· Less Baby Center forum reading and paying heed to (well-intentioned!) friends about what might possibly go wrong, and more planning for the beautiful birth that I was going to experience. Hypnobabies encourages students to feed their mind positive food on which to dwell so that it can create the experience of a beautiful birth. With so much negativity – as well as different philosophical approaches to birth – I discovered that with my second birth, completely 100% committing to one birth philosophy helped me have less anxiety in pregnancy and a much more comfortable birth. My head wasn’t in the sand either – I knew about all the choices I would want to make should a change of plans become necessary, but my heart didn’t sit and stew there. I just knew my fabulous birth would happen, and I dreamt about the special details, and pondered about how great it was going to be – a lot!
· Better study habits. I was a decent student of the Home study the first round, but I could have been better. I think I did about 80% of what was recommended for my son’s birth. For my daughter’s birth, I made my practice a more urgent priority and really buckled down and did all that was recommended. The extra practice was very evident with how smoothly and comfortably her birth went as compared to my son’s.
· Listening to the Birth guide CD at the place of birth, instead of going without the CD and just using my own cues in my mind. I arrived at the hospital ready to push with my son’s birth. So, things were a little hectic in the room, and we kind of forgot to play the birth guide CD as I was pushing. I think this would have helped calm the tone of the room, and would have helped me focus better during pushing. For my daughter’s birth, I used the birth guide CD, and played it out loud in the room which helped me to stay focused, and it kept everyone in the room more relaxed as well. It also added some comic conversation in between birth waves as my mom joked about how her cervix was opening up listening to the CD. Ha ha! ;)
· Choosing a warmer, more peaceful atmosphere – with a birth tub! The difference between the hospital and the birth center - though both places of birth were attended by caring certified nurse midwives - was like night and day. In the hospital - I felt like I was more on edge to make sure that the things I didn’t want to have happen wouldn’t happen – protecting myself and my baby was more of a concern. I stewed over every detail of my “Birth Preferences” and “Newborn Care Preferences” plans. But in the birth center, a feeling of trust in my ability to birth my baby was much stronger. The staff were much more focused on doing everything they could to help me achieve the very best, most comfortable experience possible. They even talked with me about what they could do to help me achieve that at each of the few appointments before I came in to give birth. The pace was slower feeling, more focused on me than on the machines, it was more quiet and relaxed. My birthing time on the birth ball and then in the tub, as well as the actual pushing of my baby out in the water was absolutely fantastic and so much more comfortable than birthing on a hospital bed. I was asked before anything was done to me or my baby. Nothing was done to either of us without my consent, or knowledge of why this, that and the other was suggested for our circumstances. The best part of all? No one took my baby away from me. I, my husband, and my mom got chances to hold my baby girl, and I got to nurse her for well over an hour before we even got around to weighing her. The focus was on me and my baby – not protocol to be met, though they got the info they needed, too. It was just a world of difference. I don’t regret my decision to have given birth in a hospital the first time either. It was the place I felt most comfortable giving birth then. Birth is so psychological, that a mom should give birth where she feels most safe and comfortable. But, I know for my personal future – water births will be my #1 choice, so long as there is no medical reason to avoid a birth center or water birth.
· Choosing to more fully commit and believe that Hypnobabies could and would work for me. I’ll be the first one to admit it – the very first time I heard about hypnosis as a birth method, I was pretty skeptical. Maybe I would just skip the rainbows and mental fluff and learn all the mechanical stuff I needed with a Bradley course? But, the more I researched Hypnobabies I believed, “Maybe this could work for me. Maybe I could do this.” My skepticism started to fade as I studied the information in the course. But, in my son’s birthing time, my skepticism re-appeared with the intensity of the pressure waves I was experiencing right before we left for the hospital. (Putting on jeans when pressure waves are coming every 30 seconds is a little difficult – hence, the opting for sweat pants the second time around.) I stopped in the middle of the intense process and I had to re-commit myself to using my Hypnobabies tools and believing that they would work for me. Recommitting made the Hypno-anesthesia flow more freely again. However, with my daughter’s birth, I knew that it could work for me. I got rid of all doubt about the program. I just did it, and I believed it, and it worked fabulously.
I love how both of my birth experiences ended up for me. If I could go back in time, there is only one thing I would really do differently – and that is to take a live Hypnobabies course. I think going to a live class would have helped me stay more accountable with my practice, and would have helped me overcome some of my lingering doubts sooner – because there is so much more in a live class to help with that. It would also have helped my husband to be much more involved in the whole process. Having a birth rehearsal would have been a great way to know better how to use my tools, and to have the husband involved, come birthing time. In fact, I’ve already decided that if we ever move somewhere where there is another Hypnobabies instructor nearby and I am pregnant, we’ll do the live class together to prepare. My husband doesn’t know that yet, but he’ll find out eventually I suppose. ;)
Both birth experiences were different, and I loved them both, and I'm grateful for what I learned with each experience. Hypnobabies was a fabulous program for me through it all, and I'm so glad I went that route. If you think Hypnobabies is in line with your birthing philosophy (this chart might help you figure that out) and if you're in my area, I'd love to help you achieve that fabulous birth you've been hoping for.
Happy Birthing, Hypnobabies Mamas!