Back in September, I wrote a pretty long blog post about how frustrated I was about my failed attempts to find a midwife or OB who would be as serious about my natural birth plan as I was. Amazingly enough, we ended up with the perfect midwife (who was actually from the office I had been going to the whole time!) She was very encouraging about us having a natural birth & had witnessed many successful ones in the past- even a few that had used Hypnobirthing techniques. She did a great job – we absolutely loved her!
I also mentioned in that long sad blog post that there were no birthing centers near us and no Bradley Method or Hypnobabies birth classes going on around us. I concluded that we live in a natural birthing dry spot and decided to just take the Hypnobabies home study. I’m not very academically disciplined & neither is Brad, but I was determined that we were going to learn as much as we could. There are only 5 class sessions in the book but the class is largely comprised of tracks that you listen to on a daily basis. One of my favorites was the Daily Pregnancy affirmations. If nothing else, that track (that you’re instructed to listen to every day) helped me reach Cooper’s birthing day with confidence that I was strong enough to have a natural birth and to do it in comfort and without fear.
It’s amazing what thoughts we let into our minds – especially surrounding giving birth. You rarely hear of an easy or happy birth story. Women, for some reason, love to tell (and even exaggerate) their horror stories – especially to other women who are pregnant. One of the ideas behind hypnobabies is that you protect yourself from those thoughts (and outside influences) that lead to fear which causes you to tense up and fight the birth process which leads to pain which in turn can lead to possible complications at birth. The whole concept is so great that you can actually apply it to many things in life. All that being said, I highly recommend the Hypnobabies course. I will admit that parts of the course seem pretty weird at first. It took Brad quite a while to get on board because of this and though he supported me, he didn’t fully believe in much of the philosophy of it until I started having contractions and he saw it working.
I wanted to share our story mainly as an encouragement for those women who are hoping to have a natural birth but are scared or think they won’t be able to do it. I am not an especially strong or disciplined person, but I don’t believe it takes a specific kind of person to have a baby naturally. Women in primitive (and some not so primitive) cultures pop babies out naturally everyday. For them it’s no big deal. One story I hung onto during my pregnancy was of a doctor traveling through Africa who witnessed his first African birth. He was shocked at how the mother was able to deliver her baby (with seemingly no pain), strap it on her back and then go back to working in her garden*.
I believe that a woman’s body is amazing and was purposefully created to deliver a baby in the most perfect way.
Of course, there are many births that cannot be done naturally or completely without meds because of one thing or another and I know that mine could very well have happened in a different way. I think it’s very important to be open to that possibility. We had a section in our birth plan with our requests in the case of an emergency c-section.
Cooper’s birth story is, in my opinion, pretty much a perfect natural birth story. We had no complications whatsoever and I attribute that to God blessing this day and everything about it in that way. I also attribute it to the prayers that Brad and I, our friends, and family had been sending His way since we found out we were pregnant (and wanted to have a natural, non-medicated birth). Lastly, I attribute it to Brad and I being as prepared as possible.
I am so excited to tell the story of one of the best days of my life in part two of Cooper’s Birth Story!
*I read this story in the book Hypnobabies (which I highly recommend!)