Why We Can’t Go Back to Childbirth Class

So, yea. I need to preface this story with the fact that I am not proud of our behavior. We are children, of this I am quite aware. But I also know that my husband and I are jovial people. We laugh a lot and even if we have the senses of humor of 12 year olds, I still love that we laugh easily and heartily. Just maybe we need to work on our timing.

So childbirth classes. My husband was not thrilled with having to attend these classes from the start and I won’t lie, I wasn’t enthused myself. But knowing that drugs are off the table for us, it seemed reasonable that we should try to educate ourselves on what was going to happen and a few non-medicinal ways to manage the excruciating pain that I’m about to face.

The woman who teaches the class is…nice. Like, one of those super touchy, feely nice people. The best way I can describe her is that I can imagine that her house is decorated exclusively in Precious Moments paraphernalia, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So she introduces herself, tells us she is a nurse who has worked extensively with pregnant women. She goes on to describe all the areas of the hospital she has worked in and then admits, casually, that the only area of maternal medicine she hasn’t worked in is labor and delivery. Um. WHAT? My childbirth instructor has never worked in labor and delivery? Sweet.

Later she tried to tell us that if no one signed up for snacks there would be no snacks at the next several classes, but she got flustered and said sex instead. Which of course made me laugh (I know), but I did it silently and covered it up with a cough. To which the person in front of me turned around and said, “you’re coughing.” How do you respond to that? It wasn’t a question, it wasn’t concern, it was like she was narrating. I wanted to reply with “water is wet” but she turned back around and instead took to asking the instructor the same question about doctors breaking water 800 times because if she kept asking it, eventually the instructor would know the answer.

It kind of went downhill from here.

They cleared out the chairs and had us get on our yoga mats on the floor, turned out the lights, turned on some Enya and had men start massaging the women. My husband, being a doctor, was struggling with the jaw massage and was instead kind of assessing my lymph nodes, which was NOT relaxing. That was when we started laughing.

A moment later, Enya still playing, the instructor had all the women get on their hands and knees and the men knelt behind them. Lest you think we are the only awful people, the couple next to us laughed at the awkwardness of the positioning because, uh, this is not something people typically do in public. And then the men were instructed in a massage technique for the women’s hips. In a soothing, almost seductive voice, the instructor said, “don’t worry, she’ll let you know if she wants it harder.”

And I lost it.

I know. I’m terrible. It was the combination of the position, the tone of her voice, the music. Everything. I didn’t just laugh, I straight up snorted. And then I died of embarrassment.

After the awkward all fours massage, we meditated. The women leaned against the men, we all closed our eyes, and the first thing the instructor said was, “You’re feeling very heavy…” and that was when my husband lost it because she was talking to a room of giant pregnant women. And he just never got himself back together. The instructor tried to get us to imagine a beach and by the time she asked us what we smelled in our meditation, my husband was completely done. I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t laughing, but I was at least doing it silently. He literally had to leave the room to get himself together.

10 minutes later the class was over and we waited until coughing lady began asking the instructor the same question for the 300th time before we ran snuck out, embarrassed and hysterically laughing.

Not only do we have 3 more weeks of this class, but the instructor is also our breastfeeding class teacher. You guys, we are so screwed. I’m pretty sure that if our instructor has any say in it, we won’t be allowed to bring our child home, on account of the fact that we are in fact, still children ourselves.

27 Responses to “Why We Can’t Go Back to Childbirth Class”

  • I’m laughing hysterically just from your description. There is no way I would have been able to sit through that class. Sure doesn’t sound anything like the birthing class I took… of course, that was 12 years ago.

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  • HAAAA this is hilarious. SURELY they realize that it is hilarious too, no? If they don’t, then I just wouldn’t want to be their friend. I laugh at inappropriate things all the time, and I love it when I’m not the only one. I am probably going to hell because my super conservative Christian co-worker ALWAYS says stuff that can be hilarious and inappropriate, but she doesn’t realize it. Like telling someone to shake the mustard bottle “to get the pre-mustard out” SERIOUSLY? How can you NOT laugh at that? Don’t feel bad for laughing because I think anyone with a sense of humor would do the same. Good luck in your next class!

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  • Tia:

    That is hysterical! I can assure you with 100% confidence that if that happens in our baby class in May, we will both laugh just like you guys did! I started a prenatal yoga class last week, and I laughed during that. Yep, I’m a bad pregnant lady! The yoga class was just so hippy for me. I can’t even believe that your teacher hasn’t worked in L&D.

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  • There has got to be an online course you can take in the privacy of your own home somewhere on the interwebs.

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  • HAHAHAHAHA! Can’t wait to reproduce now.

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  • Crysi:

    I would have died right there on the spot. I can guarantee my hubby & I would have been giggling like middle schoolers over all that. And based on your description, I could teach a better child birth class. She’s never worked in L & D?! Honestly, if my husband tried to massage, let alone touch me while I was in labor, he would be missing a limb. He could hold my hand, make eye contact & tell me to breathe. Any other contact = dead man.

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  • Oh, man…how could you NOT laugh??

