The Birthing Coach

Sonoma County, CA. ~ As a man of technology, I always laugh when friends post words to the effect that yet another day has passed since learning algebra without using it. As an engineer, I used algebra and trigonometry almost daily but eventually I moved into man- agement and stopped thinking. Terri, my lovely


laughs at me because I often try to convince her that some of the challenges she faces in ev- eryday life can be solved with mathematics but she counters that her biggest challenge is the idiot trying to convince her to calculate the number of rolls of toilet paper needed using an equation. She might have a point; I ad- mit that some of what I learned in school has little application in real life. How often have I needed to convert a bowl- ing pin into a table lamp? The thing I have invested the great- est amount of time learning that has been the least useful is birthing. I have been a ‘Lamaze Coach’ three times and each time required another 8 weeks of ‘class’ where we spent time panting through clenched teeth and timing contractions. Three times and I have never used a single skill learned! Useless!

“When you see yourself in a shattered

mirror, don’t

think of it as the broken pieces of yourself. Tink

of it as all of the pieces that make

up you.” Blaque Diamond

My first coaching assignment arose for Terri’s sister after her husband had the good sense to refuse the job. I absorbed all the information, suffering through several videos, graphic lectures, and hours of simulat- ed childbirth. I was ready; my go bag packed with all possible supplies: stopwatch, lip balm, tennis balls for back labor mas- sage, a leather wrapped stick to chew on, numerous feminine hygiene products and a bottle of tequila for the coach. Ready! The fateful day arrived and

I received the call that it was time; I felt like TV paramed- ic Randy Mantooth from the show “Emergency” as I sprint- ed out of the house carrying my emergency bag. I arrived at the hospital wearing my stopwatch around my neck like an in- tern’s stethoscope and quickly established a secure perimeter around the hospital bed. After 8 hours, it became ap-

parent that my birthing partner was not sticking to the script; her contractions were wildly erratic and the pain was not as described by the 120 page birthing manual now lying open on the nightstand. I al- lowed a nurse to enter the quar- antine zone and was soon told the baby was breech and feet

SPRING GUIDE #2 by new guest writer, ©2018 Jeff Muchow ~

Based on a ‘More or Less’ True Story

first. Panicked as my flow chart did not account for this pos- sibility, we were ushered into surgery where I was forced to improvise my coaching tech- nique as my niece Nicole was born by caesarian section. Despite my lack of training, I was proud to remain stand- ing and conscious throughout the process; I was even able to advise my sister in-law that the nausea she was feeling (as the surgeon re-inserted her entrails as he worked to close the inci- sion) would soon pass. Disappointed but still deter-

mined to contribute, I returned to Lamaze class with Terri in anticipation of our first child. Another 8 weeks of lectures, videos, anatomy charts, and panting through clenched teeth. I upgraded the go bag to include

... continued on page 21

UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • April 2018 • 19

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...continued from page 16 ...continued on page 21 IT...

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UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • April 2018 • 19

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