Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Birthing 101

This past Saturday, Jacob and I went back to school to learn how to give birth...

Labor and delivery is a substantial topic, we gathered from the extensive class schedule and the fact that our class at the Transylvania Community Hospital started promptly at 8 and didn't let out until 4 p.m.

Clutching two pillows we were welcomed by Terri a wonderfully funny, bubbly and very knowledgeable maternity nurse, who is also the mother of three - we knew we were in good hands almost from the start. Joined by two other couples, who will give birth about 2 weeks before us, we wasted no time wading into an exploration of the many ways to safely deliver a healthy baby.

We learned many useful facts, saw a lot of new and helpful things and Jacob even excelled at demonstrating a proper birthing position himself (if there is back labor...he is ready)

We joked a lot, laughed a lot and I enjoyed how much at ease everyone was asking some potentially embarrassing questions without hesitation.
For example, according to Terri, nurses will applaud you if you poop during labor...that means you are pushing and bearing down properly...and farting...don't even worry about that now, because when the contractions come, you won't care ...she also regaled the guys with stories of testy women (during the second stage of labor that's almost inevitable) who tell their husbands and boyfriends to get lost ... and how they will have to pack hurt feelings away and patiently continue offering light massages, ice chips, encourragement etc.

Dads don't have it easy either nowadays. Gone are the days of nervous pacing by the coke machine.

We saw four different movies and by the end of it, not one of them too gory or graphic (the guys all enjoyed one that should have been titled "The projectile birth of a fourth child" but since we are all first-timers, that's an unlikely scenario for any of us.

We saw the birthing center (a separate wing of the hospital) and the actual labor suites, complete with big tubs, TV, and a sleeper seat for Dad. The rooms seem really small but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this small community hospital is very "en vogue" when it comes to walking, active un-medicated labor...they will let us roam, squat, get in the tub, shower, hop around on a medicine ball - whatever we want to do... I'm very excited about that since I hope to be pro-active in how I approach contractions and pain and how I deliver this Bean.

We both appreciated all the information - it really has eliminated whatever anxieties I harbored before - and I think it has made Jacob very comfortable with what's coming his way.

If you talk to him ask him about the mucus plug!

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