Birth memory - Leon Louis - born 3.03am -16/02/17
It was 15th Feb 2017 (9 days before my due date) as I strolled slowly and mindfully along Brighton seafront, feeling my belly swollen with pride. I acknowledged the inner life of my second son and how I was soon to lovingly receive him in my arms. As I inhaled fresh sea air, I began my walk of gratitude reflecting on how so many of my dreams had manifested in this colourful cosmopolitan city. I felt truly blessed that I had become a mum, yoga teacher and massage therapist all in the short space of time I had lived in Brighton. As I watched the seagulls fly overhead in what felt like slow motion I intuitively knew that baby would soon journey into this world. I felt an inner stirring that can only be described as deep intuition that relayed this message. It was an intuitive feeling that can only be compared to when I first conceived, I instinctively knew this well in advance of taking any tests. I vividly remember one sunny morning, watching sunlight flickering through the tree branches outside and becoming transfixed as a baby caterpillar crawled slowly along the window. I felt like I could feel every one of its tiny cells vibrating with life, as if mother nature was mirroring the fertilisation that had already begun inside of me. During moments like this, the mind experiences a pure state of awareness, similar to that felt during meditation or chanting mantras.
My memorable coastal walk finished at the yoga studio where I was about to teach a pregnancy yoga class. That particular eve I felt an even deeper connection to every one of the yoga students sharing the same maternal journey and I delivered a soothing meditative class. Towards the end of the class I began to feel lower back ache and I became aware that it was possibly the early onset of contractions. Despite a kind student offering a lift home my body felt like it needed another long walk so I plodded home through the busy Brighton streets. I decided to stock up on chocolate on my way as had a feeling I would be spending the night in hospital and would need all the energy I could gather! Shortly after I arrived through the door I felt my first official contraction and instructed my partner to swiftly pack the hospital bags. After roughly 3 hours spent at home feeling the contractions build in intensity, it felt like the right time to make it to the hospital. I felt most comfortable in an all fours position (much to the taxi drivers amusement!) and felt my body literally flooded with oxytocin (the love hormone). I suddenly felt the need to be physically close to my partner & wanted to lovingly embrace him as euphoric sensations pulsated throughout my body. The release of endorphins a labouring mother feels in between contractions is natures ingenious way of assisting the birthing process.
On arrival to the Royal Sussex hospital i grabbed a zimmer frame that just happened to be in the entrance & assisted my journey up to the 13th floor of the Thomas Kemp Tower, in pursuit of the birthing pools. We were greeted by a friendly midwife and I was immediately lead into a dark room. I began moving my body and breathing in sync with the contractions upon a large padded mat. I put all the techniques I had learnt in my Lush Tums pregnancy yoga teacher training to use, visualising my pelvis opening & expanding. I began to feel empowered as I set my intentions to feel fully in control and capable of owning my birth space. I was then guided into the pool by the head midwife and my heightened senses caused me to focus on the reflection of the fairy lights twinkling in the water. I recognised the famaliar view of the city lights & pier lit up by night that I once saw from the same pool room during my first birth. I was aware of the hospital radio playing and although I initially didn't feel comfortable with the noise (being in my sacred quiet zone), the house music suddenly felt like a throbbing heartbeat. As I turned my attention inwards and focused on my third eye (associated with the pituitary gland), I started to birth from within the cave of the womb. The combination of the rush of oxytocin circulating throughout my body and the music vibrating through my cells caused my eye lids to flutter rapidly (all sensations of a powerful natural high!) As the radio dj began to play a very special track by Laurent Garnier called Acid Eiffel (much to my dj partners delight!) my cervix suddenly erupted like an aquatic bomb as my waters burst open. I quickly transitioned into strong labour & as I rested my palms on my navel I spoke internally to the new soul about to enter this world. I assured my baby we were a team and I completely trusted my body to birth with ease, being positive affirmations once learnt on my hypnobirthing course. Listening intently to my bodies instructions, the pressure in my bowel area naturally made me feel like pushing. Soon after my perfect little Aquarian water baby emerged from the depths of the water and I felt over whelmed by love as he was placed tenderly on my chest. The whole birthing experience has reconfirmed my beliefs in Shakti power (divine feminine/ creative energy),magic and rituals. I honestly could not have experienced my dream birth without feeling so well prepared by all I learnt during my Lush Tums pregnancy yoga classes and hypnobirthing guidance. -Eternally grateful for the support of my loving birthing partner Tim who had full confidence in me.
-Huge thanks to Laura
for all her hypnobirth training and for inspiring me to write
*Immense gratitude to Clare Maddalena for all her expertise / Lush Tums antenatal coaching / heart felt yoga classes ❤