2011 July

Week 32:So Thirsty

When I first got pregnant, the nurse brought out a sixteen ounce bottle of water and told me that I needed to drink four of those a day. I thought it was easily doable since I drink a huge glass of water in the morning with breakfast, another two glasses at lunch nd then some more for dinner, not to mention in between meals when I have snacks and what not and then there is the occassional hot chocolate or tea. So it wasn’t something I really had to think about. The more you drink, the better you feel anyway. Plus if you drink more water when you’re eating out, it gets rid of all that salt you just consumed. And I heard that you look younger if you’re hydrated, which may be complete BS, but it makes sense right? You’re more plump when you’re hydrated.

So anyway, sixty-four ounces of water a day. It’s also about what normal adults should drink a day anyway, pregnant or not. Well, it turns out that even if you didn’t drink that much before, you wouldn’t have to worry about fulfilling that requirement because you’re always thirsty. Like all the time. 

When I wake up in the morning, regardless of how much water I had drunk the night before, I feel like I’ve been in the desert for a week. My mouth is so dry, it’s practically sandy. I chug a big glass of water first thing. And then another glass while I eat breakfast. Only after that do I feel like I’ve become somewhat hydrated. And of course, with all that water in my system, it means that there’s more potty runs. It’s a vicious cycle, but it needs to be done. Not only is your body producing toxins, the baby is as well and you need to get rid of all that through your pee.

Speaking of night-time peeing, regardless of how much water I do or do not drink before bed, I get up to pee no less than three times a night. Sometimes four. It seems somewhat like I wake up on a schedule. Every hour and a half to two hours, which means I don’t sleep through the night, which has added to my tiredness. But I only have about seven weeks left, and then there’s going to be a different reason for my tiredness. By then though, I expect to be off work, so I can take naps during the day.

I still have a lot of reorganizing to do and the baby room to build. But I have seven weeks, so that’s enough time, right? Right?!

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July


Jo morphed a photo of hubs and myself on Morphthing and she came up with composite photo of what our future child would look like. At first, I found the whole thing creepy, but then the idea grew on me. So I morphed a photo from our anniversary  dinner and came up with the above photo. 

There are a whole lot of factors that goes into what we eventually become. It’s highly unlikely that our child would look like this, but it’s interesting to see what could possibly be.

Regardless of whether she looks more like hubs or more like me, I’ll love her either way. 

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Ling Likes: Tory and Howard Part 2

After I posted that original review of this candy, to my surprise, a representative contacted me to see if I wanted to try the other flavors that I didn’t have. Free organic candy?  Yes, please!

So they mailed me the grapefruit and honey as well as the pear and cinnamon flavors. 

Let’s start with the good. I love the grapefruit one. It has a nice citrus flavor that isn’t too sweet and isn’t too sour. It’s a good combination that I really love. I hadn’t expected to like this one because I hadn’t liked the blood orange flavor. But I was pleasantly surprised. This one and the pomegranate one are definite winners.

Now the bad. I don’t like the pear flavor. It isn’t terrible, but it has a strange taste that’s not quite pear and not quite cinnamon. There’s a flavor that reminds me of the Asian dried plums (I think they’re called Li Hing mui). My mom used to give it to me on long car rides for when I felt carsick and that flavor will always be associated with nausea, and maybe that’s why I don’t particularly like it. I can’t quite put my finger on what that flavor is though, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the pear or cinnamon (not that I taste much cinnamon in the candy).

They also let me know that the natural flavoring that I asked about in the previous post were grapefruit oil; orange oil; pear extract; cinnamon extract; pomegranate juice concentrate; nectarine oil; Non-GMO ethanol, vegetable glycerin, and safflower oil.

It’s good to know that the flavors are from the what you’d expect and not something else. 

Hubs and I were quite surprised to read the ingredients of the Kashi brownies. It had no actual chocolate in it. And the banana bar was made of apples. No actual bananas in the ingredients list! So this was a nice surprise.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this candy line. I’m glad that I got to taste these other flavors and I hope they make more!

Grapefruit and honey ingredients: Organic Sugar, Organic Rice Syrup, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored with: Red Cabbage, Purple Carrots, Annatto.

