Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Would You Go With Me

Ok, so back to the subject of birthing. Aren't you excited we are still talking about this?? ;)

Thank you to those that recommended the HypnoBirthing book. I actually had the book and tapes sitting in my office because my sweet neighbor passed them on to me when she moved. I never thought to even look at them, but after you guys reminded me about them the other day I pulled them out.


The answer I've been looking for!

This may sound strange, but the philosophy just makes sense to me. I mean, I sit there and read and my head is screaming "yes, yes, YES!" This is what my heart has been trying to tell my head all this time!!!"

I know, I'm strange. My head talks to itself. Doesn't yours?

Anyway, I am pouring through the book and getting all excited. While reading, I could see myself having Kiddo all over again. And in all honesty, the time that I labored without the epidural was not painful. The only reason I got the epi was because the doctor told me they were going to break my water and start pitocin and all the negative, scary things my friends had told me about those two things got me scared. (the theory behind the Natural Birth experience is Fear=Tension=Pain. Without fear there is no tension and without tension there is no pain. Up until that point in my first labor, I had no fear of what my body was doing. There was no pain because I knew that God had designed all those organs and muscles to work the way they should. I didn't fight what was happening because I knew it was the perfect design.) They did the epi before I ever felt any pain; actually the epi was what really hurt - but I think I could have gone the last 3 cm without it. But I have said that before.

So, I am going to give this HypnoBirthing thing a shot. And as long as there are no complications with this birth, I have confidence I can do this without any drugs. How wonderful that will be!

I still wanted to throw out an idea or two about what I was hoping I could do before I go into labor though. Several of my friends have expressed interest in throwing me a shower for this baby. And though it is a wonderful, lovely, sweet gesture, there really isn't much we need for him; especially not things I would expect my friends to buy for me. Anyone want to shell out $250 for a breast pump?? Yeah, I didn't think so. ;) Anyway, a while back (like a year ago or so) I stumbled upon a wonderful blog called Oh The Joys. You will see her linked in my sidebar. Anyway, when Ms OTJ was preggo with her second baby her wonderful Hubby put together a little soiree for her and the baby. And it turned out to be one of the most meaningful things he could have done. He organized a Blessingway.

If you are not familiar with a Blessingway, initial research may make you tilt your head, wrinkle up your nose and say "huh?". But if you dig deeper, you will find that it a wonderful way to celebrate an upcoming birth and put some focused energy into the mother by giving her the strength and support she needs to get through the event of labor. Generally a Blessingway is a gathering of the mother's close women companions (this is not really the kind of thing Aunt Shirley would want to go to - no doilies or finger sandwiches will be present) and they come together to celebrate life and their support of the mom to be. Often the women will perform what I like to call "comfort rituals" by brushing and styling the mother's hair, or washing her feet (though, in my case no one is getting near my feet! lol!). Generally lights are low, music is soft and the women sit together sharing stories of how their relationship with the mom has influenced and enhanced their lives. They create things to represent blessings wished for the mom and the baby. It can be all out New Agey or just really mainstream and meaningful.

I really like the concept of Blessingways as opposed to a traditional baby shower, especially for second, third, etc. children. Because a lot of people find a shower for subsequent babies tacky, it is a nice way to still support and uplift the mother, while celebrating the new life growing in side her.

I would love to have a Blessingway. My vision of what I would like of course would not include circle time and ritualistic chants, but rather a gathering of important women in my life and a few choice tasks. One such task common in a traditional Blessingway is the making of a beaded necklace or bracelet. Each guest brings a hand selected bead that they want to represent a wish or blessing for the mother and child, and at the Blessingway each person speaks their wish to the mother and the bead is then strung to make the necklace. The mother can then hold or wear the necklace while in labor, as a reminder of all those thinking and praying for her at that time. Another activity involves looping a cord or string around the wrist of each person in attendance, signifying the joining of all together. After well wishes/prayers/blessings are given, the cord is then cut and each person wears their loop until the baby is born. I like that everyone would have a reminder of the event to happen and a symbol of their support on their wrist. Another activity involves writing blessings or well wishes on paper for the baby book or for the mother to read at the time of labor.

