You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Class No. 3 - Dumb and Dumber

Last Wednesday night our baby class took a tour of the labor and delivery floor called the Birthplace. It looked pretty nice; although the head nurse looked slightly distressed when she saw our group and someone said, "We're all here to deliver!" Her mouth fell open and I think she may have had a mild stroke before she realized it was just a tour. I guess that evening had been pretty busy, baby-wise.

The rooms looked decent, the beds were all fancy; you could maneuver then in just about any configuration. There were bathtubs for all rooms and, of course, flat screen TVs.

After our tour we watched another birth video - I think they are trying to desensitize us to the idea. We also talked about birth plans and did relaxation techniques for labor comfort.

About birth plans. I previously thought it was stupid. I mean, how to you PLAN something you really cannot plan? I thought only high-strung, high-maintenance, freaky type-A women did that. They typed up a 10 page book and put it in a three-ring binder to give to the nurse. Upon which receiving it, the nurse rolls her eyes and says, "Yeah right, lady." Then she laughs, coughs (nurses in my imagination always were old and wore those white hats and cardigans and chain smoked Pall Malls) and dumps the birth plan in the trash.

But then I actually started reading stuff about it. And reading about other peoples' experiences. Add that to the fact that nowadays you really need to be your own health care advocate and you CANNOT walk into the hospital being some naive Pollyanna. Doctors and nurses make mistakes. All the time. And if I don't speak up and say what I want, or maybe more importantly, what I don't want, then I really don't have any control over the outcome.

At the end of class we practice our relaxation techniques. The lights go down and we practice deep breathing. I'm sitting against Matt, who is leaned up against the wall, and I'm concentrating on inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth. It is very quiet.

Then Matt farts. A real fart, not some little puffer. It reverberates off my yoga mat, sounding like a distressed elephant trumpeting across the savanna.

My concentration is gone. So far gone. It's not coming back. I'm shaking silently and crying and I feel Matt shaking against my shaking and there we are in the corner, twitching like some crackhead version of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Because I should stop laughing means that I cannot stop laughing and I sort of wet my pants in the process. I try to think of something else but I end up having to pinch myself hard to calm down.

Everyone else does a good job ignoring us.

I realize later that everyone else probably thought it was me.

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