I was on all fours while he held me from behind. Hands around my hips, his grip was firm. He pressed into me. Rocked me side to side. I closed my eyes, took a breath and let out a deep and guttural moan.
We weren’t having sex. We were in a brightly-lit yoga studio, with three other people, learning how to cope with pain during delivery.
When I signed us up for a prenatal class, I didn’t know what to expect. Before pregnancy, my knowledge about having a baby was limited to what I had gleaned from TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy or films like Baby Mama. (Soooo, maybe not the best.) Friends had dropped a few hints about what to expect but I basically knew very little. Since being pregnant, I’ve been reading regularly about my body changes and baby’s growth but nothing has been as reassuring and insightful as the prenatal class that Jamie (my partner) and I have been taking at Fifty-Seven Family Learning and Wellness Centre.
Having now experienced three 3-hour classes, I can’t imagine ever arriving at the hospital without having enrolled! From practicalities, like the signs of labour, pain coping techniques and what to pack in your hospital bag, to dealing with sensitive themes like medical intervention, this intensive course is incredibly empowering.
The pros and cons of an epidural, breathing exercises, how to hold your baby, what to expect within the first 24 hours of life, how to spot the signs of postpartum depression: it’s a ton of information but you do soak it up. An experienced midwife and mother of two, our instructor Carolyn Sinclair seems like she was born to teach this course.
How much will I bleed? Do they have popsicles at the hospital? Does everyone poo? Although the questions asked remind me of that first day of sex-ed back in elementary school (What’s a boner?) in this setting, there is no need to nervously crumple a question on a piece of paper before stuffing it in a box. We’re all new at this and Carolyn earnestly answers every question with a smile. I’m almost shocked at the comfort level we’ve developed amidst the other expecting parents.
There are aspects throughout all stages of pregnancy that are stressful but at 36 weeks, it’s about chipping away at a daunting to-do list that seems unmanageable when combined with extreme exhaustion and a due date that could fluctuate at any point. This class is informative and enthralling but it’s also a way for us to spend special time together, to step outside our hectic day-to-day life and remember what is truly important right now.
I relish our Tuesday evenings spent eating banana bread, sipping tea and learning about the the dynamic force that is my uterus. Moaning on all fours alongside other couples is also pretty fun.
Find out more about the Prenatal Course and all the wonderful classes offered at Fifty-Seven Family Learning and Wellness here.