noideadog: (natural dancer)
[personal profile] noideadog
We had our childbirth class today. The nurse got us to practice Lamaze breathing exercises and made sure we understood that everything we'd learned from tv was wrong. "If you breathe like they do on soap operas, you'll just be dizzy. We're going to do long slow breaths, with short breaths for the peaks. Do they work? No, of course they don't work! They're just to distract you." I appreciated the honesty.

We talked through all of the ways things could progress and watched as a (largish) plastic doll made its way through a (smallish) plastic pelvis in several unlikely ways. Nobody fainted, but we were all a bit quiet and thoughtful by the end of the day. I mean, I guess I already knew most of this stuff, but I knew it in the interesting theoretical way that you can know things that are on the internet. It's different when the things are supposed to apply to you in some way. And in the next six to eight weeks, most likely. Surely not.

The hospital instructions form doesn't have a checkbox for "all of the drugs please, and also a martini and whatever you're having yourself", but I think they've left room to write it in.

The other thing that's going on right now is that we're insulating the icebox that is our living room. Last months' bathroom renovation was my first ever big house project, and this is my second, and I'm noticeably more comfortable with the process this time around. I'd hire these contractors again. Well, I should wait until it's all done before I pat myself too firmly on the back, but so far I have high hopes... and, of course, much less money than I started with.

Painting is the next thing. I had no good ideas, but people on gplus made good suggestions and we have five kinds of light grey paint to start splodging on walls tomorrow.

So, childbirth, insulation and light grey walls. Are these the riveting topics I expected to be talking about at age thirty four and three quarters? Would you like to hear about how we're changing health insurance providers at work too? Aw, I might be feeling a bit wistful for what I was doing this time last year, because I ended up spending hours on looking at pictures of train stations. Don't you just want to go whereever this lady is going?

I got a print of her, and one of this, and they'll keep me going until it's time to travel again.

Date: 2012-11-11 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Did your instructor have a knitted uterus? (er, I mean, for demonstration purposes, not was she actually part jumper) I saw not one, but two woolly uteri during childbirth classes when pregnant with Arlo. There was a lot of talk about the cervix being like the neck of a sweater.

Also I can highly recommend not having a baby attempting to exit the pelvis face-up. Not that sadly you get much choice in the matter but I have been led to understand that other configurations are much more convenient for the entire process.

And generally eeeeeeeeee, exciting, baby! I will let you know how my ejection process works out in a couple of weeks. Gulp.

Date: 2012-11-15 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No wool at all! I feel cheated. They did show us how the doll might try to come out face first, and everyone in the room yelped and backed away. Alarming!

Date: 2012-11-12 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I recommend concentrating really hard on something during each contraction. Pick a spot in the distance, say ohmmmmmmm, or whatever, just concentrate on something that isn't the contraction :). And remember that each one is actually quite short. I think that giving in to the urge to scream is probably actually counter productive, but I'm not sure, because I, being the badass* I am, never did :P.

A few things that no one warned me about:
- Once your waters break you're going to need to wear a great big pad at all times
- If they induce you, the 'period pain like pains' that they warn you about just sort of fade into contractions
- Even if you're allowed to eat, you're not gonna want to, so have energy sweets or drinks or something ready to keep you going. I threw up the cornflakes I tried to force into myself the morning of the day I actually gave birth (at 5:01pm). Body just says 'eh, no, I'm busy here! Can't digest, giving birth!'
- I don't know if it's the same there, but here if you want to exclusively breastfeed you're going to need to argue with midwives who are trying to give the baby a bottle to shut it up
- Breastfeeding is really frickin' hard at first, but it gets easier. The baby will be learning too, but is likely to get the hang of it first, so trust them.

*Actually there were several contributing factors, such as pregnancy yoga and pilates from almost the week I found out, and this book Mags had about breathing and preparing stuff that I really took to heart. But still. I badass.

Date: 2012-11-13 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Being in NYC where the mayor wants to stop hospitals handing out formula samples, I think she should have less chance of having to fend off unwanted bottles.

I agree with the focusing on one spot. I didn't scream exactly, but I found that making sounds did help, as long as they were sort of low breath-expelling sounds and not anything high-pitched or full of tension. And this all reminds me that I promised to write up a bit about my two experiences for you. Must get on that. Don't know if they'll be applicable at all, mind you, but I appreciated hearing people's honest versions of their stories, no overwrought drama or any sugarcoating.

Jolly Ranchers are ace for something for a bit of energy, imo.

Date: 2012-11-15 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would appreciate that too. I get cranky about people at work (mostly guys) being all "haha, wow, this really painful thing is going to happen to you, how about that?" (we need to re-evaluate our hiring criteria), but real life stories that aren't all horror or mystical birthing experiences are definitely useful.

Date: 2012-11-15 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Badass indeed! Dude.

This waters breaking thing is a bit weird. I'm surprised that it's not more of a thing people talk about. The nurse was like "...and suddenly you're the cause of the cleanup in aisle four, haha", like that is somehow more funny than horrific. How is that not awful?

Our hospital's running a campaign against letting formula companies give out free samples, and the nurse was really adamant about not using bottles even for breastmilk for the first month so the kid wouldn't get lazy and be slack about nursing. No worries on that account. Noted on everything else though! I'll stock up on yoghurt and applesauce, which are probably the easiest things on the planet to eat, especially when you mix them together.

Date: 2012-11-15 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not horrific to the nurse because of human nature. Things you see all the time tend not to be, so you don't go crazy. Also, it's not THAT bad :).

I recommend exactly six weeks for baby's first bottle if you intend to bottle feed at all. I have heard that earlier and they might reject the nipple, later and they might reject the bottle. Our experiences with S and K seemed to back this up, S was perfectly happy with both after first seeing a bottle at six weeks, and K rejected one later. But then P also rejected a bottle, much earlier. *shrug*


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