Different Doorway: Adventures of a Cesarean Born

Reviewed Publisher: 
Point Reyes Station: Earth Heart, 1985 203pp.
Reviewed Title: 
Different Doorway: Adventures of a Cesarean Born
Reviewed Author: 

Different Doorway, by Jane Butterfield English, is an intreguing document chronicling her ten-year endeavour to understand the personal ramifications of her birth by cesarean section.

This highly personal journal is devided into three parts. Part 1 is the prologue, an explanation of her decision to undertake this inner search, and the methodology utilized.

The journey itself, explored mainly in documented dreams, visualizations, art and therapy sessions, comprises the second part. It is very graphically and vividly written, encompassing nine years of thoughts, experiences, and insights into her inner world as a nonlabour cesarean person. Some areas are difficult to read as a noncesarean, or, as the mother of cesarean children. However, the author points out that her writings are personal, and her ideas are presented nonjudgementally.

During her journey, Jane Butterfield English met several people who supported, assisted and accompanied her through much of her travels, and interviews with some of them included in Part 3.

Her work is influenced by Stanislav Grof (who writes the Forward) and some of her facilitators are also cesarean-born. At times, they recognize and respond to common themes - the pull between dependence, and independence, defensiveness, and ambivalence.

Until now, birth as experienced by the child has been represented only from the point of view of those vaginally born. This book offers a unique opportunity to share birth impressions from another perspective.

Since approximately 20% of all individuals in North America may now enter through this "Different Doorway" this book is relevant to all of us who are involved in birth education, support, exploration, and process. Through heightened awareness, perhaps sensitivities towards the newborn can be enhanced during and following a cesarean. With Jane Butterfield English's map to enhance the journey, perhaps the route will be eased for those involved in their own journey of self-discovery.

Publication Date: 
03/1987