Our third Bradley class was much better than the previous one. Nutella and I made sure to subtly but surely drive home the fact that the instructor should be more sensitive to same-sex couples. Before class started, Nutella suggested the book “Confessions of the Other Mother” as a reference that the instructor could use and recommend to other lesbian couples, especially for non-gestational partners. The instructor seemed interested and wrote it down. At the end of class, the instructor, Nutella and I, and another classmate whose husband wasn’t able to make it to class, were involved in a discussion about the pros and cons of having same-sex vs. opposite sex partners. They recognized that it was nice that I, as a woman, could understand some of the symptoms Nutella experienced or will experience at some point (many being similar to PMS). Sure, I’ll never have experienced the type of pain that childbirth will be, but having the same parts, I can imagine more clearly and empathize more than a man ever could. On the other hand, since Bradley is “partner-coached”, there are some positions that require a certain bit of strength on behalf of the partner…including certain positions where the partner is relied upon to fully support the birthing mother. Since I’m smaller than Nutella, we’re not going to be able to do all of these positions. Yet the instructor said that others, like the “dance” relaxation technique for example, will be easier for us to do because we’re of similar stature. It was nice to talk about these things, especially with the other classmate since I caught her staring at us out of the corner of her eye during the last class. It seems she’s thought things over and no longer finds us such a strange phenomenon now 🙂

That said, the activities we did during class included going through a list of things that could be done to make oneself more comfortable during pregnancy, doing visualization and gentle pressure relaxation techniques, and watching an hour-long video of drug-free births. Both Nutella and I confessed to each other that when the first baby in the video was born, we were both teary-eyed. We feel really good about attempting a drug-free birth at the birth center. It’s simply amazing how far it seems most hospitals have yet to come in that regard. I now find it barbaric to have women lie on their backs for hours, no food or drink, with constant fetal monitoring, trying to push a baby UP the birth canal, when approximately 30% will be forced into C-sections anyway. It saddens me that this is still the way things are done, unless you have a more progressive hospital. Anyway, it definitely solidified our confidence in the midwife choice, although we are also glad the hospital is steps away should we need more serious intervention.

11 responses to “Rebirth

  1. Good for you to stand up to that silent isolation! I hope we can do the same (or don’t have to).

  2. We did a few labor positions at our last class, and definitely noticed the drawbacks to having a little partner (Gail is pretty tiny, I’m about 4″ taller and let’s not think about how many pounds heavier at this point). Some of the suggested positions we just couldn’t do at all, but we’re resourceful, so we thought of other things.

    I do know that during the whole pregnancy/birth the first time, I was processing what Gail was going through as something I hoped to experience, too, which may have made the whole experience a bit more visceral, for both good and ill. I know that doesn’t play in for you two though.

    Glad your instructor is getting a slight clue. We were actually pretty impressed with our instructor’s savvy this time. She was pretty smooth with her inclusive language, and included Gail in a way that seemed to respect her somewhat unique position. Not necessarily easy, really.

  3. Bravo! I totally agree that it seems tortuous to not allow a woman to eat while she’s doing such hard work for hours on end. It actually makes me angry to hear stories of women who wanted to walk around or get a drink of water and were told they weren’t allowed to. You should be “allowed” to do whatever it is that makes you comfortable!

  4. wishinghopingpraying

    I’m glad you made your point and are no longer the side show. I agree with being trapped in a bed for hours on end…it sounds hideous. I hope you both get the perfect, medfree birth of your dreams.

  5. You know, in theory I am also against “forcing women to lie on their backs for hours.” But once I got to the hospital, that is what I did, and it seemed to help me focus on the “work” of labor. However, this may have been because I’d been having contractions for almost 36 hours by that point and was already almost past the point of being able to walk or stand through a contraction.

    We also picked the hospital because they were more progressive in their policies — no problem with food, drink or walking, and there was a tub/shower right next to the room. I simply didn’t want any of the above (except for ice water, which was heavenly with all that breathing).

  6. I feel the same way about birth. I’m so grateful that we have a birth center near by and that the hospital is across the street if need be.

  7. reproducinggenius

    I too feel pretty strongly about how barbaric so many hospitals continue to be regarding birth. It’s so strange to me how slowly they are coming around. I’m glad you get to use a birth center. I hope we’ll be able to do the same.

    Finally, good for you for educating the instructor! I hate that so many of us are put in that position, but it is better when we’re able to share information. Just imagine how many couples in the future will be positively impacted by your actions!

  8. sounds like it is going GREAT! so very exciting!! good for you blazing the trail for the next gals suggesting a book that should clue the leader in a bit. your little one is gonna be here SO soon!!

  9. Just found your blog and caught up on your story. Glad you have been able to “teach” the teacher. I will put you guys on our blogroll so we can continue to follow along :]

  10. okseriouslyreally

    You know, you two sound like the coolest couple. really. I love hearing about your journey. Cupcake is a lucky little boy, indeed!


  11. Good for you guys for talking to the instructor. I feel we may be having a simular talk with our instructor soon too. I have been getting teary at natural birth videos too. It is certianly good to be reaffirmed that you are making the right choice for your birth.

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