December 31, 2012

So...hypnobirthing... ?

this was my third christmas as a mom, and each of those three years i find myself reflecting more and more on mary's part of the story. there are ways that i identify with her, ways that i hope to identify with her someday, and even ways that i hope not to-- giving birth in a barn being one of the main ways.

first off, girlfriend is nine months pregnant and forced to travel about eighty miles on the back of the donkey. {ladies, let's all remember this is as great way to induce labor, should the situation arise.} in all of the storybook pictures, she's so unbelievably calm. i mean, i get that these are mainly children's storybooks, but still. tons of cows and rams leaning down to check out the baby? no big deal. oh, smelly, strange shepherds want to visit? come right on in. mary, i sure hope it was like that for you. that you felt peace and serenity, and the Jesus got a good latch right away.

however, that is not how i remember giving birth.

when i think back over cruz's labor and delivery, i remember two distinct emotions: the first was the desire to appear completely in control and relaxed. as if the nurses would chat about me back at their station. "did you see the woman in room 504? she's so calm and ready!" i wanted to seem like i was ready to be a mom. i wanted to be an easygoing patient. i wanted to be a kind and thoughtful wife. the second emotion raging beneath this calm exterior was a rising panic. i was not ready to be a mom. i was not ready to go through labor. i was not ready to walk into the hospital as two and leave as three... forever.

i was so tense during labor that i didn't progress until i forcibly relaxed curtesy of an epidural. i dealt with that anxiety by checking out emotionally, and the memories of the days that followed aren't filled with great memories, just memories of going through the motions.

i want something different for this baby. i want to rewrite the story.

i've been reading about different methods of deep relaxation during birth and have been particularly intrigued by the idea of hypnobirthing. two years ago i would have looked at hypnobirthing and given you a giiiiaaant eye-roll, but older wiser me knows that to stay relaxed during labor i need something more concrete and deeper than our ipod playlist and some breathing patterns that i never practiced.

a couple of times a week i steal away to our bedroom and put on my birth relaxation cd, and i have to tell you that i love it! after being so so sick with this pregnancy, i think it's helping me to let go and enjoy this little one and get excited for the days to come. relaxing and intentionally spending time thinking about how this baby is being formed reminds me to give glory to God and say YOU are forming all the delicate, inner parts of this child and thank you for choosing to knit this child together in my womb. this child is fearfully and wonderfully made. this is know full well. 

as much as i can, i want to prepare for this baby by being at peace, ready to welcome it to a home filled with incredible love.


  1. I love this. You hypno-/Bradley/epidural/Lamaze/whatever you want to do! About a month or so ago, a colleague-friend was sharing about his kiddos, and how the births didn't quite go how they'd hoped. And he said, "I'd just encourage you to let this be however it's going to be for you. For all the ways men do it to women, I will say that one of the ways I think women oppress each other is by holding their births over their heads." So may this pregnancy be full of freedom for you.

    1. Yes! I totally agree. I believe me, I am in no way opposed to having another epidural. It was heaven last time! My goal is to have less stress and anxiety.

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  4. Yeah I went into my last labor hoping it would go down hypno-birthing style. Eh, not so much. I wanted it to work so badly, but it just.... didn't. For me. But I totally know what you mean about wanting a different experience the second time around. I was checked out during my first one as well, mainly as a way to cope with the mind-bending pain I was experiencing. I know I can't *control* my birthing process, per se, but I'd like to find a way to be more present. Well, at least when the baby is actually born, I don't really need to remember the laboring part :)

    1. Yes, wanting to be more present and more connected are definitely my goals. I'm not a big birth-plan person, so I don't have lofty goals in that department. I just want less anxiety.

  5. I did hypnobirthing in preparation for Vera's birth and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Not only because of the way it helped me during labor, but because of how it helped me during my pregnancy. To say I had a rough pregnancy would be an understatement, but my hypnobirthing scripts actually helped me so much during the tough days of being pregnant. It helped me stay focused on my baby, calm me, and remind me that although I couldn't control how my body felt, i COULD control my mind.

    My biggest goal was not necessarily to have a drug free birth (though that was my hope); rather, my goal was to feel calm and stay focused on my baby, regardless of whether things went according to "plan." There are just so many things during labor that are very clearly OUT of your control, but hypnobirthing helped me train my mind.

    I unfortunately had to be induced with Vera (not part of the plan!) and after many hours of laboring naturally with hypnobirthing techniques, that darn pitocin made my contractions so intense that I ended up getting an epidural. I know that though without hypnobirthing, I absolutely would not have made it as long as I did though. And, even though I had an epidural, my hypnobirthing techniques STILL came into play in helping me remain calm in the process and focused on labor.

    Sorry for my lengthy reply, but if you can't tell, i am SO passionate about hypnobirthing and think its one of the best ways you can prepare yourself for labor AND for your baby to arrive! Thinking of you. xo

    1. Yes, yes exactly! My goal is to have a less-anxious birth/pregnancy, not necessarily a med-free birth (it's already not a med-free pregnancy!). Thank you so much for sharing your experience. xo

  6. I'm doing hypnobirthing as well and start classes on thursday. I'm trying to keep an open mind knowing that labor will probably not go as planned but at least i will have skills to fall back on to stay in a positive state of mind :) xo

  7. What cds you are using, Becca?


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