Our third Bradley class was much better than the previous one. Nutella and I made sure to subtly but surely drive home the fact that the instructor should be more sensitive to same-sex couples. Before class started, Nutella suggested the book “Confessions of the Other Mother” as a reference that the instructor could use and recommend to other lesbian couples, especially for non-gestational partners. The instructor seemed interested and wrote it down. At the end of class, the instructor, Nutella and I, and another classmate whose husband wasn’t able to make it to class, were involved in a discussion about the pros and cons of having same-sex vs. opposite sex partners. They recognized that it was nice that I, as a woman, could understand some of the symptoms Nutella experienced or will experience at some point (many being similar to PMS). Sure, I’ll never have experienced the type of pain that childbirth will be, but having the same parts, I can imagine more clearly and empathize more than a man ever could. On the other hand, since Bradley is “partner-coached”, there are some positions that require a certain bit of strength on behalf of the partner…including certain positions where the partner is relied upon to fully support the birthing mother. Since I’m smaller than Nutella, we’re not going to be able to do all of these positions. Yet the instructor said that others, like the “dance” relaxation technique for example, will be easier for us to do because we’re of similar stature. It was nice to talk about these things, especially with the other classmate since I caught her staring at us out of the corner of her eye during the last class. It seems she’s thought things over and no longer finds us such a strange phenomenon now 🙂
That said, the activities we did during class included going through a list of things that could be done to make oneself more comfortable during pregnancy, doing visualization and gentle pressure relaxation techniques, and watching an hour-long video of drug-free births. Both Nutella and I confessed to each other that when the first baby in the video was born, we were both teary-eyed. We feel really good about attempting a drug-free birth at the birth center. It’s simply amazing how far it seems most hospitals have yet to come in that regard. I now find it barbaric to have women lie on their backs for hours, no food or drink, with constant fetal monitoring, trying to push a baby UP the birth canal, when approximately 30% will be forced into C-sections anyway. It saddens me that this is still the way things are done, unless you have a more progressive hospital. Anyway, it definitely solidified our confidence in the midwife choice, although we are also glad the hospital is steps away should we need more serious intervention.