It’s Nice in Here, Mum!

chat-its-fate-july-2008The following article was written as ‘Reiki Helped Me Give Birth’. After submission, it was substantially rewritten and appeared in Chat It’s Fate July 2008

“Hello, Sam!” Steve said looking down at his newborn baby son minutes after I had given birth. He clutched him to his chest and looked so thankful that finally, after all, I had been through, Sam was safely here in the world.

I was sweating and feeling very uncomfortable but smiled at my son and my husband and held out my arms to take my new baby boy.

It had been a very ordinary pregnancy on the whole, not that this made it anything to dismiss. I had suffered all of the pains, sleeplessness, sickness and emotional traumas that most expectant mothers go through. Steve tried to support me but like most men in these situations seemed to be at a loss most of the time. This was frustrating and annoying for me of course as I wanted him to just help me!

During the 9 months of my pregnancy, however, Steve had from time to time tried to help by offering Reiki treatments. He is a Master of this healing discipline and has taught it to a lot of students over the years. He had often talked about how he had seen many outcomes of Reiki that can only be called ‘miracles’ He felt certain that Reiki could ease my discomfort.

Reiki is not something that I have ever felt very drawn to. In fact, I didn’t believe in it at all. “It’s just a lot of nonsense” I had told Steve. I have always accepted Steve’s involvement with Reiki and could see that it helped him and others, but I put this down to the placebo effect. For me, Reiki was nothing more than a psychological ‘quick-fix’ that did not really address the problem. All of his clients and students, as far as I was concerned were living in a fantasy land. It simply wouldn’t work for me. I wasn’t that gullible.

“PLEASE let me give you a Reiki treatment!” Steve kept saying to me. I know that he could see the pain that I was in. He knew that life was uncomfortable for me and he simply felt that with Reiki he could help. I wasn’t having any of it. “Steve, please just stop it with this rubbish. All I need is some rest and everything will be OK.” Maybe it was simply the mixed up emotional state that I was in, but I just got irritated by the suggestion.

Steve kept on at me though and a couple of times I relented. Steve gave me the treatments but being obstinate I simply refused to believe that they had done any good even though I did feel some relief from the back pain and nausea. “I know I feel better, but it’s just a coincidence. I’d have felt better anyway.” I said. I could see that Steve was getting really frustrated and felt let down when I said this.

Eventually, the time arrived for Sam to appear in the world. I went into labour and the contractions started. At first, they were quite far apart and we just waited for the gap to close between them so that we could go to the local hospital. I had wanted as natural a birth as possible with the minimum of medical intervention. Everything seemed to be progressing well and we were both getting excited at the prospect of seeing our new baby for the first time.

The contractions were coming every 10 minutes. Steve rang the hospital and was told that we needed to wait a little longer until they were coming much closer together. A little while longer wouldn’t hurt. So we waited, but the contractions refused to speed up. A day passed and they were still at 10-minute intervals. We didn’t sleep much that night. Every contraction gave me pain and this woke Steve who had just managed to doze a little. He simply held me through these moments and I knew that he was doing Reiki on me at the same time.

A second day and there was no change. Steve rang the hospital again, and again they told us to wait a little longer. Another sleepless night passed. A third day and still no change. We had hardly slept for three days. It was becoming hellish. Both of us were numb from lack of sleep and not getting to eat properly and we were worried about our still unborn baby.

Eventually due to exhaustion and mounting frustration Steve snapped. “I don’t care whether you believe in Reiki or not!” he said. “Sit in that chair and let’s get this over with. I am going to attune you to Reiki now. If you don’t want to use Reiki later, that’s up to you, but it will get this pregnancy moving for sure.” I just looked at him through tired eyes and sat in the chair. Anything was worth trying, just to get this endless labour over with.

According to Steve, a Reiki attunement is a sacred process that a Reiki Master uses to open up the ability of the student to channel healing energy. It also has a powerful healing and balancing effect on the whole body. I found the concept of this ‘attunement’ process to be very odd, but believe me, it is an extraordinary experience.

Summoning up all of his strength, Steve performed the Reiki attunement. It was a very special ceremony and as it proceeded I could feel my heart opening in love for Steve and our unborn baby. The whole process took less than the 10 minutes that I knew that I had before the next contraction. I think Steve was hurrying a little as he must have been clock-watching also.

Once I had come out of the daydream-like state that the Reiki had put me in, Steve drove me straight to the hospital. “You should have come in before now,” said the nurse. “The baby’s head is engaged. You’re going to give birth in about an hour.” We couldn’t believe it. After three days of nightmarish waiting, the Reiki attunement had accelerated the whole process and brought me to the brink of being a mother. Sam was finally coming to say hello to us.

The birth went well. Whilst I did feel some discomfort, it was not as painful as I had expected at all. Sam was a perfect little boy. Why he had refused to come into the world without Reiki though perhaps we shall never know but as Sam approaches his 3rd birthday we can see the effects that the Reiki has had on him. He glows with love and happiness all of the time and is clearly a very spiritual little boy.

Now I do believe in Reiki. It is amazing! It helped me through a short but traumatic period in my life and I am very grateful for this. I now use Reiki all of the time on Sam. When he is upset or can’t sleep or is feeling a bit under the weather, Reiki is there to help. I am so glad of this wonderful ability and I can’t imagine being without it.

The universe works in mysterious ways sometimes and I think that this was a way of forcing me to wake up and take notice of this wonderful healing energy. It has made such a difference and I am so thankful for it now.


About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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