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Week 33: To Lamaze or not to Lamaze

I’ve been at this third trimester party for a little over five weeks now, and it’s the most exhausting party I’ve ever been to. It’s uncomfortable, draining … and did I mention uncomfortable? With this bump growing at a steady pace and my clothes feeling tighter than ever—I have to find some comfort in the fact that pregnancy will probably be the only time when people in my life think it’s “cute” that I’m gaining weight.
Lack of sleep, being uncomfortable, fatigue and swelling aside … there are some pretty fun things to look forward to during your last trimester, like Lamaze classes … aka birthing classes! Some boast of the benefits and others consider it a waste of time – pfft, they’re just “breathing” classes, right? Ya know, like “HEE —HEE —WHOOOOOO …HEE—HEE—WHOOO.” But … you only experience your first pregnancy once, so James and I decided (along with some great friends who are also expecting) to get the full experience, embrace pregnancy and all it has to offer, and go to these classes!
I have one word—WHOA. I would have paid to have my face filmed through this first class. I can’t even imagine the facial expressions I must have had. The evening started out very calm with just some light talk about what we all would be experiencing in the weeks to come, but then things got intense. We learned about the fundus, the top part of the uterus, (which if you ask me isn’t too fun at all) down to the cervix whose magic number is 10. That’s when the cervical dilatation chart was handed out. My what is going to get how big? Dang. I should have considered sitting in on birthing classes before I found out I got pregnant, so I knew what I was getting myself into …
There were some breathing techniques discussed but nothing like how they play it out to be in movies and such. They were presented more as different patterns of breathing to help keep you occupied (as if you aren’t occupied enough during labor) and your mind off of the pain of labor—fingers crossed it’ll work!
The class that we’re a part of consists of three, 3-hour classes at our local hospital which end with what sounds like a charming tour of the maternity unit. I can’t say my anxiety getting Miss Penelople here has been calmed, but rather I feel a lot more knowledgeable about what my body will soon be going through.
My overall opinion of these types of classes thus far? Should they be offered to you through your healthcare provider, definitely take advantage of them! I can almost guarantee that you’ll walk out of that class knowing something you’ve never known before. For example, I learned that when the baby comes out face up … the doctor and team of nurses like to refer to that as “sunny side up.” Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll look at my breakfast the same way again.
In addition to all of the fun symptoms of the third trimester, I’ve also found that this is a time when you find out what your limits are. Being pregnant and on the last leg of the race during the summer months is no joke. It’s so very important to not overdo it, which I can reluctantly admit is quite difficult for me. Over the past several years, most of my weekends have been spent in the kitchen consumed by cake batter, buttercream and fondant as I’ve worked to build a small home-based baking business. Starting Friday after work, baking all night Friday, delivering on Saturday, baking all night Saturday and delivering on Sunday … sleep usually didn’t happen, and I’ve discovered quite quickly that growing a human and not sleeping don’t mix very well.

I’m finally starting to use that magical word … no. It hasn’t been easy, and I can’t say I like it, but it’s necessary. I’ve significantly decreased the amount of cake orders I take, partially because I’m terrified of committing and then something happen, (bedrest, preterm labor, etc.) which in turn would leave my clients upset and cake-less. It’s extremely bittersweet, but I’ve fulfilled my last official cake order before we welcome our little bambina into our lives. I’m not too sure how easy it will be to sneak away to make a cake or a batch of buttercream with our new addition. I feel like it will be very much like, “Watch me whip …watch me lay, lay down and finally try to take a nap.” I doughnut know what the fate of this little business will be, but it’s been a pretty dough-pey adventure.