Thursday, November 09, 2006

Birthing 101

Lastnight we went to our second ante-natal class. There are two Indian couples in the class and one British woman that is having her 2nd child. Our first class covered the stages of pregnancy and we saw a slide show followed by a short lecture. We also had our first relaxation exercise that night (we get these every night), which was quite nice. It's nice in that I've done relaxtion/meditation before and am only hoping/praying that this helps during childbirth... but I laugh at the thought!

Our class lastnight covered labor. Boy, they don't waste any time in showing all the details, that's fer sure! ;) We watched a film that showed 5 or 6 ladies, and their husbands, before, during and after giving birth. Needless to say, I cried multiple times and felt totally freaked out a few times... and wondered, to myself, how the hubby was handling seeing all the graphics! What was funny is that the first couple in the film were British and right after she gave birth, the nurse fixed her a cup of tea. We all laughed afterwards. It was strange seeing her sitting up in the bed having a cup of tea.... as if she hadn't just pushed a huge baby out of a very small area... and she seemed perfectly fine. I will say, those British really know how to handle stress! ;)

There were a few women in the film that didn't handle the labor too well, but almost all of them were so quiet and hardly showed any real signs of agony. Only one in the film had pain meds during the process. One couple had a water birth, so it was nice to see this because I'm thinking of doing it. What was so sweet about it was when the baby's head and arms came out, he opened his eyes and looked at them while he was still under water and started moving his arms around. It was so touching. I found myself wondering if the couple were scientologists or something, or maybe hippies, because they were being so quiet and making everything so peaceful for the child. It was very touching. This woman had like 6 other ppl there during her labor and childbirth... not something I'd do, but... whatever floats your boat.

The hubby has decided to be w/ me in the delivery room. I can hardly believe it. He's the only one that I want to be around me, honestly. I don't want his family, my family or anyone because when I'm in pain, I like to be alone, not touched or bothered, so the last thing I want would be a bunch of ppl sitting around me while I'm going thru something like that. When his sister gave birth, the whole family was there... yeah, I know for moral support but I don't want it. What use is it to have them there? They're all talking, watching the TV and such... I'm not one for this. I want quiet and to go thru the pain on my own... not w/ ppl watching me. Am I the only one here or what?

His family has tried to turn him off on being w/ me in the delivery room, saying that it's not something that he should be doing, it's not good for a man to see this, and/or the hospital won't allow it. His older brother and mom have gone on and on about this. BUT.... the hospital very much wants the husband to be involved. They strongly encourage it. Not that I want him helping the dr. out, filming it or anything, but I would like for him to be there for moral support, altho he swears that I'll grab him and say "you did this to me!!!" and act like a she devil w/ my head spinning, while spitting venom and such! ;) hehehe Imagine. But you know, anything's possible!

His close friend's wife just had a baby. He's Bahraini and he was in the delivery room with her... he even cut the cord. This was a first for me in hearing of a Bahraini being in the delivery room. From what I gather, most men in this part of the world don't get involved in the birthing process. I'm really glad that his friend did this... now he sees he's not the only one. I think it's a good thing for the man to be involved... more men should be active in this and be there for their wives. It's not like they weren't involved in making it happen... so why not lend a hand or be there to encourage her or to give her strength... you know?

Lastnight, one of the guys was talking about how many men faint in the delivery room, and then the nurse started talking about how they can't take care of both the husband and wife... so if it looks like the husband can't handle it, they'll ask him to leave. My husband laughed, wiped his head and continued to sweat! ;) I wonder if he'll be able to take it. I've never really seen him in any type of emergency situation to know how he handles it. I've never seen him handle blood or anything.... so I wonder how he'd be. It makes me smile to think about it... I wonder if he'll freak out or if he'll be strong and try to talk me thru it. He told me that he'd bring a picture of our kitty Cedrick to help give support. And... he's really good at cracking jokes and making me smile when I'm upset or sad, so maybe he'll do just fine. Plus... it's not like he hasn't seen everything now and I mean everything... they showed it all lastnight in the film... so he knows what to expect and such. To think about it... I think he has helped me before when I cut myself... or maybe it was me helping him when he cut himself.

