I’ll admit, I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to blog at the moment. I’m still taking pills and trying to be positive about things but it’s hard work not slipping into a stupid self pitying slumber.
But less about that for now. At the weekend we had some friends come to stay with their two children – one starting nursery and one about to start primary school. The house was full of family noise and chaos – children running about screaming in excitement which soon turned to tears as inevitable accidents occurred. Me and wifey were a little apprehensive about having friends to stay, even though they were people we knew very well and hadn’t seen them for too long. After the drama of the week a quiet weekend would have been the easy option, but looking back it was a good thing over all – I could have spent the weekend wallowing on my own but instead had some good chats with my friends and enjoyed their company.
The house did feel pleasantly calm on their departure though, and after a house full of 4 adults and 3 little ones our little family of three seemed a lot more manageable.
Last night was our last NCT (National Childbirth Trust) class. We’ve had 7 in total, and two extra ones just for mums. We signed up the classes as we’d heard good things from family and friends, but our experience didn’t seem to match what we’d heard, or more specifically, our trainer / coordinator was disappointing.
Three top things that didn’t impress us about NCT classes:
- Useless use of statistics. Being told “if you don’t have your baby in the same room as you when you sleep will increase their chance of cot death ten times” is quite a startling statement, until you ask “ten times of what?”. After doing a bit of googling we were told that 4 in 10,000 babies in the UK die in their cots for no explainable reason. The scary statistic doesn’t seem so scary now.
- Terrible advice. The worst piece of advice was that breastfeeding was a reliable form of contraception as long as your baby is breastfed and nothing else. This was given in a mums-only class and my wife immediately questioned this. When pushed the trainer admitted that it was only truly reliable in the third world.
- Midwife bashing. There seemed to be an underlying issue with midwives and the NHS in general. We were told that NCT trainers were better trained than midwives and had to work harder to keep up their training. We were told that doctors and midwives were to be questioned at every stage. We were repeatedly reminded (to the point that it felt like an expectation) that anything a midwife does could be classed as assault if full permission is not given.
But it wasn’t all bad. In balance, here’s the top three parts that did make a difference.
- Meeting people. It’s an expensive way of making new friends, but we have met some really great people who we hope to keep in touch with.
- Discussions. Talking through different ways your life will change after the baby and sharing fears / expectations / anxiety keeps you feeling sane through the crazy changes going on.
- Timelines. We went through full timelines of everything building up to labour and the first 6 months afterwards – this really helped to manage expectations and give you the basics of what to expect on D-Day.
All in all I’d say the classes were worth it, and hearing other experiences I would still recommend them to other couples with a baby on the way. Just be prepared to add a pinch/sackload of salt to something things the trainer might come out with….