Confession: Dave and I have not read a single book about pregnancy or caring for a baby/infant. We're just kinda winging it. Nah, we just want to experience this pregnancy without getting information overload that may just be full of crap. We have done a whole bunch of Googling and have tried to read articles instead of forums that will just scare us. But, when it came time to learn about birth, we decided to take a class. We had friends who had taken the class and didn't think it was all that effective but we decided to take the class anyway. This class was four weeks of three hour classes. Since I have been measuring big for quite a while, we signed up about 8 weeks in advance of our due date only to find out just a few days before that our class got cancelled. When I called to reschedule, the next class they had available would have us finishing within about two weeks of our due date. Yikes! I asked if they could fit us into an already full class. With a little finagling, they did.
This class covered everything: labor techniques, breathing, epidurals and other pain management, cesarean, breastfeeding, etc. We had been warned by our friends that we would see three different births on video: one without an epidural, one with an epidural, and a cesarean. The first class had the very first birth and it was eye opening. Look, I've seen the shows on TV and expected to see a woman laying on her back, pushing out that baby, while screaming. Instead, this chick was completely naked, on all fours, and literally that baby just dropped out of her. I was NOT prepared for that. Turns out, what you see on TV, while it may be realistic for those who have an epidural, is not exactly the smartest way to have a baby. I guess gravity is your best form of pushing a baby out. Science! During the second class we learned different labor coping mechanisms, and the third class was a mock labor where we tried different positioning and techniques.
I will say this, before this class I was 100% sure I was going to get an epidural. But after this class, I am keeping my options open. I am going into this birth without a written plan. My plan is basically to labor as long as possible without an epidural. If I need one; I'll get one. If I need a cesarean, then I'll get one without feeling like I have failed. The goal is to have a healthy delivery for both myself and baby.
By the end of the third class, I was feeling pretty confident about labor and delivery. Then came the last class which was all about actually bringing the baby home and what happens in the first few weeks. Yikes! This class scared the crap out of Dave and me! You get so comfortable with being pregnant for so long and then you stop and think, Oh Geez! You mean we have to bring home a baby at the end of this?!
So maybe we should have signed up for the Bringing Baby Home class and maybe we should have signed up for the Breastfeeding class, but I think we'll stick with the formula of just winging it. We are glad, though, we took this class and found it to be very helpful. Hopefully we'll be putting it to use really soon.