It happened. Today's class was one that I didn't particularly enjoy. It was also the first one that my husband was able to attend. The funny part was that none of the other husbands were there for this class. Eric provided the sole source of testosterone.
I had a vague idea of what to expect because I read the material ahead of class. I knew we would be talking about writing birth plans (that's never been a high priority for me) and HypnoBirthing vs. active management of labor. After reading the material it was clear to me that active management of labor = BAD. At least, that's the way it was in the handout book. The handout book is different than the book I've read and commented about earlier. The handout book is all the material the teacher would give out during class, but is bound together with stuff from all the classes. FYI, active management of labor is what happens when the medical staff makes decisions rather than the parents and/or when medical interventions take place.
There was plenty of eye rolling as I read through this week's section in the handout book. That was also heavily sprinkled with exclamations of, "Well that's a load of crap!" The basic idea of the HypnoBirthing vs. active management of labor (from my own perspective) section was that in HypnoBirthing everything is calm and wonderful (hopefully true), while in active management of labor the goal of the doctors is to tell you what to do and how to do it so they can get out of there as quickly as possible. On top of that, the article implies that if you have one intervention (example: pitocin is used to induce or speed labor) you're taking a one way trip to the operating room and a c-section. The article even said the same about having a baby in a posterior (sunny side up) position. I know for certain that the hospital I will be delivering at does not c-section for a posterior baby. There were several other points the article made that I knew were not true in the hospital I'll be delivering at, hence number and frequency of the "load of crap" exclamations I made while reading. We did not read through the article in class. When the teacher started to talk about what good information the article had, how we should all read it, and how everything the article said was true to what happened when she gave birth I felt I should say something. She was giving birth 20-30 years ago and my last was two years ago. I waited until the break to say something so I could talk to the teacher alone, as well as to avoid disturbing the flow of the class. I'll get to that later.
We moved on to discussing writing a birth plan that includes our preferences for the birth. I appreciated that we are told to be flexible. You can plan and plan, but some things just won't go how you want. I had previously decided that I didn't want to write out a birth plan, but I think I've changed my mind. It's good to have one even if it's just so that you and your husband know what things are important to you. Today I decided that I'll write one up and show it to my doctor. If there is something on it he disagrees with then we'll discuss it and see what needs to be done so that we're on the same page. When it comes to giving birth I trust my doctor more than anyone else that comes to mind. My husband agrees. So now I'll be writing up a very short list of things that are important to me for the birth of my next child. I have my next appointment in a few days, so we'll discuss it then.
Somewhere in there we had our break. Eric and I were the only ones to leave the classroom, so there wasn't a chance to talk to the teacher without everyone else hearing. I figured that was still fine because one of the other two girls in the class is delivering where I'll be, as well. I started off by saying I had good news that a lot of the procedures mentioned in the handbook are no longer routine at the hospital I delivered at. She said that was good and asked which ones I meant. Sadly, it had been a few days since I'd read the stuff and I wasn't prepared with a list to present. I wish now that I'd had one. I don't remember what she said right then because I was so surprised that she had kind of steamrolled me before I had a chance to explain. When she finished I said that the big thing was that they really don't like to do c-sections. I was steamrolled again as she talked about how the hospital had gotten in trouble for it because of various reasons (while also downplaying the fact that they don't do c-sections nearly so often as the article suggests) and seamlessly changed the subject and resumed class. I won't lie; I was surprised and a bit offended. I had wanted to share that so the other moms would know that the doctors and hospital staff are not rushing to get you a c-section unless there is a true medical need. I find that comforting and thought the first-time moms should have that information, as well. I brought it up as something positive and didn't say anything negative about the article.
We discussed a couple of other topics that were on the list of suggestions to write up in the birth plan. There were several of those things that I already had an opinion about. I ended up sticking with my original opinions, but it was good to hear another perspective and reasons behind it. I'll spare you all the details, but will say that I trust my doctor more than the class. He goes into greater detail with his reasoning than the teacher said doctors would and his reasons make more sense to me. That's just a difference of opinion, but those are allowed. I'll keep my opinion and everyone else can keep theirs...as long as no one badgers me that mine is wrong. I don't take well to that.
Overall impression: I was really disappointed with this class session. Part of what I have liked in the past is the effort to educate mothers on what they can do, what their options are, and what is available. This class session seemed to present only one side of the story. It felt to me like it was brainwashing the new moms who haven't had any kind of birth experience. When a different way of doing things was shown that way was either laughed at or portrayed as dangerous. Those things have not been my experience. I didn't appreciate that I wasn't really given a chance to talk about my experience with active management of labor and to let the ladies know that they don't have to be afraid of it if that becomes necessary for them. If it were me as the first-time mom I'd be scared to let the doctor do anything after going to this class. Eric and I both found parts of the class that we thought we contradictory. Looking into the handout pages we can find the written bits that don't agree. That's not so impressive.
We still plan on using HypnoBirthing as our method of delivery, we just have to skip over quite a bit of the ideas included in it. I have to remember that I signed up for the class for pain management skills and not for the philosophy.