So what did you do to celebrate?
Back in university, being among nerdy engineers pretty much 24/7, March 14 was always a date we had circled on the calendar.
While most university students anticipated March 17, we engineers did most of our drinking on March 14 and quizzed each other on how many digits we’d memorized.
Off the cuff, right now, I can still ring off “3.1415926535”.
Yeah, looking back, we were pretty nerdy.
Fast forward 13 years…
Today my wife and I spent Pi day at an 8-hour birthing class and, let me tell you, it was an experience.
We were the first couple there so we got to pick where we sat — something that’s usually a plus until you realize that it also means that you won’t get a chance to pick who you sit next to.
As couples began to arrive, a 2-chair “courtesy seat” rule was being observed, but as the room began to fill up, it became apparent that soon everyone would have to be sitting next to a stranger.
Of the 12 couples in attendance, I’m happy to report that the two couples that chose to sit on either side of us happened to be the two couples that I personally would have chosen to sit next to myself if given the chance.
They were both, I dunno, clean, modern, attractive, and personable.
That sounds really harsh, but really, I’m not sure I’d even be comfortable shaking hands with some of these strangers.
At the start, much like what I imagine an AA meeting would be like, we had to introduce ourselves (Brainy & H-Bear), say who our doctor was (the dude at THIS hospital), and when our due date was (May 19).
And then we had to describe what we “felt” in one word.
Oh, this is going to be one of those “talk about my feelings” classes, isn’t it?
I chose “Anxious”.
My wife chose “Reward”.
Hmmmm… To the others in the room, those responses probably made it seem as if we’re a terrible couple.
Anyway, we watched a couple of movies much too graphic to describe here and as I scoped out the room, I realized that I actually knew two of the people?! Crazy!
If anything, since pretty much everyone in the room had the same doctor and they’ve all been going to doctor appointments on a pretty regular basis, I thought it’d be my wife that would recognize a few faces but, nope, it was me.
One guy was a guy who used to work with me over a decade ago. He got fired because he smelled.
No joke. It was a hygiene issue that cost him his job. Thank GOD he didn’t recognize me or, worse, sit next to me. I did my best not to make eye contact.
The other person that I knew actually was sitting next to me. The minute she walked in the room with her husband I immediately thought, “Oh, please let them sit next to me… Please let them sit next to me…” and then they did.
She seemed really familiar but it took me probably two hours to figure it out. I knew that I knew her from somewhere but I just couldn’t place it.
When it finally hit me, I realized that I went to high school with her brother (and her too, but she’s a good 4 years younger). She didn’t recognize me or maybe she did but either way, we didn’t say anything to one another.
So after a bit of a lecture and some gross movies, we broke out the padded mats and got on the floor.
The instructor turned down the lights and started playing this odd harp music as an eerie female voice asked us to “Picture a blue screen in the sky…” Um, okay?
This went on for a good ten minutes or so before I had to stifle my giggles.
Seriously, imagine 24 fully clothed people lying on the floor in a dark room with harp music playing and some soothing voice from above talking about an imaginary “screen in the sky.”
It all felt very, I dunno, cult-ish to me. I felt like asking when the comet was scheduled to stop by and pick us up.
After that “exercise” we had this thing that the instructor said was like a mad-lib. And it was. You know, those things were you fill in the blank words with wacky adjectives or swear words?
But the blanks weren’t where wacky adjectives would fit.
Here are a few examples:
The top of the uterus is called the ____________.
The bottom of the uterus is called the ____________.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the words that I’d guess for these two aren’t words that I’m willing to use on this blog.
They’re also not words I’m willing to utter in the company of strangers. Sure, they’re not officially swear words but they may as well be. And, as I found out, my words were wrong too.
Bottom line, mad libs are fun. This was not.
After a quick lunch break, we got a tour of the maternity wing of the hospital.
That was pretty neat.
I’d never done that sort of thing before so it was pretty valuable to get to actually see it before we’re there for real.
Then we went back to the cult-meeting room. We got back on the floor and the harp music kicked in — this time accompanied by some artificial flute noise. Yeah, it was deep.
The voice from above tried to “get us in the mood” again for some sort of out-of-body experience or something and then some breathing techniques.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the guys (and the girls too, actually) were lying there looking at the ceiling wondering why they were wasting their whole Saturday at this class and if anything could be more ridiculous than acting like a cult member waiting for a comet to arrive.
I couldn’t have been the only one having those thoughts – though I heard no giggling.
At the conclusion we watched another graphic movie before we were awarded with a graduation certificate. Thankfully there wasn’t a test at the end.
But in all seriousness, I can’t say that I learned anything new.
Maybe it’s just me, but the breathing techniques were exactly the same as what my track coach taught me in high school. It’s exactly what we did on the track. It’s exactly what we did in the weight room. I’m pretty sure that would be the case for anyone that took high school sports relatively seriously.
Guys, if it were possible for us to give birth, we’ve already got the breathing part down.
Really, especially for any long distance runners out there that haven’t taken a birthing class — it’s all going to be really familiar… until the harp music kicks in. Then it gets weird.
In the end though, I’m glad we went.
The most valuable part was definitely the hospital tour (which is something you can do on its own separate from a birthing class) but I’m still glad that we sat through all of the goofy movies and breathing techniques.
I may not have learned a single thing today (besides what the top of the uterus is *really* called) but at least I don’t feel like I’m missing anything either.
Had we skipped it, I think I’d always wonder if I were missing something important.
Now I know that I’m not.
(Of course I say that now… I’ll likely eat my words in mid-May.)