Monday, July 25, 2011

Thoughts of a 9 Month Pregnant lady

Almost 9 months. Photo by Justin Hackworth

When I found out I was expecting a baby early last December, I knew immediately that this would be my best pregnancy and birthing experience yet. I knew this, simply because I decided it would be so. I have constantly affirmed to myself and to others that I feel fantastic. And folks, I've made it through 9 months under the best circumstances possible. Not to say I haven't had my moments. My hormones have definitely made several guest appearances in the form of inexplicable crying, acne, and fatigue. But hey, I'm growing a human here, so hormones are part of the deal. I don't share this with you to boast that "my pregnancy is better than yours." I share this with you because I've developed a theory that I think might interest a few of you (and might upset others of you).

Often, as women, we are unknowingly conditioned for pregnancy and delivery by the stories we hear from our moms, sisters, friends and good, old Hollywood. Wouldn't you agree that the larger part of these stories involve sickness, dyer complications and horrific, painful labors? Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things are bogus, or that women create these situations. But, I do think that when we are influenced by the experiences of others, our brains want to create a similar experience. I look back to my last two pregnancies and deliveries. They were not good experiences for me. But I think they could have been had I been consciously filling my mind with positive pregnancy and birth stories. Yet, I had none in my brain to draw upon.

When I delivered my boys, I didn't know I had options. I simply showed up at the hospital and let everyone tell me what to do. Honestly, most of the time, no one even asked me. They just delivered my boys the way that was convenient for them. Did I really want Pitocin? No one asked. They just told me that I would be given Pitocin. Did anyone make sure I was cool with an episiotomy? I didn't even know I'd had one until it was all over. Did anyone ask me if I wanted to hold my babies right away? Never. They were both just whisked away, bathed and given shots and tests I had no knowledge of. At the time, I just accepted this as protocol. I didn't know any other way. Had I known, I think I would have had a much more desirable experience. So, if you get anything out of this post, it's this: Your pregnancy and delivery experience don't have to be dramatically terrible. You may have special circumstances, and bless you if you do. But then again, you may have a fabulous experience. You have a lot more control over the experience than you may realize. You have empowering choices and you can make this experience your own.

So, now, the true test of my theory will come into play very soon. I'm due in 3 weeks. I am doing an all-natural birth using HypnoBirthing (a method using deep relaxation exercises to minimize pain during labor). I'll let you know how it goes.

23 comments:

  1. We must be due the same day! I'm having baby #5 and totally agree with your theory! Good luck and congrats. My friend Lisa is a HypnoBirthing instructor and I wish I lived closer to take lessons!

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  2. You are an adorable Mother to be....{I was never that lucky}
    Hugs and blessings sent your way.

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  3. I thought the same thing about birth...then I started researching when I first became pregnant and thankfully,10 years ago, there were amazing resources on the web that led me to the natural route as well. Unfortunately I did end up with medicine for my first birth, but I did not let that get me down, I tried again with #2 and can I just say, a natural childbirth is life-altering. Empowering. You will love it.

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  4. I think this is great advice. Knowing yourself, and communicating that with your doctor/midwife/whoever, is the smartest thing any mother can do.

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  5. I really like Hypnobirthing and think it can work if you really put your mind to it. You go girl! You'll do fabulous!

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  6. I'm thinking of doing all natural with hypno birthing for our next baby (not yet conceived). And just like you, I've decided this will be my best pregnancy and birth, yet. Just because I am deciding. And, well, nothing could be much worse than the first 2...

    I can't wait to hear how it goes!! You look beautiful.

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  7. As a birth doula and childbirth educator, I'd like to give you my best wishes for your upcoming birth. Birth can be one of the most empowering, life-altering experiences of a woman's life. May your support team honor your wishes and support you fully through the process. Also, I have the most hilarious video of three of my little girls singing one of your songs during a car ride. Keep an eye out for an email with a link to the clip! Be well!

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  8. Well said! I did Hypnobabies for my second and I loved the experience. I highly recommend it. You'll do great Mindy! I'm excited for you.

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  9. I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience with hypnobirthing. I had an epidural with all three of my kids and I really wish I had prepared myself for a natural birth instead. If I ever have another one, I'm determined to do it! You're so right about having a positive outlook on pregnancy...I LOVE being pregnant and besides being sick at the beginning, there is nothing like it. Best of luck to you!

