Did I get your attention? Good, stay with me for a minute (or 5), because I have some things to say about the birth class situation, and what myself and my husbands biggest take away was for next time. So let's get to it and save you a lot of time trying to decide if you're team yes or team hell no.
I was team HELL. NO. Not doing that, you can't make me. Those things are fucking stupid. I outright refused to go into a weird little room with total strangers and do weird breathing and shit. After all, my body was literally BUILT for this. We were made to do this. Also I like to remain blissfully ignorant to all the bad shit that could go wrong. I had such a good mental head space because I didn't google, I didn't ask people about their birth horror stories. In fact, my hair dresser said to me that she wouldn't tell me about her birth (because it wasn't great) until AFTER I had my son, and you know what I thought? What a great idea, and I appreciated the heck out of her for not wanting to scare me with a scenario I likely won't face because #spolieralert, every single birth is different. So, If somebody started to tell me about their birth stories, I stopped them. What good would you filling my head with YOUR situation do me? Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. So shush poise *insert Kath and Kim meme*
So anyway, I was team stuff that BUT my husband was team yay. What? Yep. He WANTED to know, why? Because he wanted to have the peace of mind that IF something went south (LOL, *insert vagina joke here*) that he was prepared. And that's when it hit me. I'm not the only person in that room. It's not even me doing all the work (hear me out, don't hate me yet). I didn't even consider HIS needs, what HE needed, and the fact I hadn't communicated how I needed HIM. So, I swallowed my pride and agreed to go to the stupid birth class.
And here's what happened, here's how taking that stupid birth class changed my entire mindset, and why I'm now team fucking yay. First, I should mention that I feel I got REALLY fucking lucky. Like somehow the universe knew I needed this soul and pushed us into her birth class. Read through to the end if you want goosebumps, trust me, it's a goosebump moment.
SO! I'll make this short and to the point. We were lucky enough to have our class being taught by the most chilled out, down to earth, tell it like it is midwife, and I am so grateful to her. The layout of her class went like this:
Scenario one: "Perfect" birth, no drugs, no intervention and all roses, everything great.
Scenario two: Natural birth with medical aid (epidural, gas blah blah).
Scenario three (and hands down the most powerful activity we did): Emergency C-section.
I'm going to skip explaining scenario one because, well, nothing goes wrong so there's nothing to be aware of...
Scenario two: She laid out all the medical intervention tools we COULD possibly need in delivery. First, I was actually speechless when those forceps came out, like, how are they SO FUCKING BIG?!! Anyway, while I was focusing on how that thing could possibly fit up inside ya business, my husband was actually paying attention to the class. He took mental notes about everything, he asked questions, he was really concentrating. So it was absolutely no surprise to me when come delivery it was him asking the important questions and remembering what everything did and how to help the medical team.
Our take away from part one of the class?
Me: Not much, I lost her after those bloody forceps. So skip to husband, who was actually listening
Him: He knew exactly how, if the time came, to help me. He knew the correct and safest positions to help with the epidural. He knew the different types of non medical and medical aids I had as options (honestly, I had no idea. None.
Scenario two: She didn't just explain how an emergency C section could go, she SHOWED us (not literally guys, she didn't take us into an operating room, that'd be weird). Basically, she asked one volunteer to act as the mum and one as the dad. She played herself and went through the normal labour and then announced baby was in distress and they had to cut him out. Queue the C section scenario. She asked for a volunteer for each medical aid who would be required. By the time she was done there was fifteen, I'll repeat, FIFTEEN people standing around the mum. Scary, yeah? That, for me, was so fucking powerful. It was never something I even considered.
Our take away from part two?
Me: Everything. I was SO grateful for her putting it in such a simple yet powerful way. She basically said "hey, shit can go wrong, but if it does, I want you to know what too except, I want you to not be afraid when you suddenly see all these bodies. It's going to be okay".
Him: That if it came to that, he wouldn't be as panicked, because he was somewhat, as much as I guess you can be, prepared for it.
And then came the breathing exercises. This class didn't do all that weird floor stuff you see on TV. Thank fuck. Our midwife was all about natural births. My hospital had the lowest rate of C sections, that was only their last resort. So her teaching was focused on upright movement, using hypnobirthing (didn't loose you there, did I?) and your partner to help during labour. But those aren't really my point here. My husband and I came away from that class having a deep and honest conversation about what I wanted and how he could help. The types of massages she taught us that I liked and the ones I didn't. He shared how he was feeling and together we spoke about how we imagined the birth going.
Sadly though, our little guy baking on the inside was taking after his mother and not listening. He gave no fucks and come delivery most things went out the window. You know that phrase "write a birth plan and then burn it", that's pretty much how it is. I'm not going to tell you my birth story, but what I will say is the experience was so much more relaxed and calculated BECAUSE of that stupid birth class. No matter what kept happening my husband was levelled headed and calm. Which was great because I could barely speak let alone think about making the tough decisions! He was a fucking champion. Everybody spends so much time and effort preparing mum for the birth, but what about the dads? What about the birth partners? They too need to be strong.
You still here, and looking for those goosebumps I promised? Well strap in.
I'm not sharing my story, but I will share the weeks prior and the ending. After our birth class I said to myself husband "I really wish we could choose our midwife because I would hands down, 100% choose her. She gets me, she gets us and her energy is EXACTLY what I want in that room". And then cue labour, let's just say the kid dint play ball. Long story short, our first midwife (who was lovely and kind and funny) had to go home, because apparently it had been 12.5 hours already. But did she just say "cya losers" and leave? No. She knew who the next shift was and she wanted us to have a specific nurse, and she wasn't going to leave until she knew we had her. So this wonderful human stayed 2 hours past her shift ending to wait for our next nurse, to make sure we were okay. Things were getting VERY hairy, that's all i'll say. Then this next nurse arrived, I was facing away from the door but I heard her voice and INSTANTLY knew. It was her. It was fucking her. She recognised my husband immediately. I actually cried. I was so fucking HAPPY when I turned and saw her face. That warm soul who taught us everything, she was here. Full disclosure, typing this made my cry, is that lame or what? Pull it together Alysha, fuck. Anyway. She was here and instantly my body relaxed, I wasn't scared anymore. Together, the three of us made that stubborn son of mine come out. My husband was amazing, but honestly, having her there, her energy, a third person, wasn;'t something I had considered, but OMG did it make such a difference.
Did you get them? Do you have goosebumps? You probably do. I know I do.
So, there it is. Why I'm so glad I took that stupid birth class, and why I think it's worth doing one, if only to start a conversation between you and your birth partner and your doctors/nurses about your expectations and your wishes.
While our birth went NOTHING like either of us had imagined, next time around I'm going to seriously consider a doula. What the heck is that? That, my friend, is another blog post.
Bye for now, going to go cry some more