Should you bother doing an NCT refresher course?
Around this time last year I was 7 months pregnant and was mulling over whether to bother doing an NCT refresher course or not. I had had L in France in 2006 with no NCT or any antenatal preparation at all really – not that it made much difference as I ended up with an induction and an epidural and she was born pretty quickly, so I wasn’t sure if there was any point in doing NCT with our second.
I finally decided to do the course when I saw that I was taking early maternity leave (due to childcare issues with L), and I thought it might give me something to do while I waited for C to make her appearance.
I didn’t really know what to expect and I still remember turning up at our NCT course leader’s house on a Wednesday in September and being greeted by a room full of smiling pregnant ladies. The course itself was quite good for me in the respect it gave me an idea of what to expect from a UK delivery, but the biggest thing I got from the course was the network of mummy friends.
There were 8 of us on our course, all of us second time mums, and I remember thinking how lovely everyone seemed. Well, what a difference those women have made over my life this past year. They were there at the end of the pregnancy when I was going loopy waiting for C to appear. They were there when C was born and I was trying to figure out life with a newborn (again). They were there through all the ups and downs of having a new – second – baby in our family. They were there at 3 o’clock in the morning during night feeds. They were there when I had questions or doubts.
Now we are pretty comfortable in our roles as mums of two, they are now there as friends, and we go out regularly for drinks and dinner without the children, as well as having our “mummy” meet-ups with the babies.
As there are 8 of us it’s pretty hard to all meet up, and last month we had our first evening out, all 8 of us, which was really lovely.
Then this weekend we finally had a get-together arranged for all 8 families, including dads and children – no mean feat when it involves 16 adults and 16 children. Unfortunately 2 families couldn’t make it (and you were sorely missed ladies), but it was still wonderful to meet up with the other menfolk, babies and big kids.
We even managed to get a photo of the 6 very mobile babies all sitting down. The photo of the big kids was far easier to get once a Disney DVD had been put on!
I know not everyone has such a good NCT experience, but for me it’s been amazing, and has helped me survive, and keep a grip on my sanity (mostly!) with baby number 2, and I can’t recommend it enough for other expectant mums.
My mum also did an NCT course when pregnant with my younger brother (her fourth baby) 35 years ago, and one of the mums she met there is still one of her closest friends. In fact, in just over a week’s time, the next son this friend had will be best man to the next son my mum had (the two younger brothers of the NCT babies). I wonder where we and our children might be in 35 years time….
I’m linking this up to The Oliver’s Madhouse and their Magic Moments linky: