Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Childbirth Classes: The Ongoing Saga

It's time to choose a childbirth class, and it's apparently my job to find out about the different kinds of classes and to reach out to teachers in the area. It's probably also my job to schedule the classes we eventually do take. I wouldn't know, because I've been too busy, you know, doing actual jobs that pay actual money to think about getting the education I need to push a human being out of my vagina.

Here's what I do know: Bradley Method classes are usually taught in 12-week increments, meaning we've already missed the cutoff. Hypnobirthing sounds juicy in theory, but my Type A personality balks at the idea of trying to get into the hypnozone, with or without outside assistance. I only just found a list of Lamaze classes. And "Birthing From Within" looks expensive. There are also one-off private childbirth classes, but before I hand over a wad of cash, I'd like to know exactly what I'll be learning.

You know what I'd like to find? A childbirth class designed for and by dudes... a childbirth class taught by a dude. I envision this class would be straightforward and would offer practical advice that one could use when actually giving birth. Sort of like taking driver's ed in high school, except with more vaginas. I could take notes, I could practice techniques, and I wouldn't have any fruitloops trying to convince me that birth is a beautiful experience made out of butterflies and womanly emotions.

Too bad most childbirth classes seem to be full of weenies with strong ideas. Take a childbirth class at the hospital, and they're all about what the hospital can do for you. Take a childbirth class with an independent childbirth advocate type, and they're all about how powerful an experience birth can be. I'm not looking for strong ideas here; I'm looking for a solid education. Give me the stages of labor. Give me the signs of each of the stages. Give me useful pain management techniques I can practice on my own in the weeks leading up to delivery. Give me specifics, damn it!

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