When the hospital scheduled us for the June session of the childbirth class, I was kind of pissed because I wanted to have all the invaluable information we were bound to learn fresh in my mind when the Big Day came. Little did I know that Prepared Childbirth was actually the shorthand name for Childbirth Class From Hell. Now I am so very glad that we have two months to brainwash away all the horrifying little bits of trivia we were treated to during the last four weeks. Like, did you know that after a C-section, they take your uterus out of your body and plop it on your stomach to sew it up? I wish I could un-know that, and now you can all wish that too. You're welcome.
I guess it wasn't ALL bad. We did learn a few helpful tips. Like, apparently you're not supposed to shake your baby. Or hit it! Who knew?
I fully intended to write a scathing evaluation of this class because I really feel like it was not only not helpful, but actually detrimental. I am aware that giving birth is not exactly going to be the most relaxing and pleasant experience of my life, but before we started this class I wasn't scared. Now... I am scared. Really, really scared. I kind of want to postpone this whole "having a child" thing until science figures out a way to get the baby out via teleportation. Or until men are somehow able to give birth. I'm fine with all the discomforts (and oh, THE DISCOMFORTS, I will restrain myself from tell you allll about them) of pregnancy, but I am no longer fine with birthing a human being. This poses a slight problem, as you can imagine. And that's what I was going to write on the evaluation, except that we had to fill them out during class. While the perky instructor stood a foot away, watching me furtively circle numbers on a scale of 1 to 5. Since there's a fair chance that this perky instructor will be on duty when I go into labor, I pussied out and left the comments section blank. Even though "please tell us the one thing you'd like to see changed about this course" section was calling out to me.
This weekend my friend asked me if I was still riding my bike around town and I confessed that I've pretty much given up the bike. It's only slightly uncomfortable to ride with my big old belly in the way; the real problem is that it's too damn hot. So instead I've taken to riding our little motor scooter around town.
You may remember the tragic tale of our first scooter, which lasted less than 24 hours before it was stolen off the sidewalk outside our house. We did eventually get it back, but it was damaged beyond use and now sits, sad and lonely, underneath a tarp on our back patio. We bought a new scooter on Craigslist (which looks exactly the same as the old one) and Joel used some of the parts from the poor old scooter to fix it up and get it in working condition. But the fun and ease of riding it was ruined by the fact that we have to keep it locked up and out of sight in the alley to keep it away from thieves. I'd thought for a long time that we should just sell both the damn things and clear out some space on the patio.
But then I started this yoga teacher training. The weekend trainings don't get out until 10:30 on Friday nights and 8:30 on Saturday nights, by which times it is impossible to find a parking spot in our neighborhood. I started out riding my bike, but the studio is about a 30-minute ride uphill on the way there, and it's HOT. Plus, I'm pregnant. It was too much.
Joel encouraged me to ride the scooter and I resisted and whined. It was hard to get out of the alley. The battery was dead and it was difficult for me to get it kick-started. The first time I consented to ride it, I tipped it over trying to get it up on the kickstand and some poor fellow parking his car had to run out and help me stand it back up. I was not happy with the stupid scooter.
Joel persisted, though. He got it a new battery and fixed it so that the push-button start worked again. Either the kickstand lever loosened itself up or my technique got better and I no longer have trouble with it. I learned that as long as I park it facing uphill, it won't tip over. And best of all, Joel agreed that whenever I want to use it, he'll act as my scooter valet and bring it in and out of the alley for me. And now... I kind of love riding it. It goes 35 mph, which is much faster than my bike ever was AND I don't have to huff and puff up hills. It gets probably 80 miles to the gallon, so I don't feel too bad about using fossil fuels instead of my own two legs to get around (plus: pregnancy card). And best of all, I don't need to cruise around for 40 minutes looking for a parking space for it when I get home late at night.
I told all this to my friend, and she looked incredulously at my midsection. "I'd pay money to see you riding around on a mini-motorcycle with that belly," she said.
I neglected to ask her exactly how much money. PAY UP, BITCH.