Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess recently wrote about hypnobirthing. It seems Jessica Alba, who just became a mom, gave birth naturally with the hypnobirthing method. I think it is really awesome that she is is bringing attention to the power and joy of a natural birth. Amy also mentioned that I have had two hypnobirths as well. I highly recommend it. There were no Hypnobirthing classes in my area at the time but I had the book and a set of CDs.
IMO it is not some sort of self hypnotism…it is more like deep meditation and focus. But I guess it could be called self hypnosis in the sense that it teaches you to withdraw into yourself during labor and take control of your pain and your birth experience.
My first birth experience was pretty common I think. Halfway through, the pain started to get intense and I panicked and asked for drugs. I still remember clearly how completely freaked out I was. I kept thinking “if it is this bad now….I aint waiting to find out how bad it will get later.” The drugs made the labor slow and so Pitocin was used to speed things up. My son didn’t respond well to all the drugs so the doc put one of those internal monitors on him…ya know the ones that actually break the skin on their heads! Pushing took 30 minutes and I ripped (sorry if TMI) something fierce despite having an episiotomy first. On a funny note though…what I remember most was getting sewn up afterwards for a looong time and when done the doctor accidentally dumped the garbage bag of blood, fluids, and other birth gunk that was hanging onto the end of the bed, on the floor. My dad walked in on a grizzly seen, LOL.
My first hypnobirth went so well that I was in almost NO pain. I labored without pain at home and in a car listening to Abba while my mom ran errands until I was 9 centimeters dilated.
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin the dancing queen
My pain was so non-existent that I asked my mom to take me to Barnes and Noble to go book shopping. I only ended up at the hospital because the maternity entrance was about to close and I didn’t want to have to walk through the ER if I waited any longer. SO I reluctantly decided to have them check my progress…that was about 8:00 PM and I was SURE I had hours to go yet. I truly thought that perhaps I wasn’t even in labor yet. It took about 30 minutes before they even checked me and then my daughter was born just after 9:00 PM and they made me wait to push until the doc got there….which was kind of agonizing because they gave me Pitocin without asking me. They just snuck it in there on me about 5 minutes before I started pushing. I am now fully convinced that Pitocin is EVIL. But my daughter was born after only 2 pushes and I did rip just a little. The sewing part hurt because I was not anesthetized like last time. Strange that the most painful part of the whole birth was getting stitches afterwards. It was the perfect birth IMO….easy, painless. She was almost 9 pounds.
My second hypnobirth was not as easy as the first one but I didn’t realize then that I had cancer either….I just thought it was the pregnancy from hell. This was the only birth where I was throwing up…which was related to the cancer. The pain was more intense but still manageable. I did have a nearly ten pound baby in there and a large tumor in the area. I remember my legs were shaking uncontrollably and I couldn’t seem to focus on stopping them. Later months would show me that this too was related to the cancer. My youngest was out in just a couple pushes and within 5 minutes of his birth I was feeling so good I was ready to do cartwheels. The nurses said I was cheeriest post partum patient they had ever seen. I was ready to go home within two hours but they made me stay overnight and then I went home the next morning. Birthing my son brought immense relief to my body and for awhile I felt better than ever. Of course the party would be over only 3ish months later when I would get really sick.
But for any mom that wants to go the natural route I HIGHLY recommend hypnobirthing.