Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Childbirth Class Dropout

Like any self-assured Generation Xer, I was a generally apathetic student in the Lamaze class that was designed to prepare me for my first labor. Even though I had never given birth, I had my mind made up. I didn't need the class to scare me. My stubbornly ignorant opinion was "This class is dumb." Not once have I ever forgotten how to breathe on my own. Secondly, birthing balls and meditative music is silly. I wondered why some women go "natural" when modern science has blessed us with the Epidural? I decided that I would be in complete control of myself, and my labor.

Alas! Three comical, unpredictable and adventurous births later I realize that I have control over very little in life. So, Nurse Shapiro, where ever you are, you were right. I was just a young, ignorant mother-to-be back then. Childbirth Preparation class is not for wimps. I should have paid closer attention. Here are the top ten lessons about labor and delivery that I learned the hard way.

#1. If contractions are so strong that you can not sit down, don't mop the floor like a nitwit, call the doctor.

#2. Don't let the happy-go-lucky husband stop at 7-Eleven for spicy chicken Chalupas and coffee when you're on the way to the hospital, in active labor.

#3. Lamaze is dumb until your water breaks on the front seat of the car and you end up going natural because the husband stopped at 7-Eleven. Then you wish you had a birthing ball or some music, maybe Nirvana's greatest hits to scream. HECK, you'll try anything to get that baby out! You spend the last ten minutes of the process grabbing the poor nurse, who hasn't even finished Admitting you, by the collar and gasping, "These contractions are choking me, What do I do!?" Oddly, you experience an epiphany moment when, between contractions, you realize why there's a baby swimming on the cover of the 1991 Album Nevermind.

#4. As part of the Admitting Questionnaire, the nurse seriously asks if you're afraid to return home. Don't say "yes" to get revenge on the clueless-to-your-pain husband because he's wearing the orange shirt that makes you nauseous, and is excitedly stuffing Chalupas in his mouth in the waiting room. That's just mean.

#5. It's not smart to talk politics with the doctor administering the Epidural. If the physician happens to be from New Jersey, be careful not to bring up Governor Corzine's traffic accident. This question may lead to a hysterical rant by the doctor, who, meanwhile, is busy inserting a tube in your spinal column. Big Mistake.

#6. When you have to ask for a glass of water for the husband who is growing pale, or he's telling the nurses bad jokes during the most intense part of your labor, it's time to fire him "Donald Trump style" from his position as your breathing coach.

#7. If you also have to comfort the doctor administering the Epidural with phrases like "Cheer up, you tried your best," while he is pouting and cursing because the drugs went straight to your right kneecap and nowhere else, it's time to say Hail Marys.

#8. That first night in the hospital with your newborn is not the time to feel guilty about skipping the night-time feeding so you can get some sleep. Rest assured you won't get a good night's sleep for the next 18 years.
#9. Don't be shocked to find that, after giving birth, you're still fat.

#10. When you associate going into the hospital to have a baby with spending a weekend at a spa retreat, maybe it's time to stop having kids!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Very funny! You should sent this piece out to American Baby!

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