You should have seen all the men lastnight during the film. All their legs were jittery, expressions of fear on their faces and us women... we were covering our mouths, rocking back and forth, crying... KNOWING... and I mean knowing what is ahead of us and fearing it. We all asked about pain medicine - what's available, what is preferred, what helps, what doesn't help, does the water help... any and all questions were asked while we looked at each other, laughed sometimes and then came to the realization that we were next. :)

I worked w/ a girl a long time ago that filmed the whole process. She brought the film to the office when she returned and showed it to everyone. It was like they were all going to the movies... getting their popcorn, pulling up a chair and enjoying the show! (kidding, but seriously)... Who in the hell wants to watch a co-worker give birth??? I know I don't. I think it just changes something after that. I guess some women are into this... and if you are, well... hmmm... I guess I don't know what to say. I'm just not one for showing such a private moment to ppl that I work with, but some women figure that they've exposed themselves to so many ppl what's a few more... I guess that's the logic. Who knows. But... for all of you that have done it... I guess I could say, more power to ya!

Anyway... this was interesting, to say the least, lastnight and I will say, having him there w/ me brings a closeness to us. He can appreciate the baby more cuz I think it's hard for a man. Here the woman is pregnant and is feeling everything - the sickness, the weight gain, the baby kicking... everything and he feels nothing. So in watching these movies and getting involved... it allows him to have a special place in the whole process and I'm happy for this. I suggest it to all of you out there. :)

Happy day to you.


Puppy said...

"There were a few women in the film that didn't handle the labor too well, but almost all of them were so quiet and hardly showed any real signs of agony"

I guess the ones who showed their agony and pain werent nominated to be in the film :)))

I wish you to have smooth labor, remember its only for one day and you will enjoy the baby for the rest of the time. So good luck. and Yes, Alfanan GOOD LUCK to you too;))
good day to you

Princess Ambiguous said...

Good luck to you both, enjoy the magic!

AS for Bahrainy men being in the delivery room, I think it depends, but the majority of the men I know were with their wives. I rememeber dad telling how some people looked at him strangely for making that choice when me and my older brother were born, but now it's standard procedure and most people don't bat an eyelid.

The Moody Minstrel said...

When my daughter was born, my wife and I were sitting in the waiting area, and then the nurse came and said, "Time to go!" She then said to me, "Please wait," led my wife away, and slammed the door in my face. I had to leave soon after that anyway, since the English school where I was working at the time had made it clear that I couldn't have any time off regardless of the reason. (Yes, I called the manager and explained that my wife was in labor, and he said in his annoyingly soft, sweet voice, "I'm very sorry, but you know our company policy is that only one teacher can be off at any one time, and, as you know, Sean is currently away on vacation..." I still wonder why I never strangled the guy...)

When my son was born, my wife insisted that they let me be present, so the nurses came and got me. Then they and the doctor acted like my being there was the stupidest thing they'd ever seen. They laughed clear up until my son came popping out. Then the chief nurse said, "Okay, that's it," and promptly led me back out. It was quite an experience, I can tell you! (Luckily I was working at Ye Olde Academy by then, and at the first announcement of my wife's labor they told me to take the next couple of days off and sent me out immediately! Three cheers for the academy...)

Hang in there!

Olivia at Work said...

Hey it's the age of the enlightened modern man AND he's the daddy - so by all rights he should be the one there for you.

Too many extra people only creates extra stress you don't need.

I too prefer to suffer alone, which is only natural. At this point, I can say I would want my hubby and my mother there, but not yet being even close to this situation, I can't say if my feelings will change in a few years.

Will your mom fly over for you? Or even your sis?

