Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Go to your happy place

MB and I started our six-week Prepared Childbirth class last week, and while I was somewhat disappointed that our class isn't going to involve a knitted blue-and-white striped uterus like Jonniker's did, I think it's going to be interesting. I really like our teacher, who endeared herself to me during the first class by calling the early-stage embryos in her birth atlas "critters." She doesn't seem to have a huge agenda of medicated birth vs. natural birth, either, which is a relief. A friend of mine was told at her first birth class, "This is all you need to know:  say 'I want my epidural!' and you'll be fine."

Some of the stuff we're asked to do for homework is going to be a little bit goofy, I think, but I appreciate the general spirit of the thing if that makes sense. At each class she gives us a few pages of homework from the booklet, we talk about some aspect of pregnancy / birth, and then she has us sit on the floor and learn a few simple exercises. This week we practiced relaxation and visualization, so that was a big win. Almost like mini-naptime! Before we practiced relaxing, she taught us about kegels.

She pointed out that Dr. Kegel wants us ladies to do kegels until the baby is born, and then to keep doing them for the rest of our lives. "Or," she added, "at least feel guilty about not doing them for the rest of your lives." HA. She told us that kegels are especially nice since we can do them anywhere. One woman she talked to, for instance, kegeled any time she was up changing a diaper. Someone else kegeled while washing dishes or folding laundry. "I've even heard of a woman who kegeled at red lights," she said, "but that one bothers me, to be honest." I expected her to say something about unsafe driving habits, but instead: "It bothers me because now when I'm at a red light, I'm looking at all the other drivers, wondering who is doing kegels." And now the rest of us will be, too.


  1. I had my babies (back in the 80's)with a OB-GYN group who believed that natural childbirth is possible. They made us really believe that you could do it without any medication, if that's what you wanted.

    I had both (very large) babies with no epidural...just a lot of walking and squatting and breathing.

    Do the kegels. Your bladder will forever be greatful for the muscle tone!

    How will you prepare your puppy for the new baby?

  2. Hey, there! I am hoping for a natural birth. I read the Bradley book, and have The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Childbirth checked out from the library. My OB is fairly supportive, although she has cautioned me that I should keep my options open. It's probably pretty good advice, really. I'm just going to do what I can to prepare myself, and then trust my instincts as much as I can.

    As for preparing the dog, we've been reading tips online and in books about preparing Indy for the brachiopod's arrival. So far, I think he's in pretty good shape. He's living the high life, but he's not stereotypically babied like some dogs are, so it's not like we'll have to wean him off sitting on our laps and being fed from the table.

    We've been working with him on not sticking his nose up into our laps when we eat on the couch, and MB has a plan for a neat thing he read in one of the books -- it said to put a small mat down on the floor a little ways off from where you're going to be most frequently changing the baby's diaper. Then at the beginning of the change, you send the dog to sit on the mat. He gets a treat if he stays there instead of coming over and trying to make off with the diaper. Sounds good to me!

    We've talked about how we'll need to shift our daily routine around so that Indy still gets his morning walk after my maternity leave runs out and I go back to work. Pretty soon I will probably take the stroller out of the box and push it empty on a few walks with Indy to make sure he's not afraid of it. If he's cool with it, we won't have to do much more, but if he doesn't like it, we'll hopefully have enough time to get him used to it before the baby actually needs to ride in it.

    And of course we'll plan to send a blanket home with the baby's smell on it for him to sniff before he meets the actual baby.

    I'm open to any other tips and tricks, if you've got any advice! :D

  3. Anonymous7:26 AM

    HA! I loved the red light comment.

    Helpful tip: even if you wind up having a cesarian, you STILL need to do your kegels to avoid those lovely old-lady diapers post-menopause. It's pregnancy that destroys your pelvic floor, not just pushing the baby out!