Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geof and Dara Go to School

Geof and I had our first child birth class this week at Rex Hospital in Raleigh where the babies will be born.

We meet once a week for five weeks, and thanks to some artful rescheduling by the assignment desk at WRAL-TV, Geof will be able to attend all five classes with me. After feeling like Reject Single Mom when I went solo to the car seat class last month, I was not about to let the crazy news biz force Geof to miss out some much-needed parental education.

The class runs from 7-9 p.m. on Monday nights and is taught by a trained doula named Caro. (No, I didn't leave the "l" off. Her name really is "Caro.") She is also the mother of three children, and I think her medical training combined with her life experiences make her an excellent instructor.

Caro started the class by asking each of the 12 or so couples attending to introduce themselves, say what they were having and the due date, and share what they were most nervous/afraid of about the pregnancy. Apparently, sitting on the teacher's direct right is not a good idea, because Geof and I had to go first.

We answered the list of questions without much difficulty. Despite my forgetful "prego brain," I had no trouble remembering my name and that I'm having Wonder Twins in November. It was hard, though, to come up with what I'm most nervous about regarding the pregnancy. "Everything" seemed like a bad answer.

I couldn't think of one outstanding concern, so I just commented that there are a lot of unknowns when you're having multiples, and I'd like to learn more about the challenges we could face with delivering twins.

As the only parents of multiples in the room, we were clearly the only ones worried about that. Everyone else said in no uncertain terms that they were terrified of the PAIN.

Hmmm... Pain? I looked over at Geof with wide eyes and whispered, "Oh crap. I hadn't really thought about that yet."

I'd put hours into buying beautiful consignment clothes, picking out the perfect cribs and registering for all the right things, but I hadn't thought for a moment about the pain that I would most certainly endure in 3.5 months. How did I forget to think about that?!

Caro, a real pro, had obviously anticipated what I had not and scheduled "pain management" as the main topic of the night's class.

First, she explained that pain was actually a good thing during pregnancy, because it means you're actually having the baby. Or, in my case, babies. If you weren't in pain, your body wouldn't be doing what it was supposed to do to birth the babies.

Along those same lines, she encouraged us to trust our bodies. Although she is a bit "granola" in her philosophy, I agree with her approach. For example, if a position doesn't feel right, don't do it. Move to another position that is more comfortable. Really, who's going to know mommy's body better than mommy? Daddy? Please... :)

Caro also gave us great methods to use to relax and take our minds off the pain. She had us take long, deep yoga-style breaths with her. "Iiiiiin..... Oooooout." She advised us to close our eyes and envision a calm, tranquil color while we breathed in through our noses and out through our mouths.

I couldn't decide what color to pick. I ended up choosing petal pink, because it's one of the main colors in the girls' nursery and knowing that Geof will actually paint the walls that color in the next few weeks eases my decorating-related anxiety.

Next came the physical part of the class.

In our information packet, we were advised to bring a mat or blanket and pillows with us. Of course, Geof and I forgot ours. And, I was wearing a dress, which is not a good idea when you're supposed to be lying on the ground. Getting up gracefully is not exactly a skill I have finetuned with my ever-expanding belly.

We're definitely not in the running for parents of the year.

At least, we weren't the only ones who forgot our stuff. Those of us without just watched as Caro and the other couples demonstrated some good sleeping positions for the moms-to-be. I tried them out at home and found them not much more comfortable than what I'd already been doing. (See the post below for an animated explanation.)

Caro concluded the class with a list of items to bring in the "go bags" that we'll grab when it's time for the Wonder Twins to come into the world. She noted which items the husbands should not criticize or question, because if they did during a tense time like labor, they'd most certainly get cussed out. By mommy.

We have homework for our next class. We have to read a text book. Don't worry. It's not that long, plus it has a lot of pictures, which Geof likes. At least reading will be less painful than delivering two babies!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog, Dara! I was just reading the one on sleeping! I too had the body pillow that slept inbetween Tony and I. He named it "Steve" because he said it felt like there was a person sleeping between us! I don't know where Steve came from! Your parenting class sounds great! Wait til they show the labor video! Talk about anxiety! I got the pleasure of seeing it the first night! Well, needless to say, I was super excited to hear they word c-section! There was no way I was going to go through what the ladies in the video went through! I can't wait to see pics when the twins get here! I have a friend with 17month old twins (boy/girl). It's always entertaining to watch them when we're all together! One is running one way the other runs the opposite! There's never a dull moment she always says!