"Don't listen to anything the nurses tell you on the birthing tour about what to expect in the hospital - it's all rubbish."
If I was not already confident that switching to midwifery care for the Twins was the right decision for our family, hearing those words come out of the mouth of our nurse-midwife served to solidify that we'd chosen the right person. A person who would be our champion as we attempted a natural, twin hospital birth, who would instill confidence in me that I was pregnant, not sick-and-needing-medical-intervention, and that unless something weird happened, my body was designed to birth babies and I would be just fine.
This conversation took place among other young, first time moms and dads at our Family Circle group prenatal care meeting - something I had never heard of prior to switching to my current provider, but would highly recommend to anyone who has the option. How this form of prenatal care works is this: all the moms and dads in our group meet on the same evening for their prenatal care (except for ultrasounds and special appointments) and the parents are hands-on involved the whole time.
As a couple, Devin and I went to each "station" and recorded my blood pressure, my weight and even tested my urine for protein and glucose levels (yeah, that part was a little weird). All the stuff that the nurses normally do as you're waiting to see the doctor - we did ourselves. The coolest part however was when we had "tummy time" - a private meeting with the midwife to raise any personal concerns and to check the babies' heartbeats. But get this - not the midwife, nor the nurse checked the heartbeats - Devin did! They just handed him the doppler and he found and recorded the heartbeats (with a small amount of supervision as the second baby was a little harder to find than the first). It was such a neat experience and I absolutely love this hands-on, laid-back, confidence-building approach to prenatal care.
After we all made it through the four stations, the couples had "group time" and we asked pregnancy-related questions, shared what's happened in our lives since the last meeting and had some prenatal and birthing education from our midwife instructor. There are about ten other couples in our group and there is a huge amount of diversity among us which I think will be a really neat ministry position to be in as we build relationships with them over the next few months.
We had such a good time during this class and in addition to the the unique hands-on approach, we were all laughing our heads off at the antics of our hilarious, straight-forward, easy-going, British midwife as she taught the class. She is truly a hoot.
This is going to be great.
P.S. This is all taking place at Valley Women for Women should you live in area and be interested in something like this for future pregnancies. Also - it is not only for "young, first-time" parents, that just happens to be what our group is made out of.