I never took Lamaze classes. I was lazy and overconfident. I can breathe. I don’t need lessons. I knew the point of Lamaze was to “boost my confidence in my ability to give birth.” As if how I breathe would somehow alter how this baby would be birthed. Like a choose your own adventure novel:
A. You don’t use Lamaze and suffer unnecessarily.
B. You use Lamaze and your baby slips out of you like a deflating balloon. With no pain.
Turns out, Lamaze is a little more helpful during contractions than holding your breath which is pretty useless unless your end goal is to pass out—which would be an entirely different method of pain management I don’t think many people have explored.
Now that baby number three is on the way, I’m growing wise beyond my poundage. If I’ve learned anything about childbirth from my previous experiences, it’s that the ability to find a happy place is crucial. And when you’re dilated somewhere between 7 and 9 centimeters “happy” doesn’t exist so any place away from where you are will do just fine.
Since being completely drunk is not allowed, here are a few other techniques I plan to work on perfecting for this go around:
Obviously the point of relaxing is to ease tension. It makes sense that staying calm can help one keep it together. As together as one can during labor. Using the breaks in between contractions to focus, I can remind myself that:
1. I’m now down one contraction and have one less contraction to go.
2. Nothing good is EVER on TV when you need it to be.
As long as I can focus on my breathing and remember to release all the hee-hees, ha-haaas, and ho-hos I take in, I might be okay.
I’ve learned a lot about gravity during my deliveries. Different positions help. So does leaning. Lots of leaning. Leaning on the wall. Leaning on my husband. NOT leaning on the IV drip stand—it’s got wheels. Wheels involve inertia and other complicated sciences you don’t have time to monkey around with. Moving helps make pain management easier than just laying in bed, so I’ll walk, shuffle, skip, scoot, or roll my way around the halls on a birthing ball, like a hamster.
I’ve never tried this before, but I might this time around. “Who doesn’t like to soak in a hot tub?” Says the lady who isn’t currently in labor.
Regardless off whatever I do or don’t do, the baby will eventually come out. I know this because it’s happened in the past—lazy, remember? But, why not try to make it less work than it needs to be? If I can he-hee and ha-haaa my way through the birth of a baby without crying, because I forgot how to breathe, then my only concern will be why there isn’t ever anything decent on TV when I need there to be.