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Integral Parenting Thread!

Last post 04-11-2007, 11:13 PM by miriam. 161 replies.
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  •  08-20-2006, 8:02 PM 4815 in reply to 4809

    Re: Issues

    Erica is a proud product of the Bradley method as well!!!  Being the compulsive researcher that I am, I read every blasted book I could get my hands on, and Bradley seemed the most sensible, authentic, non-MGM (altho I didn't know the term then) method I found.  i was only the 2nd Bradley Mom at my hosptial, so when I insisted on sitting up, they rolled their eyes Confused [8-)] and said, "Oh, another one of THOSE...".  My husband, being a devout coward Wink [;)] couldn't make it into the delivery room without puking, so I had a friend, our school nurse who used to be in the delivery room, but had NEVER seen an unmedicated birth, was my "coach".

    I guess we strayed off-topic, but as early as childbirth we are showing our values---anyone want to mention TomKat's baby's birth?  Branjolina's in Africa? birthing stools that are superior to prone delivery beds?  midwives? douenas? The meaning-making of childbirth in various cultures...

    I love this whole topic for what it shows about our deepest dreams, hopes, evolution's next step.....

    Lynne

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  •  08-21-2006, 8:53 AM 4835 in reply to 4815

    • imom is not online. Last active: 10-09-2006, 1:13 PM imom
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    Re: Issues

    Great posts!
    Thanks everyone.

    I'm also a fan of the Bradley Method books.

    Integral Birth...
    What a topic!

    Both my daughters' births were unassisted.  With the first, my husband 'caught' her.  With the second, I was the only one home, by choice.  Both births were very short and easy.  I did all my own prenatal care.


    Perspectives can be so handy here, obviously.
    I think the perspective of the baby is what's mostly left out of the average thenocratic birth.  The UR is all that's really considered.

    I'm a developmental junkie - (which is what lead me to Ken's work originally ten years ago.) 

    IMO, human development starts in-utero.  Yet, The modern birthing model not only doesn't allow for optimal development, it can actually be quite damaging in very far reaching ways that we're only beginning to understand. It's in the firm grasp of orange - of 'those empiricist reductionists' Gene mentioned!  ;)

    When I first became pregnant over a decade ago, and was faced with different birthing options, I like Lynne, began a thorough reasearch.  I plowed through virtually every book in print on the topic of pregnancy and childbirth.  I also looked, for the first time, at cultural attitudes, as well as my own.

    Birthing in this culture is big business. There is so much fear around pregnancy and childbirth. Most people in this culture actually believe that it is dangerous to give birth outside a hospital.  While we all know stories of people who had complications during childbirth, when we look deeper into the physiology of the birthing proccess, we see that, (and research supports)
    many (not all!) birthing complications are a direct cause of thecnocratic birthing methods.

    And that's just in the UR - the damage done in the other quadrants has been largely ingnored, and has a massive impact on development.
    Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote extensively on this in his books, Evolution's End and Magical Child, both books I would not want to miss if I were pregnant for the first time.

    I also found the social aspect of pregnancy and birth in this culture very skewed.
     
    Tim, I think the negativity around parenthood you spoke of stems directly from these attitudes.
    Some examples that come to mind...
    In this culture:

    ~ statistically, most pregnancies are 'a mistake'.  It's considered one of the worse things that can befall a female.  Most young women dread it and spend a great deal of energy trying to avoid it. It's seen as a curse, even a punishment.

    ~ Most women (including very smart, well - educated women), know virtually nothing about their reproductive cycles and the physiology of pregnancy and childbirth. What's more - they don't even want to! Most women in this culture automatically hand over most or all of their control to the 'professionals' as soon as they conceive. IMO this has resulted in a dulling of women's instincts and a massive cultural shadow.

    ~ Many men (not all!) in this culture experience pregnancy as a loss of freedom and/or are threatened by the changing of sex. intimacy, responsibility, etc.  Men are largely left out of the proccess and the woman is center stage in her 'specialness', which culminates in one big day - like a wedding.  The majority of new parents are so focused on the pregnancy and birth that they are radically unprepared for having a newborn baby. (The overwhelming rates of post partum depression and infant abuse in this country speaks volumes of this let-down that follows birth.)

     

    The biological plan that attempts to unfold during pregnancy/birth/postpatrum is so exquisite!  I am staggered by its beauty and elegance.

    It relies on an interedependence of so many things.  It's like a dance.

    The impact of the damage to bonding that happens when biological intent is thwarted during birth is only beginning to be understood on a cultural scale. ( It may be quite awhile before it reaches the masses, because it would mean tampering with big business.)

