The Baby Class 2.0

Yesterday we had the second, and final, baby class at the hospital. It was a 9-5, all day affair. The midwife ran the show this time so we covered far more serious ground, so rather than weigh you down I’ve picked out a few select moments.

We’re having our baby via the public health system, and this was one of the first things I noticed when I walked into the room. I’ve always heard about bed shortages, but was unaware this problem extended out to the maternity ward. If anything, I suppose it is an impressively efficient use of resources.

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The midwife introduced herself, also mentioning that she was a ‘Doula’, and then asked the group if we knew what one was. I assumed it meant she was one of the most feared hands of the Wild West, possessing a lightning grip when the clock struck 12. To my dismay, this was not the correct answer.

Early on in the day, we received something of a curveball when she started talking about the evolution of childbirth. She explained that when we used to live on the Serengeti, with sabre-toothed tigers, the chemicals of adrenaline and oxytocin played a big part in the birthing of a child, as a means of survival. We needed a dark and quiet place for optimum birth, like a cave, away from the open plains, so the sabre-toothed tigers couldn’t get us. This threw our entire birth plans into jeopardy, as we had previously opted for a ‘Safari Birth’ in Botswana. I have always dreamt of smearing my baby’s forehead with red ochre before holding it triumphantly over a cliff, like Rafiki in the Lion King.

We were all asked about what we wanted to get out of the day, and what we were and weren’t expecting, in regards to the whole labour and birthing process. The midwife said one of the weirdest things someone had ever said was that they ‘didn’t want the smell of dim sims in the room’. I thought this was a pretty strange request, until later in the day the midwife mentioned it was not uncommon for the man to pack the hospital bag, and then it started making a little more sense. Sometimes in the heat of a stressful moment, I too yearn for the salty embrace of a South Melbourne Market dimmy.

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A good portion of the day was dedicated to breastfeeding. When the group was asked, “How long do you plan on breastfeeding?” my wife answered with, “When does it get teeth?” which I thought was a suitably sensible answer. We were also informed about ‘Lactation Consultants’. I found this amusing, as I have worked in a big company before, and could imagine this actually being some kind of bullshit corporate job title, like ‘Chief Visionary Officer’ or ‘Integrational Transformation Manager’.

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We were also notified about something called ‘The Cochrane Database’. I can’t remember what it was, as my imagination got the better of me. It sounds like the title of the latest John Grisham bestseller. A fast paced tale of high-tech espionage and political betrayal, soon to be turned into a multi-million dollar screenplay.

“THIS SUMMER…

cochraneIN A WORLD…

WHERE YOUR EVERY MOVE…

CAN BE TRACED…

ONE DATABASE…

CAN BRING THE MOST POWERFUL OF MEN DOWN…

IN THE BLINK…

OF AN EYE…

STARRING MATT DAMON…

UMA THURMAN…

AND LIAM NEESON…

THE COCHRANE DATABASE…”

During one of the post-birth sections, we were given these little cards. I once again lost concentration on the activity at hand, as I sat there imagining that I’d just eaten a delightful round of dim sum and had just opened up the worst fortune cookie of all time.

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There is also apparently an app called ‘Contraction Master’. I’m already sick and tired of people sending me Farmville and Candy Crush requests on Facebook, I can’t wait for the day I get ‘Jenny sent you a request for more Pethidine on Contraction Master’. It gives a new meaning to ‘push notifications’ doesn’t it?

To be fair though, it was an interesting, albeit draining, use of a Saturday where we learnt some useful stuff leading into the ever approaching birth of Frankenstein. I haven’t had to read one baby book, so in that regard, it’s probably a good trade off.

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3 thoughts on “The Baby Class 2.0

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