Thursday, May 1, 2008


The first time I gave birth, I went into it with no fear. I know that sounds insane given how obsessed our culture is with all things painful in birth, but I was truly very confident and so excited. I was not afraid at all, which is why my feelings this time around have taken me by surprise.

Because I am very afraid.

During my first birth, we used a method called Hypnobirthing. In it, the most important component is fear release. Being afraid makes the body tense and makes birth that much more difficult and painful. I am not sure why exactly I am so much more scared this time.

It seems to be combination of factors. This time I know how it feels. I remember the relief I felt after it ended, how happy I was to be through it. The idea that I have to start all over seems pretty daunting from where I am sitting. The intensity was more than I could have ever imagined and not something I would want to experience on a daily basis. I am anxious about whether I have it in me to do it all again.

I am also nervous about the pressure. Because my first birth was natural and because I am more scared of medical intervention (epidurals, c-sections and pitocin) than I am of the pain, I feel enormous pressure to be up to the task, besides R spent the morning listing all the reasons natural birth is better both for me and for the baby.

I was running two weeks after my last birth, walking two miles just two days later. Sam was alert and happy from the moment she emerged and I was able to get up and walk around immediately. We attribute much of our easy beginning to the fact that I did it naturally. Last time I was committed to doing it naturally, but I did not know what it would take. This time I know.

And that is very scary. At the end of this month, I will take a refresher course in Hypnobirthing with R. We will be working privately with the instructor, mainly on "fear release." Just three more months until the big day.

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1 comment:

Kristi said...

Having never experienced natural childbirth, I can say that I am in awe of women who are able to endure it without the help of drugs. I am crossing my fingers for you and hoping for the quick and easy hypnobirth you want for your son.