I had to chuckle over the Brits and their tea.
Tea can cure every ill.
Only yesterday I was watching a British hospital drama and a woman whose teenage son died was at the desk collecting his things. She started crying as she talked about him and the male nurse without skipping a beat (!) said "Would you like a cup of tea?"
She didn't accept, but to tell you the truth...tea DOES help. Mind you, I think imposing it immediately on a mourning mother was a bit much :P

All the best for your remaining months, Tooners. When the time comes, you will be fine, so don't get all stressed and worried, 'k? xxx

Lisa said...

My husband is required to take a health class to get his degree, last week they watched a birthing video... i thought he was sick when he got home from class, his face was pale and hands clammy... he told me what he saw and i just laughed. I said, just wait til we have kids and youre in there with me... i thought he was going to pass out. i couldnt beleive how he took seeing it. he better toughen up because im like you, i only want him with me when i give birth. when the time comes i think ill have to show him some birthing videos every other month or so to get him used to it...

although, i have seen some birth videos and i totally understand how he feels... im not looking forward to that much either!!!

but they say once you see your baby, you forget all the pain and everything you went through, the joy of having your new baby is so great.

Word Verification: UKCAN

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Well, we all have stories to tell don't we? Lots of guys in these classes get the shock of their lives I suspect.
When I had my kids, it wasn't usual for the husband to stay around. It was women's business and that was okay for me. Nowadays it is usual for the guy to help by being there, though sometimes the woman yells and swears at him!
Different techniques re used now too - instead of looking stupid on your back, they use one of those large blue balls to lean over.
Meditation and breathing exercises are excellent Tooners and can really help.
Give the baby bump a nice pat for me hey.

Reem said...

I remember when I first moved to Doha and started talking to women there, I learned that they also don't encourage the husband to be present during labor. Then I spoke to my Emirati friend and she told me it was normal in the Gulf for the man to stay away so that he won't be turned off by the woman afterwards because seeing birth is traumatic. It's supposed to sort of protect their sex-life I suppose? I don't know, I think family shouldn't interfere and it should be a choice between husband and wife. But in our part of the world,the family never stops interfering do they! LOL.

Anonymous said...

LOL You know what? when Sara was going to born she was 2 weeks late ,, yeah 2 my friend It was really uncomfortable .... The Doctor induced me the labor so you can imagine the Pain that I had I was in labor for 16 hours and 2 fingers dilated only ! YAI! yup every contraction I had it every 1 minute.. I was tired MAD Hysteric , suffering Oh yeah and yes I ask every one to leave me in the room .. every one was in the hall but Hubby was there all the time holding my hand and saying soon inshaallah ... Hang in there .. Some times I bite .him with my hand others I push her hand .. other I scream .. I ended with Cseccion .... oh Boy ... but many women haver a very nice labor ! i wish you can have a good one walk walk ..

Anonymous said...

Oh And I forgot to tell you tonners that Hubby is Arab and he was there , and after he stay in the hospital the 5 days! Oh yeah changing diapers and feeding Sara oh yeah ...

Munther said...

Hello tooners, loved the post especially the fainting part ! :D My mum still keeps rubbing it in when we talk about birth and such while my dad is there! Because in every birth my dad either had a nervous break down where he had to be escorted out of the operation room or fainted ! :P He keeps claiming that my mum is exadurating and that she was delusioned by all the pain, yeah, right ! :D Anyway I salute your husband for this gesture. And goodluck to you two :)

tooners said...

princess, well, lastnight we had dinner w/ a group of ppl and all the women there were expats married to bahrainis. all their husbands were present in the birth, but these are the only ones i've met thus far that have been in the delivery room... oh except for my husband's bahraini friend just recently. i hope that more men are taking part... it's a good thing, i think.

