Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birth Curiosity

Jonathan has been quite curious about birth with this pregnancy. He has suggested a few times that I just have the baby at home, so he could see the whole show, LOL. When I told him it was kind of messy, he suggested I just have the baby outside! That way the carpet wouldn't get dirty. Good thinking! I am sure our crabby neighbors would LOVE that! ("I'm sure there's a covenant about that, 'David'--keep looking!!") Ha!

Anyhow, when I was at the library last weekend, I picked up a video called From Conception to Birth, put out by Discovery Channel, thinking that might answer some questions. I watched it that night, and tonight all the kids and I watched it together. It wasn't bad, as far as the actual pregnancy part went. They were very tasteful about conception, never really mentioning how the sperm and egg got together, so that made it nice for a multiple age range viewing. And they had lots of nice computer graphics to show how the baby develops during the 9 months in the womb.

But the birth scenes--oh, my goodness! They drove me crazy! The video follows 9 women who are expecting, and it shows the births of 3 of them. Two are having their 3rd babies, and one is having her first. They all have total hospital births. They never come out and say they were induced, but it seems like they all could have been. The two women having their 3rd babies get epidurals pretty much immediately, but the first-time mom wants to hold out. You can hear the nurse say something like, "Well, the contractions only get more intense, so be sure to tell me right away whenever you want your epidural." Shockingly, she gives in pretty soon after and gets an epidural as well. And all 3 of these women are just laying back, like huge beached whales, during the whole labor! No changing positions, no walking around, no comfort measures . . . NOTHING! I kept telling the boys, "They could be doing things so much differently, and maybe they would cope better with their contractions!" But no one was suggesting ANYTHING to them to do differently, or even to the husbands to help them.

And during the whole time, the narrator was intoning drivel basically about how impossible it was to give birth, how scary, how painful, etc. Gah. No encouragement for expecting mothers there! All 3 women pushed again pretty much laying flat on their backs. I seriously can not imagine a more uncomfortable position to be in to push, not to mention the bad physics of then having to push the baby UP over the pelvic bone from that position. And sure enough, the first-time mom had a really hard time. She pushed for while with no progress until the doc threatened her with a section ("I'll let you try for 15 more minutes . . ."). Then somehow she got a second wind and managed to push the baby down. Again, no one suggested anything that she might do differently!!! As if a c-section is the only other option out there! I kept telling the boys, "Laying flat is THE worst position to push in! Work WITH gravity, not against it!" Gah . . . so frustrating.

The actual births were filmed very nicely--all from above or from the shoulder. You could see the baby emerging, but not really anything else, so that was really nice. They did a great job with that. The boys couldn't believe all the tugging on the babies as they were being born! And the girls were a bit alarmed at the blood and goo all over the babies, LOL. I do think the video answered any questions about childbirth, so that was good, and I didn't hear Jonathan say anything about wanting to see this one, LOL. I think seeing all those precious newborn babies made us all very excited to have this little guy come soon, though! And hopefully everyone will have more sympathy and understanding for me!

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