Childbirth Memories: 1995

hupTruth be told, I really hadn’t expected my sister to say yes, but after she did there was absolutely no way I was going to back out. I had actually been joking. You know, the type of joke where you laugh but the other person doesn’t. Yeah, my sister definitely wasn’t laughing when she said yes, and just like that I was going to witness a live birth. We were a month away from her due date but I got freaked out pretty much right away.

I was 18 at the time, having just started college that fall, and I had no clue at all about life beyond school. In fact, I didn’t even know much about school at the time either, having already missed multiple classes by that October. It was a whole new world for me, of parties, parties, and more parties. Eventually I knew I would have to grow up but that seemed to be in the far off future, something hazy to 18-year-old me. So, when my sister said yes, it was a huge dose of reality hitting me hard.

When I found out she was pregnant I was curious. I mean, for ages it had been just the three of us (my mom, my sister, and me), and I didn’t quite know how things would change adding someone else to the mix. And then there was becoming an uncle, something that seemed to me like an old person’s job back then. In fact, the first thing that crossed my mind when I found out was my own uncles, how solid and adult they were. I knew that wasn’t going to be me, not at first anyway. Maybe that’s why I asked to be there in the first place. Perhaps I knew even then that the experience would change me in numerous ways. Continue reading “Childbirth Memories: 1995”

Childbirth Memories: 2006

mpinkinitialtrpng_square_canvas_pillowBack in early 2006, my wife and I found ourselves at a childbirth class. Now, I had seen about a bunch of them, but only on TV shows, and usually those shows were treating the class itself in a comical light. Sometimes there were slick watermelons, or fathers fainting while watching the birthing video, and always there was an animated instructor who seemed like she should have been teaching a Zumba class instead. Things were a little different in real life.

For one, the class was in Cooperstown, which is an hour and a half drive for us, so we didn’t sign up lightly. We were both completely on board since it was our first pregnancy, and since we were both just a little bit nervous about what would happen when the time came, when labor started. My wife had read all the books (she always reads all the books) but reading about it and going through it are two entirely different things. We figured it would be helpful to go through the process of learning along with several other couples at the same time.

So we took the drive on a frigid late January morning, with two pillows in the back seat and an open mind for whatever was going to occur. When we got there the building looked a lot like an old church to me, minus the steeple (and the priest). Other couples were already there milling about on the lawn, carrying pillows, so we figured it was the right place. Then the instructor arrived, and we found out pretty quickly that she was a registered nurse who had been through about a metric ton of live births. We were in good hands. Continue reading “Childbirth Memories: 2006”