Most expecting parents who take childbirth classes through ProMedica go to class one evening a week for five weeks. Since Aaron works nights, that wasn’t an option for us, so we signed up for one of the monthly Friday/Saturday Childbirth Express classes (aka The Weekender). After months of having this event so far away on the calendar, it finally happened this past weekend. (Which means that The Big Event is that much closer, as well. Yikes.)
Overall, I only picked up a few things I didn’t already know: Lamaze breathing patterns, pros and cons of analgesic pain relief options (as opposed to the ubiquitous epidural), different labor positions, and lots of videos. Aaron, not having read the crapload of books and websites I have, definitely got more of a data dump than I did, but we both feel much better having gone. We had some unexpectedly close bonding time with massage and relaxation, and we both got more used to the idea of not just going through the act of childbirth, but having a child of our own to bring home after it’s all said and done.
This Cabbage Patch Kid (Brett George, my only boy Cabbage Patch of six, in case you were wondering) was the first object Aaron has ever diapered. As a first try, I think he did great. Granted, as a couple of our friends pointed out over Facebook, a Cabbage Patch Kid doesn’t squirm or have explosive diarrhea, but I still think it was a good start.
That brings up something else that’s been an intriguing exercise in observation: Aaron and I imagine that we can tell what kind of parental experiences our parent-friends have had so far by what kind of “advice” they give. A few people have been so positive and supportive and helpful; others tend to dwell on the negative and the “you just wait until…” factor.
We’re not kidding ourselves. We know about the feedings every two hours and the loose poops and the sleep deprivation. We understand about the frazzled nights and the bleary days. We expect the crying for no discernible reason (both from me and from the baby). We honestly don’t need to be reminded — if you’ll all recall, this wasn’t our idea. But we’ve accepted and embraced the reality that we’re going to be parents soon, and what we need now is support. Friendship. Helpful tips. A few last adults-only meals with friends, perhaps, since we might be holed up in our house for a while this Fall.
Next Saturday is our baby shower, thrown by my bestest gal-pals Sheryl and Amy. We’ll get to see people from out of town whom we haven’t seen in years — Aaron will get to meet some people for the first time ever — and we’ll get to touch base with some local friends we rarely see anymore. Honestly, while it’ll be nice to get more baby stuff, I’m more interested in being social with my friends one last time.
It’s only going to be The Two Of Us (Plus Our Cat) for as many weeks as I can count on one hand.