Pear and cinnamon ingredients: Organic Sugar, Organic Rice Syrup, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Natural Flavors.


Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Week 31: With Bigger Belly

My doctor’s visit this week was also fairly uneventful. I told her about my tummy ache and they didn’t think anything of it since it was my stomach and not my lower GI tract. They think it was definitely something I ate, which I also agree with.

She also warned is about a stomach bug that was going around with the pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. It’s gives you terrible diarrhea and is gone as soon as it comes. So she said to avoid anyone with children who may be ill from that. I’m just avoiding all children of that age. No one is going to talk to me about their terrible bowel movements.

They also measured my belly again. The nurse measured too large, so the doctor measured again. The belly was a little big, measuring at 33 cm, but the doctor wasn’t too worried about that. The belly should correspond with the number of weeks you’re pregnant. So if you’re 30 weeks, your belly should measure between 29 and 31. Since I was at the tail end of 30 weeks and pretty much at 32, she wasn’t overly concerned. Also, the baby could be laying funny and making the belly bigger than it really is. The measuring is the only way for them to know if the baby is growing. We’ll just keep an eye out it and make sure she’s not growing out of control.

We also chose a pediatrician and visited the office. I picked them because I’d asked on Facebook who they used and if they liked them. Well, turns out that all my local friends use the same doctor, so the decision was pretty much made for me. I like them and they know what they’re doing. A few days after you take the baby home, you have to take them to the doctor to be weighed and measured. Then you go very few weeks/months until the end of the first year to make sure that they’re growing correctly. So it’s important to have a pediatrician picked out beforehand.

That was basically the last thing that we needed to do. Now we just have to put the baby room together, and prepare supplies to take to the hospital and the rest is just a waiting game. I can’t believe I’m having a baby. Who would have thought. Me. A mother!

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Week 30: Tired w/tummy ache

On Wednesday evening, I had a terrible tummy ache. I’m not sure what caused it as I hadn’t eaten anything particularly unusual. I had a few slices of pineapple, some cheese, bread and soup, all things that I have on a regular basis. However, that night, my stomach hurt, so much so that I had to lie down. 

I’ve had tummy aches before and if it’s ever really bad, I take an alka seltzer and I feel better. But I couldn’t take it this time, so I just endured the pain. It was a bit of an ache, then it hurt terribly and then it was over, though I still didn’t feel very good. I stayed in bed for a few hours, falling asleep for a few hours. I still don’t know what it was, though Hubs thinks it might have been the cheese that upset my stomach. I think it might have been the combination of the cheese and the pineapple together, which I haven’t done since then and I haven’t had any issues.  It as I was laying there, I wondered how much worse labor was compared to this and I wasn’t looking forward to that part.

The good thing was that Hubs is very supportive when I don’t feel well. He looked up whether or not I could take alka seltzer (turns out, no) and looked to see what else I could take instead (just Tylenol really), and was very comforting during the whole process, so I feel good about him being around during labor and not freaking out or making things worse.

 In other news, I passed the gestational diabetes test. We’ve also met with the pediatrician and I cleaned out the closet along with a few boxes of books. So those are going out to the library this week.

I woke up extremely tired this morning and I could just be doing too much this week, so I’m trying not to overdo it. I still have a full work week and I am pretty much booked for projects until the baby comes, so I’m going to be busy until then.

Some days, I feel like the skin on my stomach is going to burst. I think the combination of food in my tummy and the baby stretching, it feels uncomfortable. At this point, I don’t feel a little punch or a kick. I feel her wiggling around.i remember when we had that first so igram, we saw her legs moving like she was running or kicking and I have a feeling she’s doing that still. I can just feel it more now that she’s bigger.

I have about ten weeks left and some days, I can’t believe that I’m having a kid. It’s terrifying and also exciting!



Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Ling Laments: African Red Tea Lip Exfoliant

I’m a sucker for free shipping. If I only need like $10 for free shipping, I will totally buy something else to get it. Considering shipping is nearly $9 for some of these things, I totally think it’s worth it. So on one of my online shopping trips, I decided to try this lip balm exfoliant.

