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Welcome to the Aura Holistic Therapies Blog.

 

A sharing of the feminine through  awarenessness and wellness.

 

 

By Leora Leboff, Mar 11 2016 10:26PM



Coping mechanisms at times of personal tragedy or trauma are truly fascinating.


Some of us need to share our thoughts and thought processes; some of us need to remain private; some of us need to internalise; some of us need to create a safe space for others who have undergone similar experiences, maybe by running a support group; some of us go on to educate and work to support others who have experienced similar trauma; some raise money for charity, or even set up their own charity.


Each and every intention that is born out of a trauma or tragedy will come from a place of authenticity and a drive to cope. And each will also play a role in the healing journey of the person involved.


Losing a baby or child is a trauma that illicits many diverse and individual responses.


Support groups are available, some in person, many online and thankfully with the space created by social media there is more and more opportunity for offering or receiving assistance. Within this network sometimes what emerges is a name that unifies those that are coping with the same situation.





Rainbow Babies are those precious souls carried and born following a pregancy or baby loss.


It's utterly beautiful to connect your next precious pregnancy or baby you can actually hold, feed, take home and nurture, to a phenomenon that occurs after a storm has broken and the sunlight that has been allowed in to break the darkness.


And there is such darkness to weather when you've been left with empty arms and a broken heart.


When I googled Rainbow Baby, endless search results came up; there is clearly a huge amount of support that comes with the term - many pages, images and services are on offer to bring comfort to parents.


But what of those who grow up being Rainbow Babies?


They are the much longed-for child, who has grown, has filled their parents lives, has been able to offer cuddles, giggles and hopefully joy.


But, what other weight is being held with this name?


The constant reminder of loss; I am here because my sibling or siblings died. Could this name carry guilt? I live, but my baby brother or sister didn't. Do I want to be recognised by this label that will always refer to the baby before me? Can I not be my own person?


I wasn't aware of the term when I was pregnant with my daughter after losing Baby Harry. I decided to ask her what she thought of the name Rainbow Baby/Child (she's 10 years old) and shared with her its meaning. Her reaction was that it was a lovely name. After this conversation, we had a busy afternoon, a period of time passed, so I tested the water and referred to her again later as my Rainbow Child. This time she began to get upset, and made it clear that she didn't want me to use the term again. It was hard for her to verbalise why her reaction was so strong, but she did ask me to use pet names I've had for her in the past instead. I'm assuming they felt safer.


There is certainly no right and no wrong in using the term Rainbow Baby. The comfort for parents is palpable, but so was the strength of rejection of it by my daughter.


Our methods of coping when faced with recovering from trauma will always remain highly individual.


EFT and Abdominal Massage are therapies that can play a part in helping to ease such trauma and finding peace.


To all who are on their healing journey following baby loss, I wish you peace in your heart.



Blessings

x






By Leora Leboff, Mar 23 2015 09:35PM


My friend Trauma? Really?


It's an incredibly hard concept to fathom that companionship can develop with trauma. How can you possibly build a deep and comforting relationship with an event, a feeling, a pain, even a thought that has had such destructive consequences on your whole being?


Trauma is one very powerful force.


You experience the cause, you move through the shock, you may be left with the physical scars, but you're also left with the memory, often developing into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (in this piece, however, I wont be discussing PTSD). You try everything your conscious self allows to "deal" with it. This could be counselling, psychotherapy, medication, natural remedies, homeopathy, meditiation, healing, whatever you chose as your methods of care. But something remains, you just can't seem to extricate yourself from the repetitive thoughts, the replaying of the experience in your memory, over and over again, until it becomes a narrative.


It becomes your story.


At this point the relationship may shift, it feels as though your story has entered every cell of your body and becomes such an intrinsic part of you that an uneasy friendship starts to form.


It might be a deeply uncomfortable bedfellow, but you begin to find that you can't be without it. It gradually takes on a persona of its own and eventually you find yourself having the urge to say to people "Come and meet my good friend Trauma..."


This friendship has power.


Maybe it gives you an identity, a purpose; you actually feel safe with the discomfort as it shows you're alive.


Beware though, trauma isn't exclusive - trauma hooks up with a bad crowd - the leader being your inner

critic - you know the one who shouts, sometimes far too loud at you, and for women, mostly when you're premenstrual, but she can pop up at any time! Trauma hangs out with her.


Sometimes it consciously doesn't feel right to give up the trauma.


It's too hard to step away from the friendship. How will I be able to feel after breaking up? What's there to replace the strength of the attachment? Maybe I'll actually feel lonely without this companionship. You may even feel an intangible connection that is almost imperceptible but far reaching, perhaps there's a generational or even ancestral link that binds you to your friend?


This relationship can keep you in a cocooned world.


In a world where you don't have to expose your true inner self. I don't mean that self who is holding hands with the trauma, but the one who can fly, who can create, who truly feels life, sees colours in their full brightness, see beauty around them, the one who allows the world to be seen in HD, rather than through a slightly fuzzy-screened 1970s cumbersome tv. That self is kept hidden away.


But what happens when you want the friendship to end...?


