I wanted to take the time to inform you about Hypnobirthing and how it has worked for me.
Hypnobirthing stands for a calm, natural birth. You are free of fear and filled with belief that the woman's body is designed to give birth and that it is a beautiful experience. It teaches you to relax your body and conditions to relax once you listen to the relaxation exercises and birth affirmations. The breathing techniques are different to the ones you might know and they do make all the difference. Besides that you don't push the baby out, but exhale while birthing the baby.
It also gives you tips and tricks how to keep your endorphins high and fight the adrenaline. Endorphins are the strongest 'pain killers' there are. Adrenaline on the other hand tenses your body for action. For giving birth it is crucial to relax your body and work with the contractions and to let go of all the tension and enjoy the miracle of giving birth.
The partner plays a vital role during the preparations and actual birth. Unfortunately many men feel like they cannot be of any help during birth, but that is absolutely untrue. The dads are very important for the women to feel at ease. You will be doing this together.
When I discovered that I was pregnant, one of the first thoughts that came to my mind was giving birth and all the stories I've heard about giving birth. So far I've never heard birthing stories that were not filled with excruciating pain and trauma. You will always hear women talk about what went wrong and how much it hurt. They then conclude the story with: 'Don't worry, once the baby is there you have forgotten all about it'. Well, that is reassuring. You first still have to go through hell to then return to heaven on earth. That is quite the journey and I was honestly scared of it.
When one of my dearest friends told me that she was pregnant, too, and wanted to try out Hypnobirthing, I wanted to know more. She was talking so passionately about it so I ordered the book right away. My friend was taking part of the official Hypnobirthing Classes. I first wanted to read the book to see if it was really something for me.
When I decided to also take the classes, I couldn't find anyone who still had space for me. Luckily the woman who was giving the classes in the Netherlands agreed to meet with me on Skype for a couple of sessions. We worked together on some parts and it was nice to just talk to her and release the fear that I attached to giving birth. I felt confident and really wanted to make it work. I was free of fear and really looking forward to it.
Let me tell you that I had the most beautiful birth ever. I practiced the exercises (breathing, relaxation, visualisation etc.), I also bought the music that was used for the relaxation CD and listened to that as often as I could. With and without headphones to also make the baby hear the soothing sounds.
My delivery took only 7 hours after I was induced and Vincent came swimming into the world in the birthing tank. He is a very calm baby. Just as all the other hypnobirthing babies that entered the world in a calm way. I didn't use any pain medication. It was a birth like nature intended it. My endorphins kicked in and there was no pain.
I wish all women the beautiful birth that I had and can wholeheartedly recommend Hypnobirthing for you. Even when you are a sober minded Dutch girl like me. Giving birth doesn't hurt. I tell you that it does work!
One thing that is really important is to write a birthing plan. Describe your ultimate birth and preferences. A lot of women never think about it, but the caretakers at the hospital really appreciate it and can guide you better through your birth. My hospital didn't have a lot of experience with HB and because of my birthing plan they knew what to do and it all turned out wonderful. No weird surprises, all according to my plan.
I would like to thank: Oliver, Linda, Kathrin and Karin for guiding me through this wonderful experience. I could not have done it without you!