When I first realised I was pregnant I was lucky in that I already had friends with babies or friends that were pregnant but a bit further down the line to me. However I knew that I also wanted to make new friends and through word of mouth I'd heard that joining the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) was the perfect way to do this!
I signed up for a 6 week ante-natal course that took place 1 evening a week in the run up to my due date. Apart from providing me with a clutch of new friends, the main aim of the classes is to give parents to be information about labour and birth. The classes are run by one NCT trained teacher and have up to 8 couples within the teaching group. Our particular class had 7 couples and all babies were due in July.
It was a bit nerve wracking on the first night but the teacher was brilliant at putting us all at ease. At times we were split into smaller groups, other times we all talked as one big group, but whichever way we worked it became clear that we all had a fairly good sense of humour and we realised this is what we would need to get through the childbirth challenge ahead......
One particular funny memory I have is when we were asked to write down all the pro's and con's of having our baby in hospital and one of the men (who shall remain nameless!) added 'has a Burger King' to the list of pro's on the flipchart!
As the weeks went by we all got to know one another and on the one week where there was no Tuesday evening class we all met at the pub instead - obviously no drinks for us ladies! When the 6 weeks was over I think the reality hit that we were all in the home straight now and that it was countdown to the first baby, so we met again in the pub on a Tuesday night and then us ladies had a few lunches until the inevitable happened and babies started being born and people were missing from the lunches.....
From that point on I have remained friends with my NCT friends. We have supported one another and compared notes on everything from breast feeding to consistency of baby poo (yuk!) to losing baby weight. The fact that we all had babies that were born within one month of each other has really been a help to us all as we're all going through the same things at the same times. My girls really have been my salvation and I hope that we remain friends for a long time to come!
For anyone considering NCT classes I would wholeheartedly suggest they do it! I found all the details I needed to know at http://www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/