on monday we received our hypnobabies home study course in the mail. we spent a good chunk of last night reading class #1 out loud to each other and listening to the first track, "special place". this track will be alternated with the second track, "easy, comfortable childbirth" for the remainder of this first week. everyday for the entirety of the course we are also supposed to listen to the "joyful pregnancy affirmations" track. this track contains 150 one sentence positive affirmations for childbirth. these include sentiments such as i am confident about my pregnancy and my baby's birth and i trust in my ability to birth my baby.
my first impression of the course is that it seems very comprehensive. class #1 took us about an hour to read through and each complimentary CD track is approximately 35 minutes long. after listening to the first track last night, i am very excited to try out the second track before bed tonight! i found the woman's voice to be quite soothing and the overall experience to be extremely calming. i can honestly say that those 35 minutes were the most relaxed i have been this entire pregnancy. "special place" has you first concentrate on your breathing and relax every part of your body from head to toe. you then create a special place for yourself in your mind. the first place i thought of surprised me, but once i chose, i knew it was the perfect place for me to retreat. i immediately thought of the small cluster of trees in the front yard of my parents' old house. i was there with my childhood dog, max. this is a place i haven't been in 13 years, but it worked.
honesty time. i was skeptical of the hypnobabies program before trying it. it seemed a little bit hokey to me, but i saw (thanks, youtube!) and read so many positive first-hand accounts. our midwife also highly recommended it. she said some of her patients had used it to fantastic results. i really trust our midwife, as she is not overly "crunchy" or militant in any way. any decent, multi-week childbirth course in our area would have cost as much (about $150), so we took the plunge. my first experience last night has left me confident that our money will not be wasted. i look forward to the next 5 weeks of the course! i also love that it comes with a separate maintenance course to keep you learning and practicing the techniques until the baby arrives. i'm not yet sure if i'll use the CD meant for the actual event, but it's nice to know it's there.
i fully believe that attitude makes all the difference in almost any situation. this course helps to create and maintain a positive, confident attitude about birthing. it evens goes so far as to give you alternate words for commonly used terms. contractions become pressure waves. labor becomes birthing day and so on. it also gives the mother-to-be tips for avoiding negativity from family, friends, and strangers while pregnant.
to summarize, i think this course will be useful and i'm glad we chose to study from the comfort of our apartment instead of having to schlep to a weekly course. we are, however, supplementing with a one-day condensed course at our hospital on july 17th.
i hope any mamas-to-be considering hypnobabies find this post helpful!
we are back on the first page!!! thank you so much for all of the votes!
i think i have another gallstone attack a-brewin'. i've been getting all the typical warning signs over the past 2 days. i really hope it happens tonight instead of tomorrow night. i have to leave for the airport at 7:30 in the morning on wednesday, and i'm getting on the plane come hell, high water, or gallstones. this calm before the storm is the most frustrating part of this whole ordeal. i can feeling it coming, but i don't know when or where i'll be.
the good news is that my strict diet is working. it's no panacea, but it is helping. it has been 5 weeks since my last attack. before i knew what i was dealing with, i had 4 attacks in the course of 2 weeks. sylvie only needs to keep cookin' for 9-13ish more weeks. if i keep going at this rate it is likely i will only suffer 2-3 more episodes before her birth. then i can get this sucker taken care of. PRONTO.
there is other good news. my midwife suffered from gallstones in the past. she also had a completely drug free birth with her second child. she told me that, hands down, the pain of gallstones was worse than that of a natural childbirth. my last attack lasted 4 hours and i made it through. it was miserable, but i made it. i know i can do this birth without pain medication because i will be working towards something beautiful and incredible and life changing. gallstones are pain for pain's sake. childbirth is pain with a purpose.
i know i can do it.
i'm still excited to give birth. i thought i would grow anxious as the big day approached. and, hey, there's still time for that. i'm not ruling anything out here. but here i am, in my third and final trimester, and no less excited than i was at 12 weeks. it's a day, maybe 2, of pain and hard work in exchange for a lifetime of joy.
tomorrow (technically today) is my first mother's day. i know travis has some surprises up his sleeve, and i'm excited to find out what they are! i would give my left arm right about now for a cold beer and some sushi, but that ain't happenin' anytime soon. i'll settle for a glass of pomegranate juice and a foot rub, please.
