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Kathy's Pregnancy Journal

Week 32
~ Night of the Birthing Dread

Jeff and I had birthing class this week. We missed the first class since our care provider told us to wait until the September classes. We found out later that there were no September classes, hence why we are now attending the August classes.

The class was a modest size. There were about 12 couples there. Most couples were due in October like us. The class started out slowly, but the pace picked up quickly. The nurse briefly went over what was discussed in the first class, which included the different stages of labor. We then moved on to discuss pain management in labor which covered everything from breathing techniques to epidurals. I noticed that several of the women were getting uncomfortable. Most of us were shifting in our chairs as we looked at the graphic pictures of epidural administration and vaginal births. However, the tears of a few women started flowing when we began discussing c-sections, episiotomies and forceps.

I must admit I would have been terrified as well if it hadn't been for all the torture I went through with my eye a year earlier. For each contraption they pulled out, I thought "that's nothing compared to what they did to my eye." I thought about what most of the women and men would think if I showed them a picture of the long metal rod (not needle folks, rod) that was inserted into my eye during one of my procedures; all done with only numbing drops in my eye. Try holding still for that!

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Jeff was adept at sensing any tension from me. He learned last year that the best way to comfort me is to make me laugh. So, he proceeded with the jokes. He had special effect noises for nearly every contraption the nurse pulled out of the bag. He made suction noises for the vacuum tubes, cracked the "salad spoon" joke when the forceps were shown and made a drilling noise when a fetal monitor was displayed. I could see most of the women frowning even as I tried to stifle the giggles. Still, it goes back to what your spouse should not say while pregnant. Not all women appreciated his jokes.

By the end of the discussion, two women were openly crying. Most others had the deer caught in the headlights look. I only yawned. Next, we headed upstairs to take a tour of the maternity care center. When we arrived at the birthing room, I had acquired a small headache. Something was off with the lighting that was disturbing my eye in the birthing room, which means I'll have to wear my vision shields during labor and delivery. I was upset by this fact so Jeff started cracking jokes again. When the nurse transformed the bed (all the while Jeff was singing "more than meets the eye") and turned on all the lights (yes, there was a spotlight as well), the whole scene looked like something out of a movie; a particular type of movie, in my husband's opinion. And my husband dared to blurt out "Hey, it looks like you're ready to film a porno." Sigh. This is my highly educated and brilliant husband who seems to regress to a junior high boy in my presence. It must be love.

After the tour of the maternity care center, the nurse took a few questions. One of the women began asking questions and seemed to get more upset with each answer. Tears were flowing again by the end of the Q&A which made all the husbands shift uncomfortably around. Trying to explain the rush of hormones we all were experiencing to Jeff was a near impossible task. He reverted back to his joke telling.

The birthing class probably seemed like a scene out of a horror movie for most of us. Giving birth definitely wasn't presented as a pleasant experience. Still, I feel confident that I can handle anything, even my husband's rather ribald jokes.

~ Kathy

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