20 things we learnt from antenatal class
(Joint post, co-written by the father of the offspring)
1. If you find yourself in an environment where the seating plan is an open semi-circle, cut your losses and leave.
2. No matter how old you get, your backside will still clench tighter than a drug smuggler's through customs when you hear the words 'ice-breaker'.
3. There is a polite number of custard creams to eat from the refreshments stand. It is not socially acceptable to open a new packet once you've cleared the plate and take a stack back to your seat.
4. It is inappropriate to ask where the bar is.
5. 'Make-up' is not an acceptable answer when asked to list essentials for childbirth. Nor is 'A photo of my dog'.
6. 'Do as you're told.' is not an acceptable answer when asked to list ways to be a supportive birth partner. Nor is 'Avoid eye contact'.
7. Suggested reading material to pass the time in labour usually means Heat magazine, not Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone.
8. It is inappropriate to laugh when the rest of the room is silent. Even when showed something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-LfNbdAK98
9. It is even less appropriate to laugh if you are the youngest couple in the room. Such childish mirth does nothing to cement your position as calm and mature parents who are ready to raise a well-rounded member of society.
10. You will never enjoy a massage less than when straddling your chair, along with twelve other women, whilst your partners deploy the questionable techniques described by a midwife. This is quite the opposite of relaxing.
11. Despite the fact that most people will also be having their first babies, every woman will know better than you. Especially if you're under 30.
12. No matter how old you get, when someone says 'Get into groups.', you will still give your best friend the silent look of acknowledgement that you're teaming up.
13. Haemorrhoids are not something to be laughed at. Especially when the woman next to you is sitting on a pillow.
14. The phrase 'afterbirth soup' is not constructive when discussing the pros and cons of a water birth.
15. There is an air of ambivalence to be adopted when discussing the various drugs used during labour. You should not appear excited at the notion of being off your tits for a few hours.
16. It is inappropriate to ask how many shots of tequila one hit of gas and air is equivalent to. It is also inappropriate to ask if you can overdose on gas and air.
17. It is inappropriate to cheer when the midwife says 'Dads usually end up taking the gas and air too.'.
18. Gin is not a suitable suggestion for pain relief.
19. Sticking a demonstrative ventouse to your forehead is not appropriate use of NHS equipment.
20. Nor is using a skeleton pelvis as a dinosaur mouth.