Tomorrow evening is my first hypnobirthing class. (Btw, that link is worth clicking just to check out their source – an obstetrician named Dick-Read? Are they joking??)

Generally, hypnobirthing takes the place of pain medication during childbirth. I’m not planning to use it for that, I’m thinking of it more as a technique to manage the fear of childbirth – which, for me, is huge – in combination with drugs. I’m actually a very big fan of artificial substances. Heck, if they could put vodka in my IV, I’d be all for it.

Both my obstetrician and Dave seem to think that the hypnobirthing classes aren’t really necessary. My OB says that she’s “pretty liberal” with the pain medication, so if I’m feeling discomfort during labor, all I have to do is speak up and they’ll give me more drugs. Which is great, I admit. (Have I mentioned that I love my OB? Because I do. She’s fantastic.) Dave is against the idea of the classes because, as my “birthing partner,” he has to go to the classes with me, and he’s a little cranky about the idea of taking two hours out of his day for the next five Wednesdays. I think he’s also afraid that they’re going to make him do something embarassing, even though I’ve explained that he’ll probably just be expected to rub my back and act supportive.

Honestly, the only reason why I decided to go ahead with the classes, even after my OB said they aren’t necessary, is because I am absolutely terrified of giving birth. And the fear has only gotten worse since I got pregnant, it’s almost an irrational phobia at this point. I think about how uncomfortable I am during a regular routine pap smear, and then try to multiply that times a thousand, and… good god. How do women do this?

I’m almost wishing for just one teeny-tiny complication – nothing that could endanger me or the baby in any way – but something that’s just enough to warrant a C-section. I’ve had abdominal surgery before, I’m not scared of that at all. See? Like I said, irrational.

So, since the main point of hypnobirthing is to calm the mother and ease her fears and anxieties, it makes sense (to me) to go ahead with the classes. Even though I’m pretty sure that I’m going against their basic philosophy by planning to combine the relaxation techniques with pain medication. Oh well, we can’t all be perfect.

From my point of view, the main problem with this hypnobirthing class is that the first one is tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m., which means I’ll miss the season finale of “Project Runway.” I’m planning to DVR it, of course, I’ll just have to be very careful not to read any spoilers on Thursday until I’ve had a chance to catch up.

6 thoughts on “hypnobirthing

  1. Have you thought about taking just a plain old birthing class at the hospital/birthing center where you’ll be delivering? We took one (I think it was 6 weeks, but I can’t remember) that combined Bradley, Lamaze, etc., and also just explained labor in words people can understand.
    I was deathly afraid of the epidural needle, but nothing else, really. ha.
    Also? Now would be a good time to refrain from reading anybody’s birth story or listening to labor stories from been-there-done-that Mamas. Because everyone wants to tell their story of pain and woe, and that will scare an expectant Mama shitless.
    When I was pregnant, I used to remind myself that women have been having babies since time began. Your body knows how to do it, even if you don’t think it does.

  2. That’s funny, I’m not scared of the epidural needle at all. We are taking a childbirth class, but it’s just one Saturday. And I think it’s just sort of a quick “here’s what to expect, these are your options, now let’s go tour the hospital” thing. (For the record, the hypnobirthing classes are also at the hospital where I’ll be delivering.)

    And I agree about the birth stories – I was fine with all of those childbirth shows on Discovery Health, but lately they’re starting to wig me out a little.

  3. If they’re wigging you out, it’s definitely time to stop watching them. Especially the ones where the pregnancies are high risk, because they will really freak you out.
    Ugh, that epidural needle. Ernie says I willingly let them give that to me last time, but I don’t remember it. I keep telling myself that when the next time comes around, I’m going to stay home until the baby’s almost crowning.

  4. You really should do a regular birthing class, if for no other reason than that the hypnobirthing class will probably make you afraid of using pain medication (after all, they’re teaching to their target audience: people who want natural childbirth). Pain medication = less post traumatic stress disorder for you.

    And don’t read about my epidural (again). 😉

  5. This is the description of the childbirth class we’re taking (in early December):
    “The core class for first-time parents. Learn about labor & birth, including cesarean birth, and pain management techniques. Includes a tour.”

    So it sounds like what I basically need to know, it’s just the fact that it’s only one Saturday that makes me think that it probably isn’t as thorough as some other classes.

  6. Might be enough. Getting some good coping strategies and (sorry Dave) practicing them, so when the time comes D knows what you need without you telling him, is most important. Because you might not be in any condition to calmly tell him what you need.

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