Saturday, February 11, 2012

Signing up for childbirth classes (gulp!)

One thing I've been struggling is all the things that need to get done BEFORE this baby is born and my deep-seeded belief that something will go wrong and ruin it all (sound familiar?).

So, I've been agonizing about which childbirth classes to take. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for 4 classes through the hospital where we will be giving birth. 

I'm posting them here on this blog, because it will magically make this whole surreal thing that much real:

  • Childbirth: This practical approach to childbirth is offered in one-day Saturday Class or a two-session weekday class, depending on location. In this program you will learn about the labor process, pain management basics, and what to expect on the big day. Prepared Childbirth is designed for couples who enjoy in-class instruction and interacting and learning with other couples.
  • Breastfeeding Your Infant: This class, taught by a lactation expert, explores the advantages and benefits of breastfeeding and discusses nutrition, positions that are comfortable, common problems, pumping and storage of breast milk. (Yes, Mr. Jem is coming with me!!!)
  • CPR - Infant & Child CPR & Safety: This is a class you cannot afford to miss! Join us for a hands-on session that will provide you the opportunity to practice with CPR mannequins.
  • Newborn Care: Explore the essential information and skills you’ll need to feel confident and prepared for your newborn’s care. Learn basic diapering, feeding and bathing techniques.

Hopefully, attending these classes will make thing more tangible and real. I just feel so darn overwhelmed.



cutey-patootie said...

You will be very happy with taking those classes. they will help a lot and also when you are in the hospital make sure the lactation expert comes and helps you as well. mine came every 3 hrs round the clock but some hospitals only come if you ask. reading and watching it is completly different than trying to do it. i thought it would come easily and it didnt. the other classes are excellent to take as well and will really help out. you will be so glad you bit the bullet and are taking them.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I wish we had that many options! My childbirth classes touched on a lot of those topics, but primarily focussed on the actual birth process. The biggest thing that I got out of our classes (beyond how our hospital does things) was how everyone comes to this moment in time with different expectations and baggage. The variety of opinions (on everything from epidurals to breastfeeding in public) that were expressed in our group boggled the mind.

Enjoy your classes! They do help make it seem a bit more real. :)

ASP said...

You're going to love the classes. Well, I don't know about the breastfeeding one ;) but the newborn care and CPR is super helpful. You're almost in the homestretch! Can you believe it?!

Poppet said...

Don't worry - millions of women have managed lots of this without classes. Take what you can from it, but don't stress out.

Most of what you need to know is common sense:

childbirth sucks - it hurts more than you can imagine - birthing plans are great, so you know what you think in advance. "I want a natural birth". But forgive yourself if in the heat of the moment you scream "GIVE ME THE F'ing DRUGS! NOW!!"

Breastfeeding: breast is best. do what you can and if you are having issues, they will help you deal with that in the hospital and you can contact lactation specialists after the baby comes. Breastfeeding stimulates the contraction of your tummy muscles.

Infant and child cpr - great idea. I've never met a parent who isn't a nurse who had it.

Newborn care: I had a breakdown just before we left the hospital because I hadn't changed the baby's diaper once. (My husband did most of them, then the nurse showed me multiple times).

Now I have changed roughly a hundred billion.

YOU WILL GET THE HANG OF THE CAREGIVING. It takes practice and more patience than I had (I couldn't figure out how to collapse the stroller in the mall parking lot and I completely lost it on my first trip to the mall). You will learn these things through trial and error.

Like it or not, a baby is coming. You'll deal with it like you deal with everything else. Trial and error and tears. Any Mom who said she never cried when she got home with a new baby either has amnesia or large quantities of prosac. Don't stress about things that you don't need to worry about. There will be plenty to worry about when baby comes.

Poppet said...

PS I took 10 weeks of la maze classes. Forgot EVERYTHING. The delivery nurses all know about breathing and teach you everything you forgot between class and the main event.

Just plan to be able to be flexible. No one knows how the baby will come: early, on time, late. Fast and furious or with hours of suffering.

And just remember - our friend MS - had her baby in the minivan on the wya to the hospital. Both Mom and baby are FINE now.

Rebecca said...

As much as I know we'll figure it out as we go along -- I REALLY want some of these classes. I'm a perpetual student and very much want someone to help me at least get started on it. I can read about it, too, but I definitely want to see some of it all, too. I hope you enjoy your classes!!

Kristen {} said...

Great you are taking classes! I did what sounds like a similar childbirth class and it was really, really helpful. And I can relate to being scared/overwhelmed by all the preparation...I keep dragging my feet and my husband keeps pushing me...we've gotten a lot done because of him...if it were up to me we might not have even started yet, lol

Rebecca said...

Hi there -- you asked about Vitamin D. At first, I was taking 2000 IU per day (in addition to whatever is in my prenatal). Then, when my OB tested and found that I was low, she had me on 10,000 IU per day for 30 days. That ended last week, so now I'm back to 2000 IU (plus about 500 IU that is in the calcium supplement I take). Vitamin D is fat soluble, so I assume they don't want me to keep taking it that high forever unless they check and see that my reserves are still low. I don't know if they'll check again, though.