Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Baby Birthing Class Winner and Loser

We had baby birthing class again on Monday night. Adam was "Mr. Correct Answer!" We were discussing amniotic fluid and question number one arose - You may see little white flecks in the amniotic fluid - what are the little white flecks? Adam, clearly having paid attention last week, knew the answer. (Sidenote: I was thinking to myself - poop, it must be white colored poop!) Adam says, "The stuff (vernex) that's coming off the baby's skin." This was the correct answer. Vernex is the stuff that you have previously heard referred to as "cheese." It's basically the gunk that covers the baby's skin when they are born as is the body's own natural lotion. So, it looked like we were off to a great start - right? Score one for Adam!

Then we continue through class and were discussing why breathing techniques are so important to use during labor. One of the advantages of breathing correctly is that it oxygenates the uterus during labor. And here was question 2 - Why would oxygenating the uterus be so important during labor? (Sidenote: At this point I'm thinking, "Gosh, oxygenating any part of your body would be important, maybe it's so your uterus can already start to heal itself?") Ah, but baby birthing class superstar Adam has the answer again - the more oxygen the uterus gets, the stronger the contractions it can make and the faster you can get the baby out. How does he know these things?

Finally, we got to a question that I, too, actually knew the answer to, but Adam was the one who actually shared the answer with our instructor. What do you need to make sure the laboring mother is doing every hour? Answer - Emptying her bladder. This is because the baby will be moving right over top of the bladder and if the bladder is full, this will be MUCH more painful.

So, yes it's a good thing that Adam made us appear like all-stars because I certainly did my best to turn that right back around. :) While discussing breathing techniques our instructor kept pointing out the importance of breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Now, while this sounds great to 99.9% of the world, it does not sound so great to me. I would LOVE to be able to breath through my nose, but unfortunately I did not inherit that ability from my own parents. Any of you who know me well also then know that I suffer from rather horrible allergies - funny since I have 3 cats and live in a place where the pollen count is always astronomically high, right? Anyways, I decided to brave the question - What if you can't breath through your nose? To this our instructor replies, "Ah you must have pregnancy rhinitis (sp?)." Now, I should have probably just said yes and left it at that, but I instead said, "No, I have horrible allergies and can't breath through my nose ever, not just when I'm pregnant." Score one point for the "not looking so good anymore, are we?" team! So, either no one else in our class was brave enough to mention that they can't breath through their noses or I'm really the only one. Either way, simply asking the question made me feel a little inferior to my fellow classmates. The "real" answer to my question, for all you inquiring minds, is that you should breath through your mouth but tuck your tongue behind your teeth so that your mouth still produces saliva on a more regular basis.

But, fear not, I was able to keep scoring "loser" points for us. Our instructor asked if any of us where aware that our babies were currently in a breech position. Having just confirmed this again with the doctor on Monday morning, I was able to say, without doubt, that Sadie is still quite happy being a "breech baby." (Sidenote: By remaining breech, Sadie can consistently aim her kicking, giant feet straight into my bladder!) Of course, and yet again, I'm the only one who speaks up and says that my baby is breech. So I'm left with thinking that either I am the only mother whose child is already being uncooperative or I am the only one brave enough again to speak. Judging from the looks of the other mothers in the room, though, I'm going with option one. So, to encourage Sadie to move into the correct position, the instructor tells me that I need to find a picture of a woman's pelvis with the baby in the correct upside-down, ready-to-come-out position. Then I am supposed to place this picture somewhere where I will see it multiple times each day and talk to myself and Sadie about getting into position. I tried to post the lovely picture that I found, but it keeps saying that there's an error with the format, so no luck for you!

Finally, our night ended with having to get onto the floor to practice our level one breathing techniques. Now, I don't mind getting on the floor at all. What my problem stems from is that our instructor wanted us to place a pillow under our heads, a pillow under our knees, and lie on the rock-hard floor on our backs. Just thinking about the possibility of this position pretty much made me instantly start hurting. Even in my nice comfy bed I find it nearly impossible to lie on my back. So, when the instructor asked if anyone was struggling with this position, guess who got to raise her hand again? (Sidenote: I will say that there was one other person in our class who has also been having lower back pain and would not even attempt the position, so I didn't feel like quite as big of a loser this time around). The instructor helped Adam to position the pillow under my butt and then kind of roll up the bit that was sticking out so that my knees could be slightly elevated. While this position was not great, it was at least vaguely tolerable. Then, while reclining in this position, we got to practice "relaxing". This is funny since it is hard to relax when the position you are in is not comfortable, but I made the best of the situation and was able to get as relaxed as I could at 32 weeks of pregnancy. :)

So, the night had its ups (Adam) and its downs (me). We did learn a lot and we have quite a bit of "homework" to do this week in the form of making notecards and practicing all of the techniques we have learned so far. Next week our night will conclude will a tour of the labor and delivery ward at Riverside. I'm actually pretty excited about this because then I will be able to picture everything more clearly in my head.

