I was quite nervous about my first prenatal parent meeting. Would I understand everything? How many other parents would be there? How many other expectant fathers would be there? Would I make any friends? Would I like the midwife?
The questions were about to be answered as we approached the doors to the clinic around 3pm. The meeting would last for two hours. We were one of the last couples to come in.
Couples were sitting in a U-shape, with the midwife’s chair at the top. We took the last two seats and quickly realized we needed to write our names on a piece of paper. Lisa chose green–surprise, surprise.
Being ever analytical, I had to observe everyone’s name. Notice anything in the above picture?
There were nine expectant mothers present; eight of whom were with their partner and one who was with her mother. All couples were Swedish, except one couple, where both were from Belgium, and of course myself.
We started off the first meeting by having the midwife tell us to be seated in our birthing order. We quickly discovered that we were the second youngest couple, with birthday’s ranging from around the 10th of January to the 27th. Ours is on the 25th.
After that, everyone started introducing themselves one-by-one. To do this, we were instructed to come up with one word that describes themselves based on the first letter of their first name.
I said “mouth” for “Michael” since I like to talk a lot. After me was a woman who’s name started with an E. I’ll call her Elin. Elin said “ensam” (alone). Elin was the one person in the whole class who didn’t have the expectant father come with. It was a bit heartbreaking to hear her say ensam, and I immediately thought that the course could have had one course for couples and one course for people who will come alone.
This thought proved to be very true as the course progressed, but I’ll come to that in later posts.
After introducing ourselves, the midwife told us what to expect regarding the course and then we delved into the importance of breastfeeding. After the midwife spoke about breastfeeding for a while, we took a fika. No course can happen without a fika break!
During fika we divided into groups–four groups of four, basically. Two groups of expectant moms and two of expectant dads. We were to talk about the lecture and our thoughts on breastfeeding.
The guys in my group were all pro-breastfeeding and all wanted to encourage their partners, but felt like the choice was really their partners and not there’s.
I discussed alternatives if our partners didn’t want to breastfeed, such as breast pumping and purchasing breast milk from others–the guys were less enthusiastic about this and some didn’t even know it was possible. The overall consensus from my group was that it was mostly the woman’s decision, although they liked the idea of breastfeeding.
After 10-15 minutes, we digressed into talking about who we were. So far, we hadn’t even done introductions of each other. All of the guys were professionals, and most commute to work (e.g. Stockholm), and not all live in Uppsala (e.g. one was living in Örebro, while his partner lived in Uppsala). And here I thought it was tough for me to come to a 3pm meeting. Others were traveling hours to make it to this course. One word: dedication!
We then met back up to go over our breastfeeding discussions. Turns out the other groups did similar things–talked about breastfeeding before digressing into getting to better know each other.
I didn’t make any friends, per se. But I did have a fun time.