It's been quite a while since my last blog post & I must apologize for this. Since my last post a lot has happened, including the birth of my son, R. Although this was my second birth, it was incredibly different from my daughter's birth. Had I known then what I know now, I think K might have come into this world a bit differently.
With my first pregnancy I was simply ecstatic for the first month or so, and then I spent the rest of the pregnancy freaking out about how this kid was going to make its way into the world. I was completely terrified of birth in any way - medicated, unmedicated, natural, caesarian - you name it, I was scared of it. Mostly because all that I had heard from women was how awful their birth experiences were. I even found myself in tears at my doctor's office talking about birthing options, I was so terrified! It seems so silly to me now, but that fear really had a grip on me and prevented me from having a better birth, and I don't think this is an uncommon experience for a lot of women.
So when I got pregnant again, I decided that this time was going to be different. I had already been through one so I knew I was physically capable of it, I knew I would survive it, and I felt I knew what to expect. Overall, I was just more comfortable with the idea of giving birth at all this time around. And after going back and looking at my experience with my daughter, I was able to see where I could have made better decisions for me and I knew the things that I wanted to change. I knew that the epidural probably caused me to be in labor for 22+ hours. It was probably a large part of the reason my recovery was so awful, and why we had some nursing problems as well.. So this time I knew I really wanted to try for a natural delivery. Of course, there was still that small fear of "can I really do this?" and I did feel somewhat unprepared. I knew I wanted to take some kind of birthing course, but I didn't know what.
Then I was talking with a friend of mine who was also expecting, and she told me about hypnobirthing. Yeah, it sounded a little hokey at first. Hypnobirthing? What, are they going to hypnotize me to have a baby? I had visions of being in labor with someone swinging a pocket watch in front of my face while I clucked like a chicken & pushed out a baby. But she assured me that it's not like that at all, so I did a little research.
Basically, it gives you techniques to relax through the physical pain and ways to cope with it. For me, it empowered me to have more of an active role in my birth experience instead of letting the doctors decide everything for me & me blindly going along with it. It took the fear out of birth for me. Yeah, an unmedicated birth was probably not going to be the most comfortable experience of my life, but it wasn't something to be afraid of either. It showed me something other than women writhing in pain & screaming different colors of words at their husbands. These women were relaxed and confident and happy. It gave me something to strive towards and it gave me an image of what my second birth could be like. Honestly, just having confidence in your abilities & what you are doing is what makes all the difference.
So call it hokey, roll your eyes & giggle at it if you must. But hypnobirthing empowered me with tools to willingly do something that I was so afraid of not that long ago. It gave me the confidence I needed to do what I should have done the first time around.