Last night, at our first Childbirth Preparation/Lamaze class, I met the Cervix Whisperer. I am not kidding. She even has a website, thecervixwhisperer dot com. I didn't really have an image in my mind of what a cervix whisperer might be like (and if you're lucky, neither do you), but as it turns out, she is a petite, self-proclaimed ex-hippie with hair past her waist. The Cervix Whisperer knows everything about a lady's nether regions that one could ever possibly want to know, and she is NOT afraid to show you pictures. She was also not afraid to describe a fourth degree episiotomy.* I think that we are definitely in good hands, as she is probably one of a handful of people on earth who has seen more vaginas than Wilt Chamberlain.
Anyway, she was walking us through all of the different things that could happen during labor, telling us what to expect, what was abnormal and warranted a call to the doctor, and what wasn't. (Sadly, excruciating pain, gushing fluids, and involuntary pooping all fall under "perfectly normal".) We got to the part where we all sat on the floor practicing breathing, and she suddenly turned. The Cervix Whisperer, friend/earth-mother to women everywhere, told the husbands to pinch us. Hard. The husbands began frantically looking around the room at each other, telepathically asking each other, "Is this a horrible trick? We're not REALLY supposed to pinch the hormonal whales, are we?" She convinced them to do it, and told us not to whine about it, but to practice our controlled breathing while she coached us through a "contraction", and had the husbands pinch progressively harder until the peak, and then they backed off. I was doing my best, but I started laughing partway through because I thought that Alex was too afraid of my wrath to actually pinch me hard enough for it to hurt. We ended the exercise, and after a minute, she had the husbands pinch us again as hard as they had been during the contraction. I almost yelped in pain, and asked Alex if he had really pinched me that hard, and he swore that he had pinched that hard or harder. The second pinch took me by surprise, and it didn't increase gradually as it had during the exercise, but even so, just doing the calm and focused breathing made it hurt about half as much. Thank you, Cervix Whisperer!
Now, if only she could make it so that my contractions during the late stages of labor hurt only as much as a pinch to the arm, I think she could give Cesar Milan a run for his money.
*If you don't know what a fourth degree episiotomy is, do yourself a favor and DON'T GOOGLE IT, for the love of all that is good in the world. Especially if you think you might ever consider giving birth, or providing someone you love the, uh, "means" to give birth themselves. Google "cute puppies in baskets" instead, or "cute stories about cute babies."