P and I just went to the hospital for the Birthing Prep Class. You know, the class where they talk about labor and delivery and show you that frightening video of a baby coming out of a woman's hooha. I especially loved how they showed it right before lunch.
I know I'm only 24 weeks and I was afraid that I might have the smallest bump in the class (which I didn't). But I am soooooo glad I took it early!! The nurse talked about a lot of good stuff. The kind of stuff you think you know or read about, but actually makes more sense when someone is telling you the same thing in person. I know much more about the different drugs they offer you and when and why they administer them. And strangely, I'm not so enthusiastic about the epidural anymore. I'm not afraid of needles and I'm not concerned about it being harmful to the baby. It's all safe. But what really bothered me was when the nurse said it would SLOW the whole labor process down. WHAT?! Slow it down?! You see, the epidural numbs you....YAY!! But it also numbs all the sensations that would naturally cause you to push and progress the labor...BOO! So, it's a give-and-take situation. Knowing myself, I would probably trade the extra laboring for the lack of pain. Hey! Don't judge me!
We also learned all some breathing techniques and massage positions for those intense contractions. Here's why I'm glad we took the class early. Labor is a workout!!! I'm not talking about the pushing for hours and hours part. I'm talking about the squatting and strange positions you do before you ever start pushing. In early labor, you take a walk...soak in a warm bath...maintain the excitement of meeting Baby finally. But in active labor...key word being "active", you are HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HAWWing and HOO-HOO-HOO- HOOing and bending over and sumo squatting for every contraction. This is if you have not dilated to the size of grapefruit and you have not had your epidural yet. You could be doing this crazy song and dance for HOURS!!! before you push. Meanwhile, P is supposed to be doing all this with me...AND massaging my back and pelvis! The nurse made if very clear that these techniques were meant to "distract" you from contractions, not "relieve" them. Great. We were both exhausted after the class. I was actually laying down on my side on the mat...ready to pass out. So it's weights for P and lunges for me! And to think, there were women in that class delivering this weekend!! Good luck, honey.
Don't get me wrong. The class was really actually a lot of fun. I loved hearing the man next to us gasp with each shocking piece of information and his wife giggle with embarrassment. The nurse was really enthusiastic and optimistic, reassuring us of all the measures that are taken to make mommy and baby happy and healthy. But I think my favorite part was how much fun you have with your partner. It truly is a time for you and your baby daddy to bond. P was reading all the material and putting complete effort into all the exercises and really just made me feel so much more confident about the whole thing. We weren't just doing the motions like some of the yahoos in the class. We wanted to get it right the first time which is probably why were so pooped towards the end.
I'm glad we took the class and I'm super glad we took it earlier than normal. It gives us that much more time to prep our bodies. Now where is that dang yoga mat!?!?!