Last Monday, we took the kids to a fun little class offered at the hospital where I'll deliver. The class is designed specifically for children who are preparing to welcome a new baby to their family. The recommended age for the class is 4 to 6 years old, so we didn't enroll Brianna in it last time around when I was pregnant with Bren, as she was not quite 2. However, Brianna is old enough this time and since Bren is almost 3 (and very mature for his age), we decided that he could handle it just fine.
Brenson wasn't too excited about the class at first, but he relaxed quickly once we got there. Brianna was pumped from the word go! Even though "babies" were provided in the class, we let our kiddos each bring a baby from home.
There were several other kids enrolled in the class, but it turned out to be a FRIGID night so there ended up only being our two and one other little boy in the class.
Learning how to properly hold a baby:
Brianna paid very close attention to the teacher, Ms. Stephanie.
Brenson also did really well. Both of them answered questions and sat quietly, and I was very proud of their behavior.
Ms. Stephanie talked a lot about dos and don'ts around the baby, how to be helpful to Momma, and how special it is to be a big sibling. Brianna took it all very seriously and has regurgitated the information to me several times since.
The other couple who had their child in the class were scheduled for a c-section on February 3rd, which is 38 weeks for her. That means that she is only one day behind me in pregnancy, but I think my belly was twice the size of hers! Her older child was also a February baby, and then the teacher shared with us that she has two February babies as well! When we said that the Bs are both February babies, we discovered that the teachers' two February babies and our two have the EXACT same birthdays. How crazy is that?!? Really, what are the odds?
The class was from 6:30-7:30pm, then at 8:00pm there was a hospital tour being offered. We decided to stay for the tour as we knew that Brianna and Brenson would like to see where Momma will be when having the babies and where they will come to meet the babies. Even though it was past the kiddos' bedtime, they did great for the tour!
Daddy and Bren waiting for the tour to begin:
We first visited a labor and delivery room. Brenson was very sober and just soaked it all in. He acted a bit nervous when our tour guide was showing us all the monitors and machines, but that is typical of him. Brianna stood in the room in what we call her "CEO stance", meaning she had her feet planted and arms crossed and was very obviously assessing the situation. It was pretty entertaining!
After the L&D room, we visited a post-partum room. Both kids were a little more relaxed in this room, and were certainly interested to see where Momma, Daddy, and the babies were going to sleep. AND, they got very excited when the tour guide showed them the gazillion buttons on the bed and told them that Momma would probably let them play with the buttons if they asked nicely. Really lady?!? This Momma won't be having any of that, ha!
One thing that we were very surprised to learn was that the hospital is now considered a "baby friendly" hospital. What this means is that they pretty much don't do much of anything with your baby in a newborn nursery anymore . . . including bathing, testing, pediatrician checks, etc. Because of this, the newborn nursery windows had all the shades pulled down (like it was closed) and we weren't able to see any newborn babies. This was really disappointing to the kids as I had told them that we would be able to stand and look at new babies. Brianna, especially, was super sad to not get to see any babies.
I'm not sure what to think of the hospital's new policy. I remember the post-partum room being so busy already (impossible to rest the first night, especially) and now we'll have testing and pediatrician visits and everything else going on in there as well? AND, we'll have it all times two! This may be an interesting hospital stay . . .
I was exhausted by the time we finished the tour, but I was also so glad we did it. I think it will really help the kids (Bren especially) to know a bit of what to expect when they come to hospital to meet the babies for the first time!