I borrowed the Hypno-babies home-study program from a friend and I started it today.

When I first heard about using hypnosis during childbirth I was...really really skeptical. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has to do with all the hokey language like "pressure sensations" for contractions and "bubble of peace". I have to admit, it feels silly.

It isn't (like it is for many women) that I don't understand hypnosis. I know its not just an entertaining show at the fair. And I dont believe that its only for the "weak minded" or anything. I even used a lot of similar relaxation/meditation techniques with Zeke and they got me really far (like 24 hours far) until it really got into the knitty gritty and I found myself unable to release my tension any longer.

Anyways, for some reason this time around I find myself more open to the idea. At first I was just going to really commit to practicing my relaxation every day. Then I realized that I wasn't practicing everyday and that maybe physically doing the program would help me be more accountable, not to mention take it to a level I'm unable to achieve on my own.

I looked into both the Hypnobirthing and Hypnobabies programs origionally. I am surrounded by enough hippie-moms in my Mindful Mama's group that I was actually offered both to borrow. I think classes are offered for both programs locally but I wanted to do a home study because 1. we are busy people 2. I dont know what I'd do with Zeke during the classes (I hate leaving him with sitters) and 3. while Josh is totally on-board to take classes and read any materials I hand him, his interest in my labor process is totally wasted on me, I would much rather be left alone when I give birth.

I take it back, though. His interest isnt TOTALLY wasted on me. I love that I can talk forever about my cervical mucus or whatnot and he's totally on board (despite jokes about how he is "sooooo turned on right now"). I also love that as soon as my braxton-hicks get too painful to ignore he's right there with a couple ways to help relieve them, that he knows to watch my water and iron intake, that he recognizes and understands words like "episiotomy" and "perinium", always remembers what kinds of over-the-counter drugs I can take but also knows which herbal remidies to suggest first, and that he would never ever even consider missing a single appointment with our midwife. Josh is more well versed in today's birthing culture and facts than any 23 year old man has any right to be. He seriously knows more about birth than a few OB's I have interviewed, and most of my friends (including those that have had babies). And I love this about him.

But during the actual labor? Yeah...I'd rather be left alone.

So anyways, all of that to say I wanted to do a home study and ONE of the reasons is because I am only interested in self-hypnosis and classes focus on partner-induced hypnosis much of the time. I dont want to waste Josh's time because I know the first time he tried to use the "relax" cue on me, I would punch him in the face. We are developing an intricate sign language so that he will never have to speak to me while I'm in labor (literally).

I chose hynobabies in the end. It seems a lot more comprehensive. It uses medical grade hypnosis. And out of the two programs it got the best reviews from people I know (including 2 people who had done both).

The only hiccup so far? (I mean, once I settled down and was able to stop the inner commentaty and actually LISTEN to the tape) When I create my bubble of peace, Zekey is inside. When I realized it, I even tried to start over, but there he was again. I'm not sure if 1 year olds are allowed inside your bubble of peace. (My bubble of peace looks like one of those plastic balls you let hamsters play in, by the way. Except mine is giant. And pink. But its definately plastic.) Josh says if that is what's most peaceful then he's allowed inside.

But this is my thing. Zeke will not be attending the birth. We decided to get a babysitter because we were afraid that Zeke would be distracting to me, or that it would get intense and he would be frightened, or that he would take up all of Josh's attention. But the fact that Zeke is literally INSIDE my bubble of peace just re-iterates to me how very uncomfortable I am about being seperated from him during this time.

I know he's 16 months old now and that he will be 18 or even 19 months old when the baby is born but that doesnt change the fact that I can count on 1 hand the number of times he's been left with a babysitter. Partly because of who Zeke is (aka the freaking clingiest and most stranger shy child EVAR) and partly because of the relationship Josh and I have with Zeke, it just doesnt happen very often.

And we like it that way. Trust me, we've been told about 1,000 times about how we're spoiling him and messing him up for life and also destroying our marriage and probably even contributing to Global Warming by not leaving him more often, so spare me.

Anyways...1 day into hypnobirthing and I've already uncovered something I need to work out before the Big Day. When does the emotional baggage end?


Rachel said...

I wasn't quite clear on where you are now with the Zeke-attending-the-birth situation. Are you still saying he's not going to be there, or are you questioning that decision?

If you're questioning it... I want to say that lots of people initially think that their small children will be in the way at the birth and then they aren't. Zeke is pretty little, but he may be old enough to be interested in helping out or even just watching. I was apparently present at my brother's birth - I was 3 years old. Anyhow, I guess I ended up sleeping through the tail end of my mom's labor and when he was actually born. So, at that point, I know for a fact that I wasn't in the way.

Anyhow, if you're questioning the choice to not have him there... I agree that it says something that he's in your little bubble. Would it hurt to change your plans to have him present but have the sitter on-call should he start to get in the way? Or even just have the sitter AT the birth to be in charge of making sure Zeke doesn't get in the way/entertain him if he gets bored/feed him/change him/whatever? I think the latter is what a lot of people end up doing.

I really have no idea about the details of hypno-birthing or hypnobabies. I'd love to read a post where you went a little more into WHAT exactly these are, if you want to write one.

Like, I did the sounding thing during my birth, and it was very meditative... but how does that compare to hypnosis? (I pretty much know nothing about hypnosis in general.)

Rachel said...
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Rachel said...
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Jen said...

I like how your bubble is pink. :)

Trish the dish said...

I've never heard of hypnobabies before. But we're doing the hypnobirthing. Haven't really been doing it as often as we should probably. But I'm able to go into the relaxation pretty well for now, just not sure how it is all supposed to play out once I'm having the baby.
The first time I listened to the disc I thought it was totally weird and stopped before the end. But then I gave it another chance and got really relaxed. I have used the breathing techniques to calm myself down already. They work great for me!
I am guessing the "bubble of peace" thing is similar to the special place you are supposed to take yourself to in hypnobirthing. I have a hard time going to the same place every time and visualizing it. I guess you just find what works for you and ditch what doesn't. :)

coco-ono said...

Rachel- Our plan has always been to keep Zeke with us until it's no longer working, and then call in our babysitter at that point. I really hope we don't ever need her but at Zeke's young age (18 months at that time) it's pretty expected taht we will. Having her AT the house instead of taking Zeke away is something I am now considering though.

And I will def, do a post about hypnobabies in a few weeks when I've finished the program (its 5 weeks long) and understand more about it and how it works.

Domrese Family Blog said...

Dan was present for both his sister's births and while a little older than Zeke apparently did very well (and remembers the last sisters birth in pieces). I would definitely say having the sitter AT the house is a fantastic idea. It will probably suit Zeke better too, being in his own territory even if not directly with you. They can play outside or go for a walk or drive if necessary, but you can still have him there at any moment. Love the hypnobabies stuff, can't wait to hear more about it even though I'm done!

Sheridan said...

How great you are using Hypnobabies! It is totally fine having Zeke in your Bubble of Peace. :)

When you get to the Visualization week of Hypnobabies (I think week 5 or maintanance) you might want to visualize your birth happening in the middle of the night. Then he can peacefully sleep through it. No distractions and no babysitters needed! It amazes me how many moms have births very close to what they visualize!