In a nutshell, yes, I think they are totally worth it. Whether it is a group through your local NHS provider or a chargeable course, it’s worth going, forewarned is forearmed and all that.. Oh and if you’re lucky you might make some new friends for life for both yourself and your children.
We decided to book ourselves onto the chargeable NCT classes as it seemed to cover a bit more and I had heard good things.
I felt nervous and excited on the way to our first meeting, the hubby was dreading it! Not only was he being ‘made to do ‘ these classes, I was making him do them twenty minutes away from home! Due to timings, they could only place me in a group in a different town, not ideal, but I felt better than not doing it. The walk to the front door, I can still remember, who would we meet? Would they like me? Would I have get on with them? So many things whizzing through my head. The door opened and we were met by a lovely lady, however one I knew. I couldn’t believe it, my NCT teacher, was vicar who led a club at the primary school I worked in. Discussing such intimate things with the vicar who worked in school, was initially somewhat perturbing, but within half an hour, I felt more relaxed.
The group consisted of 6 woman and partners, although one lady at her mum there. A scan around showed me a lot of big bellies in one room, all different shapes and sizes. Two bumps stood out to me as being significantly bigger, very impressive. My bump was always on the smaller side and people often commented, it really annoyed me and I was dying for a impressive size bump Not surprisingly, none of us liked our bumps being commented on, big or small. Good job I had refrained from commenting,
The age range was from 27 to 39, myself being the youngest. All of us were first time mums, although one mum had two stepsons. We met at Sue’s house every week for six weeks I think, with a Saturday thrown in for a full day of baby fun. I remember my hubby and one of the other dads having to change a babies peanut butter poo nappy, that was an entertaining evening, I also remember all having to think of a breastfeeding question at the session with the breastfeeding counsellor, my poor hubby was the last of 12 so all ‘his’ questions had been taken. “Can you put it in your tea?” He asked With a cheeky smile, she answered very seriously and I am not entirely she got his sense of humour ( the others all had giggles behind their hands though). The rest of this session my hubby continued to be quite humorous, I think her lack of a sense of humour fuelled his! Interestingly, he is the biggest fan of breastfeeding and would argue a case for it to anyone! When faced with an emergency section with KW1, I felt calm considering the circumstances and was not fazed by the number of people in the room, I just pictured the little playmobile surgery, Even during that NCT session, I was convinced I would have a section; one of the group was having a planned c section, which statistically meant one of the rest of us would have one. No surprises that it was me…
We were the last group for the NCT teacher, and the first group to have all their babies in the due date order, Sue was chuffed to bits, as she had led classes for years and only her last ever class had them in the order they were supposed to arrive.
All of us had different experience of labour and we all had different approaches and ideas with regard to routine and weaning, but we learned from each other and with each other. I still have all the early emails between us all, discussing the fact our babies had slept for 5 whole hours, or rolled over etc. Lovely to look back on.
Even today, six years on, 4 of us are amazing friends, and despite the 25 minute drive between houses, until the big ones started school, we saw each other every single week. This has decreased to every couple of weeks but the kids are as close as ever. Last summer, we all even met on a campsite in France for a week.
Friends for life! Hopefully for the children, as well as the adults!