Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Good Cervix & Intro to Hypnobirthing

The morning after I last blogged I had to go to hospital AGAIN. Though this time it was the nice maternity hospital near our house rather than the deserted Queen Charlotte's next to Wormwood Scrubs (and HN1's old hockey ground).

My body woke me up at about 4am with "period pains" in the front and cramping in the lower back - obviously not actual period pains, that would be odd in pregnancy. So I did the usual and got up to pee - this usually helps with random pain while I sleep; my bladder is apparently sensitive and needy and, if whining can be expressed as pain, whiny. This clearly didn't help since I ended up at the hospital - what? Suspense is overrated. I came to work, tried to get on with my entirely unexciting day, couldn't, texted the midwife, and was sent straight to hospital. My lovely SIL picked me up from the station and dropped me off (and repeated in reverse to my front door later), I waited for a while, then was hooked up and looked up. Literally - hooked up to a machine and looked up with a speculum. My cervix had to be long and closed in order to convince everyone that this wasn't early labour. Really early. Cervix was behaving admirably - go cervix - and I was allowed to go home. I was also reminded that I'm six months pregnant and perhaps I should take it a bit easy.

Ho hum. So I had a lie down and some paracetamol (hopefully good drugs aren't a thing of the past and this is just a temporary pregnancy hiatus - I have some oxy creeping ever closer to it's use by date) and then cleaned the house a bit so the hypnobirthing doula lady wouldn't judge me. 

Hypnobirthing. It sounds cool, and is all about birthing naturally, believing in yourself and your body's inate natural ability to birth a child, being super relaxed and letting nature do her thing. I'm on board with a lot of it... I believe positive imagery, visualisations, words, and affirmations go a long way, I believe that birth can be a calm process when you eliminate unnecessary fear and tension, and I believe that self hypnosis actually works. On alternate days I listen to an affirmations track and a relaxation track, and I don't mind these (initially thought I would since I'd only heard snippets in an American accent - I have nothing against this accent but I find it hard to "relax" to - mine are in British though).

What I do mind is some of the reading material. The course consists of 5 Hypnobirthing classes with our instructor, who is very sweet, reading the Mongan Method book, listening to the Rainbow Relaxation CD/MP3 (honestly, who listens to CD's any more other than in the car? Hypnosis while driving should probably be avoided), and reading the notes in the binder our instructor left us with. I'm sure there are exercises and things to do, and we'll have homework, but for now reading is my only homework (and listening to the CD/MP3).

Having side-eyed the book (which has been balanced on the back of the sofa) for the past week and a half, I finally threw it in my bag this morning to read on the train. Urgh. Some of it is such drivel. If you're not willing to reference your writing correctly (or at all), then why should I read and/or believe any of it?? Power to you if you can take this book in and believe every word and have a beautiful, peaceful birth at the end of it, but that won't be me (well, hopefully the peaceful birth bit will be). I'm not resistant to the premise, I'm resistant to the way in which it's preached. There are pages of course notes in the binder waxing lyrical about how awful the various drug options are, and while I'm adamant that drugs will be a last resort for me, I'm also adamant that whatever happens I won't be made to feel like a failure for demanding an epidural.

I also won't be scare-mongered into believing things. Saying that Cytotec shouldn't be used to induce labour/ripen the cervix because it's not approved for use in pregnancy is frankly fucking retarded. If it causes the cervix to soften and thin, then of course it bloody won't be approved for use in pregnancy because in PREGNANCY you don't want your uncooked child to fall out. However, when said child is cooked and you DO want it to fall out, use of Cytotec is probably OK.

Anyway, I won't judge it entirely now. I'll go with it with an open mind - probably more open to actual science and common sense than they would like - and see where it takes us. Doesn't hurt to be able to deeply relax yourself both physically and mentally. Labour will undoubtedly be easier and shorter if my mind and body are relaxed and I'm focusing on positives. At the end of the day (or night. Or day and night and day...), we will be holding our tiny (please universe let her not be so big that my vagina is completely destroyed) baby, and this is what matters most. And is actually the shit scary part, not the labour.


On a more positive note, it's nice that HN1 will have such an important role in the birth - it's double nice that his role is being spelled out to him so there will be no confusion. I also like calling contractions "waves". Shiny.


Yesterday I had a midwife appointment - I really like having our student midwife there, she's lovely and makes me feel more relaxed than I think I otherwise would. I ACED my mental health test thing they do each time (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Test) - scored a 7, down from 18. Boom - and everything else is normal. I have blood tests (iron, clotting factors, other stuff) and a 3 hour gestational diabetes test next week. I wasn't sure about the GD test, but figure it's better to know even if the test is a mess and the scale against which results are measured is pretty fucked (evidence does exist, it's not referenced here though because this isn't a prescriptive text or method), in case I need insulin or the baby needs special monitoring etc. It should be fine, I'm super low risk, but some people with no risk factors end up with it so what the hell? 3 hours at the hospital beats 3 hours at work, right? Right? Eurgh.

If I am diagnosed with GD, I probably won't be able to have a home birth. This would suck. Hopefully I'm doing the right (and grown up) thing...

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