reem, i think it's exactly for the reason you say... most men are trying to save their eyes so that they don't think about it later, from what my husband's brother says. he thinks that my husband will never forget it and, therefore, our relationship will never be the same again. but you know, it's not that i want him watching that stuff anyhow, and it's not like he hasn't seen it now... since we've seen so many women deliver now. i want him there to hold my hand and be supportive... not to pull the baby out! ;) sometimes i think it's just an excuse that some men use so that they don't have to be there.

munther, in thinking back, the hubby isn't good at handling this stuff... BUT, he was a trooper when watching the video and seemed to take it all in stride... so we shall see. he may be one of these guys that only time will tell!

moody, your first job, well, good thing you got away from there! they sound like total a-holes! i can't get over how they wouldn't let you have any time when your first child was born. by what you say, it sounds as tho it's not common for japanese men to be involved in the birth. has this changed over the years or is it still like this? did they allow you to cut the cord or anything the second time around?

mrs dynamite, so you were induced? i've heard that's really painful!! my sister got induced after being in labor for 24 hrs. and her baby was taken by c-section as well. your husband sounds great and it's fab that he was there for you. i'm starting to think that a lot of these arab guys that go into the delivery room were schooled abroad. i wonder what the percentage is ... cuz the guys at my ofc. weren't and none of them have done this. altho, my BIL was but he still goes on about how negative it is.

lisa, your husband is funny. sounds like the same expression on all the faces of the guys during this film we saw. they were all speechless afterwards while us women were asking question after question. and i agree... I DONT even like watching it. it's not a pleasurable sight, that's for sure! ;) but, there's no way to get around it.

olivia, well, i'd love for my mom to come, but her health isn't good and she takes oxygen w/ breathing meds every 3 hrs., so the chances of her being able to make such a long flight isn't likely. my younger sister says that she'll come. i wish my family would come... it would be wonderful. but, if they don't, then i'll plan to go there a few months after the baby is born. w/ respect to the tea, i don't know what it is about that stuff, but... that british woman was in perfect spirits after having her tea. she was in no pain, was sitting up in bed, chatting and such. it cracked me up. the british woman sitting next to me laughed and said "oh, it's that british". :)

wendy, i will say that all the women in the video did breathing and meditation and they were SOOOO relaxed during their births. it amazed me. i think there is something to it. i've seen this ball method... my sister tried this when she was in labor. i'm thinking of doing water birth. they say that the water is very soothing for the contractions and makes the whole process easier. and... after watching the video and talking about it, i think i've decided against pain meds... so relaxation will be key for me.

puppy, lol... that's cute and yes, you're prob right.. the ones that screamed and yelled prob weren't shown. it would have prob freaked all of us women out... but you know, i've seen it multiple times in the movies... so i know the screaming and such is part of it... but i truly hope it doesn't get to that!! ;)

Jane said...

I've done the labor and birth gig twice now. The first with a little shot of pain meds--which didn't do a thing; and the second without any medication at all as a water birth--which didn't do a thing. I feel I must tell you that although birth is messy no matter what, it is even more messy when you add a bunch of water to it. I'd be happy to share my experience with you in greater detail if you'd like. Let me know and we'll email. Best wishes and congratulations.

jahooni said...

Gosh, after seeing so many blogs makes me wonder if I should blog or not! I always (as the auntie) want to be the first to respond! So all of you Bloggers.... BACK OFF (for just a sec') ;-)

Okay..... I (when giving birth to your precious neice) DID NOT ALLOW anyone except hubby to be there... all of our friends and family waited in the "waiting room" and that was FINE BY ME! I know you more than anyone reading this blog (ok, except maybe hubby... but I have known her longer.. hee hee hee) BUT PLEASE let it just be personal thing between the two of you. I have never looked back on the fact that it was just us and I know as "family" that our pain tolerance sucks........ SO GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!! HEE HEE HEE HEE
I am there in spirit when the time arrives.

Anonymous said...


"I always (as the auntie) want to be the first to respond! So all of you Bloggers.... BACK OFF (for just a sec') ;-)"

Na NANA Na NAaaaaaa :))))