Childbirth Class!

I was so exhausted last night, I went to bed two hours early and didn't have the energy to blog. I still need to do day 10-12 of the 30 day challenge (will do later tonight) but wanted to at least put up a post about my childbirth class.

The class was fantastic. The instructor, Ellen, was really good. We had figured that about 1/2 of the class would be useful stuff and the other half just fluff but instead, the entire class was informative and helpful.

She started off by showing diagrams of what a woman's body looks like inside before pregnancy, and up through just before delivery. I thought this was great because now Brad could kind of understand why I am so uncomfortable all the time. She explained each stage of childbirth, how long it typically lasts, what to expect during those times, etc. She had props and everything. Then we got to see a video of women actually in labor - it showed women in the different stages and how they were handling their pain. They were unmedicated births on the video. We saw a video on c-section as well, and a video of a birth that took place at Emerson.

She discussed the things the hospital promotes - walking around, using a birthing ball, using the tub, basically being active during the active stages of labor. She let us know that we can push in whatever position is most comfortable for us when it comes to that time (even if you have an epidural; it was asked by someone in the class if you're limited to the bed when you've had an epi and she said no). You can even push on the toilet if you want to!

She discussed the epidural (which I still very much do not want - not because I am against them, just because of the fear of that needle in the back. If they could give me an epi through my IV, I'd be all for it!), and also how the hospital looks at it. If you come in knowing you want an epi, they won't talk you out of it or make you wait for it, once you're in active labor they'll give it to you if you know you want it. If you are unsure, they will hold off and try other things before giving it to you - there's all the walking/tub stuff, but also they can give a shot of numorphan to take the edge off the pain. And then if you're laboring well and get close to the end and scream for the epi they will try to talk you out of it - you got this far so well without it, why get such a big intervention, you can do it on your own.

They have 1 on 1 nursing - so you get a nurse (if it's a long labor you'll see more than one nurse) that stays with you while you labor - she doesn't have other patients at the same time. Only your partner and one other person are allowed in the labor room with you (though they can make exceptions) - other than that the floor is locked so that unwanted visitors can't come bother you (which is fantastic - I'd started to get a little worried that certain family members would stress me out if they were to come visit during labor, this takes care of that worry). Basically you won't have visitors until you're on the postpartum floor, and even then, hours are only from 1-8.

Baby goes right to your stomach when he comes out so you get to bond right away.They won't give him anything without asking first if you're breastfeeding (I will not be but it's good for mom's that do!). If you have a c-section, when the baby comes out dad stays with him while you're being stitched back up.

We got a tour of the labor & delivery floor and the postpartum floor, both of which seem great. There are 8 labor rooms, and they do range a little in size but they try to give the biggest ones out first (same with the postpartum floor). They all have flat screen tv's, cd players and ipod docks, the typical stuff. As I mentioned before, you can use a birthing ball, or their tub/showers, and there's also a bar that can go across the bed to help you push in a squatting position. The postpartum floor is a little more like a nice hotel - beds for me and hubby, a desk, wi-fi, tv, room service. Baby stays with the mom unless she requests him to go to the nursery (or if baby is having his hearing test, etc). I think this is probably typical but for security, the baby wears two bracelets, mom and dad each have one as well, and then the baby also has a "lojack" system so that the nurses can see exactly where the baby is on the floor at all times.

You get two days to stay, not including day of delivery, and also if you deliver between 8pm and 8am that doesn't count and you get a third day. Four for a c-section.

During the class she also had us practice some breathing and relaxation techniques. Got to sit up against Brad while he gave me a massage, which was very nice!

Anyway, there's so much we learned about the hospital and the stages of childbirth during the class, I was extremely pleased. I'm sure I left some stuff out, but this is a good majority of it. :)

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