Sunday, November 29, 2009

What's Worse? An 8 Hour Childbirth Class or Actual Childbirth?

Mark and I took an 8 hour childbirth class at the end of September. If I'd known that would have been my last bedrest-free weekend before going to the hospital the following Sunday, I wouldn't have elected to spend it in a classroom at Kaiser. Heck, we determined halfway into the class that it was a waste of time. But where else could I subject Mark to a bunch of graphic birthing videos. (I have to wonder though, who agrees to star in them...)

The instructor had all the mothers-to-be give their partners a massage for 2 minutes. Mark missed out on this because he made the mistake of going to the bathroom and (I'm guessing) leisurely checking his phone. Then the future dads had to give the moms a 20 minute massage. Thankfully Mark was back in time for that.

Mark massaging me by order of the instructor.

No childbirth class is complete without a segment on breathing through pain. Our instructor actually demonstrated slowly breathing in and out (super simple, just like it sounds) for 40 seconds before determinig we were ready to try it on our own with her. She then taught us "hee-hee-hee-hoo" breathing, exhaling on the "hoo." She gave each of us (guys, too) a piece of ice to hold in each hand, and had us breathe hrough the pain for 45 seconds. Mark grimaced all the way through it and appeared to be in obvious pain, waving his hands back and forth, by the time he was able to drop it. Meanwhile, I went an extra 15 seconds just for show. (of course I'm sure childbirth feels just like some pieces of ice in your hands.)

Next, only the ladies went another 45 seconds while their partners helped them breathe. The instructor had shown us an alternative way to do the "hee-hee-hee-hoo" breathing which involved the partners holding up fingers indicating how many "hee"s to do. Mark decided to go this route. But instead of doing 3 or 4 "hee"s like the instructor demonstrated he went off-script. One time he held up 8 fingers with thumbs interlocked making butterfly hands, another time just held up a fist for zero, and on and on. He cracked me up (as well as the other nurse there to observe), and the 45 seconds literally flew by as I honestly didn't notice the pain.

I'm sure when I'm actually giving birth Mark's antics will amuse me for about 2 minutes before I slap him.

There was a woman there expecting twins who was due a day before me. Granted, she was taller and therefore had more room for them to grow, but she barely looked pregnant! Compare that to me in these pictures where I'm 25 1/2 weeks along but could pass for full term. I wanted to get a picture with her for the blog but Mark thought that would be weird.

We were encouraged to try out the exercise balls and try tennis ball massage.

Then Mark wanted to play...

See those trash cans behind Mark? Immediately after striking this pose he lost his balance, and fell into them like a bowling ball into bowling pins. It was awesome.


  1. Kathy, Your shoes are cute! Wouldn't it be nice if you had this much fun giving birth? Mom M

  2. Whatever you do........ don't grab Mark's hand during a contraction. I did that........... Frank's fingers were so sore for weeks after I squeezed him to death! Judy

  3. @Mom: I'm glad you like my shoes. I bought them with you several years back. Target special!

    @Judy: Thanks for the advice. I'll reach for Mark's hair instead.

  4. All kinds of LOL! I will be so impressed if you are smiling like that through your actual delivery (see part about smacking your husband after 2 minutes).

    I hyperventilated. That breathing stuff is hard. Oh, but I loved the exercise ball more than anything.

  5. Maria, the instructor warned us about hyperventilating. Yeah, I know I'm so not going to be smiling during labor. Mark better think up some new material and soon...