    I could go on and on.

    Thanks for a great conversation everyone!

    ~ Cori


     

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  •  08-21-2006, 9:25 AM 4838 in reply to 4835

    Re: Issues

    imom:

    The impact of the damage to bonding that happens when biological intent is thwarted during birth is only beginning to be understood on a cultural scale. ( It may be quite awhile before it reaches the masses, because it would mean tampering with big business.)

    I could go on and on.

    it would mean tampering with big business . . .

    don't get me started!  medicine (more and more americans heading overseas for cheaper and better treatments), diet ("raw milk is dangerous"), drugs ("the FDA is objective") . . . good ideas for separate threads !

     

    later,

    gene

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  •  08-21-2006, 6:52 PM 4910 in reply to 4835

    Re: Issues

    Hi All,

    Cori, great post and info. It's definitely a BIG topic. Certainly ripe for AQAL -absolutely agreed.

    BTW -did I mention here that "we" are expecting again? Cori, you mentioned Mother's intuition -which I am a big fan of (but also know sometimes we need to be careful -a lot of times subconscious "magical" can get involved as well. But all the more reason to explore intuition and differentiate it). Anyway, my wife is sure it's twins! YIKES!Surprise [:O] ( I did have a dream of twins a few years ago . . . .!)

    But I am going to veer away for a moment . . . back towards some of our earlier issues . . .

    I just posted this on another thread (Integral View of Abortion) but I would like to post it here, for parents, and also because it was this thread that made me think if it to begin with. I am interested in what any of you think and or as a parent would do, or what this means to parenting? -in the 21st Century and the future. 

    I have my own opinion, but I am intereted in AQAL yours.

     *       *       *      *      *     *

    A story for consideration.The story of one of my peers.

    Last time I checked, only 7 years out of High School, this individualual had been pregnant a total of 13 times. (So let’s see, that works out to an average of about twice a year.)

    of the pregnancies ended in abortion, 2 were given up for adoption and 1 being raised by her grandmother. (My peer's daughter was being raised by my peers mother.)

    I want to repeat that.

    of the pregnancies ended in abortion, 

    2 living children were given up for adoption, now being raised by other families (that is, two children, two different families) and 

    1 beautiful young lady was now being raised by her grandmother.

    The only reason for the two adoptions was because, indeed, the “we” in this "individual’s" life just could not stand it any longer. After the two adoptions, the “we” decided it could no longer stand that either and the grandmother (this mother’s mother) finally said I will take the child and raise it myself. (And by the way, it should not evade mention that granparents raising their children's children is not uncommon these days in America. It is a growing, significant, national statistic -and this is also not the only time I have experienced it.)

    All of this would be quite enough, except for the fact that when I heard this story she was currently pregnant again, unable to determine who might be the father, since during the window of conception -three days -she had actually slept with five different guys . . . (Can’t remember the number exactly, but I do remember it exceeded the number of days) and the discussion was: does grandmother adopt this new baby as well? Or watch another go Catholic Charities and to another family? Or allow another abortion?

    I suppose it goes without saying, but I personally would still like to mention that, obviously in all of the cases, whatever "father" there was in any of those (and it was different for all) was, of course, nowhere on this Earth to be found.

    I know what my opinion is on this story. But would anybody else care to venture a diagnosis? An opinion. An observation . . .Anything?

    One last thing, I almost forgot. As I was listening to this, my peer's mother was wearing one of those industrial/allergen face masks because she was in all honesty not young and dealing with not anymore the greatest of health.

    This was my peer. From one of the best and most loving families, the sister was my friend, now (then) going to med-school, the mother was my friend, an intelligent, loving, active community menber, highly educated, an accomplished pianist involved in several ecumenical church groups, wouldn't hurt a fly, the education that we all got was such that if you transferred to the public high school you would only have to take three classes; PE, History and Study Hall-at which point you could go home, and oh, this peer was a member of the national honors society too.

    Thoughts? Views? Opinions?


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  08-23-2006, 10:52 AM 5076 in reply to 4910

    • imom is not online. Last active: 10-09-2006, 1:13 PM imom
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    Re: Issues

    Hi All ~

    Tim ~ Congratulations on the new babe(s)!  How exciting. 
    Tim wrote:
    Cori, you mentioned Mother's intuition -which I am a big fan of...

