Today was our childbirth education class. Even though I’m a midwife, and Fred feels like he knows a lot, we thought it was a really good idea to take a class together to learn about the birth process.
Midwife note: I believe EVERY first time parent should take a class of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a particular method or type, but something that goes through the labor and birth process so that you know what to expect!
We took our class at Parent Craft, which is in Park Slope, Brooklyn and run by an amazing midwife, Casey. We used to work together at the same hospital. The class was the full day, from 10-5.
I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I would learn from taking a class that I could probably teach. Though I knew the stuff about the labor and birth process, I was happy to get some good pointers and suggestions! Fred also said he learned about some new things and liked hearing all the information too. My favorite part was that she did some pretty great demonstrations of how women sound in labor! It was also engaging and the day, though it was long, went by fast.
The other fun thing was that I asked Casey to keep my job a secret. I think it was fun to listen and engage as an expectant parent, not adding in my midwife thoughts. I also didn’t want to take away anything from Casey’s teaching or be asked “what do you think?”. We were successful at keeping it a secret.
From a midwife standpoint, I was also really happy to have taken the class to see what they are all about from personal experience. We always tell people to take classes, but I never really knew what to expect from them. Now it’s another great thing that I can add to my list of personal experiences from my own pregnancy. Casey’s class was also supportive and informative, as well as very real and reasonable, when it comes to birth. I think a lot of classes (from what I hear) discuss the amazing and perfect stories, but they don’t talk about the things that could happen if things don’t go as planned. They can provide (in my opinion) too many false expectations and no preparation for some of the unexpected. Of course, everyone wants mom and baby to be healthy and safe and to have a vaginal birth, and we want birth to go smoothly and as planned, but it’s important to be realistic that that doesn’t always happen. And if it doesn’t, parents should be prepared for that and what it could mean. I’m not being a pessimist, just a realist. Most births go smoothly and often as planned. But sometimes they don’t, and that is why interventions exist.
Overall, I’m so happy we did this class! Sure, I didn’t learn medical and physiological information, but definitely learned some new tips and things to think about, and it triggered some talking points between us that I think will help us as we prepare for Embers’ birth.
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City