April 29, 2011

All Day Birthing Class

I'm not sure what exactly I was thinking when I choose a all-in-one-day Birthing Class over the normal four weeks of one 2-hour class/week but alas we survived and I'm here to tell you about it.

At first I was on the fence if I wanted to take one of these classes although I'm not sure why, now I'm so glad we did!

Bright and early a few Saturdays ago V and I headed off to class with two pillows in hand.  Where we live there is one (count that: ONE) hospital to deliver your baby, the other hospital doesn't do births and there is no certified birthing center here...so not a lot of options when it comes to "where will you deliver your baby". 

We arrived to a big room full of women with full round bellies and husbands who were unsure of what to expect, I would say at least 15 couples all of whom where having their first child (all single baby pregnancies and only one couple didn't know baby's gender).  I'll save you the minute-by-minute/play-by-play and say that I loved the class, as did V.  It was sweet to see V so excited, taking a few notes and being wide-eyed during some of the videos (and yes grossed out at others). 

We learned the entire spectrum of pain management options, from "comfort techniques" to the full on epidural.  We learned about different types of births from natural, un-medicated, medicated to c-section which I'm glad about!  The last thing I want to is end up having to have a c-section and being uneducated on what the entails.  We also learned and practiced different positions to push in, a room full of women laying on the floor (some with legs in the air) it was quite the sight to see!  This was super informative to me, I thought our hospital would be old-school and rigid about "lay on your back and push" but it's not!  Yay!  It was interesting to see what was comfortable for my body!  I loved how involved V was, happily practicing the massage and other comfort techniques.  At one point we (the women) were handed a bad of ice and asked to practice what comfort techniques seemed best to us for 30 seconds (by the end of that 30 seconds the ice HURT!) then we did it again with the help of the men (using massage, encouraging words etc) unknowingly for 90 seconds, to most of our surprise the 90 seconds left shorter and the pain of the cold nice in our hands not so bad!! Neat! 

There was a lot of discussion and three videos and I enjoyed it all, as did V.  At the very end we got to tour the maternity ward, I got all sappy and teary-eyed knowing this would be the place our child comes into the world shortly. (As I get teary now).  It was very comforting to get to know the rooms, the options and see some of the staff.  I even noticed my Dr was on call that day which is silly but it made me happy.

I bet you're wondering if I have a "birthing plan" like so many do these days.  The short answer is no.  I've never been in labor, I have no idea what it will be like or what I can/can't handle so I don't feel like planning that is realistic.  Do I have preferences?  You bet your sweet toushie! V and I have discussed my preferances at length and I'll write the most important ones down (and yes bring them to the hospital).  The best I can do is be open-minded and have goals, my ultimate goal being to avoid a c-section unless absolutley medically necessage.  But in the end the most important thing is that baby boy and I are healthy and safe, period.

Next up, breastfeeding class.  Like my birth-plan (or lack thereof) I hope to be able to breastfeed little guy.  I'll do my best and hope for the best and thus want to take a class in hopes of increasing my odds but if it doesn't work out that is ok too.  I think society and women put way too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to birth and breastfeeding etc.  All we can do is try and I'll do my best.

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