the first baby class : a new SNL sketch

Let's just say that SNL came to Milwaukee last night.

We've been looking forward to our first childbirth and parenting class for almost two months now. It's a six-week course through the hospital where our physician is located and where we'll deliver, and we've heard a number of good things about it.

All day yesterday, I skipped around in anticipation. After all, this was to be our second "official" activity relating to pregnancy after baby registeries; we've done the home study, the daily babycenter.com updates, the book we receive through our physician's office, but now we were going to receive specialized learning. Meet other young couples going through the same thing. Perhaps make life-long friends, as we are so often reminded can arise from such classes.

And in walked Rose*. The substitute. Not that we have anything against substitute teachers. Some subs were better than the regular teachers in high school. 

But this is different. She was kind and obviously loved her work. She was also 60, unintentionally rude and inappropriate, and downright uncomfortable in some of the actions and words she chose. 

Our first activity was to list, as a group, the questions we hoped would be answered in the class. A number of couples didn't offer a question, so we offered one each. Hawk asked about the different birthing techniques, and I asked about the degree of control and preference the mother has in the delivery room. We really put ourselves out there right away, knowing instinctively that this was not going to go well.

Going through the questions one-by-one---and note, we hadn't yet heard what we were going to cover at this first session, nor what the overall plan was for the course---when she finally got to Hawk's. She said,

"No one else will really be interested in this one." Strike one.
"We're not really going to get into it." Strike two. Good to know our contribution was acknowledged.
"These are rather old-fashioned. No one really worries about methods anymore. I'm sure none of you have thought about them." Strike three. Swinging.

Yup. After asking for our questions, she threw away the adage "there are no stupid questions" and basically called our question stupid. Not to mention that all my contemporaries have mentioned a method. Not to mention that my labor-and-delivery nurse mother and my sister, who works for the same hospital we were standing in, discussed and used a method in their deliveries.

A wee bit later, she hits my question. Shut down again. Mentions a "birth plan," the same language our modern babycenter.com uses, and discusses why that phrase is out of date. Note, this is right after she told us that there are studies done to show how "new technologies are connecting people and knowledge" in "really fast ways." Yup. I wonder what she would think of this whole world wide web thing. Forget facebook.

Hawk leaned over to me and whispered, "This is brutal." Man giggle. "This can't be happening."

It got better. 

Every. Single. Time. She spoke about a woman's anatomy, she...oh, how can I possibly say this appropriately? She took a firm hold of the genuine anatomy closest to her. So often, I had to start looking away. My mother raised me to be a rather modest Catholic, and Catholics are more modest than prudish, and this just sent awkward coursing down my spine. That's really how bad it was.

More man giggles and comments from Hawk. Now joined by very cool-looking couple to my immediate left. I sighed. I think: "Maybe we found a friend?"

Sure enough, as soon as their was a slight break, the couple turned to us and introduced themselves, and we immediately began a mutual tirade expanding on the question, "What did we spend $80 on?!?"

The rest of the evening, she promised us that we'd be leaving early and mentioned, repeatedly, how we probably don't want to know the details she's giving. Yup. That's exactly why we paid money for this voluntary course. Because we hate knowledge and all have expendable income to throw away on things like hospital courses rather than fashion, fast cars, and fast technology. Shoot me in the kneecap.

Finally, I'll give you the only thing as awkward as the firm holding described above. Whenever she wanted to refer to labor, she would pretend to experience a contraction. Acted out for a full 1-3 minutes. Now, I don't want to watch anyone else go through a contraction, and the only reason I'm fine with Hawk seeing me experience one is because it's for our baby. I have watched movie sex scenes with my mother-in-law, but this felt like a total invasion of privacy. Awkward and awkward and awkward. And uncomfortable. Plus, she's 60!

By the time we got to the practice meditation, she had lost me completely. Hawk tried. He really did. When she asked us to moan aloud (oh yes, she did), he came through with bells on. A big, loud, "Hhhaaaaaaaaaaa," as she requested. And of course, every man around us started laughing as silently as they could. And I'm laughing. And our new couple-friends are laughing. And there's not practicing of meditation and comfort going on.

Suffice it to say that when we finally got to our car after not leaving class early, we were dumbstruck. It was just surreal. Even my mother, the labor-and-delivery nurse, couldn't believe what we experienced.

devote: I've heard a number of women dissatisfied about their husbands taking no part in their home, in their pregnancy and preparation. Also, I've been spending a bit of time learning more about proper housekeeping (more on that later) and what truly "makes a home." As much as all the sanding, flooding, maintenance, etc. has given us insight into our marriage formation, having Hawk take the initiative in last night's class, making a fool of himself for the sake of learning, and cracking me up at regular intervals showed me how devoted he is to our marriage and child. Not that I really needed to be reminded. But I know we have something above the norm, and I'll fight to the death to have a lifetime like this.

*(name changed to protect the innocent)

Hope this was worth missing a Housewalking day! It was for me:)



  1. WTF?

    Write a letter to the hospital and CC your MD, please. This is embarassing. And ask for your money back, I bet you'll get it.

    I'm not sure what kind of "method" uses "meditation" and moaning but this is not Bradley. Bradley is about education, even if you choose an epidural or something else, at least the background education you'll receive through it will have been worth it. Come over and borrow some of my books.

    I wish you had a spy video camera attached to your lapel.


  2. I know! Don't worry, we haven't given up on the class. We're convinced the scheduled instructor will be much better...

    but yes, there was a lot of WTF being asked. It was just too hilarious to be true!


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