Sunday, August 5, 2012

Childbirth Classes - Preparing for The Day

Today marks Day 2 of our Childbirth Class with Chiqui Brosas. We're only halfway through with the course, but we're learning so much already. Side track story #1: I had just learned that Chiqui was crowned Bb. Pilipinas in '75 and successfully represented the country in the Miss Universe pageant that same year, bringing home the Ms. Photogenic and Best in Swimsuit awards. So, a former beauty queen is teaching us Lamaze. The pressure just gets more intense every week!

Why are we taking the class in the first place? Well, primarily because we want to be certified. Getting the certificate at the end of the course grants my husband entry to the labor and delivery rooms on The Day. Most hospitals really don't mind anymore, but for some reason, ours requires it for the husband to be ever present in the birthing festivities. PROVIDED I go for au naturale. Meaning, natural vaginal birth without the administration of anesthesia. The second I demand for an epidural or the doctor sees a need for it, hubby's getting the boot outta there. Hospitals and their rules, what can you do.

The second reason why we've taken the class is to eliminate any doubt and have a clearer grasp of the whole labor process. I mean, sure, I've read like a dozen books on pregnancy and all its highs and lows, the labor experience included. But I guess it's a completely different thing just reading about it from hearing true accounts and actually being shown first hand what to really expect when you're expecting.

The third reason is to get my husband as involved as he possibly could. It's not like I had to drag him into the class. In all fairness to him, he's been very willing and open about it all. Not a big fan of the sharing portions of the class, but he does his best, and I'm grateful to him for that.

Last but definitely not the least, I wanted to attend the class because I wanted empathy. And, to be completely honest, I needed to know that other pregnant women have it bad (or worse than I). These bloated, aching, wobbly pregsters were going to whine about something at some point and I'd be damned if I wasn't around to hear it!

This leads us to last Sunday, which was the first day of the course, where we did the usual introductions, sharing of basic information (due date, expectations from the class, etc.), a few ice breakers to get the ball rolling, and some floor exercises for pain relief and relaxation. It was pretty much standard, I would say. But then again, my husband and I haven't attended any Lamaze or Bradley Method birthing classes before, so what do we know, right? lol

It was very educational. Quite fun, too. It's weird to be in a room full of expecting couples. There was one point when about 6 or 7 of us preggies decided to go to the restroom at the same time. Looking at everyone, including myself...man, that was a freaky sight! Freaky, but in a good way.

Then today we went over more in-the-moment-of-labor stuff like what actually happens before, during, and after. Counting contractions, measuring stations, Apgar scores...the whole shebang. Chiqui even had this pelvic bone model (not an actual pelvic bone, but a really good replica of it) with the baby and the umbilical cord and everything. It was like sex ed class, but like a super advanced course for teens who just weren't careful. lol Then came the best part - giving away of freebies and yummy snackage. Any mom-to-be would be thrilled, as you could imagine.

We have 2 more classes to look forward to. After that, we're on our own. But surely, anyone who has ever had the chance to attend these classes wouldn't go home learning nothing. It's been a great experience so far and it may have cost us a bit of money, but I'd say it's worth every penny.

If you're expecting and looking for a prenatal, Lamaze, or childbirth class in Metro Manila, visit Chiqui's blog or Facebook page. She offers private one-on-two classes and doula/coaching services, too! How about that.

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