(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
If you’re pregnant for the first time – hey – congrats!
There are probably about 176 things on your to do list, and you’re probably too tired / sick / overwhelmed to tackle most of them.
(At least I was.)
I mean – as you’re approaching “Baby Time” you need to get stuff done – wrap things up at work, decorate the baby room, choose names, make freezer meals, clean the whole house top to bottom (no? Just me?), sort out insurance. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’re frantically building a blog – 50 hours per week – to replace your income and work from home. (Yep, that’s why I did it, and yep, it worked.)
Taking a prenatal class was NOT on my to-do list, however
Suffice it to say I did NOT have (or wouldn’t make, perhaps,) time to take a Prenatal Class.
(I also have severe anxiety, and a not-so-small-life-changing-event, like say… pregnancy, for instance, can sometimes really derail me. I have developed some healthy (and some not so healthy) coping mechanisms. My favorite is what I like to call “not feeding the fears“. My grandmother – who I adore – calls it “sticking your head in the sand”. )
I figured a prenatal class, while maybe interesting, was one thing that I definitely didn’t have time for and also one thing that would definitely feed my labor related anxiety. (Which I seemed to have plenty of.)
So I just didn’t take one. I also didn’t read any books. (My husband wanted to do some prep for labor, and I kept promising him I would call a labor and delivery nurse friend and have her come over and discuss with us what to expect… and then of course I put that off until it was too late.)
The only preparation that I allowed myself for labor was a 10 minute discussion with my doctor as to when to come to the hospital and how he usually does things.
So I didn’t take a prenatal because A) I had no time and B) I was absolutely terrified of what I’d learn.
I mean, I’m not 17. I figured I’d have a pretty good idea what was goin’ on.
The slight problem with this
I went to bed one night a few weeks before I was due, and woke up to pee at 2 am.
Then I got back into bed and thought… “hmmmm, still peeing.”
It only took me a few seconds to realize that my water had probably broken. And a few more seconds to realize I had no contractions.
Not exactly how I expected labor to start. (You always see the women in movies contracting and “ouching” and announcing they’re in labor.)
The doctor and I had discussed when I should go to the hospital – in terms of contractions. I had no IDEA what to do in terms of just sitting contactionless in a puddle on my bed.
So, because my plan had been to go with the flow, things flowed towards trying to find out what to do when your water breaks but you have no contractions. At 2 am. With all the feelings.
(Not the MOST relaxing way to the start what turned out to be a very long freaking day. Also, just FYI, if your water breaks you go to the hospital. THAT is what you do.)
How the rest of it went
Well, not surprisingly, it went similar to the first part.
(Me not knowing things, and me finding things out as they happened. At 3 am 4 am 5 am 6 am – with all the feelings.)
Honestly, it worked out fine. BUT, I think it could have been easier.
I don’t – AT ALL – regret not taking a time consuming class that would have eaten up hours of my week and included me driving to and from town while trying to co-ordinate with my husbands schedule.
I DO think it would have been OK to have just a little more information going in than I did, however.
What I SHOULD have done
Since giving birth I’ve met Hillary from pullingcurls.com and took her online Prenatal Class (yes, I have taken the class SINCE giving birth. I know, backwards.)
But I met her through blogging, we got talking about it, she offered to let me take the class and I took her up on it.
This is something I seriously wish I had known existed before I had a baby.
An online prenatal class, geared towards couples (with really personable videos for dads who have a short attention span), would have been the PERFECT solution to my prenatal class reservations.
Hillary has been a L&D nurse for SIXTEEN years, and has attended around 1000 (!!!) births. She addresses everything from why you might NOT want to take your own hospital gown, to how you should feel about pooping during delivery. (I’ll bet you anything you feel WAY better about it after you hear what she has to say.)
I also learned some really interesting things in her course that I hadn’t caught before and should probably have known going into delivery… like:
- The cervix is a sphincter (this makes it less scary for me… I don’t know why. I guess in my mind sphincter = stretchy?)
- Epidural needles don’t actually get near your spinal cord (good to know)
- If you skip the epidural (like I did) you’ll learn (like I did) that they won’t give other pain meds too near to baby-time (= screaming)
- The doctor won’t be in the room for most of the pushing part (I know! Surprise!)
- Soooooo many more things!
I highly reccomend that at the very least you take the FREE version of the online prenatal class (all the links in this post are for the free class!).
If you should decide to go for the paid version of the prenatal class (the one I took) – and I would – then use the code MOP10 to get a discount!
I don’t think (based on my own experience) that going to a traditional prenatal class when you already SO busy is a necessity, but I do think any pregnant chicka and daddy-to-be would benefit from knowing a little bit about what’s coming.