THE LAMAZE CLASS
The Lamaze technique focuses on controlled breathing to help women during labor. I felt eager to try it and signed up for the classes. They are conveniently located in the hospital where I will give birth. I did not expect Sam to be so difficult and refuse point blank to come to the classes with me. I might have gone alone, but it is a requirement to have a partner during class. A few days of nonstop nagging did the trick. He finally, grudgingly, agreed to come with me to class. “Only one class”, he insisted.
It is Wednesday 7p.m. Sam and I are going to the hospital for our first Lamaze class. We are directed to a large room full of people. The instructor comes in and bids us to sit on the floor in pairs, in a big circle. The class starts. After the initial greeting, she gives an overview of the Lamaze technique and then asks all the pregnant women to lie down on the floor next to their partners. She then starts with the breathing exercises. It seems incredible that just breathing would help relieve the pain. I listen carefully and follow the instructions attentively. I, for one, am taking this seriously. Sam looks quite bored. It is obvious that he doesn’t believe in any of this. He is basically here to humor me.
“Now,” says the instructor, “do you have any questions?” we all sit up in a circle and a few couples ask her advice on various matters.
Sam nudges me and says, “let’s go home; it’s over for tonight.”
I am tempted. My back is hurting and I feel tired. A nice cup of tea will go very nicely right now. But it is our first class and it would be rude to leave before the end. So I shake my head and whisper back, “let’s stick around for a little bit longer.”
“OK,” says the instructor. “Today’s topic of discussion is Still Birth.”
HUH? WHAT DID SHE SAY?
“It is not an agreeable topic but it has to be brought up. You are all excited about the birth of your baby and are making preparations for it. It is great. But we have to address the sad eventuality of the death of the baby. So many things can go wrong and you have to be ready for them physically and emotionally….”
I look at Sam and I see that his face has turned an interesting shade of green. He is looking at the instructor as if she is from another planet. I don’t feel so good either. In fact, I feel nauseous. The relaxation seems to have evaporated.
Suddenly Sam stands up, pulls me up and marches me out of the room. He is furious.
“Enough is enough,” he growls. “I don’t want to hear any more.”
He bundles me into the car and drives back home. And that was the first and last Lamaze class we took.