I was so scared when I found out I was pregnant with my now 2 year old daughter. I wasn’t scared about how I was going to raise her, or what I was going to do once she was born, I was scared about how she was going to get out of my body. All I had heard my whole life was how horrific birth is. I had heard my mother’s stories, which sounded more like war-stories than real life, and I had seen movies on t.v. of women screaming like someone was cutting their arm off. So, I wasn’t super stoked about going through this, but now I was pregnant, and there was no way out but through it. I couldn’t press pause, I couldn’t stop and change directions. This time I had to barrel through.

So I started searching on the internet, and watching a lot of “The Baby Story” and any other program that could tell me anything about what in the heck I was supposed to do here.  I knew I didn’t want to birth the “traditional” way, because I hadn’t heard too many great stories so far going that route, and I definitely knew I didn’t want anyone sticking any kind of needle near my spine; that scared me more than the pain. I was searching for a way that was natural and non-horrific. I knew it had to exist.

At one point, I came across a clip from a credible news channel that had done a segment on pain-free birth. The method was called, “hypno-birthing.”  The word “Hypno” reminded me of something hokey at first, but after watching the two women in the segment go through incredibly calm, natural labors, I was on board. I attended the hypnobirthing classes, read the book, and listened to the cd, and I was so ready. When the time came, I felt like I had gone through the motions a hundred times in my head, and not even being transported from the birthing center to the hospital in the middle of labor fazed me.  (I was transported because of a Florida law regarding how many centimeters you have to be at a certain point in your labor at a birth center.)

When I got to the hospital, I met my delivery doctor for the first time, popped in my super-calming Indian music, and I was off dilating. About six pretty calm hours later, my hypno-baby daughter was born. I’m not going to say that the labor was pain-free. In hypno-birthing, they use the word “uncomfortable.” And that’s all it was. I had some back rubs during transition because I had heavy back-labor, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. It definitely wasn’t the labor I had heard about from my mother and the movies. And I’m so glad for that.

I had found the calm in the middle of my most terrifying storm. And the post-labor happy hormones? They were definitely real and well worth the work. They made me feel like Super Woman.

From Jill of Au Natural Baby.
Photo by Orange Sparrow via Mary Ruffle — I thought it was such a calming image (like Jill’s story).

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Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I’ll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I’d love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to gabrielle@designmom.com.