I took a Lamaze class when I was pregnant with my son, but I never used the techniques even once because I never experienced labor. I don't think that I have expressed in this blog just how disappointed I was in my son's birth via cesarean. No, I wasn't just disappointed that I didn't experience a completely drug-free vaginal birth. I felt like I was less of a mother than other mothers who did have what I consider to be my ideal birth experience. Those feelings of inadequacy were terribly difficult to overcome and it took months before I stopped feeling like a birth failure.
I knew as soon as my son was born that I would be seeking a drug-free vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) should I get another birthing opportunity and I had decided many months ago that I'd like to try a different approach than Lamaze. I obviously never used the method so I can't speak about it's effectiveness, but the patterned breathing of Lamaze felt unnatural and I suspect that it would not help me labor or deliver any easier. I'm also not thrilled with anecdotal evidence about what I would call the Lamaze success rate. That is, the percentage of women who experience non-medicated births by utilizing Lamaze.
A fellow mama who I instantly clicked with months ago became a Bradley instructor. The Bradley method has an outstanding success rate for non-medicated births. Even better, this mama used the Bradley method to experience her own all-natural VBAC. Do you sometimes feel like an invisible wave is pushing you toward a making a particular decision? I feel that way here. She knows what it's like to feel cheated out of the birth you wanted and her passion is to help other women experience the birth that they want to have. Add in that she's a fantastically funny woman and I'm really looking forward to taking her Bradley classes sometime next year. Here's a linky to her site if you are pregnant and interested in Bradley or if you know someone who might be interested.
It's clearly too soon for me to participate in any childbirth classes, but I've already been scouring the internet for information because I'm an overachiever in that way. The Bradley method, from what I've gathered, places strong emphasis on health during pregnancy to help facilitate an easier birth process. Part of that healthy pregnant lifestyle includes regular exercise and some specific exercises to help condition the muscles that you'll be working during labor and birth.
Why, yes, I have been doing prenatal exercises this afternoon. Squats are fine, pelvic tilts seem useless, and I don't see the point in sitting Indian-style. In my opinion, the Kegels are the worst! I mean, I can do them just fine, but they make me, uh, hot. That's great if I'm doing them before bedtime and my husband & I have the energy to get busy, but not so great if I'm doing them throughout the day. I can't be the only woman who feels this way about Kegels, can I?
Did you attend any childbirth classes to prepare for labor & delivery? Which classes did you take? Do you feel the class was worthwhile? What do you regret about your birth experience? What memory do you still cherish from your birth experience? Did you experience a drug-free vaginal birth? Do you have any advice to help a mama looking to have the same experience? Please share below!