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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Natural Childbirth, except, of course, for the amputee in the corner...

Cleaning off the top of the refrigerator yesterday, I came across the graduation certificate from the childbirth preparation class my husband and I took when I was pregnant. I dutifully dug through the coffee table to find our baby memory book, and tucked it inside the cover. As I continued cleaning the kitchen, I could not help but smile as I was remembering.

Much to my husbands chagrin, I enrolled us in childbirth classes when I entered my third trimester. As Scott still points out, three years later, these classes took all day Saturday, for two consecutive weeks.

Describing our instructor as enthusiastic would be an understatement. She eagerly passed our models of a uterus and umbilical cord. Photos depicting every stage of childbirth were prominently posted around the room. Scott reminded me that he couldn't believe he had to be in the room all day, and lamented missing the Nascar race.

At every opportunity, she campaigned for an all-natural birth. She spoke for an hour about the joys of a natural birth. She spoke to the evils of using epidurals and drugs, and seemed to encourage everything short of squatting behind a tree to keep the experience "real."

Midway through our first Saturday, she brought out the "birth balls." Unaware that such an apparatus existed, I thought that we were readying for another icebreaker... perhaps pregnant kick ball. I was wrong.

The next three hours were spent watching demonstrations and trying a myriad of labor positions. Honestly, until this experience, I thought there were only two positions. Lying flat on a hospital gurney for a C-Section and screaming on your back in a labor and delivery room.

Because I was not permitted to wear my leg during delivery, I thought it would be prudent to practice the positions without the prosthetic. I climbed onto the birth ball and started gently bouncing. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and rolled off, landing on top of a very nice gentleman coaching his wife.

Undeterred, we tried the next position. I got on my hands and knees, and put my head on a pillow. My rear was in the air, as if I was an animal presenting herself. I quickly discovered that this position put too much pressure on my knee and stump.

The last position was a squat. All of the pregnant women started to squat, with their coaches at their side. My "coach" looked at me, gave me a hug and a donut. I didn't need to say anything. He knew that I was upset because none of the positions would work for me because of the amputation.

Our perky birth instructor came over, and Scott asked to speak with her. Scott told her that I was feeling bad, because I couldn't do the labor positions because I only have one leg. Smiling, the natural childbirth advocate and cheerleader looked at me and said, "Don't worry about it, honey. You can go ahead and get an epidural."

So much for natural childbirth!

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is that things were much simpler 29 years ago when I had my first. No birthing classes. Only one position. No epidurals But plenty of Pethidine.