Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009 - Teachers Make Bad Students

Last night Kristoffer and I attended our first of six childbirth (aka lamaze) classes. We should have predicted that the class - supposedly from 6-8 pm at the hospital - would have started on African time (approximately 30 minutes late) but we were so anxious because we planned to dash out a few minutes early to get to a television in time to watch Obama's inauguration live. We definitely started off a little irritated that it took so long for the class to begin.

Once it started, we were with about 10 other couples, all of us in our first pregnancies. The facilitators of the class were two mid-wives at the hospital. It is fair to say that Kristoffer and I were both underwhelmed, because most of the class discussed things that we have already gone through and experienced in addition to the fact that the lead mid-wife was very slow and everything she talked about could have been condensed to about 30 minutes total. People were very shy to talk and there wasn't a lot done to encourage trust and sharing. As a teacher by training, I don't do that well sitting in a class that I think is being taught poorly because I just think of all the things I would be doing to engage my students instead of the topic at hand.

We are definitely farther along in our pregnancy than anyone else in the class; most people are around 28 weeks and I am in my 34th week. The facilitators were like, "You should be taking a weekend crash course! You might not make it through all 6 of these classes!" That is very true, but I had previously been told that there were no upcoming weekend classes. Last night they said that this coming weekend there is a class, but we have friends coming from Denmark and Kristoffer would not be able to attend the class with me if I chose to do it (which defeats part of the purpose: for partners to learn how to support mothers during labor and delivery!).

So class started 30 minutes late, after 45 minutes there was a 20 minute tea/snack break (it is nice that the hospital provided snacks and beverages) and then it was almost 7:45pm which is when we planned to make our exit. We hung on a few minutes longer as the mid-wife talked about some possible solutions to aches and pains we might be feeling (note: I pretty much had every pregnancy symptom she described so she got the impression that I was really suffering in my pregnancy, but that is not true. I have probably had very mild versions of every symptom and because I am farther along than everyone else in the class I have already experienced more third trimester symptoms than the rest of them). I suppose because we have done a lot of reading throughout the pregnancy we didn't feel there was much new information at all. We finally snuck out at about 7:55pm and we aren't sure what the last minutes of class entailed or how long class actually went!

But we did arrive at our friend Stephanie's in time to hear President Obama's inaugural speech live in its entirety. We had missed his taking of the oath by just two minutes...which is too bad because in the replay it seems that he was pretty giddy as Justice Roberts messed up his lines! While we were not as overcome with emotion as we had been on election night and when he gave his victory speech, we thought his speech was pretty amazing, we were totally jealous of everyone in Washington, DC (because we used to live SOOOO close to the Capitol!), and we were so happy for the change in American leadership. It was an incredible night (save for Ted Kennedy's seizure, that is). We did not stay up for coverage of the parade or any of the inaugural balls, but I am getting caught up on all of that on CNN this morning. We did stay up much later than we usually do and I even slept in one hour later this morning as a result (until 8:00 am - wow!).

Right now, we have high hopes for the future of America and the world, and we have mediocre hopes that our next childbirth classes will be a little bit more engaging and informative than last night's class.

LMW

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