Childbirth Express Class: 1-day 101 on one crazy day

My iCal reminder came a few days before the class: “Childbirth Express, Sherman Hospital, Saturday, 9a-4:30p. Let’s figure out how to get this baby outta there in a sneeze!” That’s what I wanted to learn. I hadn’t allowed myself to think much about the process of labor, as Saturday was my deadline to hear from the experts and then form an opinion on how I felt about it.

Wally and I showed up for class and took our seats. We had our own table, and it was full of baby swag. I’ve noticed that when you’re pregnant, you get an avalanche of sponsored information overload wherever you go. Magazines about every baby topic, from SIDS to carseats to feeding. My favorite are the brochures that come with free bottles, formula, and pacifiers. And on Saturday we got cute little Children’s Memorial socks. Can’t you picture these little cuties on Wally V’s footies? (I’m already migrating toward itty bitty baby wabie talk-a-doobie-loobie-boobie. I guess this is something I have to practice, since ending with words like “boobie” and “tootie” and “weenie” is a regular occurance so far with my baby talk, and I’m certain it is quite unacceptable.)


In the class, we went around the room and said our names and when we were due. I’ve noticed since about a month ago, I’ve felt like the further I’ve gotten into pregnancy, the better I am than other pregnant women who aren’t as far along. Okay, I know this is wrong. I’m just being honest though. I have no idea what about a closer due date makes me better than them, but I just am! If my due date is before someone else’s, I’ve won! In our class, with around 15 other couples, I got 3rd place. Not bad! And the two in front of me only beat me by a week or so.

After that exercise, we got down to business. I pictured lots of breathing all day, but the class was more geared toward education, and only about 15% learning a few breathing techniques. We learned about the pre-labor experience, the stages of labor, signs to go to the hospital, drugs, and what happens post labor. A few major takeaways I have from the class:

  • The process of the baby moving past the pelvis seems impossible. Like it can’t possibly every work. Like there is no way, any baby, of any size, could possibly ever make that journey. And because it seems like it just couldn’t ever happen, the entire experience must feel like a chaotic terrible painful bad dream with a good outcome, and the details of it must flash away for all moms afterward, like when you wake up and you try to describe the vivid dream you just had and everything that was so clear seconds ago becomes more and more convoluted, even to you, as the story trickles off your tongue.
  • Babies look disgusting on the way out. I watched the video. I kept my eyes open. Babies are grayish blue and almost look like a tumor at first. Even the birthing mom was horrified and screamed something like, “Oh, that doesn’t look like a baby,” mid-push. During the tour of the birthing rooms later, the nurse pointed out that you can have a mirror at the foot of the bed to watch the birth happen. To that I say, thanks, but no thanks.
  • Labor positions are meant to make you look like a loser. Okay, I don’t know how difficult it is to experience contractions, but come on. Pace, I will. Find a focal point to concentrate on, I will. But standing in front of Wally facing out and having him hold me up by my pathetic dangling arms. No thank you!

So, after our full day class, I do feel more ready. I know more of the crazy things to expect. And at my doc appointment today, I learned Wally V is head-down. A first good step! 5 weeks to due date and counting, and Wal and I know what signs to look for. Bring on the crazy nightmare!


5 Responses to “Childbirth Express Class: 1-day 101 on one crazy day”

  1. 1 Kendra September 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I remember the birthing class Brian and I took with our first baby. I totally felt like I was better than the people with due dates after me, and I kinda disliked anyone who was due before me, the word hate comes to mind. Anyway, it’s different for everyone, but for me labor was pretty simple and nice. I will say I did get an epidural at about 7cm with both kids. This one I’m trying to go natural. Am I crazy (yes). And honestly your dream/nightmare analogy is right on. I feel the whole pregnancy kinda fits into that category. Once I said to my OB “Women are liars. It sucks being pregnant. Why would any one, EVER have more than one child?!” She said, “They aren’t liars, they just forget.” So true. I’ve forgotten twice now.

    By the way, you win.

  2. 2 Jane September 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    As some would say “OMG!”. you are hysterical. I so look forward to your blogs, they really make me chuckle. I love the part about beating everyone bc you have the sooner due date. It’s SO true!! But maybe that’s just the Ottenhoff competitiveness we obviously both have! Just wait until those losers have their babies before you…that’ll really get you anxious to get that bugger out! Would that be like losing in a photo finish? Great news that the baby is head down!! So looking forward to Sunday!

  3. 3 Carlene September 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    you should write a book, so funny, yet so true, have Wally ask Dave what happens if he walks in front of your focal point …

  4. 4 Auntie Liz September 25, 2009 at 8:25 am

    You said boobie.

  5. 5 Mama May September 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Liz–she must have learned boobie from me! Remember?

    Now Mollie–you are so well informed now and I know you will breeze right through childbirth! I remember nothing–not one thing about giving birth to our first–your Aunt Sara. In those days they gave you “twilight sleep” after you were at about midpoint of labor. This really meant they put me out cold!! I remember nothing about the rest of the labor or the actual birth. Woke up hours later not even knowing I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was 3AM–not a sole around–Grandpa home “resting up”—guess he was pretty tired standing around waiting! I’m so happy that procedure has changed! You ARE the best and you will show them all how this is done!!

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