To end this post on a happy note, I have to share a funny story about my daughter's visit to the doctor this morning. I had my standard check-up with the doctor this morning. I wait and wait and wait until it's 45 minutes after my scheduled appointment time and then the doctor wanders in and spends about 5 minutes with me before moving on to her next patient. Apparently Sadie was not going to have any of this "only 5 minutes with the doctor" business, though. Before the doctor even arrived in the room she had been moving about like a busy little bee. I informed the doctor of this before she tried to find Sadie's heart beat, but until she actually had the wand out and over my belly, I'm not quite sure that the doctor understood what I meant by, "She's been moving around A LOT this morning." Every time the doctor would locate Sadie's heart beat, Sadie would start to move and kick and punch. This movement accelerated her heartbeat so that her readings were 190 beats per minute. Because the doctor wanted to make sure that this was not a "constant state" for Sadie, she had to keep following her around in my belly and trying to get her to calm down. Sadie finally calmed down to around 160 beats per minute, which seemed to satisfy the doctor because she cleaned the goop off my belly and said that I definitely had a "wild child." I found the whole thing quite funny! :)

Well, I fully expect to be exhausted for the next several days, so I'm not sure when I might post again. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I have an all-day conference 8 am to 4 pm in downtown Columbus. This is an education conference on differentiated instruction. I am excited to be attending the conference, but this will be the most "real work" I've had in a while. I then follow it up each night with some sort of activity. On Wednesday night I have water aerobics. On Thursday night Adam and I have breastfeeding class (Adam's super excited about this one!). On Friday night I have to pack and get ready for the trip to Indianapolis for Baby Shower # 2. So, if you don't hear from me for a while, don't worry. I'll be back soon! Take care!


Andrea said...

Well probably most people's babies aren't breech, but that shouldn't make you feel bad - it's not your fault. By the way, if it makes you feel any better, I read somewhere that only 2% of babies hit their due date still breech. I had a friend's baby turn at week 39 recently. Hopefully she will flip soon (and if she keeps doing all that acrobatic work in there, she most definitely will!). :)

amypfan said...

Your teacher's advice to look at a picture and talk to Sadie about changing positions kind of creeps me out.... but then, my 2 1/2 year old still doesn't listen to my calm, rational explanations, so I will be insanely jealous if your not-yet-born baby does. :)

Hooray for baby shower this weekend!

Cathy said...

Don't worry about not having all the answers, some of us have had babies and didn't know the answers to some of those questions until after they got here. It will be hugely beneficial to be that informed, and how lucky that the one with the cool head (your husband) will have all that information easily accesible! I love how the teacher told you to Will the baby to turn around with a picture. I had to laugh at that. My child was head down and all that, happy happy joy joy, until they induced, my water broke, suddenly they "lost" my cervix, and were mighty confused about some other stuff, which turned out to be scar tissue and Christopher's spine. It's never
good to hear a doctor say "What is this?", when they're elbow deep inside you. He pulled a boat in a tub drain, and ended up turning sideways at the last minute, requiring a c-section. Sadie sounds like a powerful girl, and they have their own minds about these things, even at this age, and most likely she'll just do it on her own.

Suellen said...

Yeah, I'm with Amy about the looking at the picture and willing the baby to turn. We start our class tomorrow and yours is sort of making me dread ours. You know I can't keep my mouth shut when I think something is....um......not-effective. We'll see how it goes. Can't wait to see you this weekend!

Carrie said...

I remember the classes... I tried to remember what I learned about the breathing through the pain (good luck!).

It makes me smile to read about how your girl is kicking. I know I just had Brett 3 months ago, but it seems so crazy that he was kicking inside of me when I look at him. You too will soon experience that feeling!