There were at least fifteen women in my course and most of them seemed to be further ahead in their pregnancy judging by their bellies. We went around in a circle introducing ourselves, revealing if we were having a boy or a girl and when our due dates were. What ended up happening was that each woman also decided to mention what was going wrong with her pregnancy! On top of that, they all talked about their high risk pregnancies with pride, almost daring the next person to top their problems!
By the time it was my turn to talk, I was amazed at how many high risk pregnancies there were in the room and felt super lucky to only be suffering from pelvic girdle pain. I, later, discovered that in the hospital there is only one room with a birthing pool and that you cannot have any complications whatsoever in order to labour and give birth in the water. To my advantage, all these high risk pregnancies would give me better chances of not finding the birthing pool already occupied.
When we finished introducing ourselves, our fabulous obstetrician stated the obvious, “with the exception of, like 2 people, you all are falling apart!” Everyone laughed. I think. At least I did.
Ilaria got right down to business in explaining the importance of our pelvic floor. Not only was it important to strengthen it but also to know how to relax it using some exercises and massages. I knew what she was getting at: kegels and perineal massages. But Ilaria didn’t mention the word “Kegel.”
Rather she said, “Ok, girls, who likes bubble gum?” We all answered with shrugs and murmurs.
“Imagine your unwrapped piece of bubblegum. Now pick it up and chew it.
With your vagina.
Got it? Ok now, chew chew chew chew chew chew chew chew. Now, spit it out!”
She didn’t stop there. She made us laugh even harder by saying that with all the birth courses she leads and all the kegel exercises she does in class, she could crack walnuts with her pelvic floor.
“If you need your walnuts cracked for Christmas, bring them to me. Crack!”
A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT
After various kegel exercises, Ilaria started talking about the importance of a supportive and positive atmosphere in the labour room.
“I don’t care who you bring into the labour and delivery room: your husband, your sister, your lover, your husband’s brother, your mom’s boyfriend… I’ve seen it all! I won’t judge you. Just don’t bring your mother.”
She continued, “Mothers get too anxious and they get on my nerves and get in the way. Whoever it is has to be supportive, positive and calm.”
She went on about the effects of a positive atmosphere but I was still wide-eyed about the scandalous birth partner stories revealed in the delivery room!!