Last week marked a year since I met a group of people who would keep me sane during all the craziness of waiting for labour, childbirth, newborns and now babyhood. I don’t know what I would have done without them! That’s right, on 31st May 2012, sporting a 7 month bump, covered by a leopard print tube dress, and wedges (I’m surprised I managed to make any friends, but I stand by my choice of outfit!), Mike and I made our way to a fairly grotty church hall to start our NCT antenatal classes. I meant to write about how much I had enjoyed them once it was finished but never got round to it. So, a year on…

This is why I loved my NCT antenatal classes so much…

  1. I stopped being terrified of childbirth – I went into the class having just visited a birthing centre and having a panic attack once I saw the delivery room. I was literally terrified of giving birth. By the end of the first class I felt comfortable and at ease with the situation, confident that I could do it. Whether I actually felt like I could during labour is another matter…but I did do it and, you know what? I’d do it again!
  2. We were given the facts – Yes, no one in the group wanted to have a c-section, or drugs for that matter (!), but we understood that we shouldn’t feel bad about ourselves if we decide or need to have them. And the procedure for a c-section and different drug options were explained.
  3. It was a commitment – because it cost however much (£150 or something), we didn’t miss any of the classes. It was a commitment from Mike and I to each other to make sure we went to them all. I wonder if it might have been easier, if it were free, to give the odd class a miss?!
  4. It helped us prepare as a couple – pregnancy can be quite isolating. After all it is the woman who is going through the physical changes and while you might share some of what you’re going through (particularly when you’re uncomfortable or in a pissy mood!), ultimately I found myself doing a lot of thinking and preparing in my head, rather than sharing it. At least during the NCT classes it was a time of focus to concentrate on preparing for the imminent arrival and, even though Mike has a daughter (born by elective C-section), the birth.
  5. I loved the earth mother idea – and spent my last weeks on maternity leave either listening to my Natal Hypnotherapy or reading an Ina May guide to childbirth. I also wept like a baby when I watched the Orgasmic Birth DVD I had borrowed from the class!
  6. I bought 7 best friends! – They say when you do NCT antenatal classes you are just doing them to make mummy friends…how rude! But while I loved the classes and our teacher, Hayley, was brilliant, I did make some seriously wonderful friends who I see every week. Maybe not everyone every week but we’re always in touch via emails and we try to all get together as much as the cafes on the North East coast allows 8 women with 8 babies to!
There’s something about childbirth that makes you instantly forget the small talk and go straight for the perennial chatter – ‘have you been massaging your fanny yet?’ That was on day one. These guys kept me entertained when I was sick of being pregnant, including ‘yoga-gate’ where we all got the giggles and very nearly got thrown out of pregnancy yoga…I was emailing this bunch while I was in labour (I’m not sure they thanked me for the level of detail) and now they regularly take the piss out of my most recent blog posts. You know, to keep me grounded! After my best mate left to go to Milton Keynes, and in general I’m not very good a making new proper friends, I’m eternally grateful for them. They’re worth every penny!
Here’s a little montage of some our get togethers…turns out I don’t take enough photos when we’re all together! I’m so gutted we never got a group one with our bumps!!!
NCT antenatal classes

Beau and Reuben (4 weeks) – the start of a beautiful bromance (thankfully Reuben has nearly caught up with Beau on the hair front – what a baldy!)

NCT antenatal classes

Baby massage at my house (Reuben’s 5 months) – we’re only missing Rachel and baby Elsie so we would have totally all squeezed in!

NCT antenatal classes

Counting babies all around 6 months – Still not a shot of everyone, there’s 2 missing!! 

Counting Babies the video! Ooooh! Don’t get excited. In my mind this was going to be an ace Vine, like a stop motion loop where the babies are seamlessly added. In reality it is a shoddy piece of work with 6 babies teetering on the end of a sofa all about to start screaming!

NCT Antenatal Classes Beau-dilicious, Issy B and Ruby Ruby at 7 months 

More of Beau and Isabella (they’re our swimming buddies so we see them every week!) with Reuben when they were 8 months… On a roundabout, which is clearly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I blame the sleep deprivation and Beau’s hat! The level of conversation is also nil.

So there, I loved my NCT Antenatal classes and I love my new buddies. Not so new anymore! And, I need lots more photos of the babes together  – perhaps at their 1st Birthday Party!