So. I am planning to have a natural birth. No drugs, no epidural. For some reason, a lot of people feel really strongly one way or another about this issue. There is the group that thinks anyone who tries to give birth without drugs is a complete moron, and there is the group that thinks anyone who gets an epidural is an uneducated fool. Personally, I couldnt give two shits how someone else choses to have a baby, but being that so many people feel SO strongly one way or another, I kind of feel weird even discussing it with anyone.
A lot of people, when they first found out I was pregnant, were like "get the epidural! Dont try to be a hero!" Mmmm, ok. It kind of makes me scratch my head, because so many people seem to think that it's about trying to prove something. It's not. Next time I want to prove something to myself or to the world, I'll do another Ironman. Women have babies every day, that proves nothing. I've done a fair amount of research, and feel that for me PERSONALLY, it's just the best option. There are plenty of statistics and other evidence that led me to feel that way, which I wont even try to quote. But for me, it's just the way to go. I know a lot of women automatically go on the defensive once they hear that you are planning on a natural birth, I guess because they think you are judging them somehow. Trust me, I couldnt care less if have the doctor knock you completely out and reach up in there and pull the baby out.
So anyway, that was my little "disclaimer" before I get to the point. We decided to take Bradley classes, which are a 12 week course on preparing you and your partner for a natural childbirth. I wasnt 100% sold on the idea of committing myself to 12 weeks of classes, and honestly, it seemed a bit unnecessary. But when we met with our doula for the first time (I know, doula doula DOULA), she talked about how helpful they are, espeically for the husbands. I'm more of a "I'll research it and figure it out on my own" kinda gal, but Dan likes the structured learning environments. So he was actually the one who was more for it. Plus, I think he's a little trepidatious about the whole no drug thing. I think he, like a lot of people, are of the midset that doctors and modern medicine make EVERYTHING better. And while that may be true in most cases, there is something to be said for letting your body handle a natural process the way it was designed to. So I think some schoolin' will do him good.
Last night was our first class, and of course Dan is out of town for work. Of course he is. Let me tell you, going to a birth class by yourself makes you feel like a huge tool. I totally felt like a teen mother or something. Now, I had read kind of mixed reviews of Bradley classes, some people have ended up with instructors who are totally militant and all "doctors and hospitals are the devil!". So I was a little apprehensive going into it. I was half expecting to walk into the room and find it filled with a bunch of hippie weirdos. But alas! Everyone is normal! There are 4 other couples in the class, and everyone is totally normal and seems like people I would actually hang out with under normal circumstances. So that's good.
The class was 2 hours, and mainly just focused on introductions and a general background of the Bradley Method. I did learn something interesting. I know a lot of doctors have kind of mixed feelings on Bradley, and now I know why (at least for the doctors around here). Apparently, Gloria Squitiro, Mayor Funkhousers wife, used to be the only Bradley instructor in the area. When she said that, everyone was like "oh God, that explains everything". For those that dont live in KC, the Funk's wife is INSANE. Just google her. So yeah, having her associated with ANYTHING does not help.
After the introductions and background, we talked a little about the basis of Bradley, which is relaxation. Talked about how we can identify ways that have helped us to relax and deal with pain in the past, and went over a few basic exercises. The exercises are meant to help you just relax in general, as well as target specific areas of your body that you'll be using during labor and the birth. There was a lot of talk about how there ARE plenty of things we can do now and throughout the rest of the pregnancy, as well as during labor, to help the baby get into the correct position and to help the whole birth process along. Apparently, and I didnt know this either, you dont want the baby just head down. It should be head down and facing your back. And there are ways to coax the baby into that position.
So really, class 1 was pretty general, but did provide a lot of good info on exatly WHY we'll be learning what we do over the next 12 weeks. Hopefully Dan doesnt miss any more of them, becuase I have had my fill of flying solo at birth class. I feel really confident that I found a good instructor, one who is pretty mainstream and is not going to make us sit in a circle and sing Kumbayah while doing weird visualization exercises.