I generally don’t like sticking my finger into anything to apply onto my lips. I had used the rosebud salve once and it had made my lips all bumpy and rough. A search on the internet revealed that bacteria was growing in the tin and I had to discard it. (This was before I cared about having petroleum products in my beauty products. I wouldn’t suggest the rosebud salve on that one ingredient alone these days.) But since I had intended on using this at night and since it was considered an exfoliant, I thought I’d be ok with dipping my finger into the container. I was already my hands at night to remove my contacts along with washing my face. So I thought that my fingers would be clean enough. And they were.

What’s I didn’t love about this product was the consistency. I think since it calls itself an exfoliating lip salvation,it has this slightly gritty texture. I suppose the company expects you to put it on and then rub your lips together throughout the day and reapply as needed. But I didn’t plan on wearing this during the day. I’d feel like I’d need to wash my hands first every time I used it and that wouldn’t be convenient. I suppose you could put it on after you go to the bathroom since your washing your hands anyway, but I usually put on lip balm whenever I think about it.

I didn’t find it particularly exfoliating at all, but then I did only wear it at night and I don’t tend to rub my lips together in my sleep. So maybe that’s where I’m using it wrong. 

It does have a nice reddish tint to it so it will give you a nice glow.

What I do know is that when I did wake up in the morning, hubs noticed that my lips were a little puffier than normal. So it could be that I’m allergic to one of the ingredients. As much as I love having big ole bee stung lips, I don’t love knowing that it may be an allergic reaction. 

Even removing that as a factor for disliking the product, I didn’t find it any more moisturizing than a Burt’s bee lip balm. So I’d say save your money and buy something else.

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea exfoliating lip salvation Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnuba) Wax, Limonene, Mangifera Indicum (Mango) Seed Butter, Luinum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil and Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Propylene Carbonate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamont) Fruit Oil, and Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, and Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Carmine, Aspathalus Linearis Leaf Extract, Linalool

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Week 29: Basic Baby Care Class

10/13/2013 My checkup this week went pretty smoothly. I got a flu shot to protect me and the baby from the flu this season. Since they were doing it in-house, I opted to do it as well. There was a point where I thought there might be an issue. The nurse had measured my belly and when the doctor saw the measurements, she wanted to measure it again. When the nurse had measured, the belly was at 32 cm, which is too large for my 29th week. So the doctor measured me and she said I was only at 30 cm. sometimes when the baby is stretching or turned a certain way, the belly could seem bigger than average. If I had measured largest than average, I would have had to go to the doctor once a week to monitor the progress and make sure the baby wasn’t growing too big too fast.

We also went to a basic infant care class at the Winnie Palmer hospital. It was scheduled for two hours, but in actuality it was two and a half hours. I thought it was really a waste of time. The class taught some really basic things, like how to hold your baby, how to swaddle, when to bathe your baby, how to take care of the umbilical cord and how to take care of a circumcision (the last was a total waste of time since I’m having a girl and even if I were having a boy, I wouldn’t circumcise the poor thing.) There was also a brief lecture with corresponding photos of various types of baby poop.

I felt like 90% of the lecture was either common sense or something the pediatrician/nurse would tell you before you took the baby home. And if you’ve ever been around babies before, you really don’t need to go to this class.

The only thing I thought was of any interest was the short video featuring Dr. Harvey Karp. He has a five step process to calming your baby. The video showed all five steps, swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and suckling. It was a fascinating thing to see, especially the shushing because the baby looked like it was getting rebooted. The baby’s face became all blank and the eyes got all big. I swear, he’s rebooting the baby brain there. But it got the baby to quite down, so it definitely did work.

Overall though, I thought it was a huge waste of time and not worth the $40 for that class. I’d say skip it if you have any sort of common sense or have been around babies before. I think you’re better off talking to people who have had children and save yourself the boredom of a lecture.

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Birthing Class: When to Go to the Hospital

The other thing that I remembered from the birthing class was when to go to the hospital. The first, is obviously, when your water breaks. We’ve all seen the movies where there’s this giant bucket of water that splooshes everywhere, but the nurses said that it could just be a tiny trickle or your water may not even break at all! Movies lie!

But if you think your water has broken, you should start making your way to the hospital. You don’t have to rush there right away since they’ll just have you wait until you’re ready to have the baby. Apparently, when they admit you to the labor room early, the chance of cesarean increases, so they’re trying to get away from that. It seems the stress of all that makes it harder to push that baby out.

