So as the title states… I’m going to give hypnobirthing a crack. Some of you may be reading this thinking…. what the frick are you, a hippie?! The answer is, no I am most definitely not. In fact far from it. But… do I want a calm and “pain free” birth…. (pain free – don’t quote me on that… this is what the people say, I haven’t tried it for myself yet!). The answer is, hell frickin’ yes!
I’m just going to set the record straight on this and say that I am extremely new to this hypnobirth idea and I am literally only just learning about it, and so I’m not fully educated on the whole process yet. However, I thought it would be good to discuss this in a blog from the early days, so that you can read my thought process on the subject from start to finish really, and see how it may change throughout.
So basically, I have been introduced to the hypnobirthing idea just simply by stumbling across various videos on YouTube, of people who have had successful hypnobirths. I have been more and more interested as I watch various people describe their experience and I can’t help but feel curious about it. Every video I have watched has been nothing but positive – admittedly I’m assuming that I may not have come across the negative versions of hypnobirthing yet (if there are any), but I can tell you I’ve heard more negativity about regular births so… surely it’s worth trying?!
So far my understanding of hypnobirthing is being chill as f**k… basically! Seems simple to say now to me, but my thoughts currently are that surely once you go into labour the whole hypno-ho-ha is just going to go out the window and you’re going to scream the place down, right?! Well.. this is where I guess the deeper I research and learn into hypnobirthing, the more my opinion on that will change. I have a book on my kindle to start me off. Now, I’m currently 36+4 weeks pregnant so I haven’t really got a lot of time to take all this in, as I’ve only just begun to make decisions on my birth “preferences” (apparently you shouldn’t call it a birth plan, as… things may not go to plan – which makes sense to me, I wasn’t even going to make a plan until now). So far in the book (well… I have to start again as my kindle skipped half the book without me realising so…. I’ve messed it up already!) I have learnt the things to put onto my birth preferences, things to start to practice – such as breathing techniques, how my birthing partner can help and what the basics of hypnobirthing is.
The more I read into it the more I am finding myself getting exited to try it. I have so far learnt that hypnobirthing is basically about trying to firstly remove the fear associated with labour. Now that was already easy for me, as I am in no way afraid of giving birth, regardless of what stories people have told me or what I may see on the TV. The reason why I am not afraid, is because my curiosity is waaayyyy stronger. I am so much more curious to know what it feels like, and how I will cope, that it just gets me excited thinking about it. I have longed for this day! I know most women do look forward to being a mum, I have wanted nothing more in my life than be be a mum, and this also goes for labour. I am genuinely excited to experience birth. So I guess that sets me off with the right mindset to begin with. Awesome!
Once you can remove the fear associated with it, you are able to learn to tune into your body as labour approaches. I am eager to learn what is actually involved in labour. You learn about what your cervix and uterus has to do to enable baby to come out, this will then help you in labour to know what your body is doing. Hypnobirthing is very much about trusting your instincts. This seems pretty logical to me. I have always said that if labour was really that bad, why do people do it again and again…. Also, back in the day (you can go back as far as cavemen if you like!) mothers used to give birth completely natural, no pain relief…. yes they’d scream the house down but they still did it again and again.. if not more than we do now! Back then, there’d be families of 13-15 children!
Everything so far that I’m reading in this book and I’m learning as I go is that it all seems very logical and makes perfect sense! It’s described how women shouldn’t be giving birth led on there back, like we always see on TV, because this restricts the opening of the pelvis and therefore makes it so much harder/longer to give birth. I watched a video of a ball being pushed through a pelvis that would be led down in comparison to someone in an upright position and it was just clear to me that ladies are mad if they lay on their backs!! So point number 1 in my birth preference is to be in upright positions whenever possible! Cus sod trying to push a baby out my hoo-ha if it’s that much difference when you lie down – frickin’ madness I tell ya!
I have just been learning the breathing techniques that help throughout labour. What type of breathing to do and when. I should apparently be trying this at home now so that I can be fully confident to do this when I’m actually at the hospital. I am going through the “I feel a bit silly about this” stage, whenever I practice or I listen to some lady talk me through it…I can’t concentrate and I’m easily distracted; this is something I desperately want to change as for hypnobirthing you’re meant to totally zone out, so I will keep working on it. It’s normal to feel that way apparently.
