All of the images in this post were captured and developed by the very talented and newest (to the area) Richmond, VA birth photographer of Focus on Joy Photography
I had never heard of HypnoBirthing until my midwife recommended it to me. At the time, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made regarding my pregnancy and birth. I began having minor contractions around 3:30-4:00am, and throughout the day ran errands to Walmart and Babies-R-Us, getting some last minute shopping done to prepare for baby. Through the contractions, I was able to stay calm and focused and really manage the pain with positive affirmations and the breathing techniques I had learned. As labor got more intense throughout the day, all of these breathing techniques and affirmations, along with specific positions I had learned, and focused thoughts, I was able to hold off on going to the birthing center and labor in the comfort of my home until 8:30pm. Once I arrived, my midwife did an exam and determined I was 6 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced!
Needless to say I was on lockdown at the birthing center until this baby was ready to meet the world. At this point, I had been having contractions lasting a minute each, every five minutes, for close to two hours. I won't say they were pain-free, because they were quite uncomfortable, but when I used the breathing techniques and positive affirmations to change my way of looking at the pain, it really helped to ease the discomfort and helped me see the pain with a beautiful purpose. I was in labor for 26 1/2 hours from start to finish. I labored both in and out of water, unmedicated, and the moments when I allowed myself to become distracted and didn't use my HypnoBirthing techniques, I could notice a definite increase in pain and resistance from my body as I let fear creep in. The HypnoBirthing was honestly life changing and allowed me to bring my son into this world with a lessened amount of pain and a whole lot of joy and peace of mind. To this day, I give credit to HypnoBirthing for not just getting me through labor and delivery, but for helping me to enjoy it.