Saturday, July 12, 2008

Miss Jackson Went to Childbirth Class

Jake and I just returned from the first day of our two-day, "weekend express" childbirth class at the hospital, and it turned out to be quite an adventure. We had rescheduled it from about a month ago because a month ago, Jake had to work, and I sort of feared that this weekend, at 36 weeks, we would be the most pregnant people there. But no! There was one couple due two weeks before us and at least three couples due within a week after us, so apparently we were right on time.

The class was pretty good. I don't know that I really learned anything brand new, but it was a nice overview of what is going to happen (soon!) and absolutely worth it for the peace of mind. And Jake was really cute this morning when he said to Miss Jackson through my belly, "Today we're going to learn how to get you out of there!" I don't know why that amused me so much, but it did.

The highlight, though, and the inspiration for this post, was one particular couple who attended the class with us. They were (1) an hour late, (2) distracting, (3) gross, and (4) crazy, but all of that put together made them very interesting and we are sort of excited to see what stunts they pull during the conclusion of the class tomorrow morning. Today, they:

--giggled when the instructor said "cervix." More than once.

-- whispered so loudly and so much that I had to ask them (politely) if they could be quiet.

-- talked and laughed through the breathing and relaxation exercises, to the point where the instructor had to diplomatically discourage husbands from joking during your laboring wife's calm, cleansing breaths.

-- nuzzled, fondled, stroked, and caressed each other, and generally engaged in foreplay throughout the class, to the point where all the rest of us were looking at each other in disgust/amazement. There were moments during the class when I thought they might mount each other. I won't tell you what they looked like because then you would have the same upsetting visual that I still have.

But! That's not all! It was mainly the male half of the couple who was the rudest and the grossest and the most distracting -- he was the one who laughed the most when the instructor said "cervix" (I mean, seriously? It's a childbirth class, and this guy was at least 35), he was the one who was nuzzling his wife's ears and rubbing her thighs (so.gross.), and he was the one who was talking through the lecture and audibly mocking the relaxation techniques -- so OF COURSE he's the one who, at the very end of class, decides to start a fight about epidurals with our very nice, very competent instructor. We weren't even discussing epidurals yet, but he raised his hand and said, "There's basically no real reason for a woman to ever have an epidural, right?" Our teacher suggested that the intense pain of childbirth was a valid reason. Our winner disagreed and continued to argue -- "But that's the only benefit, right? Just pain relief? There's no other reason, and there are so many risks, so really, no one should have one, right?" His poor wife just sat there looking miserable. I'm all for natural childbirth if you can have it (and I'm going to try to go as long as I can without an epidural myself), but I am also all for routine medical advancements that make women more comfortable. You could see all the other men in the class shifting uncomfortably, glancing apologetically at their pregnant partners as if to communicate, "Thanks for having this baby for me -- the epidural's up to you."

Then -- when our sweet teacher tried to explain that you had to discuss all these options with your doctor, that it was really different for each woman, that it really should be up to the woman or at least a joint decision by the couple together, that again this is something to be discussed with your doctor, etc. -- our winner interrupted and said, "Well, can I bring my own doctor to the hospital to deliver her? My brother?" Uh, no, genius. Our sweet teacher kindly explained that no, it's not Bring Your Own Doc, that Mr. Winner's brother could come as a coach or a friend just to watch, but that he should not come as an adversary to the attending doctor, and that if you didn't trust your current doctor, you should switch caretakers to someone with whom you felt more comfortable. Mr. Winner didn't like that at all. He said, "Well, my brother went to medical school over here in America." Well, then. No clue whether Mr. Winner's brother had hospital privileges at GW or was even an obstetrician (I'm guessing no to both).

Y'all, people are crazy.

UPDATE: Mr. and Mrs. Winner, Day Two.

1. They showed up half an hour late. This is an improvement over yesterday.

2. She sat ON HIS LAP for almost all of the class. There were plenty of seats to go around. Lap-sitting was not required.

3. While on his lap, they held hands.

4. With their free hands, they caressed each other's faces and looked into each other's eyes. The rest of the class just sat in their own seats and listened to the teacher.

5. Mr. Winner decided to make jokes. Our teacher was explaining how it can be difficult for many women ro realize that even after giving birth, their bodies may not be the same for a long time, and how important it is for their husbands to be complimentary and supportive. Mr. Winner piped up, "But you can have a girlfriend on the side during this time, right?" I think Mr. Winner was only half-joking. His touchy-feely wife did not laugh.

6. During the hospital tour, Mrs. Winner draped herself over Mr. Winner's back and caressed his chest and kissed his neck.

7. Jake and I will not be joining a playgroup with the Winners.


Hannah said...

I am dying to hear about Mr. Winner on Day Two.

Jen T. said...

I love keeping up with your blog. This one had me about to fall over laughing. My kids thought I was crazy!
-Jen Thompson

Jenny said...

Wow, I thought we had some characters in our class this weekend but these people sound like they win the prize. We had one guy in our class who kept telling stories about his cousins (who have all had many babies apparently) and his haircut was really short, almost shaved in the back and bowl cut in the front like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber. Best haircut ever - kind of a reverse mullet sort of.

Brenda Marie said...

Um, wow. Just wow.