Wednesday, August 09, 2006

coming out of where?

Last night we had our first childbirth class. Now, I really felt that 20 weeks was a bit early for anyone to be discussing with me the notion that someone was coming out of somewhere, since I still have 20 weeks (minus 2 days) to go. But when I spoke to my doctor, I was informed that actually I am behind on scheduling my classes and that many of them might be filled up. Ahem.

Now, before I tell you about how the class went, I'd like to discuss this phenomenon for a second.

Before I was 12 weeks pregnant, I mentioned how certain people would caution me not to get attached to the idea of this pregnancy. Some people went so far as to tell me that they never would have told anyone before 12 weeks and were surprised that we would. We even had some decidedly mixed reactions from friends who were shocked that we would reveal our news at 10 or 11 weeks, even though my own DOCTOR assured me that after my 10 week visit, I had a less then 1% chance of miscarrying.

Don't get me wrong, I still spent those weeks terrified at all of the possibilities of miscarrying. I still worry, although measurably less, and I often give myself pep talks telling myself to stop focusing on the worst. After my 7 week ultrasound, when we saw that beautiful heartbeat and the little worm looking baby curled up, I told myself to stop with all the negatives. That little embryo was trying its best, and I decided that thinking dooms-day scenarios would not help, so I'd work to make its little environment as pleasant as it could be. But still, for the weeks before I hit 12 or 13 weeks, I was told by everyone not to get attached, not to tell anyone, not to get my hopes up.

Then I hit the magical 13th week, and all of a sudden, I was behind on everything. At which hospital was I delivering? Who was my pediatrician? What about childbirth classes? Did I have a birth plan? Was I finding out the sex? Had I registered? Was I breastfeeding or bottle-feeding? What would I do about work? It was overwhelming and infuriating! As of last week, I had no pregnancy to speak of, but a mere week later, I was a negligent pregnant woman who had thought of nothing.

So of course, now I'm 20 weeks and behind on many things, most notably my childbirth classes, and since I'd like to have this child exit my body at some point, I scrambled to find one that would work. The class thing is compounded by a couple of problems, (1) We are on our Babymoon next week, (2) I work long hours, (3) Josh has classes on Monday and Wednesday nights until December, and (4) we wanted to take Hypnobirthing. After a few days of tearing my hair out and 20 phone calls later, I finally found a Hypnobirthing instructor that would allow us to take the first class last night, and then finish up the other 3 in September when it fit with Josh's class schedule.

Anyway, last night we all crowded around in a circle, prepared to hear about the wonders of Hypnobirthing and how labor wasn't going to hurt at all. Right? RIGHT? I plan on having no pain during my labor, and if you try to tell me differently, I'll plug my ears and sing "la la la la la."

Instead, the first thing they showed was that video. You know which video I'm talking about. The one where they did a full frontal shot of several different women pushing a baby out of their nether regions, and even though I've seen it before, even in person, I still felt some measure of queasiness and lightheadedness as I looked around to see if anyone else looked a little green. Josh squeezed my leg as the baby slid out, looking all slimy and brand-new, and I wondered about his mental state. At least this wasn't new to me, but he must have been a little freaked at the imagery of his wife's body stretching to accommodate such an exit. As we climbed into bed last night, though, he turned to me with tenderness in his eyes, and a soft voice and said, "wasn't that the most beautiful thing ever? Can you believe we'll be having a baby? Can you believe our baby might come into the world like that?" All the while, I'm looking at him in horror and wondering if we saw the same video.

Following the video, we had lots of talking, questions, and then some relaxation and meditation exercises. So I settled down on the floor, got comfortable, and she started explaining how to relax your body, starting at the top of your head. I fell asleep when we got to the forehead. And no, I am not joking. She said to relax the top of your head, your ears, your eyes, your forehead, zzzzzzzzzzz. I don't remember anything else about the 40 minute exercise. Josh, on the other hand, fell asleep when she got to the legs, so we make a fabulous pair. We are clearly going to be wonderful at the Hypnobirthing, no?

