I am not a believer in mumbo jumbo. Let’s get that out in the open right now. Neither is Denisa. But she’d heard a lot of good things about this thing called Hypnobabies, and she wanted to give it a shot. Hypnobabies. It sounds like the villain from a bad sci-fi plot, but what it is in reality is a hypnotic technique that promises the potential of a pain-free childbirth.
Pretty heavy promise.
However, the birth of our last child was a pretty darn traumatic experience. Denisa had been planning on having anesthesia, and that plan went nowhere. So she ended up having a natural childbirth last time, and it was . . . less than pleasant. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say she had real cause to be leery of another experience like that. She was really stressing out about the whole thing, and here was Hypnobabies with promises of painfree.
It’s no wonder she decided to go for it.
I was quite skeptical, but I kept my skepticism to myself, for the most part. I figured if this thing was going to work, Denisa would need to believe it as much as possible. She was having a doula friend come who had more experience with this sort of thing, so that would help, too. I told Denisa that I’d try to help in any way I could, but I did admit I was worried my natural skepticism toward this kind of thing would get in the way.
Prepping for Hypnobabies ain’t easy. Denisa had to listen to these different audio tracks for about 1 to 1.5 hours a day. Add this to everything else she was doing, and it was quite a bit to add to each day. But she did a really good job of it. She stuck with it quite faithfully, doing it day after day, and reading up about all sorts of parts of the birthing process. I’ll say this much–she was a much better informed momma in advance of this labor. (Sorry–“Birthing time” is the Hypnobaby-approved term.)
Anyway. She was worried she wasn’t doing the techniques exactly right. How would she know? *Know* She couldn’t. Not really.
Yesterday morning, she went into labor at about 3:30am. She started doing the hypnobabies thing right away, but it went from some contractions to steady contractions in about 30 minutes. She woke me up. A friend came and got the kids, and Denisa and I got to the hospital at 5:00am. She was still listening to the hypnobabies tracks, and doing pretty good. Some obvious discomfort, but handling it well.
Her doula came at 5:30am or so. The contractions were really amping up.
Baby came at 6:35am. That’s pretty darn fast.
Was it pain-free? Not really, no. She certainly didn’t seem to be pain-free. But she *was* handling things much better than last time. I talked to her after it was all over, and we discussed the effect of Hypnobabies on the labor. We think it helped a ton in the “don’t be afraid of labor” department. Like I said, Denisa was very apprehensive about the delivery, but then Hypnobabies made her feel like she had a plan. She was better informed, and she knew what to expect. She stopped dreading the delivery, and started looking forward to it.
That was huge.
She wasn’t really able to listen to the tracks during delivery. They were playing, true–but let’s just say she had other things on her mind at the time. Still, she did tell me afterward that every now and then, she’d actually hear the tracks, and listening to that bit of familiarity helped her re-center herself and get a bit more focus. So that helped. Denisa went completely natural again. I was very surprised at how calm the baby was when she arrived. Hardly any screaming. Just looking around, like “Where the heck did I end up, and how did I get here?”
All told, I’d say it was worth the time and effort she put in ahead of time. No doubt. I wonder if I’d been able to embrace the idea more, if things would have gone even better. I’m not sure. I do know that we’re both very glad the delivery’s done. I’ll give the Hypnobabies approach a thumbs up. It helped my wife deal with something very daunting. Yes, it maybe over-promised and under-delivered (no pun intended), but it was much, much, much better than nothing. (Something tells me that’s a bad ad slogan. “Hypnobabies: much, much, much better than nothing.”)
And there you have it.