I don’t know about you but every time I go to antenatal class, I hear something that I don’t like. This week was no exception. Take the bleeding for example. Now I know that you bleed after a baby. I have heard its like menstruating for 6 weeks. I know that they tell you to bring maternity pads to the hospital. I wasn’t really expecting to have to shove two maternity pads on top of a hospital liner down the oversized granny knickers I’m supposed to be buying every couple of hours at the beginning though. That doesn’t sound like a terribly attractive prospect.
But wait, theres more. Maternity pads have multiple purposes so we were told. You can even pour water all over them, stick them in the freezer and then stick them in your knickers. Apparently if you have stitches or swelling, you’ll thank the midwives for this idea. Just like a new mother will thank them a few days later when they suggest you fill two newborn nappies with water and stick them in the freezer before retrieving them to stick over your engorged breasts which are apparently going to feel like they’re on fire when the milk comes in. Or something equally as painful. I can’t wait.
Then there are all the “newborn characteristics” that they warn let you know about. And all of a sudden your dreams of an Anne Geddes baby start flying out of the window displaced by images of jaundiced, cone-headed babies with rashes, blemishes, birthmarks and club feet. Of course, they also tell you that by the time you have that baby in your arms you will totally be beyond caring if they are displaying these characteristics (or even if they are covered with merconium or look like an ugly version of Prince Charles) but again, the prospect right now does seem somewhat less than appealing. I mean, I do know that all babies are beautiful etc. but lets be honest, they are not all “pretty” and what mother doesn’t secretly hope for a pretty baby? Its shallow, yes but its also honest.
Then theres the postnatal depression. Which not everyone gets, I’ll grant you and its also not something that I am terribly worried about getting myself – although perhaps thats my naiveté talking? Especially since I did go through a brief period in college when I would probably have been classified as suffering from a mild bout of depression. Those who have suffered before are more at risk of suffering again. Anyway, given the fact that this condition can also affect fathers, I now have it in the back of my head that I should be watching out for the symptoms of PND in someone else. Just in case. Its not like I’ll have anything else to do with my time…much.
So all in all, the jury is still out on whether the antenatal classes are more trouble that they’re worth or worthwhile. I am sure we are learning valuable things and in the end that will probably stand me in good stead (at least I shouldn’t be too surprised later) but sometimes I do come out thinking that was really a little too much information!
Still pregnantly yours,
Your Loving Wife
* I would give credit for the image to the right person if I had the faitest idea of who created it!