We went to our 4th Bradley class last night (there are 10 total, the final one is 2 weeks prior to our due date). The instructor began by talking a lot about the “coach”… did we have a plan in place for when we need to leave work, what about for false alarms, what strengths do we bring to the pregnancy and birth, did we have plans in place for what to bring to the birth center, for how to take care of the birthing mother, etc. Before she began, the instructor looked right at me and said, “I’m sorry, but the book always refers to the coach as male…. they just haven’t learned yet” which I thought was really sweet. Yay for the instructor making such progress! When there was something male-specific involved, she would speak to the husbands and then try and find a variation for me. Again, very nice.
Then we spoke about labor, inducing labor if necessary, and medical interventions. Of course, one of the ways to induce labor is by applying prostaglandins to the cervix, which most places will do prior to breaking the bag or using Pitocin. Prostaglandins naturally occur in semen, which is why they tell straight couples to have sex to induce labor. One of the couples in our class asked whether they should stop having sex prior to being full term because it might induce labor. The instructor assured them that unless the husband had sex with the wife 3 times within a 12 hour period, it probably wouldn’t be enough prostaglandins to bring on labor before she was ready. We all shared a little laugh at the husband’s expense, about him not being able to have the energy to do so. But then the instructor turned to me and said, “In your case, it’s not going to help….unless you want to find a volunteer…” Now, I know she was joking and wasn’t serious but ew, people. EW. I stared at her with my eyes wide and strongly shook my head as in “HELL-to-the-NO.” Offensive, much?
The rest of class was spent watching a video about medical interventions and discussing their few pros and many cons, and then doing a massage and visualization relaxation technique. Funniest part of the night was when we spoke about circumci.sion with the other couple we know is having a boy (they are Korean Americans from Kentucky), and the woman said her mother asked her if they were having a bris. She answered, “Um, mom…we’re not Jewish.”
I asked Nutella on the way home if she was enjoying the classes. We both decided they were good, but we thought we’d be doing more and talking less. When we found out we were pregnant, we scoured books and the internet and haven’t stopped reading since. A lot of the stuff we already know. I kind of wish we spent the majority of class practicing the relaxation techniques. It’s much harder to do so at home when the couch calls to you.