Laboring through labor class.

Kevin and I have finished our series of birthing classes. We figured that the classes would help us prepare for the end of pregnancy, labor and the moment we stop being Kevin and Dominique and become mommy and daddy. What we didn’t figure is that the classes are like a middle school sex ed class gone horribly wrong.

Gone are the days where you and your spouse go to lamaze class and learn the HEE HEE’s and WHO WHO’s of how to get through labor. No, now labor entails birthing balls, dulas, jacuzzi and a professional photo shoot after you pop the little one out. Labor isn’t just the vehicle to the miracle of life, it is a production (at least according to this class).

I know a lot of you can’t imagine a better way to spend your afternoon then stuck in the basement of a hospital watching a live birth with your husband. I would normally say think something like this was touching but nothing is touching about watching a woman “crown” during birth with your husband. In fact it was a little scaring. Don’t even mention the word placenta, I won’t even go there.

During the video, we watched 4 different women give birth. Sitting in a room with 12 other people watching the miracle of life unfold isn’t exactly the most comfortable situation to be in already – add in the fact that our “Birth and you” video shot sometime when scrunchies and flash dance were all the rage and all the women they followed had a major lack of modesty and it takes it to a whole new level. This wasn’t an episode of “A Labor Story” on TLC. No, it was a labor free for all. It followed four women who opted to not use drugs and then followed the craziness it drove them to. Apparently labor makes you want to shed all clothing and get all national geographic, at least according to this video. Three out of the four women apparently found taking all of their clothes off and being “free” helped them through labor. All I know is you can count me out of the nudist birthing club.

Then after the video we were up for the tips and advice round of the class. All I remember about this portion is A) I am allowed to do whatever I want when in labor. I can pretty much get away with murder. B) TACO.

TACO it is the niffty acronym used when your water breaks. TACO stands for Time Amount Color and Odor. Why they had to pair this information with Mexican food I have no idea. All I do know is all the men got a kick out of Kevin announcing that he was going to scream Taco! when my water breaks. I informed him that probably wouldn’t be the best route to take.

We then learned about birthing positions and techniques. I don’t know what they did before labor balls, ice packs, meditation, aromatherepy, heating pads, etc. Call me old fashion, but seriously? I really think if someone tries to get me on an exercise ball or tries to “bring me to my safe place” through mediation readings I will use my labor get out of jail free card and go pregnant crazy on their ass.

We were then given a sheet that had drawings of different laboring positions. Kevin and I named each of them. My favorite, the “I didn’t know I was Pregnant” position. It goes without saying the woman in the picture was laboring on the toilet. For those of you who have not had the treat of watching the ridiculous tv show, these women some how go 9 months without knowing they are with child and are not prompted to call 911 when they go in to full on active labor. Nine times out ten they end up having their baby on the toilet. Horrible, yes. Addicting, (sadly) yes.

The instructor then “guided” us through a meditative reading. We all sat in the dark holding an ice pack in our hands to simulate a contraction while she read a three minute long excerpt from a book by someone who drank the meditation kool-aide. Maybe I would have been more open to this technique had I been able to find my “zone”. Instead I had to elbow my birthing partner who was laughing during my attempted journey to peace.

All in all this is the list Kevin and I came up with of the things we took away from the birthing classes:

– Taco, what’s not for dinner.

– The placenta is not a part of the beautiful part of the birth experience.

– Crowning is the part where I may try to kill Kevin, so he shouldn’t make any sudden movements.

– Srunchies are not flattering, especially during labor.

– Apparently all pregnancy educational videos were shot in the 90’s.

– When they tell you to eat healthy when you break for lunch they mean don’t eat at the hospital.

– Kevin cannot help me find my safe place, at least without laughing.

The classes were so useless to us we skipped the last class. I know, I know bad soon to be parents. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and sitting in the hospital all day we slept in, had breakfast in bed and finished the nursery.

In all I guess child birth classes just weren’t for us. We are pretty confident in the fact that women have been having babies since the beginning of time and some of those instincts might kick in seeing as how I am a woman. I am pretty sure I am going to a hospital with doctors, nurses, Kevin and our families and some how, some way even without the last class Noah will be brought into this world just fine.

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2 thoughts on “Laboring through labor class.

  1. Dominique,

    I had to get up and walk away from the computer as I was reading your post – I was laughing so hard I could hardly contain myself! Honestly, I think they showed us the same videos at our childbirth classes 25 years ago, and I remember thinking the same things. Nothing like setting expectations to be perfectly zen and meditative… and naked?! C’mon – I understand being empowered, and I even tried to be “centered” – I tried during one of those ridiculous induced contractions and that only think I felt was cross-eyed and nauseated.

    What I do know – for a fact – is the excitement and beauty and wonder of having this baby of yours will not be missing for you. You don’t need a last class to know that trusting yourself, relying on Kevin, and listening to those who are there to coach you are good instincts. There will be a team of nurses at the hospital who will be advocating for you and caring for you. You are certainly not a failure if you rely on their support.

    Information usually decreases people’s fears – I am sure that was the intent of the videos – but TMI is not the way to go!!! LOL Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

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