And here we find ourselves on the other side of birth. Phew.
And yes, I’ve been asked from my fellow HypnoBirthing moms in the know, the skeptics, and everyone in between… Did it work?
My answer: Ask my husband, who you can find on the corner of the street holding a huge placard reading ‘HYPNOBIRTHING REALLY WORKS’.
I guess it also depends on what you imagine HypnoBirthing being. I didn’t imagine a pain-free birth, and, well… my birth certainly wasn’t pain-free. I also didn’t imagine any rainbows, silver gloves, thermometers, control switches, and I didn’t tap into any deeeep, hypno, out of body experiences. Nada. None of that.
Here are excerpts from the text I sent my fellow hypnobirthers (when I was all post-partum-hormoney) the day after our daughter was born:
‘My last two births were similar regarding their intensity and speed but were chalk and cheese! Hubby (as am I) is convinced the hypnobirthing helped tons.
1) Breathing was AMAAAAZING. The calm breathing gave me tons of energy in between contractions (at one point I was dozing off in the bath) and the surge breathing gave me something to focus on during surges.
2) I had highlighted a few affirmations but in labour all I could think about was ‘bringing oxygen to my uterus/womb’ – I think because the physical side of how the uterus works made such sense to me. So every time I took a quick 20 count breath in and out in (surge breathing) I was imagining filling all of my uterus’ blood vessels with oxygen. And knowing that 2 or 3 breaths will get you to the peaked the surge helps you handle each one.
4) A doula is a REALLY good idea. My doula was on form and so helpful because she embraced the hypnobirthing idea. I definitely felt intensity and (dare I say) pain and so knowing natural pain relief techniques (hip squeezes etc.), combined with the mental strength was incredible.
5) I felt empowered. As each surge approached, I wasn’t panicky and scared (or just anxious/tense). So I felt like I took charge of each one – as opposed to my middle child’s birth where each one smacked me across the face… Hubby said this was very apparent to him.
And here’s where (mid birth) I tossed the HypnoBirthing idea out the water…
‘Breathing baby down’ felt like saying “here’s a watermelon, now slice it in half with your eyes”. Impossible. I tried to keep with the birth breathing but that force to push is HARD-CORE and when baby is right there it’s hard not to so desperately GET.IT.OUT! Not purple pushing, but not breathing either. Aggg.. and after all that rehearsing on the loo…’
My biggest takeaway from the classes (and from the birth) which helped me, was UNDERSTANDING the body better (mainly the uterus, hormones, endorphins and what does what) and what my mind needs to do, to help my body get into its primed and ready birthing vibe. I’d recommend this course to ANYONE remotely interested in natural birth (be it with or without pain meds), but even just the education alone is incredibly empowering.
Have you done a HypnoBirthing class, or experienced a HypnoBirthing birth? If so, please share your experience…
Image credit: Rebecca from Love Made Visible.