I have come to the realization that I am uplifted by just the mere knowledge that people are thinking of and/or praying for me. After all, that thought is what drives this blog. I live for comments and page hits - I'll admit that I thrive on attention. And I think that in my quest to have a good labor experience and focus my mind on the blessings that God has given me in my friends, family and in this new life, the Blessingway would be another source of strength to draw from. I think having a tangible symbol of the support of my girlfriends (like the necklace), many who have had their own labor experiences, would help me stay focused.

And, though I don't know if I would actually do this (although it does sound really appealing), Ms OTJ got her belly "tattooed" by a Mendhi artist, which resulted what I think is the coolest looking pregnant belly EVER! Check out her pictures at the bottom of the post - AWESOME! :)

So, as a friend, family member, or just random blog reader - would you come to such an event? Would you find it hokey or meaningful? Do you think it is a good way to celebrate a new baby, without all the traditional gift exchange and silly party games? I would love to know your thoughts.

*hint, hint* the comments link is right down below.... ;)

D :)


Julia said...

I would go to a Blessingway. It sounds so interesting. :)

I wanted to chime in on the Hypnobirthing. A teacher friend lent me this entire program after his wife had an unmedicated birth, and another friend lent me Hypnobabies. They are both similar, and I found that they helped me to labor for quite a long time without an epidural. Chloe was induced so I went about 9 hours on pitocin without an epi, and I was fine, even after they broke my water. What finally made me get the epi was frankly that I was just tired because I was stuck at 4 cm after 9 hrs of pitocin.

I wish you much luck with an unmedicated birth!

TitanKT said...

First of all... that IS the coolest pregnant belly pic I've ever seen and I would have LOVED to have seen the delivery nurses reaction, too. Awesome!

Second... I think a Blessingway is a fantastic idea. Love it. I couldn't come, but Dawn, if you have one, let me know because I will send you a blessed bead and written blessings for you and precious Port. I know I kinda came in in the middle here and we don't know each other in person, but I have come to care a lot so I would sure want to participate in absentia. (You will still have food, though, right? Because food is really important. *wink*)

I hope your delivery is everything you want it to be. Your commitment and organization here are inspired and very impressive.

I never had any pretentions to a drug free birth and I certainly didn't do this much pre-planning and thought. I had a high risk pregnancy (I have high blood pressure) and ended up having a c-section 3 weeks early because my doctor was afraid I'd abrupt. I also had intentions of breast-feeding and that sure didn't work out. All through all that I was just so grateful to have had a healthy baby that I didn't feel the need to question or analyze the process too much... but if I hadn't had a high risk pregnancy (and some other factors) I probably would have.

Mostly I just wish for you to have a GOOD experience this time, so I do sincerely hope it's what you want... and above all: a healthy, beautiful, fat little Buddha in your arms at the end of it all.

kimberly said...

I'm sooooooo glad that you decided to try HB!!! I will recommend HB any day to any woman. I highly recommend finding a teacher to at least talk to about this so that you can get a firm grasp at how it's done. I'd love to talk to you more about it if you'd like. Also I recommend Practice any time you can, it really helps to get into the zone when the time comes.
With the Blessingway, if that's really what you want then how can we give you anything else! I'd also suggest any of your blogger buddies to send in a bead if they'd like one to be added to your necklace! I'd be happy to take care of all of them until the time arrives to make the necklace. Just let me know!

jhjohnstone said...

Ditto everything TITANKT said word for word! I think a Blessingway sounds very interesting. I would love to participate in your Blessingway, although it would also be in absentia! And I truly hope you have the most amazing birth experience; you certainly deserve it.

I'm from the BBC Aug 2004 board. I do not know you in person either, but I love reading about your family and viewing your awesome photographs. You have the most amazing talent! I could just stare at your pictures all day.

I got henna tattoos on my hands and feet when I was an exchange student in Tunisia, Africa the summer before my senior year in high school. It was an awesome experience (although quite shocking for the folks back home!), and I highly recommend having your belly tattooed if you can. What a wonderful way to celebrate the coming birth! You'll treasure the experience and pictures forever.

Good luck Dawn, I'll be thinking about you these last few months.

Heather said...

You know I would come to your Blessingway :) I would be delighted.

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