We went to our first birth class last night, a five-week class at our hospital called "Birthing Naturally." The teacher is a board certified RN and lactation consultant (she teaches the breastfeeding class as well) and she has lots of experience both in a hospital setting and in a midwifery center. It seems she will be teaching many different techniques for natural birth, giving a broader range of options instead of just an epidural or nothing.
The class was full with about 15 couples there, and some of them... well, let's just say there were many different kinds of people. There were the women who want to "experience EVERYTHING" about labor, the women who are "terrified of having a c-section," the dad who "feels pain" when his wife does, and those who are more like me, just a little scared of birth and looking for information to eliminate that fear.
I was the "youngest" of the preggos, with everyone else due in April or May. I told the class instructor I am a planner and she said she understands. :-)
The class was two hours long, and after introductions we talked a bit about what a mom needs during labor (support, love, comfort, a calm environment, etc.). We also watched a video about the stages of labor (which freaked out about half of us in the room).
I realized that while labor is going to be hard (hence the name), it won't last forever and I have a good team of people watching out for me while I am out of it and in pain. I think Eliot and my Mom will make an excellent support team... they can be my advocate when I am not thinking clearly and can suggest positions etc that might help...and I can yell at them without them being offended. :-D Along with my capable OB doc and the nursing staff in L&D, I know we will be ok. It's taken me awhile to be able to say that, for months I've been hyperventilating when I think about it!
So we'll learn more about relaxation and techniques in the next few classes, which I am looking forward to. Mom got us an exercise ball for our anniversary (a little early) and I can use that to sit on now as a birth ball, which is really nice (thanks mom!). We also have a binder from the class with all the things we discuss in it so we can do review in June and take it with us to the hospital to use during labor.
I'm glad we are taking the class... education combats fear of the unknown!
And Jim and Pam are giving birth to their first little one on the Office tonight! Here is a sneak preview...