I’ve heard that all the beeping and doctors,nurses and whatever stresses the woman out and it’s much more relaxing to have the baby at home. However, I’m older and I think I’d probably be more stressed at home worrying that something catastrophic will happen. So hospital it is for me.

Now when your water breaks, it can be several colors. It could be clear, green, brown or red. Now if it’s red, call 911 because something is seriously wrong at that point. If it’s green or brown, it means the baby pooped in your belly. It’s sterile, so everything should be ok,  but they have to suction out everything from their lungs really well. Clear is amniotic fluid. And it could also be yellow. Apparently, sometimes the baby will kick your bladder and you will leak a little bit. I have no doubt that the baby will be doing that to me quite often. She is a very active baby so far.

If it’s a trickle, I don’t know if I could tell what color it is anyway. So if you think your water is broken, go to the hospital. If you wait too long, you have a chance of getting an infection. 

Knowing me, I’ll probably have a few false alarms. They say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

And when you go to the hospital, they want to know what color the liquid was and what time it broke. 

If your water hasn’t broken, but you feel contractions. You’ll need to time them. If they’re about five minutes apart and each contraction lasts for a minutes and it continues consistently for an hour, it’s time to go to the hospital. If your water doesn’t break on its own, the doctor breaks your water with what looks like a giant crochet hook. 

It sounds like once everything starts going, it still takes a lot of time before the baby actually comes, so there’s just a lot of waiting before going into the labor room. So I’m prepared to wait. We have a lot of portable games we can play on the ipad. Hubs is kicking my butt with Small World 2 at the moment. 106 to 62. I don’t think I understand this game.

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Skincare Routine: Evening Edition

Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover

I do different things to my face at night depending on whether I have makeup on or whether it’s acting up or not. I try to do my best to get smooth, clear skin, though I’m not always successful at it. I love makeup and I find that if you have better skin, the makeup also looks better and you use less products to cover up the imperfections. And I’m less likely to wear makeup when my skin looks good (though I still draw on my eyebrows since they are almost non-existent these days).

If I have makeup on, I usually take it off first before I use my cleansers. For eye makeup, I use the Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover. I soak a DIY reusable makeup remover pad and then let it sit on my lids for a minute. I use waterproof mascara, so this helps dissolve that. The actual eye shadow, eyeliner, etc comes off with a single swipe, but since I wear like 5 coats of mascara, that needs a little bit of time to clean up properly.

DIY Makeup Remover

Then I use a DIY oil formula that consists of some really random blend of oils. I originally bought these oils to try the oil cleansing method, which is supposed to be way better than washing your face, but that was just a load of crap. However, what I found was that it dissolved long wear foundation like the Lancome Teint Idole 24 hour one quite well. So I put a squirt of that into my hands, warm it up in my palms and then slather it onto my face and neck. I massage my face with my fingertips in a circular motion until the makeup is dissolved. To remove the oil, I use a washcloth with warm water and I wipe the oil away, rinse the washcloth, then do it again until I feel like all the oil is off my face.

For cleanser, I use one of two products. If my skin is acting up, I’ll use the Mario Badescu glycolic foaming cleanser. I only use this every once in a while when I have blemishes on my skin. It’s a little intense and can dry out your skin, but I think that’s sort of the point since you’re trying to dry out the blemishes. I usually don’t have to use this more than twice a week before my blemishes start to go down. I use it to keep the blemishes from getting larger rather than healing them. I think once they stop growing, they’re on their way out, so I stop using this one then. Even the instructions say don’t use it everyday because it’s so harsh. If you use this, make sure you use a good moisturizer underneath to keep your face from drying out.

Ole Henriksen African Green Tea Foaming Cleanser

If my face is pretty good, I use the Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. I just realized that all these products are anti-aging. I just like them because they make my face feel good. As for the anti-aging properties, I really can’t talk too much about that as I don’t feel like I have much wrinkles. But then again, I have been using these products for a good 5-10 years, so maybe they are keeping my face looking young and wrinkle free!

