How HypnoBirthing Could Have Helped Me
Better Late Than Never
Hi, I’m Jessica, a Content Marketing Strategist and Voice Talent. I’ve been working with Awital since the summer of 2014. She hired me to record birth affirmations for her mommies-to-be. One thing lead to another and now I’m helping her implement her content marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, I met her 7 years too late. Seven years after I was pregnant with my one and only baby. I won’t have another chance at birth and my pregnancy and birth were not ideal because I didn’t know any better. But with my knowledge now, I can possibly help other women.
How Current Events Relate to Personal Experiences
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been very upset about the abundance of negativity lately. When I open Facebook, I get blinded by articles and words of intolerance, disrespect and aggressiveness towards others. Of building walls and harmful laws and restrictions that will hurt many people. It’s getting real and I’m scared.
You see, I’m a US expat and have been living in Germany for 21 years. Half of my friends on Facebook are American and I can confirm, we are a divided country.
These past 3 weeks have been a nightmare for me and all I want to do is wake up. Instead, I march, call my representatives, write them letters, write articles and worry. I won’t go into it any further, but I would like to say that Awital and I both care deeply about what’s currently happening in this world. So, during our last skype call, we didn’t just talk business, we got emotional.
And then Awital started talking about how all this can be compared to birth. How, in some cases, there is ‘aggressiveness’ in the birthing room or how some women feel helpless and are worried during pregnancy because of what their doctor said at a recent visit. How some women don’t feel in control of their bodies.
Then I started talking about my pregnancy and birth. And then she asked me if I would like to share my story. I said yes.
“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same.”
My Pregnancy Story
Overcoming My First Struggle: Getting Pregnant
Getting pregnant was not easy for me, nor was it free. Nor did I take it for granted. After 6 years of going through the grinder with 3 different ob-gyn’s, I finally got pregnant via IVF (in vitro fertilization). Yes, I have a miracle baby and her name is Leandra!
The only thing I did differently on that third and last try was to schedule a week’s vacation in the South of France. To RELAX!
Being Confronted With My Biggest Fear: Going Blind
I looked in the mirror the day after finding out I was pregnant and noticed my left eye was completely bloodshot. That’s never happened before and since my detaching retinas on both eyes have been lasered twice, I never hesitate to see my eye doctor.
He couldn’t find anything wrong but then asked the strangest question: ‘Is anything different about you?’ I replied, ‘Well, I’ve just found out that I’m pregnant.’ He congratulated me and said that it’s just a blood vessel that burst, maybe due to pressure, but it’ll go away. BUT, he also mentioned that I have to be extremely careful during birth. I shouldn’t press because I could detach my retinas and become temporarily blind! ACK! My worst fear ever, going blind!
Can you imagine not being able to see your baby? Well, my aunt can because this is exactly what happened to her. She was blind for 10 days after the birth of her first child!
So, right from the beginning, I knew I had to have a c-section. I wasn’t heartbroken, I was just happy that I was pregnant. All was good.
A Wonderful Pregnancy: Taking Control of My Own Emotions
My pregnancy wasn’t horrible. I never got sick. Nor did I have cravings for meat – my second biggest fear as a vegetarian. My ob-gyn was very careful with me. She wanted to bring this baby to term no matter what! During the last 4 months, she took me out of work, got me a cleaning lady and told me to lie down as much as possible. Honestly, this was perfect! It was the first time in my entire life that I was allowed to relax and I bet that’s the reason why my baby was so easy and calm.
There was a flip side to all this care though. I had to go to her office 2x a week and she sent me to the hospital a few times because of apparent early contractions I never felt. I didn’t let all this bother me though. I knew my baby was okay.
All the stuff that I was told during our visits though – my baby is very small, I have contractions, I am a bit older and since this is a risk pregnancy, I should strongly consider taking the amniocentesis test, etc. – was upsetting and I could have stressed out. But for some reason, I was calmer than ever before. I truly believe that Leandra told me she was healthy and I listened to her, not my doctor or the hospital staff.
Waste of Time: My Birthing Class
I shouldn’t say that. I met some pretty wonderful couples at my birthing class and still have contact with a few of them! What I mean is that I learned things in that class, but certainly not the right things!
I did not learn that I am in control of what happens in the birthing room. That I should write out a birth plan and visualize how I want it to be, regardless if I needed a c-section or not. I didn’t even know that the umbilical cord shouldn’t be cut immediately or that my newborn baby shouldn’t be washed right after birth because these procedures weaken the baby’s immune system!!! No, instead the nurses immediately cut the cord and washed my baby girl without fail.
