On Saturday Darius and I took the “Yoga for Birth and Delivery” class at Yoga Yoga. We were on the waitlist, so we were very excited to get the call on Saturday morning letting us know that we had gotten into the class.

The class was not was we expected. From the description we expected to be going over a lot of yoga positions and techniques for birth, relaxation, pain management, etc. While there was some of that and there was some breathing and guided meditation, there was a lot that just felt like stuff we’re getting in our Centering birthing classes as well. If I’d known it was more of a birthing class, I’m not sure we’d have gone. Also it seemed to be a little more focused on reassuring the partners and reminding them to be good birth coaches than on reassuring the mothers.

That being said, I did actually get some good things out of it.

We started off with a guided meditation about going into labor and giving birth. I discovered I was/am actually frightened about the start of labor. It was really hard for me to imagine it. Not sure if that is because I’ve never experienced it before or because it’s the start of this big scary out-of-my-hands thing. However, once the meditation moved into more of the active labor and birth I was okay because then I was at the Birthing Center with Darius and my doula and the midwives. Also interesting was that I wasn’t really interested in going into the tub, but was much more interested in a low birthing stool/the side of the bed. When the teacher got to the part about having our baby placed on our chest, I totally teared up (and I don’t think I was the only one).

It was also nice for the teacher to talk about how there are four different things that they measure in terms of your body and the baby’s position during labor: baby position, cervix softening, effacement, and dilation. She reminded us that even if we’re at 4cm for two hours, to ask the health practitioner if there have been any other changes, because those other changes are also signs of progress and so one should be encouraged by them even if one is not any more dilated than before.

She also talked about how child birth is a right of passage that has different gates. The hardest gate to get through is the Gate of Doubt and that is when the mother needs the most encouragement. She also let us know that sometimes you return to some of the gates several times throughout the labor.

We did do some movement stuff. When doing back to back breathing with Darius, I kept feeling like he was pushing me over too much, but really that was because he was sitting on more of the blanket that I wanted to be sitting on, so I kept trying to get my butt closer to his. We did some other trust stuff and she also had us do some good supportive positions for labor.

Lastly we did a pain management exercise. This involved squatting for a minute at a time and trying different coping techniques, with the breath being the main focus. I discovered that non-focused awareness and focusing and analyzing the pain are both techniques that can work well for me, although too much “extra” noise is annoying.

Am I glad I took the class? Yes. Do I wish it had been more about the yoga and breathing and positions? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Yes, if you aren’t taking other birthing classes and reading a lot about birthing on your own.

And now, 30 week belly pics:

Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days