It's only 9 months... but it feels like Maternity...

Now Known As Postnatal Oppression

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Second antenatal class this week - "Normal Labour." There were only half as many of us this time: Cats-bum-mouth on her own, Scandinavian girl and her other half, and two of the single mums as well as me and the husband. We went over a few things that the midwife had actually told us last week, but either no-one wanted to appear rude or it was only me and the husband who realised.

The knitted uterus apparently makes an appearance in other antenatal classes - the woman in the Rough Guide to Pregnancy mentions it in her diary too. I wonder who knits these things, and do they all follow the same pattern?

Cats-bum-mouth and Scandinavian girl were talking about how nice it is that they can just eat whatever they want now they're pregnant and not have to think about it. Scandinavian girl was saying that she had been on a diet for most of her life so she was taking advantage of not having to worry about food. I really couldn't help thinking "Whatever diets you've been on love, they've clearly not helped," (she is a big girl) and I was thinking to myself about the paragraph in one of the books I was given that said expectant mothers only needed an extra 200 calories a day for the first couple of trimesters, rising to about 300 calories for the last one. Which is equivalent to a couple of pieces of toast. I noticed that the midwife didn't agree with what they were saying, she chose instead to remain tactfully quiet. I'm not saying that I have only had a couple of pieces of toast extra a day, just that I know what I should have been having. (Those chocolates went down very nicely).

Then the Scandinavian girl was really interested to learn about epidurals again - she is cacking herself. Her main reason for wanting one is that she's terrified she won't be able to cope with the pain. I was thinking "Oh come on, don't be such a wuss," I mean, how can she know that, and isn't it more likely that she'll be panicking and terrified if she assumes she will be right from the off? Not to say that I won't be, but if you start off with an epidural at the beginning, where do you have to run to ten hours later when you REALLY know that you can't cope?

We went over stuff to bring with us in a bag for labour, which mostly centred around making sure your partner has got stuff to eat. The husband perked up happily at this, especially at the midwife's suggestion that even if we don't want to eat when we're offered the hospital menu, to order something they'd like instead. One of the single mums (who had been irritating everyone by making stupid comments on everything the midwife had been saying) asked "Is it alright for someone to bring a McDonalds in for me?" at which point the husband snurfed with laughter and had to pretend he was coughing. The midwife kindly said that yes it was fine.

She then went over different positions for labouring in, none of which looked particularly inviting, and demonstrated the plusses and minuses of each one with a u-bend to represent the position of the birth canal in each one. They are so creative, these midwives, you have to hand it to them. The husband at this point had a relieved, smug expression on his face. I said "You're really enjoying this, aren't you?" and he replied "Yep - s'not happening to me, I'm just there to be shouted at" and grinned widely. He also refused to let me use his knees to support myself if I chose to squat, or to hang off his shoulders in what looked like the drunken-slow-dance-in-a-nightclub position. And to grow a beard, which the little man on the diagram sheet had done.

Then, in the last half an hour of the class, something very strange happened. The bloke who was the Scandinavian girl's partner, suddenly decided to have a rant about the state of society - how when he was growing up, both his parents smoked and he and his siblings were fine, how no-one ever used to have asthma or allergies, how there was no discipline any more and if he wanted to hit his kids then no-one was going to stop him. Cats-bum-mouth and McDonalds girl joined in wholeheartedly, and suddenly there we were in the middle of a Klan meeting. The midwife kept trying to bring things back to safer subjects like perineums, but there was no stopping them. "My mum never..." "when I was a kid...." "Don't you agree that... " (this directed at the husband, him being a custodian of the law - he raised an eyebrow in reply and turned away). They then started on religion, asking the midwife if she agreed that it was all nonsense. Bearing in mind she'd mentioned that her mum is Irish Catholic, the poor woman's diplomacy was being stretched to the max (just like the perineums she'd described earlier). I did enjoy the Scandinavian girl's face when her partner was going on about hitting his kids though - the second he tries that little stunt, she's clearly going to rip his arm off and beat him to death with the soggy end.

It was just incredible. If it'd been in America they'd have been firing their guns into the air and whooping. I mean, the thread of the ideas you could understand, even if you wouldn't necessarily agree with them, but coming from such obviously ill-educated, ignorant people it was just alarming. When we came out, I told the husband I was going to ask the midwife if she'd got any other classes running in nicer areas that I could go to. He agreed, saying that some horrible mistake had obviously been made and we'd been given the 2-star class in error. We tried to feel bad about being so stuck-up and snobby, but sometimes you just know you're better than other people. More importantly, we could have gone home half an hour earlier if they hadn't been so bloody rabid.

We set up the cot and had a count-up of all the baby stuff we've got, and found that we've acquired 21 short-sleeved bodysuits and no long-sleeved ones. Hmm. Oh and we still haven't got anywhere to put Spawn to sleep when he first comes home - the drawer option is starting to look increasingly likely unless we get our act into gear. We really must get around to doing a list and buying some stuff.


Blogger Cruella said...

Sounds like you accidentally ended up in the screening group for compulsory sterilization...

6:33 AM  

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