Hi there! Hope you had a good weekend. Mine was pretty good, a nice blend of relaxation and work.
Yesterday Brian and I spend the entire day at a Childbirth Preparation class at the hospital where we will deliver our baby. Going into the class I was hoping that we would get a general overview of what will happen during labor and delivery as well as learn about all the options open to me as far as pain management goes. I also wanted Brian to learn how he can support me during labor and delivery. This class did not disappoint. Sure there were a lot of things that I already new but I also learned a lot too.
The women who taught the class had been teaching child birth class for 28 years and was a certified doula. She was SUPER upbeat and kept the presentation going. She had a couple power points but she didn’t ready EVERYTHING on them which always annoys me. We also got to see lots short video clips some animation and some live births. Even though it was 6 hours long I didn’t think it seemed very long (you might want to ask Brian what he thought ).
We covered the signs and stages of labor and when you should come to the hospital (something I didn’t know). We also got to tour the labor and delivery rooms and the postpartum rooms. I really liked this part. Can you believe that I have never spent any time in the hospital for medical reasons? Sure I’ve visited people in the hospital before and feel pretty comfortable with that but I have never been a patient. It was helpful to see where it will all take place.
We covered different methods of coping with pain including medical interventions but our instructor pointed out that a lot of the (painful) labor takes place before you even get to the hospital and it is important to learn how to deal with pain. One of the best parts was the discussion we had about the use of pain medications. We were shown a video where two women had very specific ideas about what type of labor and delivery they wanted to have and how they would utilize (or not utilize) the pain medications offered to them but both of them ended up having completely different births. We were given a sheet that gave us a scale of +10 to –10. +10 was wanting to feel nothing and having what ever type of pain medication it took to achieve that. –10 was absolutely no pain medication even in case of C-section. I decided I was a –3 or –5 meaning I would like to try for a natural birth BUT I also realize that I have NO idea how this is all going to go down. I don’t know how my body will feel or how long it will take. So I am staying open to options. It seems that it is very popular to go all natural these days but our instructor said you need to consider two things: 1. What’s safest for the baby and 2. What’s safest for the mom. Of course a natural birth is the safest for the baby BUT not if mom is so exhausted that it impedes delivery of the baby.
The best part by far was practicing relaxation techniques including massages from our husbands!
I know that I could read all the labor books and attend all the classes they offer but there is no way I will know for sure what this experience will be like for me. It’s not like going on a long training run where you get to test out what fuel works best for you or what types of clothes to wear but I feel that this was a good way to prepare for what could happen. I have confidence in my body, that it will know what to do and I know that Brian will be an AWESOME support person for me!
On a closing note our instructor told us that in the Hebrew language there are several words that mean pain and the one that refers to the pain of child birth literally means, “Pain with Purpose.” Even though I know that labor is going to maybe be a little scary and hurt like hell in the end I’ll have beautiful little boy to love. I am even more excited than before to hold him in my arms for the first time! It will be totally worth it this I know for sure!