Let me first start off by saying our new instructor, Lori, is great. I much prefer her to last week's little agenda-pusher. One of the first things she said was, "Tonight we're going to talk about inductions, tours the hospital, and go over breathing and epidurals. Even if you're not planning to get an epidural, you should know that 90% of women end up getting one, planned or not, because let's face it ladies - breathing through labor? Ha! More power to you if you can, but I sure as hell couldn't." I loved her immediately.
We started off with a heartwarming little chat about forceps and vacuum extractors. Awesome. I know women that have experienced both of these things, so I'm not too terribly concerned about it, but I'm also keeping my fingers crossed they won't be needed, especially after having an up close and personal view of both tools!
From there we moved on to inductions, a topic I was particularly interested in for obvious reasons, and was happy to note that she (and so hopefully the rest of the staff at my hospital) seemed supportive of them generally, whereas some are quite...judgmental, for lack of a better word. She even gave 'wanting your baby to come before the holidays' as an acceptable reason to be induced, so once again, if Baby B makes it that far, my induction is all but set in stone at this point given the support of my medical team. There wasn't anything she said that I didn't already know - induction requires continuous monitoring, blood pressure measurements to be taken every 15 minutes, etc. - but I think it was a learning experience for D, which is definitely what we want!
After that it was time to chat about epidurals, and by chat, I mean full-on demonstrate from the sterile drapings to the epi needle. I'm not exactly what you'd call needle-shy, but I did need to look away for a minute. She mentioned the risks, of course, and something that had managed to not pop into my head came up: paralysis. I guess it goes without saying that anytime they're poking around at your spine this is a risk, but this has definitely come up in my mind and in my dreams since last night, and I'm none too thrilled about it. Keep in mind, though, that the risk is really, realllllllllllllllly low (.000004%), and that once again, 90% of women end up with epidurals. She also assured us that the youngest of their anesthesiologists had done several thousand epidurals, so that was reassuring. Slightly. I still fully intend to take advantage of one, though, rest assured. Now I'm just unnecessarily nervous about it.
After that we all went for a tour of the hospital. I had actually been through there before when I went to pre-register, but this tour was definitely more complete, with the "War of the Worlds" lights brought down out of the ceiling and the bed being pulled completely apart, instead of just the mention of it I got last time. Again, I left the room completely nauseated. D did mention after the fact, though, that the room was much nicer than he'd imagined with the wood floors and paneling and the size being much closer to that of a tiny studio apartment than a regular hospital room, and I must say I agree. This was also where the low-point of the class happened for me. While Lori was going on and on about how great it is that our babies all get to room-in with us, I felt the need to ask this:
B:"What if we've had a particularly long and/or difficult labor, or are recovering from a c-section? Can the nurses take the baby for a bit?" Thinking for sure the answer wuold be yes, I never thought about how asking this question might make me look (normal, perhaps? anyone?). Apparently, what she heard was, "I'm a terrible mother-to-be and don't love my child in the slightest," since the look she gave me was enough to make me blush.
L:"Well no, we're not really supposed to, since we don't have a nursery here." Then she brightened up and said, "That's what dad is for!"
I thought D might pass out. My instincts here were later confirmed, since he spent the entire drive home asking about how to comfort her when I'm resting, who could show him how to bathe her, how to change a diaper, how to tell if she's hungry...the works. I thought it was pretty cute. We also met another couple in there that, while a little older than us, are in law school, and so naturally D runs into the mom-to-be. We sat together and gossiped and gaped wide-eyed at one another while the epidural needle stared us in the face, and talked about our birth plans and pediatricians, etc. Turns out they're interviewing the pediatrician I picked for Baby B today, and the dad had lots of questions, which caught D off guard. I'm a pretty take charge type of woman, so I've handled a lot of those decisions thinking he was uninterested, but apparently he's starting to notice. "Wow...that other dad really knew a LOT. I mean, a lot. It's not that I'm not interested," he explained to me on the car ride home. "I just don't really know about these things." Oops. My bad. I love that he wants to take on a more active role, though, so I'm encouraging it at all fronts from here on out. He even rubbed my back when we got home and practiced pushing on my hips to relieve back labor...so cute.
Next week we cover c-sections, newborn appearance and care, and what to bring to the hospital. Then (hopefully) we won't be heading back up there until D-day arrives! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!