What I Learned At Childbirth Class: That Exercise Ball Is Actually A "Birthing Ball"

Posted by Pamela Vaughan

Nov 13, 2008 12:05:56 PM

[caption id="attachment_370" align="alignleft" width="194" caption="Birthing Ball"]Birthing Ball[/caption]

James and I attended our first of two natural childbirth classes last Sunday at Isis Maternity.� Before we went, I was thinking the class would either sell me on or deter me from my decision to birth Baby Lump naturally.� The verdict?� It's still a "go."

If you're thinking there is still a possibility the second class will make me rethink my decision, it's very unlikely.� The first class was devoted to the particularly scary stuff - we watched a pretty rough video, which was basically a compilation of unedited footage of women in labor.� Next class we're focusing on more pleasant things like breastfeeding.

[caption id="attachment_371" align="alignright" width="259" caption="Birthing Ball - Alternate Use "]Birthing Ball - Alternate Use [/caption]

So far the class has done a good job of preparing us preggo students for the three stages of labor, suggesting various relaxation techniques and positions for coping with the pain.� During the early phase of labor, many techniques involve using what the obstetrics community calls a "birthing ball," which every non-pregnant woman in the world knows as an exercise ball.� So for all you fitness enthusiasts out there who are planning to have a baby at some point in your life, that exercise ball you've been using for your crunches is going to come doubly in handy some day.� Messing around with that "birthing ball" was my favorite part of class - I've already ordered my own, and it's on its way.

Oh yeah, and our instructor is also quite a hoot.� Her name is Sandy, and she had absolutely no reservations about getting down on the floor and demonstrating different birthing positions.� She is currently a nursing student who is planning to become a midwife.� We think she's great.

Baby Lump's stats for week 31:

Measurement/Weight: Baby Lump should now weigh about 4 to 5 pounds and measures approximately 16� 1/2 inches.� He/she will continue to gain about a half pound per week until shortly before birth - Yowzers!

Other Highlights: Baby Lump is beginning to develop immunity to mild infections, his/her appearance is similar to what it will be at birth (sans some weight) and he/she may start to be getting into position for birth (head turned down toward the pelvis).

We're down to a single digit countdown now - only 8� 1/2 weeks (or fewer) to go!

Oven Timer: 31 weeks, 3 days

Topics: Weekly Updates, natural childbirth class, week 31, stages of labor, Isis Maternity, birthing ball

At Last, We Are Connected!

Posted by Pamela Vaughan

Sep 10, 2008 2:06:31 PM


Believe me, you have no idea how excited I am about this.�� I'm like a kid in a candy store again - my Firefox browser has about 12,000 tabs open; I'm uploading photos like crazy to Facebook, Flickr and Baby-Gaga; I'm tweeting my cries of rejoice like crazy on Twitter; and most importantly, I'm blogging again!� It's an all-out social media-fest over here.

I apologize for leading you to believe I'd have the InterWeb on Monday.� I swear, that was the original plan until Comcast screwed up.� I've definitely been going through Little Baby Lump blogging withdrawal, and it seems like some of you have been, too.� Case in point, my friend Tina wrote on my Facebook wall the other day imploring me to "find an Internet cafe or SOMETHING."

Well, I'm connected again and I'm back and blogging up a storm.� I've added a new tab to the upper right-hand side of my blog labeled "Our Place" - check out James and my new apartment and what will be Baby Lump's first home.� If you read the last post I wrote via Blackberry (which was not easy), you know that Baby Lump is already feeling at home.� The first night we spent in the new apartment was also the first time James felt the baby kick, and he/she has been a lot more active, dancing around noticeably, in the past week.

In the growth department, Baby Lump should be about 11 inches long and almost one pound at this point, or for all you food analogy-lovers, about as long as a package of Oreos and as heavy as a bag of tortilla chips.� Mmm - Oreos and chips.� I was also able to sign up for my natural childbirth classes at Isis Maternity in Brookline on November 9 and 16th, so now it's a reality - I'm going through the whole birth thing sans medication.� And that's my final answer.

Oven Timer: 22 weeks, 2 days

Topics: Weekly Updates, natural childbirth, Isis Maternity, little baby lump, 22 weeks, new apartment, social media, baby kicking

20 Down, 20 To Go - I'm Halfway There!

Posted by Pamela Vaughan

Aug 27, 2008 4:54:54 AM

I hit an important pregnancy milestone on Monday - the halfway point!� It's hard to believe I only have about four and a half months left before Baby Lump pops out.� I had another appointment Monday, and Dr. Stagg says everything is looking A-okay.� She also whipped out the tape measure and started measuring my belly this week.� Things are right on track!

If any of you are curious since my last post, I did remember to ask her about the hiccuping sitch.� She said hiccups are a result of an irritation of the diaphragm and speculates that the added pressure of the baby is just causing more frequent irritation.� And no, apparently it's not that common.� I'm just weird.

Also, the beach was great!� The weather was perfect, the water was beautiful, and despite James' unwillingness to wear sunscreen and his subsequent sunburn, he had a great first time at the Jersey shore.

I've also been looking into some childbirth education classes, since apparently it's about that time.� After some careful thought, I decided I want to give birth naturally.� That's right - no meds for me.� My mom delivered both my sisters and I naturally, so I decided I wanted to be brave as well.� Plus, I love myself a challenge (as if raising the the pending baby won't be enough of a challenge).� Anyway, when my mom basically laughed in my face after I told her I was planning on just winging the natural childbirth thing sans instruction, I figured I'd look into some classes.

As of this coming October, Mass General Hospital will be holding all of their family education courses through Isis Maternity, a series of pregnancy wellness centers in Massachusetts, which works out great for us since we can attend classes right in Brookline - much closer than downtown at MGH.� I'm hoping to enroll in the Natural Childbirth class in October, but I'm still banging out the details.

Enjoy the last few days of summer!

Oven Timer: 20 weeks, 2 days

Topics: Weekly Updates, Milestones, beach, natural childbirth, pregnancy, Isis Maternity, little baby lump, Mass General Hospital, 20 weeks, family education classes

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