Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week 32: Pregnant Father's Purgatory - Lamaze Class

Why does it take 8 hours to learn how to Breathe?

That is the question that we attempted to answer today (and did so successfully...even if it was the second time). Today we completed our gauntlet class which included Lamaze, Newborn Child Care and a Tour of the Birthing Facility.

After 8 hours of patterned breathing and visualizing my happy space (funny thing, turns out in the depths of meditation my happy space seems to be anywhere that is not a 20 x 20 room with 12 pregnant women going "he, he whooooo") , I can however say that I came away with a handful of useful information from today's adventure:

1. Pregnant Woman have mini heaters in their stomachs - While I and the 12 other poor souls (aka fathers to be) huddled together in the 35 degree room in full winter gear hoping that our body heat would sustain us from frost bite. Our 12 companions slowly removed layer after layer of clothing till they began to complain that the room seemed a little warm...WHAT??!!

2. Mothers enjoy "Chasing the Dragon" during Labor - ...."some of you may experience pain during pre-labor, if you so choose, the nurse can administer pain medication, the one we use here is morphine...." MORPHINE??!! Don't we have soldiers fighting drug lords in Afghanistan to keep this stuff out of our children's hands...yet we have no problem pumping it into Mama's body? (note of clarification: I am being told that once I experience the pains of labor I can give an editorial on the methods involved, until then I am to keep my mouth shut)

3. Being a Table - Perhaps the most profound/ useful thing I learned today (and perhaps the best summary of a husbands role during pregnancy) came during the birthing video that we watched. This lovely video followed a real-life couple (Deb and her husband Jeff...for some reason Jeff was dressed as a peanut farmer...completely threw me off the whole time) as they went thru pre-labor, labor & delivery. 6 hours in, Deb was only 7 cm dilated and was really having a tough time with contractions. To assist Deb in her journey, she and Jeff decided to roam the halls of the hospital. About halfway down the hallway, Deb started to have some very painful contractions, seeing how other positions (sitting, crouching, etc) were not helping her...they resorted to the super secret contraction combating position..."Being a Table" This position requires Jeff to get down on all fours in the middle of the hospital hallway (thank you sir may I have another) while Deb leans over supporting herself on his backside and proceeds to work her way thru the contraction (hard on Mom...only slightly emasculating for Father :)

So if you ever ask Liz...what/how is Chris doing? And she responds, he is busy "Being a Table"...you will understand.

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