Natural Birth Using HypnoBabies: Leopold’s Story (Part One)
One of the (thousands of) things I miss about my mom was how proud she was of me for having a natural birth. No matter who we were talking to she always seemed to find a way to tell the person “My daughter gave birth with NO DRUGS!” Obviously I’m proud of that fact too but it is a lot more natural to have your mom bragging on you than doing it yourself.
It’s been over a year since I’ve had her around to tell my story, so I’m finally going to share it with you (aren’t you lucky!)
Around week 30 of pregnancy I decided that I really wanted to take some sort of birthing class. James and I had watched a youtube movie a few weeks before this about the benefits of natural birth (possibly one starring Ricki Lake?) and he started telling people that I wasn’t going to get an epidural. Um, wait, what? Excuse me? Who made that decision…because I certainly didn’t! And I don’t think it’s up to you, babe.
Despite my initial shock from my husband’s ‘decision’, I have always been intrigued by the idea. As time went by and I did more research I really believed that I could do it. I could have a natural birth. When I talked to my midwife at Lexington Medical Center about it she mentioned Hypnobabies. I had seen something about it on youtube but I knew I couldn’t fully educate myself on the subject through youtube alone.
After a little more research I found a local class, and my wonderful instructor Jessica. She does classes in Columbia and Charlotte and the timing lined up perfectly for me to take her 6 week course. The course was three hours once a week and a lot of important homework in between classes. Here is a little excerpt from her website:
“Our Hypno-Moms enjoy “eyes-open childbirth hypnosis”, easily remaining deeply in hypnosis while walking, talking and changing positions; being as mobile as they would like to be during childbirth. Hypnobabies is well-known for helping women to create much shorter, easier and more comfortable labors, making childbirth the joyful experience it was meant to be.
Expectant mothers use our Hypnobabies Workbook, CDs and hypnosis scripts to train their inner mind that contractions in labor will be felt only as pressure, tightening, pushing, pulling and normal baby movement sensations. Women are fully in tune with their babies during the birthing process, and as aware of everything around them as they’d like to be, easily able to communicate with their support team, and completely in charge of their own birth experience.”
Her classes were so relaxing! We practiced the scripts, affirmations, and open communication with our birth partners. We learned so much about all aspects of the birthing process and the different medications offered by the hospital. I told people that I ended up being ‘over informed’ and was trying not to be one of ‘those moms’ that thinks she knows everything. It was just hard to keep all of my new information to myself!
During the week we were instructed to keep practicing. I listened to the hypnosis tracks every night and the positive birth affirmations in the car every day. The affirmations helped me a lot, because I feel like a positive mindset is a huge help in any situation!
Looking back, I wish I had practiced more than I did. I found it hard to focus on my hypnosis tracks and really get into them every night when my mind was racing with a million other things I needed to do. They were really relaxing, too, so falling asleep was an issue as well. When I went in to the hospital to have Leopold I used Hypnobabies and I know it was a significant factor in my ability to have a natural birth, but I know I could have used it better.
I always feel the need to explain in this amount of depth whenever I bring up the fact that I used Hypnosis throughout my pregnancy and birthing time. People often looked at me like I just grew another head! I’m not quite as “crunchy” as that makes me sound. I absolutely love birth, pregnancy, and everything that goes with it. I get so passionate about it when people ask questions or when I talk about it that I often have to stop myself.
The pregnancy and birthing process is so beautiful and incredible and miraculous and doesn’t happen to you every day.
Chances are you dreamed about the day you would bring a baby into the world and you counted down the weeks and days with excitement. I just don’t understand why some women don’t want to try to make it the best experience they can make it. It always baffles me when women ‘don’t want to know’ their options or say they will ‘wing it’. Even more unsettling to me are the women that cling so hard to their ‘due date’ that when they get close they get impatient and decide to induce. I understand that some situations call for it and sometimes babies DO wait too long. Most of the cases I’ve seen, however, end in C-sections that may not have been necessary if the baby was allowed to decide.
I feel like a big factor is the way we grow up hearing about labor and delivery. On TV it’s often shown as being traumatic. Women seem to love swapping ‘horror’ stories about everything that went wrong during their child’s birth. If you’re pregnant or ever have been, you will notice that women love trying to scare you with their stories. It’s ridiculous!
I got this a lot. “Oh, you’re going to do it naturally? PUH! Good luck! You will get an epidural, I promise you. Let me tell you about how I almost died when I gave birth!” Ummm….thanks for the support, woman. NOT. Get out of my face!
I eventually started telling people “I know you mean well, but I’m really trying to have my own experience and I’d like to go into it with a positive outlook. I’d be happy to hear your story after I’ve had my baby though!”
Ladies, you really don’t have to listen to these women who are unintentionally trying to scare you to death. Just politely decline their stories. Only success stories for me, thanks.
I spent a lot of my down time at work on the Hypnobabies website reading birth stories. I loved reading other women’s accounts of how they successfully had a baby using the methods I was using. This was so empowering! The whole course just put me at ease and I spend the last few months of my pregnancy much more relaxed and less afraid of the end result.
I started Hypnobabies classes at 30 weeks pregnant. We finished up around week 36, and I gave birth right at week 38. Talk about cutting it close! Leopold decided he was done cooking two weeks ‘early’. Really it was right at the perfect time!
I woke up on the morning of September 29th, 2015 feeling the same as any other day. I worked ‘reduced full time’ at my job and I only had to be at work by 10 am. Things were moving slowly because I was feeling extra tired and my puppy was being very clingy.
He and I were cuddling in bed right until the last minute that morning. It was time for me to leave for work so I reluctantly got out of bed. Suddenly I felt water running down my leg! Or was it pee?