THESE are the things that we should have discussed in that class, not only which birth position we want to take or where we want to give birth.
And so I learned a lot from Awital and have since been able to pass along this information. In fact, as soon as a friend of mine told her nurse to not cut the cord or wash her baby right away, she turned around to her and said ‘Wow, only the smart mothers know that.’
Sad thing is, I am not stupid, nor are the millions of other women out there. We just weren’t informed nor thought to research such a thing. We also want to put trust in our health caretakers.
My Birth Story
I survived my pregnancy, gained a ton of comfortable weight despite my small baby and relaxed more than I ever had in my life. My doctor scheduled the c-section 2 weeks before my due date, which I questioned, but was told it could be dangerous if I have contractions, so I accepted the situation.
I refused to spend the night before though. They had to accept that. The only reason they wanted me there is to make sure I didn’t mess up their schedule.
Everything else went according to their plan. We were submitted, all vitals were checked, my husband was prepped, I got the epidural and they started ripping me apart.
My husband had to be told to stop making me laugh because I was moving. But then they started moving my belly back and forth, as if they were pulling a burnt tire off a paved road. I just thought to myself, ‘Damn, this is gonna hurt later.’ And boy was I right! I was in pain for the next 3 weeks, or was it months? I can’t remember. Anyway, I believe I would have preferred the temporary discomfort of a natural birth over the weeks of pain from a c-section afterwards. Hands down!
They let me see my daughter for a split second, but took her away immediately because she was quiet. Personally, I don’t think she was ready to come out and was just in shock.
I was taken away to my room and had to wait. They finally brought her to me. I tried to latch her several times that day, but she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, so I let her sleep. I turned off the lights at 10:30pm and she immediately woke up and was HUNGRY! Oh my, was she hungry!
The next few days were spent with this test and that test. I was amazed, well, rather quite annoyed, at how the doctor grabbed her, ripped off the blanket she was bundled up in, put her on her back and shoved a pacifier in her mouth to do his first official health check. She wasn’t screaming or causing a ruckus. She was calm, so why the pacifier? At least it didn’t last long and I was able to hold her again.
Leandra was a very hungry baby. I called her ‘my little vampire’. The nurses told me to not breastfeed her more than every 4 hours, but after one time of ‘letting her cry’ for a couple of minutes, I said to myself, ‘forget that, she’s hungry and I have food, so here you go, dear.’
After 8 days, we were finally able to come home. We were on our own, had no external help and I was more relieved than you can imagine! I felt free. I felt safe, but I didn’t know why. Until I met Awital. I realized that it didn’t have to be that way.
“I’m told HypnoBirthing is a life-changing experience. One I will never have, but one that I wish upon every other mother-to-be.”
What I Personally Needed Most
Once I found out about HypnoBirthing, I realized that MAYbe I could have had a natural birth. HypnoBirthing would have given me the tools and encouragement to do so. There is no ‘pressing’ in HypnoBirthing. Unfortunately though, that term wasn’t even mentioned as an option. Natural childbirth meant pressing according to the traditional medical personnel.
I feel that I reacted positively during pregnancy by not stressing when the doctors were trying to freak me out. I still don’t understand why they feel the need to stress their patients out.
Where I needed the most help though was with dealing with doctors and nurses at the hospital. I didn’t know I had options. I trusted the ‘professionals’. That sounds stupid and naive, but I can’t change it now. It’s a done deal, my daughter turns 10 tomorrow. We survived, she is healthy and I am most grateful for her. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
My Personal Message to All Mothers-To-Be
As I was telling Awital a few details of my birth, she had this sad look on her face. She’s so cute! I know she’s heard similar stories before, but each one is different and she empathizes with each story. I truly love her because of her dedication to helping other women experience a gentle birth. She’s not doing this for herself, but for others and that’s pure love. We need more of that in this world today!
I’m told HypnoBirthing is a life-changing experience. One I will never have, but one that I wish upon every mother-to-be.
This is your body, your baby and you deserve a gentle birth. Fight for that right!
Please know you have options. You don’t have to accept what the doctors or nurses do and you can take control of your body. You can learn how to plan your birth, on your baby’s schedule, not the doctor’s.
No matter how difficult it was for me to publish my story, I kindly ask you to please share it and help us spread awareness.
Peace and love,