Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm not sure I needed to see that

We went to our first childbirth class last evening, and I have to say that I am a bit traumatized -- I'm not sure I needed to see the super up close video of the baby being born. I mean, that is a VERY large head coming out of what I assume was once a rather small hole. And there's goo and blood and all manner of painful grimacing and noises and the placenta is e-freaking-normous and yucky looking and....

Can you tell that I am in some amount of denial about how the baby gets from inside me to out in the world?

Can you also tell that I am going to ask for an epidural at my first opportunity?

Overall, though, class was pretty good. We opted to go for the "low threshold" class -- 3 nights of 2 hours each plus a hospital tour -- and this was a good first introduction, although I knew a lot already since I've read a couple of books about labor/ delivery (despite the fact that it was much more natural-childbirth focused than I am, I quite liked The Birth Partner. ) But I suspect that many of the things that seem so simple now are going to completely flee from our minds once labor actually arrives.

A couple of observations:
- My husband and I are like small children and kept giggling. At pretty much everything, to include the naked women grunting their way through childbirth. And at any mention of pee.
- We are not the oldest parents in NYC. That should not be a surprise, but it makes me feel good.
- I'm not actually that enormous, compared to the other women at the class. Again, made me feel good. Although 2 of 6 other women were teensy weensy. WhatEVS.
- The Boy's ability to focus and count breaths needs to improve: when asked "how many breaths in the last minute?" He shouldn't answer "ummm, 4 or 5?"
- Breathing exercises are funny when your eyes are open. Closing them relieves some embarrassment, but there was still a lot of giggling.

High point of the evening: after going over all the material, when the instructor asked another guy what to do if his wife was 32 weeks and having contractions every 5 minutes, and he said "I'd tell her to relax." (The correct answer is "call the doctor.") I was quite heartened to see that the Boy realized what a grave error this other father-to-be made and looked at me knowingly --he and I both know full well that I will remove his head from his body if he tells me to "just relax" when I am experiencing contractions with that regularity.

I'm going back to the OB tomorrow for another check-in. Le bebe was very much not head down last time, so I will be interested to see if it has flipped over. I think not, as I am feeling what I believe to be a very sharp shoulder above my navel, but we will see. I'm not worried about the breech thing yet -- still have time for flipping -- but for my own personal comfort I wouldn't mind a flip over (see comment about sharp shoulder).

It's all getting to be very real -- and I'm really getting very excited.


  1. Eric and I did our share of giggling too-- when most of the couples seemed to be involved in deep-empathy crap! Anyways, yeah, it is a bit scary, but I am hoping (like you) that an epidural will make it all right in the world...

  2. That is hilarious! I was chuckling through your post! Thanks. We did a natural child birth class, a few odd things I noticed. 1. Most of the women were obese. wierd. I would have thought they would be more hippy/healthy esque.
    2. I would be grossed out at the birth at the beginning of the 8 week class, by the end I was BAWLING at every video. Wierd. I'm back to gross now .

  3. Due to technical difficulties we were spared the gory video, just got some nice 1950s drawings that do nothing to flatter the female anatomy. I felt kind of bad for some of the guys in the room though who were clearly overwhelmed. Luckily Dh is a biologist too, so he at least feels obliged to pretend not to be overwhelmed with female anatomy.

    By the way, I'm out here in the San Fran area and I don't think I was the oldest mom in the room either. We are a growing trend!

    Too funny on the "just relax" comment! My Dh said that he wasn't worried about any of it, and doesn't feel obliged to learn much about "coaching" because I've done a lot of research and I'll know what to do. (Yeah, turn it into a compliment so that I have mixed emotions about getting mad at him over it.) I'm a bit worried about how this birth thing is going to go... are you going to get a doula?

  4. Uh oh! Is that reality peeking its head in? Maybe you can desensitize yourself by watching them over and over? Or, um, at least you'll be super distracted when it's your turn?

  5. I don't think "tell her to relax" would be the correct answer to anything happening with a pregnant lady. Just sayin'.

    We giggled thru much of the class too, but I think we are naturally snarky, so it was to be expected. Good luck at the OB visit!!

  6. It's funny, it sounds nearly like those films they used to show drivers' ed except that, naturally, THOSE were cautionary and this was meant to be informative. Glad you got to giggle your way through it, though I'm sure those images are not something you are soon to forget. Epidural = gift of modern medicine.

  7. i hope that stupid man's wife gave him a hard kick in the shins! "just relax" doesn't cut it. can we say IDIOT? i think we'd be the same and giggle our way through such a class as well. did i ever tell you my prediction that you're having a boy? let's see if i'm right :o)

  8. epidurals are not always wonderful. The "pain" and "grossness" can be manageable without medical intervention.