant in the U.S. Navy and later for the District Health Service in New Zealand. After 15 years of working along side women delivering their babies I can say with 100% certainty that babies are absolutely NOT blank slates for us to write on.
Nope those little dudes and chiquitas have personality plus and opinions straight out of the shoot. Obviously with that much of my life dedicated to helping families and babies I have quite the interest in the subject. It keeps bubbling up in my art as well. I think I now know why.
From even before we are born we are influenced by the emotions of our mother. If our mother is stressed studies are showing that we are more likely to have a raft of issues later in life and have an altered stress response ourselves…straight out of the womb. Well Shit. That basically just means that poop rolls down hill.
My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer when my mum was pregnant with me and my mum’s relationship with my dad was not the most loving…stress was my dear mums middle name at that point. She experience significant pre and postnatal depression as a result. I think that my fascination with babies and babies development has stemmed from this very personal experience. And an attempt to unravel blocks that began to develop before I was even born. Don’t get me wrong. You couldn’t ask for a more loving mother than the one I had. She is a treasure of the highest order…but human. Very beautifully human and she was hurting badly at the time of my birth. That still resonates somewhere in me. “As the twig is bent so the tree shall grow.” My life’s work seems to be about helping women to heal from pain. As if I could feel her and wanted to sooth her even before I was born.
What is even more fascinating is this though. Not only has mums lived experienced been stamped in my stress and hormonal responses to life but I am still within her. Here is a fascinating study. Where scientists have discovered that some of your cells will be living within your mother acting as stem cells. Which means that when something goes wrong in her body part of your body remaining in her will morph into a healthy version of that damaged cell and replace it. Freaking beautiful isn’t it. Your children live within you and help you.
So we are connected deeper than we thought.
So now as an adult I am on an adventure to unravel blocks that have developed from prebirth all the way till I started becoming aware of what blocks were. I have learned heaps along the way but there is still some elusive stuff that walking this path is helping to illuminate…all in time, all as it should.
The lovely thing is that I am slowing getting interested again in working with my mums and babies. It has been several years since I worked full time in the maternity world, broken up only when my photography clients bring me their beautiful bundles to photograph but I am feeling the need to return to teaching but this time bringing the new knowledge I have unearthed on this several year sabbatical into spirit and art. So watch this space.
The images above are of my beautiful family. My sister, my mother, my brother in law and my most favourite little human on the planet my niece Harper. She is about to start school soon. Oh how time whips by.