Your Inner Hippy


Yesterday Janelle and I attended what is, technically, our first birthing class. It was actually a pre-natal yoga class, but it ended up covering, in its own way, birthing methods. The class typically has something around 6-8 couples, but today it was just us and one other couple, 36 weeks along with their second child and veterans of the class. Things got off to a quick start with the second couple, Zack and Rina, announcing that they had decided on a home birth, something that the instructor was very pleased to hear. They had done, apparently, much research and decided that they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of having to work around the hospital’s methods and personnel.

Immediately after this announcement, all eyes turned to Janelle and I. How were we going to handle the birth? There was a moment with crestfallen faces as we announced we’d be giving birth, in all likelihood at Kaiser-Permanente associated hospital. We salvaged things by correctly answering that we would be opting for natural childbirth and were not even considering the idea of the epidural. Part of me hopes that Janelle had announced she was ready for as many drugs as they could squeeze into her veins so I could have seen the class grind completely to a halt as gears switched to proselytization.

The instructor shared as well that she was pleased to see that we had both shown up. The couples yoga class is once a month on Sunday, but every week there are several yoga classes aimed just at mothers. Those classes tend to have a solid turnout. Turns out it’s difficult to convince fathers to come along—hence one class a month and this session with only two couples.

I’d like to say it’s surprising that more fathers don’t show up for something like this if the mom is interested, but I’m not. Let me put it to you this way, I have recently said the phrase, in a very un-ironic manner, “I am a birth warrior.”

Getting into yoga already requires a fairly open mind and a willingness to embrace the lifestyle. Getting into a pre-natal yoga class 100% involves embracing your inner hippy. You need to be willing to say silly things (see above), listen to an instructor talk to the group about how when you’re doing a particular stretch you should envision your cervix opening and not giggle, and you need to be willing to explore what can turn into reasonably emotional and personal interactions in front of an audience. There’s a lot of gazing into your partner’s eyes and finding your center and moving in unison. Hidden bonus for moms-to-be: you get a lot of massages.

It is good prep work for what is to come. A not insignificant part of parenting is going to be learning to deal with embarrassment. If your little girl wants to play tea party can you talk to a teddy bear like it’s a hairdresser? How is your Chewbacca if you have a little Han Solo roaming around? How are you doing that in front of friends or strangers? If the answer is “Not going to happen” you might need to get used to seeing a disappointed little face. Being a hippy isn’t wearing a flower wreath and tripping out on LSD. It’s doing things in a different way and not being concerned about anyone else or standard conventions. And since it’ll be some time before your kid learns what normal conventions are…

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  1. #1 by Júlli on February 22, 2010 - 5:06 PM

    Ohh it’s ok to giggle a little right? Right? Otherwise I might be in trouble 😛

  2. #2 by Vic L on February 24, 2010 - 5:15 PM

    I don’t think I can be a father now. I simply can NOT envision my cervix opening nor can I ever call upon my inner Birth Warrior to say such a thing I out loud. I guess we’ll stick with dogs.

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