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MY DH is very supportive of the NCB concept obviously, since were doing a homebirth & hes fully supportive of that as well. I do think hes a little nervous & skeptical but wont admit it lol. He has a son already - and his sons mother is one of these that kinda goes through "natural" phases. She did breastfeed for 7 months, and also sends their son to a vegetarian montessori, but its more "trendy" than anything for her if that makes sense. She doesnt commit to that at home or anything, or follow it herself. It kind of "comes & goes" with her. I think she hoped for a natural childbirht, but didnt take any classes, and then ended up not making some very good decisions both in her pg and in her labor - ended up being induced, led to a CSection, etc. So, he didnt have a lot of confidence in birth coming INTO this whole thing. I think in the back of his head he wonders if I can really do it.
But - hes committed so far, reading (albeit VERY slowly) Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way, and Husband COached Childbirth. hes read a few others as well.
So, we did what any other NCB homebirthing couple does and signed up for Bradley classes - hoping it would give him the confidence & reassurance as a coach that hed need.
Well, its not going HORRIBLY, but its not going as we expected either.
He feels like hes not getting anything "new" from the course. there are 2 other couples - one of which is a first time mom birthing in a hospital. THe other had an epidural with her first & is pg with her second birthing in a birthing center out of town.
Were in class 7 right now... and just recently after a couple weeks of menstrual like cramps, my MW decided to check me and Im about 2 cm and 60% effaced (Im 33 weeks).
So now, hes really really worried lol. Hes afraid we wont finish the bradley class in time, that he wont be prepared, I wont be prepared, physically or mentally.
Anyways - Im not sure, b/c Ive never taken bradley. But he feels like he learned way more out of the book. Hes learned a lot, but he does need some serious help in the coaching field lol. Relaxation practice tends to go like this "Youre not laying right! lay this way! Relax your hands! I think your supposed to open your mouth! Thats not how the lady in the book looks!" Its anything BUT relaxing lol.
He doesnt take suggestions from me too kindly either lol.
So, Im not sure- are we just not at that point in the class yet? A lot ofthe stuff theyve covered is terminology, etc - we already know that- hes moer familiar than most guys b/c of me being a doula & he watched a lot of the doula videos as well.
If you are on class 7, you must must have already gone through intros to stages 1 and 2 of labor. Did she do the 30 minute coaching rehearsal with you? That is usually a good time for instructors to check the coaches coaching (lol).
She should be doing a relaxation AND a labor rehearsal every class (relaxation from class 1-12 and labor rehearsal from class 5-12). If she is not critiquing and checking on coaching, perhaps you could pull her aside/call her/etc.. and tell her your dillema.
I try to make sure to challenge my students. I encourage feedback and ask them to email me with any questions or concerns regarding the classes so that I can tailor them to suit the students current needs. Any instructor who doesn't do that is selling their students short, IMHO (and not trying to be mean).
Consider: I have one unwed 16 year old in my class - she needs lots of EVERYTHING. On the opposite end of the spectrum, koakoba was very educated coming into the classes - so I see their needing not as much education but much more of the labor prep.
Are you doing the rehearsals at home too (after having done them in class)? Because seriously, if you are good self-students, the Bradley classes won't give you much in the way of 'education' (knowledge) but should be prepping you with labor rehearsal, relaxation, positions for labor, comfort measures, etc... If you are not getting that out of the classes PLEASE talk to your instructor - she should be able to up the ante for you both.
I know with Ben and I, some of the stuff in the book does not work with me, but he thinks he HAS TO do it that way, the book says. The book is law.
Sooo.... I talk to him when we are not in the middle of it. Not at class, not practicing (don't have a whole lot of luck getting him to practice anyway) but other times when nothing is going on. I'll just say something like "I really like the side labor position, that's how I sleep even" and next thing I know, every time I complain about a little discomfort, Ben's grabbing a bunch of pillows.
Another thing I told him is that he has to whisper to me when getting me to realx. That way, even if he's yelling at me for not doing something right, it's still sort of calming...
We just finished class 5, so we are not as far as you, but I can tell now that we are getting more into the labor part, we are going to get more out of the class.
Wonderfullymade just showed a video with an awesome coach in it - he could have been the Bradley poster child!! Ben loved the video and is even thinking of growing a mustache now I don't remember the name of it - but it had something to do with fetal heimlic (sp?) Maybe seeing another coach and how they act would help him??
Oh, dear. Sorry, but I had to laugh at the relaxation practice. DH is a bit like that. He panics because I'm not relaxed and I just end up giggling, he gets frustrated and more serious and intent, which makes me giggle more. Not relaxing, but maybe not the worst way to get through labor either, huh?
I wish I oculd help more, but given our options for childbirth classes, we opted out. It's just not worth it because it's mostly from a book, and not even one we really agree with. So, I've basically had to coach DH in how to coach me. He understands the basics of birth, what's going to happen, that I will be in pain, but he HAS to know that that's ok. The best thing for us: in a less serious moment, I bring up little things that he can do, like koakoba said. If he's doing something, too, that I find particularly relaxing, I make sure to point out that I might like that during labor. It seems silly, but I've already noticed that HE has relaxed in helping me relax. He's not so focused on it as "the thing that he might screw up", and I KNOW that if we sat down and had a serious chat about it, it just wouldn't be the same. He'd feel lectured into how to care for me. He'd still do it, and gladly, but he'd still be just as nervous. Certain things are just becoming more second nature to him. Like koakoba, I've said that a certain position makes me feel better, or that a certain tone or touch relaxes me and the second he senses stress, he's still calmly talking to me, but working his way around to do those things that help me out.
Would your DH take suggestions if you made them casually, or is he one in need of a more direct approach? I just hate that he's not getting as much out of the class and might start to discount the method you want altogether.
And WOW! Here's hoping that you do make it through the classes!!!! (We wouldn't have made it through ours--they go through the end of September...I'm due on the 3rd. Hehe.)
Thanks wonderfully - we spend almost no time practicing relaxing or positions, etc.
In fact - weve probably laid down all of 3 times for about 10 mins each time but usually the instructor is talking about stuff, and theres no "practice coaching" goign on b/c were all listening to her, just laying there.
(USually shes elaborating on something else that was discussed in class).
I talked to a friend who took bradley - she said the same thing you did. Ill mention that DH isnt real comfortable coaching etc & if we could spend more time doing that each class. I think since this is one of her first series of classes (maybe the second or third? not sure)... then shes still getting her time scheduling down pat... and so we usually run out of time.