Midwife, Intuitive, and Healer: A Conversation with Teresa Robertson



 Column Editor’s Note: Teresa Robertson, RN, CNM, MSN, conducts private pre-conception sessions to help her clients connect with their unborn children, to promote fertility, heal pregnancy losses such as miscarriage and abortion, and to help adoptive parents connect with their children-to-be. Two of her articles are available in this column: “Fertility and the Mind-Body Connection” and “Communicating with your Unborn Child.” In this conversation, Teresa offers further insights into her work and personal experiences, in response to questions from Elisabeth Hallett, author of Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children on the Way to Birth. Teresa’s contact information is: In Health Teresa Robertson RN,CNM, MS Intuitive Counselor 3011 N. Broadway, Suite 23 Boulder, CO, 80304, USA www.BirthIntuitive.com www.LivingIntuitiveResources.com Tel: 303-258-3904. Email: tann@indra.com

Q. Teresa, your articles bring up many new ideas. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to learn more about your work. I often hear from people who are looking for ways to encourage a child to come into their lives. One of the practices you have mentioned is the “baby altar.” Please tell us more about this intriguing idea.

A: The baby altar is a way to create physical space within your home for an unborn child. It can also serve as a spiritual focus. Creating a baby altar is one of the things I urge anyone to do in preparation for conception or during pregnancy. Of course, my use of the word altar reflects my Catholic upbringing — substitute any word (puja, shrine etc.) which has significance for you.

The baby altar delineates a specific energetic space for the spirit of your baby. For several reasons, the bedroom is often chosen as its location. People with specific meditation rooms might wish to create a separate baby altar there. Your bedroom is usually a quieter and more private space, therefore it is an area that will gain the least attention and influence from other people. Secondly, for many couples the bedroom is their sanctuary and so contains that kind of energy already. Thirdly, your bedroom is where you are awake and sleepy — times you may feel more connected to spiritual realms and/or the world of dreams. And finally, your bedroom is often the location where you will be making love to conceive this baby.

The size of the altar and number of items on it are not important, but the intention of the space is. Again, maybe this is a reflection of my Catholic background, but I see a candle as an essential component of an altar. For many people the flame of a candle represents the essence of a soul quality, the spirit of life force, the spark of creativity. There are so many candle choices available now with many different colors, scents, shapes and sizes. I like to suggest placing a baby picture of each parent on the altar. Other objects which can be used include (but are not limited to) special cards, fertility symbols or amulets, baby booties, shells, stones, crystals, flowers or a plant.

Q: I’m intrigued that you mention putting baby pictures of the parents-to-be on the altar. Is there a special significance to this, a reason that you suggest baby pictures?

A: I mention placing pictures of the parents on the altar for several reasons. I first started talking about baby altars with pregnant couples. When a baby is born, these pictures come out anyway. The baby will be born from each parent’s essence, so both their pictures would be a draw. Secondly, the baby or soul essence of an individual is so apparent in a baby picture. This assists with drawing a baby essence to that other baby essence. And finally, for the parent-to-be it is important to get in touch with oneself as a baby. Often a baby picture captures a person’s original spark and love of life, their soul purpose or mission. Adults can glean an enormous amount of information from their baby pictures, and these pictures can also open the doorway to healing.

Q: I love the idea of putting baby pictures on the altar. I was particularly struck by it because I have a baby picture of myself on my bedroom wall where I often see it. It shows me with a big happy, trusting grin, and when I look at it I feel like I’m seeing my original nature as I came into the world, confident of finding it a good place to be!

While your work is primarily with women, we know that perhaps 35% of fertility problems derive from the prospective father. Can the meditation and relaxation exercises, such as you teach to women, also help men with fertility problems?

A: My experience with men and fertility has always been initiated by the women. I have not seen a man who came to me presenting with concerns about his fertility. However, while working with women alone or in a couple situation about fertility (often these are couples doing intrauterine inseminations or IVF), I have included visualization for the man. That is not to say that I could not work with a man, it is just that I initially don’t get approached for that kind of issue. I suspect that for a man there is a lot of shame accompanying a fertility problem since in our culture fertility is seen as being linked with virility.

For such a man I would first assess his nutritional status and use of supplements. I would teach him how to reset his sperm count, quality, and motility through the use of visualization. I would also explore with him any ambivalence and fear he may have about the possibility of pregnancy. In my experience, especially in working with women pursuing IVF, the partner often has ambivalence about becoming a parent, which frequently includes fear about their relationship changing and failing.

