For weeks DH and I have struggled to find a childbirthing class. While my friends were able to attend Bradley Birthing classes, I narrowly missed the window between fall and the holiday season and seem to have missed many childbirth class opportunities. What’s a girl to do? I was studying for boards, then trying to plan the nursery, and I started looking at classes about 2 weeks too late. Is a childbirth class really necessary? No, said my OB, we think you can give birth fine without a class. But in my mind, if I really want to try for a natural birth, and want the best chance at success (barring any emergencies), I will need to be physically and mentally prepared for the big day. I want to have an idea of what I’m getting into, and I want DH – my coach, to do the same. Unfortunately, where we live, classes are few and far between. If you really want to be able to have a variety of class opportunities, you’ve gotta go to Philly and the Main line. With classes, work, etc., DH and I definitely can’t drive more than 20 minutes for a class! So imagine my joy when I learned that the local birth center, to which we are planning to transfer our obstetric care, was offering an overflow childbirth class starting this week. I signed up immediately and we were all set to go last night.
When I got home from work yesterday I was met with a most tragic email – DH and I were the only registrants, and they had “no choice” but to cancel the class. Wish I had known this prior to not attending the hypnobirthing class that was scheduled the previous day. But now came the time to scramble to find classes, but no major luck – nothing that will start before December. And of course we had another option – to start with class 3 of an ongoing 5-class series at the birth center, but then we would not attend the first two classes – which were all about labor prep and relaxation – until January 2011. Fat chance that I want to wait till I’m 37 weeks pregnant to attend a labor relaxation class!
Panicked, I talked to DH on the phone. Unlike worried me, he remained calm and collected, helped me with evaluating the options, and said that he was coming straight home. Even if we weren’t going to attend a birth class yesterday evening, we would treat it as a birth class day. We would spend the 2 hours learning about childbirth. So my lovely husband, who really wanted to have more didactic pregnancy instruction, sat with me on our dimly-lit couch, where we spent the evening taking turns reading female anatomy, the stages of labor, and how to relax during the earliest stages. He guided me through relaxation techniques, and arranged my difficult to move body into Bradley’s “relaxed” position for labor, and read gently as I drifted into a miniature nap. The time was extremely personal and special, and it showed us that, yes, we can learn this stuff together, even without direct help. Later that evening we ate dinner together, went to our future nursery and began the immense task of discarding unneeded filed papers and storing the rest. Then later was bedtime, when it was my turn to read him the relaxation mantras, during which he promptly fell asleep. And at least if we start this learning process now, maybe we will be better prepared if we do find an appropriate class to take next month.
Thank you, DH, for making my day yesterday. You have never disappointed me and any frustrations have been minimal. I know you say I’m the giving one but I know that you are the best!