I had my story, my own relationship that developed when I lost both parents and my baby all within six months of each other. I recall times, months after, when I had to just cry and cry and cry. I'd momentarily check in with myself - which loss was I crying for? The wrenching sadness of not having Mum? The deep emptiness of losing my baby? The sometimes debilitating disbelief of Dad passing so unexpectedly and suddenly? All traumatic events individually, but squeeze them in to a six month period and you have yourself there some deep dark trauma!


Sometimes I would just be sobbing from the overwhelm of all three. But with each sob, I knew I was where I had to be. Comforted by the trauma; my new friend sat with me as a cried those tears - not just for the losses, but for almost every sadness I had felt throughout my life.


The friendship deepened and sadly pervaded so many areas of my life that it almost stopped me growing. As my personal work on healing the trauma developed, the realisation came, that what had become integral to my being, actually no longer served me.


I spent years trying to free myself from the now unwanted friendship, but the companionship persisted.


We will each have our own methods of breaking off the friendship with trauma.


For me counselling and psychotherapy, and many other forms of treatment each eased feelings and emotions, but the friendship persisted. As my journey continued, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or tapping and Abdominal Massage come in to my life. Both of these therapies finally facilitated the much longed-for break up with the wholly unhealthy friendship I had with trauma.





The dichotomy of trauma being an uncomfortable yet deeply reassuring companion is breakable. It is possible to see the beauty again and to fly.


I understand that this will not be everyone's experience and I wish those who do and those who do not identify with this premise, a peaceful journey in your healing.


As I work with these therapies alongside my Aromatherapy practice, I continue to be moved and in awe of how beautifuly they allow someone to be held in their experience. Witnessing shifts, whatever the source, is so incredibly heart-singing. If you would like to get in touch and see how these nurturing and healing therapies can support you please do contact me


For a list of Abdominal-Sacral Massage Therapists click here


For a list of therapists trained in Fertility Massage click here


Blessings


Top artwork: "Moonlight Walk" by Lucy Calhoun

Lower artwork: Lisa Rough




By Leora Leboff, Feb 21 2015 11:51AM




We all have our stories, histories, journeys that lead us to where we stand today. I didn't expect to share part of mine so soon on here, but reading an article led me to want to scream out - why was judgement being made on such a defining decision in my life?


As a word of care and warning, some of this may be hard to read, but the subject of baby loss in any form is never comfortable.


The article which prompted me to write this, is brilliantly written by Milli Hill and I am so truly grateful to her for writing it and to the women who bravely contributed their baby loss stories, allowing much needed awareness.


But there is a frustration; why does an article written with such tenderness about stillbirth and miscarriage, change its tone when referring to baby loss due to finding anomalies and making the choice to terminate the pregnancy? As I read on, the reason for the change in tone was very clear.


The word "feticide" was standing there starkly staring me in the face - foetus killer.


Why include such a punitive word in a beautifully touching article?


When I was pregnant with our second child, we discovered at the 20 week scan that our baby had brain, heart and kidney defects, he didn't have a stomach and after he was born they were unable to tell us his sex as his genitals were so deformed (test results told us later we'd had a baby boy). He had Trisomy 13 or Patau Syndrome, a chromosome disorder resulting in the baby rarely going to term and if they do their life expectancy is short. With barely an organ working in his poor little body, how our baby had lived to 20 weeks was unfathomable.


I know of women who have chosen to wait for their baby to go to term, die in utero, or at birth. I know women who have chosen not to see their baby after the birth. For me, all I could do after birthing him, was share a tender moment with him, giving him a cuddle and a kiss. He had been born sleeping and as tiny and unexpected looking as he was, I will always be grateful for that time with him. I have photos of him and his hand and footprints which I cherish. Whichever decision is made in this desperate situation, there is no right or wrong, and certainly not worthy of judgement.


So, seeing that punishing word "feticide" made me angry, misjudged and sad that once again those who have experienced baby loss, through anomaly and termination, go largely unrecognised or castigated because they took part in the decision to end their baby's life.


My children know about their brother, he will always be part of our family. Just last weekend we went to visit him at the beautiful Memorial Woodlands where he is buried. For the first time, I asked to be alone with him. Later that night I wrote:


"As I stood by my little boy's grave, I thanked him, for all he had given me. For his footprints, on paper and in my heart. We had journeyed a harsh, physically, emotionally and spiritually painful path together. But finally without tears, I told him that I could allow just the sadness, now that I had released the trauma. But also now it's time to learn, teach, raise awareness, be proud of what he has given me. I am honoured that I kissed him that night, because that's all I could have done.


My tiny little boy, truly rest in peace son."


Surely, not the words of a killer.



On Baby Harry's tenth anniversary, I wrote an article to honour him and raise awareness. This was shared by several beautiful women on their own blogs. Here is one of them.


Around 800,000 women in the UK become pregnant each year. 40, 000 of them will be told there is a risk that their baby has a serious fetal anomaly. Antenatal Results and Choices is the country's only charity to provide non-directive support before, during and after screening.


I have since been in contact with Milli Hill. She was incredibly apologietic about the inclusion of the word "feticide". She had meant to take it out of the article and will do so. The hospital that one of the mothers she interviewed had used the term. It feels shocking that such an emotive word could be used by a hospital, even if it is the correct medical terminology. Thanks again to Milli Hill for raising the issue of baby loss.


Artwork by Charlie Leboff


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