Our assignment is to read our Hypnobirthing book and listen to our relaxation exercise every single day for 20 minutes. I'm psyched, because clearly this means that I'll be falling asleep very easily, based on this prior experience. Maybe I'll sleep through labor! You know, what with the no pain and all that. Perhaps that will be the positive imagery I will focus on, taking a wonderful nap and waking up ready to push. It's totally doable, don't you think?

17 comments:

KathyR said...

We went to one Lamaze class. We saw that video. Then she put on the music (flutes & windchimes & other New Age crap) and tried to talk us through the whole relaxing thing. My husband and I were giggling at the cliched ridiculousness of it all and trying not to giggle. We didn't go back. The kid got born anyway.

And what the heck is Hypnobirthing?

donna said...

Well if you are behind, then I am really behind. I am 25 weeks and haven't scheduled our classes, and don't plan to attend any until October. I do need to get online and schedule them though. That would be good.

Don't let other people stress you out. The kid is going to be born either way, whether you attend the classes or not, so just do what you can do.

Chatty Cricket said...

If you are behind, where does that leave me!? I NEVER took a birthing class with Lady and she is 14 months old!!!

I can confirm however, that even though I clearly was woefully underprepared, she still found her way out.

And also? Welcome to the other side. The Pregnancy Pop Quiz is only the beginning. Once this babe is born, you'll get all sorts of questions about school, subsequent brothers or sisters, and all sorts of judgments about the choices you make. I suggest keeping the ear-plugging and "la la la la!" readily available for the next 18 years. ;)

Chatty Cricket said...

ps- hypnobirthing sounds divine....do they have a hypnoparenting class?

Summer said...

Two comments... the first is that anyone who gave you shit about telling before you hit the second trimester is way out of line. It is YOUR CHOICE, and clearly you're a smart enough woman to understand that if the worst happens you'll have to tell about that. But I've gone through that ordeal, and to be honest, I can't now imagine going through a miscarriage and pretending to my friends that nothing was happening. When I got pregnant again after losing my first, I started telling people before I even had my first OB visit. For one thing, I wanted as many people praying as possible, and I also knew what kind of support I'd get if I miscarried again. I mean, I wasn't telling the checkout clerk at Target, but I did tell all of my family and friends, everyone who'd given me so much love after I lost my first child.

Secondly, great choice to do Hypnobirthing! If you get sick of Marie Mongan's voice, I hear that the Hypnobabies tapes are amazing, but I listened to the Rainbow Relaxation every night for about 3 months and it really helped. We never practiced any of the other exercises -- Vince said it made him feel silly, so he wasn't so much a hypnobirthing coach as a supportive partner during the birth. Hypnobirthing really helped me stay calm and confident during the birth. My favorite bit of the story is that when I walked up to the nurse station to check myself in, I was already 8cm and in transition, and I was so calm the nurses didn't believe I was really in labor. So don't worry if you fall asleep or don't practice much, it will still help.

twoxthefun said...

Makes me wish I had done that, maybe I'll look into it the second time around.

We did Bradley classes and I am glad we did. I was able to give birth with no drugs and there are parts of the labor I don't really remember because of all the relaxation we learned.

amygeekgrl said...

I'm so excited that you are doing Hypnobirthing!!! :) (Dunno if you knew I took HB classes pre-Ava or not.) The fact that you can relax yourself so quickly and so easily sounds like you will do just wonderfully with labor. Josh might not need to do a thing because you will be so relaxed all on your own. Of course, you would like him to be awake for the birth. ;)

Enjoy your babymoon next week!!

P.S. I wrote about my acupuncture visit if you want to chk it out.

KLee said...

Okay -- I have to say first off that I had my one child ten years ago, and I have no idea what the hell "Hypnobirthing" is. That having been said, if it relaxes you, and makes labor easier, I'm all for it. If it relaxes you so much that you fall asleep during labor, please hook me up with some of that! I NEED that in my life. And I'm not even pregnant!

