Yesterday, Mike and I went to our first childbirth class. Overall I enjoyed it, and I think it will be really helpful; it was pretty much what I expected. Mike, on the other hand, didn't really know what to expect so he felt like it was a little overwhelming. He was hoping for something somewhere in the middle of a typical classroom setting and a hippie-ish class, and this is a bit more on the hippie side. However, he said that I am the one that has to do this, so it's more important that I am comfortable, which I am! Some of the other couples in our class are a little weird, but we both really like the instructor. I agree that the class setting is a bit hippie-like, but I feel like I am going to need that. They say that in labor, your rational thinking kind of goes out the door, and you become very in tune with your right-brain creative side. It's been a while since I've taken any art or creative thinking classes, so I feel like I need to get more in touch with my creative side. I want to be very open-minded and willing to let my right brain take over so that I can completely go with the flow when I am in labor. I really appreciate that Mike understands that, and is willing to support me in whatever childbirth method I am most comfortable with.
This first class session was mainly all talk and information. Our instructor told us her birth story, as well as a couple stories of births she has attended. (She also works as a doula.) We learned all about the stages of labor, and details about birth. She gave the dads lots of information about how to help the moms once they are in labor. I know Mike and I both got a lot of useful information out of the class! Most of it was information that I have been reading over the last several months, but it was helpful to hear more personal details about things.
The class ended up running really late - at 5:30 when the class was supposed to end, we had just finished talking - and we still had more to go! We then did some birth art, which I had somewhat expected, since it's a bit part of Birthing From Within. I could tell it was a little awkward for Mike, but he did well. My drawing ended up being more of a feeling or an emotion, which was very different for me. Through all these birth preparations, I have found myself being a lot more focused on emotions and things internally.
The instructor said that we'll be moving around a lot in class, so I'm hoping that for the next 5 weeks the classes will be a bit more interactive. I didn't mind the long 3-hr sitting and talking session, but it did start to get uncomfortable after a while. (The class has big pillows and birth balls everywhere for us to get comfortable, which is nice!) In the weeks to come, we will be learning pain management techniques, relaxation, birth positions, etc. Next week we will be learning how to transform our birth environment into one that makes us relaxed and comfortable. I am really looking forward to it!
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This was a great weekend - I made some major progress on the crib bedding, and Mike and I got the nursery painted. Now we just have to paint and put up the chair rail, and it will be time to start moving things in! We also went to a garage sale down the street and met our neighbors. They have twin toddler girls - one is named Alana! She gave me a great deal on some cute pink baby stuff, and said that she will bring me her hand-me-down girl clothes. Awesome! After the birth class, Mike and I went to dinner at Famous Dave's for some BBQ. Not the most romantic, but it's exactly what we were in the mood for, and it was awesome. After dinner, my wonderful husband who knows me well gave me a Valentine's gift - roses (to plant in the yard) and some little cakes that said "Eat Me." It was the perfect Alice in Wonderland valentine! I'll post some pics when I get home tonight!