Then, I silently said a prayer to the full moon that this notion would pass. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the concept, either. It was more the fact that I had never even heard of it. And so I figured if I have never heard of a thing, well then how in tarnation could it possibly be of any use to her or me?
Or to anyone, for that matter?
But oh, the sweet ignorance that dances behind my eyes.
We are heading into week three of a five-week private class now and, frankly, I have to admit that every single preconceived notion that I had about what hypnobirthing consisted of, and every single possible freaky weird scenario that I imagined the class would consist of, they all proved to be true. All of the closing your eyes and visualizing the air going into your beer belly, all of the allowing your mind to drift off, deeply, down into your soft thoughts and over into……………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Oops, SEE? It is actually quite relaxing!
And yet, it is also so much more than what I thought it could be. And I love it. I really really love it. We both do.
Each week, we spend the better part of three hours, just me and my wife and our very cool nurse/yogi/superwoman instructor, Jill, talking about all kinds of things relating to the swiftly approaching birth of our third child. There is a concentrated effort in our lessons to understand that a woman’s body is, quite often, absolutely positively prepared to deliver her baby when the time is naturally right, with minimal complications or medical intervention.
This is an increasingly foreign notion in modern birth because, these days, the idea of having a scheduled birth in a hospital, with drugs to kick start things off and drugs to numb the mother’s body, has become more and more acceptable as the norm. People have been trained to simply trust in doctors and hospitals the same way they trust their preachers and cops. It’s just plain easier, really.
“Let me just do what someone else tells me. That way I can spend my thinking and energy on other stuff, like what TV shows I need to catch up on. And Facebook.”
Hypnobirthing, the way I see it, is a modern take on an ancient concept and practice which is designed to return the power of natural childbirth to the very person who actually possess it: the woman. Natural childbirth is a way of delivering children into this world that has been around since, oh I dunno, the dawn of man, and yet it has been hijacked and corrupted over the last century or so by an unstoppable flood of massive industry and business known as the medical field.
Pharmaceutical powerhouses, insurance empires, health care giants, and even some doctors and surgeons and other parents who have been swept up in the rolling tide of delivering babies in hospitals under the strict supervision and control of another human being whose main drive in the birth of your baby, like it or not, is to GET PAID, they all have formed this sort of universal First World coalition, a tightly-knit, well-oiled machine in a trillion dollar industry which stresses, without hesitation or option, that there is absolutely no way in hell that you will ever be able to deliver a happy, healthy LIVING baby anywhere but in a local hospital room: where even the aspirins and the ice chips are gonna cost ya.
That statement of mine will make some people livid and I know it. But that’s fine by me.
Fact is, that’s how stuff typically goes go when you’ve been more or less lied to for a long, long time. You just don’t want to think too much about the facts — you want to let other people with big fat university degrees and country club memberships and nicer cars than you and hands that smell like fresh snappy rubber gloves man the controls of what nature does best.
You want believe that you’re right as rain, and that to have a child when your body is ready to do it, maybe even in the comfort and safety of your own bedroom is a reckless death sentence handed down to your baby, and maybe even you.
You drank the Kool-Aid. Hooray for you. Even here in 2014, there are so many people who think along these very lines that to try and enlighten them or convince them otherwise about the possibility of a natural child birth would be a waste of time, really.
And then there are the rest of us.
We, the people who may already been through the hospital thing a time or three and yet felt that, somehow, something was kind of clinical and assembly line and weird about the whole experience. For us, then, I want to say a thing or two about this whole concept of hypnobirthing.
I have no stake in the business of hypnobirthing. None at all. We are paying pretty good money to take this course of ours, and so I suspect that, like just about anything , there is money to be made in the teaching of it. Fine. Nothing is free. At least not where I live, it isn’t.
However, we have learned SO much about how in tune a mother’s body truly is with the living baby in her womb. We have perused the history of birth and delved into the many ways in which a woman’s body slowly became a commodity rather than, well, her body. And my wife and I have been delving rather deeply into the wildly underrated practice of just relaxing and breathing and letting something that is happening naturally, like a baby being born, to just happen.
Without bone-crushing cinematic pain.
Without a woman screaming incessantly at the top of her lungs.
And without reservation that we are doing it all wrong.
So check it out: if you are a dad-to-be wondering if your baby mama could ever possibly deliver a bundle of joy on her own, naturally and beautifully, and YES, safely, too, and you have been pondering whether it might be worth exploring this whole hypnobirthing angle as a way of looking into such things, I am hear to tell you to give it a try. It’s pretty damn fun, really intriguing, and quite eye-opening in ways that will blow your naturally curious mind.
But if you are convinced that your wife and baby will surely die if they are not in a hospital when birth is at hand, then I wish you the very best with everything.
And I hope that you will be able to forget every single word that you just read.
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