Bun in oven

Thoughts on HypnoBirthing

(Before I start, I just want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and showing encouragement in the previous post!

Also, I was in no way belittling the other choices made by other mothers. Everything to do with parenting boils down to personal choices and what works for someone may not work for another person, whether it’s pain relief or toilet paper.)

Infertility survivors, more than any other women, tend to be uber PARANOID.

When we first found out that we were expecting, we wondered if the pregnancy would last. And when we did go past the first trimester and saw the cute nugget waving at us during our nuchal translucency test, I started worrying about the potential medical complications that could threaten the pregnancy. Incompetent cervix, IUGR, preterm labour, gestational diabetes…you name it, I thought about it. Infertility brings out the Type A in me and I end up researching on the what-might-happens. These BIG, SCARY THINGS UNDER THE BED are the what-might-happens.

And then there’s the birth itself. While I am not terrified of labour itself, I do have a fear of not being able to go through the natural, drug-free birth that I aspire towards. And the reason behind this? My pint-sized body coupled with the fact that my husband is a fat big person. What’s more, both my mother and sister went through Caesarean births because their babies (my sister herself and Rai) were in breech position.

My inner, irrational alarm bells went DING! DING! DING! DINGGGG!

I know, right. As if birthing is hereditary, like bad hair days. HUR HUR.

Back when I was shooting myself up with drugs to try and make a baby, I was already thinking about the type of birth that I wanted for myself and my kid. Cart before horse, yadda yadda. But being Type A then and doing loads of research, I found out about alternative types of births that we don’t hear much of: home births, water births, hypnobirthing etc. It opened my eyes up to a whole new world and I decided that I would try to have a natural, drug-free birth with as little medical intervention as possible.

The reason: honestly, we don’t know if we will be blessed with another child and this could possibly be my one and only shot at doing it the way I want to. If I don’t try to have a natural, drug-free birth NOW, I may well NEVER get the chance to.

Now, a disclaimer (cos you should never NOT have a disclaimer): While I hope to achieve a natural, drug-free birth, I am perfectly aware that births do not always go the way you plan. I mean, Murphy is like my BFF. In the event that I need to have a C-sect or an epidural, I am more than willing to do so and no, I won’t kill myself over it. The perfect birth is the one in which my son and I emerge healthy and safe.

With me and my mental complexity, I decided that going for a structured class would benefit me immensely (ie. instead of me doing it on my own with books and CDs, which you CAN). I was very drawn to hypnobirthing because it focuses on the power of the mind but I was dithering because of costs: a typical hypnobirthing course can cost more than twice that of a conventional antenatal class. But when my friend P came back from her first hypnobirthing session with rave reviews, I decided to splurge and sign up with Four Trimesters.

Mr Thick and I attended our first session with Ginny over the weekend and I came away feeling like it was money well spent. It was pretty intimate because there were only four other couples in the group and we shared among one another about our fears and aspirations towards the birth of our children. And it felt good voicing out my fears and seeing the words form on the pages of the book. It was almost catharthic, knowing that I have pulled the words out of my brains and I can now “discard” these words from my mind.

Plus, I was pleasantly surprised by husband’s fear. I know, it sounds weird. But he shared with the group that his greatest fear was the uncertainty that loomed over birth and parenthood, and how he felt that he wasn’t adequately prepared. It was almost SNAG-ish.

WOW. That man manages to impress me after 12 long years together!

While I can only tell you if hypnobirthing works in March 2012 when the nugget makes his way out, I can honestly say that it’s something that I firmly believe in. I know that hypnobirthing does not guarantee the kind of birth that I want but it’s something that I can work towards.