With all of the lumbering around that I’ve been doing these past two weeks, I sure wouldn’t complain if I was required to go on chair rest. Not bed rest, that wouldn’t be nearly as comfortable (our bed is really soft, and any slight change of position is currently uncomfortable). And not just any chair rest, some are superior to others. Dining room chair rest. That would be where it was at. Our dining room chairs are the right amount comfortable, while still being supportive, with a good seat to back angle (the Metra seats are decidedly not at a comfortable angle). At this stage of the game, I’m finding that I feel most normal/human/not in pain when seated in a good sturdy chair. It’s not until I have to stand up from my seated position or start walking that the aches come back. So bring on the chair rest, I won’t complain 😉
After our marathon birthing class yesterday I think it’s safe to say that none of the means of baby evacuation from the womb sounded at all feasible to me so this child is just going to stay where it’s at. Although I’m in some pretty heavy discomfort now, it’s just better this way.
I should probably start at the beginning… 9:00 on a Saturday morning. Class started out easy enough, go around the room and say what gender you’re having, when’s your due date, do you have a name picked out and what have been your favorite and least favorite things about being pregnant. Ironically, no where in there were you instructed to say YOUR name. After the nurses covered false labor signs, early labor signs, and other related pre-labor topics. The best part of the day was getting to sit on the floor on pillows, leaning up against Mike as we worked on breathing exercises (we both agreed after class that there should have been more focus on those techniques). That brought us to a bathroom break, and a long line of very pregnant women waiting to pee. Things were still relatively light leading up to lunch – we covered off on the early part of Stage 1 of labor, the portion when you could still be at home.
Part of the lunch break was a tour of the birthing portion of the hospital – which Mike and I opted out of since the class wasn’t at the particular hospital that we’re set to deliver at. This gave us extra time to sit and chat over our delicious lunch of hospital cafeteria food.
After lunch came the videos. We saw two women give birth naturally (well, let’s be honest, one was pretty unnatural/awkward, which the nurses agreed, which left me wondering why we were watching it….). Those women seemed to handle it well, they were obviously in pain and seemed a little out of it in between contractions, but there was no screaming. It seemed kinda manageable, but the nurses kept insisting that most everyone opts for epidurals now because the pain is so bad. That wasn’t very reassuring to me.
Then the discussion completely turned to IV pain medication and epidurals. Mike and I have already discussed our options with our new doctor and have decided to make it a game-day decision. Our major hesitation about heavy drug intervention like an epidural is that I usually have weird reactions to medication (losing all muscle function when I took one muscle relaxer, sleep walking and hallucinations from a half dose of a sleeping pill, taking Day-Quil and almost passing out during my history exam in college, and the list goes on). We worry that losing feeling to my legs might make me completely useless when it comes time to push. The doctor said that we could start on something that would just take the edge of the pain off and if I didn’t react well to that, they could get it out of my system immediately. Regardless, in class we had to watch the VIDEO of the woman getting an epidural. I had no clue that so much adhesives/tape goes onto your back to hold it in place (you should have seen the horrified look on my face while watching that go down – for those of you who aren’t blessed to know me and a few of my neuroses outside of this blog, I don’t do well with adhesives on skin). I was also getting uncomfortable with all of the waiver signing that the women in the videos were having to do. I generally make it a point in life not to do things that require me to sign death waivers.
While I could feel my eyes welling up a few times during the previous post-lunch topics, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the discussion turned to C-sections. After watching the incredibly detailed animation of a C-section the nurse was raving about how they make everything inside of you nice and clean and pretty before GLUING OR STAPLING YOU BACK TOGETHER. Skin-bonding glue. Staples. By this time Mike had noticed the tears rolling down my cheeks as I tried to pretend that I wasn’t crying, and offered me a tissue as he held my hand for the remainder of that portion of the class. Thank goodness the room was dark and we were sitting in the back so it’s less likely that anyone else saw me dabbing my eyes.
They say knowledge is power, but they also say that ignorance is bliss. While I generally like to be totally informed going into things that I’m afraid of, this might have been a little too much information. The rest of class rolled past as we talked about the baby after its born, and we were released an hour early.
We headed from the hospital to the mall for a bit of a walk and dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. There was a couple at the table next to ours with a newborn baby, and I took solace in the fact that that woman survived. Mike tried to further cheer me up over key-lime pie reminding me that I’ve handled being pregnant far better than anyone (even myself) expected, so perhaps labor would go that way as well.
After dinner we watched the final two episodes of The West Wing (insert more emotions as my round ligaments were killing me and our seven-season journey through that show together had come to an end). Since it wasn’t even 8:30 by the time the episodes wrapped up, we decided to go unpack the nursery a little bit more. I sat in the massive rocking chair while Mike proceeded to make a show of taking the Diaper Dude (men’s diaper messenger bag) out of its packaging and pretending to pack it with full packs of diapers, wipes, and the entire Baby Bjorn. By the time he was assembling the Diaper Genies he had me laughing my ass off. No matter how daunting what’s coming next in pregnancy is, and has always been, I’ve found Mike’s unwavering enthusiasm towards being a dad and desire to keep me smiling throughout the whole ordeal to be a rock with which to cling to. I’m not sure who’s luckier – myself for getting to spend the rest of my life with someone who can have me in stitches over a Diaper Genie within moments after I’ve been sad about something or this baby who is going to have a rockstar of a father who never once during this entire process has doubted that he is not only ready to be, but wants to be a dad.