blackboardFor the most part, I played the good girl during my pregnancy. Sure, I committed some major sins (like not taking prenatal vitamins), but otherwise I was overly cautious. I never flew, I never drank, and I stopped running. So, of course, I dutifully signed up (and paid a lot) for the childbirth classes my evil ob/gyn (that's another story) recommended. Bad move.

The nurse was a very prim conventional type who talked to us like we were all in the third grade. It was obvious she took pleasure in relaying all the scary bits of labor and delivery. And weirdly, the childbirth movie she showed us had absolutely nothing to do with the way our own deliveries would progress in the very un-natural hospital we were all giving birth in.

The couple in the film had a natural hospital delivery, no drugs, no monitors, no IV, a nice bath. The mom-to-be was free to walk around the room. I didn't want an IV or a monitor, I wanted to walk around the room. I wanted all the things I saw in the movie, but when I asked questions about things like fetal monitors, She'd say, "Oh you have to have that. We do it differently in our hospital." Then why are you showing us this movie, I thought.

She didn't spend nearly enough time teaching us breathing techniques and labor positions, which would have been helpful, but maybe she knew we'd all be induced, or strapped to a bed, or given C-sections.

Thankfully I had a doula who taught me all these things and more. She was a gentle, lovely woman who talked about childbirth frankly, but supportively. She was full of insight and helpful advice.

If I had to do it over again I wouldn't take a childbirth class. I'd talk to friends and family, my doula, and read some books.

Are you taking childbirth classes? What do you think of them?

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