Saturday, January 16, 2010

Birthing Class = CHECK!

Whew! I'm glad we got that out of the way! We spent nearly 7 hours today taking a general labor and birth class at Mount Carmel. The instructor went through just about everything one needs to know about the labor and birth process.

The class was pretty interesting and definitely not boring. I can't say I really learned anything new, but it was reassuring to know that I already know what I need to know. Does that even make sense? I hope you understand what I'm getting at. I think Mark learned a few things and probably feels a little bit more comfortable with what to expect and that sort of thing. The instructor did give the support people a lot of hints, which pretty much were along the lines of stay out of a laboring mother's face and don't take snippyness or criticism personally. Really though, I think it was a good thing for the guys to hear about the process and what the mothers are going to be experiencing.

Something that was of interest to me was the information discussed about non-medicated birth. I've read a lot about medications for labor as well as techniques to help a non-medicated labor and birth. I'm still not quite certain what I'm planning to do. Honestly it depends on the day and sometimes the minute. What will likely happen is I'll just play it by ear and put off medication as long as possible to allow my labor to progress naturally for as long as possible, but I seriously doubt I'm going to be able to go without an epidural. It's just such an unknown experience to me and knowing that the option is right there, all I have to do is ask, is going to be very hard to ignore.

The instructor gave information on various labor positions and we got a chance to try a birthing ball, which I really liked. I scare Mark though because he thinks that my unbalanced, klutzy self is going to fall off, which is very likely. He'll have to spot me while I'm on it. For my labor I'll probably utilize the birthing ball, (hopefully, if we can get a room with it) jacuzzi, and massage courtesy of Mark. Massage was also something we practiced today. She provided us with one of those little massage thingers and we'll definitely need a couple of these to save Mark's hands! Looks like this:

We also discussed and practiced some breathing techniques to help us to relax and focus through the contractions. I'm not sure if it'll be helpful or not during labor, but between a full tummy, back massage, and slow breathing I was ready for a nap during class!

Now, we just have to find a pediatrician and have the shower(s) and then Jack is welcome to come at any time!

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