Doula Oblongata

Chameleon Scarf In Progress

This past weekend we attended our intensive weekend Parenting & Childbirth class through the local technical college.  As always, I approached this kind of thing with my usual trepidation.  You know the drill: they make you introduce yourself, ask/answer questions and participate.  I hate that crap.  Just give me the info and I’ll ask my questions when/if I feel like it, thank you very much.  Please don’t force me to talk.
The absolute worst part was the forced hen party on the first day.  Get together Moms, and talk about how you’re feeling physically and emotionally right about now. Oh puh-lease. I let the group go ahead and figure that one out on their own because honestly, I felt almost nothing like any of the rest of them said they were feeling this far along.  I don’t throw tantrums or get angry for no reason, I don’t have any weird cravings, I don’t expect extra help, nor do I resent it when I get it and I don’t watch A Baby Story incessantly for my daily dose of pregnancy and childbirth info.  Not that there’s anything wrong with all that stuff. Everyone is different. Though I do feel tired and my joints ache, and I occasionally cry for unknown reasons (I did that before anyway, so nothing new there), not much has really changed other than my growing belly and a little bit of that nesting instinct coming on.  I feel very very normal.  Maybe this is weird and I should be worried.
As I looked around the group at all the bright, shiny, young, eager faces, I wondered what I was missing.  These kids – yes, I say kids, because most of them appeared in their very early to mid-twenties at most (no offense to you readers out there of this age group, just sayin’ that compared to me, you guys are young ‘uns!) – these kids looked so excited and unworried about the way their lives were about to change in just a few short weeks.  What do these kids know that I don’t?  Is it just blissful naivete?  Because, frankly, I’m pretty much scared shitless.
Though much of the class was spent going over things I didn’t really find entirely useful, we did learn a few really interesting and valuable things that I think made our time worth it.  For one thing, I had no idea that a large portion of your labor can be experienced at home.  You don’t really need to go to the hospital until things are pretty much imminent, but you could spend 12 hours or so chillin’ at home with occasional, and then periodic, contractions first.  Meaning I could knit a couple baby hats during the first part of my labor and  not think twice.  The other thing I really didn’t realize was that the doctor (in a hospital birth, which we’re having) is really only there for that last few minutes of action when you are finally pushing the baby out.  The rest of the time you are on your own honey.  I had heard of Doulas before but really had no clue what they did, being under the misconception that it was sort of a hippie thing I wouldn’t be interested in.  Turns out, I was incredibly wrong and I am very sure now that I want one present when I give birth.  I think R. Darling might be even more inclined to have one than I am!  We have an appointment with one on Monday, wish us luck that we like her.
The best part though?  We were doing some modified breathing exercises with R. Darling laying on his side in front of me, pillow between his knees, and me laying behind him, my leg on top of his legs, and Knittymunchkin kicked him in the back.  He nearly jumped out of his skin!  “Was that the baby?”, he asked.  I laughed and told him that’s what I feel all day long, only from inside too ;)
By the way, Bruno/Deuce has a new name, along with a sex change.  R. Darling, in all his infinite cleverness (which is really quite abundant) has renamed our vehicle Ros (pronounced Roz).  That is R-O-S: Result Of Sex.  So appropriate!


10 thoughts on “Doula Oblongata

  1. It sounds like you had a very cool class – well, part of it anyway. Doulas are amazingly helpful in childbirth. I wouldn’t go any other way. It really helps to have someone that’s been through a lot of births and that is not as emotionally tied up as you and Rodger will be.

  2. Were we separated at birth? Because I hate those kind of “get together and talk it out” kinds of things. I used to be a real “blue” person-all about feelings. Now I’m much more green-let’s just buckle down and get shit done! Oh, and my philosophy on pregnancy and raising kids (from someone w/o kids) is that you just have to do it your way and realize your experience isn’t going to be like anyone else’s so don’t sweat over what it “should” or “shouldn’t” be like. Just my 2 cents :)

  3. Wow … that group does sound like enough to set your off the boat a bit! I can chime in and say that, even though I’m a young-in (I’ll be 27 next month), the idea of trying to have a child is both exciting and SCARY! I mean, up until I married my husband, I didn’t want kids. I dealt with depression for so long, that there was no way I was going to have a child to take care of, when I could barely take care of myself. But now that life is better and I can handle things so much better, I think I am ready. I wonder if those younger mothers know that this is a life, not just a cute little baby – a child to raise, to shape, and to mold. To hold and to let go, to teach and to learn from.

    I know that when I do get pregnant, I will be taking some parenting classes (because my husband and I are both only children and have never been around babies. Not that I’m stupid, but it’s better to be over-informed sometimes then doing it all blind.)

  4. I love the Doulas idea. Go for it mama (and papa)!!

    I have to tell you, both times I went into labor, I woke up early, water broke, contractions were 5 minutes apart so we headed to hospital thinking we were getting close. Not. But you never know. Every person is different.

    I’m wishing you happy end of pregnancy thoughts. Take care of Ros. :-)

  5. I’m glad you got some useful info out of that class. Keeping my fingers crossed that the doula you’re going to meet will be a good match for you.
    I know what you mean regarding the distance you felt related to the younger mothers-to-be in the group. I know I would have been able to handle so much more if I’d had kids in my early twenties. It didn’t happen at that time, and now, I can’t even imagine gong there…

  6. Very interesting! UGH on the forced hen party. That would be torturous. Those are the things where you just want to say, ok, quit whining now. As to why the young uns don’t seem to have any trepidation as to the impending life changes, it’s because they haven’t really lived life yet so they have nothing to compare it to. They’ll have their crisis afterward. You know what your life was like before, and you’ve kind of “been there done that” so you’re ready for change.

  7. Ok I’m ROTFLOL at the ROS!!! OMG that is hysterical! LOVE it!

    and if you can walk away with any good info from the classes, they were worth it. However, the baby doesn’t take the same classes or read the same books so be prepared to chuck everything you just learned! Those babies are wiley like that!!! LOL

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