We signed up for anti-natal classes with the NCT a while ago, for two reasons. We haven't really got a clue about babies, and we wanted to meet people who were in the same boat in our area. It's quite an expensive operation, and I'd heard quite mixed experiences from friends but we went ahead anyway. I was disappointed that there isn't a class in Camberwell, and we were too late for the East Dulwich one, so we settled on Brixton. Which is pretty close anyway.
At first I found it really tedious. There was lots of information, but two hours at the end of a long day at work nearly finished me off. In the first weeks there wasn't much chance to get to know anyone either as the sessions were so full on. I was initially worried about the reaction to my elective caesarian, but everyone was very supportive. The mention of a brain tumour usually sorts that out.
As the weeks went on I warmed to the whole process and our "teacher" grew on me too. I found her views on homeopathic remedies refreshing. She refrained from the full blown rant I would have succumbed to, but made it clear what she thought. Skillfully.
Our group is lovely, I think we've been really lucky. It's blatantly apparent though that in the middle of Brixton we must be the only eight white middle class pregnant couples - all married. In contrast to a visit to Kings, where we are frequently the only white couple in the waiting room. NCT goers are a self selecting group, and a homogenous one. The cost and the perceived values of NCT mean it will only be attractive to a certain demographic. That's a shame, for the NCT.
But the real value to me is only just coming into play. We have started popping! Alfred was the first to arrive, and he is two weeks old today. Since then there have been two more babies and I suspect one more is on the way right now.
The support and banter of the other NCT girls has been great. I didn't know these people before I was already heavily pregnant and there isn't any history to our relationships. But that makes it simple. We have one major thing in common and can talk about it without prejudice or politics. We're all in the same situation and it's comforting to go through it with other people. It is almost a benefit that I didn't know them before.
I always suspected that it would be the people that made the NCT experience, and that has turned out to be the case. I am glad we did it and I can't wait for the others to arrive.