Thursday, April 7, 2011

Labor Superstar, That Is What You Are

Our first Childbirth class was Tuesday night. I have heard great things about different methods of childbirth like Bradley and Hypnobabies but we don't have those kinds of options up here. What we have is a basic 6-week class taught by a nurse from the Labor & Delivery unit at our hospital. I know that labor is not something I can plan or control but it's not like we have anything else to do. And I'll be more comfortable going into labor knowing what my options are.

It started off just like in the movies. We filled out a name tag to clip to our shirts then we went around the circle and introduced ourselves to the group. I kind of felt inadequate when the first couple spoke. "My husband's a lawyer and I work in child behavior and development." But the second couple made me feel a lot better. Her perky voice could cheer up Ebenezer Scrooge. "My husband works at the hospital in General Surgery and I'm a yoga instructor!" Seriously.

Then we split into two groups for a game of trivia. Name as many physical signs of impending labor as you can in one minute. Brian starts spewing things off faster than they can be written down. Back pain! Nesting! Flu-like symptoms! We started off the round up by one.

Next question: What percentage of babies are born on their due date? Everyone stared at each other blankly. Someone said 20. I had no idea. Brian said it was 5%. And the answer? 5%! How did he know that?

Then, when asked when it was generally time to head for the hospital Brian said, "When contractions last 60 seconds and are 5 minutes apart!" I was so proud of my husband. Everyone in our group won a Snickers bar thanks to my labor superstar!

The two perfect couples were on the other team.

Disclaimer: I don't mean to sound like I have anything against them. I actually know 2 perfect couples myself (I'm sure they know who they are) and I don't be hatin.

After the trivia game the instructor dimmed the lights, put some lullabies on the boom box and had us moms lie down on pillows and mats to practice relaxation techniques while the "partners" massaged our hands with lavender lotion. It was kind of creepy and I don't believe I'm going to give a crap about a relaxation technique when I'm in labor since my fake contractions have been painful enough to bring me to tears. (BTW, I found out those weren't Braxton Hicks. They were episodes of uterine irritability brought on by dehydration. Totally my fault and totally preventable so they won't be happening again).

It ended up being a fun night out for us and I'm looking forward to next week. She told us to wear comfy clothes because we'll be trying out the birthing ball and birthing peanut. I don't even know what a birthing peanut is. I'll have to ask Brian.


Gen said...

Glad your first class was a success!!!! Looking forward to finding out what a birthing peanut is too! Those perfect couples are usually far from it. I think i want to get into acupuncture!!!!!

Susan said...

Caring about relaxation is exactly how to manage the contractions so they don;t hurt so much honey - that is the point. You need to learn conditioned response relaxation - trust me - ot will make it all go much more smoothly.

Susan said...

Oh - and Brian sounds amazing! You should keep him!