To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lamaze: Week 4

We are officially over half way done with our 7 course Lamaze series, and this was the first one without Man Friend. He was scheduled to work nights, so it was just my mom and I to fend for ourselves. As per usual, I was the first one there so I could get my spot in the corner. It is quite a load to get a yoga ball, yoga mat, blanket, 4 pillows, my binder and notepad, purse and water in one trip, but we did it! You'll read about it in the weekly post, but the first thing we did since it was just mom, our teacher and I, was discuss the major contractions I had over the weekend. Soon, though, the remaining couples arrived and we were on the floor starting class.  

The first thing we did was hear more about the first baby born to one of us. Hearing the details of the delivery was very interesting, but I won't elaborate here. Some of it was like my own birth so I imagine my mom and I were extra attentive to the particular situation this couple had faced.

Next up we hit the mats for our relaxation and breathing exercises. I fully admit it happened ... I had a major attack of the giggles. Then feeling my belly shake around made me laugh anymore. The couple next to me had their own fit of the giggles, so that made me laugh anymore. Here's what happened... I was in my comfy position with my eyes shut and preparing for the exercises. I felt something close to me and opened my left eye. Hovering over me was my mom. It looked like Bela Lugosi as Dracula very close ready to suck my blood.  Apparently she couldn't see my breathing - but the "contraction" hadn't begun yet, so I was still just in my normal breathing, not anything deep. Anyway, seeing her hover so close was enough to start the giggles!  New this week we traded positions. My mom had to pretend to be pregnant and I had to be the Lamaze partner. Yeah, well this time I couldn't hear her breathing so I rotated to be at her front. I was still having a hard time, so our teacher told me to watch her side and see it rise and fall to know when she is exhaling. That helped, but then I realized I sucked so much because I was concentrating so hard on her breathing that I then had no idea what verbal cues to use. I actually said I was glad I was the one in labor because that felt easier than being the coach!

We advanced ourselves on breathing that we will use during the more intense contractions. Some people were getting light headed or not feeling they could get enough air. I started to wonder if maybe my running has paid off with regard to this. I haven't had any issues with the breathing yet. When I began running it was the breathing that was the hard part that I had to work at. So perhaps all that hard work I put in and practiced so much at is paying off for the biggest marathon of my life!

For the discussion portion we learned about contractions, which led to my sharing of my Sunday experience that you'll read about in the next post. It was so reassuring to hear that all of us keep having feelings like we are about to get our periods. I wake up every morning with that dull achy feeling down low like I'd normally have the day my period arrives. Obviously I'm not getting that, so I wondered if these feelings were normal - and it turns out it is and all of us ladies are having that happen.  Phew!

Most of the talk was about the Transition phase of labor - the shortest, but most intense part. Discussing it felt helpful. While we can't predict exactly how things will go for each of us, I enjoy learning about things that are likely to happen and how to cope with them. It freaks me out that I keep feeling so calm about all of this. But that's good. I mean even 1 month ago I was terrified of it and now that I have increasing knowledge and more and more skills, I'm of course nervous, but not scared. I'm feeling ready .... which is a damn good thing since even during class I kept having growing, albeit non-painful, contractions and was watching my belly move all around and she kept shifting. Heck just getting to bed after class was a chore when it felt like she was again continuing her downward push toward her exit.

Seriously, February 20th.... if she's not here before then I'll be surprised. I need her to be here before Oscar Sunday, however. I want to teach this girl about the Red Carpet and my most favorite awards night ever!

Next week I think she said we will learn about pushing and watch some videos. Man Friend will be back with Mom and I, and I am in charge of snacks. Time to brainstorm on something brilliant!

***This is NOT Lamaze or baby related, but I just bought tickets to Steve Martin and Martin Short in July and I am ridiculously excited. Ooh, maybe I should watch Father of the Bride part 2 - a perfect combo of these hilarious men AND it involves babies! Fabulous idea!

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