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Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Birthing Class

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Birthing Class

Give me morning sickness or back labor, but there's no way I'm going back to birthing class. My first pregnancy was a breeze — the excitement of an impending baby and an ignorance that was bliss.

My days prior to motherhood didn't involve reading up on the latest autism statistics or bisphenol A scares. But I was a tad worried that the pain of childbirth would be similar to the sensation someone feels when eaten by a shark so I signed up for a birthing class.

For $350, my husband and I bought admission into the one day intensive labor prep our hospital offered. Armed with a small pad of paper, two pens and a sense of preparedness, we were shocked to find that other couples had set up camp in the sterile room.

The flier said to bring things to make ourselves comfortable, which is why I wore sweats, but these people practically pitched tents. They had laid their sleeping bags on the floor and packed enough snacks to get them through a natural disaster. To top it off, some husbands were in their pajamas.

To see what happened,


The instructor went through the basics of delivery and drug options, showed us textbook massage and breathing techniques and told us what to pack in our hospital bag. This is where the record scratched.

In addition to the old toothbrush and slippers, she added lasagna, other hearty prepared foods and a stock of beverages. Um, I was going in to have a baby, not a picnic. And, that aside who enjoys eating in hospitals? Evidently, I was the only one of that mind set as the other women were swapping recipes and figuring out cooler capacity.

That's when I took advantage of the best part of birthing class, the unlimited bathroom breaks and my ticket out of the insanity.

When I came back down the hall, the instructor had moved on to focal points, advising the ladies to bring pictures of their cats or whatever would help them during the delivery.

Then it was time to simulate birth. Though no one in the room had ever felt a real contraction, the teacher announced that they were coming and we should move and moan our way through them.

My classmates and their sidekicks sat with their legs open or in angled in a downward dog stance screaming. Spouses chimed in and the room echoed with the pangs of freaks impersonating false labor. I fell in a fit of hysterics and decided it was time for a permanent break from the madness and left.

Did anyone else have a ridiculous birthing class experience?

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