Today I am posting one from our archives. Felice wrote this about a year ago and I loved it so much. I think that the turtle neck analogy is a great one and I know that it has given me a lot of peace as I’ve birthed my babies. It also a great analogy to explain why it is so good to keep your bag of water in tact as long as possible. When your baby is “floating” in a cushion of water it makes it so much easier to help him maneuver his head into the right position. If your bag of water gets broken prematurely the baby’s head can sometimes get “stuck” in a difficult position and  without the buoyancy help of the bag of waters it can sometimes be really hard to get babies to move their heads into the best position. I always tell my doula clients to not get their water broken early on   because they  never know what position the baby will decided to put his head. And  just like it is MUCH easier to put a turtle neck on if you put the pointiest part of of your head in first, instead of say trying to put it on face first (go ahead try it, it is hard!)  it is much easier for a baby to be born if the pointiest part of their head comes first.  (Though my friend did have a vaginal birth where her baby came face first!)  So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I really love the turtle neck analogy for many reasons and wanted to share it again.

And now, the post:

When I did my pregnancy yoga teacher’s training, one of the teachers told us, “sometimes, you only get one shot at them.” Meaning, sometimes they only come to your class once and you never see them again. But you never know what you are going to say or do that might effect their birth. It was a lesson to listen to those intuitive hits we get.

Well here’s my best one shot wonder story yet. I teach pregnancy yoga once a week at the YMCA. The boot camp teacher, who was pregnant, who has never been able to make it to my class, came up to me one day in mild alarm. Her first birth was a C-section and she really wanted a VBAC.

“I’m getting nervous about the birth,” she said. “Can you hypnotize me right now to feel no pain?”

“Well, I teach class in 5 minutes….”

“Come on. Can’t you just zap me.”

“You’ll be fine.” (Reassuring tones) “Just picture your cervix as a turtleneck sweater. It looks like it will never fit over your child’s head, but it does. It stretches easily and effortlessly.”

“Ha. A turtleneck sweater. Hey that’s a good one…”

A few months later, she shows up back at work with a little baby and tells me that the turtleneck sweater metaphor is what got her through pushing. I had totally forgotten by then.

She said, her husband, an anesthesiology resident, would like to thank me.

You are very welcome.

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