Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Birthing Class Part I

We went to our first birthing class on Monday (Ok, so I'm a little behind in my blogging).

This is a 4 week class. The letter we got said it was a 5 week class, but apparently the nurses teaching it have decided that we really only need to see one video of a birth instead of three. That can cut out one class.

There are about 15 couples in the class...one couple being from our Sunday School class, so we have friends there with us!! Actually, one of the couples is a young girl and her mom. I'm glad that her mom's there to go through this with her!

For the first half of the class, we listened to the nurse talk about anatomy and physiology terms. She did use lots of medical terms that I didn't really understand, but I think I figured them out from the context. She showed us, with a plastic replica of a pelvic collar and a baby doll, how the baby's supposed to come out. She did point out that the doll was not true to size. A real baby's head is much bigger. In fact, did you know that your head is 70% of its adult size at birth? Yikes! Anyway, she put that little doll head down in the pelvic replica and faced the doll toward the "mamma's" spine. That's how you're supposed to come out, folks. If baby's facing the front (anterior instead of the regular posterior) it's going to hurt a little more and cause some back labor. As she was talking about this and how the baby has to tuck its chin down and maneuver around the tailbone, I kept thinking to myself, "Don't pass out. Don't pass out."

My brain has a nice little block (that's apparently about to be shattered open!) on this whole birthing experience. I know that I'm currently pregnant (as is evidenced by the Little Pebble playing xylophone on my ribs at the moment) and I know that in February I'll get to hold my little baby. I just keep skipping over that middle part.

So, after the demo of a birth with wildly inaccurate props (and no sound effects!), the nurse showed us a poster of all the different breech positions. I, for the record, was born frank breech...and my mom did it without medication.

After the breech poster, it was time for a break. All the partners/coaches got mats for the pregnant ladies and all the pregnant ladies...well...went to the bathroom! I thought it was pretty funny to see 15 ladies all in the bathroom.

The second half of the class involved getting on the floor. Good grief...why make pregnant ladies get on the floor?!? We all introduced ourselves and there were only two of us that are going to be surprised by the gender. One other girl there has the same due date I do. All but one couple are due in January or February. One couple is due in 5 weeks!

After introductions, we did a few exercises. The nurse had us lay on our left side as that is quite comfortable and sometimes they'll have the mamma labor in that position. She then showed us the almost-on-the-tummy position...which is really on your left side with your right leg put in front of you. Apparently, this position can help to move a baby from front-facing (which=back labor pain) to back-facing. Then we did some pelvic tilts, sat up and sat cross-legged (TC called it criss-cross applesauce...I guess we can't call it indian style anymore?). Sitting cross-legged (the nurse had some medical term for it) stretches out those inner thigh muscles which apparently helps when you're in the birthing stirrups. And those birthing stirrups are different than the ones that you have to get situated in before your annual exam. Oh, and one more exercise...the Kegal. She told us that this can be done with or without facial movements and that the men could try it, too as it was good for their prostate.

After all that, the ladies were helped up by their coach and the class was over.

Next week's lesson: Pain Management techniques...both natural and medicated techniques. I'm actually a little interested in getting information on an epidural as the concept as I understand it scares the heebie-jeebies outta me! I mean, come on, a needle in your spinal cord? Yikes! I purposely haven't googled epidural because I don't want to read horror stories (so if you have one, please keep it to yourself). And I know that the contractions are going to hurt...they hurt like heck when I was miscarrying last December...and the embryo was only 10 weeks. I can only imagine at full-term baby! I like to be informed and I know next week's class will get me on the right path to more information.

3 comments:

Jen said...

I went into my labor with a 'we'll see if I can handle it' attitude. I got the epidural...it is the best invention EVER!

^starshine said...

Yeah, criss cross applesauce is now the term.

What's a needle in your spine when there is a huge head coming out of your (we interrup this comment for these messages.) :)

Sarah, Cayley and Maddie said...

Try not to worry too much about labor. Billions of women have gone through it and you'll be able to make it through just fine too. I ended up getting the epidural with Cayley not so much because my level of discomfort at the time, but because I was so anxious about not being able to handle what was to come. And I was terrified of the idea of an epidural too, but it really wasn't bad at all. I was so nervous I didn't move at all as the got ready to do it, and that helped them get it in quickly and perfectly--I just felt a tiny little poke and afterwords I was finally able to relax, and the remainder of my labor progessed and quickly and easily. Whatever pain management technique you go with, you'll do fine!