The real truth is none of us own a crystal ball or a time machine so predicting how your baby's birth will be for real just isn't possible. So you end up perceiving a birth experience that's unhelpful, filling you with anxiety when you should be looking forward to meeting your baby for the first time.
Looking back at my article as I have done so many times (in embarrassment and regret) since it has been published, I realise that I felt like I had some kind of sense of entitlement as I lay shouting in that hospital. Yes I was in agony. Yes I was scared. But what about the emergencies that were being dealt with whilst this was happening?
As my youngest daughter approaches her eighth week on this earth and I feel as if the waves of hormonal emotions are levelling out, I've been enjoying taking the time to reflect on all that Aluna Grace's birth brought earth-side. It's really quite amazing when I think about it....Ooh, there go the tear ducts...again....
I'm sure you have a knowing grin on your face already having just read the title of this piece. What is with the Hollywood portrayal of birth? I mean lets face it, there's not a lot of glamour involved. I thought I would look at some common movie-birth themes, and compare them with a dash of reality.
Someone has just handed you one of your internal organs and helpfully informed you that it is now your sole responsibility to keep this organ alive and breathing. Yes, you. You who have just recovered from major surgery/had twenty nine stitches in a delicate part of your anatomy. Good luck with that!
There was a loud sigh, the sound of snoring and then a sudden jolt as he jumped, waking himself and his wife up. Yes, the other evening it was another dad who fell asleep first during the relaxation session at the end of one of our Wise Hippo hypnobirthing classes. And you know what? It's so often the way!
Mainstream media were quick to focus on the proposal that women should have a £3000 budget and a choice of birth places and carers. The Times describes this as women being "handed £3000 by the NHS," a scenario which seems as unlikely as its tone seems dismissive of women's abilities to think straight if presented with such quantities of money.
Many people told me their horror stories of birth. Many people rolled their eyes or laughed at me when I said I wanted a homebirth for my first baby. Many people told me I was being naieve or foolish. And many people close to me thought I wouldn't be able to do it: that I wouldn't stay at home the whole time, not for my first baby, or that I wouldn't cope without strong pain relief.
Fear can hold us back in all aspects of our lives and childbirth is no different. If you expect a difficult birth, you're much more likely to get one. If you are positive and have the right tools to help you cope, you're much more likely to have a good experience. In a nutshell, that's what hypnobirthing is all about.