We had our first childbirth class last night.
And how do I feel?
I'm feeling a bit anxious really.
We walked into a room filled with bean bags and ladies with big bellies. This was the right room. They all looked a friendly bunch. We all introduced ourselves. It was a class of about 10. 8 for the labour ward and 2 for the birth centre. All our first little ones.
The class was all about the different stages of labour and what happens in each. The midwife talked about different positions the baby could be in (breech, posterior, anterior, transverse) and had a special doll that sat in a pelvis. I couldn't help but think that the doll was a heckofalot bigger than the space inside the pelvis.
When talking about the stages of labour, the midwife wrote up all the categories of things that happen and the stage in which they take place. For instance your waters could break at any time. Days or weeks before birth or even after birth. That freaked me out a bit.
She talked about mucous plugs and dialation and effacement and then there was this little category called pain.
It was all making me feel pretty squeamish but this topped it off. First it's supposed to feel like cramps and then it's supposed to just get worse till you are "beyond pain." (her words)
I'm a huge fan of the natural birth for many reasons. I loved reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I have been thinking about breathing techniques, water births and rushes not contractions. I'm booked into the birth centre where there is not an epidural in sight.
So when people talk about being in a world of pain and then going beyond that. It makes me nervous.
I'm into the third trimester and starting to get bigger. It's trickier to walk around, bend over, get into the car. I'm feeling positively elderly. Then there is the discomfort of having a head right down in my pelvis and all the joy that brings. I'm experiencing a bit of hurt. So when people talk about pain I feel I can relate. And then I get really nervous.
What if I get there and find I can't do it. What if I wuss out. And my favourite worry, what if I explode there in the delivery room. (This is a very real concern in my mind. The midwife at the birth centre has assured me I will not explode. I'm not so sure.)
I guess it's all well and good. They are just trying to prepare me. I don't think I thought it would exactly be a walk in the park but it still makes me really really nervous.
I think the classes will be fine. I'm hoping they will give some good tips on how to deal with the anxiety I'm feeling and not just with gas or injections into my spine.
I think Myl quite enjoyed it. He has been reading his man with a pram book and so knew quite a bit about babies and the like. I think he will be really great when I'm in labour. As long as I have his hand to hold I think I will be ok. I just wish I wasn't so nervous.