oh my gosh... where do I EVEN start?

Last night was our first prenatal class - yes we're extremely behind on that and had a good time seeing everyone's reactions when we were the "37.5 week's along couple" to the other "24, 25, 30 week parents".

But the good times were really only in making light of what a disaster the class was. I had a glimpse last night into what going to high school with my husband would have been like, and the truth is, I would have failed every class! We were doing everything in our power to not buckle over in roaring laughter in front of our less-than-prepared/aware/educated-teacher.


Let me begin with out teacher. Whose credentials are that she WAS a nurse 15 years ago and did give birth twice, in the late 60's. Have times changed medically since then? naaaa, let's go with it. Groan. We had our hunches that she wasn't the most up to date on the current birthing process when she made comments like
"but honestly, people don't really get epidurals or they shouldn't ",
to a room of terrified, birthing-plan-ready, moms who had already made up their minds, or
"if they're kicking hard it's because they're a boy, boys are stronger than girls",
can you say Old School methodology?

But what really sold us on her inexpertise was the personal narrative of every labour stage. Instead of telling us medically and technically what is happening during this stage she just told us how SHE felt, 40 years ago.
Sentences like "you will be nervous but excited at this point, because I was" or "you probably will become introspective when you're 4cm dilated and not want to talk much to people around you, as I didn't" should never make their way into a professional, government-run hand-out to first-time parents to be, but oh there they were.

Aside from her lack of current medical knowledge, she was just plain rude, and it was HILARIOUS. She's one of those people that you find yourself saying often after she speaks "Oh No You Didn't..."
Yet it was so outrageous I don't think anyone was offended, just astonished.

Like when Brad and I walked in 1 minute EARLY but the class had already begun. There were no seats and she said "The class has begun, you may not find a seat". Um what does that mean? We signed up for this class and we're still early!?

Or the couple that came in AFTER us (God-forbid) that she didn't even greet or give hand outs to (they may have been 2 minutes late and were dressed in business clothing, clearly just coming right from work).

But my favourite was this poor single mom-to-be from LaSalle who our teacher decidedly hated from the get-go. When there would be a long pause and she would ask a question, our teacher would abruptly start talking over her and not let her ask until she rose her hand. Or when our teacher blatantly said "Because you're from LaSalle and not Verdun, you shouldn't be here. I wish you weren't because there are a lot of people in this class, but what can I do?"
She tried to explain that she lives on the boarder and it would take her 3 bus transfers to get to the LaSalle CLSC and only one straight bus to get to the Verdun CLSC which was met with more talking-over and a "yes but really you shouldn't be here" from our teacher.

Is she for real!?

Then she had us go around and say to the group that we've just met what all of our preferences for birth are (i.e. our birthing plan i.e. kind of personal). It was a hilarious time, where people were publically shamed for choosing the epidural or others made to seem cold-hearted for not having their moms in the room at the time of delivery. The good part being, everyone was in the same boat - hating it but getting a kick out of her audacity.

Lastly the video. OHHHHHH the video!
Aptly titled "Together in Love" and filmed no sooner than 1973, the film captured a couple whose marriage was clearly on the rocks having their first baby. It seemed more like a commercial for prenatal classes where we watched people doing what we should have been doing (i.e. learning breathing exercises), only decades prior. My favourite part was when the mom-to-be said "for the first time it felt like Paul and I were a team" to which someone in the class yelled "haven't they been married for 4 years? Paul's a dead beat!"

And so the class went on. A teacher who had no expertise and almost no English, with random materials in SPANISH of all languages, including a small Mexican statue of a woman birthing in the squatting position, her wielding her out-dated Quebecois cultural experience of birth on our unsuspecting class, and a video that was both terrifying (up close shots with little warning = scary!) and most certainly the same video our own parents watched in the 80's and laughed at for it's age and inappropriateness.


  1. Oh hilarious!!! I could give a better pre-natal class and I'm not qualified.

    If you ever want to have a phone date I can look over my notes and tell you what I learned from our classes. I'm sure getting it second hand would benefit you more than going to those classes... unless you just need a good laugh to relax you before labour!! :)

  2. yikes! For all it's worth, the classes that I took, though great and informative, may have been just as useless since they glorified a natural birth and gave me unrealistic expectations. I wanted to 'stay at home' and 'go au-natural' and let me tell you, as soon as I flew through those hospital doors the mask was on my face and an epidural was ordered and on it's way! Back labor threw all plans to the wind!

  3. Crazy experience! You're going to do great no matter what kind of gongshow class you go to :) Plus, you're going to be an awesome mom no question!!!!!

  4. thanks for the encouragement Laura and Shannon!

  5. melanie d'almeida16.8.10

    i apologize on behalf of all nurses... so sorry you had to go through that.