Sunday, January 13, 2013

What do you get out of taking a childbirth class a second time?

Here's what I've learned so far now that I've survived half of our hospital's childbirth class:

1. I must demand the spouse practice labor massage techniques a lot more because back massages are great.

2. Sitting on classroom chairs felt a lot like back labor, it made my back hurt so much.  Whew only one class this semester!

3. While the videos we are watching show all sorts of fancy, non-traditional labor positions (aka not laying on your back and not pushing lying down), this hospital doesn't have the stuff to support them (bar for bed squatting deliveries, yoga ball for labor, birthing chair, none of that).  How was I supposed to know the little rural hospital where I had the kid was so progressive to have all that stuff?

4. Hypnobirth is a novelty to labor & delivery nurses.  Decidedly going to have to be sure the spouse and doula are on top of explaining it so nobody is bugging me.  The concept of a doula was foreign to almost our entire class too (but at least not the nurses teaching it, so that's nice).  Hmm.

5. We are still among the youngest in the class.  I'd say that about 2 couples are younger than us (but not by much more than the 5 years since we had the kid), 2 about our age, and the other 3 are older (probably at least 5 if not more years older).  Moving to a less rural area makes at least that much of a difference.  Last time our class was about half early 20s, half early/mid 30s (so below national/state averages for having kids).

6. IV access is required.  Boo.  I'll be laboring at home as long as humanly possible since this is the case.  Tape gives me crazy hives so I want as little as possible.  PLUS I have to keep the IV access for 24 hours after delivery (seriously? ugh).  I get that getting an IV set in an emergency isn't fun, but a week of hives isn't either, and the odds of me needing an IV are very likely low (and get lower because I HATE having an IV and will work really hard to avoid it).

7. To add to the reasons I don't want an epidural, they do straight caths for women with one (that means that instead of leaving a catheter in, they just insert one every hour or two).  Too much risk of infection for me if I can help it at all.

8. I wrote a birth plan last night, and it can be summed up as the following:
  • I want a live, healthy, mom and baby at the end of this.  
  • While getting there, don't bug me.  
There are details to "don't bug me" like "don't tell me how dilated or whatever I am, don't offer pain meds because I'll ask if I want them, pretty please don't tell me about contractions, and no constant monitoring unless medically necessary."  Mostly, though, I'll stick with "don't bug me."  When it's prettified, I'll post it here probably.

9. About a third of deliveries are c-sections.  Joy.  On the upside, I have a good chance of being transferred to the next bigger hospital 45 minutes away if I need one.  Actually, that's not so much an upside as irritating. Maybe the docs there are less... whatever it is that makes me not the most thrilled with this practice.  It's not just a bigger hospital, it's a HUGE hospital complete with something approaching a hospital industrial complex around it (including 3 more big hospitals right nearby).  Very scary level of big and complicated.

10. Baby-friendly hospitals don't give out pacifiers (probably good) and 80% of women leave this hospital breastfeeding (probably also good).  I'm of course curious about how many are still nursing at 12 weeks and 6 months.  At least the class covers breastfeeding and there will be a lactation consultant around. (Did I mention that I'm now on the "oh fine, nursing it is" side of the decision to breastfeed because the spouse pointed out that if I'm not nursing, I have to return to cat box duty?  After almost 4 years of being excused from this, I'll stay away a bit longer.)

11. I am certainly getting myself the hypnobabies self-study course.  It worked before, and even if it doesn't work smoothly this time, it's better than nothing.  Novelty or not, it will help me be more present during labor (and I probably won't change all the language like it suggests because it's too ingrained in my life).

PAIL-related anecdote: At the start of the class, the teacher has us introduce ourselves and say what our favorite OR least favorite thing about this pregnancy has been (exact words).  The spouse went first, then me, and so I said that my least favorite part was being nauseous up to 24 weeks (actually it was more like 27).  My favorite part that I didn't say: I'm still pregnant!  It's miraculous to realize that every day.  Whoa.  Everyone else's favorites/least favorites (and they went with both after me, interestingly enough) were the usual sort - feeling him move, bonding, stretch marks, easy pregnancy, la la la.  I figured that I shouldn't put the fear of loss into the rookies.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the class was helpful in some ways. I hope it continues to be worthwhile.