“The female body is designed to succeed.” That is the first bit of information that our birthing class instructor told us, which is why it is written across the top page of my notepad and underlined. While this is great news for Lindsay, it doesn’t say much about my success rate. The law of averages puts my performance squarely in the shitter, struggling not to fail and implode. This birthing class helps provide us with a clear (and I mean crystal clear) understanding of what the birthing experience will be like. Lindsay is the star of this production and I’m fulfilling the role of being a stage Mom. I am to be abundantly supportive, have snacks ready at moment’s notice, and prevent myself from saying anything stupid or alarming like, “Honey, you think they could perform a c-section with a chainsaw? Like if they HAD to.” But, this class is really wonderful. It’s been great to receive information in a positive, supportive environment that is totally cool with smart ass remarks. Allow me to share some of my notes with you.
- Do Not Give Birth On Your Back: According to our instructor the best method for a successful delivery is by either standing or squatting. I was really surprised by this at first. If I was given the choice to stand, squat, or lay down to perform any task, I’m choosing laying down every time. I now understand that gravity is working against the baby from working her way out if Mom is on her back, but squatting? I mean Lindsay isn’t a baseball catcher and she’s already got one bad knee, so I’m not sure how that is going to unfold at all. I guess that’s why they have a birth swing at the midwifery offices.
- Don’t Cut The Cord Too Quickly: You have to wait until the cord changes colors! The blood has to leave the cord and get into the baby. That’s crazy. Apparently, it comes out all red and colorful and within about 25 minutes it shrivels up and looks like E.T.’s little alien arm after he gets lost in the woods, all white and grayish.
- Pre-Labor Stage: The mucus plug FALLS OUT! This is by far the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard of. I was unaware that the vagina could cough up a loogie, and produce a blood covered mucus plug roughly the size of a wine cork. I spent all my time studying about how to get things (mainly myself) into a vagina and never considered anything gross falling out of it. When that cork pops, party time is right around the corner.
- Abnormal Labor Warning Signs:
- Sudden Weight Gain: I’m not sure how a man tells, or even informs his pregnant wife that she has started to “put a little too much weight on” during the last weeks of pregnancy. If this is a life threatening issue, Lindsay might die because I’m not saying a goddamn thing.
- Swelling Arms & Face: Once again this is a sore subject. Unless Lindsay’s looks like she lost a fight with a swarm of bees, I’m not saying shit.
- Women Can Do Amazing Things: Our teacher told us a story about how she was hiking through Asia, and came across a woman in a field giving birth while standing up holding onto a hoe. All I could think about is, I can’t get Lindsay to cut the grass EVER, let alone while pregnant. Americans are spa-oiled.
- Breast Milk: Can’t wait to try it. I hope it pairs nicely with my cereal and coffee. Well, I hope it doesn’t taste too good. I’d hate to fancy a taste for breast milk. Talk about a forbidden drink. You can’t ask strangers at the mall if they can spare some boobie juice. I recognize that as tacky. I wouldn’t do it.
- Baby Shit: I have heard horror stories about how violently they can shit. If they’re on their backs, which they frequently are, and power push a duce out, it can rocket all the way up their back! Talk about a shitty situation. That is a shit a grown man would be proud of and if that happens to our little girl, she’ll be getting a fist bump from me.
- Industrial Strength Maxi Pads: According to the birthing class teacher, there are maxi pads that could plug a hole in a damn, which is sorta what they’re being called to do post-delivery. I had no idea that the poor woman has a massive, nine-months-of-storage period after birth. And frequently, they keep those pads in the freezer. It’s akin to putting a big cold steak on a black eye. It helps the swelling go down.
In related news, I’m pretty sure I am the only person who has brought alcohol to class and drank scotch during class.
Ok, those are my highlight from the first two weeks of class. I absolutely love going to the class with Lindsay. It’s helping me get ready and focus on the things that are going to be important for Lindsay when the time comes to deliver. I certainly don’t want to fuck that up. The woman still hasn’t let me forget booking us in a teepee at my friend Rory’s wedding (editor’s note: it LEAKED. On ELECTRONICS), so I’m sure if I muff this baby delivery thing up I’ll hear about it till the day I die. Alright, as someone in the Bible probably said, “Go forth and be fruitful and have sex in multiple ways.”