Sunday, July 22, 2007

26 weeks: Attention, class!

In short: attended the first two pre-natal classes. They went fine, though it all felt a bit surreal to me. Also, less than 100 days to go until ETA.

To me, it still seems pretty early, but I've started my pre-natal classes. There is no fixed order to these classes, you just join one that fits your schedule.

The first class I attended was an optional session on breastfeeding. All the other women (except 1) were hugely PG, some looked like they could go into labour at any moment. It didn't hurt to see them, but I did feel a bit out of place. I half expected someone to ask whether I was really PG or just faking it. Absurd, of course.

The session was interesting. Especially the part where the midwife warned that new mothers tend to get a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to BF - and it starts right away in the maternity ward where each midwife/nurse tends to give her own version of how it should be done. To wit, she continued by saying the general advice the hospital gives is to let the baby nurse 20 minutes on each side from day 1. Wrong, all wrong, according to her. Your milk won't come in on day one, so there's no point in nursing so long, the only result will be sore nipples. Start with very short sessions nursing (repeating often) and gradually build up to 20 minutes.

Point to remember is to latch on to only one set of guidelines, and ignore all others. Unless they fail of course. Duely noted.

The second class was all about relaxation. Soothing music and the relaxation exercise led by the midwife led us to a level of consciousness between waking and sleeping. (Well that was the aim, I was so occupied thinking "am I doing this right?" that I didn't quite get there). In this dreamlike state, the midwife taught us how to cope with contractions. Apparently, the trick is to try and relax all the muscles in your face as well as your hands, while visualizing the cervix opening. Easy peasy lying comfortably on the floor without a contraction in sight, but will it work? The idea behind it is that you can consciously relax your face, but not the muscles in your abdomen. However, relaxing one should also relax the other. We'll see.

After gently pulling us back to reality, it was time for some huffing and puffing: exercises to breath through the urge to push, handy in case you're not dilated enough to push yet. The idea behind this seems to be distraction. Breathing in and out so quickly not only occupies your midriff, making it difficult to push, it also occupies your mind. Rather tiring though.

Attending the classes felt a bit surreal to me.  I feel a sense of wonderment that the information from these sessions might apply to me. A baby? Me?! Labour? Breastfeeding? Seriously?! Ain't that something!
Even though I'm preparing for the Insider's arrival in a number of ways, there is still a sense of apprehension just below the surface. I suppose that isn't uncommon, even among 'normal' women, and it's certainly in line with my worry-prone character. Infertility is certainly a factor as well.



At 23 July, 2007 00:58, Blogger Bea said...

Sounds like it's all travelling well. Good to hear!


At 23 July, 2007 17:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Prenatal classes. That does make it real, doesn't it? :) I imagine all women have an ounce of worry about the pregnancy, but not like the damn IFers!

That is interesting insight into breast feeding. The hospital nurses basically lectured me about the 20 minutes a side. As for the sore nipples, please stockpile the "Purelan 100 Lanolin" cream. Use it even before you have any soreness issues to help fend off the blisters!!!

The countdown continues...


At 23 July, 2007 21:23, Blogger Heather said...

Glad to hear all is going well. The instruction on breathing, relaxing and concentrating on opening during contractions can work. I followed what sounds like the same instructions for 21 hours of labor with no drugs and it served me fine. Also, finding a comforting focal point when breathing through contractions helps. Mine was DH's eyes. Sounds really corny, but it worked. He has lovely eyes and DD's are just like his. Good luck!

At 24 July, 2007 00:48, Blogger Beagle said...

Good to hear you're doing well . . . No first hand advice to offer here, but I know you will do well.

If you can survive infertility, childbirth will seem like a piece of cake. Right?

Keep up the good work!

At 25 July, 2007 01:22, Anonymous ovagirl said...

Yeah, it's all happening! I had a hidious time in the hospital with midwives hectoring me about my crappy breastfeeding or lack there of. Surprise, as soon as I went home the milk came in and things were fine.
Good luck! And enjoy those classes, your bf teacher sounds very sensible and good.

At 25 July, 2007 19:51, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Sounds like everything is going well. That's great Lut!

At 25 July, 2007 21:46, Blogger Stacie said...

I offer you breastfeeding advice (not all mine):

Also, there is some cream you can get from a compounding pharmacist that actually numbs hte nipples. I didn't have it. Wish I had.

At 28 July, 2007 02:33, Blogger Isabel said...

Good to hear, good to hear.

My advice: I had DH on strict orders to obey. It really helped on the day to know that if I had to tell him to go, he had to go. In the end I was really glad he was there, but he did little annoying things like not-also-be-in-great-pain and make-calls-on-cell-while-I'm-in-labour and I was glad I had the option to make him go away if necessary.

v. excited for you, btw.

At 02 August, 2007 03:40, Anonymous Sassy said...

They sound like pretty good classes. I'm so glad things are going well for you. Take care.

At 05 August, 2007 21:00, Blogger Ladybug Ann said...

I've never even opened my tube of Lanolin. I think the more stuff you put on your nipples, the more likely it will hurt. Don't use soap to wash from 32 weeks onwards. This is so that your natural body oils have time to build up.


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