Friday, October 08, 2004

I. Am. So. BORING.

I keep trying to think about what else I can put here. I am really not Debbie Downer all the time, I swear, while not optimistic and sunny, certainly not a "poor me" draggy type.

So hmmm...who wants to hear about Deustchland Uber Alles Woman in my childbirth class? I got sidetracked. First night of class, we come in and there is this couple from Germany, our age or maybe a little younger. Cool, I think, my girlfriend T. is fluent in German and her fiancee is actually from Germany. Maybe we'll have something in common with them.

Oh. My. Word.
As soon, as SOON, as the teacher mentioned the word "epidural" she starts. "But you can have drugs here? In Germany they do not give the drugs and say it is bad. Why do you do that?" The teacher explains that the epidural doesn't cross the placenta and that yes, it's pretty common here.

"But in Germany..."

So after the teacher wrests the class back onto topic, we start again. And on every new topic, we get to hear more abut how things are done in Germany --with just that little extra-annoying hint of "and it's SO MUCH BETTER there." She wants to give birth naked, because that's how it's done there. She wants to be in the tub, because that's how it's done there. When should she start drinking red raspberry leaf tea, because EVERYONE does it there and it's not done here as a part of regualr prenatal care but why? By the last class, Paul and I were daring each other to yell "SO GO BACK TO GERMANY!!"
And our teacher actually didn't tell her she couldn't do any of these things. Even giving birth naked, she said, is fine, just let the nurses know that was her preference so they weren't surprised when they came in. Still , she had this very challenging attitude toward everything she was told, as if we stupid Americans couldn't possibly be of help to her.

And, another huge pet peeve, she would turn to her husband and just start talking, right in the middle of class. Fine, if there were a lot of us, but there were THREE COUPLES including them. Very rude to our nice L and D nurse instructor. It didn't ruin the class, our teacher did a good job and took time for everyone's questions and concerns, and I feel a lot more prepared. but I learned one very important thing:

Do NOT give birth in Germany.

I barely like letting my husband see me naked, much less a random nurse. I am going to try to go as long as I can drug free, but I have a low pain tolerance (okay, I am a big fat wussy wuss) and if drugs, lovely drugs, can turn birthing my baby into something I don't percieve as painful and horrible and allow me to concentrate on the beautiful and rapturous miracle it really is, bring 'em on, early and often.

And I don't like red raspberry leaf tea.


Raisingirl said...

*sigh* That would have driven me nuts. Give birth any old way you can. You're removing another human being from your body. If it's drugs you need, sobeit. And if you, like me, enjoy wearing clothing in public, go for it. Sheesh... I felt daring because I let the nurse handle my boob when we were learning to BF.

Raisingirl said...

Amy... I wanted to respond about AP. First of all, I SO agree with you. I can't stand the BFing Nazis, the AP Nazis or anyone who doesn't have an ounce of flexibility. BFing did not work out for Jonah and I, though we tried and lasted 3 months. And sometimes, if I am discussing it with other AP moms, I feel afraid that they will judge me. Luckily, so far the other moms I have encountered have been very supportive (I really like the AP board at Baby Center) and acknowledge that lots of AP moms bottle-feed with love and tenderness.

As for scheduling, this is what I have found... People who subscribe to the harsh regiment that philosophies like Babywise endorse (how I hate Babywise... it's almost evil IMHO) end up having a harder time scheduling than parents who follow a child-led style of parenting and feed on demand, etc. We have always allowed Jonah to set the pace and we follow his cues. He knows when he's hungry. He knows when he's tired. And if we are in tune with him, it's easy for us to see those cues even before he starts fussing. He cries very little because of that. AND he is on a suprisingly VERY regular schedule. Does he nap at EXACTLY the same times every day? No. Does he wake up or go to sleep at exactly the same time every day? No. Does he eat at exactly the same time every day? Again, no. HOWEVER, his routine is incredibly predictable! He can tolerate being awake for 1-1 1/2 hours before he needs a nap. And it is pretty much always like that. All of his naps, save one longer one in the midafternoon, are 30-60 minutes. And he will pretty much sleep for 9/10 uninterrupted hours at night. His bed time is anywhere from 9-11pm and he wakes up anywhere from 6-8am. And for feedings, you can almost set a clock by him... He's hungry every 3 hours. I think baby's have a need for consistency and schedule. But they are also capable of scheduling themselves given a little direction (i.e., in the earlier days we would not let Jonah nap for more than 3 hours at a time so he would sleep at night). And if you allow for flexibility instead of saying, "Well, it's 11:25, time for your nap RIGHT NOW" I think you end up with a happier, more well-adjusted child. And in the end, that makes for a happier Mommy & Daddy.

Raisingirl said...

Seriously, am I a "Comments" hog or what!

Anyway, a very sweet friend of mine who is in the midst of infertility just started a blog here and I wanted to just give you her address... She's dealing with PCOS and waiting to start IUI and pursuing adoption. On top of all of that, she just became a NICU nurse. Check her out if you get time...

Moxie said...

I betcha the German woman ends up induced, with an epidural, and finally a C-section. The most dogmatic ones in either direction always seem to get exactly what they didn't want. In my class, there was a woman who was one of those "hook up the epidural as soon as we walk through the door of the hospital" types. Her labor happened so fast that by the time she got admitted to the hosital it was time to push and too late for the epidural. OTOH, this couple who were convinced no one should be allowed any pain meds ended up with a c-section. Heh. Both those couples were so annoying. As were the people who were using Light Language to communicate with each other. Ah, good times...

FWIW, we never scheduled, and El Chico basically scheduled himself loosely. I think most kids will, if allowed to and comforted when they need it.

Squeezethebaby said...

Hi Amy, I just found your Blog and this older post cracked me up...I am that German woman's alter ego here in Germany (and I'm from Detroit, BTW). Don't you worry, I take every chance I can get to comment about the crackhead way they do things here as opposed to "Well, in America.." LOL I'm sure it makes my DH nuts. And I did give birth here and they all get epidurals too, don't let them tell you any different...Anyways, nice to meet you!