Saturday, 8 November 2014

Parent Craft Class 1: Labour and Birth

This week Jimmy and I had our first parent craft class at the hospital where we hope to have Squish. I had been looking forward to these classes but was also a little apprehensive about learning all the gory details about the birthing process. I am not one for watching One Born Every Minute (I just can't do it) and shy away from reading about birth. I am scared. I am not afraid to admit that. I am opting for a birth on a bed instead of a pool and drugs instead of whale song. I am all for epidurals, they sound fabulous and I am willing to take any pain relief available. It will be good to find out how this whole birth thing works and what options I have. It is also good for Jimmy to be involved in these classes, he is more clueless than I am and will be good for him to know whats happening so he can support me through it all. 

We arrived at our first class and I was pleasantly surprised with our 'class mates' I had images of earth mothers in hemp or Vicky Pollard types. Our class seemed to all be similar in age to Jimmy and I and they were all very chatty and friendly. Leicester is not normally know for friendly chatter, but these lot are all lovely. 

After we had introduced ourselves with our due date, sex of the baby and where we hoped to have baby, we realised that there was only one surprise, two girls and about 8 boys expected. We discussed our biggest fears and what we are looking forward to the most. Everyone was on the same page with this one, most looked forward to meeting baby for the first time and their biggest fear was either pain or birth complications. 

We were then given a little slip of paper each with a birth stage on it and had to form a timeline of events. This is were I realised I was utterly useless. I was towards the end with 'cut the cord' I thought this was after 'skin to skin' but it turns out (if I remember rightly) it goes skin to skin, breastfeeding, injection for placenta then cut the cord! Bloody hell! Jimmy got 'mucus plug' and went pale when she explained what it was lol!

After we established how little we all knew our lovely midwife began to take us through the birth process beginning with Labour. She asked "what are the first signs of labour?" one man said "inflation" I had a proper chuckle but I'm not sure everyone got it. The midwife talked us through what to pack in your hospital bag, TENS machines (I'm defo getting one of those bad boys!) and the early stages of labour. We got up to 4cm dilated and going into hospital. She talked about being sent home from hospital a lot which I never knew about and what to do if you are having a home birth (not a bloody chance!)

She showed up a model of a cervix and how big 10cm is, which is how many cm you have to be dilated when you have the baby. It's actually bigger than I imagined and this put me a rest a little, not loads just a bit! I actually feel so much better about the whole process already. I am more than happy to spend early labour at home and have had dreams about contractions where they hardly hurt and I'm really happy. I know this is hilarious as I will probably be a screaming bitch from hell but it's nice that my subconscious is keeping me relaxed for now. Jimmy learnt loads and was testing me on the way home. Bless him, I think this a great way for him to feel more involved with the pregnancy as I know he sometimes feels excluded. The only downside to whole experience was the heat of the room, I almost had to leave for some air but next week I'll be bringing an icy cold bottle of water to keep me cool. I am really looking forward to next week labour and birth part 2!