Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Much better!

Last night's child birth class surprised me...it was actually good! As I had mentioned, we were a tad nervous about the whole thing, and to be fair, we didn't actually do any breathing stuff this time around. We will eventually, and that will continue to make me a little apprehensive, but for now, I'm ok. The other couples in the class were (finally) normal. Everyone seemed to be approximately our age, and no one seemed particularly odd. There didn't seem to be the hyper-researchers or anyone whose appearance would throw you off. All of the other seven couples looked and acted pretty much like us. Whew. We didn't get into much socializing, but there's still three more weeks for that. The weirdest thing about anyone there was that there were two couples that were on baby #2, and in both cases, baby #1 was about nine years ago. Yet both couples looked pretty young and child #1 sounded like it belonged to the same guy that was there, so it didn't appear to be a "previous relationship" sort of thing. Those two women actually brought some interesting experiences into the mix, because one had only four hours of labor, and the other had 27.

We did some sharing to start out, to get to know each other and provide a good jumping off point for the class. The girls shared what they do to relax, and the guys shared their thoughts on impending parenthood. The women then got to complain a bit about our physical and mental ailments resulting from pregnancy. I continue to consider myself lucky, because I don't suffer from half the stuff that ended up on the blackboard. Whether that's just good genes, good luck, or the result of keeping in good shape through this process, I have no idea. But thank goodness.

We watched the beginning of a video about the labor and delivery process (to be continued next week with the end stages of labor and the delivery, I guess). This was all very interesting stuff to know at this point, so it kept my attention pretty well. I will say I could have done without the repeated showing of a computer generated image of the baby's head causing the cervix to dilate, but that's just me. After the video we discussed a number of things about the early stages of labor, packing a bag for the hospital, and other random things. We had some good laughs as the instructor brought up some potentially humorous situations amidst an otherwise stressful topic...like using the tennis balls you should bring to massage your back to not-so-subtly catch your husband's attention when he's started watching the ballgame...or the pitfalls of calling family before you head to the hospital...or how to encase your home in plastic in case your water breaks while you're there. I wish I could remember the rest, but it was nice we could laugh while talking about what will be the toughest experience of our lives. But overall it was good to get a working knowledge of the process, because I suppose it has just been glossed over a bit until now.

I enjoyed the class, and I think ultimately Craig did too, but he seemed a little unnerved by it all. I'm sure he found out more about labor than he really wanted to know, and realized more than ever how immensely difficult the process will be for me. While I have no real concept of just how bad it will be (I know it's bad, but everyone says it's pretty much beyond comprehension, so how could I know?), I can't really do anything about it so I try not to focus on it. I came out of class feeling pretty good, just because I felt like I actually learned something. The class really focused a lot on the women taking care of themselves and how the men can help them. I feel much more comfortable with the concept of taking care of myself than I do with taking care of a helpless little human being, so maybe that's why this class didn't freak me out quite like the child care classes did. Craig, on the other hand, probably came out of the class extra worried because labor is completely out of his control. He's just going to have to watch me go through it and do what he can. I'm sure he'll do fine, though again, he's better off staying up by my head...because anywhere else, and all bets are off!

So yeah, class was good. Our hospital tour isn't until the last week, so I'll be interested to see what more we learn in the meantime...

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