Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank God for my (Birthing) Partner!

Before Chuck launches into a comprehensive overview of the second and final “how to pump out and keep your baby alive” class, its probably wise to wrap up the whole car buying process. So here we go:

Loyal readers will remember Chuck detailing how after numerous visits to car dealerships, Chuck and Mrs Long finally met a salesman who actually seemed decent? Well, he turned into a stalker, using the documentation that Chuck left when he test drove a vehicle, to procure Chuck’s mobile phone number and then check in on an almost daily basis to see how the decision making process was coming along. The final straw however came when Mrs Long took offence at his overly manicured eyebrows that smacked of vanity and she made the decision to find another car yard.

The next place had the desired vehicle and after numerous test drives and hours of procrastination it was time to buy.

Now, there are moments in every man’s life when circumstances conspire to kick you directly in the nuts and you’re left with the stark realisation that you’re just not nearly as bright as you’d come to believe. This just happened to Chuck. The silver lining to realising that you are potentially a fucking moron is the reassurance that you married the right woman.

Chuck and Mrs Long sat down to negotiate a sales price. The older salesman obviously directed his sales pitch to Chuck since men make the key decisions in life. He tried the sneaky trick of writing down the cars ticketed price then a question mark for the trade in value and then a question mark for the difference. His next question was “how much do you want to pay”. Chuck sat in silence as Mrs Long is the CFO of the Long Corporation. Mrs Long caught the salesman with a left jab by speaking up first and saying $15k. There was an awkward silence as both parties felt each other out (and possibly because the salesman was quickly recalibrating his thoughts on Chuck who he now decided had no dick). Suddenly the silence became too much for Chuck who blurted “no, no we can pay 20”. Mrs Long then began booting Chuck under the table in order to indicate that he was an imbecile and that she would be filing for divorce at the conclusion of the meeting.

Unrattled, Mrs Long asked for a timeout to discuss finances with her mentally disabled husband. The salesman hastily vacated the office and Chuck, sensing that perhaps he was no longer required in the negotiation suggested that it was a perfect opportunity to “good cop / bad cop” the salesman. Mrs Long being the good natured soul that she is, realised that Chuck’s ego was severely deflated and joked that perhaps we should raise our offer to 30 grand!

Fortunately, we changed tact and decided on a more expensive car when he returned which actually kind of had the salesman over a barrel and the Longs ended up with a good deal and a nice car (And if you don’t think Chuck has convinced himself that we ended up with the dude over the barrel out of all this, then you don’t know Chuck too well!).

There’s likely a kidknapper out there reading this and rubbing their hands together at Chuck’s negotiation skills!

So, we’ve established that Chuck’s an idiot. Lets move on. 

It’s always great to arrive at a class and reconnect with familiar faces. Chuck smiled and waved at the Josef Fritzel type and his daughter, shook hands with the sperm donor and empathised with the woman who’s dorky partner couldn’t make it because he found the process boring. All the good will and excitement was soon removed from the class as the midwife / instructors first topic of conversation was blood loss, blood clotting, blood smell, blood colour and maternity pads. Chuck was so glad that he’d finished breakfast 20 minutes beforehand.

A word from the wise, Chuck would suggest never attending these classes hung-over. Chuck wasn’t dying from the after-affects of booze (although after the car yard incident, you surely wouldn’t blame Chuck for trying to erase the memory from his mind), but the combination of a dimly lit room and the bean bags that are supplied makes for one hell of a battle against your eyelids throughout the day.

The key piece of information that Chuck deduced from the first session was that if you leave the house hastily as contractions commence and your wife didn’t get a chance to pack, it is smart as the male partner to take some time when you go back to pack a bag for her to stop and consider her circumstances. This comes as the instructor related tales of women being forced to stuff maternity pads into skimpy G strings as their partners decided to pack something from the “private’ collection for their hospital stay. You cant blame a bloke really since it’s probably been a while since they’ve seen their wife in her finest and according to Heidi Klum, women go straight back to their fighting weight the minute the baby is expelled anyway. May as well get straight back into the saddle!

The second session focused on how your baby will look and react directly after it’s born. Basically this was the instructors way of telling you that your new born baby will look like a space alien and that you should prepare yourself for this. Covered in a waxy white substance called vernix, with a mashed up and dented head and blue appendages, your offspring will not immediately resemble the bundle of joy you were hoping for.

It was also stated that your child’s genitals will likely be swollen, which can be disheartening for many men who thing they have just produced the second coming of John Holmes, only to be shattered when the swelling goes down and their newborn son is hung exactly as they currently are.

An interesting aside to all of these videos is that they seem to have ceased making birthing DVDs after 1985. Every bloke has a short sleeve business shirt on and a dirty moustache and every woman has a perm and a bad hair scrunchie. The final disturbing thing from these films is that every woman has the hairiest fucking bush you’ve ever seen in your life. Chuck is talking legitimate hair saddles where the pubes stretch from the belly button to the bunghole while also running down the inner thigh. Never mind the tearing, the blood or the screaming, the unkempt pubic hair was the most confronting thing!

The midwife then went on to explain some of the assessments and evaluations that take place a soon as the baby is born such as checking the hearing and reflexes. The most important one is the Apgar score, which turns out to be your baby’s first ever test in life. The higher the score, the better. Chuck has spent the past 4 hours trying to find practice questions so that Infant Long can quickly start out on its path as a high achiever!

The worst part of the whole day is when the conversation turns to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s confronting and disturbing and wasn’t much fun although it was important stuff to hear. The key thing is to make sure your baby sleeps on its back, unencumbered by toys, blankets and too much heat. Oh and you shouldn’t let your baby smoke or drink since that seems to lead to SIDS.

The second worst part was the segment around settling your baby where it was laid out in black and white that your infant will likely sleep in 40 minute bursts and could very well end up being the spawn of Satan and only sleep in 20 minute bursts. The midwife went through techniques designed to help relax the baby and teach itself to fall asleep. There was no mention of sending it to its grandparent’s house. Fortunately as the child gets older routine kicks in and sleep typically comes easier to the point that by the age of 16 they merely need to run it through the knuckles (if you have boy) in order to find peaceful and deep slumber.

Child bearing class ended by discussing breast feeding and getting the kid to take the nipple, how to throw on a nappy and how to interpret your child’s behaviour and moods (which wont be a problem for Chuck since Infant Long will likely be talking by 3 months).

All in all, it was a useful series of classes that on paper gave couples key information on what to expect and how to handle certain scenarios when the big day arrives - this will in all likelihood go out the window when shit hits the fan. In any case, Chuck is just thankful that Mrs Long will be there to carry him through it!

1 comment:

  1. little league detoxMay 17, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Chuck IMO the only time you come across as an idiot is when you crap on about crap. (ie your last post) Oh and "know your audience" - I happen to like my permed hair, velvet scrunchies and plastic banana comb clips.

    Love your blog.