The Waiting Room to the Delivery Room

Back in late August, my husband and I started a 10-week birth class for expecting couples. I teased him that at the end of the classes, he could add “birth coach” to his resume and BC to his business card.

On the first day of class, we went around the room and introduced ourselves. Then the instructor asked the dads-to-be why they were attending the class. Each husband gave a respectable answer: He wanted to support his wife during the delivery; he wanted to be more involved in the labour and birth process.

Mine was the only husband who pointed at his spouse and said, “She made me.” He then felt compelled to add, “I thought my place was in the waiting room.”

Ha ha. Totally inappropriate. Laughs all around.

In a later class, we were asked to do a relaxation exercise – to practise relaxing during labour. The expecting moms lay down on their sides and pretended to be in labour, while the husbands massaged arms and gently coaxed us to “relax, release and let go.”

All around me I heard devoted, supportive husbands offering encouraging words to their partners. Then I heard my husband hissing in a menacing, Darth Vader-like voice, “Releeease. Releeeeeeease.”

Between “Can you try to be serious?” even I had to laugh.

At first, I felt like my husband just wasn’t into the whole thing. But as the classes progressed, I started to appreciate what he was doing. He attended every class and started enjoying them. He even missed a few late night hockey ice times, which happened to fall on the same night as the birth class.

While there’s still no talking to the tummy, the man has put together the crib, the dresser, the stroller, the glider, the bassinet and the baby monitor. He cooks practically all the meals and makes sure I eat enough (left to my own devices, I tend to wait too long between meals). He’s attended all of my midwife appointments and accompanies me on the many trips to Babies R Us to add items to our registry. (The sleek, dark grey diaper bag that could double as a laptop bag – his pick.)

Then a few weeks ago, on a two-day vacation in Banff, my appreciation culminated. Engrossed in the second novel of the Stieg Larsson trilogy one evening, I glanced over to see my husband reading his novel of choice – The Baby Whisperer. The Baby Whisperer is a popular parenting book, and one I had just finished reading. He read the book to the end, refers to it from time to time, and now encourages me to reread it.

I guess sometimes people surprise you.

Maybe it’s not such a long walk from the waiting room to the delivery room.


Laziness and the Final Throes of Pregnancy

I can no longer see my toes when I stand. As a first-time pregnant woman (or pregasaurus as I’m now known to my husband), I sport the belly with pride.

But now at 30 weeks, the honeymoon is over. As I entered my third trimester, all the symptoms associated with this notorious trimester hit me like a ton of bricks. There’s heartburn, insomnia and fatigue. There are leg cramps that have me jumping out of bed in the middle of the night. There’s the back fat….

Hold up — BACK FAT? Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always been a slim jim, so this back fat is brand new territory. To console myself, I figure it’s there to serve its purpose – probably to offset all the weight on the front side, so I don’t tip over when I’m standing.

Anyway, with the growing waistline and onslaught of symptoms comes a lethargic feeling like I’ve never felt before. I find myself casually stepping over balls of cat fur that blow around the house like small tumbleweeds. I see food crumbs gathering on my belly and I nonchalantly brush them on to the floor. And this morning, for the first time ever since I can remember, I considered not making my bed.

Why make the bed when you’re just going to mess it up again in a few hours? My husband has always understood this logic, and yet, it has only just occurred to me. It stands to reason that you would make the bed if you were having company, or if you were showing your house to potential buyers. But when it’s just you who sees the bed – isn’t the ritual a little pointless?

As I settle onto the couch for the long haul, it is my husband who chases fur balls with the Dust Buster and sweeps crumbs from under the coffee table. He’s never been one to clean the house from top to bottom, but he’s very diligent about this sort of “spot” cleaning.

Thankfully, our latest splurge involves a housekeeper (and a godsend), so my house is not overrun with small rodents.

I hear that just before babies arrive, pregnant women are magically struck with a sudden urge to sanitize and sterilize everything in sight. I imagine the instinct will strike me, too… at some point. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m quite enjoying my newfound laziness.