I've always been a fan of school. Even after I graduated with my BA I kind of missed it... so I went back. I'm a bit of a nerd like that. =) So, when we found out that we were having a baby, I wasted no time is checking out the classes offered at the hospital where I'll be delivering (and where I get a discount on said classes with my health insurance!). I signed up for a 4-week child birth prep course, and two single-day classes in newborn care and breast feeding.
When I pictured a child birth prep class I had images in my head that I must of picked up from TV and the movies. Mom's on the floor sitting on a pillow leaning up against Dad who is coaching her through breathing techniques. (You know what I'm talking about!) I wasn't really sure how this could possibly last for four weeks. Thankfully, that stereotypical images was FAR from what we experienced!
While the class did cover some relaxation and breathing techniques, we also learned all about stages of labor, when to go to the hospital, what to be looking for/thinking about when your water breaks, all about different pain medications and birthing positions, as well as other items/procedures that may come in to play in the delivery room. It was VERY informative and I was VERY happy that we took the class. (Our last class was last Thursday, and we also got to take a tour of the maternity ward so we knew where to go when the time comes and I could see where I'd be spending a couple of days).
The problem with the class (and watching a movie that SOO many of my friends recommended: The Business of Being Born), is that it started to make me rethink everything that I thought I knew and wanted. I am NOT a fan of being in pain. I always thought that I'd go in, get an epidural, pop out a kid and everything would be a-okay. I also kind of thought that if the baby didn't come within a couple days of her due date, that I'd just make an appointment for an induction. Now, however, I am seriously considering trying to do this thing naturally. I am NOT closing off the option to get an epidural, but I have down in my birth plan, that I'd like to try other things first and see how long I can go without needing one. And, as far as induction goes, I know that it could become "medically necessary" but the idea of using pitocin scares the beejeezus out of me!
This new change in my thought process is super scary for me. I'm one who likes to be in control of things and be able to ask questions/understand answers. I know that when I'm in labor I'm going to have to totally give myself over to the experience and trust others to ask questions and help me make decisions. Enter our doula. Yes. We decided to go with one. Jacob really liked the idea of having someone with training by our side the whole way, and someone who could explain things/advocate for us when we're otherwise occupied. =)
Our due date is only a few short weeks away... I'm getting more and more scared/nervous/panicky/fill-in-the-blank as the days go on. Of course I'm excited/curious/anxious, too, but I feel like the less-positive emotions are taking the bigger toll on me right now.
And now I feel like I've been rambling and totally gotten off track from my original point... I loved my child birth class. I suggest taking one.