Yesterday I was sat in my NCT group for a two hour session on pain relief and intervention during labour. I have to admit that all the medical interventions and pain reduction methods they were talking about made me literally wince.
I am the only one out of the 8 ladies in the group that is hoping for a home birth, and intriguingly people keep suggesting that it’s a brave choice. The truth of the matter is that I have this preference for the exact opposite of bravery. I am hoping for a home birth because the thought of medical intervention terrifies me. Even gas and air or a tens machine make me nervous. I am so afraid to not be in control of my mind and body that I have opted to be at home so that their mere presence can’t raise my anxiety levels.
When we moved on from talking about epidurals and pethidine we began to talk about water, massage and relaxation techniques. Suddenly I felt less like I was going to faint and fall off my chair and more like I was once again excited about childbirth.
Music is well known to be useful to help relax you in labour and depending on the type of music and how it makes you feel it can also help alter your hormone levels. It is so much part of common knowledge now that birthing centres have an Ipod docking station in most rooms and labour playlists are all the rage, however try as I did I couldn’t find anything online about how playing a musical instrument in early labour affects child birth.
I have for many years now had an interesting relationship with anxiety. I have never been someone who can just zen out at the sniff of a joss stick despite the yearn to and many attempts. Over the years I have observed the only times I am truly relaxed mentally is when walking, listening to music or playing my harp.
Playing my harp is my form of mediation, it makes me feel relaxed yet alert, and deeply connected to my emotions and the bit inside me that I cannot express in any other way. I truly understand why people say that music is the voice if the soul.
So when I left me NCT class at 10pm, weary at the thought of all the possible outcomes that lay ahead for my childbirth, I had this strong feeling that as long as I could have my husband and my harp with me I think I could keep my cool even if I did end up in hospital, although I may be the most eccentric patient they have seen in a while.