Labor and delivery class

Michael and I went to  our first of two labor and delivery classes yesterday.  8:30 am to 2:30 pm with an hour for lunch for two Saturdays to, sort of kind of, prepare you for childbirth.

As you can imagine, as with everything else, there are two schools of thought on this subject, and various variations in between.  There are those people that believe that you should take a much more than two days of classes for this momentous occasion.  There is, after all, a lot of information to gather and learn to prepare you for this.  Then there is the school of thought that women have been having babies for milennia and never needed a class for it, so why bother?  Those of you that know my husband can guess where he stands on this.

As with everything else, I am somewhere in the middle.  I think a two day class is helpful.  I have only taken one day of it, but I think it was good.  Keep in mind I have read several books on the subject, have three nieces and many, many friends that I have seen go through pregnancy.  As anyone who has been pregnant can tell you, once you tell someone you are pregnant you open yourself up to their horror/joyful story of pregnancy and childbirth.  There is little you have not read or heard by your third trimester.  However, one thing you learn very quickly is that no two pregnancies are alike and no two women experience pregnancy in the same way. 

The main reason I wanted the class is because I am an information junkie.  Information is power, and the more you know about something the better you are prepared for it.  Most of what I heard in class yesterday I had already read or heard before.  However, it was very cool to hear it in a room with seven other pregnant couples from all walks of life, and from a nurse with 20+ years experience in this area.  The movies with the computer generated diagrams and the live birth footage were great too.

We were also fortunate to be in class with a friend and former classmate from my graduate program (Hi Ken, Hi Gloria) and his lovely wife.  She is one hot mama, 35 weeks and fabulous!

The real reason I felt we needed the class is because I felt Michael needed it.  Of course, Michael thinks taking a class for labor and delivery is right up there with a class for newborns on how to cry.  Is it really necessary?  I kept telling him he had NO IDEA what he was getting himself into and therefore needed it.  It is a good setting, with all the other expectant dads and moms together in a room, reading, listening to the teacher, watching the movies, it is a crash course and something to give him a taste of what is to come.

His first commentary was: "OK, now I'm scared."  He says he was not worried until he started paying attention and the teacher scared him straight.  He looked at me and asked me:"Did you know all this?" Yes, honey, I did.  What do you think I have been reading about for the last year? 

While I sit amazed once again at how my body is engineered to do this, Michael sits in amazement at how primal the whole process is.  His final observation was how animal-like we are.  How the women are moaning and groaning and really not that different from every other mammal.  I feel a spiritual connection with every kick in my belly.  Michael says the whole process is further proof that there is no god, there is no intelligent design, we might as well be cows.  Fascinating, isn't it?

On the subject of the blood and guts of delivery Michael says he is not worried because he has, after all, gutted a dear. (see previous posts for the gory details)  I also had to listen to a very sad story about Michael helping his dad birth a calf unsuccessfully.  Apparently the calf was breached, they were unable to save her or the momma cow, but momma cow was breathing and moaning much like the women in the video we watched in class.  Yeah.  I asked him about watching the babies coming out of the mommies in the video all he said was "I really don't know what to say about that".  After all was said and done he reached the conclusion that perhaps they were preparing us for the worst in order to prepare us.  After all, they don't want people saying "Wow that was nothing like the video they showed in class".

We did some relation exercises, talked about positions that would help with the pain of contractions and labor, the classic breathing exercises, etc.  The nurse told us that we should practice our kegel exercises and our breathing at odd times during the day.  She told the daddies they could help by telling the mommies "You are having a contraction now!" while we are in the shower, or when we least expect it so we can practice our breathing and relaxation anywhere, anytime, because that more than likely when it will happen.  So for the rest of day, as we Christmas shopped, drove home, got ready for bed, Michael took her seriously.  Except, he is more drill sergeant than labor coach.  So he randomly yells: "CONTRACTION!" which makes me burst out laughing because it is impossible to take him seriously.  To which he almost always responds like he's Jamie Foxx in Jarhead:"I SAID CLEANSING BREATH BITCH!"


  1. I am completely afraid of the whole birthing process. This did not help.

  2. lmao at micah (and michael) ; )


  3. that was great! ~ Jen B

  4. Hahahahaha. LMAO @ micah! And I was totally seeing Michael as Jamie Fox just now. I love how simple the birthing process seems to men until they go through something like that..and yet he'll STILL be in for a surprise when its the real thing :)

    This post is the first thing that made me genuinely smile this morning. Thanks :)

  5. I love the commentary on the birthing class! I never felt more like an animal and an important part of nature than during Collin's birth so I see what Michael's seeing in the videos. Rob always cringed at the videos and I always cried - LOL! How different we are:)


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