Monday, September 27, 2010

The Case of the Rapidly Vanishing Weekends...

I had big plans this weekend. They mostly involved finishing up Halloween invitations and getting started on the actual party prep, seeing as our party is just over A MONTH away (ouch). I had a couple other commitments to work around, but I was confident I could make some progress...

HA HA HA HA HA. Clearly I forgot that I was pregnant.

And exhausted.

And emotional.

So Friday night, after an unexpectedly crazy week at work (that SHOULD have been a total cakewalk), I came home and crashed at 6pm. No, seriously, I did. I think I woke up at some point to put on my PJs, but that was it for the evening. Goodbye, Friday.

Saturday morning we had an ALL DAY birthing class. 9-5. And that was the short version. I went into it with a mild mix of curiosity and dread, knowing that I'm an awful patient, a confirmed fainter, and somewhat in denial of labor. But we gathered up our pregnancy manual, blanket, and two pillows, and ventured to the basement of our hospital to be enlightened. We learned all sorts of "interesting" little gems, such as the encouraging news that "the human vagina is built for accommodation, and has no trouble birthing a 15 lb baby." Unfortunately, though, your pelvis is not so accommodating and vehemently disagrees. Within the first hour, this little demonstration was passed around:

Well, not exactly this one, I wasn't taking snapshots - but this little setup found here is pretty much what we passed around the room in order to play "mash the baby through the pelvis."

That first photo makes it seem much less traumatic than it is, that pelvis is barely wider than the baby's head, and jr. has to twist and turn to wiggle through, so here's another illustration

[found here]

While we were lucky in that our instructor didn't have the adorable placenta piece of the playset, it was still enough to make me sweaty...and fainty...and run to the bathroom with dry heaves.

This bodes really well for me and the whole ACTUAL labor process, right? I told you I was a bad patient. But seriously, has anyone seen the head sizes in my husband's family? I'm getting sick again thinking about it...

I'm pretty sure the Husband would have been more than willing to leave at that point, but we stuck it out. There were actually some fairly helpful and surprising ideas raised, such as during the labor simulation (mostly a waste, since I have no idea what a contraction will feel like and consequently how far off the deep end it will send me). This is the iconic part of the class where you sit in front of your partner with your pillows and he's supposed to soothe you through your contractions.


Remember previously when I was confused about the "soft music" recommendation? It's for this part. Also suggested were "low lighting, aromatherapy, and soothing massage." We did an exercise with ice in our hands to determine what helped us cope with stressful/painful situations.

All of the above annoyed the !@#$ out of me.

It's not a huge surprise.

But what I did find out I appreciated was movement. Namely, playing with these guys:

Birthing balls = mega fun. At least when you're not birthing, for that confirmation I'll have to get back to you. But with my antsy high strung personality, I loved being able to bounce and rock and roll around. I'm highly considering replacing my desk chair with one, like they did on DeGrassi:

(source - and a funny account of visiting the DeGrassi set)

And with that, worth considering is that once you have an epidural, they pry the birthing ball out of your hands for the rest of the labor and make you sit in bed tethered to an IV, fetal monitor, and urinary catheter. It has something to do with being numb from abdomen to thigh, not really conducive to bouncing or walking (or holding your urine) and apparently a bit of a liability for hospitals. So something to ponder - what will be more comforting to me, movement or medication? Prior to this class I was leaning towards the epidural, but now I'm considering other pain medications as well.

The truth is I still have no !@#$ing idea, and really can't decide till we get in the moment.

And the point of this meandering story was that I didn't get anything done on Saturday either. By the time we got home from our class, I was completely wiped out. And maybe crying in the fetal position.

Sunday we went to the Renaissance Festival, which was equally traumatizing but for completely different reasons (I'm not saying I didn't have a bad outfit phase in college, but let's all agree not everyone should wear corsets. Or chain maille. Or crop tops.) It was mega crowded, and my patience for crowds (short as it was) came to an abrupt end months ago, as did my tolerance for incense, cigarette smoke, and most heinously, cigars. Who smokes cigars in the middle of a bunch of kids?!?!? Argggggh! We also parked 6 miles away, so I was tired by the time we got in the front gates.

And then I fell asleep at 9 while trying to watch Madmen, and had a dream I was asleep in my office at work.

AAACCCCCK! How am I going to get all of my Halloween projects done in a month?!?!? Adrenaline, don't fail me now!!!

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