Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's talk about our feelings

John and I had our 1st birthing class this past Monday night at the hospital. This is 4-part class on Monday evenings, and each one is 3 hours long. Of course John has grumbled a little bit about what these classes were going entail... "this is going to be a bunch of douche bags, crying and holding hands talking about feelings." Such a tough man he his, right. I was arguing that these classes are meant to educate you on the birth process and are not at all going to be some "baby kumbaya session." Then prior to the class he read on the class description that you're supposed to bring 2 pillows and a blanket, of course his response was "Great, so you're going to be rolling around on the ground groaning with pillows." Groaning? Why would I be groaning...I'm not having the baby in the class.

So miracle enough, we make it to the class and shortly after in rolls our teacher for the evening, Sue. In addition to being a class instructor, Sue is also a doula at the hospital (of course once she tells us this John is whispering to me "Boulder hippie" under his breath). I hate to admit it, but I think he was right. True to form, Sue lit up like a Christmas tree when she found out one of the women in the class worked at Whole Foods, and her seat of choice to teach the glass was an exercise ball (or birthing ball as they are referred to in class).

So, Ms. Sue started the class with a list of questions for each of us to write our answers on papers including things like...Who are your parenting role model's? What are you hopes and dreams for the baby? What are your concerns for the birth? What qualities do you and your partner have to be good parents? Crap Sue, way to hang me out to dry.... here we are 5 minutes into the class and you've got us doing "feeling questions." Of course this led to discussions with the group about our answers  (I might add that John decided to just not answer some questions, instead he just re-wrote the question down on his paper. Typical, nothing has changed since college). This activity was followed up with some break out sessions between the husbands and wives where we each made lists of concerns about the birth/process.... the men were then asked to have someone present their list of concerns outloud, and shockingly enough yours truly, John was the scribe and presenter for the boys. While it was somewhat nice to hear that the boys were all concerned with our safety, pain through this process and being about to support us somehow, it certainly wasn't making me feel more prepared to push this baby out.

I kept waiting for us to get into the real material of the class... by 9pm (class was scheduled till 9:30) I realized it wasn't happening this week. Sue could talk and did she ever, she gave her opinion and thoughts on each topic/concern/feeling mentioned through evening - she talked so much we didn't have time to watch the video they apparently show the first evening. And much to my disappointment we never used the pillows either.  Instead Sue wanted to rock around on her exercise ball and talk about our feelings instead of getting into the meat of it. Great. I will say that she did spend the last 30 minutes discussing effacement, dilation and the different between a natural birth and one with an epidural. Sue had a little plastic "toy" (if you will) of a dilating you know what that she used to show us each phase of labor. As I sat in the class I realized that I was the ONLY woman in there who was not planning/hoping to do this el natural. Frankly after hearing Sue's description I am baffled as to why anyone could leave there thinking natural was really better. What I heard Sue tell us is that the last 3 cm's of dilation are awful. Really, really awful. If you have some drugs it's better. I equate this with climbing a fourteener or taking the gondola to the top... either way you're going to summit, and after doing my handful of fourteeners (and crying for the last 40 minutes of them with John convincing me I can do it while I scream that I hate 14ers and want off the mountain) I know which one is more appealing. I'll be taking the gondola through this labor, I think it's best for all of us. Boulder hippies feel free to judge, that means you too Sue.

So, as we wrapped up the class I realized that John might have been right on this one. Next week better be better. We were barely in the car before John started ranting that we were one step away from all holding hands and doing a human Caterpillar with everyone in the class. He also really enjoyed the discussion about dilation...In fact I think his comment on that was "I am not sitting through another education on the size of lady parts. Remember sex-ed class? All the boys went into one room and the girls went in another, why is this any different?" We pretty much laughed the entire ride home. Did we learn a lot? No. Did it provide some entertainment for us and a few laughs? Yes.

I know you will all be disappointed to hear that will we have a different instructor next week. Sue was just filling in because she LOVES talking about this so, so, so much. See ya next Monday Birthing Class.... To be continued...

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