Friday, February 24, 2012

Birth Classes

With the 3rd trimester approaching quickly, I have started researching birth classes to take.  We're having our baby (assuming all goes well) at a wonderful birth center in Everett.  Cascade Birth Center actually requires their moms-to-be to take a class to prepare them for labor and delivery, which makes sense if you think about it.  There's no option of an epidural or super pain meds at a birth center, so you need to be well prepared.

Anyways, I have been checking out different birth class options that are available, and there are SO MANY!  It's been hard to narrow down which one to go with.  We've had multiple friends who have used the Bradley Method and been super happy with it.  Another currently popular birthing method is HypnoBirthing.  Of course there is the well known Lamaze style of birth, which isn't as trendy right now, but classes are still available.  In the Seattle area, we also have classes available which are taught by well known author and natural birth expert Penny Simkin.  My friend who took her class absolutely loved it!  In addition to these options, most hospitals offer classes, as well as community centers.  (Teen and single mothers who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can get FREE classes here:  With so many choices, where do I even begin?

Right now we are leaning towards taking the class which is offered at our birth center.  It's 6 weeks long (which is not as overwhelming at the 12 weeks required for the Bradley Method) and focuses on partner participation.  Since we aren't hiring a doula, we thought it would be nice for Ian to have some pointers on his involvement.  Also, it would be fun to meet other couples who are due around the same time as us, and also planning births at the same birth center.  The class covers things like relaxation techniques, birth partner support, infant care, breast feeding, hospital transfers in an emergency, labor stages, etc.  The only question we have is the cost... is it worth the extra spending to go to a specialized class like this versus a less expensive one offered in a hospital? Pricing is comparable to the Bradley Method, or Penny Simkin's classes.

In my research, I found out that birth classes are on the decrease.  With most women choosing to take an epidural and about 1/3 of births in the US ending in c-section (hmmm.. coincidence?), many women don't think a class is necessary.  The thing is, even if you are planning on a hospital birth with an epidural, it's still good to have some sort of pain management practice.  Epidurals don't always work properly, and sometimes it can be a while before it is even available.  No matter what your birth plan, some sort of education should be considered.

What classes have you taken?  Was it worth the cost?  What did you like/dislike about the class you took?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Up to Speed

Hi Everybody!
So sorry that I've been away for so long...  It's been really crazy in my life (in a wonderful way!)  I thought I would catch you up to speed.

First off, as you know, we're expecting our first baby this June!  At 19 weeks we were fortunate to have an anatomy ultra sound, which is where you find out the baby's gender, should you want to know.  Ian and I are planners to the core, so of course we wanted to know.
Drum roll please.........

It's a GIRL!!
I was so surprised!! I had been having dreams that it was a boy, so naturally that's what we thought it would be.  I asked the technician to check 3 different times, just in case.  She was so sweet to oblige, and with her almost 30 years of experience, was very confident that it is a girl.  Hooray!!  Bring on the bows!
In addition to finding out the baby's sex, she also did the full anatomy scan.  What an amazing experience!  She pointed out the different lobes of the brain, the heart valves, cross sections of the spine... we could even count fingers and toes!  It's so amazing that at only 19 weeks old, our baby is her own little person. :)

In other news, our house adventures continue in an unexpected direction.  Our offer on the foreclosed house was rejected outright, and so we began the search again.  We ended up finding a really great house just one neighborhood over.  This one is a bit smaller than the previous one, but it's perfect for what we need!  And, it's owner-owned, so we don't have to negotiate with a bank (YAY!)  What a blessing!  It needs much less "emergency" work on it, which is good since we have a baby coming in a few months.  So far, everything has gone well with negotiations and the inspection, and we are set to move in next month!!
It's neat how God worked it all out for best.  Out of all the houses that we put offers on, this one definitely just seems... right.