Monday, September 27, 2010

Prepared Childbirth

Over the weekend, B and I had another baby prep class. This one was ‘Lamaze’-based and focused on laboring and coping. We really had no idea what to expect. I half went in there thinking, Oh!em!gee! They’re going to make us sit on the floor, legs.wide.open. chanting, hee hee hoo... hee hee hoo...


You know, like you see in the movies.

Thank goodness I was wrong. It was so much better than I thought! There were only eight couples total and we snagged a spot on the hospital’s sorry excuse for a love seat. [I’m so glad I brought a pillow] Now, ever since grade school, my fear is THE ICE BREAKER! It makes me all anxious and nervous. But of course, what was the first thing we had to do? Introduce ourselves. Duh. We were also asked to share if we were team pink or team blue, and our baby’s name.

I quickly shot a glance at B and whispered: Do we tell? We haven’t told anyone. But I didn’t want to be that couple.

So, when it came to be our turn... we *gasp* told the class our daughter’s name! [Mom, if you’re reading this, please don’t kill me. iloveyou.] We figured no one in the room knows our family or friends, so we’re safe, right? It felt good to say it out loud. But don’t get too excited. Our lips are sealed...

I always hype myself up for introductions, when in reality, they’re never all.that.bad. Plus, when the instructor asked the class why we were here, guess who was the first person to volunteer and answer?? Yours truly. Come to think of it, I was also the first to break the ice at our marriage prep class, too. Weird, no?

Anyway, I digress...

The purpose of the class was to inform us of our options. And to prepare us through knowledge. We mostly learned about: false labor vs. real labor, how to deal with contractions, what to do if your water breaks at home, natural/induced/epidural/caesarean births, pushing, and what to expect right after the baby is born.

One thing this class did have in common with the movies was THE VIDEOS. Yes, the birthing videos... circa 1990. Something you should know about me is I’m a laugher. If someone is laughing, you can bet I am, too. [Even if nothing’s really all that funny.] And when you are watching a birthing video of a full-grown, full-term pregnant lady wearing floor-length overalls, there’s bound to be some giggles. Have you gotten a visual? And if the couple next to you is laughing, ohh it’s even worse.

Fortunately, the lights were off and I’ve become quite the expert in tongue-biting. [Having had a lot of practice in my life!] I was so close to losing it so many times though, that I actually had to stare at a space on the wall instead of watching the video.

Now, I know there are some ladies that are really curious as to what we learned, so here goes it...

Contractions
Labor at home as long as you can. CONSERVE ENERGY! REST!
Drink lots of H2O if you think you're in labor... it'll make false labor go away
Track contractions: 3-5 min apart for an hour... then go to hospital
Use breathing techniques (like hee hee hoo or whatever your preference) when you can no longer walk, talk, or laugh

Laboring
Pee every 30-60 minutes
Moving helps labor progress
When labor plateaus: change positions, drink, & pee
Squat on birthing ball--open legs and sway

Pushing
Take one cleansing (deep & slow) breath
Then one big inhale to push
Push from diaphragm down
Bear down for no more than 8 seconds
Get three pushes in per contraction

After baby is born!!!
Baby is usually alert for about an hour after birth
Skin-to-skin contact, a.s.a.p. to help regulate baby's temperature
Nursing within the first hour leads to better eating habits, long-term
It's safe to start tummy time in the hospital, and should continue this several times a day
Our instructor suggested letting the baby nap on her tummy once a day (supervised, of course!)

*****
We definitely received lots of useful information and I highly, highly, highly recommend attending a birthing/labor class if you're pregnant. I feel so much more confident and in control. Of course, my labor will be in God's hands, but at least I'm not completely.freaked.out. anymore. I don't do well with 'fear of the unknown' and now, I won't be shocked or thinking things like, whaatt? you have to deliver the placenta, too? AND you might poop during delivery?! No one tells you these things before you're pregnant, people. 
**I have a well-check up tomorrow, then on Thursday we have an 'Extra TLC' class where they're gonna go more in depth with breathing during labor--something I know I'll need help with!




6 comments:

  1. I'm glad the class wasn't like you see in the movies! Although I think I would be giggling the entire time too! yay for learning more and more about what's quickly approaching ;)

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  2. This is the first time I have read Labor Prep stuff since having Aidan. It's very surreal!

    I remember reading to find a focal point in the room to focus on while pushing. I remember thinking, "How in the world would that help?!" Looking back at labor, I totally did that without even knowing at the time. Haha!

    Glad you feel more prepared!

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  3. I absolutely can't stand "get to know each other" things either! The worst is when they make you do something really cheesey--like interview and introduce a partner or say your name and a food that begins with that letter! Ughhh... I loathe that crap!

    BUT-- it's great that you found a class you liked and got such good information!

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  4. All good advice :)

    I'd add to the baby on the belly part: Just keep a CLOSE eye on them the first few days. They can go downhill very quickly without realizing it in that position. Also if you lay baby down after a feed, turn their head to the side. I'm sure you knew that, but just saying! Even if they burp....they sometimes will throw up and you want it to come out the side of their mouth instead of back in their throat!

    Also may be a little TMI here but bring some of your own pads to the hospital for after birth. The ones at the hospital are really cheap. Haha. At least where I work. Remember: you dont want to be filling a pad an hour. Hopefully your nurse will remind you of all this when you get there.

    Peeing is SO very important during labor. Even AFTER birth. Decreases the chance of hemorrhage. Pee pee pee!

    Can you tell I love this area? Ha!

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  5. I didn't take a single class. Boo! I should have. Maybe I wouldn't have pushed for an hour and a half! I'm having fun reading everything you are learning.

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  6. WHAT?! You told the class Baby Girl's name?? I can't believe you told them, lol.

    That class sounds like it was informative.

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