fruitfulmomma--that's a lot of babies! Very cool!
We had our first childbirth class last night. For the first few seconds I was like "this is NOT working for me, no way can I do this for 6 more weeks" (it's very crunchy, and I thought for a minute it might end up being too much so for me, much less DH, and I can't help getting really worried that he is stressed or exasperated in that kind of situation--even though he's usually totally fine and does not care) but I think that was just social anxiety talking, because once we split into groups for a discussion, I calmed down. The class is very natural childbirth focused, and I have been getting a lot of advice not to focus too much on the type of birth I "want" and be prepared to go with the flow, since obviously a great number of things could go differently than I think they will. However, I think it's better for me personally to completely immerse myself in this idea that it is possible to have a normal natural birth and for everything to go smoothly. Then if it works out that I need interventions, I am open to that and will cross that bridge when I get there. I just feel like the deck is so stacked against natural birth in our society (especially for fat women like myself... I think I've mentioned here before that the high-risk doc I saw early in the pregnancy wrote in my records that I should be scheduled for an induction at 39 weeks despite no evidence to date that I am actually having any complications) that any reinforcement in the other direction is a good idea. I'm not sure how much is gained by being "open-minded" above all else, as long as I don't end up refusing interventions that are truly needed, which I'm sure I will not do.
My mom asked me the other day if I was getting an epidural, and I said "Well, I don't know... I mean, you can't really know until you are experiencing it, right?" and that answer did not seem to be satisfying to anyone in the room. It's like if I don't 100% say I'm getting an epidural, it's not good enough and everyone pities me for being so naive. It really makes you second-guess yourself. And believe me, I have NO problem with epidurals. I am so thankful they are available and I may well have one. I just don't know if I will want one yet because there is no way I CAN know.
There was a woman in the class last night who told a really interesting story about how her college roommate's mom had described childbirth as being like having to poke the finger of one of your hands all the way through the other hand. The woman from my class grew up in Turkey and said that "painful" was not part of the vocabulary that she had heard used in her family to describe childbirth, and that this conversation with her roommate's mom was completely surprising and a total shift from anything she had considered before. I don't know if this was because pain was just not the first thing that came to mind when her relatives thought about the childbirth experience, or if it just wasn't something that was discussed, or if they really did not perceive the experience as painful per se. But the difference in the cultural narratives was really interesting because pain is almost always the #1 thing that comes to mind when someone says "childbirth" for me.
Wow, sorry for the book! I guess I felt the need to put every single one of my thoughts down in writing. In other news, my nephew (the one who had bowel surgery who I mentioned in the last thread) has been getting breastmilk through his feeding tube, and starting to have breastmilk poops, which seems to me like a really good sign. He even got to take some milk from a bottle yesterday. Very cool.