Look into my eyes, not around my eyes… (part 1)
Yesterday I went for my first session of Hypnobirthing. (Stop sniggering! You at the back, I can see you).
This was both unusual and a first for me. The being a ‘first’ is self-explanatory the being usual for several reasons:
1)I’d never done it before (see ‘being a first’)
2)I’m somewhat sceptical about such things
3)I’m neither a woman nor pregnant
My wife satisfies both criteria stated in point 3 above and it was at her request I attended.
We went in to the ‘classroom’ where there were 2 other couples seating, quietly browsing the literature provided for the course.
It all looked very official, the room was laid out like oh-so-many small conference rooms throughout the world (lacking a water cooler though). A laptop and projector beamed a Powerpoint onto a too-small patch of wall at the far side of the room, with the plug-sockets interrupting the corner of the image.
Our teacher/tutor/course-leader/insert title here, a lady called Karen introduced herself and said that we’d not be hypnotised to believe we were chickens or that we were married to potted plants or things of that sort.
I considered leaving at this point, but thought that I’d be in trouble with the Mrs if I upped and went.
The explanation continued that the course was about being able to force onseself to relax (not sure that sounds correct or possible) during the labour and birth. A short video was shown of a Russian lady (also a midwife) giving birth in a transparent birthing pool with the greatest of ease. I’ve struggled harder on the toilet -if that’s not too much information. (Shame you can’t delete from your memory things you’ve read isn’t it?)
Anyway… The focus of the lesson was on relaxing by counting backwards from 5 and focusing attention on different zones of the body 5-head and neck 4-shoulders, arms and upper body 3-lower body (the important bit for pregnancy I guess) 2-upper legs 1-below the knees.
As previously stated, I’m somewhat sceptical about ‘alternative’ medicine (alternative meaning ‘made up’) but I do enjoy a good relax. After closing my eyes, breathing slowly, I began to feel more relaxed. It didn’t seem magical, but it did work. I was more comfortable, almost sleepy and drifting off into my imagination -this is not usually a relaxing place.
Karen had told us (in the way its always done, I imagine) to think of relaxing things, peace and tranquility. I think my subconscious has a more bizarre sense of humour than my conscious mind as I began to imagine a shed. I wanted to imagine the solitude of a mountain peak, or a faraway lake. Nope. Sheds was all I got.
Trying hard not to giggle, I decided to go with the flow and got into my imaginary garden tool store. This did the trick. Off I went deeper on flights of fancy. But my subconscious was determined to outdo me once again as I was transported into a world of election fever (possibly because of the hours I’ve spent reading manifestos, claims and counter-claims recently).
To recap, I am in a room with a 50% population of pregnant women. Another (non-pregnant) woman is instructing us all to chill-out. I imagine a shed for a while and then I get Nick Clegg and David Cameron -no Gordon Brown though.
The lesson ended shortly after this, after a 5-10 minute spell of desperate filler from Karen. (Being a teacher I can spot when someone is waiting for the bell). The lack of questioning from the audience had left a gap at the end of her lesson and as it cost us about £200 for the privilege of being there I guess she wanted to make it seem worth the cost.
I shall update this blog in a week or so after lesson 2