At 28-odd weeks I was beginning to feel a little bit underprepared for the whole ‘giving birth’ thing. We weren’t intending on doing any antenatal classes, as they seem to be a bit geared towards hospital birth, and we’re currently planning on the home birth route, and there is still no way on God’s green earth that I would subject myself to watching One Born Every Minute, but while I’d done a lot of reading around, there was no denying that I needed to get a bit more prepared than I was in a practical sense, and it was on one of the many blogs I’d been reading, Gas and Air, that I got wind of the Calm Birth School
I’d heard a little bit about hypnobirthing but it sounded basically like a big load of hippy bullcrap, and I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, but the CBS was giving a couple of free video tutorial tasters, so I thought ‘why not’ and the first video piqued my interest so much that I signed us up to the full online course. That’s how it works- rather than classes, there are 12 video tutorials, a clutch of MP3s, some further reading and a secret facebook group with additional support and a bit of a chat with the other people who have signed up to the course.
Far from being wafty, the first video explained the ‘science of hynobirthing’ and how you go into trance states all the time without even realising you’re doing it- like when you do a familiar journey- you get in the car, drive for a bit, and get out at your destination literally without thinking about it… or when you’re so into a good book that the rest of the world completely passes you by.
The idea is that you practice various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout your pregnancy, and by the time you get to labour day, you’re so used to it, that you’ll be able to put yourself in the zone where you can cope with anything that’s thrown at you. That, coupled with learning more about the science of birth, which for me, made it sound less scary, because I’ll sort of know what I might have to contend with and why, for example, you might puke or poo, or why contractions hurt.
We’re on the final video now, and there is just SO much useful stuff, that I think I’m going to go back to the start and watch them all again. The only downside, is that there is a lot of homework that you’re meant to do every day, that we’ve just not quite been able to fit in, but my new year’s resolution is to make more of an effort to practice practice practice the breathing and other techniques and listen to at least one of the MP3s every day because I really really want to have the experience that they’re taking about and don’t want to have it all go to pot because of my own laziness!