Thursday, September 13, 2007

Anyone who wants belly pics, send your email address to:

Last night we had our first official childbirth education class. It was interesting. We talked about our feelings about labor. We had snacks. And then they showed us a video of a woman giving birth.

Let's get one thing clear: I am not going to handle this well.

Granted, I'm a big fat baby when it comes to fear and/or pain, but looking around the room at all these couples with big, sloppy, "miracle of life" grins on their faces, I couldn't help thinking I am doomed, doomed, doomed. Were they watching the same video I was? The one with all the screaming and writhing? Because to me it looked like a one-way ticket to Sucktown.

After it was over the instructor gave us a run-down of the stages of labor and told us how the body will naturally produce a hormone similar to heroin to dull the pain. Then she added that the body will stop producing this hormone the minute adrenaline kicks in and recommended that we do whatever possible to stop the body's "fight or flight" mechanism. I believe at one point she told us to cook a nice meal.

Huh.

Here's what I know: Matt can light all the candles in the world and I'm still going to freak. Plus there's our cats to consider. We went through six months of them trying to kill each other because they heard a scary noise (don't ask). What the hell's gonna happen when mama is screaming her head off in the bathroom and daddy's running around the house shouting "It's pressure, not pain"?

Oh man... Oh man.

Childbirth Education Roundup -

Number of cookies consumed: 6
Number of vaginas viewed: 4
Number of times I considered calling this whole thing off: Too many to count

4 comments:

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I'm so sorry!

The only suggestion I can offer is to just be up front and ask for an epidural. Childbirth and parenting are hard enough without feeling like you're a failure for neither wanting the pain or having to pretend that you're OK with it.

Just remember that the goal is a live, healthy child and mother. Getting there? Details.

Then again, take that advice for what it's worth. I had an emergency c-section and all manner of drugs after experiencing the thrill of labor the first time and will have a planned c- section this time. I'm just not a crunchy kinda gal.

Alternatively, have a look at a copy of Birthing From Within and see if that helps any.

Hang in there!

Doyce said...

Here is an important statistic:

Number of instructors in the 'birth' classes who promoted the idea of natural childbirth over the use of any and all painkillers: all of them.

Number of nurses WORKING THE FLOOR in the hospital who promoted the idea of natural childbirth over the use of painkillers: none of them.

None. Zero. The women in the trenches know that Pain Management has come a long, long, healthy way from the days when they would just knock the mother stone cold out for a day and she'd wake up with a baby (which is the era where most of the painkiller hate comes from).

You wouldn't get your @#$@# teeth drilled without a shot, would you? Of course not. Consider how much MORE pain this is.

Or, to quote one of my favorite shows: "There is pain, and there is pain MANAGEMENT; this is not an intelligence test that anyone should FAIL."

Missy said...

So were the cookies good?

I will be one more voice that says do what ya gotta to to get through it.

It will hurt, no doubt about it and I won't blow sunshine about that. But it doesn't have to the whole time if you don't want it to.

The reality is, you can have all the birth plan you want but in the end the process is really not terribly predictable. You don't know how you are going to react until you are there experiencing it. As Hatchet said the goal is absolutely a live healthy kid and mom, so do what it takes to get that.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Oh and to back up what Doyce said about the nurses on the floor, my own doctor said that when she gets pregnant she plans on having a planned c-section.

My eyes near popped out of my head at that announcement. She clearly has seen plenty of births, but surprised me entirely with that furtive statement.