Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Childbirth Class #2

Our second childbirth class left me with two lasting impressions...one, that childbirth relaxation and breathing techniques are way more work than they should be; and two, that childbirth is downright disturbing.

We finally got into the breathing and relaxation stuff last night, and seriously, it's not my thing. Maybe I will rethink that when I'm in the midst of labor, but honestly, if I don't like doing that stuff when I'm completely comfortable, am I really going to feel like doing it when I'm in pain (even if, in theory, it could help?)? First the instructor tried to get us to relax...laying down, breathing deeply, imagining ourselves on a beach somewhere...and just like when I've tried stuff like that in gym class yoga or some class that I can't remember back in school, I stunk at it. Having to think about my breathing and breathing through my nose when it's allergy season and I can't take any meds just didn't help. We got into some massage stuff and positions to help us get comfortable during contractions, and that was ok, but when it came to the breathing techniques, I rolled my eyes...a lot. Maybe they will work, but doing stuff like that when you're not in pain and can't really understand the benefit is really awkward. I have this feeling that instinct takes over anyway, and you just find the best way you can to deal with the pain. Suggestions are fine, but the thought of practicing this stuff just seems odd. I don't think it was just me, either.

The beginning of the class was spent watching the end of the video we started watching last week. The video had taken us through different stages of labor, and we stopped watching last week before the final stage and delivery. The instructor said she didn't want to overwhelm us in the first class, and now we know why. Remember how Craig doesn't want to watch the delivery from anywhere but up near my head so he didn't end up with any horrible images in his mind? Well, he still won't go anywhere near that end, but the images are probably already there. Yeah, we watched actual delivery footage. If you thought the scenes from Knocked Up were bad, that's nothing compared to what we saw. It's reminiscent of the episode of Friends when Rachel was pregnant and Chandler accidentally watched the tape of a friend of theirs giving birth, and was completely scarred by it. Even though we all know how babies are born going into this, actually seeing things stretch like that was pretty awful. I'm not sure what was worse, though...watching the birth or watching them deliver and sift through the placenta. We've all seen newborn babies, but I can't say I've ever seen a placenta...and yeah, it's pretty icky. I have no idea why anyone would really want to see that, though the mom in the video did. Speaking of the mom, why would anyone volunteer to have their delivery filmed for a documentary like that? I'm sorry, no one needs to see that area except for me, Craig, and medical personnel...certainly not tens of thousands of people who are inevitably going to be grossed out by it. And yet, there seemed to be many women in this video who were more than willing. On a smaller scale, I can't figure out why anyone would want to document that event for their home movie library. It's one thing to whip out the camera moments later, keep the mom shots above the waist and otherwise focus on the baby...but for those people who film the delivery, I'm sorry, that's just a little sick. I for one would not want to relive that...and if I don't want to relive it, who else is going to want to watch it? Some things should just stick to being memories, and childbirth appears to be one of them.

Next week we get into C-sections and drug options...that sounds much better, strangely.

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