You hear the phrase "laborland" a lot on MDC, but it still doesn't seem to be that well known outside of the natural birthing community.
I'm talking about that hypnotic, almost psychedelic state that some women slip into during childbirth. Some people do talk about the "runner's high" release of endorphins, but that doesn't seem to encompass that break from reality that I know a lot of us experienced and talk about here on this forum.
I'm interested in how labor location (home, hospital or birth center) plays into it. It seems like it would be so much harder to get to that point in a hospital setting, though I know it can happen. I'm also interested in figuring out if women who did hypnobirthing or bypnobabies or similar classes were more able to get into that laborland state. If you did hypnobabies/birthing, did you use it when you went into labor? Did it help you get into that hypnotic state? Or is it just something that your body did on its own? How intense was the experience? Were you still mostly present and aware that you were giving birth, or did you totally disassociate from reality? How painful was your labor? Would you call it really bad suffering, or just some pain that your body was able to handle?
For me personally, I didn't do any hypnobirthing classes and I guess I thought the whole concept was kind of cheesy, what with the affirmations and all. Beforehand, I was envisioning my homebirth labor as some kind of marathon or epic battle, where I'd be fierce and fight my way through it. I imagined myself roaring and swearing like a merchant marine. I was really surprised by how it turned out. All I wanted was darkness and quiet, and once I got into the birth tub, I slipped into that laborland hypnotic state without really trying. I'd sink into this warm, fuzzy, safe kind of place, and once I got down to that point, I didn't really feel the pain. Sure, there were points where it hurt, but it hurt a lot less through that haze of hypnosis. Whenever somebody talked to me, it would yank me back into the real world, where I felt the pain with clarity, until I slipped back down again. Throughout the vast majority of my labor, I wasn't really even aware of the baby or cognizant of the fact that I was giving birth. I wasn't even cognizant of myself. I was just sort of present in my body in the experience. Truth be told, it was more like a psychedelic drug trip than anything else. (Hey, I went to college in the 90s ) Overall, my labor was an incredibly positive and empowering experience. Without being in that state of hypnosis, I think it would have been a lot less easy to handle.