We Got Thrown Out of Lamaze Class

Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts about Wednesday’s post, Breathe. Parenting is the toughest job on the planet and it really helps to know that many of you have had similar experiences. Truly, thank you.

After posting 100 Things About Me a couple of weeks ago, it turns out, most of you want to know how I came to find myself booted out of Lamaze. As promised, here you go..

Girls and a bug

You know how it is when you’re expecting your first baby: everything is goodness and light, and each step you take in preparation for the arrival is magical, whether it’s picking out teeny tiny socks, painting the nursery or seeing your precious bundle on the ultrasound for the first time.

That’s how it was for us in late 1998 and early 1999. We knew we were expecting a beautiful little girl. We were equal parts excited and scared, but we dutifully read our What To Expect When You’re Expecting and Hubby rubbed my feet and brought me Drake’s Coffee Cakes by the warehouse store box load. (Which I ate dutifully…which might help explain my 55 lb. weight gain – but that’s another story.)

Like good little parents-to-be, we signed up for our first Lamaze class, which we learned was hosted in the basement of a church in a moderately sketchy part of town.

We arrived for the first class, late on a weekday evening in February (read: fricking freezing). They had asked us to bring along a towel and suddenly I understood why: in their brilliance they determined that the best way to keep a dozen pregnant women comfortable was to seat us on a rock-hard, stone-cold linoleum floor. It’s amazing how 3mm of terry cloth made that basement floor feel like a Sleep Number mattress. Not.

I sat down and surveyed the room: there were women of all ages, some with their husbands or boyfriends and one or two with their mothers. I would later wonder how some of them would manage as parents, because they were clearly dumb as a box of Pop-Tarts. I’m sorry to be judge-y or insult Pop-Tarts, but the facts are the facts.

We went around the circle the instructor arranged us in and introduced ourselves. The instructor was an older woman, with an air of authority, giving off a vaguely militant, earthy-crunchy vibe. I’m not gonna lie – I was little afraid of her.

The young woman who was there with her mother introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Lisa. This is my first baby. I’m just so excited because after all my years of being the babysitter and the girlfriend and stuff, I finally get to be the mom. My fiancée couldn’t come so this is my Mom.”

And then she farted.

Listen, I do not judge a pregnant woman’s farts. All pregnant women fart at inconvenient moments. However, that sort of uncomfortable silence filled the room as we all deliberately tried to ignore the fart.

Her Mom wasn’t having any of that.

“Whoooo wheeee, Lisa, that was a winner!” she shouts as she starts fanning the air in front of her. She looks at Hubby and I. “You better look out, it’s coming your way. Hope none of you have sensitive stomachs!”

All this time, Lisa is laughing like a maniac. Under normal circumstances, I would guess that it was because she was embarrassed but I don’t think so – she thought it was funny.

Colonel Crunchy moved the introductions along.

Later, as she works her way through explaining the stages of labor and then delivery, Lisa goes on to ask where the umbilical cord goes after child-birth because she was concerned it would just “hang out” for the rest of her life. I am not making this up.

It took every ounce of strength I had not to tell her that she could just give a little tug and it would snap back in like a vacuum cleaner cord. I blame the hormones.

Now, I realize that Lamaze is supposed to be about all-natural childbirth. You have to understand that I like to gather information and know what ALL my options are. This was my first baby, and I really didn’t know what to expect.

I asked the Colonel at which stage of labor I could get an epidural.

Colonel Crunchy: “Excuse me?”

Me: “I was just wondering, if the pain gets to be too much, when can I ask for an epidural?”

Colonel Crunchy, smirking: “If you do what I’ll teach you here, you won’t need an epidural.”

Me: “I know, but, just in case, when could I get one?”

Colonel, annoyed: “Childbirth is perfectly natural. You don’t need drugs.”

Me, equally annoyed: “Yes and a heart attack is perfectly natural too, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that without drugs…”

And at that very moment, Lisa farts again.

After class, the Colonel suggested that we not return.

That, my friends, is the story of how we got kicked out of Lamaze class.

I wonder if Lisa’s umbilical cord ever coiled back up?

Anything crazy happen to you while you were pregnant?




  1. How funny! That was my first question, too! (When can I get an epidural). Your heart attack analogy was nothing short of brilliant. It’s a personal choice, but no one should force their personal belief/preference on anyone. Next time, in addition to a towel, guess they should warn parents to bring a candle or can of Lysol (((:

    • I’m with you – I’m fine with everyone making their own choice, but please don’t make me feel bad about mine! (And yes – a candle would have been lovely!!)

  2. Trish Connolly Accetta says:

    The first person I met with at the OB practice was a nurse midwife. I told her I planned on an elective C-section. She told me I would miss out on the “birthing experience”. I replied that I was present for my sister’s birthing experience, and concluded labor is for suckers. She wordlessly led me back into the waiting room and, with an eye-roll, told the receptionist to schedule me with a doctor instead. I told the doctor I planned on having an elective C-section. The doctor (mother of four) chuckled & mumbled, “You’re no dummy.” I tell this story to the La Leche League moms at the park whenever I get bored, just to see if someone will actually go after me with a pitchfork.

    • I knew I liked you for a reason, Trish! I ended up with a section anyway, because she was transverse breech.

  3. Michelle says:

    That is a hysterical story!! Where did you live at that time?? I took a lamaze class at the hospital but I never used a single techinque they taught me. Who has time to worry about that “hee hee hoo” or “hoo hoo hee” stuff when you are in so much pain. I should of taken the epi with my first but I couldn’t picture myself getting a large needle in my spine. Boy was I stupid!! I did take it for my second. Thank Goodness!! LOL

    • Thanks! We lived in South Utica at the time. It’s funny how that big needle seems like nothing compared to labor pains!

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