Holy smokes, we went to our first “birthing class” last Sunday. It’s the one with “the video”. If you do not know what “the video” is, you have not been to a proper birthing class.
It was a good experience, I am glad we did it – and I am glad Melissa is my wife, because there is no way I could have sat through that class and not laughed a lot. Imagine a classroom with 15 pregnant women and their ‘partners’, all walking in with their 2 pillows as requested in the confirmation email. Some of the women having 'birthing binders' complete with their 'birth plans' - a little too intense for me.
The walls were filled with several intimidating diagrams and photos of things that should not be photographed. And then on the front table is this giant knit-stocking cap with something inside of it – here is a photo of one I found on the internet…
The instructor squeezed it (mimicking a uterus) and of course, a baby starting popping out. So here came the baby doll, complete with umbilical cord and yes, after a bit more squeezing, out came the placenta. Holy smokes – that was a revelation!
It was all typical stuff, I guess – but then they had us doing breathing and relaxation exercises. I guess I am just too goofy for that to work. Fortunately, Melissa has a great sense of humor. We all got mats, and took the pillows we brought and spread out across the floor. The instructor turned off the lights and turned up the Yanni music. We first learned a lower back massage technique, my wife, of course, does not like massages… Highlight though were the ‘pelvic tilts’. Basically you get on all fours and arch your back – they suggested you do this 3 times per day, 20 reps each. As Yanni inspired us, Melissa got to tilt #3 looked at me and said, “This is stupid, I am getting an epidural.” Awesome.
We also went to a breastfeeding class – pretty amazing stuff. It is truly remarkable how this all works and how the mother’s body can provide exactly what the baby needs. Nothing really funny in class except for when we walked in, we saw this:
You’ll notice that there are 12 baby dolls and to keep it PC, there are 2 different races represented. In our class, there were 11 white couples and 1 African-American, and 7 white dolls and 5 black dolls. They sent us to a break and told us to grab a doll on our way back in. Let’s just say we were white couple #7 – not an important deal, but of course we giggled a little bit as the other couples walked in and didn't have a choice...
That’s about it – we’ve had a great time pulling the nursery together – it’s just about ready. Just need to settle on a name and wait out 7 more weeks and it’s baby time!