In this season of graduations, we take time to honor those who have worked hard and studied with discipline to receive a degree of higher learning in order to expand their horizons on both a personal and professional level. For example, Kindergarten graduation. "Since you have leaned your ABC's and colored in the lines for at least three months, we dub upon thee the high honor of graduating from the grade before we call them grades, you are now... almost 1st graders."
What a powerful moment! Then there's high school and college and sometimes when you're real snooty master's or doctoral graduation, but we all know that the pinnacle was truly reached at the tender age of six... at least that is the only time you looked halfway decent and non glamour shot-y in a graduation photo.
Well, tonight marks an epic achievement in our journey to parenthood, we graduate from our childbirthing course. Yes, once again we reach the end of an educational journey full of surprises and reality checks about the joy of birth. Tonight, we end with a discussion entitled, "Postpartum" a.k.a. "What in the heck do we do now?" But this if far from where it began...
First of all, they refer to this class as a 12 hour course. Seeing as though a normal college course is considered a 3 hour course, we expected that these four 3 hour sessions would be jam packed with information. Kind of like a mindnumbing mini-mester over spring break.
These classes are a little like your honeymoon. You know, you arrive at your dream destination or maybe just PCB and it's just the two of you at the center of the universe. That is until you realize that 500 other couples got married on the same day you did. Major Debbie Downer moment. Birthing class is similar in that you are in a room of people who are stealing your kids glory!!! I mean, June is my kid's month folks, yeah the whole month so have your baby some other time! But it seems that they are unwilling to waver and they even have the audacity to feel the same way that we do. Oh well, Grady will still be the coolest kid born this June! (or possibly July, but for Jen's sake, June)
As you know from experience, the people can really make a class fun or they can make it a beat down! Our class makes it a little of both. You've got the sweet people that you connect with. You have this sense that they really get it... life in general that is. They agree with you, make you feel comfortable, but don't pry too much into your business... understanding that after this class you will not have time to continue the budding relationships you have made over these short weeks. We love those people!! Normal people, because all normal people are like us... anyone not like us is not normal. That's just the truth of human nature.
Then, of course, there are the "not-so-normal people". You know them (and I apologize in advance if you are them). There's the couple that talks too much and answers every question like they have done this before... It's like, "and why are you taking this class?" You can sense a collective sigh in the room whenever they begin talking. There's also the "Touchy feely" couple. They are the ones who feel strangely at ease massaging and caressing one another during the class. They may even go as far as to give one another public foot massages. Back and shoulder rubs are completely acceptable in public, but FEET! Come on, I don't want to see you rubbin' on her nasty feet! It doesn't help that when she unveils them they looked like they belong to Frodo Baggins or Fred Flintstone. Think "Will Farrell and Drew Carey get pregnant and come to pregnancy class." Needless to say, an uncomfortable time is had by all! The final couple is not actually a couple at all. It's the "My lazybutt husband didn't want to come so I brought my mom" couple. Man, this just burns me up!!! I mean come on dude grow some... uhh... take some responsibility for what you did to this girl. He's probably the same dude that won't lift a finger to change a diaper and will whine like a little girl when the baby spits up on him. What a frickin loser!! Baby!! Idiot!! Poor girl, it's like she's having twins... one is a little cute baby and the other is an annoying ugly hairy baby with a bad attitude... I bet he's one of these guys that won't drive a minivan either because he's too cool... Dude, get a life!!! I will pray for your soul!!!
Ok... well... since we're on the subject of hairy babies... During our last class we took a tour of the labor and delivery and postpartum sections of the hospital... plush... not quite steak and lobster (see earlier post)... but nice! We passed the newborn nursery where a nurse was burrito-ing a sweet little girl who was born a month early and just 4.5lbs. She was so cute! And then this revelation struck me... Grady, who is still in Jen's belly mind you, weighs more than that little baby who is outside in the world already. Immediately a sense of comfort washed over me followed by a sense of "holy cow this is really happening!" Jesus help us!
After that we moved on to the postpartum section. The waiting room looked like a scene out of Alice and Wonderland or like it came off the set of the Doodlebops! Very colorful and bubbly. Down the hall we passed the postpartum nursery and saw the eigth wonder of the world. There was a baby in there with more hair on his head than a sasquatch. It felt a little like a Coney Island freak show. This kid's hairline was down to his eyebrows and it was thick and black like Eddie Munster's!! He and Eugene Levy must've had a baby together and named it Cheech Marin? We seriously laughed out loud. Jen said his head looked like a briar patch, but she meant brillo pad... sweet Jen! We kind of felt bad, but we kept staring until had to move on to the next exhibit.
Ok, I've gone on too long, so I'll have to spare you the details about all of the Golden Boat, the teacher from Krum, and the 1980's pregnancy video on VHS. But I do want to make a quick remark about the Epidural video. Seriously, it was way over the top. I think the doctor on the video said something like this after he fed the quarter inch steel cable into the lady's back, "And in just a few seconds the contractions will get weaker and weaker... Soon it will begin to feel like a gentle massage... and in just a few minutes your perfect silent smiling sleep through the night baby will be delivered plus twelve thousand dollars shipping and handling.
Can't wait to see Grady in is cap and gown...