Last night was our fourth class and it started off with, you guessed it, more videos. I excused myself from the room and went to the lobby where I found a fascinating Thanksgiving edition of Sunset magazine from November 2006. I was not the only person with video fear. Two other couples showed up late to avoid having to watch the painfully real deliveries. I've already got a picture in my head of what labor is going to be like (see pic at right) and I don't think seeing the bottom naked half of a woman writhing in pain as she forces her baby's ginormous cranium through a 3.9 inch hole (that's as big as 10 cm gets, folks) is going to help me in any fashion, although it could very well drive me to jump off the nearest bridge.
Once that was over we talked about the things we need to have or do to help us while at the hospital. For me, keeping people out of the room and away from me (this includes students and the like who may want to closely monitor the situation) will be most beneficial. That, and having The Sopranos playing on the dvd to take my mind off of what I'm doing in between contractions. For Darr, there came a realization that he probably shouldn't offer up problem solving techniques because anything he says could cause him to be severely beaten, ignored or divorced.
And then our fearless leader Annette brought out the instruments of torture. Well, for the most part they were pretty benign - a fetal monitor, an oxygen mask, an aspirator, etc. It was the catheter that really got our attention. (I'm sorry, you want to put that where?) I don't think there were many of us who believed Annette when she tried to assure us it didn't hurt. The amniohook (a long crochet type hook with a pricked end) was also troubling in appearance. (It's used to break a woman's water.) And finally the vacuum, which we learned, thanks to Darr's clarifying question, is not hooked up to a compressor when it is used to extract the baby.
The more I learn in this class, the more I am amazed we've survived as a species.