Are you somehow 'afraid baby will have autism'? With increasing awareness around autism, it's a theme that is grabbing the attention of more and more mothers and mothers-to-be.
As someone who spent many years as part of a team diagnosing autism in early childhood, I can relate. But also on a more personal level.
Because a few months after my twin girls were born, I could feel the 'afraid baby will have autism' character enter the scene and walk with us for quite some time. But more on that below...
It was Barika, pregnant at 45, who inspired this audio and article when she wrote to me about her fears around autism. Here is an extract of what she shared:
Deirdre, I'm worrying about folic acid supplementation. There is some early research linking excess folic acid to autism....
Barkia went on to say that because she had been trying to conceive for years she had high levels of folic acid. Due to all the supplements she had been taking.
Thank you for connecting with me Barika. Below I will share 3 tips to support you through the 'afraid baby will have autism' experience - including my own personal story - with the intention of supporting you now.
I also invite you to check out my post on preventing chromosomal abnormalities and one in which I explore the feminine wisdom hidden in chromosomal abnormalities at 44 for example. Because they too can help regarding high risk pregnancy concerns.
The most important piece of this that I would like to address is actually the 'worrying' part of your story Barika. Because although we have kind of been led to believe that worry is intrinsic to motherhood, it is not.
It is merely a function of the patriarchal download (our male oriented world) that does not understand that role of the feminine in the creative process. And has a very limited view of what motherhood is and can be. Our patriarchal world has trained women to worry and, therefore, pour our Creative Feminine™ energy into what we don't want.
Instead of what we would love. So we never get to discover our true creative power. As a result, being worried as mothers has become the default for many of us.
Which brings me to tip 1: Remember that the reason this response is coming up for you is due to patriarchal conditioning, expectations and assumptions about the feminine and motherhood.
Because contrary to what you have been taught, worrying is:
Remembering this will help to loosen the grip of worry for you now and right through motherhood. And open the door for a lot of joy instead. (See also my article on preventing preeclampsia as there is feminine wisdom too there that can serve you now).
The second part that I feel is important to bring your attention to, is to remind you that you have huge creative power here. In spite of what you have been led to believe in patriarchy.
You can tap into your Creative Feminine™ power by, for example, setting clear intentions. E.g. intend to show up as the woman and mother that will allow all of you to thrive. Because once you start doing that, you begin to gaze in a different direction.
Instead of 'autism worry' consuming centre stage, you now focus on where you want to go. Where you intend to go. As a woman and a mother. And that is so much more empowering. Even if you don't know how to be that woman or that mother yet, the fact that you are looking forward in the direction of health, joy and empowerment makes it much more likely that you will go there.
So tip 2 is to imagine yourself - on your very happy journey - showing up as the woman and mother that you so want to be for yourself and your children.
Imagine yourself looking back in 20 years time on this experience and feeling very, very proud of yourself. And grateful.
Because by doing this, you plug back in to your creative feminine power. And say goodbye to the 'powerless feminine' download that has gripped us as women and mothers for centuries.
As I mentioned above, I can relate to the 'afraid baby will have autism' issue because of what I observed in one of my girls when she was a few months old.
I became more and more aware of a difference in the quality of the eye contact between the girls.
Specifically, it felt like one of them looked through me, or to the left or to the right of me. But that deeper, personal connection with eye contact was absent. Or only fleeting.
So here's what I did and didn't do!
First of all, I decided that I would not be pouring any of my Creative Feminine™ power into worrying. Instead I intended to channel my energy in a way that could actually support her (tip 1).
Secondly, I didn't share this with anybody apart from people I believed could help in the situation. This ensured that I wasn't engaged in conversations that were fearful and negative - which would serve only to funnel my Creative Feminine™ into what I did not want to feed. (Tip 1 in action)
One of those people was my doctor who is also a homeopath. So, along with others, I worked with her on this. And over the next year we could see very clear changes occurring. And my daughter came to develop beautiful eye contact.
So tip 3 is to engage your feminine wisdom by being open to new ideas and ways of supporting yourself and your children that will serve you.
It's not about chasing every possible solution because you fear the worst. This is about keeping your eye on where you are going (happy, healthy children and joy in motherhood) - and moving forward one step at a time. Listening to your feminine wisdom on the way.
Create pictures, in your mind, of you enjoying gorgeous eye contact with your child. Of feeling a flow in communication through-out childhood, adolescence and adulthood. A comfortable ease and joy in how you feel together. And a sharing of meaning and connection that feels deeply satisfying. That's what I did.
Although clearly not my preference, it wasn't that autism would be the most horrible thing that could happen. I have been blessed to know many children and adults with this diagnosis and am clear on the beauty and value of each of them.
For me, this was about about giving my baby the opportunity to develop in the way that she really wanted to. And also about showing up in a way that honours my experience and understanding of our Creative Feminine™ power. Because this was a teaching opportunity....
I cannot be sure she was going to be on the autistic spectrum without intervention. Perhaps this would have 'righted' itself naturally. But in my heart I know that she was headed for a much more limited experience of relationship, sharing and belonging. Now, she enjoys lovely friendships and beautiful connections so much so that you would never guess that this has been part of her story. So it felt important to share that with you here Barika.
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your experience or perspective around this subject. Please share below because your feminine contribution here really, really matters.
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