Richard's Birth at Embrace Birth Center in Richmond, VA
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.