Tuesday, May 13, 2008

baby care class

Okay, I'll admit it. I only took the Baby Care class because it was part of a package deal at our hospital. I know how to change a diaper, how hard can it be to give a baby a bath, and I don't need to worry about baby-proofing just yet, right? Right?

I learned a whole lot last night. Mostly that there's more to diapers than Huggies, there's an art to giving a baby a bath, and half the things I need to baby-proof didn't even occur to me.

I paid attention, took notes, and came home with a sense of "Oh golly, what have we gotten ourselves into?!" But it's all good. I love these classes. The instructor has been informative, giving us a ton of knowledge without being overwhelming or dry.

A couple of things that stood out in my mind. I'll start with the end. She was talking about bottles, nipples, and formula, whether sterilizing everything is necessary, how to preserve formula that's already been mixed. DH tuned her out completely. The man who wasn't sure he even had an opinion about breast feeding less than a month ago turned to me, rolled his eyes, and pulled out his pocket PC to play a video game. I found it endearing, and didn't have the heart to tell him to listen up, you never know what situations we might face as parents.

Earlier in the evening she talked about circumcision and how to care for it after. Now, please let me state very clearly here that I believe that it is possible to hold an opinion - a very strong opinion - and to in no way judge someone who holds the completely opposite opinion. I do not want to start up a debate on circumcision, should you shouldn't you, you must believe what I believe. It is a very personal choice, and I respect any choice you make so long as it is an educated choice.

Having said that, the decision to not have our son circumcised was one of the simplest that DH and I have made. Several months ago I asked him what he thought about it, he asked what the arguments for each side were. I told him, he said "I don't see the need to do it," I said "Me neither," and that was it. It took me longer to type this than it took for us to agree. We took longer to decide on a crib.

So we went into this class already in agreement that we would not be circumcising our son. And when she showed the pictures of the different ways it's done, and how to care for it in while it heals, it solidified my opinion even more. It took every ounce of strength in my body to not run from the room in tears after seeing a picture of a newborn strapped to the table, spread-eagled, beet red and screaming his head off.

I'm sure there was some propaganda going on there. I don't care. I believe that many of the images used in the Pro-Life campaign are chosen specifically for their emotional impact, but that doesn't stop me from disliking the thought of abortion.

My entire body clenched up. My nails dug into the palms of my hands. I had to compose myself before I could trust my voice enough to ask if they'd just do this automatically, or if I'd have to give my consent first. The baby must have sensed a disturbance in the force, because he was kicking like a pro soccer player in there. I'm sure the clenching didn't help.

She turned on the lights and dismissed us for break. I turned to DH and said an emphatic "Hell No!" I told him on the way home that if we hadn't been in agreement about this before, I'd have to pull momma perogative on him. They ask the mom to sign, the baby falls under the mom's insurance, and this mom is just not going for it.

So that was last night. We have two classes left. Saturday is an all-day class on Preparing for Childbirth. I'm scared of that one. The thought of labor and delivery terrifies me. It is Unknown to me, and it gives me fear. I almost - almost - hope that I have a cesarean instead, just to avoid having to go through contractions and pushing. I want drugs, lots of them, and already feel guilty about it. I'm hoping this class will help put me more at ease, but I'm afraid it will only serve as fuel to the fear.

Oh, and Saturday is our five-year anniversary. I guess it's appropos celebrating the biggest event in our lives so far by learning how to get through the biggest event in our lives coming up.

Then we have Becoming a Parent next Monday. I'm not sure what that one is about (besides the obvious), it was part of the package too. I think it's about how to survive the first month of having a newborn at home. I'm sure that, just like the classes we've had so far, it will be informative and full of things we never even thought of.


Blogger Heather said...

I think the biggest thing about any big decision (like circumcision) is that you two agree. I understand why it was done hundreds of years ago, it was a good idea. But times have changed.

Happy Anniversary!!

8:44 AM  
Blogger joyous melancholy said...

I agree that it's important that we both agree.

Which isn't to say I'm above playing the Mommy Card to get my way. ;-)

I realized last night that we spent our anniversary three years ago in court, waiting for approval to buy our first house, which was in probate. I think it's kind of cool that we've spent this day doing something major to move our family forward.

8:33 PM  

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