My husband and I studied your Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques while I was pregnant, and our little boy was born on August 29. You mentioned that you always like to hear how the births of your students go, so I’m just dropping you a line to follow up. I also wanted to send you extra special thanks for helping us to think about natural childbirth as a viable possibility. I’m pleased to report that the birth of my second son went so much more quickly than the first, and my recovery has been much smoother and easier, too. Not using an epidural or any pain meds this time around was definitely the right approach for us.
This birth was so different from my first son’s birth, during which I had back labor, and ended having an epidural and a forceps-assisted delivery. For N’s birth, I had several weeks of preamble, during which I was walking around at 3+ cm dilated with constant mild contractions, expecting to go into labor at any moment. When my water finally broke, I was grocery shopping and assumed that I had plenty of time before the delivery, so I paid for the groceries, drove them home, put them away, loaded the car with a bunch of yoga props for my labor, and asked the babysitter to drive me to the hospital. As it turned out, I almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time — N was born scarcely two hours after my water broke! Although I did have back labor again, I was able to hang in there with it, and really felt that I was able to stay present through the whole experience. And this time, I was fortunate enough to have fantastic support from my doctor and from a nurse who had given birth to three children of her own through natural child birth. Together they walked me through the stage 2 process by just giving me very clear and concrete instructions on what to do. It was an intense experience that left me feeling very empowered and elated.
Despite the rapid pace of my labor, I managed not to panic, and I thank you and the Birthing Through Hypnosis philosophy for that. I had practiced the Birthing Through Hypnosis techniques throughout my third trimester, and I feel that they helped to alleviate my anxiety and helped me to keep my intention focused on surrendering to the process. Because I was already hitting stage 2 by the time I arrived at the hospital, I wasn’t really practicing the other techniques from the manual during my labor, but I was able to continue to surrender and trust that the process was natural and all was well.
Having been through one child birth, I knew that the process was painful, and also knew that I really couldn’t play any tricks on my mind to distract myself or to convince myself otherwise. So in my preparation for N’s birth, I focused more on how to relax within discomfort and prepared to give myself over to the pain without resistance or panic. Luckily, I was able to do that, but I actually learned a great lesson in this birth — as it turned out, in order to get that baby’s head past my tailbone, I couldn’t retreat from the pain or even just surrender to it. Instead, I actually had to harness the pain as a tool and press against it from the inside in order to get past it. It called on a different kind of faith than what I had expected, and all the strength I could muster. It was a valuable life lesson for me, and will undoubtedly influence the way I approach other painful situations going forward.
Thanks again for your help in preparing for this birth!