A few weeks ago I had my bones closed.
What the what I hear you say?
If you’ve followed my story, you’ll know that I had a traumatic first birth. It’s hard now to put my finger on what was traumatic but I think it was a combination of many things.
Being unprepared. Having unrealistic expectations. Not feeling cared for by my midwife. Having a baby born flat and needing resus. Not having skin to skin. Having my son in special care for 5 days.
Maybe it was one of those things or maybe it was all of them. All I know is that post natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder were my life for 12 months before I got help.
I had a hypnotherapy session when Mason was around 1 and it changed my life. I felt healed and I could be happy again. I felt some fear rear its head when I was close to giving birth for the second time but another hypnotherapy session got me through.
Since my daughters birth I’ve done a lot of processing of my births. A lot of mental work I guess you would say.
But I always felt like there was a missing piece, some final healing work to do, closure if you will.
Enter a Closing The Bones Ceremony.
What is Closing The Bones?
Closing the Bones originates from a Mexican tradition. After a woman has given birth, her body is massaged and wrapped using rebozos which are traditional Mexican shawls.
This is done for a few of reasons. One is to assist the mothers pelvis to start to close after it’s opened wider and wider in pregnancy and then birth.
Another reason is to call the mothers spirit back to herself after she has been a portal of new life. She has been on the cusp of two worlds and this nurturing and supportive process allows her to heal on many levels.
It’s also part of the transformation of woman becoming mother and the journey that entails.
To me it just sounded divine and from the moment I heard of this ceremony, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I realised it was for new mothers and I wished I had known of it after my births.
I was so excited to learn that the delightful Julie Bell, the owner of Blissful Herbs does this ceremony. I got in contact and she said she had performed the ceremony for women up to 25 years after their births. We locked in a date and I got excited.
As the date grew closer I got emotional. My trauma in all it’s shapes and forms had been with me for almost 5 years. It was a part of me and even though it wasn’t serving me, it was familiar. Healing completely from this would change me forever and I wasn’t sure if I was ready or not.
Irrespective of my emotional unease, I drove out to Warburton, which is a gorgeous little town on the Yarra River. It was a rainy, dreary day but I felt calm and peaceful as I drove.
I arrived at Julie’s farmhouse and she met at the door looking radiant, grounded and warm.
Inside the fire was burning and the smell of her herbal teas was in the air.
We got settled in the kitchen and she poured me a tea then added honey and lemon. She had prepared a platter of fresh fruit and cheese which we nibbled as we talked.
After the pleasantries were exchanged Julie asked me if I could share my birth stories with her.
Now I’ve told my birth stories many times, but somehow telling them to Julie felt different. Her open face was so welcoming and I shared extra bits about how I felt and what I learnt from both births. She gently pointed out her observations, about how strong I was, about how I perhaps didn’t listen to my intuition at certain times, made connections I hadn’t seen but basically let me talk.
After I’d shared all I could, Julie asked if I’d like to move to the lounge area in front of the fire. I sat in a stunning antique chair and Julie gave me a foot massage. It felt like utter decadence.
Following the foot massage, she prepared a foot bath for me.
She’d bought a beautiful vintage basin and explained how it was perfect, even with the cracks and chips, then filled it with water warmed on the fire place and an assortment of bright, dried flower petals.
I placed my feet in and she dropped some essential oils in and we sat. We talked more about life, business, family and relationships. She was sweet and cheeky and I felt at home.
Once the water had cooled Julie rubbed some of her soothing salve into my feet and we moved to the floor for the Closing The Bones ceremony.
Closing The Bones
I lay down and Julie began. She had a rebozo underneath me at my feet and slowly tied and tightened it around my ankles. She gradually made her way up my body repeating the process of the tieing and tightening. It felt nurturing and comforting as she worked.
I had quite a surreal moment when she tied the rebozo around my stomach. Just for a moment, I felt those incredible feelings of a baby wriggling in my womb (no I’m not pregnant!!!). It was brief, strange and magical all at once.
Now here is another lesson for me in expectations. I expected to be overcome with emotion during the ceremony.
But I didn’t shed a tear!
During the ceremony I kept searching, searching my conscious and subconscious mind for something. I finally got a wave of clarity and finality – I have done so much work already, I have healed, this was just the final piece.
Julie then read some mothering affirmations over me before we moved on to the Bengkung Belly Binding part of the process. Julie wrapped my stomach with her beautiful belly bind and I could imagine how amazing it would feel a few hours, days or weeks after birth.
We then sat together, ate some delicious bone broth that Julie had made and regrouped. We debriefed, chatted and enjoyed each other’s company.
Before I knew it, it was time to leave. I left that little farmhouse on the hill and made my way home.
It’s been a few weeks since my Mother Blessing Ceremony and I can honestly say I feel great about my births. I feel peaceful and happy when I think back on them but mostly I feel free of any negatively that hung over those births especially my first.
I would highly recommend this process to anyone who has given birth, regardless of whether it was traumatic or not. I hope to be adding it to my repertoire so I can offer it to my clients. I would love to know if you’d be interested in the process!
For more information about Julie Bell at Blissful Herbs – CLICK HERE