Geburtsvorbereitung, Teil 5

by Christina Geyer on July 3, 2007 · 17 comments

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I’ve now entered the stage of pregnancy where it’s almost impossible to sleep. And most likely, this will not improve any time in the next few years. Yippee!

Last night we had our 5th birth preparation class. We started out with meditation and y’all know how I feel about that, then we moved on to practicing birthing positions. There are three phases to labor and different positions to get into while having contractions in each of these stages. The most important thing seems to be that you keep your legs spread and try to keep your pelvis loose. Because of the awful bone spurs in my feet, I’m much happier with the sitting positions than the standing ones. If it ends up that Oliver decides to arrive on a day where I will be wishing I was giving birth in a country with air conditioning (which I assume he will be doing), I also can’t see myself using the positions where Rainer is holding me tightly or vice versa. It was quite cool yesterday evening and these positions were already making me uncomfortably warm.

We learned how to breath properly. Basically just deep breaths during contractions until the final stage. In the third stage, if you are not yet fully dilated, you do the hee-hee-hee breathing during the contractions to keep you from pushing. Pushing does not come until the cervix is fully dialated.

After class, our instructor gave us a tour of the birthing room which was surprisingly medical looking. I’d always been told that birthing rooms in Germany were much more bedroom-like, but this is not the case here at Klinik St. Hedwig. It’s more like a non-sterile operating room. This freaked me out a bit, because if they’re going to make it LOOK like an operating room, I want it to be sterile! The women from class were putting their bags up on the counters (after they’d been on the floor) and the instructor, who had just spent two hours sweating on a dirty exercise mat was crawling all over the bed. (Yes, I’ve got a slight case of OCD, actually it’s not that slight – I was an obsessive hand washer in elementary school – but most of the time I can fight the impulses).

We had planned to meet up with Sarah, Cliff and Tammy‘s husband Matthias directly after class, but arrived late because of the tour (Never say things like, “7:15 is no problem, they always let us out on time”). But we finally got to the Arkaden and wolfed down some fast food in time to see Ocean’s 13. It was entertaining and had some pretty funny moments. I’d rank it in between Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12.

Towards the end of the movie, I was feeling pretty poorly however. I started having killer contractions that made me sweaty and dizzy. I even thought for a few minutes that this could be the real thing, but the contractions never got regular (on the ride home and for the time after, they came 10, 15, 21, and 8 minutes apart) and they petered off towards morning (they still kept me up much of the night).

Rainer’s sick today. Seems he’s picked up a cold somewhere. I told him that if he gives it to me and I have to give birth while fighting a cold, then he’s in deep doggie doo.

  • Sarah

    Oh dear! I had no idea that you’d been dealing with contractions through the movie. What a bummer. Tell Rainer I hope he feels better soon.

  • ChristinaG

    @sarah: The contractions weren’t too big of an annoyance – I was more trying to decide whether I should get excited or not. And I still enjoyed the film! Rainer’s already up and back at work, so I guess the cold isn’t too bad!

  • Lisa

    I’ve now entered the stage of pregnancy where it’s almost impossible to sleep. And most likely, this will not improve any time in the next few years. Yippee!

    Not exactly. If your case runs anything like mine there’ll be no sleep for the next three months. Then there’ll be a brief respite, a couple weeks of blessed relief until he gets his nursing schedule adjusted. Then it’ll be back to the grind and you’ll be up in gradually shortening increments until his first birthday. After that he’ll be a living doll from the time he’s a year old until he hits puberty. Then there will be no sleep from puberty until he’s about 21.

  • Anonymous

    I’m from America and I’m in Duisburg right now and will be until Dez. Ich habe eine Prackticum. I just want to meet up with people in the area :)

  • ChristinaG

    @Lisa: LOL! I hope my experience will be more like yours. I have a friend who basically didn’t sleep for two years due to a colicky baby.