And, even if you don't finish the classes for whatever reason -- what are they gonna do? NOT let you give birth?

Don't feel bad about being "behind." You aren't. Just worry about keeping yourself healthy, and Baby healthy. Enjoy the Babymoon! Wish you were coming here, though. (I'd say Belgium and the Netherlands is a better choice all around.)

Shana said...

I used Hypnobirthing with my last two babies, and it was AMAZING how much it helped me through my labor.

I run a website, Babes in Blogland, that lists ttc, expecting, and new-parent bloggers to help us all find one another. I've added your site to the blogroll. If you need me to correct any information or if you would like for me to remove the link, please let me know.

Thank you and congratulations.

Kristin said...

I plan on having no pain during my labor, and if you try to tell me differently, I'll plug my ears and sing "la la la la la."

This is exactly my feeling on the subject. If I don't know about it, if I don't hear about it, it's won't happen! I felt that way when everybody was trying to tell me all about their gall bladder surgeries and wanting to show me their scars. No. I want to pretend this is happy-go-lucky, and that's impossible to do with negative nellies around!

Jessica said...

EEEEEE...I am so excited!!!!

Oh, and don't let others (with their berating questions) make you feel badly....motherhood is one long self-induced guilt trip as it is - we do not need outside help to second guess nearly every decision we make. Sigh.

You are going to be WONDERFUL.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Hypno- or no hypno-, you will do birthing just fine! (Easy for me to say, huh?) I'm very excited about this baby.

Robin said...

Stay away from anyone who has anything negative to say. Who the hell are these people anyway???? Why would they want to say hurtful things?

Wanna know when we told people I was pregnant? It was the day we found out.....I was FOUR weeks pregnant. Yup FOUR!! How could I keep that a secret??? And you know what?......Lillianna was born at exactly 40 weeks,she was healthy and born without any complications and she will be turning 9 years old in October.

As for being late with your childbirth class. We started ours mid-July which would've made me 26-27 weeks pregnant. We were told we were right on time. How can you be late at 20 weeks???

Every single birth is different and no matter how many movies or classes you take,you still have to wing it. In the end,you will not care one bit what you went through during the delivery. You will be so overwhelmed with love and joy once you hold your child that it won't really matter.

I needed surgery after Lillianna was born but I was just so pleased to have her that I really didn't care what I had to go through....just as long as she was mine!!

Enjoy every minute of this pregnancy.

Sol said...

May I say your belly shot is beautiful... Enjoy every minute of your pregnancy, darling.

About the birth... well, believe me that you will know what to do when the time comes. Doctors and nurses will be there to guide you through it, you will be just fine.

Have you chosen the name yet... sorry if I missed it from earlier posts.

Kris said...

Ah, I always fell asleep during hypnobirthing practice and it worked out. :) I'm psyched that you're doing it, I'm a big fan of hypnobirthing! I used it with three births, and I highly recommend it.

AmyBee said...

I second Chatty Cricket. I never had a single class (long story) and the 45 second "class" from my male obstetrician moments before push time was not only educational and time-saving, but pretty frickin' hysterical.

I love your blog - I just stumbled on to it and have been ready past posts like a fiend. As a former Bostonian now living in this very backward state of Virginia, I let you remind me of all the best things New England has to offer.

My only "regret" about your pregnancy is that I can no longer live the fun you and hubs have through your posts. But I am sure your up-beat, funny, and always an adventure posts will inspire me to do new and exciting things with my two beans.

All the best to you! I am so happy and excited for you!

Signed,

Expat from Watertown, MA

jen said...

if you cna sleep thru your delivery I would like the # for that class because now THAT is a delvery (the only kind,now that I think of it)I could get behind when/if the time time comes for me.

I don't understand why ppl. feel the ned tochime in on stuff they way they do. It's ridiculous - and it's def. a damed if you do/damned if you don't a lot of the time.

On a positive note, your belly is so cute.