22 June, 2009

First NCT Class, Redhill

Last week (on Wednesday) we went along to our first NCT Antenatal class...I really wasn't sure quite what to expect, all I knew was that every single person I had ever spoken to about pregnancy who has had any sort of contact with the NCT recommended it wholeheartedly...so when we found out that Flyingpops was "with issue", it was a bit of a no-brainer but to apply to attend...it costs quite a bit to go along (I think we paid just shy of £200 for the pleasure) so I will admit to having had a certain amount of curiosity as to what we were going to get for our money...as it turns out I was actually extremely impressed...

Our classes were to take place in our tutor's house in Grovehill road in Redhill, starting at the commuter friendly time of 8pm, finishing (just as the yawns start to kick in) at 10pm, every Wednesday (until we know everything there is to know about child birth and aftercare, of course)...when we arrived a number of couples were already there, sitting slightly self-conciously on one of the many sofas, filling out one of the numerous forms attached to clipboards making their way around the room (accompanied by a plastic box containing an assortment of pens) collecting contact details or choice of the (many) drinks on offer one might like at half-time...when everyone had managed to find the place, apart from the elusive "Jenny and Mark" (who were unavoidably on holiday in the West Country, from the sounds of things), the group was split up, each person selecting a different partner than the one they arrived with (not in that sort of way) and this set the scene for the rest of the evening, being mostly small group activities...the first being to introduce your new partner to the group (after talking with them for a few minutes to find out a little about them), it turned out that most people simply signed up in order to meet other people in the same boat (Urm, we're pregnant, what the hell do we do now? Sort of thing), followed by finding out if we had any idea what the NCT does (other than these classes and the aforementioned sales)...it turns out that they are actually extremely active not only in forming little groups of parents (and giving them cups of tea), but also at the highest level at the hospital, working hard to promote parents interests and watchdogging (if that is a word) to make sure that those initiatives that they suggest are followed through with...we then ran through a selection of cutaway anatomical diagrams showing just how small an amount of room for digesting food and breathing there will eventually be inside the mums to be (to a few nervous glances) and handed around actual-size-and weight models (drawing gasps of surprise from the gentlemen in the room) demonstrating exactly how much the females in the room have to moan (and hold their tummies) about...

The final section of the session was a brain storm, boys in the kitchen, girls in the living room, where we all wrote down everything we were worried about (which was an extremely useful and theraputic process), these lists are to form the basis of all our classes to come (which makes me think that these sessions are going to be a largely unique experience depending entirely on the people who come along and precisely what they are concerned about)...the most impressive thing of the whole evening (for me) though was the tutors clear, expert summary of all the different options for the actual birth (which the midwife should have taken Flyingpops through and didn't), and I think it's actually made us change our mind...rather than normal East Surrey Hospital delivery suite, Flyingpops is now quite fancying the birthing centre just across the hall (full of soft objects to lean on, pilates balls and paddling pools)...so it's already been very useful...roll on next Wednesday!

4 comments:

Flyingpops said...

the first class was great fun, but very much like your first class at school. Not quite sure what to expect and wearing sticky labels so we could all remember each others names!

We really are on countdown now until the birth, only 11 weeks to go (aprox)... let's just hope MJ doesn't come early and I can finish getting organised and work as late as poss! ;o)

-MR X- said...

Diana's had a home birth (with Jamie) and a C-section (with Alex) and would be happy to share her experiences if you like. The home birth was an interesting experience for me as well - we ran out of gas & air TWICE and I had to drive to the hospital for fresh supplies - driving round Uxbridge at 90mph at 4am in the morning is an experience ;-)

Mum said...

Glad you found the NCT class such a positive experienc, the more you know and understand the less scary it all is!

Ys said...

I was a home-birth and Mammy always says it was the easiest and happiest. My older sister was a bad experience with untrained staff, and my younger sister was late so had to be in hospital too. I think it's great there's so many options these days, and that if I ever have babies I'll never have to go through what my mother did with my eldest sister.