Childbirth classes turned my husband into a gentle creature I hadn't experienced before.
I like to think of myself as a strong woman. Even when it comes to my marriage and my husband, I tend to play the role of Ms. Do-it-All-Handle-it-All-Without-Complaint. So, now that I'm pregnant, it's tough to admit that I just can't do it. And by "it," I mean a lot.
I need help moving that desk and, at this point, I even need help picking the dog's toys up off the floor. Yup. One pregnancy side effect you don't read about in between missing sushi and enjoying luxe hair is having to admit vulnerability. Because I sure as hell never thought I would lay in bed whining like a child, "My back aches! Can you rub it for me, please?"
Perhaps, for some women, being delicate is easy. I'm sure there are many wives and partners who play the damsel in distress day after day.
Not the case for this broad. I've been known to take a hammer out of my husband's hand in order to show him how it's done.
This is where an unexpected benefit of childbirth classes comes in. I expected to learn about what early labor will be like, when to call my midwife and how to cope with labor pains.
What I didn't realize was how beneficial these classes would be for my husband. He's learning what I have already been reading about for more than five years.
He is also being told — by a kind, third-party nurse — that I cannot do it all. I need him now, I will need him during labor, and I will certainly need his support for weeks following the birth of our daughter.
Immediately after our first class, he became more gentle, more attentive and more interested in what lies ahead in the coming weeks. He now refrains from sighing heavily at my pleas for a snack.
On most nights, he'll rub my back or arms until I fall asleep. These classes have essentially hammered something home for him: right now, I'm simply not as tough as I'd like to think I am.
With three classes down and two to go, we've definitely became more intimate as far as this pregnancy goes. It's not just me going through the motions anymore. We're truly sharing this experience, day after day.