By Shirley A. Ward | Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health | Fall 2006
People’s anger has deep roots. The current conflict in their life is usually a trigger for a reservoir of buried emotions that need to surface.
Aggression is not something that reflects one’s true nature but rather a screen that separates one from it.
Very early parenting begins before conception. The state of the parents to be is of immense importance to the well-being of the new individual to be conceived. For this world to be a better place to live in love and peace it takes a healthy ovum and sperm to create a well balance human being.
The sexual act between parents, in whatever emotions or non-emotions of conception, will affect one’s coming into being. Anger does not appear to be a rare negative emotion in this respect.
A mother’s response to her pregnancy can have a great effect on the new human organism. This terror is a direct result which can cause a transmarginal stress. When mother is frightened or angry it’s like a siren or security alarm going off. It reverberates right through the fetus. This can cause a profound and permanent sense of worthlessness and a very deep anger towards parents, people and life itself. One will hear phases such as “No one wants me.” “I’m not wanted.” “I want some recognition.”
If a mother doesn’t notice or find out that she is pregnant there could be the emotion of unnoticed. The adult may say, “Nobody notices me.”
If the mother attempts to abort the fetus or there is a near spontaneous abortion there can be a feeling that their presence is resented and its life is in danger. The adult could be stating, “You are killing me. I will kill you. If you don’t want me I’ll kill you first.” One relives its own near murder, terror of death, with quite astounding accuracy. The enormous feelings of rejection and the murderous rage surrounding its own near annihilation is serious and misunderstood.
As I continue to study the effects for the VT on others, I am impressed with the following concept of maternal fetal distress syndrome or negative umbilical affect. This denotes the feeling state of the fetus as brought about by blood circulating through the umbilical vein from the mother. Now there are many scientific research studies producing possible evidence as to why this happens. Dr. Candace Pert, whom I met through NET, has proven in her studies of neuropeptides and their receptors as the biochemical correlation of emotions. It has been confirmed that there is a predominant mechanism by which the positive and negative feelings of the mother from her life situations and per personal reactions to them, are transmitted to the fetus. When the mother is angry or terrified any time throughout the nine months of her pregnancy, the unborn baby is invaded with these feelings and every cell of the unborn is marinated and informed of the emotional crisis. The unborn’s own emotions and reactions to the crisis are present.This does appear to be the source of many of the adverse, angry feelings felt by children or adults later on in life.
What can be called as Intrauterine Imprinting are incidents involving anger, rage, violence and other adverse emotions whether experienced internally or externally by the mother. Smoking provokes real anger in the unborn because it will send the baby into respiratory distress. (Noble, 1993). This has been seen on ultrasounds. Irving-Neto and Verny (1992), in their research found that a fear of losing one’s temper was more often reported by those whose mothers smoked cigarettes (30 %) then those whose mothers din not smoke (24%) during pregnancy. A fear of becoming violent and destructive was more often reported by those whose mothers used cigarettes (25%) marijuana (44%) or alcohol (34%0 than by those whose mothers did not use these agents. There is a significant relationship between maternal stress and anger transferring to the fetus.
This research is very important concerning the Twin that Vanished. Very few have discussed the impact of the death of the twin on the mother. In my many years of healing from the death of my sister, not once have I thought about the impact of this on my mother. Emotions do NOT just travel one way in the umbilical cord.
Any external anger experienced by the fetus is tragic, horrific and can be relieved by an adult. If there is any abuse on the mother the fetus is helpless and is covered by this rage of the perpetrator and can result in many terrible as an adult.
I have witnessed in my years of caring for survivors of a VT, a silent anger. The violence that takes place in utero is invisible for a while. Dr. David Chamberlain, who has been a great supporter of this VT work and NET, says the injuries cannot be discovered until much later in life. It is stated the silent, passive anger is the killer. Anger may be a protection to the truth. Anger covers up pain, despair, and sadness because life shouldn’t be the way it is. There is a major link between depression and frozen anger.
When an amniocentesis is done there is seen on the ultrasound the babies reactions to the needle. Ianniruberto and Tajani (1981) showed that babies react fearfully, defensively and sometimes aggressively. Chamberlain (1998) shared this experience of a friend of his during an amniocentesis. Her husband, the doctor and the ultrasound technician all saw little unborn Claire- bat the needle. The technician said, “Take it out!” When the doctor reinserted the needle, the fetus again attacked it, forcing the doctor to remove the needle. The husband and doctor were in a nervous sweat. The doctor said he had never seen a baby swing at a needle before that experience. Who wouldn’t be angry at this intrusion?
From the use of ultrasounds, it is revealing the secret life of twins in utero. Chamberlain shared that by the 20th week twins manifest a range of behaviors from affection to aggression. Observers have reported twins hitting each other. At 24 weeks monoamniotic twins were filmed have a boxing match with repeated rounds of a few minutes each. One baby would strike with his have and the other would strike back. Also filmed were twins in different amniotic sacs hitting each other by pushing the dividing membrane.
The emotional trauma of the VT can cause violence in the adult. This early anger imprinted on the survivor may be seen early in life with a cross baby. Sleepless nights from months on end may be the result of intrauterine anger. Feelings of betrayal are linked with anger and violence, separation and loss. Bullying is becoming more and more common in the youth. What is bullying called in adults? It is seen on campuses, in offices, in post offices, in divorce, in child abuse, in homes and the results are filling the overcrowded prisons. With the death of a twin, this trauma can cause a bullying connection with fear with an aggressive reaction to the trauma of the underlying fear of death. Bullying may lead to many other forms of violence later on in life.
It is a very critical time of growth for the fetus in the womb. The white or chalk board is clear and clean. The painful and life threatening experiences associated with pregnancy, the VT and the passage through the birth canal naturally provoke a corresponding violent response. This is seen later on in life situations. I teach mothers to be that emotions of all kind are dissipated in the womb. Every word said by anyone near the baby is heard by the baby. If the mother and those close to her are sensitive, caring and healthy, the fetes will not have to drink the negative emotions that come into him or her from outside.