The girl who wouldn’t “moo”

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.

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  1. Alicia @culinarybliss on December 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    When I was around 4-5 cm in our L&D room, I heard a woman birthing next door very loudly. I turned to my husband with this sad face, a little out of jealousy that she was that far, and a little out of fear that I’d be there in a little while. But honestly, I barely made noise. I expected myself to be very vocal, but the most noise I made was during transition, and that was just low humming. My doula reminded me to keep my voice low to stay calm and it really helped. I never swore or got angry because I knew I just had to work through each contraction and that getting upset would just make it worse, and there’s no escaping it! 🙂 I think I said “owwwwwwww” a couple times, but that’s about it.
    Don’t let other people’s experiences dictate what you should expect. I was told I’d lose track of time, and be speaking in one word sentences. Neither happened for me. Be open!
    Oh and I hated the tub, but that’s because I had back labor.

  2. Jessie @ Graze With Me on December 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I hummed through my contractions. LOUDLY. It worked very well!

  3. Amy @ purewellnessamy on December 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I am 99.995% certain that you will not give a hee-haw who sees your lady bits during labor. I think I already commented about how I had my bare butt swinging side to side in full view of the hallway while managing my contractions… I am introverted and modest to a fault, and the last thing I cared about was who saw my junk. As for noise, I think I grunted a lot but I honestly don’t remember. I kind of wish I had videotaped my labor and delivery. It would be interesting, and probably comical, to watch now!

  4. Jess on December 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The mooing thing may sound strange and be embarrassing now, but you definitely need to learn how to make sound. We praticed roaring in my prenatal yoga class which felt silly to me, but low and behold, I roared a few times during my labor. Trying not to make sounds will make you tense. Relaxed jaw, relaxed perinium, strange right?

    I promise once you’re in labor, you won’t get two woots who sees what or what sounds are coming from you. I brought a bikini top for when I was in the tub, never saw the light of day. I just wanted to be in there. Plus, labor isn’t the only time people will be seeing the goods. Every shift of nurses while you’re in the hospital will be coming to check you for hemrroids, you stitches (if you have them) and swelling. Oh and they’ll push on your belly to try to help contract your uterus. The first time hurts, but after that it’s not too bad.

    • Jess on December 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

      I forgot, we were driving to the hospital when I was in transition, just hitting a red light I was upset. I would be swearing up a storm had we been pulled over. If you’re legs are shaking, you’re there. Try to leave for the hospital before that. It was so uncomfortable for me to sit in the car for 20 mins on the way to the hospital.

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