When my last baby was born I decided to give HypnoBirth a try. It was not as great a success for me as I had hoped. I documented it all here on the blog. It's a good idea, but there are things that I need to change in order for it to work for me. Now that I've actually gone through a birth while trying to go without medication I have a better idea about both what to expect and what I need to change.
First off, I need to practice relaxing my body more quickly. I practiced quite a bit last time. It was at least twice a day. I was good at methodically relaxing from head to foot, but it was slow going. When I was in labor it took way too long for me to get to relaxing the part of my body where contractions were happening. So now I'll practice relaxing quickly.
The biggest factor this time around is motivation. We were poor enough to qualify for Medicaid last time. I was trying to avoid the cost of an epidural being charged to Medicaid, but I knew it would be paid for if I needed it. With this baby we don't qualify for Medicaid and our crappy insurance is almost the same as not being insured at all. So we're going in as uninsured patients and will be paying for everything out of pocket. Saving $1500 that would be spent on an epidural is a lot of motivation. Any natural birth stuff I've heard tells the mother to focus on her baby and think about how soon she'll be holding the baby while going through contractions. Yeah...that doesn't work for me. I know that regardless of whether or not I get drugs I will still give birth. However, I might be more successful when I think of it in less abstract terms. Keep on going, Jordan. If you make it through this contraction you're that much closer to a new living room set. Wouldn't those gray couches look fantastic in the front room? You can do it; just think of those lovely, lovely couches.
My optimism about my visualization is not without precedent. About ten years ago I participated in a research study for pain medication following wisdom tooth removal. I chose that was because it was free to get the teeth out and they paid me $350 for participating. Not bad. There were three or fours different medications I may have received or I could have gotten the placebo. I'll never know. What I do know is that while I was being observed my mouth started to hurt like a beast. I was allowed to ask for rescue medication, but I had to actually say those words to the nurse. Did I? No. Why? It was partly because I was worried that I would be invalidating the results. At the time I was in a college class where we studied the results of medical trials, so my judgement was clouded. I had also just been under anesthesia, another judgement clouder. The other reason (the real one) that I didn't take the rescue medication was because I worried that I wouldn't be paid if I took it. If $350 of payment is enough to keep me from taking rescue medication after wisdom tooth surgery than maybe not having to pay $1500 will be motivation enough to keep from getting an epidural. We'll see if I decide it's worth it. But I'm not promising anything.