I am the type of person who is dramatic about pain and not feeling well. A cold turns into the flu faster than the NyQuil can start working (if I’m even willing to take it). I’ve always been the type to hole up and not want to talk to anyone. I pretty much go inside myself and just try to forget that I’m hurting. So when I think about labor, I get really scared. I get really scared of both sides. Pain medication is my worst enemy. I become the little exorcist girl, hurling on everything in sight and shaking like a crazy person. So the thought of getting something injected into my spine sounds like my worst nightmare. But at the same time, imagining something the size of a watermelon coming out of a hole the size of, well…you know…that is pretty freaking scary too. So, to ease my mind, I decided to research different methods of dealing and coping with the pain of childbirth, which I think is pretty inevitable.
Through my research I found many techniques, classes, and sessions that you can do to learn different ways of coping. There’s breathing methods (when I tried most of these, like in the bradley method, I felt like I was going to hyperventilate), there’s coaching methods (the idea of having someone sitting there saying, “You’re doing great! Keep going! You can do it! That’s it!” already makes me want to punch whoever that person may be ie: my husband), there’s water birthing, there’s just so many that I think I would absolutely hate. But then I came across something called Hypnobirthing.
Okay, so, the name threw me off at first. It sounded very crunchy. Don’t get me wrong, I can be just as granola as the next girl! I love all natural things, living off the land and less government, but when it comes to “spiritual” things within the granola community, I get a little freaked out. I imagined this would be a bunch of people sitting around cross legged on mats going “ooooommmmmmm.” But I decided to do some research because it was pretty much the last thing I could find besides my book The Christian Woman’s Guide to Childbirth, which is really helpful as well.
I watched video after video, I listened to interviews of celebrities talking about it, I read message board topic after topic on whether it went along with Christianity, I read article after article and blog after blog. And what I realized was, it really has nothing to do with hypnosis at all, or at least what I thought of as hypnosis. I figured it meant someone sits there and tells you, “You are getting very sleepy, you will have a pain free birth, now push out that baby with ease.”
So, anyway, from my research I have found that hypnobirthing is simply creating a focus on yourself and your baby and your body rather than the things going on around you. It’s a deep focus and relaxation technique that causes you to completely relax the muscles in your body and just allow your body to do what God designed it to do. This sounded like EXACTLY what I was looking for. My beliefs are, that God made us to have children. And, although, he also made childbirth to be painful I also believe that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
This Idea of allowing your body to be, and focusing on each thing it is doing, rather than the pain it is going through sounded great, but I really wanted to know its correlation with God and my beliefs. Now, I’m not one of those people who would just sit there and say “God, help me…God, help me.” but I do believe that focusing on the gift he is giving me and thanking him for this wonderful experience is what childbirth is all about. I found a great quote in The Christian Childbirth Handbook that really spoke to me:
“Birth is God’s time. It can’t be rushed or programmed to suit anyone’s clock. It is a time to simply be there, respecting the woman’s space and the natural rhythms of her body. Think of how time ceases to have relevance when you are caught up in the presence of God worshipping Him or when you are in love and spending time with your beloved. Time flies by and you barely notice. Birth time is the timing of nature. Who knows when spring will come? Can a budding flower be found open? Yet in time, these things unfold. So does birth. I sometimes suggest to my clients that they visit the ocean and see the rhythm of the waves on the shore. That right there teaches you, deep within, so much about the patterns, rhythms and power of labor.” – Julie Bell
This quote simply said everything I had been saying all along, just in a way that didn’t sound so sappy and cheesy.
So I decided to do some research, not only on the method itself, but what scripture says about birth and how it really correlates to this method for me.
Phil 4:7– ”Focus your mind during your labor…do not let it stray to focus on the pain and process, but rather on Jesus and His sustaining grace.”
This was the first verse I came across in my search, and I’m pretty sure God meant for it to be, because this spoke to me and confirmed what I really believed. God agreed, Focus on your body, the gift you are about to be given, his love…do not focus on the pain, and all will be well.
Hebrews 10:35-36 – “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”
The Hypnobirthing method also says that childbirth can very well be painless. While I don’t necessarily believe this, I do believe that if I trust in the Lord to lead me through my birth, I will not regret the hard work it took. Because in the end, I will receive my perfect gift…Everleigh!
2 Cor. 12:9 – “My grace is enough; it is all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become!”
So, even though I disagree with a few things in the program, I feel that my faith is strong enough to set aside those few things and focus on my body and my baby and bringing her into this world safe and sound. And that is why Hypnobirthing is for me.