I guess it’s always easy to be the “keyboard warrior” from my cosy office chair and preach to you about how good my births were and liken myself to the very “Mother Earth” herself when telling you about the births of my son and daughter.
Truth is, I was just as scared s#$%less as the next glowing pregnant mum attending her antenatal appointments. This is why I became educated and took ownership of my birth and my body.
I am a HypnoBirthing mum, and five years ago was looked up and down by many friends and family when describing the non-conventional antenatal classes I was attending and that I was going to “HypnoBirth” my baby. Intervention free.
Without pain medication.
And with hypnosis.
The downward glances, the whispered conversations, the smirks at my birth choices made me feel uncomfortable (or should I say them uncomfortable) and I stopped telling people my intentions. I did however make a promise to myself that my baby would enter the world as calmly as possible. I felt that being their mum, I’d do anything to protect them, and this included during birth.
My evenings were spent preparing my mind and body with my relaxation CDs and breathing techniques I’d learnt. Of being totally engrossed of this amazing textbook I’d received called “HypnoBirthing-The Mongan Method” and flicking through those pages with such awe and respect for this amazing women called Marie Mongan, who’d foundered the HypnoBirthing philosophy in America decades prior.
It was a far cry from the conservative school teacher I was, but after my first HypnoBirthing class, I was totally “sold” on this concept of birth. Prior to class, I’d never witnessed a calm, gentle birth. I’d seen plenty of movies of screaming labours, with women sucking on gas, clawing at their husbands, fighting for breath, looking as if they were literally trying to squeeze a watermelon out of their vagina. I’d had the well intentioned quips from friends “get an epidural as soon as you get into that labour ward!” and the “Oh, it’s got to be Hocus Pocus” in reference to HypnoBirthing.
By the time my birthing day had arrived, I was confident, I was calm and I was ready to meet my baby. I’d been educated. I knew my body was made to birth. I’d dealt with my fears. I’d learnt how to breathe properly. I learnt how to work with my body so it could birth easily and quickly. I’d learnt how to relax and self-hypnotise and utilized all these tools for both my births.
Yes, I did get my natural births, but more importantly than how they were born, is that they were the births I had chosen, I had learnt skills to cope and I was totally empowered. My son Lawson was born after 3 hours in hospital on a rainy Friday afternoon in February 2009.
Almost two years later, I birthed Tully, my daughter. I certainly wasn’t one for paying too much attention to “due date”, but after 17 days passing, I was becoming one pissed off, anxious, desperate mother in waiting. I’d been to reflexology, the chiropractor, shoved plenty of evening primrose oil “up there”, taken homeopathic tablets, eaten so much curry I was running to the toilet (well waddling as fast as I could). I’d cried, and cried and cried at the thought of “failing” myself and my baby and the thought of needless intervention because of being “overdue”.
After several chats to my midwife and a very stubborn streak, I decided I was getting artificially induced. Whilst it wasn’t as I’d planned, I still had this amazing toolkit of resources from HypnoBirthing that I utilized from the rupturing of my membranes, to electronic foetal monitoring, to further hook-up to the Syntocinine and her birth 2 hours later. I really can’t show enough gratitude to my very supportive midwife or the HypnoBirthing techniques I’d learnt. They both got me through.
Whilst HypnoBirthing certainly can’t guarantee outcomes for birth, it left me with an amazingly positive expectation for birth, a sense of calm, empowerment when making decisions around birth and above all, gave me skills to cope amazingly well.
I believe what we think, we become. Think positive birth, get positive birth.Alecia Staines – Goondiwindi