So I qualified as a KG Hypnobirthing teacher a few months back now. My mind has been filled with little more than babies and birth. I keep going over the definition of Hypnobirthing for people that ask me, especially the male friends who are totally baffled by my new career. At least when I teach Drama they can crack a joke about me being a tree, but this, they have nothing. I have spent many days now explaining what the course is all about and what amazing preparation it can give ladies and their partners for the biggest event in their lives. The more articles I read, the more the terms, 'no pain relief', 'home birth', 'breathe out your baby', 'off the bed' stick in my mind. And they are examples of terms that have massive relevance to having a natural birth which will contribute to what we hope, little intervention.
Hmm.. but what if I can't have those things? What if I have been told I have Group B Strep? I'm diabetic, surely I have to be induced? I'm measuring big and my friend keeps telling me I look like a whale, will baby get stuck? I want to be calm but I had a Section first time round and this will be a VBAC baby, so surely I'll tear old scar tissue?
What's the point of Hypnobirthing?
I was definitely was not your typical Hypnobirthing mum. I'm still not. I actually went into shock when my waters broke! It was without doubt the reality of doing it all again coming back to me. I was in the car to Harrogate practising my breathing through jelly legs and chatting teeth. I had to give birth again and last time it was all wrong, so I still had a voice questioning how this could different. I was strapped up to a drip on antibiotics, I agreed after discussion to have a pessary induction, and I had a lot of gas and air, and a codeine! Oh and I swore... quite a bit, whilst The Wright Stuff wittered away in the background; the sound dock wasn't working. Sadly Take That wouldn't be serenading baby into the world but the drones of Matthew Wright. But, and it is the most massive of buts, I knew my choices and because of that I was able to choose the course of my birth. That sounds very 'hypnobirthy', but I knew I could decline induction (which I did, as they were adamant I needed to go on the drip, and I'm glad I said no to that), I knew to get off the bed and to get into positions that would help baby come down during surges, my husband knew when to step in with all sorts of brilliant massage techniques and when to very much step well out of the way when I needed my 20,000th bowel movement. It was the choice and control that made a huge difference. My breathing was controlled, I made the choice to have no examinations. It was my birth, and I owned it.
So if you are thinking about Hypnobirthing and have a sceptical hat on that it has to go one, specific, perfect way, it doesn't. You can be at home/ a midwife led unit/ in Theatre preparing for a section/ on a bathroom floor/ on a supermarket floor... wherever baby wants to say their first hello, you can have a positive experience because by choosing a Hypnobirthing course, you've already prepared yourself for that to happen. You will know what is what when it comes to your birth. And if it goes off the course of birth you wanted, you'll be ready to make new choices and take control because you're educated to. That's not to go against medical safety, but it to know what it is being offered to you and whether it is what is right for you and baby. And you'll say Hypnobirthng; its not hippy, its not a fad, its not all tea lights, swishy voices and lavender, it's my birth and I'm owning it!