The foaming cleanser is nice and creamy and it leaves my face really soft and moisturized. It is terrible to travel with though. Since it’s a foaming cleanser, you need that special pump. Nobody sells a travel sized foamy pump and that full-sized one is not carry-on friendly. It’s way too big. They do make a travel-sized bottle, but I find it a little bit expensive. So I just put it in a spray bottle and spritz two pumps on my face to wash it. Not as lovely, but it will do until I find another more travel-friendly cleanser.

If I have makeup on, I  use another clean warm washcloth and wipe my face again and make sure I don’t have any makeup left on my skin. Sometimes, I miss spots on my neck and the side of my face and this ensures that I’ve gotten all the makeup off.

If I have a few blemishes, I will use the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask on those spots. Whether or not it works, I can’t really tell, but it is nice and cooling. Sometimes those blemishes feel hot and horrible and that cooling feeling gives it some relief. You keep this on for ten minutes, I just brush my teeth during this time, take out my contacts, etc. Then I wash it off with water.

Juice Beauty Treatment Oil

Now that my skin is free of any makeup, I put on Juice Beauty Treatment Oil. This is a brand new product that I’ve been using, but I’m absolutely in love with it. It smells like you’re in a spa and it’s a nice light oil, unlike the DIY oils that I made for myself. I put two pumps into my palm and rub it between my hands. Then I pat my face once, then my neck so it’s distributed over my skin, and then I message the oil into my face. It makes my face a little bit red from massaging, but I come from the Mary Greenwell theory of moisturizing my face. You don’t have to be super gentle with it and I feel like the oil gets absorbed into my skin better this way. Don’t do it like you’re kneading dough or anything.

This really helped with a few of the dry spots I had around my mouth and chin. And though it is a treatment oil, it doesn’t clog my pores or break me out. And as long as you’re not a face sleeper, your pillow will be perfectly fine.

The last thing that I put on is the Josie Maran Argan Luscious Lips. Joanne had gotten me a kit of Josie Maran things and this lip oil is by far my favorite. I like that it’s only got 3 ingredients, jojoba oil, argan oil and murumuru butter (which comes from the murumuru plant), so this has no preservatives and it’s vegan! I love me some slippery lip products and this one is just thick enough not to get all over the place, but thick enough where I feel like there’s something on my lips.

I put a generous layer of this on my lips (mostly because Hubs gives me kisses before bed and it transfers over to his lips!). By morning, my lips are still soft and hydrated and I haven’t had any issues with dry lips since I started putting this on in the evening. And then I just go to bed.

And then I just go to bed after that.For the Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover, I wait until there’s a 2 for 1 at Ulta and I use the $3.50 off coupon while I’m at it. You get them for about $5 for a 5.5 oz bottle.

For Ole Henriksen  products, I wait for the Sephora VIB sale, which is usually 20% off in November.

And for Juice Beauty, they have a friends and family 20% off discount in May.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Poloxamer 182, Allantoin, Tripotassium EDTA, Benzalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cucumber Fruit Extract (Cucumis Sativus), Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Ingredients: Deionized Water,Sodium Lauryl Sulfate,Cocamide DEA,Cocamidopropyl Betaine,Sodium Chloride, Glycolic AcidMatricaria Extract,Yarrow Extract, St Johns Wort ExtractChamomile ExtractSage Extract

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Methvl Cocovl Taurate, Cocamidopropvl Betaine, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Cocamidopropvl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, PEG-8 Dimethicone (and) PEG-B Ricinoleate, Limonene, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract (and) Citrus Aurantium Dulcie (Orange) Peel Extract (and) Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract (and) Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin (and) Water (and) Larrea Divaricata Extract, Glycerin (and) Water (and) Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycerin (and) Water (and) Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Calcium Ascorbate, Aspathalus Linearis Leaf Extract, Butvrosoermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Ribes Nigrium Seed Oil  (Black Current Seed Oil), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Boraoo Officinalis Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil

Ole Henriksen Blemish Clearing Mask Ingredients: Organic juices of pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, citrus medica limonum (organic lemon juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe leaf juice)*, vegetable glycerin, bentonite (clay), zinc oxide, glyceryl stearate, tocopherol (Vitamin E), bambusa arundinaceae (bamboo powder), salix alba (willow bark extract), algin, saccharum officinarum (organic sugar cane)*, panthenol (Vitamin B5), zinc gluconate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, ethyhexylglycerin, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) and commiphora myrrha (myrrh) pure essential oils