Zoning out is a massive part of hypnobirthing. You’re meant to totally concentrate on your breathing and to put yourself into your “zone” which is a place or a thought that you create which enables you to be calm. The book I’m reading has asked me to think of a place that relaxes me…. I’m like, shit…. I don’t have anywhere really! Does my bed count?! The only place I can think of is when I’m in the bath. You’re meant to really be able to visualise this place, what you can hear, smell, see, and feel. So the bath is the only place I think I could create in my mind. There’s no point in me trying to think of some sort of tropical island that I’ve never even set foot on, or some other unrealistic luscious place that I’ve never been to; as I wouldn’t be able to realistically visualise it. So my gert lush ol’ white tub in the bathroom will do! I can see bubbles and my pink bath bombed water, I can hear my weirdo spa style, panpipes music I like to play off YouTube (this is a thing I have done ever since being pregnant) I can smell my “Lush” bath bomb, raspberry/blueberry/whatever-berry type of smell and I can feel it fizzing in my hand and the bubbles around me. Yeahh… I think I’ll be able to zone into that somehow (or at least try to).
The main thing I have taken from this book so far is how important it is to set the scene to be able to relax during birth. So yes, I am hoping to try a water birth. Throughout my years of watching One Born Every Minute, I have always said how I’d love a water birth. Year after year it was a decision I knew I’d want when the day came. Now, ever since being pregnant, that totally went out of the window! For some reason I completely disregarded the thought of having a water birth, because I was afraid of being disappointed. I thought, what’s the point in putting that in my plan, it’s unlikely to happen because there are limited birthing pools in hospitals, anything could happen in labour that could take that opportunity away so I won’t even bother asking for it. Then yeah… it just went out of my head. Since this hypnobirthing thing has begun in my head, I now want a water birth again. This is just because I’m trying to be positive about birth, I’m trying to achieve the birth I want and therefore if I want a water birth then I got to bloody well ask for one, before I regret it. So it’s on the preference… and what will be will be. I do love the thought of a water birth. I adore having a bath, every single time I get back ache or I just generally feel a bit shit (which is most of the time) I’ll plop into the bath, bath bomb, bubbles, weirdo spa panpipes playing in the background; and I just totally chill. I used to think that baths were boring, you’d just lie there looking at your wet, naked body not really knowing how long you can sit there before you start to get bored counting the hairs or moles on your belly. However, since being pregnant, I have really embraced the ol’ bath, and I now thoroughly enjoy it! Considering I usually have it whilst Scott watches the football, counting the hairs on my belly is definitely more entertaining than that! So I think I will actually genuinely enjoy a water birth if I get the opportunity. I most certainly won’t be counting hairs on my belly, instead counting contractions perhaps… or if I’m hypnobirthing maybe I should be counting sheep..I dunno?!
Hypnobirthing is something your birth partner has to be clued up on also. So my poor husband and mother have been forced into watching videos alongside me, teaching them my breathing techniques so they can keep me in the “zone”. I also quite like the hypnobirth way of minimal distractions. So they advise you to have as little interaction as possible with midwives (obviously if shit hits the fan then I want all the help I can get) if birth is going well, mum and baby are happy, then I’d quite like to be left alone to stay calm I guess. Now, this is also because both myself and Scott are extremely socially awkward, every time we watch One Born Every Minute we say how awkward we will find it trying to make small talk with the midwife… we hate shit like that. So hypnobirthing will be the perfect excuse for us to not to talk to people about boring shit, because we have to stay focused on being in the bath tub at home in our minds! (In my mind mainly – but they can’t be talking about what they had for tea last night in the background, otherwise I’m hardly going to feel like I’m zoned out).
I know, I know… the whole thing is all a bit bizarre. I’m not going to lie, I have HUGE doubts at the moment. But I have to try to believe it works otherwise it most probably won’t. So I have to convince everyone else around me as well as myself, that it WILL work and then perhaps I have a better chance of having that calm birth they bang on about. These mums that have tried and tested it are saying such great things about it and it all sounds so lovely! Fairy-tales are my favourite so…. lets make my birth a fairy-tale shall we?! There’s no harm in aiming for it anyway! I also still have so much to learn, once I actually complete this book (in order properly) then maybe I will be a fully converted hippie… someone get the incense sticks out! Bit of ylang-ylang might do the trick!
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