on a different note, it hit me today that i'm only a few weeks away from my third and final trimester. i'm really starting to feel the urge to nest and get little sylvie's nursery nook ready for her arrival. speaking of her arrival, is it strange that i'm really excited to labor and give birth? like, REALLY excited. i have never felt better about or more secure in my body. nor have i ever felt unsure of its ability to birth this child, my precious daughter. i feel STRONG and ready. i've felt like this from the beginning and keep thinking i'll change my tune as august 31st approaches, but everyday i remain steadfast in my decision to attempt a natural birth. this is what my body was made to do. not only do i think i can do it, i think i can ROCK it!
i'm so excited to meet my sylvie.
today travis and i planted an herb garden on our deck. we now have fresh mint, rosemary, thyme, basil, thai basil, lemon balm, chive, and dill at our disposal! i'm so excited to cook with so many fresh herbs this summer.
we recently purchased a new point and shoot camera, which also takes HD video. i decided to test out the video function today and try my hand at editing. it's not perfect, but i think it's pretty good for a first attempt. the song in the video is "mr. blue sky" by ELO. it's easily one of my favorite warm weather songs!
it seems my backside ended up being the star of this video. sorry about that! next time i'll pay more attention to where the camera is!
i am exactly 21 weeks pregnant today. sylvie is about 10.5 inches from head to toe and weighs almost 12 ounces! keep on growing, little girl! today i officially made the switch from the doctors in my OB practice to the midwife. i'm feeling really good about this decision. from the beginning i've been considering a natural childbirth. i've spent the first half of my pregnancy thoroughly researching all of my options, and talking to the ladies in my prenatal yoga class sealed the deal for me. they all see this same midwife, and some are about to have their second or third child with her in attendance. everyone i've spoken to has glowing things to say about her. i'll meet her for myself on may 13th.
the big news for this week is that travis got to feel sylvie move for the first time! she has been kicking like crazy lately. during a particularly active few minutes, i had him put his hand on my belly. after a few moments, his patience was finally rewarded. his smile lit up the whole room. it was amazing to see the look on his face. baby girl, you are already loved so much. i promise you that.
of all the internet memes out there, chuck norris jokes have long been some of my favorites. today i found this shirt:
i think it is a primo candidate for something to wear while i'm in labor. most books i've read on pregnancy/childbirth say it's good to develop a labor mantra for yourself early on. i'm supposed to repeat this mantra to myself anytime i feel anxious about labor pains, childbirth, etc.
PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY.
in all honesty, i'm kind of looking forward to labor. it may be too early to determine my feelings on the subject either way, but right now it doesn't scare me. it's a beautiful part of what my body is designed to do. yes, it will hurt. it will be excruciating, possibly very long, and definitely very emotional. BUT the end result is well worth all of that. it's one day of pain for a lifetime of joy.
all that said, i am considering natural childbirth. call me crazy (and you may be right), but the idea of being 100% physically, mentally, and emotionally present for the experience is way less terrifying to me than have a giant needle shoved into my spine. i have done a lot of research into this, as well as read and watched (gotta love youtube) many first-hand accounts of natural childbirth. to me (and this is nothing if not a very personal choice), the pros far outweigh the cons.
the benefits of a natural birth that are most important to me are:
1. no epidural means that i would be able to move freely, use the restroom, walk around, and change positions at will.
2. i would be able to respond to my body's signals and reflexes, and give it exactly what it needs. if lying on my back becomes uncomfortable for me, it is most likely uncomfortable for the baby, too. pain during labor serves a purpose to help me seek out the best positions for both of us.
3. women who do not get an epidural can push harder and faster, thereby decreasing the amount of stress pushing puts on both you and the baby. i can push when i need to push, not when the doctor tells me a should. i would also be able to actually feel the progress my baby is making, and i believe this will offer the best incentive to push through the pain.
4. the pain of a natural birth causes the mother's body to secrete endorphins into the placenta and umbilical cord. research shows that these endorphins serve to help the baby adjust to outside life and make their journey more comfortable.
5. most mothers report that recovery after a natural birth is faster. most can walk, eat, and shower right away.
6. research as shown that naturally birthed babies are more alert and show a more immediate interest in pre-breast feeding behaviors, and usually nurse for longer and with more success the first time.
these are just 6 of the many reasons why i am considering this path. i believe that each woman has the right to labor in any way she chooses, so long as it is not detrimental to the baby. that said, if something did go wrong, i would absolutely do what needed to be done, even if it involves pain medication. it's all about bringing the baby into this world in the safest way possible.
also note that just because i say "natural childbirth" does not mean i plan to have this baby at home, in a bathtub. i would only consider this route under the close supervision of my doctor, in a hospital or a birthing center. any advice from mothers who have been there is welcome, but please no "you're crazy" comments. this is nobody's decision but my own. thank you.