Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend wrap-up.

What a busy weekend we had!

On Friday night, Brett and I joined a friend for dinner and a movie. We saw the new Harry Potter movie- and, unfortunately, I was totally disappointed. I won't divulge any spoilers here, but I will say that my main beef with the film was that major scenes were cut (supposedly to cut down the run time), yet additional scenes were added- ones that ARE NOT found in the book. Craziness.

Our first birth class was on Saturday morning. We are taking a natural childbirth course based on the Bradley method, and it consists of six classes, two hours each. Shout out to Gentle Beginning Warner Robins- home of my doula, Wilma- for offering the course. Anyway, the first class was a broad overview of the labor process, focusing on emotional and physical signposts. Signposts are indicators of the different stages of labor. That is, they are ways to identify labor progression. After that, we briefly discussed nutrition and healthy living- and, luckily, I think I have this one down. I've been really careful to stay hydrated, have been drinking my 2-3 cups of red raspberry leaf per day faithfully, and am still on the treadmill. I think I'm doing fine on the protein front, too. Belinda, who teaches the class, is also an herbalist, so I picked up some good hints for herbs to add to my pregnancy teas, as well as discovered a local source for them- so no more buying online! Yay!

I can't say that we learned a whole lot from the first class- but that's because we've been reading our way through Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Birthing from Within, etc. we have the basics down. But it was still nice to ask specific questions and to just discuss our fears. My favorite part of the class came at the end- we watched a video about natural birth in Russia. A group of women there birth both at home in tubs and- get this- in the sea! It was soooo beautiful, reassuring, and empowering to see these women give birth naturally- without fear or inhibition. Many of the births were attended by siblings. One particular birth brought me to tears- the four-year-old daughter of the laboring mother was there- and she started touching the baby's head as soon as it began crowning. She was so loving towards her little sibling, and so anxious to hold him! It was amazing to see the sense of wonder on a child's face. I can't help but wish we all had the chance to experience these sorts of births as children. Perhaps then the fear of labor that we seem to harbor in our society would be far less pervasive. To see the trailer (which you should!!), go here.

Finally, we spent the rest of the weekend doing projects around the house. Our main job was putting up the chair rail in the nursery. Long story short, it ended up being a lot more work than we expected, but we are only two short pieces away from being completed. The angle where those pieces meet is really tricky, so we're going to borrow a skill saw to do that part, rather than our cheap little mitre box. Today I sanded down the filler and applied the paint. As soon as I can pull the tape I'll post pictures. I can't wait to see the finished project!


Ed and Elizabeth said...

yay! can't wait to see pictures of the finished nursery!!! :)

Jenny said...

Our childbirth teacher lent us that Russian waterbirth DVD too. It was so interesting! It really illustrated the dive reflex for me. The clear tubs were a new concept for me too. We are hoping to have Suzi at Ivey's birth, but if she's asleep we probably won't wake her up. Also, if she gets upset or scared my mom will be there to take her out. Lots of people have told us not to even think of it, but most of them have only experienced highly stressful conventional births.

Saw Harry Potter tonight. It wasn't my favorite, but I thought it was pretty good. This may be partly because I read the book such a long time ago and don't remember a lot of the scenes. I was disappointed with Slughorn though. Wasn't he supposed to be short and fat? He wasn't what I envisioned at all!

Emily said...

Jenny- yes, Slughorn was supposed to be short and fat, with a HUGE mustache! (Brett pointed that one out)

I think the key in having a sibling present is having a calm, relaxed birth environment. Obviously if you're screaming your head or acting otherwise unnaturally you're going to scare your child and do more harm than good. But if you're doing well with staying relaxed and handling things effectively, I think it's an awesome opportunity!

I think it was so cool to see the dive reflex, too. The whole time we were watching it Brett kept reminding me about starting swimming as early as possible to take advantage of it. And how great were the dolphins? It made me want to pack up and fly to Russia!

Denise said...


Signposts are great/important, especially because since you're planning to labor at home as long as possible. That way, you can know when you're at the "Serious" one, it's getting to be time to leave. The "self-doubt" one sounds quick, but mine was at least an hour. And I still was about 2 hours away from the "pushing" stage (I guess transition?).

Anyway, also, great job on the hydration and red raspberry leaf tea!!! I was ALWAYS great on hydration. Even when I had my coffee each day, I made sure to have one glass of water to make up for that, and it didn't count as a part of my regular 64 oz a day (I had about 90 oz a day, since I drink nothing but water).

We have the kind of saw you need. Let us know if you'd like to borrow it.