Tales from the Diaper Bag

Saturday Matinee Horror Show


Yesterday my husband and I went to an all-day child birth class at the hospital.  The class isn’t required but is strongly recommended. (read: the doctor asks you at every appointment if you’ve signed up for class until you tell her you have)  When I say the class was all day, I mean ALL DAY.  The class lasted from 8:30 until 5:30 during which we, and about 15 other preggo couples, were locked in a hospital conference room with a perky RN to discuss everything you’d ever want to know about labor and delivery. . . as well as everything you never wanted to know about the Four Ps of Delivery: the Passenger (the baby); the Passage (ahem, me), Powers (beats me) and the Psyche. (I, for example, did not want to know that there were Four Ps to delivery.)

The good:  This is a short list.  I really appreciated the description of pain relief measures and how they are administered.  Even after the discussion of the drawbacks, I’m a lot more comfortable with the epidural now than I was a week ago. I was also was very happy that we got to take a tour of the maternity ward and see a delivery room (very nice!) as well as the nursery, recovery rooms, etc.

The bad: The class included posters, movies and lectures that were really, really graphic. I know what you’re thinking:  Childbirth is graphic. Shouldn’t I know what I’m in for?  My answer: No. Most of us are better off NOT knowing the nitty gritty details of labor and delivery. Hear me out. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t know all the options you have during your delivery– that’s a good idea. What you do NOT need to know is what labor and delivery looks like “down there,” how much blood and gore will be involved, or how much your body is going to contort during the process. You aren’t going to see it from that angle and you really don’t want a mental image of what your little miracle looks like from the doctor’s perspective.  It is doesn’t help you prepare to give birth. It just scares the be-Jesus out of you.  TRUST ME. It isn’t pretty. For example, our class itinerary included an incredibly horrifying 22 minutes video of clips of 4 women giving birth.  Some of the people watching the video got up and left. Several hid their faces or simply looked away. I almost cried. No one took notes or leaned in to get a better look.  There was no learning going on during that 22 minutes. There was just a sick realization that we were all doomed for.  1 month out from D-day no one wants to feel that way.

and. . .

The stupid:  Remember the Four Ps? Well, according to the Perky RN, the birth coach (my husband) is responsible for maintaining my “psyche” during labor and delivery. In order to prepare the birth coaches for their “duty”, we spent about two hours laying on yoga mats, propped up with pillows practicing relaxation techniques during fake contractions. The perky RN would tell us when “the contraction” (i.e. an arbitrary moment in time chosen by her) was starting and when it peaked.  The birth coaches would use their techniques to get us through it.  Soooo stupid. My husband is not a touchy-feely guy and could absolutely not take the fake contractions seriously. His eye rolls and mocking facial expressions didn’t exactly sooth me into a zen-like mindset. I’d have been better off having Carrot Top as my psyche protector.  Oh and when we were practicing birthing positions–well, let’s just hope I don’t have to have an emergency home birth with only him to help me. My husband’s sole task was hold my legs up and count to ten while I leaned forward to “push.” Instead, he nearly suffocated me in my pillow while slamming my head into a wall as he threw my legs skyward. Oy.

The only redeeming part of the day? After class, we went out to a really nice dinner with our friends who we asked to be godparents to la bambina and they said yes!


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  1. * Margaret says:

    I can so picture Mike during the “fake” contractions! I definitely laughed at loud while reading that part of your post. So who who are the godparents??

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago

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