Belly Mapping Stories
When Gail Tully – founder of Spinning Babies offered to belly paint on me, little did I know what it would actually lead to. The experience was a ’treat’. Like candy, I wanted more and more and every night, I would not shower, holding on to the images she painted on my belly. And every morning, I would be so sad to have to wash it away. So for almost every night when she was in Singapore, I would wait patiently till the end of the late working night, awaiting my ‘ rest . No matter how tired she was, she would put aside that little time to devote to painting my belly. After which, I would go to the bathroom, touch and look at my little belly. Empty without a baby, yet filled with so much dreams and hopes, like every other woman and her sacred womb – her birthright.
On the last night I asked for the world and Gail painted a map on my belly and said: “I have a message for you, can you see it? The glitters represents Singapore. The dark green dot above the SpB represents San Diego (at that point I jumped up and gave her a kiss!!) and the little pink spot is my love country in Eastern Europe! You my dear, have been accepted to be one of the six pilot Spinning Babies trainers in the world”
I was over the moon! Having had the luxury of being belly painted several times and knowing the therapeutic effects it had on me and mostly, how special and sacred the whole experience was – I did not know then that I would be God’s conduit to belly mapping and belly painting. Not knowing how to draw nor have an artistic background, I am equally as amazed as the mothers as to what unfolds during a belly mapping session and mostly, how it offered the space for women to connect the dots and prepare for the coming birth.
I hope your enjoy these belly mapping stories as much as I enjoyed being God’s conduit for grace and love <3
The birth of a baby marks the birth of a mother and a father … All over and over again with each child.” As her story unfolded – and I as a conduit of God’s grace – facilitated her into her own rebirth unconsciously.
I always start with belly mapping – empowering the mother to learn to feel where and how her baby is positioned, which also allows her to learn how to trust herself and connect with her baby.
Then I get them to choose a color of their choice. This mom chose green as green is a representation of hope.
As I drew, her story unfolded like layers of an onion. When her husband was 18, he made a vow at the Finnish tree that he would bring the woman of his life to this place and propose to her. Green also represented the tree and the rooting of their love.
With love sometimes comes loss and in her story, the loss of their first child. So I asked her to choose two colors for the heart – one to represent baby and one for the heart she never got to embrace.
She also loved stars and unconsciously I drew 13 stars. In tarot cards, 13 symbolizes death = rebirth. Funnily enough, before I knew this, I said to her “All endings mark new beginnings” so I asked her what beginnings did the loss of her first child give her? She said it allowed her to cut the umbilical cord with her parents and family and start her own with her new family. So I knew then that I needed to draw the umbilical cord to represent life and death, endings and beginnings.
The Finnish tree is triangular, so are the stars. I wanted to draw the tree enveloping the baby as the representation of the baby’s father’s dreams coming true. The the triangle represented the father’s hopes and dreams and the inverted triangle which transformed the tree into a star is what love does – love transforms us.
The blue circle represents the umbilical cord and the circle of life – endings and beginnings and in this case… Rebirth.
When the mom told me that they were deciding between naming this child Daniel or Samuel, the name David popped up in my mind. Do you see the Star of David?
When Erika found out that I was going to draw cherry blossoms as her uterus, she burst out saying that the name of her baby is “Saki”. Saki (咲) in Japanese means ‘the blooming flower on the tree’ which represented her weekly prenatal Yoga session under the Hummingbird Tree. Like a flower that blossoms into full spring, her story unfolded as I drew her belly under Gail Tully guidance. Erika lost her first baby at 26 weeks and it took her 3 years to heal from the loss before she found the courage to get pregnant again.
We all wept as we heard her voice. I weep for the wounds, hurt and pain that we carry in our bodies yet I also celebrate. Celebrate shifting the paradigm of birth.. Giving birth to wild feminine goddess within all of us… One birth at a time.
Tears that unifies hearts. Thank you Erika for the great, great, great honor and pleasure to draw on your belly. My heart bows down to your heart with the deepest love possible.
Some stories are hard to tell because when it’s painful, it’s sometimes easier not to remember. However, what remains universal is where the source of pain stems from – the love we got or didn’t get from our parents.
I usually start my belly mapping sessions the same way – from the source of new beginnings – the parents’ love and in this case, one heart. Then I colored the baby is a myriad of colors to represent the mother’s childhood of living in many countries without really one that she calls home.
As their story unfolded, one heart blossomed into five hearts – for the love that never got to blossom, they exist in the halo of life. Children choose their parents, and they wait for their turn, forming a halo around the mother’s head waiting for her to be ready for their arrival. The blue ocean represented the “base” that holds in altogether and in this case, the halo.
When the mom booked this session in with me, all I could see was flowers around her head and I drew a flower that represented her. And I invited the father to draw a representation of himself next to her.
We talked about family constellations and the importance of family systems – honoring everyone’s place in the family.
And in this belly painting, everyone has found their place – a place where we all once called our home and origins of our parents love – the sacred womb.
Dear mom has been warded for a total of 31 days thru 33 weeks of her pregnancy for preterm labor so I wanted to work with her to visualize her baby reaching 36 weeks. I drew the size of her baby now – 33 weeks: a pineapple – and the size of her baby when she reaches 36 weeks to aid her in her visualizations. I got Dad to place on hand holding baby and mom with the other hand and traced the outline of their hands and we all chipped in to fill this baby up with fun, love and lots of joy.
When I was “called” to belly paint her after reading her Facebook post, I saw two images – Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Keith Haring’s Dancing Men – and I didn’t know why until yesterday morning… It just needed time and space to unfold.
“This morning – like many other mornings in this pregnancy, I woke up at 3.30am tired but sleepless. Thoughts about the baby and my leave flitted in and out of my mind. And as I wondered how I would explain the leave, one word came into my mind: loser. I fell some more, not knowing what I was thinking when suddenly a very clear voice said in my head: I am not ready. I burst into tears. It was that familiar sense of dejection again. Yet something else happened this morning. As the tears flowed, they suddenly became tears of relief. I saw the four words clearly and heard them loudly and they told me what I needed to do to move forward. And just like that, my tears stopped. And I felt a door open. Today is a good day.”
And I replied “U know when I belly painted you – I had two images – Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night and Keith Haring’s Dancing Men kept popping up strongly. I now know why. You are loved and supported by so many!”
“This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.” – Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, his only nocturnal painting when he was living in the asylum.
Pregnancy was the most difficult time I have ever experienced in my life. I literally lived day-to-day with every sunrise indicating that I survived yet one more day. Every evening I would stare out of my window staring at the stars and sob myself to sleep. The loneliness and the darkness was one I have never experienced before.
She had a melt down today. From the beginning, she was stepping onto the road of the unknown. Loneliness is a familiar friend.
She asked me tonight how did you find your calling? I did not. My calling found me. When God calls, you answer. And if you miss his call, he will keep on knocking. Learn to listen to his calls and pray “I am listening God, I am listening”.
Life is no accident. You are always at the right place at the right time.
Loneliness and darkness is not a place to be feared. There is the “morning star” however it is in the deep abyss of the dark night is where you see the light because when you hit rock bottom, there is truly nowhere to go but up.
Pregnancy takes up space metaphorically – which also means that for the space it’s needing, what is no longer needed and wanted needs to go. And “to go”, it has to be released. To release is to feel it for what it is.
At the birth this morning, I said to the mother “Visualize your cervix dilating as you inhale, release your baby as you exhale.”
So breathe in and open up with your in-breath, and release and let go with your out-breath. You are enough… Truly love. “Hands on your heart always” – that’s something you hold in your core amidst the chaos”.