Why is no one else laughing?

So we’re taking this Birth and Babies class. It’s offered through the local health region, and our class happens to be at the hospital where I will deliver. (Which is conveniently less than 5 minutes from our house.) It’s a 10 week course, and costs $200, so a large-ish investment of time and cash, and this clearly makes for a self-selecting group. It’s a neat concept, in that you ideally have the kid around week 5 or 6, and then you bring the baby to the rest of the classes and learn about infant care. For the last class, they even bring in an infant massage specialist.

I was expecting to be on the older side of the class, being 30 and all. But we’re actually firmly on the young half, which surprised me a bit. But then we’re back to the self-selection of a 10 week $200 course and it makes more sense.

What I expected less is that no one else in the room seems to have a sense of humour. And let’s be honest, there are enough weird and wacky parts of this whole experience that if you can’t find something to giggle about, you probably have no sense of humour at all. I mean, at the very least, when they show the birth video and the woman walks in with her 80s mushroom cut hair and giant overalls and you don’t at least crack a grin? Soulless. We probably will not become friends.

One of the things we had to do last night was to practice the supported sway. Which the instructor explained as being like grade 9 dancing. So David and I immediately went for the arms on shoulders with straight arms awkward dance style. Which we decided was too grade 7-ish, and immediately got closer. He spent the rest of the time trying to ‘subtly’ cop a feel, all junior high boy style. While I muffled my giggles in to his chest. Because who doesn’t like a bit of side-boob touching? Everyone else looked like they were being graded and not enjoying it at all. Which is silly – this is the father (I assume) of your baby, and I don’t know about you, but I still take just about any chance I get to snuggle up with my husband.

Another assignment from last night – talk to the couple beside you about 3 things they plan to do during early labour. Early labour is the part that can go on for 14 hours and be mostly just uncomfortable, for those of you not immersed in this stuff. (Active labour is when you can’t talk or walk during a contraction.) Then we went around the room introducing the other couples and talking about their plans. Of the 12 pairs in the room, at least SIX OF THEM listed, I swear to God, studying their birth notes as a planned activity! Yours truly? Listed having a bath, watching tv and playing video games. Most of the room looked pretty judgey until the woman running the program mentioned games as being a perfect thing to do. Haha, all you uptight boring people!

But seriously. As the woman in labour, everything I’ve read suggests that it’s a very primal, not-thinky experience. It’s not a test. You get the prize no matter what happens. Reading your notes seems … way too fucking OCD for my tastes. And I say this as a woman who has read at least 31 books about pregnancy and birth and labour and breastfeeding and babies. I like research! I like learning! I just really feel that last second cramming isn’t going to help at that late date, and that staying calm and relaxed and having a laugh is so much a better plan. (All of the books I’ve read agree with me, FYI.)

Look, labour will happen and I accept that it will be hard and painful and take me to a place within myself that may be quite new. I accept that this will be an experience like no other. But I refuse to accept that it means I have to give up my sense of humour and sense of the absurd, or that I have to stop sitting in the back of a classroom making off colour jokes with the cute boy sitting beside me.

I just wished when I looked around the room I could find someone else who looked like they were trying to suppress a giggle.

Making mom friends is gonna be hard, I think.

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6 responses to “Why is no one else laughing?

  1. I can totally appreciate this. This is how I felt when I tried Zumba a couple months ago. I mean, c’mon people, we’re doing the Macarena, the mashed potato, and dancing to Too Legit to Quit like we know what we’re doing! I spent the whole class stifling laughter and looking to see if anyone else was enjoying themselves as much as I was. But nope, everyone was quite stoic, very serious, and had no sense of humor at all about doing their moves to super fun old school hip hop and Bollywood tunes. Not even a smile was cracked. I imagine I’ll have a similar experience when we take our birthing class in a couple months. C’est la vie.

  2. We got into our Birth and Babies class for free because of our income (or lack there-of) at the time. Out of all 10 or 12 couples (I think) we were one of two couples who were married – everyone else, I’m not kidding – were teenagers or very close. There was an older Chinese couple who didn’t speak English so I don’t know how old they were but the next closest to me in age was 22 and all the rest hadn’t hit their 20s yet. One father was 17! The Mister and I tried to figure out if all of these kids got pregnant on grad night.

    Needless to say, we didn’t make any friends at that class (although I hope some of those teenagers did). We stopped going after the second class because the whole reason I wanted to go was to make friends after so many other people telling me about the friends they made in their birthing classes. I’m still a little jealous of those people to be honest. Making mom friends is hard when none of your friends are having kids but you only need a couple good mom friends to get you through the tough times (and get you out of the house). We like babies at our place so feel free to come for tea when you are ready.

  3. UGH. This is what I’m most scared of, mostly because I’m usually the person laughing and no one else is, so why should mom-hood be any different? The thing is, most people I know have had this experience! It seems like there’s GOT to be someone else feeling this at the same time!!

    I’m sorry that people are humorless, but you’re spot on, and rockin’ it. You need a sense of humor to get through life with style, so you’re good. 🙂

  4. Hope you always keep that sense of humor because sometimes that’s the only way to get through some pretty intense situations.
    Sorry to say a lot of moms also loose their sense of humor. They get so serious about the development of their kids! My sister would boast that sure, her son may be the one stuffing play dough up his nose in the corner but at least he can play well with others.

  5. oh man, studying their notes? I am also wishing to meet mom friends, or soon-to-be-mom friends but that sounds just ridiculous! The only class we have signed up for so far is a two day intensive on hypnobirthing and I think there will only be one other couple in it. So much for a social kickstart. But maybe we’ll be lucky!

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