We finally got around to taking a child birth class at month 8 of this pregnancy. I know… I could have ended up being the example of “This is what active labor looks like” for the entire class to learn. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. For a while, we were of the mind set that at the end of the Big Day we were going to end up with a baby regardless of the knowledge we had or classes we took. I will admit, we took the class more to make new friends than to learn timing of hoos and hees (and I was secretly hoping for a sympathy belly for Ryan to try on). Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either.
Most of the day was filled with the stages of labor, their cues and signs, and terrifying gruesome videos. It was good knowledge if you want to be warned a little bit before launching into labor hysteria (or if you want to make your husband feel really bad about putting you into this predicament). I also enjoyed getting to tour the hospital and the rooms where we would actually introduce Ellie to the world. It all went pretty smoothly until we had to do some practice breathing for contractions and pushing.
We all prepared by positioning on our yoga mats with husbands leaning against the wall and wives sitting/leaning back between husbands’ legs. As we assumed the position, my dear husband whispered a little comment that sent me into a fit of giggles. With my reduced lung capacity and added bowl-full-of-jelly belly, giggles are no longer capable of being reduced to silent snickers. Oh no. These are full blown, dirty looks from instructor, bouncing bump, laugh-snort-catch-a-breath giggles.
So now I am trying to stand up in order to step out of the class room, and I am like a hiccuping turtle on its back struggling to get out from under a boulder, but the boulder is attached to me. Now my husband lends a hand and pushes me up while whisper-shouting “Get outside!” like he is secretly scolding a dog that just peed on the carpet. I finally managed to pull it together after a tear filled laugh fit in the hallway. However, it didn’t end there.
I got myself seated with my husband back in the light-dimmed room which was now filled with the tones of an upbeat relaxation disk and the heavy swooshing of labor practice breathing. We were perpendicular to another wall of couples, so we could see down the line of other parents to be. The couple directly in front of us was taking the breathing exercises very seriously. Not only was soon-to-be mommy closing her eyes and counting breaths, but future dad was closing his eyes and rubbing his wife’s shoulders, neck, and scalp. At some points, the massage took on an almost sensual nature. Noticing this, my husband (whom I have been avoiding eye contact with) starts to giggle, which he can do silently.
Hold it in. Think sad thoughts. Think sad thoughts… Losing our dogs… Oooohh, Ryan is still laughing. Hold it in… Wrecking our car… That worthless pillow sales lady who screwed up our pillow purchase. Idiot… Ok now, that guy is going too far with the supportive massage! ..Ryan stop laughing!… HOLD IT….
The laughter now bursts out of me like an overfilled water balloon, my bump turns into a Mexican jumping bean, and my husband starts trying to push me out of the door again. This time I control my laughter without having to exit, no thanks to my discreetly laughing husband!