Patrick and I started taking Lamaze classes last month - there are five classes, each three hours long. Three hours seems a bit excessive, since the classroom is small and the chairs are uncomfortable, but the information is really great. We've been to three of them. It's actually fun, and very interesting, and I love the teacher, who is enthusiastic, caring, funny, remembers all our names each week, and says "underwears" instead of "underwear." You might be surprised at how many times she has to reference one's... underwear during the course of the class. Or maybe you wouldn't be.
We've seen, I think, 4 birth videos, all with varying degrees of gore and guts (shown in progressive order), and it's smart the way the class is laid out. We've seen real live births; they started out with a nice over-the-shoulder view where everything went perfectly, and moved on down the line, so far, to one where variations on the perfect birth occur. There are about 12 couples in our class, and aside from one dude who insists on chatting with his pretty wife/girlfriend while we're trying to listen, it seems like a nice group of people. We appear to be the oldest people by about 10 years but I could be wrong; I really need to get my color done.
Anyway, last night I had a dream about being in labor. I was in the hospital, with two nurses, a younger one and an older one. They both had reddish hair, so I could be thinking about my neighbor Terie and her daughter Kacie, who are both nurses in real life, and people I wouldn't mind having around when the real thing finally happens. Patrick was napping (that snake!), and the two nurses were walking me around the room, while I swayed back and forth every once in awhile. My back was hurting in real life too yesterday (and this morning), and that motion seemed to help. It appeared to be very early in labor, or I was doing everything right, because I wasn't in a lot of pain or anything. The dream didn't go any further, it was just that one little part of it. There was no pushing, no strain, and no baby.
I liked having that dream, though, because even though the Lamaze is supposed to be calming us down about the big day, and showing us coping mechanisms for the pain and teaching us that we don't need to be afraid of it, the truth is, I'm still pretty scared. Emotionally I've kind of been a wreck this week (my sister-in-law asked me last night in between numbers at my niece and nephews Christmas program if I've started crying at TV commercials, and the answer is a huge YES, though, to be fair, I kind of did that before I got pregnant. But yes, pretty much everything elicits teary eyes from me right now, especially the aforementioned birthing videos we watch in Lamaze), and I'm afraid I'm going to be a big baby, unable to get the job done without a big freak-out. I'm sure that's a natural thing and not a sign that I'm a bad person or going to be a bad mother, but knowing that one's fear is normal doesn't really help alleviate it, if you know what I mean. Seeing myself, if only in a dream, if only in a moment absent of distress, calmly performing my Lamaze positions was a good sign. I need to get in "I can do it!" mode. I have 7 weeks to get there.
The rest of my dream was me accompanying some young woman I knew briefly in my 20s named Chelsea (I kissed my ex-boyfriend for the first time at her house; there were about 5 of us hanging out drinking beers and, for some reason, playing tag) to her ancestral home, which was a huge beautiful mansion, where the people living there refused to admit us and made us use a side entrance and told her she wasn't welcome there, and then we left in a huff and drove to Hollywood, where we went to a blues performance by Patrick's friend Art Harris, an amazingly talented guitarist and singer who goes by the name Artwork Jamal. You can check his website out here. He's incredible.
And, as just an aside, today I was smart and brought in my iPod and earphones and I am going to drown out the incessant chatting of one of my co-workers with the Minutemen! Patrick loaded my iPod with 4 of their albums (The Politics of Time, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat, the Punchline [my favorite; I love the title song so much], and What Makes a Man Start Fires). I can't wait. In fact, her voice is filling the room right now, and this seems like the perfect time to start Operation Drown-Out... I think we'll start with Buzz or Howl. I listened to the Punch Line while sitting in traffic.