Saturday, July 2, 2011

Talking about our feelings: The Bradley Method

There are SO many different birth classes that it can be really over-whelming. However, it was not even an option in my mind to go with anything other than the Bradley method. For those that aren't familiar, in a nut shell Mr. Bradley grew up on an animal farm, assisting the farm animals and watching them give birth. When he stepped into the field of obstetrics and saw how birth was handled in the medical field, it sickened him. He had grown up knowing birth to be completely natural and at a pace that was decided by the baby alone; whether it took 3 hours or 3 days. So he set out to revolutionize the way birth was handled.

Yesterday was the first class of our twelve week Bradley course. Unfortunately my husband was unable to attend. I walked in and there was only one other couple. I asked if the class started at 5 and where the other couples were. The instructor gave me a confused look and said that their classes only accept two couples per course. A twelve week, couple focused birth class. I am spoiled.

The other couple is AWESOME and I am already looking forward to the next class.

BUT... the Bradley method is all about getting in touch with your inner birthing goddess (my words, because that's what the class makes me think of) which is FANTASTIC... but I'm not a very emotional or feelings oriented person. I would rather talk about the physical and REAL state of things, rather than how it makes me feel or the abstract form. I'm not a "mushy" person and would rather tell it like it is in blunt terms to get my point across as quickly as possible to avoid conversing about feelings. That's how I am and sometimes it gets me in trouble.

So, when the Bradley instructor informed us that the course involves a lot of emotion and feeling related talk and focus, I about threw up. Actually, correction, I rolled my eyes and possibly gagged. At the end of the course when she had us "get comfortable" on the floor with the help of pillows and then listen to a "relaxation" recording - I couldn't relax. Being that I couldn't relax, I started getting frustrated with myself for not being able to relax. Then I started getting upset that I was getting frustrated that I couldn't relax. The tape was all "close your eyes. Clench your fists, now relax your fists." And I'm laying there with my eyes WIDE open wondering if I printed and ran all the reports I needed to at work because it's a holiday weekend. "Crap, did I remember to send out that email about there being no meeting on Tuesday... usually I do that on Mondays but Monday's a holiday...SHIT" Close your eyes. Envision everything floating away. " We've been laying on the floor for like fifteen minutes. How long can this take?" Now flex your toes. Keep flexing. Now relax. See how good that feels. "My shoulder is REALLY starting to hurt. I don't know how much longer I can lay like this. I wonder what she'd say if I sat up..." Now hold your breath. Keep holding it. "How fkn long are they going to deprive me of oxygen?!"

You get the idea. When the tape said to open our eyes and "slowly come back to ourselves" I think I shot up faster than the women in labor in movies. Then the instructor said we'd be doing that at the end of every class. Wonderful.

My point; even though the Bradley method is something that I've been waiting to learn about and experience, there are going to be things in every aspect of life that make you roll your eyes and huff and puff and giggle about (like how the pregnant women in all the sketches of the pregnancy exercises are butt naked in our work book) it's going to benefit me in the end. Even though I think it's horse-shit now, who says that imagining myself floating on a cloud during labor won't help? It's important for me to take in as much as possible just in case. So I guess I'll just have to tolerate the emotion and feeling based course for 11 more weeks and complain about it to my wonderful husband afterwards.

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