Hubby and I went to our first Childbirth Education Class last night at Casey Hospital. It was really good to attend the class as a couple, and be surrounded by other couples who are going through the same stages of pregnancy and are also about to be first time parents. It also felt good that we weren't the only ones who are almost completely clueless about what to expect, and realise how little we knew.
The Childbirth Education Classes Program at Casey Hospital costs $75 per couple - and are split into 3 weeknight sessions from 6.30 - 9.30pm. The educator tends to finish up by 9pm so that's not too bad. Starting at 6.30pm is a struggle though, since we normally don't even get home from work until close to 6.30 and if the traffic is bad we could be running late. It also means we don't really have time to have dinner beforehand.. which is not good. Last night, we just made it at 6.30 due to the traffic so we didn't have dinner until we got home at 9.30 (we went and got Red Rooster takeaway at a drive through... was too hungry to have time to COOK anything!)
The class was quite interactive. The educator really encouraged us to get to know each other and be involved in group activities. We started by getting to know the person next to us and then introducing that person to everyone in the class. There were about 11 couples - which is actually quite an unusually HUGE group. Apparently they don't normally take more than 6 -7 couples.
After the Ice Breaking activity, the educator started to cover the various stages of natural labour. Casey Hospital only accepts Low Risk pregnancies and they only do natural labour (with some minimal gas / drugs assist when required) and only resort to a C-Section if there was a breach (baby positioned the wrong way i.e. leg first instead of head first) or a serious complication discovered during pregnancy / labour. Casey Hospital has one of the lowest rates of C-Sections in the country. What is that rate? Apparently 10%. Which is still pretty high in my opinion.. I mean, if there were 11 couples in that training room last night - that pretty much means ONE of us will have to have a C-section!! But apparently 10% is the lowest rate, so it's all good.
Anyway, after explaining some of the stages, she showed us a VIDEO of a natural home birth. I think that was my first time watching a labour... I always tend to avoid watching the actual LABOUR process even when documentaries on pregnancies were on TV. This time, I couldn't escape! It was ... not that bad, I guess.
After the video, we split into 3 groups and had discussions on:
- The Things We Need to help create a good Birthing Environment
- The Qualities / Characteristics of a Support Person
- The Qualities / Characteristics of the Woman Giving Birth
I liked those discussions - especially the first one. It helps me prepare a checklist of things to pack before going into labour, things that might be good for us to take to the hospital when the day finally arrives.
Then we finished with ANOTHER video.... *goose bumps*
This time it was a longer video, the lady was swinging her hips around during 2nd stage labour... and then one funny moment when we see her husband falling asleep on the bed while she breathes in and out on a fit ball (assisted by whom I assume was her midwife / mother). She was getting massages to help her feel better - and then another funny moment when her HUSBAND was getting massages too at the same time??!! What the?! Lol. Then she was in the shower, and she looked like she was in agonizing pain... and then.. and THEN... oh my goodness they showed her girly bits and showed her RUPTURE OF MEMBRANES that was apparently a rare case of BIG splash. It was WEIRRDDDD!!! But anyway, she had her baby and all was good.
So I STILL DON'T KNOW how I feel about watching these videos!! Part of me thinks "ignorance is bliss" and I'll just deal with it when the time comes. Another part of me thinks it's good to "be prepared" and know what's coming so I know how to deal with it.
Definitely feeling better now though, and more prepared. Looking forward to learning (and seeing?) more in our next 2 classes.
Oh and BY THE WAY, the ASSIGNMENT for this week:
- Have a QUESTION prepared about the last session to ask in the next session.
- Partners / husbands - give your wives MASSAGES this week and KNOW what she likes. Best to know now than to "experiment" during labour and possibly irritate her! Nice... I like :-)