Here’s another one:)
As a part of my course, I have my students write about the theories in hypnobirthing and then interview someone who has used it. I have seen great births with this method, though most rarely will call it completely pain free. Even so, it is a very effective technique to work through labor. Below, though, is a beautiful story of a painless labor using hypnobirthing as well as some insight into the strength of women. Enjoy!
“I met MR 7 years ago this August. We became fast friends even though we were opposite in a lot of ways. I was raised the oldest of 7 children, constantly surrounded by babies, birth and breastfeeding and she was an only child who never even had a second thought about those things. I desperately wanted to be a mother since I could remember and M wanted nothing to do with it. We spent 2 years of our friendship doing lots of fun road trips with our husbands, playing games late into the night and having each other for dinner and wine. During many of our late night talks, M and her husband let us know that they were never going to have children. They liked their freedom, they didn’t want to bring life into a broken world, plus they just didn’t have any desire at all. I got pregnant with my first son and was ecstatic. M was curious. She asked me all sorts of questions and seemed pretty interested in everything I was learning about having babies. The day I had my son (after a long 50 hour labor), she and her husband brought us celebratory beer and she held my B for the first time. A change came over her immediately. Just about a year later, M found out she was pregnant. It wasn’t planned and I was scared for her! She didn’t seem the motherly type, and I could not imagine them giving up their high paced lifestyle to parent a little one.
Early on, M read Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method and started listening to pregtastic podcasts. I was shocked at her excitement to have this baby and was delighted as she spent her 9 months of pregnancy active and healthy and just glowing with pure joy. She loved being pregnant. She was mentally strong and physically strong and she never wavered in letting stories of pregnancy ailments get to her.
With my one experience under my belt being a long overdue, long labor, I was trying to prepare her for the disappointment of having your due date come and go. The day before her due date, I left to go out of town for the weekend. About 12 hours later I got a phone call that she was in labor! I was so bummed out that we wouldn’t be there to welcome that baby with celebratory beer and that I wouldn’t be there to talk through her birth story with her.
Just a few hours later I received a picture on my phone with a picture of a radiant Monique holding a beautiful newborn A. That picture kept me up all night. I would toss and turn and then just look at the picture again. Such joy and confidence filled her face. Not a hint of fear.
As soon as I got home I headed over to hold the baby and get the details on the birth story, I was also planning on “helping out” since I was sure she was overwhelmed with a crying newborn at this point. M hadn’t even changed a diaper before she had A so I was sure my “expertise” would be needed. I walked into a room with a confident mommy and a peaceful sleeping A. M told me her birth story with ease and fondness. She used the phrases, “It wasn’t painful!” and “I laughed when I was pushing” and “It was like a party!”. I couldn’t believe my ears! Here a woman without any exposure to birth previously, had learned to trust her own body and had a relatively painless birth!
Two and a half months later, a surprised M called me with the news that she was pregnant again! She continued this pregnancy like the last, even running up to the last days of her pregnancy. This go around she had asked me to be in the room and to take pictures of the labor and birth. I was curious. I had already begun my birth photography business and had photographed many painful labors (many ending in epidural), and in the back of my head I didn’t quite believe M stories of her first birth. The truth would be exposed. When she called me and told me she was in labor, I went to her house where I watched her laugh, finish cooking up some soup, sway and dance. We headed to the hospital not when she was crying in pain but just when she felt like it. In the dark of the night I watched her in her self hypnosis quietly and beautifully sit still during contractions with a pleasant smile on her face. After contractions she would continue her conversations in such a normal manner. There was never once a sound uttered or a “I can’t do this” spoken. Around 9.5 cm she fell asleep! I was in awe! So her stories were true! She really wasn’t feeling pain. That night beautiful R was born and joined her family and her sister who wasn’t even walking yet.
I learned a lot that night watching M deliver her second baby. I witnessed the strength that M had in her mind and how that affected her attitude not only during birth but throughout her pregnancy and parenting. She was never once scared but just accepted birth as a normal beautiful thing. Consequently M describes her labors as relatively painless.
This book review is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life.
Book Synopsis(from the author’s web page):
The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth offers something that no other book has before–a spiritual look at pregnancy, birth and mothering by and for LDS women and other women of faith.
The Gift of Giving Life does not advocate for any one type of birth or approach to prenatal care, rather it intends to unify families and communities in regard to the sacredness of birth. We also aim to provide you with resources, information, and inspiration that you may not have had access to all in one place before.
We have been commanded to “multiply and replenish the earth,” but with this commandment we were also given a reason: that we might have joy. We hope that this book brings peace, joy, and comfort to families everywhere.
As a self proclaimed student of LDS birthing culture, I read this book with a sense of familiarity. Among the many discussions, interviews, and shared birth stories I have had with LDS women, the sense of a connection to a Heavenly Mother and the divine has always been apparent to me. No matter what choices these women have made, it is usually done in connection with the idea that birth and giving birth is sacred and often surrounded by rituals that provide LDS women with a sense of closeness to God. These include things such as prayer, song, meditation, blessings, and reverence for motherhood.
