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Life's Greatest Miracle  
Great Expectations
Journal entry #2
November 14, 2001

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Sam and I recently finished our Lamaze childbirth classes. A friend of mine recommended skipping Lamaze altogether, assuring me that when it's time for the baby to arrive I'm not going to be concerned about or concentrating on breathing techniques, no matter what directions my husband, a.k.a Coach, might shout at me.

My friend might be right about the breathing thing, but such classes have taught me more than just how and when to inhale and exhale. The instructors presented the real deal about birth, including what to expect in terms of pain, duration of labor, and the various esoteric bodily movements and functions that occur during delivery but that nobody ever talks about.

My husband's reaction to all this: "I didn't know it was so involved."

Yeah, and I'll be the one "involved." The baby and I, that is.

One of my most stunning revelations came when our Lamaze instructor explained how we will know when to head to the hospital. According to her, we should get going when my contractions are about five minutes apart and I can't talk through them.

Can't talk through them?! This disturbs me for two reasons. First, apparently it will be so painful that I won't be able to speak normally, and second, I need to be able to talk.

Sam may see it as a good thing, however. He'll have the chance to get a word in edgewise and coach me on my breathing, not that I am going to listen.

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