Part 1: Pregnancy and Preparing for Birth
Birth is such a beautiful journey that many undertake and many misconstrue, turn into an argument or judgment or make some kind of competition. That is not my purpose today. My purpose today is to share my story, the birth of my firstborn, Thea, and the preparations that led up to it. I hope that through my story, maybe you can learn something, and I pray that it will fill you with hope and joy!
We found out we were pregnant on a Monday morning in October, right before going to work! Not the best timing but something so excited nonetheless. A secret we had to keep for several weeks. That time seemed to bring us more together since we and God alone knew what joys were to come.
I found being pregnant enjoyable and such a beautiful, unforgettable experience. I did have some sickness in those early weeks, but I counted it as a joy, because I knew what was to come! Being pregnant seemed to connect me to a new inner world where I prayed more, was more aware and mindful of what was going on around me and especially what was going on inside of me. I wanted to fill my body with good fuel and fill my mind with joy and love. I often felt that my sweet child could read my mind, so I wanted my mind to be filled with love and good things. I think this became a beneficial mindset that helped me throughout the rest of pregnancy and prepared me for birth. Studies show that stress does impact children in the womb, so I understand now how important it is to be as stress free as possible during pregnancy!
We decided early on, before making our first appointment that we wanted to go the natural route and for us, that meant going with a midwife as our care provider. We chose a birth center located inside a hospital as it seemed to be the best of both worlds to satisfy all parties. We then began looking for a doula and immediately I knew of an acquaintance I had seen post about being a doula on facebook. I contacted her and we attended an info session. She seemed great and so we hired her shortly afterwards. Our thought in hiring a doula was so we could be as prepared as possible and also to have someone knowledgeable by our sides to help us plan and carry out the birth that we desired.
About midway through our pregnancy, we were told that in order to birth at the birth center, we would need to take some kind of birthing class to help us prepare. As the midwife was listing off several options, one in particular stood out to me. I quickly began researching “Hypnobirthing” in Omaha and came across Omaha Birth and Babies’ Andrea Showers. I quickly asked my doula if she had heard of her and they were apparently friends. Soon, we were signed up to begin our hypnobirthing classes!
We started our 6 week course and began faithfully completing ALL THE HOMEWORK. During that 6 week timeframe, we would meet once on Sunday for 3ish hours, then go home and each day would have 1-2 hours of homework. The homework included listening to tracks (some you could fall asleep to, others you had to be alert but relaxed). I think these tracks are what helped me sleep so well during pregnancy because the whole point was to relax! Hypnobabies changes your mindset about birth through self-hypnosis and also changes some of the terms. Instead of contractions, they are called pressure waves. Instead of talking about pain, we talk about comfort and discomfort. Some people even say they had pain-free births using these techniques.
One of my favorite parts about Hypnobabies was how involved the partner was expected to be. This helped train Teddy and I on how to work together and communicate with each other during our birthing time. He was preparing to be an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT- not just a bystander.
For the rest of our pregnancy, we would listen to 1-2 hypnobabies tracks a day, as well as my “Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations” track which helped me to maintain a positive mindset about pregnancy and birth. This seemed to be a tedious process at times, but I believe the time invested really paid off in enjoying the majority of pregnancy and birth.