The day I changed my major from Musical Threate to Finance, something changed with my personality. Anything that I wasn’t forced to practice and perform (singing, public speaking) on a regular basis… died. I was still dancing and teaching at the studio, so that wasn’t a problem, but class presentations became something I dreaded instead of embraced, and don’t even ask me to sing. Of even worse, sing “Happy Birthday” to me. I’ll turn bright red. I feel like emphasizing the analytical side of my personality throughout college made me more of an introvert, which made me wonder how the labor process will go… especially when I was too shy to “moo” during labor practice last night.
I can’t believe our Bradley classes are almost over. We have 4 weeks left –it’s a 12-week course- and one of the girls in class had her baby last week (!). Last night, we went through different stages of labor, utilizing various props and scenarios. The labor stations were extremely helpful, since we had to hold an ice cube during each “contraction” and have our coach lead us through breathing and meditation. Some of the stations included pretending to be driving in the car to the hospital (and Tom was pulled over for speeding… in real life, I’d probably swear my face off at the poor cop), bouncing on a birthing ball, squatting (stage 2- pushing), walking (stage 1), etc. One of the stations including us sitting rear-facing on the toilet (we watched a video of a woman laboring this way and Tom was like “Um, she’s doing it wrong”), head on a pillow and making a “moo” sound, like a cow.
This sound technique is pretty common during labor, as many midwives will instruct the mom to “moo the baby out.” When I first read about this in Ina May’s book, it made me snicker a little bit. Mooing? During labor? Um, no thanks. It’s something that our Bradley teacher has talked about (and demonstrated.. quite well, I might add) during classes, but didn’t seem like something I’d want to do unless it was the real thing and I needed it. So at our practice station, I wouldn’t make the moo sound.
The lights were off, the instructor came in and did the loudest, most awesome moo with Tom (the post is sounding weirder and weirder. Haha),who was seriously such a good sport during the whole practice, and the best I could do? A little cow sigh. And my face was magenta.
Another thing: I’m not sure how I feel about flashing the goods during labor, and am already scheming the most comfortable, least exposed, labor-able thing I can wear during the process. From what I hear, you lose all sense of modesty right before transition, so who knows?
I might even moo, loudly and proudly, like I’m supposed to.
Major props to my husband, not only for mooing, but also because I can already tell he’s going to be an amazing coach. During each fake contraction, he talked me through meditations, took deep breaths with me, pressed on my back for counter pressure, played with my hair, and offered me water in between each one. We’re two very lucky girls to have him.