We had our first birthing class last night. I was filled with excitement and was also slightly nervous. We decided to take the hypnobirthing class - 5 weeks in a row, for 2 hours each week. The method makes sense for me, but would the class? Would the class be too far out there, a little too modern or flowy or mumbo jumbo to me? Would the people be like me, or all-out hippies? (sidenote - I have absolutely nothing against hippies. In fact, if you saw pictures of the hubby from college, you'd agree with me that he was a total hippy. I just don't happen to be an all out hippy - although apparently I do have some hippy qualities about me - but that's a whole other story.)
I was very pleasantly surprised that most of the other couples seemed normal, and that the instructor is totally awesome. She's upbeat and friendly and warm all together.
The first class was a bit of a review for us as we had gotten the book on our own months ago. It was basically going over what the method is all about, the philosophy behind it, and the reasoning. But it did help me reaffirm that I totally think this is an awesome method - and the skills you learn can be used outside of birthing as well. I've heard of people who have used this method, using the skills in situations that make them anxious or stressed. Even better for me! I may have to employ some of these techniques to help control my general anxiety.
We watched a few short videos. One video was really informative. Dateline NBC did a feature on whether childbirth can really be painless. This was back in 1998 or 1999. It looks at it from a very skeptical perception - so for those out there thinking, yeah right, I don't buy it, this video is really inspiring. I found it online if you're interested in checking it out - it's pretty short. Here's the link to it - it's the 4th video down, titled "HypnoBirths on Dateline".
Then we also watched a couple of births. While the women were very calm and focused in them, which totally inspired me, watching the baby actually come out of the lady bits was icky to me. I mean, the baby part was beautiful - the blood and other fluids coming out made my eyes open like a deer caught in headlights. I don't do well with blood. Ian told me that I should probably not watch those parts in the videos anymore - I agree!
And last, we did one hypnosis exercise. It was awesome. The instructor had each of us (even the Dads) get comfortable, close our eyes, and then she walked us through a scenario. This particular scenario was about being in a kitchen you are comfortable in, with your favorite food cooking, and cutting into a lemon on a cutting board, then biting the lemon. It felt so real that I swore I could actually smell the food, the lemon, and my mouth started salivating when I imagined biting into the lemon. And when we were asked to open our eyes, my entire body was heavy and relaxed from the exercise. So weird, but really fascinating at the same time.
We left with our relaxation cd, and are instructed to listen to it everyday. We got home last night - exhausted from a long day, and put the relaxation cd on as we fell asleep. Such a peaceful way to end the day.