Eric and I had our first childbirth preparation class last night. We're doing The Bradley Method. It was recommended by the homebirthing midwife. After doing a little research (http://www.bradleybirth.com/), I started trying to find a class in our area which turned out to be harder than you'd expect considering we live in a pretty big city. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised considering I also couldn't find a birthing center anywhere except Annapolis. Unfortunately, this is a 12 week course and by the time I started looking into it, I had barely 12 weeks and no classes were starting immediately. I found three teachers (only one in Baltimore City) and all had classes that had already started, and all started a new session about mid-way through July which is way too late for us. SO, we forked over an extra $100 for private lessons. I'm almost glad it worked like that because she comes to our house and we get individualized attention which means that we aren't being slowed down by any other couples who are below the learning curve or who just like to hear the sound of their own voices (every college class had that one student who just never shut up). Plus she works with our schedule with is really crucial considering Eric still lives in Virginia Beach for a couple more weeks.
There are a couple of reasons we opted for Bradley classes. The big one of course is that the focus is on preparing the parents for a natural childbirth (I am not interested in a course touting the benefits of an epidural). The other big thing is that in addition to helping the mama-to-be to get prepared for childbirth, the classes also focus on how the papa-to-be can be helpful. Our instructor used a fun term last night--she said Eric has to be the "houseband" (instead of husband, which I don't totally get, but Eric liked it) meaning that he really needed to be able to speak for me and make sure those crazy nurses don't start pumping me full of drugs before I can figure out what's going on. He likes the role of protector and appreciates being coached on how he can best protect me and Hannah.
Another thing we like about this class is that it's very comprehensive. It covers everything from nutrition to breast feeding to stress management to infant care. That last one (infant care) is another one that Eric really wanted. He's never changed a diaper or been around many wee ones so he wanted some formal instruction on that. On that note, we learned another odd tidbit last night. Apparently, some girl babies have a bit of a cycle that first week they're born. A lot of parents freak out when they find tinges of blood in the diaper (who wouldn't??), but apparently this is normal. Who knew???
We have a very comprehensive workbook and homework to do before our next class (which isn't for 2 weeks since we are out of town next weekend for my family reunion). And I have to start keeping a food chart, which I've been meaning to do anyway.
Alright, time to work on my registry!! I've gotta get that crossed off the "to do" list so I can move on to the next thing (looking for a pediatrician).