Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Standard play time is 8:00, so I was caught unawares

While it is true that I am guilty of making the occasional idiotic wisecrack about their humble origins in the backwoods of Appalachia*, the fact of the matter is that I actually quite like midwives and doulas. The ones I've met anyway, they all seem like good people, undoubtedly a breed unto their own. Not to mention the fact they've got the skills to bring the biscuits, and that's some skill worthy of respect.

But who knew they could be so dramatic?

See, in preparation for the birth of our little Mo'mo, The Ash and I are taking a class in natural childbirth taught by a midwife and doula pair. In spite of their slightly disorganized manner, in spite of the fact that our books didn't arrive in time for the first or even second class, in spite of the fact that class is every Tuesday night for six weeks and I typically have a crappy attitude about going since it's Tuesday and Tuesday is just Monday's frumpy cousin with no personality, in spite of all that, I already feel better prepared for this birth than I did for the last one. Sure, we took a class to prepare for Henry's birth, but all I really remember of it is how careful the teacher was to match up each couple with a baby mannequin of the appropriate color. Because there's no way I could ever care for a non-white baby mannequin.

So far in this class, there have been no such awkward acts of color coordination, but that is not to say that nothing of note has taken place. In fact, at our very first Tuesday night session, the doula lady kicked things off by freaking my shit out. Without warning, without preface, without the slightest inkling of what she was about to do, she suddenly started acting out the part of a woman in labor having a very serious contraction. My first thought was, "Oh look, she's pretending to have a contraction. Gosh, she could have warned us." But then the act continued, the moaning, the rocking back and forth, and all the while the midwife stayed by her and soothed her. The student body, we all kept our seats and said nothing. And then the thought occurred to me, what if this isn't an act? What if she's having some kind of seizure right here in front of us and nobody is doing anything because we all assume she's acting out a contraction, but in fact somebody needs to be calling an ambulance right fucking now? You know, like when actors actually get stabbed on stage because some knave switched out the dummy knife with a real one, but the audience doesn't react because they think he's just acting, which is truly ridiculous since that bastard couldn't act his way out of a paper sack and the only way he could ever deliver a convincing death scene is if he was really dying so it serves him right anyway? Not that I would ever do such a thing, mind you. I began to wonder if I should speak up, if I should run for the phone, if perhaps my long dormant first aid skills would be required to save the day.

Thankfully, just as I was about to spring into action, she brought her little act to a close, which was a relief since we paid good money for that class and we didn't need our teacher to go all spazoid on us.

Not that I mind a bit of dramatics thrown into the midst of everyday life. I have a rather expensive piece of paper from U of T that implies as such. Still, a bit of warning next time ladies.

* Yes, I know midwifery did not originate in Appalachia, but for some reason the two are hopelessly intertwined in my brain, so that's just how it has to be.

10 comments:

Whit said...

We took a series of classes before the 1st one. Never even thought about it for the second.

Ours didn't have drama but we had refreshments.

Troy said...

If they ever take their act national, let us know. Can't wait to hear about class two. LOL

Dan said...

I must admit i started skipping anti-natal classes after I'd been to a few.

Dana said...

I didn't take any classes with mine. Of course I also figured that with enough drugs it wouldn't matter anyway!

CamiKaos said...

Our birth coach teacher people were crazy. They insisted on separating the couples frequently so they could speak to the men alone and tell them things like not to eat in front of their wives, and if poop comes out during the birthing process and your wife later asks you if it did to LIE TO HER with whatever skills you have...

radioactive girl said...

I took a childbirth class for my first baby. Half way through the first class (I think it was even at breaktime) I went into preterm labor. I never took another one again because I felt like it would be tempting fate.

I LOVE what you wrote about matching the colors. Too funny! Except not funny really because she was probably being for real when she did it. That makes it sort of sad.

sybil law said...

I skipped all those classes. I just thought, the thing is coming out anyway, so why the classes to breathe funny?! My midwife was also awesome, but not near as exciting as yours!! That's hilarious!

Bitsy Parker said...

Cracking up. I would have been looking for the hidden camera. Birth is waaaayyy scary and makes me afraid. Not having any more of those.

P.S. The no car final report will be out tomorrow or late tonight. I'm in Santa Fe in a hotel with THE slowest Internet connection ever.

casey said...

i didn't know you were having a baby. i'm a bad blog reader. baaaaad blog reader. for shame.

but congrats.

David said...

Wow. That cracks me up. Is that meant to shock those who have not had babies before? Suddenly and unexpectedly your partner will start to have a major contraction without you ever having talked about it or mentioned anything? OMG BE PREPARED TEH BABY IZ COMING!!@!##R%$