These free classes have been surprisingly informative and as this was the last one, MrM agreed to accompany me.
Everyone in the class is offered a drink and he happens to select tea in a branded mug that says "VAGIFEM" on the outside. I find this much funnier than he does.
Today's session is about the possible complications and various pain relief options which are enough to make you want to close your legs, your eyes and your ears.
We're all handed a piece of equipment to represent the start of the chain of interventions that take place if your baby is late or not progressing as it should. She explains how induction is done - via a pessary, and I'm given a hospital gown that somehow scares the bejesus out of me - that is until I pass it along and get given something that looks like a cross between an instrument of torture and a crochet hook.
"For breaking your water" the midwife explains.
Then she shows us a razor, a ventouse suction cup, a catheter, an epidural and other items. I know the session is not designed to scare us, rather to let you know what could be expected, but I lose all of the confidence that I've been building up. I've been feeling relatively calm about the birth, but somehow I now have developed this feeling that I just can't do it.
We're then talked through the different pain relief options.
TENS machines, entonox (one side effect is that you say silly things - as if I don't do that already), pethidine/diamorphine (which I might not actually be allowed at home - wish someone had told me this earlier!) and epidurals/Caesarians.
However, my doubts in my ability seem to lift slightly in my bid to avoid an epidural or a Caesarian. I can't imagine having a massive needle put in my back (especially as my mum remarked that she had one when I was born and it didn't work) and really can't even think about the idea of a catheter or a Caesarian- with lots of people in the room and the fact that you can feel the sensations in your womb.
Why did I not look into this BEFORE? Adoption is one analgesic that appeals today....