Tuesday, June 5, 2012

must have tools for labor

So the day after Shelly's wedding I planned for Gregg and I to attend our first 'baby prep' class together. Instead of going through the hospital, I decided to attend a class through Herself Mom's. Julie Hurst is an amazing childhood educator and used to teach classes at a hospital. Actually it's the same hospital that I'm delivering at! She is also an amazing prenatal yoga instructor and actually quite hilarious so I knew that Gregg would enjoy the class more with her rather than sitting in a hospital watching a video!

Here's the decription of the class from Julie's website:
Must-Have Tools for Labor: This is the class you and your partner cannot afford to miss. If having your birth partner understand what to do with you as you enter labor is important to you, then be here!
This class is designed so that the partners practice and learn all the techniques such as massage, breathing, positioning and others on mom so that they know what to do with mom while she labors and how to assist her in the process. They will go home with a "cheat sheet" to have on hand for labor. This is a very interactive class so after a time of teaching about signs of labor; true vs. false, watering breaking, when to go to the hospital.... then we actively practice all the techniques putting it all together as the couples move from station to station pretending to be in labor practicing the breath, position, massage techniques at each station..... very hands on.
Taught by: Julie Hurst. Childbirth Educator and proprietor of Herself Moms.

As much as I didn't want to wake up and go to the class, I knew it was necessary and important therefore I forced myself (and Gregg) to wake up and head downtown. The beginning was a bit brutal only because it was 3 hours of straight lecture with many questions - which did not mix well with a tired pregnant mom and very tired expectant father BUT once we took our break and headed into our 'positions' things got much better.

In class we learned the difference between true labor vs. false labor, what to look for when your water breaks, about the time (contraction-wise) we should be heading to the hospital and of course breathing techniques for dealing with the discomfort of labor. Much more but it's hard to type it all out, good thing we got a packet to keep as reference!

At one point she took only the partners in the room and taught them all these different positions (17 of them). Then they were all instructed to take us back into the room and have us pick a spot to start with. From there, as we moved from station to station our husbands (including my poor tired guy) TOTALLY stepped up to the plate and taught us how to go through each motion.
I was SO impressed with Gregg at this point. Not only was he teaching ME but he was doing everything perfectly and I could see how much I was going to have to rely on him during this difficult and intense time. My favorite parts or a few that stood out to me was the ice station. We had just learned level 3 breathing and to add some discomfort we had a bag of ice placed in our hand. While this was happening I had to concentrate on Gregg and breath through it, my eyes were tearing and he was helping me with my pace, it was amazing to see him in action and now I really know that I'm going to rely heavily on him to watch my pace and breathing when labor officially starts. Another one was the cat to cow yoga that we had done and him pushing on different pressure points.
Overall it was truly a great experience and I am SO thankful that I have this amazing husband to go through this journey with. It really made me appreciate Gregg even more and taught me that althoug I'm going to be going through labor myself, I know my experience is going to be that much more enjoyable because I'm going ot have a very involved husband who is going to make sure that I have everything I need!  

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