Over time Chuck has come to think of himself as a man of the world. Writing an immensely popular blog has exposed Chuck to a myriad of problems and scenarios that have required him to research, hypothesise and delve deep into his own psyche in order to present solutions and in some instances, saves lives! So being placed in to a situation where the vast majority of Chuck’s preconceived ideals and notions were totally upended has shaken the intricately woven fabric of Chuck’s soul. Where and under what circumstances did this happen you ask? Birthing classes.
As loyal readers will know, Mrs Long is currently ‘with child’ and as part of the whole baby making process, prospective parents are expected to attend classes on how to bring your spawn into this world. In every instance that Chuck has encountered a soon-to-be father on the cusp of attending these classes, there has always been an element of dread. It has always been unclear to Chuck why these would-be fathers felt this way, but as a result of their feelings, Chuck approached the classes with a sense of apprehension and unease.
The first session was on Saturday and was a mere 2 hours. It was titled “Your Changing Body” so Chuck and his higher mental faculties deduced that it was going to focus on how the woman’s body develops over the course of the pregnancy. As per usual, Chuck was spot on! It was an interesting experience being in a room full of first time expectant parents and even more interesting trying to get a read on each couple’s relationship. Off the top of Chuck’s head the group featured:
- At least 1 Josef Fritzel-type relationship whereby a father may have impregnated his own daughter (he was at least kind enough to be her birthing partner)
- 1 sperm donor providing a value add service (not that donating sperm isn’t a highly valued service) by also doubling as a birth partner
- A gay couple
- 2 single mothers
- 2 EXTREMELY annoying women who prefaced every question with “can I just ask a question?” Newsflash, you just did motherfucker!
- 3 blokes who surprised Chuck in that they were actually able to father a child
- A roomful of mute males
Needless to say, it was an eclectic mix
The physiotherapist who ran the course clearly did not graduate from charm school and the vast majority of her fury was directed to any and all of the males in the room. Being adroit at evaluating human behaviour, Chuck made a mental note to check his cutting edge sense of humour at the door for fear of retribution. Some of the males on the lower end of Darwin’s evolution scale were not able to pick this and foolishly made jokes (some of which Chuck found quite amusing) only to be blown up by the man hating manipulator of muscle and ligament.
The two hours were very useful in explaining many of the aches and pains that Mrs Long has been encountering as her bump grows bigger. The downside to the whole session however was the massage techniques that the instructor passed on to assist in alleviating discomfort and muscle soreness. Without fail, Mrs Long cashed in on this the minute we were through the front door and will likely do so for the remainder of the pregnancy. In fact Chuck may as well go ahead and get a qualification in massage since he’ll likely be working over the flesh on a nightly basis.
Session 1 being interesting definitely softened the blow for session 2, which was fortunate since it was an all day affair on Sunday. This session was to be more of a mixed bag with topics like birthing positions and a tour of the facilities on the cards. In Chuck’s opinion, men seem to dread these classes because there is a pre-conceived notion that you’ll be practicing breathing techniques and doing wanky role playing activities. In reality, they’re just a giant information free for all where you can ask as many questions as you like or dose off if the need arises (not that Chuck would risk the ire of Mrs Long by doing so, but one sucker got sprung- his name was Rusty and he was wearing a chambray shirt and RM Williams boots so he may have in fact been a cowboy and totally familiar with the birthing process after all his work raising cattle).
This session featured another collection of people although the ratios aligned with the list Chuck generated earlier.
The coolest feature was that the room was awash with beanbags and pillows giving it a hippie love-in feel (unfortunately there were no bowls to throw your keys in although you could be 100% that every woman put out). The day got started with a crocheted uterus being manipulated to demonstrate the birthing process which was very helpful although Mrs Long was visibly shaken when baby head size was listed as a reason for emergency C section since Chuck has a legitimately large cranium.
Early on in the piece a number of men successfully distinguished themselves as reasonably stupid. The first guy to insert his foot in his mouth was a dorky looking dude who, when the female instructor asked “does anyone want to watch more delivery DVDs”, answered “no, I’ve seen enough”. First off, although that question was delivered to the entire room, it was in no way intended for any of the blokes present. Secondly, he was so lucky to have managed to get his dick in a vagina, let alone knock some poor bird up that it was plainly obvious that he had not seen enough.
One highlight from the delivery DVD was watching a woman writhe in agony during the birthing process as her husband massaged her back. In the next shot, he is shown up on a bed as what appears to be his mother-in-law massages him and the woman continues to give birth. Talk about further tarnishing the male brand!
Pain was an issue that seemed to be skirted around somewhat so Chuck decided to request more information. This was interesting stuff since other than an epidural - which unbeknownst to Chuck is a fairly risky procedure that effectively renders the woman sense free - there is pretty much bugger all to relieve pain. The gas you suck on lasts for about 2 minutes and the next option up is morphine. Chuck may have to smuggle some heroin in although you can’t smoke in hospital so Mrs Long will have to snort.
Later in the day, the group practiced birthing positions, which was another eye opening experience for Chuck. Now this may completely expose Chuck as an F wit but for some reason, Chuck assumed that a woman lying on her back with her legs up was an effective way to sprout a child. This is not the case at all; in fact, it is the position that tends to cause the most damage (e.g. tearing - which is fucking gruesome). The key to assisting birth is using gravity, which means there is a lot of squatting involved. One of the positions required Chuck to stand facing Mrs Long, while Mrs long wrapped her arms around Chuck’s neck and rested her head on Chuck’s shoulder. This allowed Mrs Long to sway back and forth and coax the sucker out. It also reminded Chuck of his bridal waltz.
Other controversial topics on the day:
- Women pooping when trying to squeeze the baby out. The comfort levels in the room dropped dramatically when the instructor mentioned that a turd ball or two could pop out in the act of contracting. It was mainly the ladies who seemed awkward here since the vast majority would have their partners believe that they don’t actually shit or fart….EVER.
- The use of suction or worse yet forceps during delivery had people shuddering, especially when someone tried to say that they once had a 32 year old real estate agent who had a munted head as a result of being forcep delivered. The instructor reassured everyone that he had a munted head because he was ugly. The baby’s head is like an off-tomato – extremely malleable and able to bend into various shapes in order to escape, so while the forceps may dent its melon, the shape should return.
The amount of twisting the baby does to get out is phenomenal. It’s like taking a Chux superwipe and turning it in opposite directions with your hands. It sucks that people cant maintain that level of flexibility throughout their adult life – Chuck would be a champion gymnast….or at least able to give himself a blow job.
Chuck would love to continue on with this insight but hears the bell ringing, meaning that Mrs Long is beckoning her daily massage to begin. More to come……..