Antenatal Classes…?

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Antenatal Classes…?

I’m hoping my fellow pregnant bloggers/mummy bloggers will be able to help me here, as I start to wonder about antenatal classes…

In my last pregnancy I didn’t end up having any classes, as I had H at 24 weeks spontaneously, this time round I have everything crossed that I’ll go to full term and have a “normal” birth.

A few people have questioned if I need to go to antenatal classes as I’ve “kinda-already-done-it” before. Well yes, I laboured for 21 hours and gave birth to an agreeably small baby (who also happened to be breech and positioned back to back with me) I would agree- I’ve “kinda-already-done-it”. However, preterm births are different to full term births… Right?

This is a hard one. The only person I trust to give me honest advice here is my mum who, sadly, had her first baby at 24 weeks the same as me. She said pain wise the preterm birth was actually worse.

She feels a combination of her body not being ready, the baby not being in the right position and the obvious mega stress of the situation, all contributed to more painful birth than when my brother followed 12 months later, weighing 9.5 pounds after a “reasonably good and speedy” 3 hour labour- but the beauty of child birth is that every one is different from the next!

Now I’m not too worried about the pain, believe it or not. There are far worse things than a few hours of physical pain- which will inevitably end- in my opinion. Having a baby is going to hurt. It’s accepted. But totally worth it.

Having H hurt a lot and I won’t try and deny it. But the pain was nothing compared to the pain that followed when all hope was lost and we realised we would never get to take our little boy home; it still hurts now.

I had no idea what to expect when I went into labour before- which probably explains why I went about my day as normal (work, home, cook, clean- denial) until the pain became too much, I discovered I needed to push and it dawned on me everything was not right.

I didn’t really have any great knowledge on pushing, panting, breathing, labour positions, pain relief options and to tell you the truth I’m still not 100% now!

The furthest I’d got in planning my birth with H was: “I want to try and rely on gas and air only if I can” and “That water birth thing looks like it’s right up my street- I love water” I thought I had months left to read up on everything I needed to know.

By the time we got to hospital I was fully dilated and pushing- too late for any pain relief, even gas and air- so I put on my best brave face, had a crash course on breathing from a lovely midwife and Harry was there little more than hour later.

My husband assures me I wasn’t a raving, yowling mess but then even if I was, he probably wouldn’t tell me. He’s far too nice for that. As for my memory it’s all fairly blurred. All I remember is stress, panic, pain, being boiling hot (it was the hottest day of year) what felt like a million people in the room and a tiny incubator being wheeled in ready. It was all stress, panic; uncertainty.

Not a very pleasant experience to say the least. I know you can’t completely control labour- it pretty much happens as it wants- but that experience was probably the furthest thing from what I wanted when I thought about having H and is definitely not what I want to happen this time around.

Which is why I want to do the whole antenatal-class-thing. One thing that surprised me when I was having H is how much breathing properly helped me! It calmed me, I could control the pain, I was focused and before I knew it the pain was gone.

I think the more I learn of these techniques the more prepared I’ll feel this time round; the more I’ll be able to cope and (hopefully) I can have the birth I want this time- a water birth.

I’m also the type of person that thinks knowledge is key (typical Virgo!). I know the more I know, the more relaxed I’ll feel about the whole thing. I like to be an expert in all things relating to me, this way I feel more in control of a situation even if I’m not!

So we’ve decided to take the antenatal classes but here’s where it gets tricky…

With my hubbies current work pattern and my annoying habit of not being able to stay awake past 8pm on a “school night”, attending a class is pretty much out.

I could always attend a class at some point on my own, but one of the reasons I want to get more clued up on labour and the like is so Mr W can help me during labour- he is my birth partner after all and I don’t think I would enjoy classes so much without him there.

What I would like to know from all my fellow pregnant ladies/mummies is, is there any DVDs, books etc on antenatal classes that you would recommend for me? Instead of me having to attend classes on my lonesome? Are there any other ladies in the same position as me? If so, what are you planning on doing?

All advice welcome πŸ™‚

As ever, thanks for reading.

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