    I don't recall mentioning  Mother's intuition, but I am also a fan. 
    Authentic mother's intuition serves a vital function to our species.
    As I mentioned in the Mothering Magazine article, there is evidence that blocks of dormant intelligences  are activated during childbirth which assist a mother in caring for her child.  This phenomenon was noticed by early people and called mother's intuition.  Like most things that aren't fully understood, this function has assumed magical qualities in most cultures, and it's potency has been diluted by messing with natural birthing methods.  But it plays a huge part in the mother/child relationship.

    I would like to see a discussion about the early stages of life in general, and of the radical importance of the mother/child bond specifically, because it is the very foundation of all further fulcrums of development. A model of parenting that doesn't address the significant role of birth and bonding, and its lifelong role in all future development is akin to plugging corks into holes while the dam is bursting.

    Until we can implement wide scale birthing practices that ensure adequate human bonding, all else will remain in remedial stages, for so many of our pathologies stem from the thwarting of the biological plan.

     

    Tim, the account you shared of the young woman and her multiple abortions is heartbreaking on many levels. Abortion is tricky enough.  Abortion as birth control is almost incomprehensible. 

    I don't think its simply an abortion issue - with birth control so widely available there's clearly some unmet need this individual is attempting to fill through her behaviour.  She's getting something out of getting pregnant and going through the abortion/adoption proccess.  Without know her, I can't say what. It seems odd that those around her haven't intervened to address the underlying issues she has. They probably have tried. I know these things are not cut and dry. What is your sense, Tim?  Her actions seem like a cry for help of some sort.  What is she saying?

    ~ Cori

     

     

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  •  08-23-2006, 5:48 PM 5112 in reply to 5076

    Re: Abortion...

    Wow, I'm going to have to read that threaded discussion. 

    The first question my (then) young one asked me was Ken's view on abortion...I think I bought her a toy to distract her......

    But in class when the kids ask, I have to add an UL-spiritual component reminiscent of the Native American hunting rituals, where they bless their prey for giving up their lives so that the humans might live.  I think we are all grossed out by abortion as birth control.  But what if it is, indeed, a seriously considered alternative.  In Jewish tradition, a child goes through 4 stages of "ensoulment", and the earliest soul is the animal soul, up to the human soul when it takes its first independent breath, which remains our modern definition of "live birth" and when constitutional protections are triggered.

    So what if we had understood rituals for 1st term abortions, as the Soul returns to the ALL/whatever, with appropriate participation so that the woman makes a statement at least to herself that SOMETHING is dying, it isn't a hangnail!  That something of unutterable beauty has been sacrificed so that her life might continue unstressed, overcomplicated, whatever the cicumstances were.

    By leaving it up to merely a LR concern over UR safety or LL morals, we once again fragment the grief and loss and do ourselves no benefit.

    Lynne

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  •  08-23-2006, 6:39 PM 5121 in reply to 5112

    Re: Abortion...

    Yes Lynne! Read that discussion and please comment. I have posted my own sort of rundown of some of the possible spiritual perspectives, but I have never heard that and I just think it's simply awesome. More!

    Cori, I'll answer more in a bit.

     


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
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  •  08-24-2006, 8:14 AM 5193 in reply to 5076

    Re: Issues

    imom:

    I would like to see a discussion about the early stages of life in general, and of the radical importance of the mother/child bond specifically, because it is the very foundation of all further fulcrums of development. A model of parenting that doesn't address the significant role of birth and bonding, and its lifelong role in all future development is akin to plugging corks into holes while the dam is bursting.

    Until we can implement wide scale birthing practices that ensure adequate human bonding, all else will remain in remedial stages, for so many of our pathologies stem from the thwarting of the biological plan.

    vey profound and beautiful, Cori.  and one the best arguments against unnecessary pre-planned c-section births, where the mother is out cold without seeing her baby's birth . . . 

    later,

    gene

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  •  08-24-2006, 7:02 PM 5260 in reply to 4910

    • rosecpw is not online. Last active: 04-07-2008, 1:57 PM rosecpw
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    Re: Issues

    Hi All,

    Tim-- congradulations!

    Cori-- I really appreciate your support.

    About the woman with the many unwanted pregnancies, my guess is that she is continually enacting something of importance to her own particular psyche. Some shadow issue that keeps expressing itself. Does she fantasize having been unwanted herself by her own mother? Does she deep down want a baby? Or want to become a baby herself? Is there something else she's trying to get rid of? The possiblities are endless, but to me this sounds like an expression of the psyche. A symbolic re-statement of something important that this woman will not let herself see or feel that she must continually (and painfully) re-enact. She is speaking to herself over and over and not listening.

