In fact, the title of this post is a little misleading. I’ve just signed up for the NCT antenatal course, after much deliberation. But I didn’t take the decision lightly. I have heard lots of feedback about the courses and to be honest it’s been pretty mixed; I just had to do what I felt was right for us.
For example, I had heard that the quality of the information they provide can be pretty poor and that learning is unstructured and unsatisfying. I had also heard that some of the people running the courses can be (whether intentionally or not) fairly judgemental about anything considered not a ‘straightforward’ or ‘natural’ birth.
Although I know I have a lot yet to experience and am in the very early stages, I just can’t believe that I will let what other people think affect me too much. I haven’t done a great deal of reading (yet) and I don’t know much about what happens (hopefully my body will!) but if I end up having a section or an assisted delivery or whatever – if I need whatever pain relief there is – then I (for the time being) genuinely believe that I will be fine with that. I care far more about my baby and me being healthy and getting on with our lives than about how I get it out into the world.
I’m aware I might feel differently at a later stage.
But back to the NCT. Despite these reviews, I have heard lots of good things about the classes and ultimately it was this that led me to sign up. I know lots of people think that you are simply paying to make a group of friends, but actually I think this would be good for me. I have lots of friends with babies, but the idea of having a close network of people all going through the same thing at the same time seems really appealing.
I have found that my friends with babies are happy – keen, even – to give advice on those early weeks and while this is really valuable, having someone to talk to who is doing it, probably for the first time too, right now, seems a really good thing.
I’m not denying that they are expensive. Not living in London means that I don’t have to pay as much as some, but the cost is nearly £200. Which is a lot. We are buying a house at the moment which makes finances very tight, but I have been allowed to pay in instalments and the first one doesn’t go out until after Christmas, so it doesn’t seem so bad.
Unfortunately, I have had to join a class that is a little further away than I would like, but as I work away from home three days a week, I wasn’t able to book on to the ones nearest me as they are at times that just don’t work out for us. I hope that this won’t disadvantage us too much – it’s not that far, but it does mean I might not live in the same town as the other mothers in the group.
Now I feel a little like this post has been designed to convince myself that I have done the right thing, but I know deep down that I have. As first time parents, I don’t think Mark and I could be any more clueless than we are right now about what to expect, so we probably need all the help we can get.
I’m bloody glad my body knows how to grow a baby, because I don’t have the slightest idea what’s going on!