Mama Geek

A Series of Minutes, Or, Contraction!

Posted on: April 24, 2009

So we started with the childbirth classes. I had heard that the experience really depended on the teacher – some gave lots of useful information, others berated the class in general for the high percentage of births with epidurals. Mine is…somewhere in the middle. Some useful information (i.e. how the epidural is placed – yes, I want drugs) and a whole lot of her re-emphasizing that birth is simply “a series of minutes”. Her theory is that, since contractions only last a minute (she tends to downplay the times and use the lowest average possible) as long as you can get through one painful minute you can get through the entire birth without pain medication.

I get this. I do. And I have no doubt that I could give birth naturally if I needed to. I just really think I would enjoy the experience more if I was on drugs. Hence, my plan: stay mobile for as long as possible, then call the anasthesiologist!

The classes have turned out to be somewhat fun though – not due to the class, but because it has turned Huzby and I back into college students. We sit during class writing notes in our respective notebooks and trying to avoid laughter. This went well until the end of the first class, when we started breating meditations.

First off, I had not brought pillows. I had read the wrong sheet, and we were the only couple without them. Oh well. We laid on the provided mats next to one another and calmly breathed in and out. Then – the nurse asked for the men to lay a hand on the woman, and he was going to imitate a contraction. The point of this was that he would slowly increase pressure for 30 seconds, then decrease pressure for 30 seconds. He was not supposed to cause pain, just indicate how the contraction would progress.

Huzby did not get this memo. When she mentioned that he would be imitating a contraction, he got that crazy look in his eyes and grabbed hold of me with both hands. I knew that he was not getting the gentle vibe of the room – he was going to give me a contraction, damnit! I couldn’t help but start laughing, which then started him laughing. We never did get to practice a contraction, as we spent the rest of the time avoiding each other’s eyes and trying not to disturb the other couples – who were, presumably, calmly practicing their “minutes”.

This has led to a new game for Huzby – as his theory is that contractions can happen at any time, he now will suddenly come up from behind me, squeeze my arms and scream “Contraction!!!”. I told him that at some point he will need to lay off so that I don’t actually go into labor – though this could prove helpful should I start to go way past my due date.

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