i have a new appreciation for labor and am really looking forward to it. (ha what am i thinking?) mercy's holistic approach to labor is so positive and inspirational, and i appreciate that. even though the plan is still to use an epidural, i now see the beauty in the labor experience. if nothing else, my attitude toward labor changed this weekend from a necessary evil to a very intimate event between a couple and their new baby. that alone made the class worth it.
our childbirth instructor clearly defined the dad's role as "coach." although james was prepared to be super encouraging in labor, he is now equipped with practical tools to help the process. we learned 8 different labor positions (i think i'm going to buy a birthing ball) that are especially helpful when enduring early contractions at home, and james learned many pain-relieving techniques like counter pressure, the knee press, pressure point massage, etc. the course instructor taught three main lamaze breathing patterns that will hopefully come in handy as well. we probably spent 4 hours of the class practicing positions with our husbands massaging our bodies, and i loved every second of that.
the 8 other couples in our class were interesting. actually not really interesting at all. my friend molly told me about the diversity of her class, and ours was nothing of that nature. i'm pretty sure we were the youngest parents by at least 5 years, and we're 25! one mom said they'd been waiting 12 years to get pregnant, man. we all tried to make small talk over the weekend, but it felt like forced "mom's club" conversation. james did meet a paramedic that he's going to be doing ambulance ride alongs with, so that was the only social highlight.
speaking of james--he had a physical last week for 3 1/2 hours! 3 1/2 hours!! poor thing. apparently they took 5 viles of blood, xrays, tested his hearing & lung capacity, made him drop his pants, etc. when he came home i noticed 6 bald patches in his chest hair where they shaved him! (i guess for the ekg machine). since when is all of this testing required for a physical? my goodness. time for bed. love yall.