    @J: Hi there and thanks for commenting! Unfortunately, I live on the other side of Germany from you and don’t have any plans for travelling up to your parts before December. Maybe we’ll run into each other if you go to München for Oktoberfest. But perhaps some of my readers who live nearer would like to meet up with you?

  • rita

    i’ll never have babies. i’ll adopt one instead. good grief, all those contractions. how can you stand it?

  • ChristinaG

    @rita: So far, it hasn’t been too bad. But I’ll let you know after that whole birthing thing 😉

  • christina

    Yeah, don’t expect the German hospitals to be all that clean. :-)

    You’ll probably find once you get in there that you’ll forget everything you learned in the classes and that your instincts will take over.

  • FizzleJigglesWifey

    hey congratulations, that is the one thing I never did was take birth classes which people thought I was crazy for since i was having twins but honestly speaking for me when it was time to push, I pushed all the techniques i read about and hear about went out the window. ( I did not have a c-section not to mention all the medical students in the room with me) more crazy right??? …anyways I was just stopping by to say congrats and don’t worry those mommy instincts will kick in the second you hold your baby in your arms.

  • ChristinaG

    @christina: When I got my appendix out the hospital seemed pretty clean as far as I could tell. But yeah, I figured I won’t remember what they’re telling me in class during the birth anyway! My main reason for taking the class was to get to know some other soon to be moms, but that hasn’t really worked out.

    @FizzleJigglesWifey: Thanks for stopping by! I’m almost done with the classes now and I don’t think they’re really necessary if you are the kind of person who learns well by reading books (some people learn better visually or aurally, so they’d probably be better off with the class). I figure the mommy instinct will come along eventually, or I’ll just learn everything (women have been doing this for millions of years, right?), but I really have no idea what to do when people give me their babies to hold! (and they really like doing this when you’re pregnant!)

  • Lisa

    I didn’t take the classes but read about the breathing exercises and practiced at home. I never progressed to the point I could’ve pushed – ended up having a C-Section – but those breathing exercises proved very handy for dealing with the pain.

    If the docs think Oliver is small enough for you to deliver him naturally, my advice is to take advantage of gravity in whatever way you can. I lay on my back in a bed and I regretted it afterward. I wouldn’t have been able to have her anyway but still, I never knew you could twist and turn and help things along while standing or siting.

    Since then I’ve seen the birthing documentaries where women will sit on the big exercise balls (extremely comfortable) lean up against a wall, or kneel beside the bed with their legs wide apart because it makes them more comfortable.

    ‘Course you probably already know all this and your experience is going to be your own and nothing anyone tells you is going to affect it one way or the other*, so we should all just hush and wish you and Rainer the best. But I think it comes from a good place. We’re pulling for you and hope everything goes perfectly!

    *except for the advice about the nursing pads – that was stellar. 😉

  • Anonymous

    what advice about nursing pads? did i miss something that i could learn from?

  • ChristinaG

    @Lisa: I don’t mind getting advice at all. I like having a lot of information and then deciding on my own what to listen to and what to ignore. But I agree with anonymous, what nursing pad advice? Maria said that my milk won’t come in for a few days and everyone else said that I’ll leak a lot but that the hospital will provide disposable nursing pads. Or do you mean the mesh panties and giant maxi pads? (the instructor showed those to us on the tour – they are quite large!).

    @Anon: Seconded! (see above)

  • Kate

    I found the Geburtshaus was a lot homier and cleaner than either of the hospital rooms I eventually gave birth in. If you can, go in, have the baby and get out as fast as you can. The midwife’s home visits are so much more comforting and convenient.

  • ChristinaG

    @kate: Thanks for the advice. That’s probably what I’ll try to do. When I got my appendix out I was dying to go home earlier but they wouldn’t let me. But with births this seems to be allowed. Nice blog btw :)

  • Anonymous

    yeah, i’ll be down there on the Wiesen am Ende September/ Anfang Oktober. hit me up, bis dann!

  • ChristinaG

    @Jonathan: Cool! Hopefully we can meet then!

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