How appropriate--on Mother's Day this year, I was asking my mom the specific details of the birthing process. We discussed how to breath in the first stage, and she told me about panting in stage 2--oh, good, I didn't know that part! She told me some things that might be helpful, the kind of support needed when it comes to really pushing. We talked about what might be the best way to keep things clean if there is tearing. Yep, specific details.
I guess a lot of daughters ask their moms these questions when they are about to have a child. I'm one of the lucky ones though, who get to do what so many say they wish they could do--skip being a parent and have grandkids first. Yes, it's true, I get to be a "grandma". At least that's what the parents said. And as the daughter (student-sister-former colleague) stays in my home and, with her husband, anticipates the birth of her first (maybe only) child, I come closer to the process than I've ever been before.
Her husband does not get to be there for the delivery. In fact, the hospital says no one gets to be there. We're really hoping...that if I go along and show up, and ask to go in, they might just say "okay".
And if I get to be there, then I get to be coach. With no such thing as "pre-natal classes" she is totally dependant on what she has read in books and heard from friends for this process, and that is quite a bit. Her false labour last week was a good jolt for us all--suddenly realizing there were things for which we were not yet prepared. As she was thinking about checking into the hospital I whipped out Where There is No Doctor and started reviewing for myself, then asked her. "Do you know what the stages of labour are? What happens?" She knew. She didn't know about the deep breathing to control pain in stage 1. "Is this helpful? Should I read through this?" We went through the descriptions, how she might feel, a normal range of possibilities, what is not normal, when to push and when to wait.
Ah...we're going to have a baby in the house! How exciting! What joy!
We're going to have a baby in the house! How stressful! So many unknowns! How are we going to cope?