Having booked in 5 months ago, the time finally came for us to start our antenatal NCT classes.
In April, when I filled out the online form to join the group, I couldn’t imagine that this time would ever come, but hurrah, at 35 weeks, we were ready.
We set off to our group in Cockfosters, north London on Wednesday night full of enthusiasm, but having also read the article in the Evening Standard a month earlier, also a little unsure of what to expect.
The first session was a bit like starting school having been told by your Mum to ‘be nice and try to make new friends’, only this time I automatically had the company of a ‘friend’ in the form of my husband.
So after the initial introductions and sharing our reasons for joining the group, we started to discuss what we knew about the stages of labour and what happened at which point.
Now, I have 4 nephews, a lot of new-Mum friends, and have also been reading a lot since getting pregnant, but it turns out I knew very little about the actual nitty gritty of the process. I guess those are the bits people prefer not to talk about (or block out of their minds), so that was a massive eye-opener for me.
I’m glad we’ve covered it because I do now know what to expect (a bit more anyway), and with only a month or so to do, something that could kick off at any time, but I’m at the point now where I’d just rather it happened and I don’t have any more time to think about it!
The next class was a women-only one and was really more of a social thing, focusing more on post-natal bodies and the impact of having children, with a few ex-members popping back in with their babies to chat to us about what their experiences were like. This actually flew by and allowed the women to chat and find out a little more about each others’ pregnancies without the men. It also gave me the opportunity to find out more about the labour facilities at our chosen hospital based on what the other members already knew.
And then we attended a 5 hour class on Saturday morning covering pain relief, baby care essentials, intervention and the role of the birth partner. This was a long session, but similar to the labour material, it seems I really wasn’t aware of the ins and outs of each option. In fact, after the slot, I felt much happier to make decisions based on the information we heard (although I am still keeping an open mind as I realise it doesn’t always go according to plan).
So half-way through our antenatal classes, the information we’ve covered has been really useful (if not a little bit scary!) and I think my Mum would be happy that I’ve played nice and hopefully started to form relationships with other soon-to-be parents that will help us stay sane once the babies arrive!