To tell you the truth, I don’t feel like I have a very exciting ‘birth story’ as it flew by so incredibly fast… I feel like I have much more of a ‘Dr. Motha Story’ which means I should probably start with the first time I heard of you.
Several years ago, long before even contemplating having a child, I read an article in W magazine about an Indian doctor based in London who was the absolute birthing guru! Even me, the least ‘clucky’ girl in the world, was impressed! I never gave it another thought until several years down the line, when faced with a completely un-expected pregnancy, I literally googled ‘Indian doctor – pregnancy – London’ and within a few minutes found the article and the contact details for your clinic.
Since I had to wait a while for an appointment with you, I ordered your book to find out what all the hype was about and get a head start. I have to admit that I devoured the book in one day. What a wealth of simple, wholesome, and no-frills information. It did all sound a bit too good to be true, but with nothing to lose I thought I’d give it a try. I immediately started following the dietary guidelines and stuck to them all the way to the very end (except for the odd cappuccino and pastry on the weekends… I do live in Italy after all). The results were instant and unbelievable. Not only did the morning sickness disappear within 12 hours, never to return, but I started to lose weight in all those stubborn trouble spots.
After my first appointment with you, I was hooked! Armed with my prescribed supplements, yoga dvd, visualisation/relaxation cd, scheduled weekly reflexology appointments and monthly appointments with you, off I went back to Italy to do my homework. The months flew by and I just kept getting fitter and healthier. Rather than feeling like a shapeless, bloated ‘blob’ I was completely toned with a perfect little round bump on the front. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever felt better than in those months!!!! At the beginning of my ninth month I flew to London where I was to give birth and have more frequent visits with you. You had me walking for hours every day right up to the day before giving birth, and I just kept getting stronger and more energetic! My husband still tells people what a hard time he had keeping up with me after walking from a morning at the Tate Modern all the way back to Notting Hill at 38 weeks!!!!!!!
Then comes the part that no-one believes, and when everyone starts begging for your number! At 11:30am on the big day, after spending the morning in bed with your ‘birth rehearsal’ on repeat to keep me focused during my painless yet nauseating contractions, I got up and walked two blocks to the hospital. I was greeted very nonchalantly by a mid-wife who said she’d inspect me, but would most likely send me home as it was obviously too early to admit me. To her absolute surprise, this apparently calm and collected woman in front of her was 8cm dilated! All she could muster was ‘come with me and start getting undressed while you’re at it!’ I was hurried down the corridor, stripped off, and swiftly plopped into a birthing pool before I could utter a word. Just before 13:00 she pulled me out of the water and 4 pushes later, at 13:02 our little girl was born. Probably the most astonishing thing about my ‘birth experience’ is how calm our little one is! She never even cried while the midwives carried out their tests, and they all said that most babies are bellowing by that point. To this day she remains the most placid and content little girl. I have no idea if it’s thanks to all the reassurance and strength you gave me during pregnancy that was just passed on to her in the womb, or if she’s just an absolute angel by nature. Regardless, EVERYONE who meets her tells me how lucky we are and that we have no idea how good we’ve got it!
Having been there and done it now, I realise what an unnecessary fuss society makes of pregnancy. Yes, it is an absolutely joyous and special time, but the majority of pregnant women I’ve ever met face pregnancy as a temporary handicap which serves as an excuse to become lazy, to eat anything and to temporarily put everyday life on pause…the complete opposite of what you advocate for your mothers.
I feel so lucky to have been taken under your wing and so enriched by all the knowledge you’ve shared with me. Thank you for making even the most un-maternal girl’s pregnancy, birth experience and crash landing into parenthood so absolutely amazing. You really are too good to be true!