    Further, are there secondary gains? Does she enjoy or in any way benefit from these pregnancies? The attention, the drama, the feeling of fullness?

    Maybe the drama being enacted is a continual filling and emptying? Hunger (of the soul) and then a rejection abandonment of some kind?

    What an extraordinary and SAD story!

    Robin

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  •  08-24-2006, 7:15 PM 5261 in reply to 5193

    • rosecpw is not online. Last active: 04-07-2008, 1:57 PM rosecpw
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    Re: Issues

    Hi Gene,

    You are right in commenting (previously) that it's not only the doctor, but also the hospital staff that make a difference. My daughter was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital and I was 38 at the time of her birth, which practically made me a "geriatric mother." Lovely.

    I didn't breast feed because I was taking medication which my doctor had said would be bad for the  baby. I considered breast feeding anyway, but was too worried. Later it turned out-- with more research on the part of the medical community-- that it would have been all right.

    At the hospital, I chose the "lying in" option, which meant my daughter would be with me continuously in my room. However, when I had trouble bottle feeding her (I had no experience with babies whatsoever and was afraid to push the nipple into her mouth) the nurses laughed at me! They would not give any advice or suggestions, but ridiculed me for choosing the lying in option, saying that was only for experienced mothers and threatening impatiently to take the baby away and feed her themselves and not let her sleep with me. !!!!

    Honestly. That happened! I was furious, and in my fury, jammed the nipple into my daughter's mouth (I was  afraid they'd take her away and I felt inept and embarrassed about not knowing how to feed her) Thank God, she started sucking and all was well.

    Today I'd have a much stronger reaction to a nurse attempting to intimidate me, but then in the hospital I was pretty worn out-- and uncertain myself what kind of mother I'd make and the nurse's ridiculing reinforced my own insecurity.

    Talk about the care not being integral!

    Robin

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  •  08-26-2006, 10:41 AM 5456 in reply to 5261

    Re: Issues

    rosecpw:

    Hi Gene,

    You are right in commenting (previously) that it's not only the doctor, but also the hospital staff that make a difference. My daughter was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital and I was 38 at the time of her birth, which practically made me a "geriatric mother." Lovely.

    . . .

    Today I'd have a much stronger reaction to a nurse attempting to intimidate me, but then in the hospital I was pretty worn out-- and uncertain myself what kind of mother I'd make and the nurse's ridiculing reinforced my own insecurity.

    Talk about the care not being integral!

    hi robin,

    i really enjoy the way you write your stories!  my wife was 38 when we had levi (who is soon to be 4 yo).

    the hospital version of "care", sometimes, is not even close to any sort of care and compassion.

    later,

    gene

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  •  04-11-2007, 11:13 PM 21692 in reply to 5456

    Announcing first ever Integral Education Seminar!

    Hi everyone,

     

    Have you heard of the Integral Education seminar that’s taking place this summer for educators and parents? It’s the first ever, and will be held August 13-17 on beautiful Whidbey Island, just west of Seattle: www.i-edu.org. 

     

    I think it is going to be an amazing event. Diane Hamilton will be there, presenting Big Mind and the 3-2-1 shadow process for educators, also Clint Fuhs from Integral Institute plus the entire team that’s been working together as the Integral Education Center’s core team for the last three years.

     

    Are you engaged in Integral Education, which includes Integral Parenting?  This will be a wonderful opportunity to network with a small but growing group of educators and parents from around the world that are dedicated to exploring and implementing the leading edge in education and parenting. We will come together to learn about and practice integral education, as well to become a community of fellow seekers and practitioners

     

    As Lynne mentions in another thread, this seminar is for educators of all age groups and types: “home schooling parents, parents of any age children, adult ed folks, yoga teachers, k-12, and corporate trainers...”

     

    We’d love to hear what you would like to see happen at the seminar that is not already on the schedule. Also if you are thinking of coming, this thread can be a great place start the conversation. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible there!

     

    Love and blessings to all,

    Miriam

     

    PS: To all of you who have posted in this thread in the past -- thank you so much for all your sharing, questions and insights. I have read them all and appreciated them. I have had to stay away from posting myself, simply in order to keep the precious little time I have as a mother of a 3-year old to make progress on the book I am writing on Integral Parenting. Also, I just offered a first course on the topic -- which went wonderfully. It is beautiful and heartening to witness parents emerging into an integral understanding of what parenthood can be -- I am passionately interested in the topic, in theory and in practice – a humbling and delightful adventure it is!

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