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  10. You can do it!! I have had five unmedicated births, most of them at home. Personally I liked Hypnobabies better than Hypnobirthing, but even without anything, we were made to do this! How we think about things truly does make a difference in the outcomes. I am happy for your upcoming birth experience. It will be full and wonderful I am sure. We can learn so much about ourselves as women through our birth experiences if we allow ourselves to.
    You have one fan sending happy birthing vibes your way!

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  11. My grandma did hypno birthing and always talks about how wonderful it is!

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  12. wow...hypnobirthing! I just gave birth to Holland Thomas here in the Netherlands. I was scared to death of all the differences. I got a blessing from my husband and knew that everything would be ok. It went beautifully. (still no a/c, but there was a nice breeze into my room!) I was very fortunate and blessed. Eventually I will blog about it...maybe next month. Right now I have a constantly hungry little one who needs me to grow :) Best wishes for the most amazing hypnobirthing delivery!!!!

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  13. YOU are going to do AMAZING! My first birth was in a hospital and I vowed to never do it again. My other 3 deliveries were at home - and absolutely fantastic. I feel in control. And even though I get LOTS of comments ... I know it's ME who chooses!!! xoxox

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  14. Thank you for sharing these thoughts, I am in the process of trying for a second child, and the thought of the "morning sickness" that lasted 24 hours a day last time makes me anxious, but hearing your words and those of a friend of mine, who is a doula and gave birth to her third child in her home, inspire me to keep trying, knowing that it is the most wonderful privilege a woman can experience in this life. By the way, you look so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey and talent with me.

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  15. I love you take on life and I wish the best birth ever.

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  16. I have had three different types of births. With my first I was like you were, I allowed others to make the decisions for me and went with a epidural. My second was my best pregnancy by far. I went completely natural and the recovery was the best! I tried with my third to go natural but ended up with a emergency C-section. The cord came out first. So I like to think I am a pro with all of these experiences. But if I had to chose natural was empowering to me in all different ways. Good luck to you and your little one.

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  17. This is a very limited perspective. You write as if we always have a CHOICE about our pregnancies. Morning sickness isn't always a choice, I had it so badly with my 3rd pregnancy I had to be on IV's. I developed pre-eclampsia with my 5th which necessitated a premature birth for my son. While a positive attitude is wonderful, it doesn't always make for an ideal pregnancy. It's posts like this that make those of us who don't have the choice feel terrible.

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  18. Dear Anonymous,

    I think you may have missed the parts of the post where I said: "Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things are bogus, or that women create these situations. " and "You may have special circumstances, and bless you if you do." My post was directed more to women with low-risk situations who could have better pregnancies with some shifts in their thoughts. Best wishes to you.

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  19. Congratulations, Mindy! Hypnobirthing is an amazing and beautiful thing. I had four babies in 5 years with a midwife who taught me the joy of hypnobirthing. You will be amazed at what your body can do and I how empowered you will feel afterwards. God bless!

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  20. This picture is waaaaay too adorable.

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  21. May I just say... I couldn't have agreed more to what you have just posted. I am also due (with my first!) REALLY soon (09/08!) and since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have not had any complications (I'm sure it has helped to "knock-on-wood" every time I've said this); no morning sicknesses, crazy-ridiculous cravings, extreme pain or discomfort, swelling (and being in AZ, you would think I'd be bloated like a blowfish). My very lucky husband. Sure, I've had my moments too (excessive use of tissues to dry my oh-so-emotional eyes, scheduled naps, and the need to go to the bathroom every so often), but other than that, I've been blessed.
    Others have shared with me their horror stories and complications they've experienced during labor, then they catch themselves by saying "Sorry! I shouldn't be scaring you with my stories!" Honestly, I don't mind the stories. My experiences are and will not be affected by others' stories. Whatever happens will happen and I have accepted the fact that they will be my OWN story.
    I've loved my pregnancy so far... and I intend to love it the rest of the way.
    Thanks Mindy for sharing your ray of sunshine~

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  22. i'm the girl who came and spoke to your class a couple weeks ago. you can do it! good luck with everything!

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  23. Now Plan your Good Pregnancy as you like with home check Ovulation Kit you can choose your time and date of pregnancy

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