I was journaling in my Book of Shadows about Soul Fragmentation and trauma when I started to think about fetal development.
From this University of Maine bulletin: When children are faced with physical or emotional stress or trauma, the hormone cortisol is released. High levels of cortisol can cause brain cells to die and reduces the connections between the cells and certain areas of the brain harming vital brain circuits. Two important possibilities here: damaged or miswired. http://bit.ly/298Y4hg
Regarding a baby in the womb:
At 10 weeks, the brain and kidneys are functioning.
At 19 weeks, senses are developing.
At 23 weeks, hearing is developed enough to pick up your voice and heartbeat and the sense of movement has developed enough to feel the mother’s major movement.
At 28 weeks, vision is developed enough that bright continuous light outside the mother’s body may be detected.
That’s mostly second trimester development. This is purely from a physical/anatomical time line, the progression of awareness and sensitivity a baby has inside its mother. If stress can negatively impact an infant’s brain development, what about an unborn baby who has reached these milestones of growth? And what about the potential for injuring the spirit of that baby or at least negatively impacting its energy?
From a spiritual and energetic standpoint, I absolutely believe a fetus is susceptible to the feelings of fear, distress, hurt, etc the mother may be going through if she’s in a bad situation. I believe, at that level, the connection between the two are the strongest it will ever be.
On a personal note: The fighting in my family was so bad it made my mother start to bleed when she was pregnant with me and it scared everyone into a temporary truce. Not before someone got threatened with a gun after a physical altercation though. Was I born desensitized to domestic violence? I don’t think so. But there is a pattern in my relationship choices where I have a history of staying too long or compromising on behaviour that are clear precursors to domestic violence. I did not grow up with my biological parents who were involved in the altercation. My maternal grandmum and a female relative raised me. I didn’t witness any domestic violence within the home during my childhood, but did endure forms of emotional neglect and abuse. Exposure — energetically, spiritually, virtually, physically — to anything that an potentially cause trauma is something I see as like radiation. Can you be exposed to a massive amount of radiation in one go that winds up destroying you in an acute fashion? Sure. But lesser repeated exposures can be just as dangerous and destructive. I think exposure to trauma can be cumulative in its effect in a similar fashion.
Some believe that when a person, particularly a child, is abused in any way it imprints on them energetically through that trauma and that until it is addressed it leads to the victim encountering similar situations throughout their life. The statistics on revictimization make for an interesting read as well as the stats regarding suicidal behaviour, substance abuse, and other psychological effects of abuse when it comes to this theory.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has a PDF worth reading that summarizes the findings of a handful of child abuse and revictimization studies. You can find that at this link here.
“[T]hese results provide strong support for the fundamental hypothesis that childhood victimization leads to increased risk for lifetime revictimization. That is, across a number of types of traumas and victimization experiences, abused and neglected children are at increased risk of revictimization, compared to matched controls. The present findings indicate that the phenomenon of revictimization extends to children who experienced physical abuse and neglect, in addition to those who experienced sexual abuse.”
Childhood Victimization and Lifetime Revictimization (CUNY).
It breaks it down further by discussing the resulting statistics relating to gender and ethnicity. There are some interesting theories within that section regarding community effects, socio-economic status, et cetera within the context of the increased risk of revictimization.
This by no means is an indictment against victims or in anyway an exercise in victim blaming. If anything, it should shift the discussion toward bolstering outreach and therapy to hopefully help free survivors from long-lasting psychological wounding, which results in the detachment from and tolerance of negative and dangerous behaviour.
How does this have anything to do with an unborn baby? Well, let’s take the concept of the child being physically and spiritually connected to it’s mother whilst inside the womb. Based on the facts of fetal development, the baby has growing awareness before its born of things happening not just to its mother (it can hear her heartbeat and feel her movements), but within close proximity so much so that it will turn its face toward a steady light glowing from the outside of the mother’s tummy.
A very young child may not understand the concept of rape or the details of what he’s seeing happening to his mother, but he can see and hear her distress so much so that that fear becomes his own. Something horrible is happening. Someone is hurting his mother. Someone may hurt him.
I think on the most basic instinctual level — lizard brain basic — an unborn baby is aware of and affected by the actions and energy around him and his mother during her pregnancy starting at the second trimester.