Thursday, October 13, 2011

In a Hypnotic State of Mind

Apparently there was a rush of laboring moms right before me. I asked for a water birth room, but both were taken. Despite this, I was relieved when we were finally assigned a room, though I can’t remember the number. Due to hospital policy, I had to be on the fetal heartbeat/contraction monitor for 20 minutes, but they only checked me once, and I was already 8 cm. Guess the weeks of pre-labor had added up.

Once settled in this room, the nursing staff checked me and after that, it was a blur as I focused deeply on my hypnobirthing excersises. Many people have a misconception about hypnosis. I know until this year I was one of them. For one, you can only hypnotize yourself. Yes you can be guided by listening to music or someone’s voice, but you can’t go into this state without your consent. Also, people are confused on what hypnosis feels like. Have you ever watched a movie (as is common in movie theatres) or got so into a book where you get so caught up in the story, resulting in you loosing track of time, your surroundings and even your own body signals? That’s hypnosis! There are different practices to achieve this state, but, according to the Mongan method, which I followed, the deeper you can go into it, the longer you can maintain calm, focus and birth at a more natural state.

So it’s no surprise that time and space was a blur for a while. Unfortunately, coming into this, I had problems achieving the deepest level of relaxation during practice. The reason I choose hypnobirthing in the first place because in my last birth experience with Lauren, which was in the water birth suite at St. Joe’s, I felt I did very well until about 8cm. That’s when I was told we’d be walking from the tub in the bath room to the birthing tub. Well during that tub I just lost all focus and upon entering the birthing tub I began to float, resulting in a complete loss of control of all my senses except those parts able to produce an assortment of swear words and thrashing around like I was possessed. Combined with not knowing what 100% natural child birth felt like, left me in shock and traumatized.

For the first time, I didn’t mind touch during labor, even at the very end, feeling the loving presence of my husband and doula while guided into mediation and self-relaxation.

Hyponobirthing carried me much further than I thought it would. Despite reading the book twice, constantly listening to the CD’s and reaffirming the philosophies of the Mongan Method, in the back of my mind, I had nagging doubts. I have no doubt that if I practiced the most deep mediation more often (I’m restless what can I say, it’s a challenge),the situation was more calm and I had a little more time to settle before labor got so intense, I would of made it to the very end in a relaxed, pain free state in deep meditation.

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