I wrapped up another Bradley childbirth class tonight.
The last class is always bittersweet. I've spent 10-12 weeks with these couples, getting to know them, their backgrounds, their hopes, their fears, answering their questions, coaching them along and teaching them to be coaches for each other. I've watched friendships grow and develop between the couples - friendships that often continue after their babies arrive, since they have that all-consuming mutual experience of New Parenthood in common.
Tonight I said goodbye to them.
Two of the couples have already had their babies, and one was there with their newborn tonight, which was great for the others to see. We talked about what to expect, the joys, the frustrations, the bonding, the feeding, the sleeping, the swaddling...
The theme has shifted from the birth itself, which I reminded them will only be a few hours, to Parenthood, which is the whole rest of their lives.
They will never be the same.
Feeling so honored to have been a part of this transition in the lives of these special people. They're going to be wonderful parents.