Things We Learn in Birth Class II
April 27, 2009

A. We are too immature for birth class.

Last week, we were taken through a ten-minute relaxation and visualization exercise. All the couples lay down on the floor and tried to be "connected" to one another, so I put my hand on Mathra's stomach. (That was my first mistake.)

The lady on the crackly tape told us to "go to our special place" and I panicked. What was my "special place"? I spun through a quick list, but managed to find problems with each one.

Home: Too much cleaning to do. Next!

Ocean Beach: Oh, yes, long beautiful walks and runs. The waves, the sand, the beach. Well, but remember the time saw that dead, headless seal? And all those bodies they keep finding? Next!

Friday Harbor: Hey, that's a good one. The house, the cliff, the beach, the tidepools, the Fitch's, the time The Shining freaked you out so much you had to sleep in the guest house with Mom, Dad, and Nessa but once outside the big house couldn't see your hand in front of your face and freaked out even more? Next!

Hawaii: Yes! Awesome. Okay, which specific place? Mauna Lani beach? No, the blowhole. Or Akaka Falls? Oh, but there's also Pali on Oahu or...Next!

I had just settled on the Trinity College Backs in Cambridge and was musing on punters and the river and lazy summer days when Mathra's stomach started to shake.

He was laughing. It was the soundless variety that I call "Church Laughing," which is clinically recognized as the most infectious kind. So, of course, even without knowing what he was laughing at, I caught the giggles as well. And, as everyone knows with the silent giggles, the harder you try to hold it all in, the more likely you are to have a snort rip clean out of your nose. Luckily, I knew a rip-snort was coming and struggled to take deep, cleansing breaths, which is actually what the meditation tape told us we were supposed to be doing.

Unfortunately, in taking those deep, cleansing breaths, I choked a little bit, which alerted Mathra to my helpless state and just made him that much worse. Finally, I had to take my hand off his stomach and put it over my eyes, so I couldn't feel or see him laughing.

Then there was the whole disaster with Mathra refusing to look at the "special places" visualizations handout because of a very Friends-like description of a flower -- which spawned Venus Flytrap jokes after our little Braxton-Hicksian visit to labor and delivery a few nights ago -- that almost sent us into the Giggle Loop again.

But hey, if he manages to make me laugh in the delivery room, I will call that the most successful birth class ever.

Things We Learn in Birth Class
Things We Learn in Infant Safety Class

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