Since we’ve never done this baby thing before, I thought it would be interesting to take a birthing class before he arrived. I wasn’t entirely sure what it would entail, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

We attended the first of five classes last night and I think it’s going to be a really informative process. Our class is taught by a Labor & Delivery nurse who I ADORE. Like, so much that I asked her in jest (mostly) if we could book her for the birth. The question got a good laugh from the others in the room, but I wasn’t entirely kidding!

I’ve done a lot of reading so when we started the lesson on what happens to the body during pregnancy and then moved into the different stages of labor, I wasn’t in the dark completely. But I was glad Michael was there to hear and see exactly what is going on inside of me, and what my body will go through as it prepares to push baby into the world.

Even though I knew this to be so, I was still shocked to actually see what happens to all your organs when you’re pregnant. On the left is a diagram of a woman’s body before she’s pregnant, and on the right is her in the third trimester. No wonder we have shortness of breath, have to pee all the time and can’t eat a lot in one sitting. Everything is compressed into pancakes!

I asked a lot of questions about how labor is handled at the hospital where I’ll be delivering, and was thrilled to find they are really on the same page as my thinking. It seems they actually handle birth much like midwives do, and are very pro-mommy. No drugs are pushed, only provided if you ask, stretching of the perineum and vagina is performed on you while you labor to avoid tearing, and you’re encouraged to go through your early labor at home as long as possible to avoid being sent home, or hooked up to Pitocin. And as long as the baby is determined not to be in any distress, moms can walk, sit on the birthing ball, take a shower, etc. to help her through labor.

The hospital is also Baby Friendly, which means breastfeeding from the start is encouraged and facilitated. This is done by starting breastfeeding almost immediately after birth, providing no breast milk substitutes unless medically necessary, allowing rooming-in (where the baby is in the room with the parents at all times, except for when they are getting their tests), giving no pacifiers in the hospital to avoid nipple confusion, and providing parents with lactation support after they leave.

These are all things that are on my birth wish list, and I really feel like I made the right decision in picking this hospital. Speaking of Wish List, the L&D nurse refered to “Birth Plans” as a “Wish List” instead, because no matter what, you can’t control all aspects of birth. I really liked that.

Today marks the first day of my last trimester, the final 12-week stretch. Assuming he comes around my due date, of course. When I think of the possibility that he could be here in oh, 10 weeks, I can hardly believe it. Still left on my to-do list is finding our pediatrician, setting up the nursery and attending my two (two! I feel so loved and spoiled!) baby showers in May. In the next few weeks we are also offered a complimentary 3D ultrasound, which I’m really looking forward to.

12 weeks. I’m totally ready to meet this little munchkin wedged under my ribs.