Saturday, 1 April 2017

36 weeks pregnant: Preparing for a hypnobirth

This week I finished listening to the Hypnobirthing home study audiobook I'd downloaded from Audible; which, despite the incredibly grating voice of the narrator, was really informative.

As with any Audible audiobook, it's a bit annoying that you can't see chapter details, literally just the chapter numbers, so it's hard to know what to expect to listen to next, or skip to bits that you particularly want to listen to - but I downloaded a free sample and mp3 from the respective website (Hypnobirthing Hub) and found the chapter outline. With some Audible books it says that any accompanying resources - e.g. worksheets - for the books you buy can be found somewhere or other, but I've yet to locate them!

The units are broken out into:

Body - Talking about how other mammals birth, how birth became something to fear, and how hypnobirthing came around and how to prepare your body for birth.

Mind - Explaining how Hypnobirthing works and how the mind (and body) works together, including info about  the law of attraction and motivation, the power of self talk, and speaking and thinking positively.

Tools - Explaining breathing techniques for during and in between surges and relaxation techniques and visualisations. Again, found this bit quite hard without visuals.

Knowledge - Going through the physiology of birth, the stages of birth, hormones (hypnobirthing seems to be all about the Oxytocin and avoiding Adrenaline as much as poss), info about pain relief and interventions.

Practice - Tracks for visualisation / guided meditation during the different stages of labour. It's quite funny because the narrator's voice is semi-soothing for the meditations themselves, but they're then bookmarked by her saying the title of the next one in her more harsh voice - so it kind of gets you abruptly out of the zone (if you've managed to actually stay awake).

I've found the Hypnobirthing Hub to have quite a few useful resources, including an editable birth plan, which I started editing but found it was a little bit too much. I am not a brilliant planner, of anything, and I'm a little bit reluctant to start planning in so much detail something that I'm going to have such little control over. All I can do is have control over my state of mind and try to compose myself if things go off chart. I think I did pretty well last time round to stay calm, despite not having done any formal preparation, as I didn't have the water birth I wanted and ended up being induced with the pessary and a drip and having narcotics which, after a bit of a cry, was ok. In hindsight  - I know I mentioned this last week - wasn't at all ideal, but I really hadn't informed myself on pain medication or inductions (all I knew is that I definitely didn't want an epidural and I wanted as little pain relief as possible.) I didn't know about Pethidine until the morning when I was handed a leaflet on pain relief and even still just dismissed it as something I wouldn't want. But when the midwife said that things weren't progressing after all day of various inductions and that I'd be in for the long haul, she said that Pethidine would allow me to relax and get some sleep. But it just sped things up. I don't want to feel drunk for this birth, or hungover the next day, so I really hope I'll just be able to avoid pain relief. And I'll always wonder why breastfeeding didn't work out, and part of me thinks that the Pethidine and anti-biotics combo could have been a factor. And due to me being whacked out, I don't know how long it was until I was given Joseph to hold. I think it was within the hour but I don't think it was immediate.

Anyway, due to the lack of visuals on the audiobook, I also looked at The Calm Birth School website and found the free videos quite helpful, and the information wasn't contradictory to what I'd learnt via the audiobook - so a nice little accompaniment.

So the main thing I want to do for the next four or so weeks is practice the breathing techniques and listen to the visualisations / meditations. And perhaps re-listen to the audiobook in its entirety. It's 11 hours long, but I spend so much time in my car that I can get through that in around two weeks.

Oh, I had my scan, as requested by the consultant, and baby seems fine, measuring at 5lb 10 which is 4oz less than Joseph's birth weight, so we're expecting a bigger baby this time... possibly 8lb 2 according to my chart. The sonographer was slightly concerned by a large cyst I have on my ovary but it's fluid filled, rather than looking sinister, so they weren't too worried and it's just something to mention to the consultant in my follow up next week - in which I'm hoping I'll be discharged from her care as I don't think consultant-led births can take place in the midwife led birthing unit.
I stated a few birth preferences in my appointment with the community midwife; water birth, avoiding intervention and pain relief unless it's unsafe, immediate skin to skin, delaying cord clamping and natural delivery of the placenta. I said about not cutting the cord until the pulsing had stopped, which she was ok with, but she said that the midwife on the day may not be ok with it and that there's some research to suggest that delaying it gives the baby too much stuff. I think I will ask for a midwife that's most comfortable with Hypnobirthing practices, but I'm not sure how lucky I'll be on the day.

Just a short one today as Joseph is currently flipping out over the fact I am using my computer and it's not being used for him to watch a Pixar film. [See my last blog post!!]

P.S. In the name of TMI and lolz... the main bane of my life this week has been the combination of hayfever (loads of coughing rather than sneezing actually) and a weak bladder. You can imagine the outcome. Not cool!

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x