Q: Teresa, as I understand it, your work focuses on helping parents-to-be to make a real connection with their children before birth or even before conception. Do you find that most people are able to do so, with your guidance?

A: Yes. Many also have powerful experiences in meditative states or while dreaming, and really enjoy receiving validation of their experience.

Q: Is your participation an important ingredient to facilitate the connection?

A: Yes and no. I strongly believe and promote this field of my work to be self empowering — so that someone doesn’t need to seek someone outside of themselves to talk to their unborn baby. However, it really depends on who is trying to connect, why, and what state of being they are in. Also, if someone has a block or a blind spot it is often useful to have an outside person to help clear any blockages and facilitate the communication. We are raised and immersed within a culture which tells us that only “crazy” or special “psychic” people are able to hear or see spirits. Clients often use the time I spend with them to learn how they receive this information — do they know it, sense it, smell it, hear it or see it?

It is essential to approach this experience and techniques with an open mind and heart and with the quality of neutrality. It is also important to communicate in a manner which is cooperative and in which negotiations are made on both sides so that each party (parent and unborn child) is fully seen and heard. Trying to connect in order to orchestrate or engineer a certain fertility or birthing experience will evoke more of controlling energy and probably will not prove to be satisfying.

Q: I have many questions about communicating with one’s unborn child. Is there any way to tell the difference between genuinely connecting and just having a wishful daydream?

A: That’s a great question. In my experience there is nothing more authentic than when a parent first connects with their unborn child. When they feel that vibration of heat or sound, or hear “I love you” or “Everything is okay, you are doing a good job” — there is nothing to shake that knowledge.

What usually helps is to be in a relaxed, open, and non-judgmental state. The first experiences of connecting will often be visceral in nature — the parents-to-be will know, feel, or sense something which will be difficult to put into words. They will know that it is true in their bodies, not in their heads. After validation of that experience they will start to see colors or hear words. My job is to support and to validate them to trust their intuition and the way they get that information.

Q: I have a sense of what you mean when you say the parents will know the communication is true in their bodies, not in their heads. But I’m not sure I fully understand. Could you explain more about this?

A: It is a knowing within their heart, body, soul that this is true. They may sense a vibration of hot or cold, may hear the baby’s voice or (if already pregnant) the baby may start to move or kick. It is a visceral, gut knowing and understanding. They will know from every cell of who they are that this is true.

Q: Teresa, how did you first come to know and understand the possibility of communicating with the unborn child? And also, how did you develop the techniques you use with your clients?

A: I first learned about and joined APPPAH in 1985. During that time I worked at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and was waking up to many healing concepts and ideas. “Grokking” (intuitively understanding) the spirit of the baby and his/her involvement in the birthing process became a part of what I was learning, along with an increased respect for power of the mind/body/spirit connection.

During 1987-89 I worked as a clinical coordinator for a first trimester abortion clinic. My involvement and connection with unborn babies became heightened because of this work and from reading a book named A Difficult Decision,* a compassionate book about abortion. Many times while witnessing an abortion procedure I would see or sense the spirit of the baby leave.

Early on I had a patient who needed a repeat procedure. What she shared with me dramatically changed my counseling approach. She said, in reference to her pregnancy, “I just wasn’t ready to let go of that part of me and my boyfriend last week.” From that moment on, I have talked to women who are considering terminating a pregnancy or who are miscarrying, advising them to connect with the baby and say goodbye in order to let go.

In 1989 I moved to Colorado to finally become a midwife. My approach during school and later in my practice was to promote bonding between all members of the family and their baby during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. One of my favorite (although not most skilled) things to do during a prenatal visit was to draw the baby on the mom’s belly. I always attempted to ask the baby’s permission when touching it either externally or during a vaginal exam. In these ways I was connecting with those babies.

Six years ago, a woman who did psychic readings on new babies and families came to my office and gave me a complimentary reading. We became friends, and eventually I studied with her for two years. The gift of that study enabled me to understand all of the input I receive and to discern what was mine and what was someone else’s. This study provided the finishing touch to present my work as I share it today. However, the style and flavor of my work very much incorporates all of my study and growth over the past twenty years. The work I now share with women and their families thoroughly integrates all of who I am: the midwife, the intuitive, and the healer.

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