Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Adventures in Childbearing

Last night Gregg and I attended our first childbirth class at the medical center. There were at least ten other couples who joined us. Sad to say, but the married women were definitely in the minority. There were two ladies who were at least engaged, but the rest were young women who brought their moms with them. Nearly all of us said in our introductions that we're having boys! After class, Gregg chuckled that "Bubba" is going to have a lot of competition for girls. The class was pretty much split between those due in July and those due in August. Mine was the latest due date out of everybody by one day.

We learned about the different phases of labor, birthing positions, and relaxation techniques. We were given a visual of how much your cervix actually dilates before you can begin pushing. If I had any questions before about just how big 10cm is, I certainly don't now! Yikes. The instructor showed the men and moms how to massage their partners, and Gregg was really good at it.

We concluded the class with a video about labor and delivery. It wasn't the stereotypical, cheesy film I'd remembered from junior high health class, thankfully. It was like a slightly more graphic Baby Story, which featured three vignettes of women giving birth. I can say that after watching it, I feel less excited now about going into labor. I do however, have a greater understanding of how difficult and intense it is, but I feel confident I can get through it with the help of my husband, my doctor, and the epidural if need be. Call me crazy, but I think I actually want to have a natural childbirth. I'm not ruling out pain medications if things get really unbearable, but I at least want to give it a shot.

I'm starting to realize that I just can't do certain things anymore without feeling uncomfortable. Being in my seventh month, standing for more than an hour gives me back pain and climbing the stairs to our second floor leaves me winded. I have to remember that I'm strapping on about twenty extra pounds around my middle these days, and need to take it easy. I look at pictures of myself pre-preggo, and I'm amazed that I ever had such a tiny waist and tummy. Now I can barely see my feet! Speaking of feet, I noticed them starting to get a little puffy. Oh the joys of pregnancy.


audreybreier said...

I remember our childbirth class video...it was definitely an eye opener! But, don't worry, you'll do fine! I can say it's not that bad because I had an epidural as soon as I got to the hospital (and I had just been induced so I only felt maybe 2 contractions), but you'll do fine! I sometimes think I'd like to go natural, but I really was thankful for my epidural with Cade...I was really able to enjoy my labor/delivery, so I have a feeling I'll end up with the epidural again this time!

LCP said...

Those classes are so much fun. Go for the natural childbirth, it is great that you know there are other options too. That was my plan...I really thought I could be au natural...but after hours of contractions and being exhuasted, it helped to get an epidural and some pain meds. Sped things along for me and I might just decide to so it again this time.