Saturday, July 15, 2006

Birth fears

As I attempt to practice my hypnosis for birth tape I am always struck by how simple the message is that I am hearing. I can be strong, confident, calm and without fear during the birth of this baby. Well, that's all fine and good, but considering my last birth I was a flailing mess and the eptiome of what every birthing woman should be striving to NOT look like, this simple message often feels like a giant load of crap to me. I shouldn't be admiting this. I mean, we are spending a good deal of time and money on this birthing techinique, and damn it all, it better work! But I can't quite figure out how I'm going to get over the fact that the rosey picture of birth that my tape is painting is so far from my experience, it truly is comical.

I want to believe the message. I absolutely, down to my soul want to believe I can be strong, confident and calm during the birth of this baby. I have so many fears wrapped up in what this experience is going to hold for me, I wonder if I'm just kidding, or at the very least sabotaging, myself.

It is interesting to me how women work through their birth fears and go from having one bad experience to having one amazing one. My sister is one of those people. All the drugs and all the problems with her first to the second being so "easy" that she has said she could have had her son at home unassisted. I should have tapped more in to her brain about how was able to go there. And many, many women have this experience. How? Do they just really have an easy birth the second (or subsequent) time around or have they prepared themselves so thoroughly that they are ready for any challenge thrown at them? Of course, it could very well be a combination of the two.

My strongest birth fear is that I'm going to have to be transferred to the hospital again. Now, if I were to be transferred for an unavoidable emergency, okay, I could probably live with that, but I have this sinking feeling I'm be the first woman in history to be transferred twice because I just couldn't get through it. I'll be calling everyone from the hospital saying "yep, I'm back here again." And the fear isn't even so much that I would get transferred, it's that I now feel like I CAN'T get transferred. Like I already used my "get out of jail free" card or something.

I keep having these surreal moments of looking around my bedroom and the rest of our apartment while thinking to myself "this is where I'm going to have this baby!" I start to imagine myself in labor, or where the birth tub will be, or where the baby will be born. I imagine all the people here who will be helping with the birth. I think it helps me to visualize the birthing space as often as I need to. When I was at the birth center last time I had a hard time imagining that is where my baby would be born. Not suprisingly, she wasn't born there, but in a hospital I had never set foot in until I was late in to my labor.

There are so many things that will be different this time around. I hope it's enough. I hope that these are the pieces I need in place in order to make this all work.


  1. well, you can be strong, confident, calm and without fear .. but, your feelings are your feelings and they are all okay..

    i've had two unassisted births, after one hospital birth .. and i can't say i was without fear or completely confident from start to finish with any of my births.

    what did help me with my unassisted births was to remember that birth it totally natural and that my body does know how to birth a baby.

    i also read everything i could about birth. one book i have is called Emergency Childbirth, A Manual by Dr. Gregory White. i think it was original meant for policemen and firefighters in case they needed to help deliver a baby. it's a small, 6 chapter spiral bound instruction manual basically. it show's birth as a pretty simple process .. one sentance from the book says, "It should be remembered that in the normal case nature does not impose on the mother more distress than she can stand." and that's about as 'newagey' as it gets.

    Another book I liked was Active Birth, The New Approach To Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas.

    I read a lot of other books, but those two are the ones that gave me good, practical advice.

    hope that helps some!


  2. It it's any comfort, the reason you aren't paying to just have someone *tell you* you're strong, confident, etc. is because just telling you won't work.

    Hypnosis is effective because it can get to your subconscious and help you learn to cope with your fears in your conscious mind. Hypnosis will help you tap into the strength we all have deep down inside but sometimes it's hard to access without some help - thus hypnosis instead of just a pep talk :)

  3. I'm going through the exact smae thing right now...studying hypnobirthing (tho not nearly as much practicing of the techniques as I should be!) and feeling amazed at the light in which they project this whole painless birthing as long as you resolve any fears beforehand and rmemeber that it's a natural process your bady is designed to do and do well (most of the time). And I get that fear can most definately cause you to experience more pain than you would otherwise, so it does make sense to me...and I'm very hopeful!

    BUT, I too have fears about not being able to handle it...I didn't do so well the last time also (well, I was ok until they decided to augment me with some pitoncin and then it was all over...there was literally no break in between contractions and I was begging for the epidural...sometimes I think it would have been ok if I'd had the chance to build up to that intensity). My regret is in getting the epidural and not truly experiencing the birth since I was so numb (i had gone from 5-10cm in a half hour after the pitocin and was at 10 when they administered the epidural). So this time I'm planning to give birth naturally in a free-standing birth center rather than in the hospital like last time, and my fear is definately in not making it through. And I want to trust in this whole hypnobirhting thing, but it does sound too good to be true. My only comfort is that my midwife encouraged me to learn about it and has told me of the hypnobirths that she attended and does speak of them as very calm and beautiful I know it can work, I jusrt have to get my head around it more, and practice practice practice!! Good luck to you!!!


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