Juice Beauty Treatment Oil Ingredients: Organic plant oils of helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, olea europaea(organic olive oil)*, simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*, linum usitatissimum (organic linseed oil)*, borago officinalis (organic borage seed oil)*, oenothera biennis (organic evening primrose oil)*, vaccinium macrocarpon (organic cranberry seed oil)*, vinis vitifera (organic grape seed oil)*, organic botanical extracts of olea europaea (organic olive leaf extract)*, calendula officinalis(organic marigold flower extract)*, chamomilla recutita (organic matricaria flower extract)*, daucus carota sativa (organic carrot root extract)*, geranium maculatum (organic spotted cranesbill flower extract)*, helichrysum stoechas (organic eternal flower extract)*, melissa officinalis (organic lemon balm leaf extract)*, tocopherol (Vitamin E), pelargonium graveolens (organic geranium)* and citrus aurantium (organic petitgrain)* pure essential oils

Josie Maran Argan Luscious Lips Oil: Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Murumuru Butter

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Birthing Class: Breathing Exercises

One of the things we did in class was a couple of breathing exercises. They had us grab a birth ball, which was basically a yoga ball/exercise ball. After going through all the balls, I picked the smallest one and it was clear that it was too big for me. They had to blow up a special small one for me because I am a tiny tiny woman. (That’s sarcasm, btw, I’m 5’4″.)

They also brought out a small bucket of iced water, which made me wonder what that was for, and I wasn’t happy to hear what we were going to do with it.

All I can say is that it was a torture technique. We were to stick our hand into the bucket while we were to do our breathing exercises. It was supposed to simulate the pain of labor. I wasn’t happy because I really preferred to be blissfully unaware of how exactly painful it was going to be. If anything, it made me more anxious about giving birth, not more relaxed.

But we went through the exercise anyway because we were good students. The room was nice and quiet and all the women were doing the breathing, whether it was the hee hee hoo method or breath in for 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds, we were doing it with our hand in that frigid water.

All that torture had a point though, Our husbands had been standing behind us trying to help us to breath, to concentrate on anything besides the cold water. After our turn was over, we switched places and the husbands had to put their hands into the water.

Since I had a teeny tiny ball, which I thought looked like Mars, but hubs was like it’s too small to be Mars, it’s more like a moon, we switched it out to one of the bigger balls so he could sit properly. Then it was the men’s turn.

When Hubs sat down and we got ready to do the exercise, he whispered, ” This is all your fault!” To which I laughed heartily and I realized that the room had busted out into chaos around me, though it had nothing to do with us. The men seemed to have become a rowdy bunch though the music that they’d put on for them was perhaps not the most appropriate. It was shut up smooth it from Salt n’ Peppa, and I think it might have loosened some sort of nervous tension.

After order was restored, the men did their turn and I think it gave them a decent idea of what the women would be going through during labor, hopefully, it would make them more sympathetic, but I don’t think so. I think a lot of the men in that room were big man boys who didn’t want to be there and didn’t see the point. A few people I know didn’t think it was worth going and refused to go to any birthing classes. I will tell you now that I would have never married a man like that. Not the second time around anyway.

Luckily, I have a great husband who will be a hands-on dad.

Then we went through the exercise again with the women, which I thought was not helpful again as I thought it was just a sadistic torture.

The point of the breathing exercises was really to get the women into a meditative state so that we wouldn’t be focused on the pain so much and therefore prolong the need for an epidural. I think this is a good idea especially if you don’t like the idea of being pumped full of drugs.

I plan to go as long as possible because the moment you take the epidural, you’re bed bound and you never know when that baby will arrive, which means you could be pumping narcotics into your body for several hours. I don’t take aspirin for a headache or any pains unless it’s debilitating, so I don’t like the idea of having a lot of drugs in my system.

It’s best to walk about and move around before the actual pushing happens. Laying in bed is probably the worst thing that you could do. It apparently increases the chance of needing a cesarean.

That’s what I’m hoping to do anyway. There’s no award for going so long without pain medication, and there’s no shame in taking it. I plan on getting the epidural, it’s just a matter of when.

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.