Thor and Baleigh
by their mom, Heidi
When I was pregnant with my first child I was not really interested in going to the traditional birth classes like Lamaze. Instead I purchased a book and CD on Hypnobirthing. I believed that was the path to a calm relaxed birth process. I went into labor the day before my due date but since it was the same day as a regular checkup I waited all day until my appointment. My doctor told me I was in labor and about 4 cm dilated so she sent me up to labor and deliver to get checked in. Upon arrival I was told various things, including “you can’t possibly be in labor you aren’t in enough pain.”
However, due to my slightly elevated blood pressure I was admitted and poked, prodded and harassed for the next few hours. Every time my husband would leave my side they tried (successfully) to do something different. Because of my elevated blood pressure they administered Magnesium which they did not tell me would not just bring down my blood pressure, but slow my labor as well. Because of this it was forcefully suggested that they also give me a Pitocin drip. I wanted to give birth without the assistance of pain medication but every nurse who attended to me questioned this choice. After 12 hours of labor with Pitocin I gave in and got and epidural. I managed to sleep for a few hours before they woke me up and said that I was not progressing fast enough so they were going to break my water. Even after that my labor was slow going. When I finally reached 10 cm and began pushing I was so tired and hungry that I couldn’t do it effectively. I had one nurse yelling for me to “push, push, push” and I felt powerless and incapable of doing this one final task. After almost 4 hours of pushing the doctor said they would be taking me to the O.R. to have a C-section. This was the absolute last straw for me. With four powerful pushes I gave birth to my son Thor.
I wish I could say that I was overjoyed and basked in the glow of my first child’s birth but honestly, the first thing I asked was if I could go to sleep. I don’t even remember holding my son for the first time I was so tired, hungry, and drugged. My recovery time was long and painful even though I hardly tore at all.
Baleigh, our second child, was born just 13 months after my son. I was scared of a repeat performance. Although I again practiced HypnoBirthing, my dream of a calm, peaceful birth was realized through Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™. I went through a clearing process to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories. It was a significant emotional event for me. Some memories that I had not even been aware of surfaced. It saddened me to realize how little I got to bond with my son in the first hours of his life. I also went through visualization sessions with Cori to “see” what this birth could be like.
On Thanksgiving morning 2007 my labor started. I was so excited! We decided to go on with our planned activities for the day until I felt it was time to go to the hospital. I felt more in control this time and didn’t want a doctor taking that away from me. Towards early evening, my contractions were about two minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. After five needle sticks trying to start the obligatory IV, with my tension rising I said “no more” and the doctor agreed.
Not only was Cori my Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner but she’s my mother-in-law. She was there and helped me re-center my thoughts and I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My labor progressed quickly and with relatively no discomfort. I walked for about an hour before my water broke and I decided to spend the rest of my labor on the birthing ball or in bed receiving Reiki on my lower abdomen. When I reached the transition point I felt very powerful. I lay on my side and curled up almost in the fetal position to push. Someone held my leg and I could actually feel the baby causing friction because she was moving so fast. My body did all the work this time and in a fraction of the time. I spent less than 10 minutes actually pushing and it was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing her out. It’s almost an indescribable feeling. The most amazing thing is that although my blood pressure was elevated with this pregnancy as well, I birthed with no medication. Baleigh was born perfectly healthy. My recovery this time was also amazingly fast. About an hour after giving birth I was ready to go home and if they had let my daughter go then, we would have gone home.
My daughter was such a happy well adjusted infant. She slept through the night very early on and was very contented. This was such a great departure from Thor. He would cry if not held and would only sleep curled up on my chest for 20 minutes at a time for the first 6-8 weeks. I am grateful that Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ helped me achieve my dream of a calm, peaceful birth for myself and my baby.