Rosie wants to highlight the importance of early conditioning using Self-hypnosis and Visualisation. Starting as early as possible in pregnancy gives you more of a chance to become an expert at the technique for labour. Rosie also feels that she did her homework, following the dietary guidelines, having treatments and so on, so that she was ready for labour.
I started seeing Gowri in my fourth month of pregnancy; I had had an easy first three months, not too much morning sickness and I felt pretty healthy but I lead a stressful life (work-wise) and I wanted to give something back to my baby and my body. Gowri had been recommended to me – by a friend who had had a fantastic birth experience using Self Hypnosis and Meditation. On hearing more about it I became more and more fascinated by it and felt it was something that was right for me and my husband. Too much in life is done without thought and giving birth is not something you do every day of the week so I really wanted to focus on it and give it my 100% and The Jeyarani Way seemed a good way to focus on birth and switch off from the worries and stress of work.
We attended a 4-week class in July – which was still three months away from my due date but it was the best thing I could have done, the longer you have to let the information settle into your brain the better. This is a form of conditioning and the more time you give yourself the better it is for your confidence and your preparation. I firmly believe that you need to give yourself a good amount of time to understand that you are going to have a baby and that you are in control of your labour, and that it is something to look forward too, rather than fear. Too many people go into childbirth with their eyes closed, in some sort of denial. They fear the ‘pain’ that they believe is involved in labour and so before they have started they have already made it a negative rather than a positive experience and this can have a detrimental effect on your labour.
I found Gowri’s classes very beneficial, and went for top ups in September – I was also listening to her self-hypnosis tapes as often as I could. Plus I was having treatments every other week.
Three days before Louis was born I went to see Gowri; it was a Friday and a full moon. Gowri told me that the baby was ready to come out, and that he would be here in the next few days. I was excited and felt confident and ready for his arrival. I went home and my husband and I spent a really happy weekend preparing our home, we went to the supermarket, we saw friends, we went out for dinner and we lay in and enjoyed each other’s company as we knew our baby was coming soon. On the Sunday night my contractions started; faintly and gradually throughout the early hours of the morning; they were not uncomfortable and I managed eventually to sleep. Monday morning I woke, no more contractions and I wondered if I had imagined it, I got out of bed and noticed that I had my show, then I realised that things had definitely started and I was going to be on my way. I telephoned Gowri and told her and she suggested I come in that afternoon and that she could get things moving a little faster.
My husband and I got to Gowri’s about 4 pm; I still felt fine. Gowri examined me and thought I was 2 cms dilated, she then started working on me, she gave me reflexology, some cranial work and by the time she had finished with some Bowen Technique I was contracting lightly. Charlie drove us home and by the time we reached home I was contracting every 5 minutes for about 20 seconds. This was manageable and we packed our bags and made some dinner; things were moving very quickly by this time and I was definitely in full labour. I was on all fours by this stage, using techniques I had learnt in my yoga classes, I found them very useful, combining this with the breathing we had worked on in self-hypnosis. A couple of hours of contractions passed quickly but not pleasantly. There were moments I thought that it would be easier to go straight to hospital and have an epidural. My husband knew how much I wanted to have a natural birth but without his support and encouragement I would have been tempted to go for the easy option.
We arrived at the hospital at about 10 pm, the Birth Centre at Queen Charlotte’s. A male midwife, Willy, examined me and said that I was already 7-8 cms dilated, which was fantastic I had moved very quickly. Gowri had expected this and had said on leaving her practice, that I would probably be 5 cms by the end of the evening, she had also said the baby would be born at 4 am that morning and that the baby would weigh about 8 lbs 5 oz. The midwife hooked me up to some gas and air, unfortunately the birth pool was not available as it was already in use, so Willy, my midwife and my husband decided to run the bath in the en-suite bathroom so that I could get in that. The bath, the warm water was a great pain relief even though I kept getting out and threatening to go home. The contractions were over pretty quickly and the urge to push followed, I suppressed the urge to push for a while but it got stronger and stronger and within minutes the baby was on its way down the birth canal. The most amazing sensation was being able to feel the top of the baby’s head with my fingers, I could feel the amniotic sac he was in and the top of his head I knew he was so close to being born and it felt incredible. I think that after a maximum of six pushes, the baby’s head crowned and I knew that there was only a few left to go. This was probably the hardest part, I knew his head was bigger than the opening; I did fear tearing but the bodies natural instinct to birth the baby was far greater than my fear and with one more huge primal scream and push his head and shoulders were born. This was a tense moment, as I needed to keep my hips under the water so that the baby would not float to the top. I then had to wait for the next contraction for the rest of the baby to be born. He was born and before I knew it he was in my arms and screaming; he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen and I was overjoyed. I remember seeing the umbilical cord round his neck and panicking, but it was fine but the panic had stopped me from looking what sex he was until my husband told me. My husband cut the cord and held him while I then contracted the placenta.
He was born at 12.10 and weighed 8lbs.9ozs Gowri had got it right!
I feel incredibly lucky that I had a fantastic birth experience and that it is an honour to be a mother and to have given birth. I know that I did my homework and that I worked very hard at the diet, the meditation and the yoga. I re-conditioned myself and my way of thinking over the last 9 months, I believe that one needs to change the tape in our heads – childbirth is associated with pain in modern day and we need to change our way of thinking. To focus on pain is negative and childbirth is the most positive thing I have ever experienced.