When I arrived at the hospital things were already in progress: mom was naked and clearly in labour. The barriers of "who can see me naked" had fallen away as the process of birthing a child stepped up. My own experience with this was now eight years old but I remembered the process of going into my inner world with every new contraction. Almost like the birth happened from the inside out - which I suppose is totally appropriate for both mom and baby.
My purpose was to provide Reiki support without getting in the way of staff or this special time between husband and wife. So I adopted a non-vocal presence. I began by placing my hands on her feet while I sat in the "catch the baby" position at the end of the bed. As a contraction would begin, I'd feel the wave - the surprising part was that I could feel it coming before mom made any visible signs. It was quite literally like being at the wave pool: see the wave coming, feel the intensity peak and pass over you, followed by a strong rush of energy through my legs and into the ground. I was the lightening rod grounding mom.
After a while I lost sight of my own energy field because I was totally immersed in hers. When the pains became stronger, laughing gas was employed. After five minutes I could feel the heady sensation of nitrous oxide and knew it tasted bad at the back of her throat.
Early that morning I had "checked in" with mom and baby from home. I sensed it wouldn't be an easy birth or a short one. Somehow I knew that eventually a C-section would transpire - spirit was giving advance notice.
So what was my job I wondered? Was it just to ground each contraction and let the Reiki reduce the pain? It's funny how we're often in the right place at the right time if we're listening. My job was to be present when the decision to take an epidural was made. My job was to share my own experience of a baby turned the wrong way and how to go with the flow of the delivery. To say, "it's ok." and just to support the events as they were unfolding.
I stayed until the anaesthetist came and then made my exit quietly. It took me a while to disengage from mom's energy - in fact it took several days. I went home to my own children, fed them supper and checked in through Reiki later in the night.
By midnight I was sending Reiki energy to mom, dad and baby separately. Mom was tired, baby was having a hard time, and dad was exhausted. I slept and woke around dawn. Again, I checked in with all three separately - everything was calm - exhausted but calm. A C-section had been performed at 4:30am.
This was my first experience of Reiki assisting a birth and I went with the flow - like the waves of contraction. Maybe those waves are a gentle reminder to ride what life presents to us gracefully and with gratitude. For myself, I am very grateful to baby Geneviève for letting me be present at her birthday