We have been busy getting ready for baby, making sure we have clothes and supplies, getting furniture set up, and buying giant maxipads that I sincerely hope I will not have to use for too long. As far as the stuff goes, we’re in good shape, but as far as knowing what to do with all that stuff? I don’t feel nearly so prepared. It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks, we will be giving birth! And then allowed to take the baby home without supervision! The baby will cry and we will look at each other and . . . what?
Ack. The idea of going to school and learning how to do things appeals to me as a nerd. And even though I know you can’t really learn parenting in a classroom, I have been signing us up for classes. We took an infant CPR class, and an infant care class, and will be completing week 5 of a childbirth class this week.
The infant CPR class was kind of a dud. It turned out to be called “‘Family and Friends CPR,” and half the class was spent on basic first aid. We watched a seemingly endless American Heart Association video on what to do in case of cuts, falls, sprains, burns, bites, head injuries, choking, and about one thousand other maladies and misfortunes. The really interesting parts of the class were when the instructor was sharing his nuggets of wisdom. My personal favorite was “Ladies, go on a date night with your husband once a month. Otherwise, you get the disgruntles.” I definitely don’t want the disgruntles. It sounds painful. We did eventually get to the various types of CPR (for various ages), and I do feel better having taken the class, but mostly I just hope I never need to actually perform CPR on any family or friends.
The infant care class was a four hour class on a Sunday, and although I really would have preferred staying home and taking a nap, it was good to get some basic information on swaddling, diapering, bathing, feeding, etc. However, I will admit that when I got home at the end of class I maybe had a little cry. I will never remember the 26 proper steps of giving baby a bath! And we learned that massaging a baby’s legs one way is energizing, and the other way is calming. But I can’t remember which way is which! Alex very patiently listened to me blabber a bit, and reminded me that we will be fine.
The childbirth class has been the most interesting, maybe because it’s spread out over five weeks. This has given us more time to think about what we’ve learned, practice the breathing, and observe the other “students” in our class. It’s sort of fascinating to speculate on each couple’s backstory. Some seem very young and others are old timers like me (in their 30s). I’m sure they all think I’m a freak because
a) When the instructor asked if we had been practicing our kegels (she wants us to do 100 (!) a day), I said yes, and when she asked how many, I said the most I had made it to was 60. This caused a couple of women to make appalled gasps and me to quickly add, “But not all at once! Over the whole day!” But I’m sure all they think of when they see me is “Vagina Clencher.”
b) I have gotten a little woozy a couple of times when watching the birth videos. Both times, I just excused myself to the bathroom and considered throwing up, then returned as though it was just a sudden pee (a likely cover story during pregnancy). But I’m sure it seemed a little weird. It’s not the births that make me feel nauseous--those are actually pretty interesting--but any talk about veins, arteries, or shots, and I get a sudden sick feeling. The cartoon diagram of an epidural on the video was more than I could bear.
So, my education in a nutshell: don’t get the disgruntles and strengthen that pelvic floor. Squeeze!
[High time for my sister to resume her own blog, don't you think? Vagina clencher! Disgruntles! Hilarious.]