zhmort (zhmort) wrote,

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Coach Derek Limbers Up

In the past few weeks I have learned that there are three stages of labor. The second and third stages are about pushing the baby and then the placenta out. The first stage is a little more varied, and is further sub-divided into three phases: early labor, active labor, and transition. There are contractions throughout, with observable variance in duration and frequency, sometimes with some urge to push during transition, even before second stage starts. But even more easily observable than the changes in contractions, apparently, are the usual changes in the mother's moods and outlook.

Early labor is the easiest part of labor, and is sometimes experienced as fun and even exciting. ("It's finally happening!")

Active labor, in addition to affecting the mother more physically, is marked by increased "seriousness" and an inward focus. ("Don't touch me!" or "Take the lamp shade off your head now, monkey-boy.")

Transition is the hardest part of this stage, and often this is where the mother will doubt herself the most, worrying that she can't do it. They say the trick is to understand that getting to that point means the labor is almost done, that in fact the baby will be there soon.

So as an aspiring labor coach/participant/hinderer, I figure I ought to have some way of making sure I don't miss these key mood indicators. My plan is to buy the following supplies and bring them with me to the birth, probably under a trench coat:

  1. One rubber chicken
  2. One large set of salad tongs

Then, while helping her through the labor, I will occasionally surprise her with tests. First, I'll whip out the the chicken, and quickly ask, all offhand-like, "Hey, whaddaya think of this?!" If I get a chuckle, I put it away and get back to helping with contractions. If I get nothing, then I quickly whip out the salad tongs and go on to ask, "Is it time for these yet?"

And if at that point she pushes out our baby, I will finally know for sure that she was really pregnant all along, and not just wearing a specially molded pillow around her waist for the sake of sympathy, as I have long suspected.


NOTE: This was posted originally on zderek

Comments on original posting on zderek:


2003-09-14 02:33 pm

You always make me laugh! A bit of advice -- no rubber chicken during transition!
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