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Preparing Alone and Working together

So, I’ve been doing a bunch of stuff to prepare for the arrival of Sweets. To prepare for the birth I’ve been trying to maintain a level of activity and fitness that will hopefully help. I’ve been doing antenatal yoga (was too easy when I started doing it at 17 weeks, now I struggle to *get* to yoga let alone do some of the moves), hitting the pool around twice a week (for aquajogging, swimming or hydrotherapy) and trying to do a walk of over 30 min at least once a week. I was hoping to do more walking than that, but weather and heaviness don’t always allow it.

I also read a birth book (The Blooming Birth). This had me addressing associated fears (I have a bunch apparently) and writing a birth plan. Muggle was a big help with the Birth Plan writing. She was also given chapters of the birth book to read (all done weeks ago, Beau is now finishing reading his chapters). The plan has also been printed out and a copy given to the midwives, another copy is in my hospital bag. Now, I’ve mentioned the fact that I’ve done a birth plan to some other mothers and many of them are sceptical. Some didn’t do one at all and others said they through theirs out the window. Mine is pretty general and addresses both my ideals (eg active labour, no interventions) and contingency plans (eg if I do have to have a C-section I want Beau and either my Mum or Muggle there too). Even if we don’t look at it while in the delivery suite, I know that everyone in there with me has read it and knows what I would like to happen. That in itself goes a way towards addressing one of my fears regarding labour (that I/me/the person, not the labouring body, will be ignored/dismissed).

I’ve also been the person in charge of collecting/cataloguing/deciding on baby equipment. Beau is more than happy to let me do this, which is a mixed blessing. It’s good, because I know what we have and what it’s for. Also means that if I want a certain product or brand, we get it. However, its bad because I’m the one who knows and if I want anything done by Beau, I have to explain where it is and what to do with it and when I want it etc (exception, the capsule, A and C showed Beau how to put that into the car when I was out and I still don’t know).

Now, I’ve stopped working, so I have more time for thinking about this stuff. Even when I was working, I was working less hours than Beau and he was also doing two uni papers, so didn’t exactly have time to dwell on baby stuff. He has also been doing more stuff around the house as I lack the energy and mobility to do certain things. This didn’t stop me from feeling like I was doing more stuff than him to prep for the baby. The Birth Plan generator (I did it online through the book’s website) titled it Giffy and Beau’s Birth Plan and it was with a vicious glee that I deleted “and Beau”. After all, he hadn’t had anything to do with the planning (I did actually talk to him a bit about it before I wrote it)! He wasn’t going to be the one doing the birthing! He wasn’t the one who was carrying the heavy, wriggly alien around in their increasingly stretch marked belly!! Resentment much?

Well, the resentment was hugely dissipated on Sunday. On Sunday we did a couples pregnancy yoga workshop and it was amazing. First, I must say that Beau and I both have Science backgrounds and we like our empirical evidence as much as the next person. I am aware that the words I am about to use are wiffly, imprecise, vague and I just have to deal with it. We left that workshop with our bodies humming. The connection between us was magical and it still exists (although not as strongly). The workshop was very intimate, just Beau, I and the tutor. Beau and I practised breathing (it’s a yoga thing) and postures that I might like to use while labouring, while Beau supported me. Sometimes this support was physical with him actually taking some of my weight, other times he just had his hands on me often giving me a light massage. The energy/support/security that I felt coming from him, through his hands and body was wonderful. I felt very safe and very much loved and supported. Writing, talking and thinking back to the workshop reignites a lot of those feelings again.

The tutor said that while the workshop is advertised for multiple couples to attend at once, she prefers doing it with just one couple at a time, because it is a very intimate and sacred thing. It really is. Breathing together, working together, connecting us together. Not just Beau and me, but also Beau, Sweets and me. I have told a few people that since the workshop, even if something happened and Beau was somehow unable to be at the birth (possible since his work sometimes sends him on to a plane and out of the city unexpectedly), thinking back to the workshop and doing some of the breathing/relaxation techniques, I would feel that he *was* there, supporting me. Yesterday, Beau remarked that even if we weren’t having a baby, doing a workshop like this was a wonderful thing to do as a couple. I have to agree and I hope that our tutor would be willing to do something like this for us (minus the emphasis on labour) in say a years time. Even if Beau and I use *nothing* from the workshop during the labour (unlikely, as I’m sure I will at least want massage), it was still utterly worthwhile for the bond that was reinforced between us.

Point of Fashion: I’ll get dressed soon
Current Obsession: After writing about the workshop, I’m buzzing again. It is awesome.

{ 5 } Comments

  1. Sam | November 25 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Hiya,

    Sounds like you have had an awesome experience with the yoga. Yay for the two of you.

    As one of the mothers who threw the birth plan out the window, I think that they are a good exercise to do before hand to get you thinking but expect things to be quite fluid on the day. Our birth plan was quite general with a few specifics, mainly around epidurals (which I was more scared of than giving birth) and c-sections.

  2. Debz | November 25 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I had the same general birthplan and that’s pretty much long things went so they work out sometimes 🙂

    Couples yoga sounds interesting.

  3. Giffy | November 25 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    As Sam said, the process of writing one involves thinking about what could happen and addressing issues you might have (epidurals are a scary concept, lots of stuff to do with labour is). The process of thinking about what could happen is probably the most valuable part. Mine doesn’t have that many specifics and I can’t imagine writing one like an itinerary saying what will happen and when, you just know it never would. It is cool to know that Debz actually predicted events though!

    Couples yoga was awesome. It makes me smiley thinking of it.

  4. Sass | November 25 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    That couples yoga workshop sounds amazing. And it may sound silly to say this ‘cos, hello, women have been doing it for millenia, but all the birth stuff’s a bit scary sounding so I think you’re pretty brave for doing it!

  5. Zephfi | November 25 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Like I said today – I wish I’d been a bit more detailed in birth plan stuff – at least as a sort of ‘memory jogger’ for me and Jas. That I wanted to use the pool etc.

    Cos when it came down to it (for me anyway), that first stage was all about clock-watching, and I forgot about everything else: how long apart were the contractions? how long were they? In some ways I found that made them bearable – I knew that each was going to last maybe a minute, so I just had to hold out/breath/whatever for *just* a little bit longer. i.e. The one, big, long experience broke down into lots of little, acute little ones. That, and reminding myself that to the rest of the world, I would ‘suddenly’ have a baby.

    Heh, like Jas told you the other day – if *I* can do it, you’ll be fine! 🙂

    Thanks for coming and visiting today!

    *luvs*

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