confident childbirth.

my pregnancy with our daughter was such a busy time.  when I think back on it, all I can think of is how busy busy busy I felt.  busy switching to a new job at the very beginning of my pregnancy, busy finishing my last semester of classes for my graduate degree, busy writing my thesis, busy working full time up until the day my water broke, busy completing my hundred-hour internship while nine months pregnant.

and so we didn’t do much at all to prepare to have a baby.  her room wasn’t ready, her tiny baby clothes weren’t washed and folded and put away, we hadn’t even thought about labor and all the choices that come with it.  even down to the very basic question of medicated or unmedicated labor.  we hadn’t taken a birth class, hadn’t toured a hospital, hadn’t preregistered, hadn’t even discussed anything with the doctors and midwives at our practice.  we hadn’t even discussed what it might be like between ourselves.

this time, I have felt an overwhelming need to prepare.  fixing up the spare room.  cleaning out cabinets.  reading books on childbirth, watching youtube videos on hypnobirthing breathing methods, sitting on the birth ball every night, prenatal yoga.  and this time around, we went to a childbirth class.

I did wonder how much good it would do to go to a childbirth class.  the class was expensive and long – a seven hour confident childbirth workshop.  would it be worth it? I mean. I have given birth before, read a dozen books on the topic since then, and I went into this class and I was learning things I’d never known about childbirth.  the teacher gave us all pens and a manual and I was taking the entire time because there was so much I didn’t know.

she went through the entire process of labor.  she taught methods for relaxation during an unmedicated birth.  she taught techniques partners could use to assist during labor.  the best part, though, was just talking about it.  there were only about six couples in room, so there was lots of discussion.  and it was like childbirth-pstd therapy.  I got to describe how my previous labor and delivery had gone, and the teacher managed to do what my midwives and nurses hadn’t bothered to do, and put a lot of what happened to me in context.  this was probably why this happened, this was why this happened.

and it sparked a dialogue between us, too.  we talked about our daughter’s birth, and what we hoped for for our son’s birth.  it was so, so nice to talk about it.  I may not be finishing a graduate degree this time, but this pregnancy has gone by so fast.  if the little fellow comes as early as his sister, he’ll be here in six weeks.  it’s hard to believe.

I feel so much better just for having gone to a class.  I feel so much better just having talked to someone knowledgeable about these things.  what a good thing this was.


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