I have officially reached the point in this pregnancy where people greet my belly before they say hello to me. I realize that my belly is, in fact, the first thing to generally enter the room, but for the love of god, people, that belly would be NOTHING without me, so do me a favor, and look at my FACE first (I have never had big boobs, so people talking to my boobs instead of my face isn’t particularly familiar, but now I see what all you generously endowed women are talking about. I FEEL YOU).
Whew. Now that that is off my chest (ohhh, hahahaha, I slay me), I can get to the rest of this post. Last Saturday, J and I went to a childbirth class, as we have been required to do by our midwife. Because we are cheaters, we chose a class that lasted a simple 4 hours, instead of the 12 weeks of a Bradley method class or the one bajllion dollars of a Hypnobabies class (Look, on the one hand, I completely agree that knowledge is power, and if 12 weeks of class is your jam, then more power to you. But on the other hand, if modern midwifery is telling us that non-medicated childbirth is something our bodies already know how to do, then why the hours upon hours of class?).
Besides, this Hynobabies thing sounds way out of my comfort zone. I do not think I even believe in self-hypnosis enough to be able to do it, much less at the time when I will apparently be experiencing some pretty radical pain. Again, if that sort of thing works for you, AMEN. I, on the other hand, will just stick to regular deep breathing, thanks ever so much.
Anyhoo- childbirth class. I am not sure what exactly I was expecting, but it was both reassuring and overwhelming at the same time. Knowing what is supposed to happen at what point is reassuring, right, even if the length of time of each stage of labor stretches horribly into multiple number of HOURS (A Baby Story manages to wrap birth up into a neat 22 minute package. What do you MEAN, early labor lasts TWELVE hours OR MORE??!?!?!?!).
Overwhelming because we were shown a video highlighting the non-medicated births of three babies. OH SHIT, did those women look in pain. I have a feeling it’s one of those things where you can intellectually acknowledge that childbirth is painful, but until you go through it, you can’t quite know or prepare yourself for the reality of it (somewhat like pregnancy in general- I mean, I knew I would feel lousy in the beginning, but I was not physically prepared for how really lousy I did feel, and by all accounts, I got off easy, as first trimesters go). The only way I was able to keep from bursting into tears was to remind myself that the women all looked pretty fucking happy at the end, what with the cuddly baby and all.
The two other couples in class with us were quite nice, and I hope to be able to translate meeting them into some sort of moms and babies group. My current bunch of friends, while lovely and caring, are a bunch of early thirties lesbians who are more concerned with the location of the coolest bar in Long Beach than the best kind of cloth diaper. Different strokes, you know?
So here we are. I am 24 weeks pregnant, staring down the barrel of three and a half more months of this. We’ve started to order baby furniture, and are amassing a growing collection of onesies from aunts and grandparents and friends.
All I need, really, is for someone t0 tell me it’s all going to be all right.