Classes and other prep

We’ve got a crib! And a dresser with LOTS of clothes in it. (Seriously, this girl is going to be so well dressed.) And we have paint on the wall, too.

Tim set the crib up in the living room a few weeks ago, and it doesn’t fit up the stairs. If it will fit, it needs to be lifted above the banister, and I won’t be much help with that. It’s still sitting in the living room, but it can’t stay there. Uncle Ben, are you reading this? Looks like we need you to make a visit to Center City.

Tim told me he’s getting even more excited. Having the crib set up makes it seem more real. Our little girl is going to sleep in that. The classes we’ve taken have been a wealth of knowledge, too.  Even though they’ve been on Tuesday nights and I’ve had to miss the last four weeks of knitting with my girlfriends, I’m really glad we decided to shell out the money and take them.

For the first three weeks we took a Mindful Birthing class at our hospital. It’s specifically designed for couples who are considering natural childbirth with a midwife and prefer a low-intervention labor and delivery. Tim and I both learned a lot about the woman’s body and what happens during labor. Our bodies are made to do this!

We also learned to stay home and labor as long as possible.  When people get to the hospital too early, they are often sent home or if they are admitted but not far enough along, it’s the start of inductions and other interventions that have a domino effect.  Being induced brings on stronger contractions. The stronger contractions lead to more pain and the request for an epidural.  The epidural slows down labor which then requires more pitocin for induction.  Then, a stronger epidural line. At this point, many women still aren’t progressing fast enough and that puts strain on the baby’s breathing and the heart rate lowers causing them to require an emergency c-section.

If I can help it, this is not the route I want to go. Our Mindful Birthing instructor told us about the 4-1-1 rule.  Don’t go to the hospital until your contractions are 4 minutes apart, they last for 1 full minute and this has been happening for 1 hour.

Last night, we took a Breastfeeding class.  Tim wasn’t sure why he would need to be there, but partners were encouraged to attend and he was a good sport.  My friend Leslie who is due 6 weeks after me also signed up for the course.  Her husband wasn’t too keen on going either, but he said he would go if Tim went.  So, they were both there for support.  The instructor said that one of the main reasons she likes partners to attend is so we’re more likely to remember the information.  If I’m too exhausted or in panic mode, perhaps Tim will remember some tip from the class that will be helpful to me.

The Breastfeeding class was just a one-time class from 6:30 – 9:00 pm taught by a lactation consultant at my hospital. I’m so happy we decided to go (and I’m grateful Tim came with me). Tomorrow night we’re taking one more class.  It’s Baby Care Basics where they’ll cover diapering, burping, bathing, swaddling etc… Then, we’ll be totally prepared, right?  Ha!

Today I’m 36 weeks and 4 days. Only 3 days until I’m full term and just 3 and half weeks until my August 13 due date.

While birthing still seems overwhelming — it will likely be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life — I’m feeling prepared and really good about breastfeeding. Bring it!


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  1. Helen’s avatar

    The hardest part of breastfeeding for me was that first night in the hospital. “Cluster feed” does not begin to describe what actually happened. Nora (seemed to) feed almost non-stop for 7 hours, with me switching her from side to side every time she started to cry. I barely slept. I was super worried that I was keeping my roommate awake (which I shouldn’t have worried about. she slept through everything, but I thought she was awake because she only turned the TV off for an HOUR.) I was SO sore by morning. That was the night that cemented the iPhone as “new mom’s best friend”.

    Luckily, in my case, the soreness only lasted the first week or so. And Nora was a champ — got the hang of it right away! I hope everything goes smoothly for you and baby. But, don’t worry too much if you forget something; the lactation consultants are always prowling around, ready for a real live demo of the finer points of breastfeeding.


  2. Brooke’s avatar

    Good post! I signed up for a breastfeeding class and told the lady I was coming alone, even though it’s for two people. I never thought that Zach would benefit from it, but maybe I’ll bring him along! I decided not to take a birthing class, so let’s see how it goes when you just wing it! There is a greater chance that I’ll be induced anyway due to my diabetes, so I know I will probably have a less natural birth then I’d like. Either way, I can’t wait to hear all about your experience! I’ll be right behind you (or, if baby is too big, maybe at the same time!).



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