I had a really difficult pregnancy last time, due to emotional factors and little (2-3 hours) of sleep each day for the last couple of months prior to birth. I used hypnobabies very diligently, except that due to severe restless legs, I was not able to do all the exercises fully during the last couple of months. (I had been practicing since my mid-2nd trimester, though, so I was very familiar with the techniques.) I went into labor after a night of no sleep at all. 26 hours later, I gave birth. I was exhausted and had a hard time bonding with the babe and developed PPD.
Anyway, I had a hypnobabies doula and was 100% on board with hb.. I use self-hypnosis very often and it is great for me in general. However, I wonder if maybe my focus on having confidence on the method and following the method contributed to me feeling a little voiceless during my birthing process. Exhaustion and depression were my biggest challenges during and after the birthing process. Maybe if I hadn't had hypnobabies as a safety blanket, I wouldn't have had such a good physical outcome. Maybe I would have had to transfer due to exhaustion. I can't know.
But I just felt so disconnected from my husband and the people around me during the whole process. I wasn't open to what was happening, just focused on having a physically comfortable birth and following the recommended techniques. I don't think these are necessary results of using "a method," but my exhaustion and depression brought these possibilities out. Who knows how I would have reacted otherwise!
Things I liked about my experience:
ability to physically and emotionally relax for 2 pelvic exams (past trauma makes that hard for me)
no ring of fire
time went really fast during contractions, so they didn't seem unbearably long
I was centered and able to cope with the process with a minimum of drama. No screaming or waste of physical energy.
Things I didn't like:
So focused on "relaxing" and "doing it right" that I was not interactive with others around me
The hypnosis worked best when the doula was reading hypnosis "patter" to me, but she couldn't do that for 20 hours straight, so there were times when I felt betrayed because "it's not working because I am uncomfortable/overwhelmed."
My husband, doula, midwife couldn't sense how relaxed or comfortable I was--to everybody else, I seemed completely serene the whole time, but I wasn't.
I felt very alone.
Didn't make it easy to incorporate the spiritual dimension/experience into my focus
This time around, I want things to be different, and they will be because this is a different time and a different birth. But I still need to plan some specifics. I am nervous about "not doing hypnobabies." My midwife told me my birth canal was the most relaxed she had ever seen, and she is not really a fan of hypnobabies. I really enjoy hypnosis and want it to be a tool that is part of my birth and am nervous about just "trusting myself," since who knows what kind of state I'll be in when birth time comes! I am a regular meditater and thought of using "Mindful birthing," or even checking out "Birthing from Within," which seems to be the antithesis of hypnobabies, but I don't know. Nothing feels quite right. I want to have a joyful birth no matter the circumstances. Just not sure what the path to that is, for me.
Wondering if others have gone through the same process with preparing for their second births. Any thoughts? Thank you!