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Anne's Pregnancy Journal

23 weeks 4 days
~ Exhaustion, HypnoBirthing, and vacation

We are currently packing for our last vacation together before baby. Weíre going to be camping in Yosemite over Labor Day weekend, and then heading to San Francisco for the Sierra Club Summit (first ever Ė cool!) So, today is crazy!

My friend Robin from Minnesota was visiting from last Thursday until Tuesday. He flew into town so we could go see Wayne Dyer speak at the PA Convention Center about inspiration. It was awesome. I have a book packed in my carryon that Dyer recommended to everyone. Of course, since itís already packed, and I have placenta brain, I canít tell you what it is. Go figure! Well, Iíll tell you about it when Iíve read it.

Anyway, I planned a pretty busy schedule of activities for Robinís visit, and found that most days, I could only muster the energy for a fraction of what was on the docket. We did Old City Philadelphia and got through the Independence Visitorsí Center, the Liberty Bell, and Congress Hall, and then I fuzzed out. The previous night we bailed on the fountain display at Longwood Gardens. Saturday, we arrived late to the Renaissance Faire and left before the final joust. Sunday, we rested. Monday we did historic New Castle, DE, which were mostly closed on Mondays anyway, wandered an hour or two, gave up on the heat, and headed home. Iím not thrilled about this. I really wasnít expecting the hit to my stamina. It has me a little apprehensive about Yosemite and San Francisco, but at least now I know to pace myself, REALLY slowly.

One of the cool things about this week was that we started our HypnoBirthing class. Yes, I am a HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator, but I need the option to be a student of it right now. Plus, I donít want to be the one teaching my husband. Dual roles often are sticky, and this is not the time to muddy those waters! (Speaking of muddy waters, I am saying prayers of gratitude over and over that our friends in New Orleans are safely with loved ones elsewhere.)

We actually had TWO classes this week, because with the holiday weekend and scheduling conflicts, we needed to make up our second class in advance, and the day after the first was the only time we could do it. Thanks, Beth, for accommodating us! It is so AWESOME to be a HypnoBirthing mom! I mean, I always fall in love with the families in the classes I teach, but being able to stand hip to hip with another mommy-to-be and compare bellies. Oh, boy, did I need that! Iím not saying itís easy to take off the teacher hat, believe me, itís not, but itís nice to get to experience it from the other chair, and to see my sweet husband participating like a champ (well, ok, I was a little annoyed with him, but not for any good reason.)

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Since we are having a crazy week, Iíll tell you more about HypnoBirthing over the coming weeks. Now is not the time for me to go into great detail! That said, HypnoBirthing is like water to this Fish. You see, the HypnoBirthing philosophy is that birth is a normal natural process, and that when a woman is properly prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually (if that applies for you, which it does for me) she is able to relax into the birthing process and experience the calm, beautiful, peaceful birthing nature intended, free from unnecessary discomfort (often entirely pain-free).

Our first class was all about demythologizing birth. In other words, getting rid of the notion that birth has to hurt. It doesnít. Really. Of course, if youíve never had the option to know how to do it otherwise, you donít have much choice about pain. HypnoBirthing is designed to break the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle so that mommies can relax, be comfortable, and have an easier time birthing their babies. Obviously the hundreds of women Iíve taught have sold me on the belief that it works. If I canít trust their peaceful birthing experiences, like Hedraís, then there isnít much left that I can trust.

Our second class was about learning how to relax deeply and use the various tools HypnoBirthing offers. There are four basic tools in HypnoBirthing: breathing, relaxation, visualization, and exercises. More on that next week. I need to get back to finishing packing! We have to leave for the airport at 4 am, and I donít want to be up all night like I usually am.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! Iíve got a 6-inch air mattress for camping, but the body pillow didnít fit in the luggage. I guess Iíll just have to use Matt instead!

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