Great to hear a couple of your experiences with Hypnobabies and hypnotic childbirth in general. It has re-inspired me on the concept - and I deeply appreciate it.
I was hesitant to post here that we'd done the Hypnobabies course, because what if my labor is difficult and I need an epidural? What will it feel like if I've annouced that I think (hubristically?) that I can do this most challenging thing without medication? I felt like by telling anyone I might set myself up to fail.
And then a couple of things happened that made me doubt that hypnosis could work.
I came down with food poisoning part way through the hypnosis course (the night before my 3 hour oral glucose challenge test). I had simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting, starting suddenly in the middle of the night. My whole middle section seized up from my pubic area to my breasts. As I sat hunkered in misery on the toilet at 4am with the trash can in front of me, I had several self-defeating thoughts. I thought that this is maybe a little what labor is like. I thought - you know what, let me do the hypnotic self-anesthesia. And I tried. And it helped some - mostly to allow me to relax rather than tense up around the pain. but I was still in pain. And the main thought I had (that really scared me) was that I didn't think I could endure the type of pain I was in for 24 hours (my guess that night on a length of labor). That I was in too much pain. That I "couldn't stand it."
And then I got the gestational diabetes diagnosis, and my doctor told me she plans to induce if I get to 40 weeks with no baby. That final bit of news really took the rest of the wind out of my sails. I started to doubt I could do an induced labor without pain medication. I started to doubt everything.
To back up a bit, Will and I recently attended a series of six classes in Hypnobabies, which is basically a medical self-hypnosis course to help women and their partners achieve an "easy and comfortable" childbirth. It was cool and useful. Overall, we felt the particular class that we took offered maybe less hypnosis training than we were hoping for and much more "medical" advice on childbirth in general ("Medical" in quotes because the instructor had no medical training and her teachings were often incorrect in their details, one-sided, or non-evidenced based). Because of that, I'm thinking of finding a new individual instructor to coach me further on hypnosis and we are also planning to take another short and more general class to learn about some of the medical aspects of this. The goal of a second short childbirth course is perhaps more for Will - you may have picked up by now that I'm an obsessive researcher about some of these things... And Will is not. For me, the only utility of a second course (maybe a weekend course) is to try to get an unbiased view of what our hospital-based birth experience is likely to be like and how to work with the system we have chosen to deliver in, rather than against it (our Hypnobabies instructor gave birth at home and seemed to have a limited understanding of the hospital system).
We've also hired a doula who was recommended by my OB and who was also Will's sister's doula for her three non-medicated deliveries (two at the hospital where I will deliver). I really, really liked her and her partner when I met them, but I still hope to get a better sense of what the "rules" will be at my hospital and how to best maximize our chances for a drug-free delivery while still getting all of the medical monitoring (and intervention, if necessary) we also desire.
And I've met someone now who had an induction and made it through pain med-free, so it was good to hear that it can be done.
Reading your thoughts on hypnosis and unmedicated childbirth has been really helpful. Please keep 'em coming! I welcome any thoughts and experiences - whether it went well or not so well...and any tips you'd have on navigating childbirth for those of you who've been there, done that.
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