Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I Teach Bradley Childbirth

(This is a copy of an essay I wrote on Facebook the other day...just a repeat here for anyone who might have missed it!)

I have been teaching birthing classes to expectant moms and their partners for over two decades. Mostly my classes were held in my living room, turned classroom. The kids and I would spend class day sweeping, dusting and transforming our family room area into a peaceful and clean oasis for the new mamas and papas. This year I moved my class room to an off site location so that my kids could feel a measure of privacy in our now very small townhome. There just isnt't the space for big classes in the smallish living room, filled with rock band accessories, musical instruments and art supplies.

But I did decide to go ahead and teach my private classes in this smaller setting. So on Monday this week we were doing our "deep clean" ritual, right down to the yucky crumbs under the couch. As we were all grumbling about cleaning, it dawned on me why I still teach. When my first beautiful baby was born by Cesarean section, my body responded by shooting my blood pressure up to dangerous levels. I was sedated and drugged for nearly a week as the doctors and nurses tip toed around my bed, hoping to avert any seizure activity in this young mama. I was numb and out of it. I guess that was to my advantage, because I didin't know until much later how dangerous my situation had become......

Fast forward two and half years. At the suggestion of a friend, I took a Bradley Childbirth Class. Short story, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy on August 2, 1986 with no drugs or surgery. I was ecstatic! We had decided that if I had a repeat of the first dangerous birth, then he would be our last child.

Happily, the story doesn't end there. With a beautiful strong birth story under my belt, I trained to become a Bradley teacher myself. And went on to have four more awesome babies.....alll without drugs or surgery. .....

So, when my three YOUNGEST children were helping me clean for Bradley, it was a sobering thought...if not for my successful Bradley birth with thier older brother, they might not have been born. With that change of heart and perspective we joyfully cleaned right down to the dustboards and cobwebs.

My heart is full, and I am so grateful that I have the awesome privilege to mother 6 great kids!

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