The drama of labor

Last night we watched the “Stages of Labor” video in our birth class.

Although I looked over and witnessed several horrified looks on Jason’s face through the course of the video, he didn’t actually make a run for the bathroom until we got to the footage of the placenta coming out.

I’m not quite sure why it was necessary for the attending doctor to slap the placenta onto a metal try and start rummaging through it (has anyone else seen this particular video?!), but that’s about the time Jason had enough.

Thankfully, the drama only amounted in some dry heaving and not an actual vomitting episode.

After the video we practiced some relaxation techniques. One of them called for Jason to stand behind me and place a firm hand on my shoulders or back while the teacher talked us through a pretend contraction so we could practice our breathing.

As we started, I tried to close my eyes and follow along but I kept hearing Jason behind me, right in my ear. I turned around and he was deep into the in-through-the-nose, two-short-breaths-out-through-the-mouth technique. He had this twisted, concerned look on his face like he himself was going through a contraction at that very moment.

At that point I ruined the exercise for everyone else due to my uncontrollable laughter.

This is the time to consider calling in reinforcements. I don’t think Jason and I are going to make it through this labor thing on our own.


5 responses to “The drama of labor

  1. 1) the doctor has to check that all the placenta got out. Had my midwife done this I wouldn’t have ended up at the hospital 6 hours later getting 2 units of blood put into me. A little piece of placenta is like an open wound in your uterus and you just keep bleeding. Ikr. tmi.

    2) I absolutely don’t want to tell you what to do, and am fully aware that I’m about as far on the natural side as people get when it comes to labor and birth, but the scientific research that has been done on Lamaze has shown that it causes more hyperventilation than relaxations. You absolutely do need to practice breathing (you really do forget to breathe through contractions) but I’d recommend just doing a little research into which method works best. However, BY FAR the most important thing going into labor is feeling prepared. You need to feel like you do this (because you totally can!!!!!)

    3) I know I don’t know you at all, but I sure miss Jason, and LOVE labor (I had 2 babies completely naturally at birth centers) and would love to either be there helping you out, or just sit and talk with you to ease Jason’s mind. Jeff (my husband) was a superstar birth coach, so maybe he could help too.

  2. Hi E,

    Rainbow is right, they need to check the placenta (it’s standard). They also need to look at it to make sure it’s healthy and there aren’t any abnormalities (remember it’s an entire organ you made just for your baby to live and grow). It is quite meaty (but you know me, I took my time afterward and inspected it as well!).

    Also, she is right about the hyperventilating. They have started to see that the best breathing techniques are the deep breathing, and you will probably find yourself holding your breath (not good).

    Ask Moira about the husband coached birth book that she has, it’s supposed to be great and what she used. love ya 🙂

  3. You opened a can of worms! Are you ready for tons of advice?! After having three babies without an epidural… I have two thoughts, the first echoes rainbow’s idea of Lamaze, agreeing with the hyperventilation thing, but also understanding the importance of controlled breathing during labor…Doing whatever it takes for you to FOCUS on your breathing, keeping your eyes closed, or focusing on the wall clock that is hanging across the room… whatever works for you..Focusing on how well you are controlling your breathing helps to distract some of the discomfort! Of course there comes a point when only some kind of medical intervention would help, but strangely enough right about that time is when things begin to change and before you know it, you’re pushing! My little disclaimer…Yes, everyone is different and responds differently. So, go in with your best plan and I’m sure you will do great!
    My second thought contradicts Rainbow! I believe that childbirth is a very intimate time between you and your hubby, and I think the two of you can do it together. No matter how well or not so well the whole process goes it will bring the two of you closer. I say just go for it and bond with your hubby and your new baby, just the three of you!
    Love the baby blogs! Julie

  4. Hello ladies,

    Thanks so much for your feedback. The video did talk about how it is important for the doctor to check out the placenta to make sure it is all there, I’m just not sure it was something the audience (at least our birth class, in this case) necessarily wanted to see 🙂

    Our teacher did discuss preventing hyperventilation, but I’m glad I’ve gotten your thoughts on it as well. Jason even admitted to me later that he felt lightheaded during the exercise (though I’m not sure if it was the breathing that did it or the previous video trauma).

    We’re pursuing various options for help with the labor process, so we’ll see how that goes.


  5. I know that you two can do this together. I highly recommend not setting your hopes on certain goals though. If you have that baby, you are a success. It’s hard to plan a labor when you have no idea what it will bring. Don’t get me wrong. I think that practice and preparations are great, but know that if all doesn’t go as planned, you are an amazing woman and will be an amazing mother. I had an emergency c-section because Corban’s heart rate was way too high. It’s not what I had hoped for, but when I thought my baby’s life was in danger and all the nurses and doctors came rushing in as monitors beeped wildly, I didn’t care about what I had planned anymore. It’s funny, because I was a bit disappointed after the fact. I had taken such good care of myself and just knew that I would have a natural birth. I look back now and see that that c-section was just the first of many unexpected and inconvenient life changes. I think that being a parent is learning to put your desires and dreams on hold when your child is at stake. You will know what is right for you, Jason, and your baby when the time comes. Trust yourself. Your body was created with this in mind. You can and will do it! Godspeed my friend!

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