Hypnobirthing Practice Surprise!
During my last pregnancy, I learnt the Marie Mongan method of hypnobirthing. When considering which Teacher Training course to take, I felt that the Katharine Graves method was a better fit for how I wanted to teach hypnobirthing to women and their birth partners. I'll go into this in a future blog but for now, until I became a teacher, I hadn't listened to the KG Hypnobirthing CD. All I knew was the Mongan relaxation tracks - that familiar voice sending me off to sleep for months when I was pregnant the first time. Now, as a teacher, I always enjoy reading the Katharine Graves scripts in my classes and didn't think it would feel any different listening to Katharine read them from the CD. However, it felt incredibly different last night now that I'm pregnant and using it for personal reasons. So how did my first 'session' go....?
I got into bed early last night - I put my favourite big PJs on, plumped my cushions, gave Tom the baby monitor and started to play the track. However, after a few minutes I was finding it really difficult to relax - much harder than I'd anticipated. There were two reasons:
1. I was focusing too much on Katharine's voice. I was fortunate enough to be taught the Teacher Training course by Katharine herself and so I've had many a conversation with her about setting up my practice and the ins and outs of teaching. Her voice conjures up images of me taking notes furiously in her classroom and discussing a whole range of birth topics, research and statistics.
2. I was expecting it to be as easy as it was the first time - I'd feel my body going into deep relaxation and eventually I'd drift off to sleep. Well, this was not the case last night! It was only this morning when Tom reminded me that it took me a couple of months to get into the CD the first time round. I had to persevere and would get incredibly frustrated with myself and my over-thinking mind. I think I may find myself in a similar position this time round.
So, with two things working against me, what am I to do?
Through this experience, I am reminded that this is the reason I tell my clients religiously that practice is key to hypnobirthing. I shouldn't think I'm any different just because I teach it to others. My mind, thoughts, fears and feelings are unique and I too need to work through them to prepare for the birth of my second baby. I can't just assume that, since I've done it before, that it will all go the same way again. Since every baby is different then so too is every birth and for that reason I need to prepare for this birth as a whole new experience. It will bring with it a new set of emotions, feelings, anxieties and thoughts. As well as memories and new experiences I've encountered since my first birth. My husband will also feel differently about birth now and so we need to talk about his feelings, experiences and memories. This is a whole new journey we're on. Not only that, but I haven't practised hypnobirthing for myself for over a year - it needs to become part of my daily routine and lifestyle again so that it eventually just becomes habit.
The power of repetition is key to hypnobirthing.
There's a lot of 'stuff' to work through and I'm excited to get started. I'm really glad I listened to the CD last night and questioned why I felt so different this time round. It is a reminder that sometimes, just because we think we're comfortable with something, doesn't mean there isn't some deep rooted, subconscious, emotion going on that we may need to address. Hypnobirthing is the simplest and most effective way to deal with that.