22 Weeks Pregnant

Now that the holidays are over, time has definitely seemed to slow down with regards to my pregnancy. I am looking forward to birthing this child and think about it daily. I am hoping for a “painfree” birth this time around. I have been reading about HypnoBirthing and am not quite sure that’s the avenue I want to pursue, but some form of deep relaxation and perhaps meditation will be required. I don’t want to set my standard so high that I am disappointed if I should feel pain, but I am learning just how powerful the mind is, and what it can achieve.

I read recently in “Trick or Treatment” by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, MD, that the placebo effect is much more than someone misrepresenting how one feels when they believe they received a particular remedy or treatment. People often actually do get better–in a testable way–even if they have only received the placebo because the belief that something was done to relieve their suffering is powerfule enough to actually relieve their suffering. And so it can go with childbirth. If I really believe I can achieve a painfree birth, I may actually be able to achieve it.

I watched a program tonight that I saw a few times when I was pregnant with Daniel. It shows a handful of women who have chosen to birth either at home or in a birth center. As I watched each child be born, I wept and contracted. It was as if my mind, my emotions, or some force was triggering the contractions. But I also contract when I’m playing Tetris, so I suppose I shouldn’t read into it too much!

I will start drinking an infusion of red raspberry leaf in a few weeks to help strengthen and tone my uterus and pelvic floor for labor. I did drink the infusion when I was pregnant with Daniel and had a particularly efficient labor. Correlation does not neccessarily denote causation, but red raspberry leaf is full of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, Calcium, in particular), so even if it does no good for my muscle tone, I will still benefit.

Daniel threw a particularly nasty fit a couple nights ago when we were putting him to bed. I have never seen him so out of control. Earlier that day he threw a milder fit about taking a nap (he never actually slept). It seems that on the days he doesn’t nap, bed time is particularly difficult, but it’s never been so dramatic. Today, even after my laying with him for over an hour (trying to sleep myself), he refused to nap, so we were nervous about how bedtime would go. We were relieved that, although Daniel did express some frustrations at bedtime, they were relatively mild and he settled down very quickly.

I’ve been pretty patient regarding Daniel’s tantrums–which are thankfully few and far between–but I’m nervous about how I’ll be able to handle them when baby comes–especially if they result in waking baby or cause baby to be agitated or upset, too. I am hoping that all the patience I have learned from parenting Daniel will spill over into parenting two children. I may get a trial run pretty soon. I may be watching a friend’s baby girl for a couple days/week from February to April. I can earn a bit of extra money and better prepare myself for the tasks associated with parenting two children.

Sleep has been one of the biggest troubles for me–not just in this pregnancy, but in life. It’s not that I have trouble sleeping, I generally sleep well. But I have trouble deciding to go to bed–even when I am exhausted. I learned while I was still in college, that the feeling that I had something else to do (such as school work, house keeping, working) took over my subconscious mind while I was doing anything relaxing or restful (such as reading for pleasure, watching TV, or trying to get myself to bed), and I was unable to fully enjoy the activity. I think that is the feeling that neat-freaks talk about when they say they just can’t stand to be in a messy or cluttered environment. The problem for me is that while I feel that discomfort and discord, it’s not strong enough to motivate me to tidy up. It’s just strong enough for me to feel like I ought not be able to relax.

I have high hopes that before baby is born, I’ll be able to keep our home tidy (it’s MUCH tidier now than when Daniel was born), and that will do wonders for my ability to relax and feel like I accomplished whe I needed to in each day. Please, friends and family, feel free to ask about my progress and help keep me accountable. And if you want to stop by to help me get things in order, I’ll be sure to bake a fresh loaf of bread for you (I finally found a winning recipe…mmmmmm).

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Marta said,

    Hello Hanson Mom,

    I’m also 22 weeks and having tantrums and sleeping issues, you are not alone in this journey!

    I just saw that you were considering Hypnosis for childbirth, I did Hypnobabies ( http://www.hypnobabies.com) home cousre study with my previous pregnancy and love its so much that I just finish my instructor certification! The course was so complete and provide me the tools to have a great birthing time you also have the option of an actual live class if there is an instructor in your area. I can totally understand your concerns “I don’t want to set my standard so high that I am disappointed if I should feel pain, but I am learning just how powerful the mind is, and what it can achieve”
    When you are doing hypnosis you are in a very deep state of relaxation in which your mind is extremley suggestible and therefor you are able to reprogram your mind and create natural anesthesia. Hyppnobabies also teach you how to remain in deep hypnosis with your eyes open, this allows you to be aware and mobile during your birthing time, tool that I found very useful.
    If you are interested you can join the yahoo group, is a support group for expectant mother that are interested in or using hypnosis for childbirth. The group is free and the community is great and very helpful always willing to answer your questions.
    There is a website http://enjoybirth.com/ that have a great compilation of birth stories using hypnosis for childbirth.

    My birth experience was fantastic, easy and very fast birthing and my new mission is spread the word around that birth can be comfortable, easy and an enjoyable experience so other moms can benefit form this great tool!

    Enjoy your pregnancy!

  2. 2

    nanddhanson said,

    Thanks Marta for all the great information! I think I will join the Yahoo group, and go through the websites you suggested.

  3. 3

    Nathan said,

    pain-free childbirth (not to mention “enjoy childbirth”, sorry marta…) sounds like an oxy-moron to me…. but I think its worth a try! Learning deep relaxation and meditation is good for you anyway!
    With little D, maybe its good to start treating him a bit “independently”, getting him used to the idea that he’s no longer the absolute center focus. Maybe he’ll even enjoy some little-kid-responsibility…. teach him to change diapers, for example (ha ha ha) 😛

  4. 4

    Monique said,

    Nicole,
    I am so excited you have a blog now, I have been trying to reach you on my space, but my computer kept shutting it down. I loved catching up on all of your pregnancy progress, as well as all of the cute things Daniel is doing. Whenever you would like to get together and have a paydate we are ready. Hope to hear from you soon. Take care, and don’t worry about the housework it really is not that important!
    Monique


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