Thoughts on the Birth Experience

I think I mentioned on the blog recently that I am currently expecting Baby #2. We found out a few weeks ago that it's another healthy girl! Everyone was shocked; this pregnancy is SO different from my last that we all just knew it was a boy. I can't say we're disappointed, though! She's healthy and that's really all that matters to us. Plus, now we don't have to stress about our living situation; C and the new baby can share a room easily. We don't even have to buy much at all for this kid!

Since C's birth was so intervention-ridden, I've really been focusing this time on having a completely natural labor and delivery. When I was pregnant with C, I was completely caught up in her progress every week, and spent hours each week reading about her development, and marveling at the changes my body was going though. Which is all well and good, but I didn't spend much time at all preparing for her birth. Huge mistake (for me, anyway). I know so many people who say, "oh, just go with it, get the drugs the doctors offer you, as long as you have a healthy baby nothing else matters." But you know what? Having a good birth experience matters to me, too. Having been down this road before, I know more of what to expect this time around. And I know that my body does not react well to the pain medication typically given during labor. I am at peace with C's birth, but I will always regret not becoming more educated beforehand.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not ignoring the miracle that is this child growing inside me! I worried for a while that I was focusing too much on the upcoming labor and that I wasn't taking time to just enjoy being pregnant. Thankfully, that's not the case anymore. Since I've done this once already, I don't feel the need to read all the pregnancy books or websites again. This time, I don't need to know which week her ears start working or when she's first able to smile in the womb. My belly is growing much faster than it did with C, and I marvel at that. And I absolutely love feeling this little one move around in there. I've been feeling her since week 15 very regularly. (I felt C move at 15 weeks, too, but not consistently.) She's very active! I truly do love being pregnant.

Well, I do NOT love this terrible hip pain associated with this pregnancy.  Its debilitating at times, which is concerning since I'm only at week 21. I had bad hip pain with C, too, but it didn't start until around week 30 and it was never debilitating at all. This time, my hip pain started (right side only) in week 10 and has progressively gotten worse. I see a chiropractor every 2 weeks, and I truly believe that is helping me, but its not alleviating the pain. I acquired some crutches this weekend, and once my friend Jessica finishes my super-cool crutch pads, I'll start walking with them at night when the pain is the worst. Hopefully, crutches will not become a full-time thing for me, but I've read it happens. I'm in pain literally all the time now, and I'm trying to stay upbeat, but sometimes its hard. But I digress.

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I immediately started doing research on natural birth. I read a LOT of stuff, and debated actually taking a class. Ultimately, I decided not to take a class at the hospital, as it will likely focus on the available drugs and hospital policies. Unless it is absolutely necessary, there will be no drugs in my system this time. I already know how they make me feel, and I don't like it.

For a while, I went back and forth between wanting to learn Lamaze or the Bradley Method. I've heard great things about both methods for natural childbirth. A friend of mine studied the Hypnobabies course while she was pregnant, and she said it was the only thing that got her through labor until she needed the spinal for her needed c-section. Hearing her talk about the program, I knew I wanted to at least look into it.

My friend lent me her course materials, and I dived right in. From the beginning of the book, I had a feeling this was the right method for me. Its still pretty weird for me to talk about (or even think about!), because its just SO different than what everyone else does. But I've never been one to just do what everyone else does. ( ;  Since I'm starting the course so early in my pregnancy, I'm focusing 2 weeks on each lesson. There are 5 lessons total, so this plan will get me through week 30. After that, I'll do the maintenance stuff, which I haven't read about in the book yet. My friend says the key is to practice often. So far, that's proven difficult, so I'm glad I'm giving 2 weeks to each lesson.

I started the course a week ago, and since then I've only been able to do 3 hypnosis sessions. They were amazing, though. I was hooked after the first one! I felt wonderful the entire session. I could hear what was going on around me, and knew that if need be, I could quickly "snap out of it," so to speak. (In fact, one time I had to do just that as DH interrupted me.) During the sessions, my body feels extremely heavy, but in a good way. Its almost like I have pain medication in my system, but I can stop it at any time. I think it'll really help during labor. Right now, I'm using it to help me manage my hip pain. If I could practice daily, I think it would be really beneficial. Hopefully, I will get into a routine with it so I can do it daily or at least every other day.

I'll be sure to post updates on the Hypnobabies course throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. It'll be interesting to see how other people react to my decision to use this method, since it is so different. I'm also curious to see if my feelings towards it change over the weeks. Right now, I feel awkward with it and like I should keep it a secret, but who knows, maybe soon I'll be an advocate. Ultimately, if it helps me have the natural birth I so desperately want, I don't care what anyone else thinks. After all, I'm the one who has to go through labor!!

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