Megan: In 2014, my husband Jordan and I took a childbirth class to prepare for our first child. It was an eye-opening experience for both of us. Jordan had little idea how much he could participate in the pregnancy and the arrival of his baby; I was beginning to respect my body on a completely different level. In short, our class got us really, really excited for our baby and all things 'childbirth.'
During the last month of my pregnancy, I pondered and internalized the phrase,
"Your body was made to do this."
That phrase became the theme of our son's birth, and it helped us persevere through the more challenging moments of labor. In fact, the second after our son was born, I was making jokes, ordering food, and walking around. Jordan was amazed (but not surprised) by my strength and quick recovery. I reminded him,
"My body was made to do this!"
Our son's birth was incredibly positive, and we assert that it's a direct result of our preparation (and a few stars aligning). We didn't approach labor screaming and frantic, like movies depict childbirth. We were calm. We were smiling. We were excited. And fortunately, my body did what I needed it to do.
Even more important than having our 'ideal' childbirth experience was the fact that we made informed decisions at absolutely every turn.
I signed up for a childbirth educator certification program almost immediately after giving birth. I was right about my lifelong dream of being a teacher; I had just been teaching the wrong subject! My passion for childbirth education was born with our son, and it grows exponentially with each pregnant person and partner that I teach. Forget what you've heard -- childbirth can be incredible! As a childbirth instructor, it is my privilege to share the techniques, knowledge, and confidence that make birth a life event to remember.
Jordan: Megan approached pregnancy like she approaches everything in life; she was incredibly thorough in researching her options. While investigating birth classes, she became interested in a childbirth class and asked my thoughts about taking it.
I was admittedly reticent to invest so many weeks into a childbirth class.
Knowing my wife, I asked, "Can't we learn some of these labor skills on our own?" I will never forget the time or location of this pivotal discussion.
Honestly, I had no idea how much of a role I could play in our birth experience, but as Megan explained the curriculum of the birth class,
I liked the idea of being a more active, informed participant in our pregnancy.
After many weeks of interesting classes, eating well, exercising, labor practices, camaraderie, and excitement, our sweet son was born. Prior to our class, I had expected to hold Megan's hand through labor. Instead, I massaged her, applied counter pressure, encouraged her, aided her mental and emotional relaxation, and coached her into different labor positions.
I was an actual, active part of our baby's birth.
Megan often tells people that I worked almost as hard as she did. While I feel like she deserves all of the praise, I'm grateful for the role that I played in our son's birth. Supporting my wife through labor was one of the most transformative moments of my life, and I am positive that I can thank our childbirth class for that.
Megan Hamzawi is a certified educator and birth doula. Her class is ideal for birthing people and partners who prioritize individualized healthcare, informed consent, health-promoting nutritional choices, and active participation in the birth process.