Classes, Classes, Classes
It surprises me that I’m nervous about having a baby. I’ve been around lots of babies ever since I was a young girl. My oldest niece was born when I was 10 years old, so I learned quickly to change diapers, make bottles, give baths and so on. I did extensive babysitting throughout my teen years. As I grew older, I always thought it was odd when one of my friends seemed awkward around babies. To me, caring for babies always felt natural.
Apparently, that was before the baby in question was my own. Now I worry about things I use to know how to do. How do I get her to go to sleep? What do I do if she won’t stop crying? How do I know if she is getting enough to eat? I think part of my reason for nervousness is the fact that she is going to be totally my responsibility. No one will be leaving a list of contact numbers on the fridge, money for pizza and a reminder to put the baby to sleep on her back. I also think I’m finding little things to worry about because the big things are too overwhelming. How am I going to afford taking care of a baby when I struggle so much on my own? How am I going to manage working and raising a baby by myself? What am I going to tell her about her father when she asks one day?
I don’t have answers for those questions, and I don’t think anyone else has answers for me. There is one other concern, however, that experts can help me with. I doubt I’m alone when I say I’m a little worried about how the baby is going to get from “in there” to “out here.” I would be lying if I said that the idea of giving birth didn’t scare me somewhat … or maybe a lot. So, I have signed up for every baby-related class my hospital offers. Soon I will attend a hospital orientation, a breastfeeding class, a newborn-care class and a one-hour pre-registration. I am already attending weekly Prepared Childbirth classes.
I’ve been assured that attending these classes will make the birth experience more pleasant. Maybe pleasant wasn’t the word they used. I think it was more like positive. My best friend, Robin, will be my main support person during delivery, and another dear friend, Cindy, will also be there. Robin is attending some of the classes with me. So far, I am the only woman at the classes without the baby’s father. I can’t say that doesn’t bother me. One week Robin couldn’t go with me, and all of the other couples were so concerned for me. I thought to myself, if I can’t get through a few classes alone, I’ll never make it through this baby’s childhood. And so I forged ahead.
The class concentrates mostly on labor, and I am starting to feel a little more comfortable with the idea of giving birth. I know that I want to try to go through labor without pain medication or an epidural, but we will see how things go. My sisters all had short labors and I am certainly hoping to carry on that tradition! The classes are helping alleviate some of my fears. But do I feel prepared? Well, that’s another story.