It felt like today would never end. After a long and drawn out afternoon, I looked at the clock to see if it was time to make dinner.
It was barely 3:30.
Not like yesterday, where I suspected that someone spiked my morning glass of water with a speed-like drug. I buzzed around like a bee gone beserk. Even after a warm soothing bath at the end of a busy busy day, I found myself hurrying through brushing my teeth and putting on pajamas. Hurrying so fast, I was almost shaking. I was disgusted with myself and took many deep calming breaths, but to no avail.
Which is, perhaps, why I was so tired today.
I was so tired I didn’t even want to go to yoga. But I did.
And I’m glad I did, because I’ve started to think more seriously about labor and birth. I am, after all, in the third trimester. It behooves me to think ahead. Also because I have two cousins who are starting to think about labor and birth, too…for their first babies. And I wonder, with two births tucked under my belt, am I really any more prepared than first-timers?
I think not. Because labor and birth is different every time.
But back to yoga. I’m glad I went to yoga because I am becoming more and more convinced that yoga is the ultimate birthing preparation. First of all (and most obviously), stretching and strengthening are good things. But more importantly, the breathing techniques learned and used are exactly the same as what Bradley calls “abdominal breathing”. When in a strenuous pose, you learn to relax and soften everywhere except the muscles that are being used. And you do this using your breath.
In active labor, you use your breath to relax your body so that your uterus can do its job efficiently. Most of the excess pain of childbirth comes from unnecessary tension.
Etc. etc. etc.
So I’ve been buckling down and not fudging on my breathing during class. I’ve also been spending part of my evening bath completely relaxing in the water.
And I’ve decided that I’m going to order the Hypnobirthing book and cd. I haven’t bought any birth books on this round, and I’m always looking to expand my library, my knowledge, my understanding, and my tool box of tricks and techniques.
Don’t worry, it’s not really hypnosis (which is what I thought until I looked into it). It’s breathing, relaxing, trusting that your body knows what it’s doing and will do it, and basically using Pavlovian techniques to help you focus and relax during labor. At least, that’s what it seems to be. I’ll let you know when I order, receive, and read the book. 🙂
So I’m going to put here a youtube birth video I found when looking around for hypnobirthing stuff.
If you’re interested, here it is:
When I watched it the first time, I felt myself tensing up when it got to the birth section. The noises she makes (the “this is overwhelming” noises) triggered memories of Amelie’s completely overwhelming labor. But then, that’s it. Surprise, the baby is born! I thought, “Well, if that’s it, I can do that!” And the laughter and joy is just so beautiful.