Saturday, July 14, 2012

HypnoBirthing: The Reprogram

Approaching my 38th week and being large (really large) with child, I struggle to roll to one side so I can sit upright. A thought pops in my head.  I turn to Chris and say,

"I think we should name this baby Rocky."

His eyebrows raise.

"Because being born early is Apollo Creed and all this baby wants to do is go the distance."

I pause for a big laugh.  Or a slight chuckle.  Or the corners of his mouth to raise in a friendly, "we both really love Rocky references" smile.  Nothing.

So my joke meter is a little off.  But my tangent scale is as on point as ever.  Which leads me to the point of this post:

Reprogramming Your Brain in HypnoBirthing

That title is one I made up.  Nothing official about it.  In my last post about this subject I talked about how our western culture is kind of pre-programmed to fear child birth.  The book I read even suggests how we think about being pregnant as a medical ailment that needs treatment.  So part of preparing for a hypnobirth is retraining your brain to think positive, natural thoughts about giving birth.  

The first thing it asks of you is to replace words commonly associated with childbirth.  The idea is that these softer words will help with the mental shift needed to approach giving birth without fear.  For example:

Don't say contraction, say surge.
It's not a coach, it a birth companion.
Your water doesn't break, your membranes release.
You aren't dialating, you're opening.
The baby doesn't come down the birth canal, it eases through the birth path.
There aren't complications, only special circumstances.  The list goes on.

Don't you already feel more relaxed about this baby coming?  Just turn on some harp music and I'm ready. Speaking of soothing music, the other part of the brain train are daily affirmations.  Think Stuart Smalley saying he's good enough, smart enough and doggonnit, people like him -- only for having babies.   

Every day I listen to 20 minutes of positive birthing affirmations.  (I know this got weird a long time ago for some of you reading this.  Just go with it at this point, you're already invested in how I'm doing this, right?  Read on gentle reader!  Read on!)

Here are a few of the affirmations I've been implanting in my head for the last 15 weeks:

I put all fear aside as I prepare for the birth of my baby.
I am relaxed and happy that my baby is coming to me.
I am focused on a smooth, easy birth.
I trust my body, and I follow it's lead.
My mind is relaxed; my body is relaxed.
I feel confident; I feel safe; I feel secure.
My body and my baby know how to work together in harmony.

I don't look in the mirror and say these, although I should, while gently brushing my hair in a pink, high collar, silk robe.  I just pop in my earbuds and listen to these on my ipod.  

So there is another piece of my hypnobirthing puzzle.  Next time I'll go over the relaxation practice.  It's my favorite part.

I should cite where I am getting all this info.  The book I mentioned is this one.    The classes and instructor we went to is this one.  

And the Rocky reference?  If you don't know it, your life is not yet complete.  I included it. (You're welcome!) I hope all of you will watch the entirety.  But his "go the distance" speech starts around 3:30.

And really, don't draw too close a parallel to my joke and his comments here. Because I could also make a close connection with my trio all being little Rockys, the underdog preemies fighting the big bad world that is being born pre-mature.  You're not so bad NICU! You're not so bad!

Or the time when there were so many dishes to do, it felt like a giant Russian boxer was beating me to the ground, but I finished those dishes.  If I can do the dishes, then YOU can do the dishes, we can ALL do the dishes!  

I might have a slight Rocky obsession.  I'm comfortable with it though.


Kristin Hackman said...

Ok, so I think I have attempted to comment on your last few posts and no hopefully this one shows up for you (or if the others magically did on your end & not on mine, sorry for repeating myself...)

First, you are my hero. I really did NOT enjoy my labor and I still mourn it and feel like a piece of me is missing because of it, so I am so excited to hear about this for you. You absolutely can do it...part of your mantra should be... "If I grew three babies at once, I can do anything," (I say it almost daily)

Second, I am a HUGE believer of affirmations/meditation,etc. Our mind is so of my favorite quotes (and I of course always forget who said it) is: "the human mind can only hold one thought at a time - choose a positive one." I will be sending prayers your way - thanks for journaling this, its awesome.

Third, got your comment on the conference...thanx for your cheerleading..and I'm so should go next year - we could be the crazy triplet ladies together...(and you plus one of course..)

Carrie said...

except that IIII can't do the dishes. or at least that's what i keep telling my sweet husband.

ps- loooove rocky. and four was my favorite. that russian was awesome.

Kristin Hackman said...

Stalker status with 2nd comment on same you have a FB blog page? I just shared your blog on my FB blog page (hope that is OK? Love the hypnobirth info for expecting moms) & was going to "like" for others to do the same if you have a page...??

Stephanie said...

I haven't been here in awhile, and I've missed it! Life is crazy, you know? So, let me make a few comments at once.

1. I love short hair Kara and straight long hair Kara. If you want to cut your hair, cut your hair! Especially in the sweltering heat we are having here in the lovely intermountain west. Chris will still love you, no matter your hair length.

2. Love the laundry post. It inspired me to pick up the laundry of a lady in my ward who I think could use it. What a sweet woman that was. Though you can't pay it forward at this moment, I will pay it forward for you, for now.

3. Hypnobirth sounds awesome. I agree that a positive approach is always best. Like you, my first pregnancy ended in an unplanned, nightmarish delivery scenario. Except for the gorgeous baby that came, of course. I won't have a second go of it, so I applaud you for doing it your way. Can't wait to hear all about it, and hopefully this time it goes as planned.

4. Is there still a link to Mindy's recipe blog? I don't know her at all but I always liked her food blog.

I love you! Good luck with the delivery any day now! I'll keep you and gorgeous Gallagher baby #4 in my prayers.

maxfamclan said...

I have seen many successful hypno-birth experiences! the success is usually most dependent on mom's preparation. You sound so ready and prepared. What a wonderful experience you are prepared to have.

angie said...

i'm 100% positive i read the same book. all the positive thinking went out the window around 7 centimeters, but i still had the baby with no epidural. it gave me the courage to try it in the first place so that has to count for something, right?! good luck! i'm excited to hear what the kid's name really ends up being! ;)