December 30, 2011

mind over mind? and bringing God in

I've mentioned more than once here that the idea of the birthing process freaks my cookies. To slay this dragon, or at least build a bridge that goes around it, I've educated myself (and DH) with my doc's reminder that "information is power." I've gone through the childbirth preparedness class at our birthing center, read through more than one book that talks about the process, prayed many times, spent time thinking about the event and its inevitable outcome – the birth of my son, and started listening to the CDs.

I have now listened to four sessions. Every time, I fall asleep. Or at least I'm pretty sure that's what happens because I couldn't possibly tell you what I've learned other than how to breathe deeply. Last night I listened to a session called Deepening, which guides the listener into a deeper state of hypnosis. I suspect that, even if I do fall asleep, my mind really is getting the message because for whatever reason I returned to a state of consciousness a few minutes before the end of the session (rather than waking up to dead silence).

I can tell you that, as of right now, I do not feel dread at the thought of going to the birthing center (in fact, I'm looking forward to plugging in my iPod and dimming the lights in there!). DH is still pretty squeamish about being there, though – I'm hoping he listens to the birth partner CD so he can be more calm during the process.

Despite the "pain-free labor" the home study professes, this is not my expectation. I'd say I am resisting the urge to build any expectations since I know that anything can happen. I am, however, starting to visualize how I would like the process to go. Why do this? Because the mind is powerful, and the suggestion can influence the outcome. My coworker, who also used the program, did this and many aspects of her process carried out exactly the way she had envisioned it.

At the same time, I have begun focusing more on bringing God into the experience and making Him the focus of my desire. Last weekend in yoga class, as the instructor cooed gentle words of new age "wisdom," the thought popped into my head of really making God part of the process instead of an afterthought. I am praying more in that direction, asking God to cover me with His Spirit and permeate the room we'll be in.

Hyp.nobir.thing and visualization are powerful tools, but they are just tools. God is no tool.