The first time Chad and I both made it to our Bradley class a couple weeks ago, Chad was bit grumbly, and I wondered if I’d made the wrong decision to pressure him into taking the class with me. Bradley classes are (typically) a series of twelve  2-hour childbirth classes designed to inform and support new parents interested in natural delivery. The emphasis is on husband-coached birth. I’d already taken the class before, but I wanted a refresher, plus I had reasoned that this was Chad’s first baby…

I am so glad we are taking the class together.

Despite some of the outdated sources in the Bradley workbook, I think learning the medical speak, watching natural births, and regularly practicing relaxation techniques is not only drawing Chad and I closer together, but helping us to fully to comprehend the reality of a new person joining us in a few short months. Besides which, I never am as careful with my diet as when I have to turn in an itemized account every week. The Bradley system recommends a high level of protein, 80-100 grams a day, which I rarely achieve, but still I get more protein and leafy greens than I normally would. The baby has fully formed limbs right now and is mostly putting on weight – the protein is to maximize brain development.
This week, Chad and I are focusing on practicing relaxation techniques every day for ten minutes, versus once a week for a half an hour. We’re doing pretty good too with Chad marking in advance the techniques we’ll practice each day. I have the good end of the deal since the techniques include massage!

The teacher also asked us all to go to the beach this week, which I thought was a great idea. She told us to just go and spend time there and just be, not waiting or stressing. Labor can go on for hours, even days, and I like that she likened the mental state of labor to the feeling of just hanging out by the ocean.

Chad and I went yesterday – down at Creek State Park in Monarch Beach – we brought snacks and the pup.

And since folks have been asking, here’s a pic of me and my belly (from yesterday). It was too cold to swim, but you can see the surfers in the background.

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