“Alright class, put the ice cube in your hand and close your eyes.” I sat there belly out, sitting straight in my chair next to my husband Greg, who was desperately keeping back laughs.
“Shhhh…” I mustered, “This is what they want us to do.” I closed my eyes again. I will not laugh, I will not laugh… seriously some hippie created this idea… don’t laugh, remember it’s like yoga class, don’t laugh, look stoic. Keep your eyes closed too and don’t fart. Really, it was like yoga.
As I sat there, with about ten other couples in the room, waiting for our instructor to tell us what came next, I poked my one eye open. It felt like church, where if you poked an eye open it was like you were cheating on prayer. I closed them again. Oh my word, everyone is really into this, I thought. Their eyes were all closed, they were silent, with a piece of an ice cube in their fists, breathing deeply. What kind of a wacky hippie class have I signed us up for? How will this ever help me in childbirth? As if on cue, our instructor spoke.
“Focusing on the ice cube and the coldness in your hand, will take your mind off the pain.”
Say no more, this was the moment I should have realized, birthing classes, for the most part, are ridiculous. Other thoughts to consider helping you through labor, she continued on, included essential oils in the room, a birthing tub, calming music and maybe some massage from your partner. Okay, maybe that might help you to two centimeters dilated, but honey, let’s be real. All the ice in the world, all the glaciers in Antarctica, canNOT possibly help you through labor. They simply canNOT.
Here’s the deal. When you’re a new parent, you’re going to sign up for birthing classes, parenting classes, and take hospital tours. But 99% of the nonsense that you learn, is utter nonsense. So before you have a conniption because you feel you’re not prepared, didn’t read the book, etc. don’t worry. Time and experience with your baby, along with your friend’s advice, is probably the most helpful.
Skip the book, skip the classes. Take a tour of the hospital, it’s good to know where to go. But mostly, relax, decorate the nursery and enjoy your sleep — for now. And maybe even catch up on some Netflix. And should you sign up for the classes? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