So Many Babies! So Much Advice! Pt 2: Birth Books

Hey everyone. Sorry for the light posting last week. Expect sparse blogging this week too. It’s crazy busy around here! Like, so busy I don’t know where to start so mostly I just want to hide and not do anything. Except, that’s not an option when one takes care of many small creatures. *Le Sigh*

But I’m trying to continue my series of baby advice, just as my own baby turns one this week. Ug, my heart. Here he was, one year ago.

I've got, like, a million of these shots thanks to my Dad, the first time Grandpa.
I’ve got, like, a million of these shots thanks to my Dad, the first time Grandpa.

OH those eyebrows. They were the first thing I noticed about him. Second was the thick black head of hair. We knew he was a boy, and we had even the primo 3D ultrasound done so we could see the outline of his face. Whatever, it was still a shock and surprise to see him for the first time. He was just so perfect, so alive, so unique, so himself… *Le Sigh, pt2* I want another! BUT we must healthify ourselves first (this Lent will help THAT out… another post, another time… maybe next week).

MOVING ON to the actual advice I have to give… Things that helped me out during my own pregnancy/baby raising. Today’s feature: the process of giving birth, and the books/class that helped me through all that. Ahem.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

I read this book after watching The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. Occasionally I watch documentaries while folding laundry, and this one caught my eye. I highly recommend it too. It was eye opening, and encouraged me to find this book by the nation’s leading midwife (and total hippie if there ever was one). But more and more I’m coming to find that, when it comes to health, there’s something to be said for flower power.
Anyways, Ina May is a midwife who learned all of her midwifery simply by having no other option. Back in the day when her and others started a commune and they had no easy access to hospitals, they had to learn how to birth their babies all by themselves. Even today, “The Farm” where Ina lives and works boasts a C-section rate of 2%! Or maybe it’s even 0.2%! Wow. If we all employed the practices they did, perhaps our maternity death rate would be where it ought to be. (Think it’s just fine and there’s no problem with the system? Watch The Business of Being Born. Our maternity death rate is comparable with THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, people)
Ahem. Wanting to avoid all that, I got a hold of this book. The first half is full of birth stories, from the fairly clinical to the flower child, and everything in between. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel empowered. The second half of the book draws on that empowerment and gives you the tools and mindset you’ll need to give birth easier, with confidence in yourself, your body, and your baby. And just because it’s written by a professed hippie, don’t let that fool you. She’s as scientific as they come, perhaps more so because of her background (and need to prove herself. That Cesarean rate didn’t come about by magic, folks).

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Hypnobirthing: The breakthrough natural approach to safer, easier, more comfortable birthing – The Mongan Method, 3rd Edition

And here’s where the above book led me. I wanted to take some sort of class, this being my first pregnancy and child, but I didn’t want a class that would ultimately scare me into heavy medication and surgery. This was the answer. Recommended to me by my OB/GYN, Mike and I had to drive about an hour for several Sundays in a row to take this class, but it was totally worth it. This class teaches you methods of deep relaxation not only beneficial during labor, but for life. Your hubby will benefit from it too! I promise!
The only thing I want you to watch out for is imitators. There are some other “hypno” classes out there, but they get a bit… erm… spiritual. Stick with the Mongan Method. It will nearly guarantee a safe, PAIN FREE labor and delivery (yes, you heard me). Now no one can promise that it won’t be INTENSE – it’s bringing a child into the world. It’s going to be more intense than the making thereof *wink*. However, the method does teach you how to manage the feeling that labor brings. Look into it. It can’t hurt to try.

Now those of you that know me may think “Now wait a minute, Sheri. Didn’t YOU end up with a C-section anyways?” And my answer to you will be yes. Yes, after all this, I did end up needing a C-section. My water broke prematurely. As in, I wasn’t in labor AT ALL when my membranes ruptured, so they had to augment my labor and… well maybe I’ll share Finn’s birth story another day, hmm?

What do you think of the recommendations so far? Have any suggestions of your own?

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