Friday, November 6, 2009

Childbirth Education Class, Part I.

Last night's childbirth education class proved...useless. Ok, so not useless per se, but as a woman who's seen more than her share of pregnancy and childbirth, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out what's happening and when. Maybe I'm just being elitist, but who at 32 weeks still doesn't know about dilation and effacement and the stages of labor? Besides everyone's partners, of course.

I wasn't gung-ho about taking this class, but went ahead with registration if for no other reason than I wanted D to be prepared. Labor is not the time to be looking to me for reassurance, ya dig? Anyhow, I think that last night's class could be summed up in one word for us: bonding. Whereas all the other ladies in the class seemed to be taking it sooooooo seriously, it was all we could do not to laugh our way through the two hour (and fifteen minutes extra!) class.

Our instructor for last night was a nice nurse named Amy, standing in for our original instructor, Lori, since she was sick and didn't want to expose all us pregos. Thank you, Lori! Amy was a nice enough woman, but when she announced in the first five minutes of class that, "I just loved being pregnant," mine was not the only skeptical eyebrow being raised. I tried to stay tuned in even after that proclamation, and did pretty good, until she went on to plug breastfeeding over, and over, and over. I'm not anti-breastfeeding (obviously, since I plan to do so myself for a bit), but nothing gets on my nerves more than a nurse with an agenda, especially when said agenda involves telling YOU what to do with YOUR baby and YOUR body. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - Amy had to come and sit next to us, so that we had to crane our necks to see all the visual aids (which, frankly, I could've done without anyhow!), and had to try desperately against hope not to laugh and joke throughout the entire class, lest everyone else know what immature adults we actually are.

Anyhow, like I said before - she was nice enough. Our intro class went over the stages of labor, the meaning of dilation (she kept calling it dilatation - is this right?) and effacement, pelvic sizes, breaking of the waters (whether natural or artificial), etc. We also watched a birth video, though apparently the guy shooting the video was as squeamish as we all felt last night, since there was no actual pushing involved, except maybe a .5 second shot. Otherwise it was just retro, Charlie's Angels meets The Beverly Hillbillies looking women in labor, breathing their way through the pain. Oh yeah - did I mention they were all having a natural childbirth? Yep. The way I see it is that drastic advances in medical technology have been made for a reason, and it's just plain silly not to use them (I'm just kidding - birth however you want, just don't think you have a right to judge me for requesting my anesthesiologist be on standby starting immediately!).

The absolute highlight of the class, I must say, was when our instructor was going on about how important labor coaches are. While I wholeheartedly agree, since I think it's going to require weeks of special planning and pep talks for D to get through what is inevitably going to be the WORST MOOD I'M EVER IN, I couldn't help but laugh when she told us this: "They do really important things, like hauling your suitcase out to the car." THAT is the best example she could think of? I'm squeezing a watermelon out of my hoo-ha, but we're on par because he picked up the suitcase that I inevitably packed (and repacked and repacked again) and hit the pop button on the back of my SUV to load it in? I couldn't even stifle my giggles. I just looked over at D and said, "How about this? I'll go throw my suitcase and the baby's in when we get home, and you take over the labor, ok?" He laughed appropriately, which is why we're so good together :)

Actually, I take that back. The best part was that there were 11 other couples in the class, and yet I was tied for second furthest along, and yet I was the only one not in sweatpants. Score! Not only that, but being competitive by nature, I decided if I excelled nowhere else in pregnancy, I would be the cutest pregnant woman in the room during our childbirth classes, and so rushed home frantically from work to shower, blow out my hair, paint my toenails and delicately apply makeup. I'm slightly off balance, I know...


  1. The breastfeeding agenda nazi's REALLY make me angry. After my experience when Marianne was born, I'm now firmly in the anti-breastfeeding advocacy camp. I was treated like a criminal for OMG not feeding my baby her birthright of my milk, despite the fact it was laced with "safe" drugs, iron and made her SICK.

    That is why I caution you...if you can't breastfeed for any reason, do NOT feel selfish about giving your daughter formula if that's what it takes for her to be healthy and happy.

  2. Slightly off-balance is way more fun than, well, the boring alternative :)

  3. I completely agree that at 32 weeks I hope you/we/whomever knows what is going on and when! I am glad my instructor was not like that, but she is a typical Minnesotan, "Oh yeah!"

  4. the fact that you and D werent kicked out of the class should count as a win, love you guys!!!

  5. Sorry you didn't get much out of your class. I had done so much reading and research by the time we started our classes that mine was only mildly helpful. I used it as a medium for asking the many questions I still had, and for the most part got answers--so it was helpful in that sense. The midwife who taught our class was also pro-natural childbirth and pro-breastfeeding (which was fine with me, since I plan to do both), but she wasn't a Nazi about it. Maybe your next class will be better.


Related Posts with Thumbnails