The idea of a prenatal class has always been a bit daunting and unappealing to me.
Movies give such an awkward and negative view of what happens in one, so all I could envision was a bunch of dads-to-be who were unwilling and uncomfortable, women in tight leggings with legs spread, and someone shouting vague instructions from the front.
However, considering I’ve never given birth before, I figured it was better to do everything I possibly could to prepare rather than skip out on something that could be potentially uncomfortable – as we all know, it’s not like labor will be in any way comfortable, anyway.
So, last weekend, we attended two six-hour classes. I was curious and anxious as we walked up. Would it be like the movies? Or something I’d never imagined?
Well, it was a little of both. You know those dolls you see them practicing with? Yes, those do come into play at prenatal class. For just an hour, we learned about swaddling, relaxation positions, and the other things you’d expect.
The remainder of the time, however, was devoted to things like delayed cord clamping, the stages of labor and how to handle each one, the details of an epidural and Caesarean section, and the symptoms of postpartum in both moms and dads.
A lot of it was things I had heard before, but never in such detail. As it was from an entirely new perspective, I felt it was actually hugely beneficial. I’m looking forward to the perspective I will have, the understanding of it all, once I finally get these twins out.
I found a few things to be a bit of a revelation during the classes. First of all, after we talked alllll about C-sections and epidurals, I found that the idea of being operated on in such a way was more daunting to me than actually giving birth!
Another thing I realized was that labor can take an extremely long time. Those babies don’t just pop out. More often than we realized, moms get sent home to wait a little while longer.
And finally – here’s the most graphic one – did you know that once the uterus is vacated, the top part (or fundus) contracts down until it feels like “a hairy coconut”? Can’t wait to experience that one!
So, what I gleaned the most, in the end, was simply peace of mind. Do I feel ready? Absolutely not, but who possibly could? We do, however, have a depth of understanding now that we did not have before. We know more how to prepare and what to consider between now and the event. Though at times I got a bit bored – and, yes, uncomfortable – overall, it was a profitable twelve hours spent.