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.