I have completed my first ever Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).
It was a whirlwind affair as I had had very little sleep in the days preceeding and the class went on for 11 hours due to the number of people attending. I'd known for a couple of weeks that I was going to Portland for this course and by the time my deadline for leaving came around I was with a client who was two weeks overdue and in active labor when I had to leave.
And so, at 8:00 in the evening, after no sleep the night before, I left my cozy town for the big city and arrived to the safety of my very good friend's house around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. I was able to sleep for about 6 hours before I had to get up and get ready for the class. It was difficult to sit in a large room with 50+ other people for 11 hours, but the instructor kept me very intrigued and engaged.
For anyone who has ever taken Karen Strange's NRP course, a new depth to the perception of birth has been attained. Anyone who hasn't taken her course, please do. It's not cheap...I paid $175 and had to travel 250 miles, but it's worth every penny, every mile.
Her spin on pregnancy, birth and childrearing is absolutely amazing. She provokes thought about the fetus/neonate's experience in utero, perinatally, and post partum and really advocates for birth to be as hands-off as possible. Obviously, a babe in distress shouldn't be left alone, but she advocates for the natural process of birth and really gets one thinking about all the things that are done to a baby when it is first born.
Karen teaches that each one of us has a cellular memory of our time in the womb and our experience being born and that it has the ability to shape who we are. She says that we should all try to make amends for the hard experiences and acknowledge the baby's part in getting born. She says that giving voice to the difficulties helps repair the damage done when a pregnancy or birth doesn't go as we expected or wanted.
For instance, I have huge plans to talk to my daughter about her very traumatic birth in which I almost lost my life. My apprehension lies in how to do this without causing her to fear her own body's ability to carry, birth and sustain life. It's all about the support crew, baby!!
Anyway, if you're interested in becoming a doula, midwife or birth assistant, or any other profession that has the potential to put you in a situation where neonatal resuscitation might come in handy, please..please..please find your way into one of Karen's classes.
Did I mention that she does all of this with humor?