Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties Sends In the Clowns

I think my husband's best quality, aside from his striking resemblance to Brad Pitt, is his sense of humor. L and I share the same dry sarcasm, but he is much quicker with his wit than I am. Let's just say we have gotten through many, many challenging situations spanning several continents by making each other laugh.

When I signed up for childbirth prep classes, I knew that L would be taking this sense of humor with him. He would need it, because while I see this whole pushing-a-baby-through-my-vagina thing as very fascinating, he sees it through more... squeamish lenses. L can't even watch CSI without turning his head during the autopsy scenes. How, I have thought many times during the last 31 weeks, is he going to make it through this with me?

I got my answer this morning, during Part I of the childbirth prep series. The first part of the class included a video on basic anatomy-- namely my anatomy. It wasn't anything you wouldn't find in a 7th grade science book, but I still squeezed L's hand afterward to make sure he was okay.

'I like how she said vagina 10 times. Awesome,' he whispered in my ear.

Next, we got a lesson on the mucus plug. 'Mucus plug' is definitely not the most euphonious of phrases, but the accompanying descriptions had L's face scrunched in pain. I was starting to wonder who was going to be the support for whom during this whole childbirth process, when the teacher brought up the subject of feces. 'It isn't uncommon,' the teacher said, 'for a woman to have a bowel movement as she is pushing.'

'What if I have a bowel movement while you're pushing? I might,' L whispered to me.

L was starting to get pretty tired by the time we got to the end of class. The only problem was that the teacher had saved the best for last-- we spent the last 30 minutes on breathing exercises. I am only a recent convert to the hippie-yoga movement, but this is new territory for L. The teacher said, 'Where else to people store tension, besides their neck and shoulders?'

'Butthole?' L whispered in my ear. L's hands were on my belly at the time, and Chewy gave him a swift kick for that one.

It's hard not to go to a class like that and compare your life with the people's around you. I think a woman in her thirties does that quite a bit, probably more often than she cares to admit. I compared L and me to the serious couple next to us, the ones who had obviously been doing their homework. I compared us to the couple behind us, who kept interjecting with what I thought were pretty silly questions. And I'm sure everyone else was comparing themselves to us-- we were the couple that couldn't stop shaking with laughter all morning.

You read that right-- we. I am scared of giving birth, anxious about taking time away from my career to stay at home, and terrified that I'm not going to be any good at my new role as mother. But one thing I do not ever have to be afraid of is that my husband won't be there to make me laugh during the process. A woman in her thirties, at least this woman in her thirties, is grateful for her class clown.


  1. L's comments. Classic.

    So funny!

    p.s. You're gonna be the best mom.

  2. This post had me laughing out loud! But I just have to echo Mrs. Kirbyface's (love that name, H) comments - you are definitely going to be the best mom, and L is going to be the best dad, and Chewy is the luckiest baby ever.

  3. So funny! And the squeamish thing, I totally get it... Josh actually requested that I put in our birth plan, "Father does not want to see anything gross". :)

  4. I don't know what's funnier-- L's comments (seriously, him having a bowel movement while you're pushing???) or Kim's comment about Josh's addition to the birth plan. :)

    You are going to be GREAT parents! And I swear I won't punch your baby.