Funny what you forget
Funny what you forget isn’t it? I was reading Mind the Baby’s post tonight where she was talking about just how long 90 seconds is…when it comes to labour. Her post reminded me about one of the most physical ways I prepared for labour.
But I’ve never really written about one aspect of Gentlebirth that I found quite difficult. It relies heavily on visualization techniques. And I’m not very good at visualization. (Just ask me to describe someone I’ve just met, and I doubt I’ll be able to picture what they look like to recall them in detail for you. ) I tend to think in words, not in pictures, and so visualizing colours of the rainbow, or flowers in a field was more difficult than you might think for me. I had to do a Google search to pick out a few rainbow images that I liked (and to get a clear picture in my mind of the difference between indigo and violet!) before I could really start to relax listening to the CDs.
But one of the things that had been recommended to us during the Gentlebirth class was to use our own visualization techniques. Almost by accident, I managed to create a very strong image for myself – well it was more memory than image in the end. I figured if I can’t imagine something to visualize, then I can physically do something so often instead that it’s seared into my brain so I can call on the imagery whenever I need.So that’s what I did. It used to take me about a minute to swim a length of the pool (yes I’m slow!). And I knew that a contraction lasts about a minute. So I used that to my advantage. As I swam I would remind myself that I could keep up this swimming for a minute and then have a rest before I’d have to go again. Over and over I did it during my pregnancy. Keep going, keep going, nearly there, you can do it, REST!
And when I went into labour, that swimming pool image popped into my head several times over the course of the night. I’m sure it had a really positive impact on my thought process that night. Every contraction was just one minute I had to get through until I could relax.
The mind really is amazing in what it can help you achieve. I’m curious to know if any of you had a particular image that helped relax you or helped you cope during labour. Did you practice visualizing it in advance or did it just come to you on the day?