Our Birthing Classes Have Started

We started our birthing classes on June 1, 2004. We'll have them every week now for the next 6 weeks. At our 5th class we get to see the nursery, birthing rooms, and the rest of the OB department at Baptist Hospital.

Week 1: There are 14 couples in our class expecting 7 girls and 7 boys. We were a bit surprised that everyone in the class already knows the gender of their baby. During our first class we mainly concentrated on what is happening inside Gina's body. We learned about contractions, dilation, effacing, and all the other medical stuff that goes along with pregnancy. We talked a little bit about relaxation too, but not really that much. During this class we actually learned for the first time what a contraction was like, and we realized that some of what we have thought in the past was Delaney moving was actually a contraction. Nothing to worry about though - they're just quick Braxton-Hicks contractions at this point!

Week 2: This week we concentrated on labor and what to do. We saw a couple of videos on labor and how to cope with the pain and discomfort associated with the labor. We heard about the different phases of labor, the differences between contractions in each phase, and the average length of the phases. Gina got to hear that it isn't uncommon for a woman's first child to take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to push out once she reaches that phase. We also did some more relaxation exercises that can help distract from the pain of labor.

Week 3: We got to class about 45 minutes early this week and spent a lot of time watching some of the babies in the nursery. They were so cute! There were also so many of them! 6/15 was a very busy day in the nursery! In class we talked some more about what the fathers/birth partners can do to help the mother get through labor more easily. We also spent quite a bit of time talking about epidurals and some of the other options available to help with pain. Finally this week we talked about a couple types of breathing that can help Gina get through labor as well as pushing. And as usual we ended with a relaxation time. Overall class went really quickly this week for some reason.

Week 4: Tonight we really concentrated a lot on the things that can go wrong during labor. We talked about some of the different medicines that can be given to induce labor or make it progress more quickly, forceps, vacuum delivery, and C-sections. The time spent on C-sections was really appreciated by another one of the mothers in the class because she had just found out that her baby would almost definitely be delivered by C-section instead of vaginally. Apparently her baby has decided to sit down indian style on her cervix and refuses to turn head down! We also learned a little bit about what we can expect once Delaney is finally born like how she might look and procedures followed by the hospital. Next week we finally get a tour of the labor unit! I think everyone in the class is really looking forward to that.

Week 5: Tonight was the week we've been waiting for since the first day of class. Tonight we finally got to tour the labor, delivery, and recovery room as well as the post-partum room. We also saw the premium suites that are offered at an extra cost for post-partum rooms. The labor, delivery, and recovery rooms are all very large even though we can only have up to 5 visitors at a time in the room (including Rob). The regular post-partum rooms are extremely small. There isn't much more than enough space for the bed, a bench that will seat 3 or 4 people, and a rocker. The premium suites, however, are about the same size as the labor, delivery, and recovery room (in fact the premium suites were at one time used as labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum rooms). We're still debating whether or not the premium suites are worth the extra $200 per night the hospital wants for them. All you get there besides the extra space in the room is a bathtub, a small refridgerator, and meals for Rob as well as Gina (in the regular post-partum rooms they only bring meals for Gina - Rob will have to go to the cafeteria or out for food). In addition to touring the hospital we also learned a bit more about what to expect post-partum. Next week is totally about taking care of the baby after birth and safety in addition to our graduation. Think we'll get to wear caps and gowns???

Week 6: Tonight was graduation night. We mostly talked about safety and how to take care of Delaney after she is born. We discussed things like car seats, how to change a diaper, how to give a bath, etc. At the end of the class we had cake that Baptist had provided and we all got our class diplomas.

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