T and I went into our pregnancy and labor with lots of expectations and desires to do everything "right." The right way being subjective, of course.
I sought prenatal care at a wonderful birth center where the midwives only perform natural births. Each prenatal visit is designed in a group setting, where everyone sits and discusses topics from nutrition, to baby care, to breastfeeding. It was enjoyable but a little too basic for T and I. We had done our research. We read the books. We worked with children. We prepared. However, we did not know it all and we acknowledged this. We just were not getting the information we wanted in these classes. We wanted something more.
I knew that I wanted to give birth naturally if the optimal factors were in place: I was physically healthy, baby boy was in the correct position, he was able to tolerate contractions (also referred to as surges), labor progressed at an appropriate rate. I wanted to be able to give birth beautifully, peacefully, and as nature intended.
After talking with a good friend who had recently given birth, she connected me with the birthing preparation of Hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing, in a sense, is training your mind to release all fears, anxieties, beliefs, and attitudes toward labor and delivery. Literally, one is giving in to their body and welcoming surges with joy and serenity. Some women have reported to not feel any pain when they are able to go to this state of peace. T and I jumped at the opportunity to attend a Hypnobirthing class with 5 other couples. We meditated, discussed our bodies, released our fears, and celebrated in the joy that is bringing life into this world. One mantra I learned that proved incredibly useful for my birth, I still hear in my mind to this day: Each surge of my body brings my baby closer to me.
I went into my birth without any fear, and I succumbed to each surge quietly, peacefully. At a later date, Tim described me as stoic as I moved little and spoke not at all. As a result, I birthed my son naturally, with the help of T, my mother, my doula, and incredible midwives.
While it was not pain-free, it was beautiful. I will do it again some day.