When I was pregnant with our first crazy-ass blond, we signed up for the NCT classes held in a village not far away. Husband was reluctant, I was full of the energetic joy of someone who had recently given up work to dedicate her life to the new life forming inside of her, who had done all the shopping by week 28 and who was possibly now a little bit bored / looking for stuff to fill the hours... you know how it goes.
I know NCT has its supporters and Lord knows it has its critics, this isn't one of these posts (although I will say our teacher in particular was great, she covered all birth options, wasn't derogatory about c-sections or bottle-feeding...we were all quite happy as I remember it, but it was 5 years and 2 children ago..?) This post is about the friendships we made as we sat in that small room.
Our group had 7 couples and contained a wide range of backgrounds, professions, opinions...
I remember sitting next to Lawyer Mama one evening as she spoke so confidently about her plans for her birth and thinking 'What on earth are you doing here? You are a kid. You haven't thought this through AT ALL...' I went home feeling totally panicked and out of my depth. I remember thinking Vet Mama was the most glamorous pregnant person I had ever clapped eyes on and instantly hated my skinny jeans and Converse! All those initial panics aside however, we spent the majority of our maternity leave texting each other and meeting up for coffee and it was invaluable having those Mamas at the end of the phone when I needed them the most (isn't THAT a lesson in not judging people in the first 10 seconds?!)
One by one, they all trickled back to work and when I was the only one left at home with Boy (then Baby!), I suggested we meet up once a month. Life gets so busy that I didn't want our little group to float apart...and as luck would have it, we've managed it for 5 whole years!!
We decided early on that we should celebrate the babies' birthdays all together, on one day in the summer, and do a Secret Santa approach to presents to cut down the costs. Last Saturday five of the families met up at Dudmaston Hall near Bridgnorth to celebrate our first babies turning 5, here are some pics...
It was an amazing day. Sunny and warm but not too hot. We all enjoyed a picnic on the lawn, someone got a bloody nose, someone else got told off for pushing on the adventure playground...a typical day out with 10 children!!
On a mission to find ice-cream.
Doing whatever it takes to make it round the walk ;-)
NCT babies on a trek through the woods!!
Two big kids and three little siblings looking at the trail sign.
It was such a fun day, really relaxed and enjoyable. We all said, as we say every time, it's incredible really how they all play so nicely together whenever we're together. People have moved away, people are busy with work and family, so some of us only get to see each other twice a year but within ten minutes they were all running around like old friends...which I suppose they are!
Husband and I feel really lucky to know each and every single person we spent the day with, we have literally watched these babies grow. I am fiercely loyal about the group and will continue to organise playdates and parties for as long as I can, there's something quite unique about a group of parents who experienced their first child together? Maybe inexperience binds us, ha ha!! There are a lot of things I would change if I could go back to my first pregnancy, but signing up for NCT classes is one thing I'd definitely do again.