A few years ago, I recieved a question from one of my readers asking any advice in navagating the Mormon Mommy Culture when your plan is outside the mainstream, and how she could find common ground. I answered with some of the above thoughts of prayer or blessings, but this book answers this question far better than I could. It discusses common doctrine believed among the LDS faith that may unite them, as well as interesting intellectual discussions on the meaning of life, birth, death, and motherhood. With stories and essays, it provides an insiders look into some of the dilemmas and questions inherent in following a faith and working to find meaning in our birth experiences that is common to all women.
This book compiles and completes many of the concepts I have discussed and written in the past, and provides a framework from which both birth workers and birthing mothers can begin to understand the sacred event, regardless of the choices made, that birth is among many LDS women.
Earn 3 Free Bonus Gifts when you buy a copy of The Gift of Giving Life by May 15th. Just visit The Gift of Giving Life to find out the details!
Another great response from a student. Love these responses!
“I feel that every women has the right to be supported throughout all phases
of the birth process. That she should eb allowed to enjoy her child coming
into the world and that having a douls beside her supporting her helps that
become a reality. She should be reasuured and made to felt safe and
confident in her ability. A doula provides individualized care for the
mothers (not the generic hospital care) specific prefrences and
I hope that as a doula I am able to instill a sence of calm, understanding
and confidence in my clients. I want to allow the mother to make fully
informed choices that coinside with her wishes and beliefs. To empower them
to embrace thier strength, show their spirit and believe in their bodies. I
would like to help women and their partners enjoy the birth of their child.” -M
I love to see the responses from my students for this one. They are usually very personal and beautiful, in my opinion. So, I wanted to share some here. (I did get permission first:)).
“The first time I gave birth, I thought I was prepared. I had hired a midwife, taken natural birthing classes and had read a lot of birth stories and books. In the throws of a very long two day labor, I felt alone and like I was dying. My midwife was off delivering other babies, my nurse was charting the whole time and my husband was doing the best he could. Not only did I fear something was wrong and that I was dying, but I was robbed of the joy of letting my body birth and not being afraid.
My number one goal as a doula is to constantly affirm my birthing mothers that what they are going through is normal, that there isn’t something wrong. I also want to help partners feel included and harness their nervous energy into positive affirmation and helpfulness towards the mother. I want the mother to feel like they are fully surrounded by people who believe in her and who care for her. In the end, I want my mothers to come away from whatever birth they had feeling empowered and that they were able to make informed decisions regarding their birth.”
On April 20, 2013, I will be showing a new film called The Face of Birth here in Maricopa, AZ. For anyone that is interested, it costs $10 and the proceeds will go towards scholarships for my students. You can find more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/529730953726326/?fref=ts
I just sat down to preview this for the showing. I was a bit apprehensive before watching this film, because I thought it might undermine women’s legitimate choice or desire to also choose a hospital or cesarean birth. But it didn’t. It is about working to allow women the right to choose home birth as well as other choices. It obviously favors home birth, but it also acknowledges that it’s okay for women to make other choices, and that it is the ability to make a choice that is valued. It is, in fact, advocating for women to have choices, period. This is something I am very much in line with.
I also loved the experts they chose to interview. It includes well known childbirth advocates, such as Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent, and Robbie Davis-Floyd, but it also includes some very articulate and intelligent midwives that helped to provide a whole range of information on childbirth choices.
The stories from women were also very touching and filled with raw emotion. It is obvious from these interviews, the impact choice can have on a birth, be it homebirth or in the hospital. They very accurately show the difficulty present when a women is wanting to choose something that is not culturally mainstream and the effect it can have on a woman and how they feel about themselves and the experience.
This is a great movie to watch for those who are wanting to understand the choices that are available and the effect that taking away choices has.
Beginning on March 22, 2013, we will be increasing the price for our monthly course subscription plan. This is in part due to the greater management and accounting required for the convenience of being able to pay for the course on a monthly basis.
We will continue to offer the option of early course completion, which for the ambitious student affords her the opportunity to graduate in less than one year’s time. This allows a student to pay only for those months in which she was taking the course. So for example, if it takes only 9 months for the student to complete the course then the student only pays for nine months’ registration fees to complete graduation. We do not anticipate ever taking this option away.
In the meantime, any registrations processed before Friday morning, March 22, 2013, when we make the switch (probably around 9 A.M. Mountain Standard Time – Arizona) will be grandfathered in at the former price for the length of the course.
Ever wonder what the differences were between the different types of midwives? I’ve pulled together some info to help you in figuring that out. Hopefully this will help when choosing which care provider to work with. (more…)
As a part of my course, my students are asked to find resources in their area that is related to alternative health care. I thought a list of just basic resources would also be useful, so here’s my list for my state: Arizona. (more…)
In my course, I teach a different model of labor than the one that is taught almost every where else. It has been my experience that the stages model of labor is not based on good theory or research and does not accurately describe how labor truly works. (more…)