Again, forgive the lapse in time since I last posted. Motherhood is grand and exhausting...I am adjusting.
Here I am at Birth Rehearsal #1: So relaxed, so confident. I looked forward to the birth experience like a kid anticipating Christmas morning.
During the birth itself, for about the first 20 hours, I felt the same type of joyful ease that was present during my rehearsals. For the last dozen hours or so of the birth, the experience wasn't quite as ideal, but I will explain why this fact doesn't bother me. Many of you have a particular interest in this birth story knowing I decided to use Hypnobabies. Click here to learn more. I LOVE this program, and attribute most of my positive attitude during pregnancy and birthing to it. I would highly recommend Hypnobabies to anybody who wants to look forward to the birth experience rather than dreading it. I firmly believe childbirth is one of God's greatest GIFTS to women, far from being a curse, and not inherently meant to bring suffering. Hypnobabies promotes this beautiful ideal. Having said that, I need to confess there are few philosophies in life that garner my total agreement, and therefore I “tweaked” Hypnobabies to match my own beliefs a bit. Here are the two main changes I made:
First, Hypnobabies discourages mothers from referring to the birth experience as “hard work.” While I see why the program seeks to instill a feeling of ease to aid the mother’s confidence, I believed all along that the program qualified as “hard work.” Hours a day of practice (enjoyable though that practice could be) for months on end, effort required to focus and use the hypnosis tools during the birth itself, etc. all seem like real work to me. Furthermore, on a religious slant, I see birth as part of “my work and my glory,” to bring a little soul to earth. And work in general is part of the purpose of mortal life...not something to fear or avoid, but embrace as a godly principle. “Be anxiously engaged in a good work.” And nothing in life worth having ever came easy. And so forth. So I sometimes call the birthing time “labor,” and sometimes called it “work,” but neither terms feel negative to me. I can do hard things.
Second, Hypnobabies has an affirmation that states, “I deserve a beautiful, comfortable birth.” After considering the damage inherent in this mantra, such as women feeling devastated after their birth experience goes awry (since “deserving” connotes entitlement, and a feeling of being cheated if the birth happens differently than beautiful/comfortable), I decided not to state this affirmation. Instead I changed it, chanting, “I am worthy of a beautiful, comfortable birth.” Then, during my birthing time, I repeated to myself, “I am choosing a beautiful, comfortable birth.” Knowing I had done everything in my power to achieve the birthing experience I wanted, I still realized that perhaps God had some better lesson for me to learn than could be obtained through a blissful experience. Sometimes, despite a person being worthy of a great blessing, God chooses to withhold it in order to give something greater in return. I knew that if I did not get the ideal birth I desired, it wasn’t because I had been cheated out of something I deserved, or because I had not educated myself, or worked hard enough preparing, etc. but rather God wanted me to get something better out of the whole experience.
So. With that lead up, it must seem obvious some parts of my birth experience went as planned, and other parts went differently than planned, but overall I feel positive about the whole thing. I love being a woman, and feel grateful for the opportunity to experience birthing my baby.
Hmmm…This post is long enough now that I have decided to end it and make the birth story itself a “to be continued” separate entry. I suppose we will call this post The Preface. Very dramatic. =) Stay tuned. And hopefully it will not take me another week to get the rest of the story posted.