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"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

Birthing Basics - lessons learned from our birth class

Because of a momentary, but huge lapse in personal judgment, I decided to coheres Ben into taking the hospital’s “birthing basics” class with me. I will not lie. He was not happy about sitting in a classroom full of severely pregnant women giving their significant others stink eye the whole time while learning about the horrors of birth. And he did make his best effort to talk me out of it by begging, pleading, and warning me that I would regret signing up for this three week, 9-hour class built solely on fear and placenta. But I couldn’t be stopped. It was as if all of the previous reading I had done about hemorrhoids, blood clots, emergency C-sections, and death by birth hadn’t made an impact at all.

As I write this, I truly believe that my lack of judgment was caused by a strong concoction of progesterone mixed with babycenter.com, pregnancy brain, and a genuine fear of labor and hospitals. Dragging Ben down with me was just part of the package deal. His final attempts to get me to think and act clearly were not even enough to make me save my $80 for something more worthwhile, like a couple bags of dog food or some potted plants, or ¼ of our air conditioning bill for the month of July – pretty much anything else….

At the first class we didn’t know what to expect. We arrived at the hospital complex early to find a parking spot and figure out which building the class was in. After driving around arguing about the 500 feet one way or another that the GPS was taking us, we realized we should just ask the hospital’s valet attendants. That’s right, valet attendants. Not all hospitals have valet parking with 20-year-old guys parking your ride? That's funny. In Scottsdale you might be dying a horrific death due to flesh eating bacteria, but they will still make you feel like a VIP and valet your whip. A swaggy bunch who have thought of everything, those decision makers at Scottsdale North Hospital. Anyway, the valet guys told us the class was actually inside the hospital, so we found our own parking spot (no need to spend the extra $3) and went inside the hospital past the registration, past the spa (I kid you not….) and into the “Basics of Birthing” classroom. And here are the highlights of our 3 week course:

Lesson Learned #1: It doesn’t matter if it’s 104 outside, wear a sweatshirt and jeans, wool socks, a hat and parka inside a hospital because the temperature is just above freezing. While I wore jeans and a long sleeved shirt, Ben wore shorts, a tee shirt and flip flops, so not only was he in mental anguish the whole time, but physical as well.



Poor Ben













Lesson Learned #2: A classroom setting regardless of what is being learned gives me anxiety…hmmm, maybe that is why it took me 6-years to finish college. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about white boards and an overhead projector that makes me want to sit as closely to an exit as possible. Add in dry erasers and 12 other pregnant women and it really is an uncomfortable setting.

Gives me a case of anxiety just looking at it

Gives Ben a case of anxiety just looking at it













Lesson Learned #3: Regardless of the size of class, there is always one D. bag. Always. In our class, he happened to raise his hand at every opportunity just so he could hear himself say things like, “I heard that you can always tell when the placenta is delivered because it smells so bad. I heard it’s true, my coworker told me so, he says it stinks up the whole room.” Only to be followed by him looking around the classroom at everybody wide-eyed and nodding like he just unveiled top-secret information. Or “I want to see the video of a placenta,” after the weird little teacher forgot to show it to us. Or other random things like, “that is so disgusting.” “That actually happens?” “Oh gross.” He would also randomly clap his hands, make comments about nipple stimulation…”oh, yaaaaaa,” volunteer his wife for demonstrations’ in front of the class, make comments “to himself” that we could hear across the room, and just be an overall ass.


The only other thing I could have added was a popped collar stripe shirt












Lesson Learned #4: Despite having valet parking, a spa and café, and a huge screen TV showing which class is in which room, the hospital couldn’t splurge on upgrading its videos. Thankfully, the only video we had to see was a lady giving birth with an epidural. Unfortunately, after watching the video I now have visions of early 80’s porn with a baby coming out at the end. “Judy” as her name in the video was, had the red rocker mullet and spent the entire video groaning, moaning, sweating and screaming. It made even me a little uncomfortable to see, although, I’m not sure if it was all the panting or the fact that the doctor delivered her baby with no gloves on that grossed me out more.

Clearly not Red mullet Judy, but Meg Ryan will have to do in order to keep it PC













Lesson Learned #5: There is such thing as too much information when it comes to things like giving birth, especially in drawings on whiteboards. WARNING: Please skip this lesson learned if you didn't want to know that both areas down there dilate..... Exhibit A:
YIKES!!!















Lesson Learned #6: Using teaching tools like “Cletus the Fetus” doesn’t make childbirth demonstration’s any nicer or more fun. Especially when Cletus gets stuck in the birth canal, or is breech, or sunny side up, or when Cletus’s mom’s pelvis is too small to fit her big head out…

Hi Cletus


Oh no! She's stuck















Lesson Learned #7: All the breathing techniques they teach you to use during labor can be defined by graphs on a whiteboard. Good luck with those he he whooooos and he he he he he he he whooooooooos. I’m sure I’ll remember those graphs (or the “burp me” method) when I’m in full blown labor.















Lesson Learned #8: It is acceptable to throw phrases such as “bloody show,” “mucus plug,” “stripping of membranes,” “golf ball sized blood clots,” and other such terms around in this kind of setting. But only in this kind of setting. Although when D. bag in lesson #3 makes comments about all such terms rather than just shutting his face up, it does get irritating.

Not even I will post a picture of that stuff. Sick















Lesson Learned #9: It is possible to spend 9 hours in a class and only take away the above lessons. Oh yes, and I almost forgot, if you bring a ball for massaging your pregnant lady, be sure it’s a racquet ball and not a tennis ball. You want to be able to wash any unsightly fluids off of it, just in case.


So here is my public apology to Ben for dragging him to the birthing class after he told me it was a worthless idea, although, I did notice he went out and bought a sleeve of racquet balls the other day…..

That's my boy

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