So we have been so busy that I have not been able to post about our childbirth classes. We are taking them (a 4-week series) on Tuesday nights at our local hospital. We just had our 2nd class tonight and so far I/we have found them to be very helpful and informative. I'll give you a little rundown of how the first two classes have gone.
Class #1 was basically just an overview of the birthing process and all of the different terms we would hear. We got a nice little book that we are to bring back each week that is referenced during the class. We also got a ton of handouts that reference a lot of different things that could happen during the process as well. The class was pretty informative overall. There were 6 or 7 other couples total in the class. We went around in the beginning and introduced ourselves to everyone. Told our names, due date, what we were having, and 1 surprising thing about pregnancy. I said the most surprising thing was how my body was changing and Tony said that it was how I had lost my sense of balance. Later he admitted that he chose the balance comment because he thought it sounded better than telling everyone that I got dumb:) I told him thanks! We also watched a video of someone giving birth. Tony was quite impressed because she gave birth on all 4's--I told him I wasn't sure I wanted my butt up in the air:) He has told everyone about that "style" of birthing:) We ended the class with a relaxation exercise. One thing we were really happy about was when they described how our hospital handles the whole birthing process, including encouraging breast-feeding right away after birth. They really focus on natural aspects and have what they call the "sacred hour." This is the first hour or so after birth and it is just for the new family (mom, dad, and baby) to be present in the room to promote bonding through skin-to-skin contact and breast-feeding. We were really happy with that!
Class #2: We were already missing a couple as they had given birth already (not sure how they expected to make it through when they were already 36 1/2 weeks pregnant!!) Another couple also wasn't there, but we weren't too sure they enjoyed the class--or each other! We watched some more videos-this time of someone having a totally natural, pain med-free birth, and then later another video on all of the "medical interventions" that could happen or you could choose during the process. I was a little scared at one point that I wasn't sure I would be able to do it (I'd like to go a-natural) but Tony said he would help me through it. I'm sure he'll be the best coach ever:) We did a few games, talked about the "road map" of labor and how long it can take! Oh yeah, one of the things my coach can do for me during the last stages of labor--give me a firm bear-hug! The teachers didn't think it was listed in the book, but of course Tony found it and had to mention it. I told him I wasn't sure I would be wanting that in the late stages of labor--unless he helped to squeeze the baby out!! We again ended class with a relaxation exercise. Tony says that is the only part of the class that he doesn't like-thinks it is dumb:)
Overall the classes have been good. Next week we get to tour the hospital and talk more in dept about the labor process. I'm excited to see where this little guy will be making his entrance into the world.