Lamaze Class: Making couples have second thoughts since 1940.
By kikiflynn on September 03, 2009
I think we've stayed at this party too long.
a.k.a., That natural childbirth video made me yuke.
Last night was our first "Great Expectations" class at Northwestern (do they mean for the class? For my Expectations are only Meh) and what a time was had by all! Eight to ten couples eyeing the other eight to ten couples with these actual inner monologues: Guys- Does he make more money than me? Is he younger than me?/ Gals- She best be delivering after me. She is ridiculously tiny. I don't think she's really pregnant.
We started off by arranging ourselves by due date, this after I'd already propped my knees up on a yoga ball and paged through my info packet (actual info for the Transition stage of Labor: "Tell her how great she's doing! Tell her that the baby will soon be here!" And P.J.'s reply: "You're fiiiiiiiiine." After which I mentally swapped my Support Person.) We found ourselves in the middle of the group, with due dates ranging from the end of December (See? Hardly pregnant) to OCTOBER FIFTH. Yep. That girl is giving birth in a MONTH. We have four classes in this session. P.J. and I are wondering if she's gonna make it to the end. (Of the session, that is. I doubt that missing the last class will cause something terrible to happen in the actual birthing of the child. Maybe they give out magic potions?)
Then we got to go around the room and announce our birth plans. The girls who chose to go natural smiled smugly at those of us who like drugs (yum) and the rest of the girls looked at the 'au naturale' gals like they were missing a screw or seven. It was a tender moment.
Then, oh THEN, we got to see a video with FOUR ACTUAL LABORING MOMS who- get this- delivered babies without drugs (even when they mentioned that they wanted them. That bit was towards the end. Apparently women in this stage are HILARIOUS!) Speaking of not making it 'til the end, there was a featured woman that P.J. and I seriously wanted to poke in the eye. For real. I realize that no one was having a grand time, but this gal was moaning from the second the lights were being hung in the video. It didn't stop her from eating chips n' salsa, oh no! (Now, I'm no "doctor," but maybe eating spicy food as your water is breaking is NOT gonna feel good in a couple of hours. Different strokes, I guess.) And THEN, she got to the hospital! And donned a HEADBAND. You know the kind of headband I'm talking about. The Down To Business Headband. Not a hair was to touch her forehead- she was in Active Labor. (And her husband was kind of a dope- staring wide-eyed and kinda drunkenly throughout the entire ordeal.) And may God forgive me for saying this, but hers was an ORDEAL. Plus, she had this whiny "pain face" really early on- terribly mean of me, yes, but you can TOTALLY tell that it's also her face for when her husband's running late. It was hard to build any sense of caring for her character and the arc of her story line.
And MY GOODNESS, did some of these women realize they were going to be filmed? I will say no more. (Except that it was a sight to behold. I'm sure you really don't care at that point, but REALLY, shouldn't it have crossed one or two minds beforehand? Film is forever!) We both felt badly for the featured Asian lady who barely spoke any English and had a vacant look on her face the entire time- while she labored ALONE- who probably didn't understand that a camera crew was to be present...and that an epidural wasn't.
Next week- epidural videos! Woot!
My favorite part of class came when we had to visualize labor and use our Bag of Tools (I keep mine in a toolbox, thankyouverymuch) to send ourselves to our favorite strip of beach. Our Support Person (P.J. was still holding this title) had to squeeze an appendage of ours tighter and tighter for fifteen seconds, loosening their grip for the next fifteen. Our jobs were to BREATHE THROUGH THE PAIN. Most husbands chose an arm. Mine grabbed my inner thigh. I am very ticklish on my inner thigh. He also started the count with a KUNG FU GRIP and tightened from there. I'm sure my reaction had the teacher putting Child Services on speed dial for the Schoeny household.
Then I started laughing. And couldn't stop. So P.J. grabbed my thigh between two fingers and proceeded to walk me through the gentlest contraction ever, through which I almost hyperventilated. The combination of Deep Cleansing Breathes, an ant-like contraction on one's thigh and a mortified husband does that to me, apparently.
I hope the teacher's getting paid well.
But I really can't complain- P.J.'s a pretty fun guy, he's promised me SUSHI if I do a GOOD JOB, and I have a lovely home with a couch newly on the floor of the actual living room in the house where the baby will live (see last eight posts). I'm certainly better off than the video gal whose husband blathered about how hard labor was for HIM. During the actual labor! Sit back down, son!
Although, in their interviews, I couldn't help but notice that THEY had a finished stairwell leading to their first floor.
I'm just saying.
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