Birth and Labour class? Ehm…

Posted on January 16, 2010


And this was just the sterile bit...

Hello, I hope you have all been well.

Michele and I have just returned from a ehm…very interesting three hours Birth and Labour class at Chelsea House in North Melbourne. Curiously, our obstetrician Jean Wong is also housed within the same premises. But it’s probably all a matter of convenience for mother and obstetrician; after all Frances Perry House is just across the road.

There were 13 couples in the class and just before it commenced I was in the bathroom with one of the fathers. We had gotten off the lift on the same level and seeing how both our wives were extremely pregnant, it’s obvious where we were both headed to. We exchanged a few words while washing our hands (this sounds terribly dodgy doesn’t it?) and we agreed it would be an interesting three hours as we had no idea what to expect!

When Michele and I got in, everyone had arrived early and occupied seats that hugged the wall. It was a U-shaped class and everybody was avoiding the very pleasant looking, middle-aged midwife like the plague. I urged Michele to sit right in front of the midwife, as not only was she about to start the class, I didn’t want to ‘see’ the nervous father energy pulsating in the room.

A quick glance at the demographics and a brief introduction later, turned out all 13 couples were new parents. Most fathers had taken the day or morning off so white collar attire was common. I felt severely underdressed coming in with a pair of sneakers, Transformers tee shirt and cargo shorts!

We were shown a video and while I found it extremely helpful and informative, I didn’t know what to think about the number of swollen vaginas, sweating women and crowning heads I saw. Oh don’t get me wrong. I like watching pornography of all types but watching the video with 12 other men and their wives, I didn’t know whether to squirm in my seat or wince at the sight of a purplish new born!

It was clear the mothers knew what they were getting themselves into, as throughout the three hours they posed the most interesting questions while the fathers were clearly, quite fazed by the task before them. I too, had not known what to expect until the class itself. I knew I was going to be a father and had read a book or two for information but nothing had prepared me for the visuals – the blood, the screaming and the needles!

After the class, it dawned upon me how real this was going to be. Michele and I are only nine weeks (or less!) away from Baby’s arrival and until the class I was just cruising through her pregnancy. Three hours and a Birthing class later, I felt a great responsibility and (good) burden entrusted upon me. This s**t is real and oh my I had better gotten my act together!

Baby, Daddy can’t wait to see you! Just don’t come out purplish, bloody and with spots of grey matter all over you or I might pass out!