Ducks and I attended the first of our independent birth education classes last night. Last night was all about ‘normal’ birth and to be honest, I thought that I wouldn’t learn anything new. I was wrong. Though pretty familiar with most of the information presented, I learnt an awful lot through watching the videos and imagining myself in that situation. Transition looks terrifying and though completely freaked out straight after watching, I think I’ve now developed a healthy level of fear. Before now, I’ve not had any real concerns or fears about birth. I had even boasted about my lack of fear, but I think I was probably a bit deluded or at the very least, in denial. Now that this has presented itself, I have 10 weeks to process it properly and hopefully go into birth less arrogant, better prepared and with my feet a little more grounded in reality.
The class was also a really interesting experiment in gender studies. I will note that we chose this class because we knew that it was dedicated to normalising birth and focused strongly on natural, low/no intervention birth. We also chose it because the woman who runs it has a good rapport with lesbian parents and works hard at keeping the classes inclusive and non-heterosexist…but boy did she have a lot to contend with. There were fathers-to-be in that class who complained that they thought the birth would be too hard for them to sit through and some of them couldn’t help but drag the discussion off into the ‘poor men’ realm. Breastfeeding discussions were interesting too. Now I’m not unsympathetic to how terrifying birth and girly bits are to some men – I get that – It is a pretty odd and terrifying concept, but the idea of classes like this is to think and learn and grow, and unfortunately for the partners of these men, there didn’t really seem to be a willingness to do so. I guess I’m naive and I thought we might have evolved just a little bit more than it seems we actually have. I’m so grateful to have the complete love and support of Ducks. I will never take it for granted but I sure am lucky that this is my ‘normal.’