As Little Leab continued his journey toward becoming a person outside the womb, my wife and I were frantically preparing on the outside. One of the ways we had to prepare was through educational classes. Yes...while the pioneers and many people over the course of human existence have managed to produce children without attending classes, we decided that we wanted some information if we were going to do this right. We signed up for a childbirth class. The more information, the better.
Our instructor was a free spirit named Jane. While the still-cooking ladies and significant others sat on chairs, Jane would kick off her shoes and sit on the floor (nothing weird there), or she would do handstands (never understood why), or she would do movement almost like interpretive dance (imagine seeing childbirth as this whipping movement with your arms and legs).
It was entertaining.
What I found fascinating, however, was the other couples in the class with my wife and I. None of the men smiled. It was almost as if they had been brought along kicking and screaming like a five year old. The men looked like this was a community service. Deal with watching videos on birth and do some fake breathing and you're off the hook.
There was one night when the girls had to go to one side of the room, and the guys had to do to the other. Immediately the women were talking to each other as if they were sisters. The men were silent...and this is with me in the center, too! These guys just stood there with their hands in their pockets staring at the floor. I couldn't take it. The teacher in me took over, and I started whipping these guys into shape. It really did become like a class for me.
"All right. Names first. I'm Leab. My wife is the Strawberry Blonde over there. Go around the circle. You first. Name."
Each guy introduced himself as well who his baby mama was. Then we got to the task at hand (different roles that the partner will take on during the birth).
It worked out pretty well. The next class, however, it was same old, same old. I was the only guy willing to wear...The Empathy Belly (and no, there are no pictures). That's right, I walked around and did "chores" all while wearing the belly. Jane was even shocked at the fact that I bent at the knees instead of at the waist, because, apparently, that's where most guys bend over while in the belly.
It was nice to feel what my wife was feeling, but strange at the same time.
At this point we were ready. My son was supposed to be born on June 6, which many of my colleagues thought was hysterical as my son would have been, "the Anti-Christ." (6/6/06...Day of the Devil anyone?)
He was late. Two weeks late, so he had to be induced.
This was a problem, because, even though the school year was over, I was in school.
To be concluded in Part IV.