On Saturday we attended an all day lamaze class from 9-4:45! I really thought we would get there and the instructor would say "don't worry, I'll have you outta here by 3!" But alas, that didn't happen. This wasn't an all day "breathe in, breathe out" class like you might expect from the old fashioned lamaze classes you've seen on tv...this was a class that explained each and every stage of labor, the biology of it all, and covered all of our medical options from natural childbirth to an epidural to a c-section.
I really enjoyed our instructor who was a sweet and very humorous older woman who was very open to any and all questions - and believe me, we asked a lot! Our instructor thought we were one of her most inquisitive, informed, and outgoing classes she'd had in a while which I was very happy about. Everyone asked many questions and every question got answered. I was also struck by how involved the men were. Three men in particular asked mannny questions throughout the day, and many of the questions were about epidurals. These guys had come prepared! We did do a few breathing exercises and two meditation exercises, which I think will prove to be helpful when the time comes. It wasn't anything I haven't been doing in yoga, but she taught us how our partners can time contractions and help us get through them.
At the end of the day, she took us on a tour of the hospital, which was what we were most looking forward to with the class. We toured the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital, saw the waiting room, a typical delivery/recovery room and a typical postpartum room. I don't know why I thought this, but I didn't realize that I would be in two different rooms. I was always under the impression that I would be assigned my room upon checking in with the hospital and that that would be where everything happened until I checked out. But of course, the delivery room is much more "medical" with scary machines and wires all over, and the postpartum room is much more hotel-like. There is a pull out couch in each room, a private shower/bathroom and babies can stay with the parents at all times in these private rooms. It was all set up very nicely.
|North Shore LIJ website|
We received a comprehensive booklet covering every detail of labor which I am working my way through now. In the end, I'm glad we decided to do the class. I think it got our heads in the game and got us mentally prepared for the task at hand, especially for Chris. That's not to say he wasn't prepared or ready, but this was a tangible thing that allowed him to be a participant in this process with me, rather than watching me go through it or experience all these things up until this point. I am curious how the private lamaze classes work, or the ones offered at my OB's office (something I didn't realize until after I signed up for the hospital). But I have to admit that it was nice to spend a day with 9 other couples who are at the exact same place as us. The men jokingly compared with each other who had gained more weight as a result of their wives pregnancy, the women shared their birthing plans with each other, and there really was no judgement coming from anyone's part. We all seemed genuinely interested in what we all had to say or share, which I think made this whole experience a worthwhile one.