Friday, April 11, 2008

tales from labor and birth class, part 5


This post is in response to Sunday's poll - the winning story was our last birth and labor class. However, for y'all that are dying to hear about my misadventures with The Wife and henna - stay tuned. It's too good of a story to leave it untold.

When we last saw our heroic couple, they had braved four birth and labor classes which came packaged with an instructor that appeared to HATE them on principle. As we look in on them now, we see Chip and Whimsy toddling through the hospital parking lot to their last birth and labor class. The class that has been dangling like a sugar-coated carrot, egging Whimsy on, promising the long-awaited HOSPITAL TOUR - including an in-depth dissection of the special Birth Suites. These Birth Suites are so fabled, so mythical, so coated with GOLD and DIAMONDS and a shiny shiny BRIGHT LIGHT in Whimsy's mind, she is nearly BREATHLESS with anticipation. That, or she is just 8-months pregnant and hobbling around like a deformed weeble wobble. She is not yet aware that her baby is breach.

Whimsy walks through the hospital entry alone, as Chip is sprinting across the courtyard to drop off the numerous pillows, water bottles, and home accoutrement in the classroom. They have been instructed to do this since the tour will take place in the first half of class time, after which everyone will return to the classroom for what has been promoted to be "a full run-through of an entire labor and birth".

Whimsy spies someone else from the class, and says to this lonely pregnant woman WOW ARE WE THE FIRST ONES HERE? I'M REALLY IMPRESSED WITH US. They proceed to chit-chat as Whimsy thinks about how much skinnier this woman is than herself. All of this leaves her head when she sees that the entire REST of the class is walking toward her and Lonely Pregnant Woman. Of course, Cindy is leading them. It appears that Whimsy was Doing It Wrong and waited in the wrong place.

Cindy spends a bunch of time going Blah Blah Blah about Stuff. Because we are looking back on this experience, it is difficult for this narrator to really REMEMBER what was said exactly. Whimsy looks bored and her feet hurt. She and Chip ask a couple of questions that Cindy lowers herself to answer. It is an awesome experience. Whimsy says something totally witty and hilarious (which has been totally forgotten, of course)*. Cindy seems to warm to our heroes. For the first time in FIVE WEEKS Cindy uses our adorable couple as an example for something GOOD. (Previously our couple has only been used as an example for what NOT to do, or to simply say NO whenever they suggest an answer to a question.)

The entire class is now clomping through the hospital. They are brought to the entrance of the Family Maternity Center. Whimsy's heart thrills with anticipation. Before long, they are entering the doors of the FMC and are brought to the entrance desk check-in thing. There are lots of instructions which the narrator will not venture to recount. Because it would be even more boring than this recap already is - and also because (once again) the narrator DOESN'T REMEMBER. It should also be pointed out that there was no helpful second visit to any of this area by Whimsy and Chip except for the first hour of Bean's birth day. Remember: Whimsy and Chip had a c-section, and Bean was born in an operating room and then whisked up to the fifth floor. Whimsy never saw any of this part of the FMC after this tour. She was a bit sad about it, but got over it as soon as Bean was placed in her arms. Funny how that happens.

There is a tour of the FMC - highlighting wonderful bits like the "family rooms" where there are televisions and comfy chairs for family members to hang out in if they are not in the birthing rooms. There are also lovely little kitchenettes with FOOD that can be EATEN. It appears to be FREE (which is cause for much whispering by the entire class, since they are quite aware that NOTHING IS FREE IN A HOSPITAL, NOT EVEN THE KLEENEX FOR WHICH YOU WILL BE CHARGED $49.87 PER SHEET). This portion of the tour is extraordinarily surreal, as Whimsy and Chip keep thinking about how the next time they're here, they'll be giving birth to their beautiful little daughter. There are a couple of teary eyes.

Now the class enters the birthing suite and while it seems a little small, it is, indeed, beautiful and sweet and comfy and bathed in a truly rosy light. Everyone is encouraged to gather round the bed. Whimsy is excited to procure a small chair to sit in. Her feet are killing her. (The narrator may have forgotten anything that was said, but she is quite firm about remembering the pain of the feet.) Cindy is now pointing out the benefits of the room, and starts edging closer to the bed. Chip smiles at Cindy for some unknown reason - and Cindy CALLS CHIP OUT OF THE GROUP AND ASKS HIM TO BE THE DAD-TO-BE. She is not positioning Chip in various places on the birthing bed, showing how different parts of the bed can be removed to accommodate different positions for labor. Chip is hamming it up. People are smiling! People are laughing! It appears that the class DOES have a sense of humor! Chip is now... trying to hide his horror as Cindy is now having him perch high atop the raised bed while she (Cindy - pseudo mom-to-be) is stepping BETWEEN HIS LEGS and showing how the laboring mom can use the dad on the bed for support while she (Cindy/woman touching Whimsy's husband/pseudo mom-to-be) leans against him and squats. It is... disturbing. And the look on Chip's face is priceless. The narrator will remind the audience that Chip is a bit squeamish about germs. And about people who haven't been very nice to his wife. He is masking his irritation well, as he starts making faces as Cindy is sort of squatting below and in front of him. Whimsy whips out the cell phone and attempts to take a picture. The moment is lost! The camera did not cooperate! Chip and Whimsy are both Very Sad.

When the tour is over, the group returns to the classroom for what has been promised to be a full run-through of labor and birth. It is, sort of. It's also a QUIZ involving FLASH CARDS and SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS. Chip and Whimsy... SAIL THROUGH THE ENTIRE THING, ANSWERING MANY OF THE QUESTIONS OUT LOUD - CORRECTLY. There is much joy and celebrating.

And then Cindy passes around a sheet inviting everyone to a class reunion in a couple of months. Whimsy and Chip laugh, for they know they will NOT be attending a class reunion. They will, however, be getting to know K and her husband A and eventually their adorable daughter S. Because they turn out to be totally fantastic and Whimsy and K talk on the phone every few days comparing notes.

The End

* Whimsy reminded the narrator what Totally Hilarious and Fantastic thing she said to Cindy that made her laugh and finally broke the ice. Whimsy talked about watching the NOVA documentary In The Womb when she was five months pregnant and how it actually brought on a Panic Attack and Chip was forced to stop the movie (STOP THE MOVIE! STOP THE MOVIE! I CAN'T WATCH ANYMORE! STOP THE MOVIE!), and then he opened all the windows so Whimsy would start breathing. He finally had to take Whimsy on a walk outside to get her to return to sanity. Yes. True story.


The Wife said...

Oh, how I wish I could have seen the look on Chip's face!!! That is awesome!

And, Dude, you said SQUAT!!! Multiple times!!!

Too bad about the lack of photographic evidence, you could have pasted it into Alice's baby book and said, "See how much your Daddy loves you! He let a random woman who is germy and has been mean to his wife SQUAT in front of him!"


Pickles & Dimes said...

Awesome. You and Chip sound like so much fun!

ailene said...

Yikes! Poor Chip! I imagine that would have been very awkward!

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tearese said...

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Yeah, we didn't get to do a lot of the stuff they talked about on our tour either. Darn c-sections.