Assisting Assisted Reproduction

Tina and Jay had intended for a child for years, yet no child came.
They finally decided to try Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART) and because Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) had the best success rates for endometriosis, from which Tina was a sufferer, they chose it. For those who don’t know, ICSI involves removing the tail of the sperm, and injecting it with a needle into the centre of the egg. The egg often avoids opening to the needle and force is usually needed.
Tina and Jay waited with anticipation at home, while four embryos began to find their way into being. Many other people waited and prayed too, as the couple informed others what possible miracles were happening. The day came for Tina’s endometrium to be implanted. One embryo was chosen who would hopefully grow well into a long life, and the other three stayed frozen.
Tina stayed pregnant and the entire pregnancy went well!
Often with assisted reproduction, birth can have complications, but Tina’s birth went smoothly too. Jacob was born and everyone celebrated.
During our first session, Jacob slept quietly while Tina told me all about their birth. Although it had “gone well”, she was left with questions about some of the sensations she had.
One sensation that had stayed with her, was an overwhelming pressure that she described as “machine-like, metal-on-metal” in her hips, pelvis, and legs. Tina had been able to cope with the pain of birth, but these strange sensations were still on her mind, still troubling her, in a way. I listened carefully to her story, trying to hear what my own intuition was telling me. Nothing jumped out at me. I started to work on Tina’s body using Craniosacral Therapy and Osteopathic techniques, something every mother benefits from after birth. My hands could feel the tension in her pelvis and hips. Something didn’t quite feel “done” yet.
I asked Tina what it was like to have me work on her. She said she could feel that metal-like intense pressure she had encountered during birth. And then it hit, me, the vivid picture of Jacob’s conception: A time where metal, machine, and pressure had all come into play. Because I can’t be sure if my intuitions are always pertinent, I asked:
“Tina, could this metal on metal pressure be something to do with Jacob’s conception?”
Tina’s tears and the sudden large release of pressure from her body, told me there might be a connection.
“I think so.” Tina exhaled, with fresh, but calm bewilderment. “Yes!”
I was quite stunned, because I had never dreamed that an ICSI conception could translate so eloquently into a mother’s (and possibly a birthing child’s physical experience). With enormous gratitude, I thanked Tina for our time and left.
During our second session, Jacob was awake. I noticed his right shoulder and lung felt restricted. (All people’s tissues will take on various forms of tension, immobility, or lack of tone, in response to overwhelming historical circumstances.) As I started to work on the area, Jacob became agitated and eventually began crying loudly. To not press him too far into overwhelm, I asked Tina to hold him and soothe him so we could begin again with him using Tina as an anchor to explore what was bothering him more deeply. With one hand on Jacob’s back and one hand on Tina’s back, I tried to sense what his shoulder and lung were trying to say. As I got connected to both of them, I happened to look over and see Jacob’s facial expression. To my surprise, he looked obstinate, as though he was not going to give himself fully over to the cooing and tender sounds and words of his mother. It was evident his body liked it, as he was snuggled into her, but his head and eyes did not agree, they appeared fierce and separate from the rest of him. When I saw this, I wondered aloud to him about what I was seeing, acknowledging that for some reason he wasn’t going to agree or give in. And just like during Tina’s session, an image of Jacob’s conception jumped into my mind. There he was in the dish, in the clinic, with Mom and Dad nowhere in sight. I wasn’t completely confident that this was Jacob’s reality, but I went ahead and talked to him about it:
“Jacob, I see what you’re showing me with your head and eyes, and that this is very important to you, something no one has gotten yet. I want to thank you for being so clear about how you feel, and tell you I’m sorry that it made you feel this way. I don’t know if this is exactly right, but I heard about how you came into the world, that you were alone in the dish, with the machines and that maybe you couldn’t feel mom or dad, and that would have been very scary, saddening, and even enraging to you. I’m so sorry you went through that.”
Jacob listened very carefully to what I was saying.
“I want to let you know that even though you couldn’t feel them, that mom and dad were so excited to know you, so yearning to be with you, and that I even knew about you even though I hadn’t met you yet. And if they could have, I’ll bet they would have built a tent all around you and lay near you the whole five days you were there (embryos conceived in a petri dish are then gestated in a machine for until they are five days old before they are transferred into the womb of their mother) just to love you and be near you. The fact that they didn’t isn’t because you aren’t important or that you weren’t there and it’s not because they didn’t want to; it was that they were not permitted. I can’t imagine what that might have been like for you.”
Tina was tearing and Jacob was still listening with his head still averted from the rest of his body’s alignment.
Another strong picture hit me:
“And Jacob, I know about the others. I know you have three siblings, who are still back there, and we’re not going to forget about them.”
With that, out of nowhere, Jacob turned his head to meet the rest of his body and dropped all his weight into Tina’s arms. His body completely relaxed.
“Mom and dad are remembering those ones as well. And the fact that you’ve come all the way here, even though they haven’t, is a big thing. I know you feel them.”
As Jacob relaxed into Tina, I was stunned again by the deep awareness a baby can have, not only of themselves, but also of others. I may never know whether it was devotion, guilt, or simply love Jacob has for his three siblings, but this experience forever confirms that babies and mothers are shaped by prebirth and birth experiences, and that although many more babies will come into this world through ART, it doesn’t mean we must overlook the care their special circumstances ask for.

~Excerpt from my upcoming book on healing prebirth and birth imprints.