When the third trimester hit I went into a tailspin of panic and somehow talked myself off the ledge by signing B and myself up for a seven week birthing class to be held in a yoga studio with a former doula. And yes. I knew it was completely not the class for someone like me who would prefer to be as far removed from the birth process as possible but what can I say. I needed a security blanket. So we went to the first class yesterday and started off on a great foot by being thirty minutes late because I got the starting time mixed up. “Not a problem,” I whispered to B as we waited for the nine other couples to adjust the circle and make room for us. “That means the class will only be an hour and all we missed was introductions!” This was the last optimistic thought I had because next question the teacher asked was if everyone had already purchased a book about birthing and we were the only ones who had not.
After that, the teacher talked to us about anatomy and stuff while I wrote notes to B stating all of the reasons why I thought one of the husbands was almost certainly gay. Then she introduced the concept of a “birth plan” where you state ahead of time where and how and with who you want to give birth… which is probably a relevant idea for people who have plans other than, “maximum drugs, minimal cutting.”
And then, with absolutely no warning, we were told that it was time to watch a birthing video. B and I turned to each other in terror and agreed that it was rather early on in a SEVEN WEEK CLASS to jump into the visuals. But being too self-conscious to leave we followed the class into the next room and tried to sit as far away from the TV as possible. The only thing I saw during the part of the video where the baby came out was a nano second of TV screen and three minutes of B’s shoulder.
The video was followed by an acupuncture therapist who spoke about the benefits of acupuncture for ripening and opening things and all I could think was how the only needles I cared about are the ones that would carry the epidural fluid into my body. It was at this time that I realized that the class was not an hour and a half as I originally thought but TWO and a half hours. For seven weeks. OMFG.Finally, it came time for the ending relaxation session and I settled myself between B’s knees and leaned back on his chest. The teacher turned on some chanting music that I have only heard in yoga studios and can’t begin to describe other than to say that I’m sure that the only place you can buy it is in health food stores near incense and body wax. After the teacher talked us through the relaxation of our faces, throats and abdomen, B’s phone started to vibrate and he pushed me away to frantically search his pocket for the phone before it would start to ring. After several seconds of snapping the phone open and shut and hitting buttons we were back in place but I spent the rest of the relaxation period fighting the inappropriate giggles that some people experience during funerals.
And then on the way out we were asked to sign up to bring snacks one week and I did it. I may find the class to be of zero relevence to my lifestyle and preferences, and it probably hurts me more than B to go, but something about it provides me with a feeling that I am preparing myself and I'm just not ready to let that go.