as i’ve mentioned to so many of you, trevor and i just finished our birthing classes. that’s usually where i end the conversation with most people, saying that we learned a lot and that we are excited for the birth of our little boy. but there is so much more to it, but the world doesn’t seem ready to embrace it. we took hypnobirthing classes with the amazing, empowering, and strong Carol Yeh-Garner. Classes were held for five weeks, about 3 hours each, at my favorite local, and uber-green babies by the sea boutique in cardiff. the store is co-owned by my doctor, dr biter (aka dr wonderful). Ok, I think I’m good with the links for a paragraph or two.
the basis of hypnobirthing (don’t be turned off by “hypno-”, think relaxation, confidence, trust in one’s own body…) is that women across the world, well, in non-westernized cultures, birth without pain, with only minimal discomfort if that, and go about their business afterward. no drama, no screaming, no purple pushing on your back with nurses and doctors screaming in your face to push. amazing, right? well, what’s more amazing to me is what a huge impact our culture has been on our understanding of birth, and more importantly the understanding of the female body. the way america (and other westernized cultures) handle birth has taught women that we alone don’t know what our bodies should be doing, that we can’t handle it, that we, in many senses, weren’t created correctly to birth. now, as a Christ follower, i always assumed that birth pains were a part of The Fall, and that the so-called “eve’s curse” was inevitable. it’s in the Bible as part of adam and eve’s consequences for sinning. what i learned throughout this empowering process of taking this course through much of my own research, is that the idea of painful childbirth didn’t show up in the Bible until later translations. what appeared in it’s original place was that eve’s labor would be painful- just as adam’s was to be. that the work she was to do (to sustain themselves, as the perfection of the Garden was no longer in place due to their sin) was not going to be fun, and would cause her a lot of frustration and pain, just as it would to adam. not referencing childbirth, but referencing a completely different translation of the word labor. WOAH. ok, i don’t want to get into a Biblical translations debate here, debating potentially what else may or may not have been translated correctly, i’m just making a point here. women across the world give birth calmly and pain-free, obviously “eve’s curse” didn’t change us physiologically. but it’s effect has changed us psychologically. yeah, this stuff piques my interest. what can i say :)
through these classes i have learned to cancel out all the dramatic birth stories i seem to get bombarded with, and have learned that my body is more powerful and more perfect than i ever imagined. i feel more confident in myself than i ever have in my entire life. i feel more beautiful, more at ease, and more excited to meet my little man. i feel like i know how to make informed decisions when it comes to my child. i want his entrance into the world to be calm, relaxed, natural, and as SIMPLE as possible. let me birth, let me bond with my baby directly afterward, don’t poke and prod my baby, let us simply watch him explore the new world he will be living in- completely aware and competent. it really is amazing. we want dim lighting, as little intervention as humanly possible (if we even deliver at a hospital. more on that later!), my relaxation tapes in my ears, access to a tub or shower for relaxation, and a completely calm environment. understandably, medical interventions may be necessary in the case that my baby needs it- and we are obviously okay with what needs to be done to ensure his health and safety. we now know how to handle whatever turn our birthing takes confidently and calmly. trevor was hesitant at first to buy into hypnobirthing, but the more he learned, the more he became fired up at the fact that our culture has had such a negative impact on the birthing process. he is my ultimate advocate and will be an amazing companion during labor. he practices his massage techniques (can’t complain about that!) and reads me relaxation scripts. it’s amazing to have him in my life. God is so good.
i practice relaxation to recorded scripts daily, listen to positive affirmations daily, talk with trev all the time about what we want our birth to look like. we visualize and we practice. we feel confident. we feel excited for the baby’s birthing day. i never thought i would be that woman. i never thought i would want to even have a baby naturally, maybe just opting for a schedule c-section to bypass the “pain” … but now i know what i want. what i really want, and what i can have. i’m no longer a slave to the cultural impact that dramatic birthing has placed on hoards and hoards of women. i don’t want to hear the “yeah, right” or “it doesn’t happen like that, kelly. it’s gonna hurt. get the epidural and get it over with” responses. so i share our experiences here, but even though these practices have been around since the beginning of time, a large majority of the population is not ready to hear it. well, you’ll hear it from me. i’ll share my “after” story after the baboosh arrives, and i hope our experiences in empowering ourselves to make this truly OUR birth experience, not a hospital’s birth experience, inspires others. now, hypnobirthing does NOT guarantee a discomfort or even pain-free birth. i’m not expecting to go into labor and be like- yeah, party! this is so much fun! but what hypnobirthing does provide is an alternative. an alternative way of thinking about your birth, of preparing for your birth, or handling the discomfort you may or may not experience. a nice stat- 83% of women who have gone through hypnobirthing courses have not needed or wanted pain medication during labor. that’s pretty dang impressive, and powerful when you think about the drama depicted in tv shows, etc surrounding birth and the screaming mother. in fact, click here for a link to watch some hypnobirthing videos. your mind will be blown, these are normal, everyday women who have taken hypnobirthing seriously and are putting into practice. it happens, and you can’t convince me otherwise anymore. so this may not be for everyone, but everyone needs to at least be aware that it is out there. women are capable of so much more than what our society has laid upon us, but it’s up to us to find that within ourselves. and i can’t deny that i feel stronger and more empowered than i ever have at any point in my entire life. it’s a beautiful thing, and now that i have it i’m not willing to give it up. in fact, maybe i’ve found a new calling…more on that later :)