|LB's birthday. More confident the second time around.|
The hospital class covered mainly labor and delivery. We received a tour of the hospital and talked about how to recognize the different stages of labor and the many options of coping with pain. I almost felt like I was in the class too soon because I had more time to go than anyone else. I know now I would not have finished the class if I had waited to take the next one. It was kind of fun talking about our ideal scenario for labor and delivery. I thought perhaps I might like to labor as far as I could without an epidural. I wondered if my labor would be short like my mom's was with my brother. I hoped that it would not be like my birth (I started to arrive feet first so my mom was knocked out for an emergency c-section). The only truly useful thing I ended up getting out of that class was to "be flexible".
Because I was undecided about an epidural I took an additional hospital seminar, Everything You Want To Know About Epidurals. I figured getting some information about this specific subject would be useful. It was led by one of the hospital's anesthesiologists. He covered the differences between an epidural and a spinal block and the risks and percentages. Afterward I felt that I would be fine should I decide that I wanted an epidural sometime during my labor.
Fast forward to my thirty-sixth week of pregnancy. My husband and I go into my 36 week appointment together. I had gone by myself the week before and learned that my baby was breach and I had already begun dilating. After stressing and crying about the real possibility of a c-section during the weekend, I came back with my support team. The doctor checks me and then requests the ultrasound technician to take a look at the baby. It is discovered that the baby is still head up and is essentially sitting on the umbilical cord. This means that if I were to go into labor, the cord could come out first and cut off the oxygen supply to the baby which is obviously very dangerous. The doctor turns to us and says, "You are having a baby today!" Definitely not what we were expecting. PB had to drop me off at the hospital and then go home, pack our hospital bags, and come back. And let work know he would not be in that day. Or the next several.
And that is why "be flexible" is the best advice I received from all of my info gathering. Pretty much everything else I read about labor and delivery was not needed. Of course, I should have read more about what to expect with c-sections. No matter what you study, there's always a curve ball on the test.
Looking back on your childbirth experiences, what was the best advice you received? Did you feel prepared?