When Sabrina and I decided we would attempt natural childbirth, or at least as natural as possible, depending on conditions, our next big task was to research what we had to do to make that happen. There were thousands of possibilities, but the major/best recommended ones came down to “get an epidural”, “Lamaze”, and “The Bradley Method”.
Epidural was ruled out quickly as a last resort, as a) it’s not technically natural, and b)the statistics show having one makes it *much* more likely you’ll end up having a c-section, which would defeat the entire purpose of ‘natural’ childbirth! Lamaze seemed completely ridiculous, with lots of goofy-sounding breathing techniques that would make yoga instructors say “Really?!?!? That’s a bit much, isn’t it?”, and also very complex, with lots of things for both mother and coach to memorize. The Bradley Method, on the other hand, was well recommended like Lamaze, but every comment/review remarked on how simple and easy to understand it was. So, we bought some books.
After doing our reading, we realized that more or less, all the Bradley method is, is a guided meditation technique to train (and coach) the mother to relax during extreme pain, which decreases the energy they use and distracts their attention from the pain itself. We already *do* guided meditation with each other, and do so, frankly, much more sophisticatedly than the Bradley Method does. So, we ditched the classes and created our own personalized guided meditation/visualization, throwing in a couple of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques I’ve picked up here and there to make it a bit faster.
Apparently we were super-stars. During labor, every hour or so, a nurse or midwife would stop in just to tell us ‘what a good team’ we were, and how amazingly calm and strong both mother and baby were. The staff repeatedly dragged in younger ones and “in-training” ones. They talked in hushed tones, but of course that made daddy nervous, so he listened to their conversations. They were ordering them to watch and listen to what we were doing, as they (literal quote) “were seeing the best possible scenario for a coached birth”.
So thanks Dr. Bradley, for providing us with a legitimate-sounding name for making up our own super-star birthing technique!
Now, if only we had a clue what to *do* with a baby, now that he’s here…