We survived Lamaze!

Last night Nick and I attended our 4th and final Lamaze class. We’ve graduated! In our final session, we discussed postpartum and reviewed information from previous classes. We also had a mini party (yes, my chocolate cake was a big hit). One thing the instructor stressed to us was that we can’t plan our labor experience. We can be prepared, but life is unpredictable. The most important thing we should hope for is a healthy baby. Amen, sister!!

Our class concluded with a tour of the 4th floor of the main hospital– labor and delivery. As the elevator doors opened, Nick and I immediately noticed how quiet it was. There were no laboring women screaming from behind hospital room doors and no blood soaked doctors rushing down the hallway. It was quiet and calm. The first stop on our tour was a labor suite. After being admitted, this is the room that I will call ‘home’ until baby X is born. The suite is very large and contains a macdaddy bed, TV, DVD player, private bathroom, recliner, and lots of space (most likely for the doctors, not me). Once the baby is delivered, I will stay in this suite for only 1-2 hours before I’m moved into a postpartum room on the opposite end of the 4th floor. There is a slim chance I will have to bunk with another mom if it’s a busy week. 

Next, we stopped by the nursery. The nursery looks exactly as I expected it would with one exception. It was empty!! No babies!! About 4 nurses, though, were sitting around The nurserywaiting. They all waved to us and stared at our big bellies with anticipation. One older nurse wouldn’t stop smiling and even stepped closer to the glass separating us from her.

As concluded our tour by walking down the hallway to visit a postpartum room. We noticed that it was much noiser down by here. Visitors were buzzing around with ballons, waiting just like the nurses in the nursery. We peeked inside a postpartum room– they are smallar, not as homey but contain all the essentials like a bed (not as macdaddy), recliner for Nick, private bathroom, and TV/DVD player. I will stay at the hospital for 2 midnights after the baby is born. So, if baby X is born at 11pm Sunday, I will be discharged Tuesday morning. If baby is born on Monday at 2am, I will be discharged Wednesday morning. Check out is between 10-11am.

On our walk back to the elevators we saw our first baby, wrapped up like a mummy and being pushed by two nurses in a plastic bed on wheels. “This is a fresh one,” the nurse said as she continued down the hall to the nursery. I bet those nursery workers fought over that baby!

 So, Nick and I now feel confident about the hospital and the labor/delivery wing. We know where to go and what to expect. I just hope that I’m not sent home 2 times before being admitted!! 4 weeks to go!

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Lamaze class #2

Last night, Nick and I completed our second session of Lamaze. I finally figured out what OUR label should be: “Husband-that-asks-too-many-questions-during-class” couple. I never had the privilege of taking a class with Nick in college (he was a Science major, I was an English major) so I never knew that he thrives on participating! I’m the type of student that prefers to sit back, listen, take notes and perhaps ask the teacher a question AFTER class. Nick is the type that likes to raise his hand to provide the answer over and over again (similar to Lisa on the Simpsons) and when he’s inquisitive about something (which is often), he asks the teacher in the middle of class. I hated those people in college. Their curiousity usually prevented class from dismissing early. Of course, this isn’t college. And I’m glad that Nick is interested in learning more about forceps, episitomies, and pitocin . . .

In class last night, we reviewed the stages of labor by playing a game. We went into more detail about what happens when we arrive at the hospital (how the check in and what to expect). Our teacher also told us about Kegels, inductions, forceps, vacuums, and the various types of baby monitors they use. One thing I learned is that I DON’T want to be induced. Not only does it make the contractions more intense early on, it stresses the baby/mom and increases the chances of having a C-section.  Apparently, many doctors will offer inductions when they really aren’t needed, too  (ie: more convenient for the doctor or mom if she delivers on a certain date).  A woman should only be induced if 1) there’s a medical reason: it’s better for the baby to be out, than in OR 2) mom is nearing 42 weeks.  And yes, first time moms typically have a longer labor period and often go past their 40 week due date. Our teacher, for example, was 12 days over due with her 1st, 8 days over with her 2nd, and 4 days over with her 3rd child. My mom was 2 weeks late with me. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself!

Lamaze begins

Last night, Nick and I began our 4 week Lamaze class at Saint Anthony’s hospital. We will be attending every Thursday night from 6-9 p.m. (thank God for digital recording!! Can’t miss Grey’s!) for the next month.

We were almost late to class on the first night, but luckily so were 3 other couples. In fact, we waited until 6:10 for 2 couples to arrive. The third couple didn’t show until nearly 6:30. Our class consists of 6 couples and they come from all walks of life . . . and yes, Nick and I have labeled them already. There’s the “Religious” couple, the “WT” couple, the “Blue Collar” couple, the “I’m just plain weird: I-could-have-auditioned-for-American-Idol-in-Seattle” couple, and the “I’m married to a guy who wears square rimmed glasses and could be gay” couple. Nick and I haven’t come to an agreement on OUR label, but we’ll keep you posted. In short, we have a diverse class yet they all seem very pleasant and nice.

Our first class consisted of introductions, a summary of the stages of labor, when to come to the hospital, a birth video, and a brief breathing and relaxation exercise. The highlight of the night was, of course, the gruesome video. Most the guys in the room winced and closed their eyes during the close-up shots. Yes, birth isn’t pretty (Xander may be an only child!). One thing Nick & I both learned was that not only do moms have to deliver the baby, but they also have to give birth to the placenta!! When the placenta was delievered in the video, *I* winced and closed my eyes. I never realized the placenta had to be expelled separately and wow, it’s huge! Another thing we noticed was that all the women featured in the video were completely naked! No bra, no modesty, nothing!! Nick nudged me and said, “I don’t think you’ll be like that.”

In short, I learned that coming to the hospital TOO early isn’t recommended. In fact, the probability of having a C-section is increased 60% if you arrive too early. The best time to come to the hospital is during the ‘Active’ stage of labor. The actual ‘pushing’ stage of labor only lasts from 5-30 minutes– It’s all the earlier stages that can last hours and hours. Grrrrrreat . . .