I initially decided to follow my wife’s blog topics for my subjects each week, however her blog on the birth story was (I believe) relatively complete. Instead I decided to blog this week about birthing classes. If you’re anything like me you’ll be wondering why you need a class when you had to take health in school. I was not excited about spending one of my weekend days for 12 weeks learning about a process when I was positive I already had all the important details worked out. It seemed simple enough, the bun cooks in the oven and when its ready, it comes out, simple. How can you fill 12 Sundays talking about this? If I remember correctly the reproduction section of health class lasted for about 3 days. In sixth grade it was one day, and the birds and the bees talk lasted about 12 awkward minutes. So what information could possibly be missing?
It turns out that a lot of important details are either missing or glossed over. I liked the class, and we needed it. In fact, I’d go so far to recommend that everyone takes a birthing class of some form. You need to be ready for the ordeal you are about to go through. I think we might even take another one for the next child. My foresight is terrible but my hindsight is 20/20. Birthing classes are not easy to find in our area, and we needed one to help us with our choice to have a natural birth. We chose The Bradley Method class for two main reasons. First, my wife was determined to not have an epidural. Second, my wife knew of Julie from a friend she used to teach with who taught the class. The class was extremely informative and covered topics from pain management to patient rights. Julie’s focus was on keeping birth as natural as possible, but she also helped us understand the options we had. She empowered us to take control of a situation that is often left in the hands of a third party (i.e. hospital staff). We walked in with a plan, and I kept reminding myself these people are working for us.
The experience we had was excellent, and it was because we knew what to expect. We were prepared (or as prepped as anyone can be for a life altering event that lasts 17 hours). We knew where to be, what to bring, and not to panic. Though I did have a moment when my wife woke me up at 2 am and I had to dig through her files to find the number for the hospital. I planted her on the toilet to contain the mess (her water broke first) and started to rummage through the closet. Staring at the organized chaos I asked where the elusive form was (which in retrospect should have been in the grab and go bag). She yelled back from the bathroom that it was in the blue file box. It should be noted that we have 4 big blue file boxes (which are now labeled) and I felt like I was looking into the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc. I had to bring each one into the bathroom for her to rummage through. We found the form, called the hospital, cut his tag (umbilical cord) and now have a cute little squishy to play with. THE END.
Okay I left out a lot of the details, but that is what the class is for. Do yourself a favor and get educated. Know your rights and your options. That way the worst mystery you’ll have to solve is where the hospital contact sheet is.