A few months ago my OB handed me a folder with lots of information in it to read when I got home. I saw a flyer for Childbirth and Breastfeeding classes offered by the hospital at no charge and was thrilled. I knew we needed to go to these and was excited to get tips on things we could do to prepare for birth, as well as excersises to practice for labor.
At the beginning of November we went to our first class. There were 3 classes scheduled for Childbirthing, and 1 for Breastfeeding (we'll attend that one tomorrow). We went to our first class and to my horror arrived 2 minutes late( I HATE being late to anything. I'd rather be 20 minutes early sitting there twiddling my thumbs than walk in 1 minute late.) Sure enough the instructor was already well into her lecture. I never did learn her name. I don't even know if she actually introduced herself. It still bothers me that I don't know her name.
Well, everything I expected class to be was wrong. This was not meant to be a hands on experience where you practice techniques for getting through childbirth. Nope. This was a full on 'what they should have taught in sex education' class. Let me tell you, if they taught this in sex ed in high school or middle school, or both, the teen pregnancy rate would decrease dramatically! I was already pregnant and somewhat prepared, and kept thinking; "REALLY? I have to do WHAT? Can we turn this car around? Is there any way to take it back...maybe we can press pause and do this whole baby thing in 10 more years." Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED we are having a baby, and it's something we knew we wanted....but holy cow graphic videos batman.
So what was class?
Night 1: Well, the first was a powerpoint about the stages of labor, what happens during/after delivery, and a video of a live birth. On the first night. Two hours. I watched a mucus covered baby come out of a woman's vajayjay. I could have gone my whole life without watching that. I don't want to see my own baby coming out of me, much less someone else's. Also, there was a table with about 30 different props sitting at the front of the room. I thought, well, at least we'll have SOME hands on with all that stuff....nope. It just sat there. I think she picked up one thing on the table the whole time. Well, actually two things. She used a baby doll and a skeleton of a pelvis to show us how the baby should be positioned and move through the birth canal.
Night 2: This was a video of a c-section. Could have gone my whole life without watching that. A second video that showed a number of women in labor. I think this was an attempt to teach us birthing/relaxation techniques. I didn't get much from it except that a lot of women in the video used a birthing ball and one sat in the shower a lot. Being in the shower sounded like it could be useful. I logged it in the back of my brain. Then we took a tour of the hospital. This was quite useful and reassuring becuase she told us about some of the many security measures in place to keep baby and mom protected from crazies. I felt a lot better about that after hearing what lengths they go to for protection. The tour was good, but there is a large part under construction so it was a bit disjointed. What I took away from the tour was that the showers don't drain properly (which means the ONE thing I thought would be most helpful as demonstrated by the video was probably the ONE thing I'd be least encouraged to use to cope with labor). Awesome. Oh well.
Night 3: A pediatrician came to talk to us about what happens once baby is born. She told us some of the things they check for in baby and gave us a timeline of checkups/vaccines during the first year. That was helpful. And we got to leave early. On the way out they gave us some free diapers and wipes. Not many, but it was a nice freebie from Huggies who donated them to the hospital.
Tomorrow we go to a class about breastfeeding. I have no idea what to expect after what we got during the childbirth class. If anything significant happens you'll hear about it.
Although the class wasn't what I expected or hoped for, it did present some useful information. My initial OMG after the first video or two has subsided and I'm at peace with whatever happens. I'd still like to take some sort of class that teaches actual excersises for during labor, but I don't think that is going to happen. I managed to find a handful of resources online that gave me some ideas, but I figure my body will tell me what I need when I need it and we'll just figure it out as we go.
Adventure; HERE WE COME!!!!