Baby class 101 (a review)

Christine decided she wanted to have Olivia at the Birthing Centre. Basically the Birthing Centre is for mothers who wish to (or at least try to) give birth naturally without drugs and the like. Personally I'm not fussed either way. Part of this process involves a 3 hour class each week for 4 weeks. 3 hours!! Not even the University lectures last that long. What could possibly take 3 hours?

Christine and I arrived slightly late. People were all sitting on lemon coloured pillows with their shoes off. There was a strong wiff of smelly feet. For some reason the midwife taking the class (I'll get to her in a minute) was playing something which could only be described as really bad pan pipe flute music (the sort you'd find in the two dollar bin at Chickenfeed). I think it was meant to make me relax... it was bloody awful and put me further on edge.

The mid wife running the the class was an older friendly looking hippy earth mother. She was dressed in a long skirt and top that looked like it had been bought at the Salamanca market. She began by asking us how we'd been born. "My name is X and I was a vaginal birth" she began in a soft tone.

She told us about the cervix being hard "like your nose" but then softening during labor "to be soft like the corner of your mouth". She told us about the three (or was it four stages of Labor).

For some reason she kept talking about Poo. When she said it she really lent on the "oo" sound sorta like a middle aged person when they swear. "You know when to push the baby out because it's a bit like when you go to the toilet to do a poooo... Sometimes the when the waters break they come out green because the baby has done a poooo." But my favourite quote was "Labor is like 9 months worth of period pain rolled into one... only worse."

It was all very informtiave but went for way too long, frustratingly long. She had dolls and posters with smily faces on them (that looked about 25 years old). While she was a lovely approachable kind lady, she kept digressing with little stories, nearly all of which had nothing to do with the class. On and on it went.

The evening finally finished with a DVD of women giving birth. I found it pretty confronting. This was mainly because the film was in German, filmed in the eighties, was filled with bad fashion and bad eighties german porno mustaches and had another filthy pan pipe number over the top. Pan pipes over women in labor!! It's not good people!

Now before people get stuck into me I learned plenty and the video was eyeopening to say the least. The session was most informative and useful. But 3 hours? Really?? Surely one an half to 2 at the most is enough. In fact if you'd cut out the stories it probably would have lasted 45 min.



Bron said... 12/01/2008 11:52 am  

My friend Soph is having a baby through the birth centre up here. Her baby classes are all day!

She said they're mostly about relaxing though.

Have you guys seen the movie Baby Mama? (it has the two women from saturday night live in it). There's an awesome scene at the birthing class in that.

Jason said... 12/01/2008 11:56 am  

I don't think I'm ever going to be rid of the mental imagery of 'a cervix being like a nose'...

Stay strong brother. Perhaps you could pass the time during the sessions by counting how many times you hear mention of female reproductive parts.

Luke said... 12/01/2008 2:04 pm  


Renae said... 12/01/2008 2:38 pm  

Oh dear!! :D

Nick G said... 12/01/2008 3:20 pm  

Nice writing mate, I felt like I was there. With the cheese feet. What is it with people wanting to make these kinds of places feel homey? If I was giving birth I would want it to look like the coldest most sterile-looking place I could imagine. White walls, hard plastic, polished steel, modern machines with flashing LEDs and everyone wearing uniforms with nametags containing all the letters of all the degrees they'd studied to get their respective positions.

The Borg said... 12/01/2008 3:30 pm  

LOL That is hilarious. Why are birthing classes always hippie? Why are hippies so into birth?? Is it because it's messy and dirt and bloody and organic?

P.S. Did you see our old friend Shirley Henderson there? I hear she goes along to childbirth classes even though she's not pregnant.

Luke said... 12/01/2008 3:46 pm  

Has Mike met Shirley Henderson?

"and everyone wearing uniforms with nametags containing all the letters of all the degrees they'd studied to get their respective positions."
LOL - I didn't realise birth is so funny until reading this post and these comments.

(Serious aside: I've been thinking about why the pain of childbirth will be "increased." Probably in the top ten most mysterious Bible verses.)

Jonny said... 12/01/2008 6:28 pm  

I guess it was movember in Germany in the 80s.

Christine will be shouting for the drugs. They all do.

Cabernet Leather said... 12/01/2008 7:28 pm  

"My name is X and I was a vaginal birth" she began in a soft tone.

That made me literally LOL!

Emily said... 12/01/2008 8:13 pm  


(and that's not my sarcastic voice)

Laura said... 12/02/2008 6:53 am  

I was thinking of "Baby Mama" too!

My sister-in-law's midwife was the most chilled out woman on earth. I think that's why midwives are perceived as hippies, because they're so mellow about childbirth, instead of all panicky and sterile bright lights and beeping and PUSH PUSH PUSH!!!

Bron said... 12/02/2008 1:47 pm  


Phil said... 12/03/2008 10:00 am  

"My name is X and I was a vaginal birth"

I think you went to a vaginal births' anonymous meeting by mistake.

Trace said... 12/03/2008 5:26 pm  

There's a very funny episode of 'Coupling' where none of the guys can believe that Susan doesn't want drugs. On the whole a bit of a dirty show- but you should watch that episode. Series 4.

The Pook said... 12/06/2008 9:43 pm  

The most important thing you need to remember is wear comfy shoes. You'll be standing up for a lot longer than she will! :)

Justin said... 12/08/2008 4:02 pm  

The most important thing you need to remember is wear comfy shoes.

And old clothes. Please.

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