BIRTHING CLASSES 101

For me one of the most exciting things about being pregnant is the anticipation of what contractions and labor will be like. A friend who adopted traditionally has told me that, although she wouldn’t trade her girls for anything; that as a women, not being able to carry her children and experience pregnancy and birth, is a void she never really overcame.

It has been such a long hard journey to get pregnant, I actually look forward to going in to labor. Josh and I have told our doctor that unless medically necessary for the health of the baby, or myself, we do not want to be induced. I also want to labor naturally, and not have an epidural. I know, I know, call me crazy, or maybe just a little baby delirious. My doctor joked it’s ironic since Josh is a nurse anesthetist. I am a realist, however, so I’m going to keep an open mind.

During our recent birthing class, the instructor stated, “Some of you may be considering going natural for your labor, so these breathing techniques will be especially important for you.” A girl on the front row yells out a decisive, “What-Everrrr”, with an exclamation point! Well, I guess her mind is already made up.

I have been reading the birthing book provided by the instructor:

*Slow breathing, patterned breathing, paced breathing…

*Basic relaxation, progressive relaxation, touch relaxation…

Am I going to remember these tips in the middle of an excruciating contraction??
Hee hee, hoo hoo… Or is it hoo hoo, hee hee?

I’ve also been reading about the different stages of labor:

First stage of labor-
*The early phase (sounds exciting)
*The active phase (getting serious)
*The transition phase (getting real serious)

Second Stage –
*The cervix is fully dilated and delivery of the baby occurs (it’s real)

Third Stage-
*Delivery of placenta. (relief)

Our instructor informed us about the different breathing and relaxation techniques to use throughout the different phases of labor. She encouraged us to practice our breathing techniques in advance for the big day.

The cover of the book reads, ‘The gift of Motherhood, your journey through prepared childbirth.’ Prepared? Let’s hope I remember what I’m supposed to do, and when I’m supposed to do it. I guess I’ll have to read all I can, then let nature take over, just as nature has done for women during childbirth since the beginning of time.

And, about that epidural? Mmmm. I wonder how many of those women would have said yes to an epidural if they had the choice back then?

I will just have to keep practicing my breathing techniques, and like the saying goes:
Prepare for everything, and be prepared for anything.

Hoo hoo, hee hee…

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