Thursday, March 5, 2009

Our Prep for Labor and Childbirth Class

This past Tuesday Jim and I began our "Preparation for Childbirth" classes up at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, where we will not be giving birth, but is part of the same hospital system as where Noah will be entering the world. My OB said that this should be fine and would save us driving into S. Minneapolis for the class every week.

It was great to finally get down to making an actual plan for the birth of our child, and to meet with other expectant families who are making the same decisions and going through the same fears and frustrations.

Some highlights were:

  • Separating into male and female groups to discuss pros and cons of pregnancy. The girls had a quite a few more cons than the guys did, and later they said that they had thought of some of what we had put up, but were worried that they would get in trouble for mentioning things like "constipation." Oddly enough the #1 pro for the guys was the tax break and #2 was the child itself! Men. We women did list the tax benefits, but under the baby, and making your parents grandparents and several other things.
  • Practicing breathing techniques. This was really helpful for me, and relaxed me almost to the point of sleeping (one guy did actually fall asleep, which I'm not sure his wife appreciated) Hopefully this will prove useful when it comes to the time where I really need it.
  • Discussing other coping techniques for the pain. I think I will get a birthing ball, and I have already known that I want to stand in the shower for quite some time before and possibly after we go to the hospital.

One of the things that wasn't a highlight was the men's uncomfortable joking. I think that this is really hard on them to actually confront the reality of their wives and girlfriends going through so much pain that they can do nothing for, and so they have resorted to joking to relieve their tension. I'm sure that as the weeks go by, they will get more accustomed to it all, and hopefully relax.

One guy that I really feel for is actually there with his sister to be the birthing coach. The poor kid looks like he is about 18 and is SO uncomfortable during one exercise where the partners had to give the ladies a hand rub, and then the women had to give the coaches a back rub how they would like to get one during labor. They didn't even attempt that one. They did do the breathing, but sat next to each other, rather than her between his legs, as the rest of us were.

It is strange, but for Jim and I, our weeknights are getting busier, even before the baby comes. Tuesday is this class, Wednesday is GEMS, and on Thursday nights is a men's Bible Study that Jim is thinking of attending, and I think will be even more vital once he steps firmly into the daddy role.

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