Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hee Hee Hoo Hoo

We had our first childbirth class this past week. I'm learning all kinds of things lately! The art of slow cooking, how to push a *hopefully* full term baby out. Well, I guess we didn't get much to the pushing part yet.

We had the first class, and it was roughly 4 hours long. We started with basic anatomy - I already knew most of that. I did learn that there are actually TWO sacs the baby lives in...I hadn't known that. And I learned that our instructor keeps a placenta frozen in her freezer. Which she promised to thaw and bring in for us to see. Maybe I'm just not enough of a natural granola type, but that just sounds gross to me. I've heard there are cultures where one eats the placenta. Ew. I've heard of people planting the placentas underneath a tree for their little one. This I can understand...I even think might be cool. But as we currently live in an apartment, it's not really feasible. I'm fine with letting my placenta be dealt with as bio-hazardous waste. Because, well, that's what it seems like to me.

Anyway, after learning about anatomy we learned about positions of the baby and how the baby actually navigates through the birth canal and vagina. Did you know they have to turn? Fascinating actually.

We talked a bit about nutrition - I'm definitely not eating enough protein, but I'm doing pretty well everywhere else I think. Well, that's not true. I need more veggies too. I'm not sure why I don't eat more...

We talked a bit about the stages of labor - how dad's can be helpful, and how they can be rather unhelpful (so things to avoid). We heard about our instructors 31 hour natural home birth, that was a vbac after 3 c-sections.

During some of this she talked about mindset - and compared labor to sex. And premature ejaculation. The interesting thing, was that she was talking about how when a guy tries to prevent premature ejaculation, he thinks about anything but what he's doing. And she was trying to say that labor is the opposite - we need to be all focused on it, though later she'd say we just needed to let our bodies do what they know how to do. Which one lady?

The class ended with some videos of birth. I'm pretty sure I was supposed to feel awe and admire the beauty of motherhood and such. I didn't. I mean...I was impressed by some of the things I saw. Grossed out by others. And I felt LOADS more attractive after seeing some of these women in their naked glory (which is awful probably, I know). So I clearly wasn't focusing on what I think I was supposed to get out of the videos. But gracious! There's such nasty fluids involved! A whole mess of them! And the squirming little newborn is all covered in it...and they're wrinkly and generally angry at finding themselves outside their previous warm and cozy home. I dunno...I guess we'll have to see what I think being on the other side of it.

On the way home Mr. Random and I chatted about the class. He thought it was fine...but he hadn't learned anything new yet (he's read a book by Dr. Bradley that covered a lot of it). His biggest issue was what he felt was blatant hypocrisy. Our instructor was telling us about her all natural home birth, but then went on to tell us about a decision she had to make (b/c decision making in active labor is near impossible) regarding taking some herbs to crank up her labor, or to not take them and let it dial down a bit. In Mr. Random's mind, and mine too, this is not "natural". We don't mean it's bad by any means! Just that herbs that cause a change in your labor are no different than meds! Just one's synthetic, and one's "naturally grown". Possibly. His issue was not with her taking the herbs, but insisting it was still a "natural" unassisted, uninterventioned birth.

He was also quite unimpressed by her 5 minute rant on the value and importance of doulas. There's one other couple in the class with us, and when she asked if either of us had hired doulas, and we both said no, she clucked at us in dismay. She, you see, is a doula. For a mere $550 she will attend your birth, and provide that sisterly bond that is is apparently so necessary. She does also bring a tub and do the work of filling and emptying it, which started to make the cost more reasonable in my mind, but Mr. Random was rather irritated by the whole lecture. His take is that the only reason women would need another woman, a "sister", to "mother" her during labor, is because men are kept ignorant. He feels that if he's educated in the same way she is, that he can provide as much, if not more support than a stranger, though she happens to be a "woman". And you know what, I think he could. And I would be more comfortable with him than a stranger. But I'm also a woman who's never been super close to her genetic sisters. And I have a truly sensitive, intelligent, and caring husband. I don't know that all men would be up to the challenge. And some women might truly prefer a woman's care over her husband - especially if he's less sensitive, or less nurturing.

For us, however, I think we'll just go the adventure together...and see how it goes. :)

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About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.