My son, Linkan (Link) Emery Schultz was born Thursday, February 19th 2015 in a birth center after 15 1/2 hours of labor. No drugs were administered, not even OTC medicine. I made the choice to have a natural birth out of an obligation to my son – I know the sensitivity that exists in my and my husband’s genetics – so I deemed the standard hospital birth out of the question for Link and I. With this choice came the vague understanding that I would be exposed to severe pain – a notion which became the understatement of my entire life. They don’t call it labor for nothing, and I can say without hesitation that giving birth to Link was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced.
So why did I nonchalantly choose this path? I knew at my core that my Reiki training would get me through it.
And I was right.
Sacred Space & Intention Setting
Upon arrival at the birth center, once I had settled into my room, I instinctively began prepping my space much as I do before I have a Reiki client. Using intention setting and visualization, I created a sacred space for this birth to take place and invited in my guides and allies to be present and help protect me and my son as we moved into this new chapter. Doing this not only made the room feel safer, but also got me into the right mind frame for what I was about to do.
Energy & Breathwork
When I went into active labor and I got my first dose of real contractions (the most acute pain I’ve ever felt), each time one would start, I would initiate the deep breathing practices of Pranayama to stay relaxed and focused and couple that with a simple energy work exercise. With eyes closed, I would open my crown chakra and invite in Universal Life Force Energy on the inhale, and direct it through my center (where the pain was) and down and out my feet to release the pain and tension on the exhale. I purposely refrained from screaming or making any other noises because I felt that this would only deplete my energy faster – so, in silence, I worked. Of course, I did not plan any of this prior to going into labor. I just knew to follow my intuition when the time came and this is what I was directed to do. I also had the aid of my mother (acting as my Doula) and my husband, where, for each contraction, one of them would let me squeeze the hell out of one of their hands while the other would compress my lower back with both of their fists. I can’t say I would have gotten through labor without them and am forever indebted to them for their tireless help.
After hours of active labor and weariness was setting in, my mom was encouraging me to focus on what the contractions were trying to accomplish rather than working through the pain. So, I changed up my game. Instead of doing the crown chakra exercise to ease the pain, I focused internally on the pain and used visualization to put that pain to work. On each contraction, I would visualize a swirling fire burning away in a circular fashion what was still blocking my son from descending through the birth canal. This is what helped things finally progress to and through transition.
And the rest was just grunt work for three and a half hours until Link was finally born. Whew!
I’m super proud of myself and so grateful to have a healthy baby. I hope my experience may help anyone else who is about to embark on motherhood