First Antenatal Class – YEURGH!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. How about a video?

DH and I went to our first antenatal class last night. Where we were shown a video of a home birth. I have not a thousand words to describe the video. Just one. Yeurgh! Though I did have 10 going through my head while watching it – “Is it too late to get off this ride now?”

I’m a pretty calm person under normal circumstances. I can deal with most situations without getting hysterical. I’ve got a high tolerance for stress.  When needs must, I can manage with lack of sleep too, though I know it makes me pretty crabby.  When something has to get done, we all have incredible reserves that enable us to manage it.  I have great confidence in my reserves – they have never failed me before. But … but…. watching that video… I fear my reserves may just be for getting things on a long list ticked – actions, putting things in motion – kind of like being a puppet master.  Pulling on a number of different strings at one time to achieve an end result.  I’m good at that kind of stuff.  Stress & pressure stuff.  But where things are in motion and it’s about the stamina and determination to withstand the winds and hold out, the patience and the will to wait and reign in an action ….  that, I’m afraid, is not my strong suit.  I also dislike pain.  So an elective c-section is out.  The thought of slicing through my muscles – muscles I’ll need to, well, move and function – is most unappealing.  I want to opt for gas and air since an epidural can prolong the first stage of  labour. Not being able to feel means no pain but also means less effective pushing/stretching of the cervix and hence a longer first stage of labour.

Still, planning is one thing, and what happens at the time can be something totally different.  Best to have a plan, and a BAFO (best and final offer).. or in this case, the bottom line – which is to have a healthy baby and mom however the doctor gets there.

So the whole very informative video has definitely freaked me out. Next class we get to see a hospital birth.  Blechblechblech.  At least the babies look quite small. Not quite a football – more like a softball.  That’s a small(er) (dis)comfort.  Three more delightful classes to go.

Meimei is totally in love with DH.  She very rarely snuggles against me (sometimes, when she is sleepy, or feeling a little small, she’ll come to me for a little snuggle), but she is always following hubby around, and wanting attention from him.  The other night we had her up on the sofa and she fell asleep against DH’s leg.  She looks pretty cozy.

Deuce on the other hand, always wants snuggles from me.  If he could, I am sure he would live in my lap 24/7 (at least, when he’s not sleeping on the toy box, his current location as I write).  He’s a mama’s boy through and through. Meimei is clearly a daddy’s girl.  Go figure! I wonder how it will be for Blueberry?

18 thoughts on “First Antenatal Class – YEURGH!

  1. Would it help to know that your body knows what to do, the doctors and midwives know what to do, you will be in good hands, and that whilst it is all happening you just kind of put aside normal thought patterns and go with it, till you end up with a gorgeous little person to take home with you, and then you regrow your real brain sort of distanced from the hard bit?

  2. What Carole said…. and Kate….
    It will all be worth it in the end… and really once it starts… you’ll be glad to get it over with.
    Big hugs and love your way!

  3. Ditto what Kate said. It helps to be informed, in my experience the classes meant that my oh knew what was going on which was more important as I was in no state to try and explain things. A healthy baby and a healthy mummy are the most important things – however you get there.

  4. There is NOTHING more empowering than giving birth. Makes you feel like you can take on the world. It gives you strength to know you can tackle the next step: motherhood. Good luck!

    • @Brenda, motherhood I’m not afraid of – i know I’ll have help from friends and family, and i know the little one will also give me strength…. it’s the pushing the baby out of me that freaks me out!!!

      • @alice, One of my friends once commented that childbirth is the easy part and she wished they’d knock her out for 18 years after that ;-) You will be great. Be informed but try not to get freaked out. Look at how many major things you went through in the past year — knit nation, launching sokkusu, publishing a book, being pregnant, moving around the world, nursing mei mei back to health. You are a strong White Rabbit!!

  5. Long,long ago my midwfe told us at our ante natal classes that what we were to experience was contractions NOT pain! However David was a little pain, and still is, but having him the natural way was the most wonderful thing I have done, and having his brother later to keep him company. To bring another little person into the world made from the love you two share has to have a bit of effort ;so if you break a finger or two squeasing his hand during labour thats a small price for him to pay!.
    You are a strong and healthy woman and tireless in your efforts to knit wonderful creations and this is going to be your masterpiece. XXX

  6. I can’t offer much in the way of advice not having any blueberries of my own and just dogs but just focus on what you will have at the end.

    I see meimei is not very ladylike at all lol !

    Lisax

  7. You will be fine! Just go with how you feel during the labour. Epidurals can also speed things up sometimes too- 2cm to 9cm in 45 mins for me! If timed well they can wear off to push normally. Once you start pushing with the contractions it is amazing how less painful they are. I managed it and I have no pain threshold what so ever! Think about what you would like to give you a focus and then be prepared to change if needed. Both my birth plans said water birth, both were mobile epidurals! :) big hug xxx

  8. I saw those videos in senior biology at high school. I think all girls in the class vowed never to have kids :). The year before, a favourite teacher had come back after giving birth and told us it was like “shitting a watermelon”. Sorry, I’m no help. But I’m sure you’ll come through marvelously.

    One of my friend has had three girls, and when she got pregnant with numbers 2 and 3, she said surely it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Then she gave birth and said, “no, it was”. All of them were fast (meaning VERY painful) and without any drugs. So if you take the gas and skip the epi, you’ll be fine (she says from the safety of not having to go through it herself).

    On the doggy front, Mei Mei is gorgeous as ever. I’m also not surprised about which dog is bonding to which parent. I’ve been told that when it comes to bonds between animals and pets, it’s a case of opposite sex is the strongest. Apparently, it’s all about the pheremones.

  9. Hey Alice,
    You’ll be great. Just go with it. I was convinced I’d do it all naturally without drugs then as soon as it got a bit sore I panicked and asked for all the pain relief they could offer. I managed to push out an 11.4lb (5kg) beach ball (with some pain relief, pelvic positioning and a snip here and there!)
    My best advice would be to try and concentrate on staying as relaxed as possible….. it helps make it less painful, I went into panic mode, lost it a bit and it threw me completely.
    You’ll be amazed at what your body can do if you work with it!
    Keep us posted
    Looking forward to hearing your news
    Ali, Ed & Annabel x x x

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