Today was going to be a long day spent at DGMC. Two different childbirth classes are offered: one is over three Wednesday nights and the other takes place all day on a Friday. I really wanted the Wednesday night class as I felt more information would be covered over three classes as opposed to just one full day. However, the Wednesday night classes were full and with Mark's work schedule, which rotates every week, the Friday class would be a better bet. Thus, we found ourselves making our way to David Grant at 9am.
We found the conference room and found two seats next to each other at the front of the room (only place left). They had a whole bunch of brochures out for us to take so I took a few that spoke to me. I flipped through them while Mark laid his head against the wall and tried to get a few extra zzzz.
The class soon started with us going around the room and introducing ourselves, saying our due date and what we were having. I was due the earliest. Only one other woman was due in December, after that the closest due date was February. I guess we were taking this class a wee bit late :/ I was stoked to find out that three other couples didn't know the sex of their baby either. I LOVED that because I often feel as though we are completely alone in our decision to be surprised. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we made the right decision, but when you are constantly bombarded with the opposite mind frame it can be quite hard to stand firm in your convictions. It was nice to be surrounded by a few other people who chose the surprise.
The two women running the class went on to show us a video on a live birth and all the coping mechanisms the couple did during labor. The video was alright, pretty standard. I guess as a human development major I've seen more birth videos than the average joe. I wasn't stunned by anything in it, but from Mark's expression it was something he wasn't exactly expecting. When they showed the placenta coming out, he threw his head down on the table and began making some moaning sounds. If the fact that I would soon have to push that out wasn't so real, I would have laughed at him.
After the videos we talked about the different stages of labor, what defined them, what to do during them, etc. All stuff I knew, but all stuff that was new to Mark. When he heard how long labor could take (up to 24 hours), he leaned over with this look of absolute shock on his face and asked, "Are you serious?" After talking for a bit, we got into two groups and they showed us how to enter the building after hours and where to go to get to labor and delivery.
We took a tour of the labor and delivery room and then the mother/baby ward. This was the most interesting part of the day for me as I really wanted to see where my baby would be born at. I was very happy to find out that they had showers in the laboring room. Although I really wanted a bathtub, I was happy that I would at least have some access to water. I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of having to move to another room after delivery, but it is what it is. At least it is one couple per room, which is nice to know. They have fridges for us to put food in, which Mark was really curious about since he has to have his cold Diet Pepsi. They also put a tag on the baby, which will go off if the baby is taken past all of these yellow lines on the floor. Mark is now insistent that he is going to try this out and see if the alarm really does go off if he crosses the line. I'm trying my hardest to deter him from this as all I need is my husband being tackled and arrested for attempted kidnapping.
When we were done with the tour, we broke for an hour lunch. Mark rushed us out of the hospital and drove like a mad man to Burger King for lunch. He rushed us through eating all so we could get at least 25 minutes in at the thrift store on base. It was 5 onesies for a $1 though, so I'm kinda glad for his rushing.
When we got back to the hospital, we watched another video on C-sections and pain medicines. I think Mark almost fainted when they showed the C-section. I almost fainted when they showed the epidural. One of my biggest fears in life is having something poked in my spine. I hope beyond hope that I will be able to get through labor drug free. We then watched a video on infant care and practiced swaddling a baby doll. I didn't learn anything new, but I think it was a good exposure for Mark. We then concluded the class.
After class, we went to admissions to pre-register. Mark now has a plan in his mind that my mom is going to be his wingman because the class made him realize that he doesn't think he can do this on his own. He needs someone to be there to get him a fresh Big Gulp or something to eat, so he asked the admissions person about how my Mom would be able to get on base if the visitor's center was closed. This led to a 15 minute exploration as one person asked another and then another and then another. Finally, the answer came back to call labor and delivery and have them call the front gate to notify them that we were coming. Only my husband can ask a question that leads to so much uncertainty.
I was super disappointed that we didn't do any breathing practice or natural pain management techniques. I'm planning on having a natural childbirth, so I really want to know about these things. When they weren't covered, I got a little panicky. Will I be able to do this without meds? Will I know how to breathe right? Will Mark know how to help me? Worries flooded my mind like crazy and I cried the whole way home. Mark was very reassuring and kept telling me that it would all be okay, that we would get through it and I was stronger than I thought I was. It was good to hear him being so supportive because that is what I really needed.