I was completely off when it came to my apprehensions regarding the Maternity Ward Tour at the hospital and the Prepared Parenting Class that would be held nearby. I was absolutely terrified of the tour, convinced that we’d hear a woman in labor screaming and that Nate and I would leave slightly traumatized (I have friends who experienced that less-than-calming noise while they were in the ward, and they had been freaked out by it). The Prepared Parenting Class, on the other hand, promised to be a couple of hours where we would learn all about our newborn (including how to change his diaper) in addition to meeting other pregnant couples. It sounded great!
So I was a bundle of excited energy when Nate and I walked through the dark parking lot towards the building where our class would be held. We took our seats, settled in for a couple of minutes, and then tried to chat with the 6 other couples in the room. This is when it became very apparent that meeting new friends was not going to happen in this particular class. (Hey, we have two left to take, so there’s always hope). ;) When I’d ask a girl when she was due, she’d look at me with a half-smile, reply, and then turn back to her husband to obviously ward off further discussion. After this happened a couple of times, I also decided to just stick to chatting with my own hubby.
There was one girl who was more than happy to talk to anyone in the class, but she was trying to find out if it was okay to drink vodka while breast-feeding… among other things that everyone in the room found to be slightly scandalous. So, you know, at the risk of sounding judgmental, I didn’t feel that she would necessarily be someone that I’d want to chat with outside of class to compare preggo notes.
Anyway, the class itself started, and the teacher apparently thought that spending time on things such as diaper changing would be a waste of time. Instead, she focused on all the scary and gross things that we should be prepared for. Honestly, I already knew everything from books I’ve read. (Oh, yeah, I’m totally on book #3 right now)!! :) But hearing them spoken, one after another, kind of left me feeling a little bit overwhelmed and grumpy…
I mean, it doesn’t matter how excited you are to have a baby. The thought of everything that’s going to happen to you during recovery, in addition to all the things that could possibly go wrong with baby, in addition to just how much ‘fun’ learning to breastfeed is going to be? Well, let’s just say that all of that preparing you need to do doesn’t make you suddenly want to jump with joy, if you know what I mean. And while I normally don’t worry about it and have the mindset of taking it one day at a time, the class just kind of throws it all in your face during the course of 120 minutes.
So soon enough, I was just as grumpy as the rest of the girls in the room. (Which leads me to believe that maybe they came to the class more prepared for what the class was going to be, so that’s why they were less-than-smiley from the very beginning).
Nate, on the other hand, was not-quite-so-up-to-date on all of the facts; so after a particularly interesting discussion about constipation after labor, he decided that it was time to add some comedic relief. During a discussion about fevers, he made a joke about rectal thermometers getting lost, which the guys in the room (and the teacher) thought was hilarious! Then when the teacher had the guys grab a doll from the corner of the room to bring back to their wives for bathing practice, he came back with a doll that was obviously of different ethnic background than us. Judging by his chuckling, he apparently thought that it was the funniest, most clever thing ever.
The guys in the room thought that it was hilarious too… and scandalous, since I had obviously just popped out an African baby. I, and the rest of the girls in the room, just glared at the guys, sending a message of, “Hmmm, we’re learning to bathe dolls here! This is serious! Stop goofing around!!”
So I bathed that doll with all the love I could muster. You know, to prove that I loved it, no matter what his skin color… and even if his daddy was laughing at him.
Yeahhhh, just one of those preggo moments…
Anyway, I went home quite grumpy that night, but woke up feeling much better! (I guess the moral of the story is that even if I haven’t been all that grumpy during this pregnancy, it doesn’t take all that much to take me there). Ha, ha.
The Maternity Ward Tour, on the other hand? I was so very impressed by how courteous and kind all of the nurses were and how up-to-date they were with making sure newborn babies had plenty of skin-to-skin contact after delivery. The things that I had been hoping to include in my recovery (including letting the baby stay with us in the room instead of being whisked off to the nursery) are automatically done as routine practice! Everything was very professional, clean, relaxed, and mommy-friendly (including a shower and a poster of poses to try during delivery).
(I felt that maybe it was slightly wrong to pose near one of the beds and smile, since there is going to be so much pain going on once I officially need to lie in one. ;) But then I focused on the fact that on this bed – or one just like it – I’m going to meet my baby for the first time! So smiling just seemed like the right thing to do)! :)
The recovery rooms were nice too. Very simple, obviously, but very clean! There are pull-out recliners for the husband, a shower, a sink, and a little table with chairs.
When we left the maternity ward, I just felt really good and at peace. More happy and excited than nervous!
So I may have gotten it wrong as to which ‘field trip’ would be the best… Now I’m wondering how the Breastfeeding Class and Birth Class will go in a few weeks. Ha, ha. ;) Maybe I’ll just make sure that I’m armed with plenty of chocolate to munch on during the lecture! You can never go wrong with that! :)