Teaching HypnoBirthing classes for many years, I came across an interesting issue.
In my talking to men, I notice a hesitation, tentativeness in their HypnoBirthing practice. The partner to a pregnant woman in the HypnoBirthing couple, the father-to-be to their new baby, he still lives and operates in his mind as if he is just here for a temporary ride, and the birthing process is a woman’s problem. Most fathers-to-be have a hard time mentally scheduling classes into their work schedule and home practice of the exercises with their wives.
And it’s not their fault. Our society creates opportunities for emasculating men, and taking power away from them, eroding the initiative, the action, the masculine energy, which somehow gets transferred to women in large bulk. So what are men to do?
Usually I begin to meet with couples for classes in their second trimester. We begin our weekly classes, over a period of 5 weeks, the complete childbirth education, based on the book by Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing. The premise of the HypnoBirthing philosophy is to create a situation for the ideal birth come true, a practice of conditioning their body and mind that takes place over the next few weeks. Which means that an array of offered variety of breathing techniques, relaxations, meditative scripts, and visualizations are to be practiced together, dad reading to mom, and her experiencing them with her eyes closed. This advanced technology and the method of hypnosis, proved to be successful in preparing safe, comfortable, and calm birthing experiences for most couples who practice at home.
Occasionally, and lately much more often than I want to, I encounter a father-to-be who behaves as clueless. He is an embodiment of a boy who is caught playing and now is punished for being bad. Usually it is the woman who decides to have a natural birth, and calls for signing up for my HypnoBirthing class. Her man is just a follower. Are you that man?
Last night I saw a private client couple Lisa and Tom.* This was their third class out of five. Lisa leads with her questions in class, curious about how to make the birthing experience a success. Tom follows with offering a hesitant touch on her shoulder during practice of relaxation, seeming as if he is almost afraid to touch her. They find it difficult to schedule home practice of HypnoBirthing techniques they learned in previous classes. As I offer suggestions, he curls in. I ask why. He responds by expressing that he is not sure what she wants, and that he is afraid to ruin it for her.
“Let’s ask,” I offer. Lisa seems hesitant to express any of her wishes to Tom, probably, unknowingly so, cutting him out of knowing her be being silent about many things she wants.
I offer a perspective,” How about she wants you to be more assertive, and more leading. Almost like, hey, sit back, I will take care of your now.” I ask Lisa, “Is this what you want?” She nods.
I continued, “Hey, man, you are a father now. There is no turning back.”
He turned his head toward me and locked his gaze on my hands.
I said, “It’s all yours now!” I was looking directly at Tom, and he listened. He raised his gaze at me, as I continued.
“The responsibility and the desire to be there for her and for the baby is all yours now. So take it!”
“She is looking for a protector.
“No longer is she seeking just love, just sex, just cuddle.
“She wants to know that you can protect, deliver on the promise that you made a while ago, when you took her hand and put a ring in her finger.
“She is looking for a lover, who can be strong and willful, and who can provide shelter to protect her from the bad weather, in a primal sort of way,
“who can protect her from the hospital staff, intruding in her privacy during labor, and from a coercive doctor, who may trick her into allowing medication and leading to having a cesarian.
“She wants you to prove to her that you can navigate in the multitude of the breath variations and keep her focused on the positive during labor, and that you know the words of the meditations and relaxations so you can deliver an awesome relaxing experience to her when she needs it the most.
“She is secretly hoping that you can remember the visualizations of her ideal birth and that you can prompt her and keep her focused and relaxed, yet protect her from the outside, and be there for her, holding her hand steadily and firmly, yet, lovingly and intimately, and continue to whisper in her ear the words that inspire her.
“Besides that, she wants you to guess her wish for a glass of water, more music, or silence, a kiss, with continuity of your quiet confidence in your voice, a beacon constantly present for her, calling her attention, when she is in doubt.
“She wants you to be the man she married and the man she loves so much, who is with her through the turmoils of the uncertainty of the birthing of your first baby, because this baby is the highlight of the expression of your love for each other, and the proof that your connection is stronger than anything else.
“She wants you to tell her that she is doing great, even when she is weak, and with confidence and pride, be there for her, because you love her more than anything in the world.
I stopped there for a moment. I looked at Lisa and saw her eyes wide open looking at me, and there were tears in her eyes.
I asked her, “Is this what you want?” She nodded, and closed her eyes, putting her hand on Toms hand. “That would be great!” she said. “I know that you can do it!”
I suggested that they spend some time and discuss, when she expresses to him what she wants from him, helps him to help you, because he wants to help and he just doesn’t know how!
Some young couples do not have much awareness about each other. Knowing about the process of birth, a natural progression in a woman’s life, is not all they learn in the class of HypnoBirthing; there is much more that they learn in this class. New parents become aware of each other and how to be a loving husband and wife, and how to make the birthing experience a satisfying experience and the most fulfilling time in their life.
In HypnoBirthing classes with me couples learn
how to make it happen and how to have what you want.
How to be a man.
How to be a father.
What kind of father are you?
Take charge and initiate the home practice, the time together in preparation to your baby arrival, and if you haven’t already,
Join Morrin for the next HypnoBirhting class so you can see ways of helping your wife in this most important happening of your life.
Inquire if HypnoBirthing is for you here.
*Not their real names.