We attended a SoundBirth session with Nicole and bought a crystal singing bowl when my wife was pregnant with our first child almost 4 years ago. The crystal singing bowl has always resonated with me. When it was my turn to have our second child, I was struggling to get pregnant. I was using the crystal bowl to try and stay calm and relaxed during the IVF process. On the super moon 2016 I went to a women's circle full moon sound session where I met Nicole again. The session was amazing. I had three rounds of IVF and was on my fourth when the session was on. Soon after the sound session I was pregnant!
I always intended on using the crystal singing bowl during labour. Leading into the last few weeks of my pregnancy I read the SoundBirth booklet again. I had played with a few tones while playing the bowl and was looking forward to toning during labour but I wasn't 100% sure what that would look like...I just trusted my instincts would be there on the day.
I didn't use the bowl during early labour which for me was 24 hours ... I used acupressure. My early labour was too intense to sleep through but I tried to rest as best I could. I started using the bowl when my contractions got to about 1 min long and 3 minutes apart. I played with a few different tones and used the word "lam" (for the base chakra) along with the bowl. For the next 6.5 hours I "lam'ed" to every contraction.
We laboured at home with my wife, our 3 year old, a dear friend, 2 amazing midwives and a beautiful photographer. By the end everyone including our 3 year old had played the bowl. It was the most incredible and intense experience I have ever had. Toning with the bowl gave me something to focus on. It broke the labour up into singular contractions. I would tell everyone when the contraction was about to start and someone would play the bowl for me until that contraction ended. My toning was so loud in my head but after I found out that it was controlled and not loud at all.
Yes I did ask my midwife at one point, "how much longer!!!" But never thought, "I can't do this" or "I need drugs" or "take me to the hospital" because the bowl kept me present and grounded. I felt safe and calm during the contractions. I did however at one point turn around to my wife and say I don't remember your labour being so painful! I truly believe without the bowl my labour would have been unbearable. I am generally an over thinker but as I said the bowl and toning gave me a singular present focus. I also love the sound the crystal singing bowl makes.
Thank you Nicole for doing what you do. I can't recommend the crystal singing bowl and SoundBirth enough!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!