I started taking classes at bend during week 15 of my pregnancy. When my son finally arrived a week after my due date, he was 8lbs 4oz and was 21.5 inches long. Without the training and support of the instructors and fellow future mommies at bend, I would not have been able to make it through 18 hours of labor without an epidural. Though I did not insist on having a medication-free delivery, the breathing and stretching exercises I learned at bend prepared me to handle each contraction during labor and delivery with a sense of peace and mindfulness. Using those tools, my baby arrived on his own time and I found that I was strong enough to handle the pains of delivery. I can’t thank the bend community enough for all of your encouragement and training during my pregnancy. Because of your support, I delivered my first child feeling empowered and strong.