    I loved our childbirth instructor after she told us a story about a woman she met who always did Kegels at red lights in traffic. Then she said, “I don’t like that story because now when I drive, I wonder who around me is doing Kegels. And now you will, too!”

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  • Dawn:

    oh lord. get yourself a doula and call it a day, these crazy people are only teaching you that laughter cures everything . . . which… actually, record this stuff so you can listen to it in labor and you’ll do just fine.

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    Joy Reply:

    @Dawn, A Doula is a brilliant idea. A secondary option to a fully certified Doula is someone in training…

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    Katie Reply:

    @Joy, It is a brilliant idea. Too bad my husband is a firm no on this one. SIGH.

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    Joy Reply:

    @Katie, To which I offer you my reply to my husband for all pregnancy, birth, and post-partum related issues including inlaw visits, for babies #2 & #3 (only perfected after the first baby, ha!) – “Noted, but you are not the one gestating or birthing this child, so I win.” ;)

  • Stephen:

    I swear to you, about 27 years ago, we had the EXACT same Lamaze instructor. WTF? I remember her getting us sperm donors off to the side in a little circle and she did her dead level best to re-create the last couple contractions before delivery. I don’t know if she wanted to scare us, or warn us. She had her face so scrunched up she couldn’t see us guys exchanging knowing glances, and laughing our asses off silently. Slappy would have fit right in. :-)

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  • My husband and I would have laughed, too. I don’t understand how anyone in that class wasn’t laughing.

    The biggest thing I remember from my childbirth classes is that our instructor made up watch this long, boring video about pregnancy, 15 minutes of which was pregnant women recounting the weird dreams they had while pregnant. My husband still makes fun of the woman who dreamed she would give birth to a litter of kittens.

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  • Heather:

    If I’d been in that room I’d have been laughing my butt off, if it makes you feel any better.

    But then, during my first Pap smear, when my male gyno asked if I was comfortable, I said, “I usually require Barry White and some candles before I let a guy get this far up in my junk, but you’re doing alright.” The awkward silence was deafening.

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    Suzanne Reply:

    @Heather, That is awesome!

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  • Amy K:

    Who wouldn’t laugh at this stuff? In our class, my husband and I couldn’t keep straight faces during the breathing exercises. All the “hoo hoo haa haa” noises were too much for our maturity level, apparently. It all worked out okay, though, because we still got to bring our daughter home from the hospital, and now she’s three and tells terrible jokes just like we do.

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  • peach:

    So I’m a doula and the training involves an extended child birth preparation class…..let’s just say my abs were sore by the end of the day from laughing so hard. But that was encouraged because the instructor was awesome. Girl, find yourself someone with a sense of humor!

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  • Beth:

    I would be kicked out of the class right beside you. Those were such gimmes. How do you NOT laugh?

    Prudes.

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  • Liz:

    I just wanted to throw out a pain management technique that worked for me. A TENS unit. Someone in my birthing class (a far less amusing and far too reliant on graphic pictures of body changes kind of class) was a physical therapist. She mentioned it in passing and I talked to my doctor. It’s totally safe. And I was able to birth my now almost 6 month old without drugs. And, it was free. Apparently you get the 1st month free to try it – distributed by a PT – as its intended for long term pain mgmt. I needed it for one day. Popped it back in the mail and was never charged. :)

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  • All I remember from my childbirth class last fall was the woman who kept asking dumb questions. She was the one who really needed to be there, and she was the one who didn’t show up for the last class. She held up her fingers about 2 inches apart and said, “I thought THIS was 10 cm.” “No,” the instructor clarified, holding up the life-size baby model, and making a huge circle from thera-putty, “its head has to fit through there. THIS is 10 cm.” And I’m pretty sure she decided then and there that nothing that large was ever coming out of her vagina.

    There was quite of bit of suppressed sniggling and eye rolling between my husband and me, but nothing on your scale. Keep that sense of humor during child birth.

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  • Robbin B:

    OMG I bust out laughing reading this. I have to tell you that my husband and I did get the laughing fits at that class also, never had to leave the room but still.

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  • I am now so glad I never attended any childbirth classes. At the time my opinion was that the baby is coming out regardless, so why waste my time (plus they were never scheduled when we could attend). But now I’m glad because there is no way I could have gotten through something like this. Good luck on the next three classes!

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  • Al_Pal:

    Oh my goodness. Hilarious.

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  • Melissa:

    You have to have a sense of humor to be a parent. The way I see it, you passed the class with flying colors. Congratulations.

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  • I am so thankful we had an instructor with a sense of humor. The one thing that had us snickering that others didn’t is that one couple (a crunchy, granola type) went on and on about how, since the husband was British, he wasn’t circumcised and they told us all the reasons why we shouldn’t do that to our sons.

    I couldn’t look the guy in the face anymore. Really, I don’t want to know this information!

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  • Liz:

    I would have lost it, too — especially during the all-fours massages. Oh man.

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  • Oh boy, if I were there I would’ve tried to not lose it. But, hearing your description, I think it would’ve been impossible. Good luck if you decide to go back!

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Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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