2.05.2013

The Joys and Horrors of Birthing Babies

For the past few weeks, Jameelah and I have been attending childbirth classes, because we don’t know nothing about birthing no babies when it comes to baby birthing. These classes last 3 hours each, and there are 8 sessions. At first I was resistant. I mean, look, the human race has been giving birth for millennia. Do I really need 8 weeks of training for something so natural? Especially when it is smack in the middle of new episodes of Arrow? But after much consideration for my wife and unborn son…I was still resistant.

But as I’ve stated, there is little arguing with a pregnant woman, so seeing her reach around for a tortilla chip or some other sharp pregnancy snack to injure me with, I acquiesced. The class is held in a midwife’s living room, a cozy place surrounded by lanterns and new-age art depicting chakras and rainbows and crap like that. There are eight other couples in the class. The women, all in maternity clothes, sat next to their partners, who looked around in a state of stunned hyper vigilance.

We have been learning all sorts of fascinating and educational stuff. And by fascinating and educational, I mean gross and horrifying. At first, it wasn’t so bad. Our instructor threw around horrible sounding concepts like “bloody show” and “mucus plug” and “meconium.” Luckily there was also a plush placenta, which was soft and looked snuggly. We had to learn breathing techniques and how to massage our partners during contractions, which I am imagining as bouts of the baby running a jackhammer inside the uterus in an attempt to break free.

“All right,” said our instructor, “now using downward motions, rub your partner’s back, melding with her rhythm…excellent. Now move on to her feet and massage them as she breathes.” We learned several different techniques, and my arms got tired. “So when do we reciprocate?” I asked, “Between contractions? Because this is not fair that only she gets a massage.” The guys nodded in agreement, but the instructor was obviously sexist and only wanted to focus on the comfort of the women. 

By session two, we had gotten the breathing and massages down pretty well, and I was feeling confident. “Bring on the bloody show,” I was thinking, which I immediately regretted. They put on a video. We guys could feel something was happening and instinctively covered our groins. I remember watching one of these videos in 8th grade health class. It was traumatizing and for a month the boys and girls stayed away from each other. Much older now, I thought I could handle a simple video of the beautiful miracle that is life.

It was awful. The miracle of life is horrifying. It was like witnessing a hole opening in the fabric of time and space, and some alien creature emerging from a different dimension. The baby’s head was huge and chalky white, and the woman looked like she was in unbelievable pain. I know pain; I stubbed my toe on a couch leg once. The baby’s shoulders and the rest of him came, all asbestos white, covered in goop, so, so much goop. The lights in the delivery room started flickering, objects started levitating into the air, and a priest held up a cross and screamed “Back! Back to the abyss from whence ye spawned!”

OK, I might have exaggerated that part a little. But then, just when you thought it was over, the placenta came! The only image more horrifying than a baby being born, is the placenta. It was nothing like the snuggly plush demo placenta. It was blood red and pulsating like a slab of raw venison.

During the break after the video, we guys stood around the snack table to support one another. We looked at each other and felt a sort of bond experienced by soldiers who went through a battle together. These classes are quite an ordeal, but we fathers-to-be are learning a lot of important stuff about the baby birthing process. Mainly, that we are glad we’re not the ones doing it. And also, that we’ll be taking turns bringing hard liquor to these classes.

16 comments:

  1. Two words I never thought would be in the same sentence. Snuggly and placenta.

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    1. The plush placenta was really cuddly. I think they should make more organs (liver, pancreas) into plush toys.

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    2. ^ I'm pretty sure they already do. Hipsters.

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  2. This post pretty much reconfirms why Huy Le is one of my favorite bloggers. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Charle. I always post here when I need a pick-me-up. Sometimes we bloggers have no clue if anyone is actually reading anything we write. You just brightened my day.

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  3. “So when do we reciprocate?” I asked, “Between contractions? Because this is not fair that only she gets a massage.” The guys nodded in agreement, but the instructor was obviously sexist and only wanted to focus on the comfort of the women.

    Hon...you are too much.

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    1. Seriously, though, Ankhesen Mie, giving massages is tiring. After five minutes of laboring with my hands, I'm exhausted and need a nap.

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  4. Though Ive never been a parent, I was thinking about my own sisters experience with this. Oddly, she never attended a Lamaze class.With her first two sons, it was smooth sailing,but she came close to having the last son at our house. While she was in labor pains, I wondered what the possible experience would be like..would we be prepared in case she has the baby at any place? would we know what to do in case it happened like that? Thankfully, it didn't come to that.

    Forty five minutes later, son number three arrived. I remembered when the doctor asked if we wanted to witness childbirth? NO WAY!!! I wish that babies will enter the world clean,but it isn't like that. I didnt want to throw up while my sister was giving birth..lol! That was 12 years ago..the good ol days. It still is,but they are now teens.Girls are already wanting to date them( They cannot date until they are 15). I have often heard that once you turn 18,times flies in a hurry. That is the truth.They're babies one minute and graduating from college the next.

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    1. Yeah, from those videos we saw, childbirth is not pretty. And the babies come out with conical heads, since the force of the birth shifts their skull plates. They're coneheads! It takes several days for them to look normal. Newborns are not attractive for three months or so anyway. After that, though, I'm looking forward to this having this baby around!

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  5. I've got to learn to stop trying to eat when I'm reading his posts. When things started levitating and a priest showed up I nearly choked. Many Blessings to your family Mr. Le.

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    1. LOL me too!!

      Huy Le you had me at: “Back! Back to the abyss from whence ye spawned!”

      Your writing is witty, hilarious and awesome :) More guest posts please!

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    2. Thanks, GoddessMaverick and Jojo. Seriously, it was terrifying. We should learn to reproduce like starfish. You just cut off a starfish's arm, and it turns into another starfish!

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  6. Wait...Huy, how far along is your wife now? I've lost track.

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  7. The baby is due on April 2nd. I'm slowly getting more and more freaked out. And excited. Mainly freaked out.

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    1. And at some point, we'll be talking baby names, right?

      For heaven's sake, I feel like this is the whole Narrative's baby. We're going to read about this baby growing up and the story actually started at conception! Thanks so much for this, Huy!!!

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    2. Poor baby. Whole life blogged. No privacy at all.
      And wow, wifey must be big now. Go mama! Almost there. Rub her feet lots.

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