We went to our first class at Baby Love Birth Services last night! It’s hard to believe that we’re already 34 weeks pregnant {as of tomorrow} and into the countdown to the end.

We went to the class not really knowing what to expect. The class had been recommended by our midwife, was one of the few that fit into our busy grad student schedule {who knew that the ONE night ALL of the area birth classes met was the ONE night I had night class??}, and we loved how the class description seemed to focus on natural birth and alternatives to pain medication and hospitalization. As we’re having a natural birth at a local birth center, learning how to manage labor pain is a huge priority!

Although we didn’t really know what to expect, what we absolutely did NOT expect was to be the only couple in the class! That’s right, we showed up and were then informed that we were one of two couples who signed up for this session–and the other couple dropped because of a last minute scheduling conflict. Personal class, I guess??

Now, if you know us you know that we typically aren’t in our comfort zone in these types of situations! Put Peder & Hannah in the spotlight and make them discuss childbirth with strangers?? No thanks. In spite of this, however, I actually loved the entire experience last night! I’ve done a ton of research and reading into pregnancy, labor, delivery, newborn care, etc, so I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all with the information she gave us. In addition, I felt like I had enough background knowledge so that I could ask good questions instead of having to start at the beginning, sort of “I have to do WHAT?!” style.

This week’s class focused on the signs of pre-labor, which I really appreciated. Now that we’re only two weeks away from being full term and three weeks away from being able to delivery successfully at the birth center, I’m incredibly focused on recognizing what real labor is and how to either stop it (if it’s too soon) or encourage it (if it’s after Peder’s Ph.D. exam).

We talked a lot about contractions, timing them the correct way, and the stages of labor. While we already knew about dilation and effacement, we didn’t know about the baby’s “station,” or how engaged they are in the pelvis. If the baby is still too high, a mother can push for 5 hours and have little progress, simply because the baby isn’t ready to come out yet! I’m even more determined to wait until I feel the urge to push and not go by dilation and effacement alone, and I’m grateful that our birth center’s practices are inline with this wish!

This diagram shows the baby's station--essentially, being engaged in the pelvis. The higher the number, the more engaged the baby is. A +3 or +4 would be crowning, just for reference!

This diagram shows the baby’s station–essentially, being engaged in the pelvis. The higher the number, the more engaged the baby is. A +3 or +4 would be crowning, just for reference!

We also learned about what will happen when my water breaks and how long we have til they start to worry about infection issues. Our midwife is remarkably and thankfully relaxed about this, letting women go 24 to even 30 hours after their water breaks before being concerned about adequate progress. That’s one of my biggest fears–what if we need interventions {even for the right reasons} and cannot deliver at the birth center? I was so grateful to learn that the baby and I have more than enough time to get on the same page before we’ll have to face the possibility of transferring to a hospital.

PLEASE, baby, if you simply must break my water before we get to the birth center, let us be at home. Preferably in the kitchen or bathroom, where we have tiles floors. kthankx love Mom.

PLEASE, baby, if you simply must break my water before we get to the birth center, let us be at home. Preferably in the kitchen or bathroom, where we have tiles floors. kthankx love Mom.

I’m looking forward to learning all that we can about labor and delivery over the next six weeks as we get ready to have the baby! Should be lots of fun!

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