As much as I'd like to really roast our birthing classes, 75% of it is actually really useful. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of crazy stuff going on in these classes, but it does touch on some things we need to discuss, but haven't yet. We've read some books and have a great midwifery team so we know a bunch that we don't need covered in an 8, 10, or 12 week class. It might sound weird, but we really benefit from the art therapy part. It just has to be packaged in absolute craziness.
As you may remember from our previous entry, Heather, our instructor, loves to talk about "Lucy" the chimp and how she gives birth in the wild. So Heather grabs her little "Lucy" statue, a chimpanzee holding a baby chimpanzee, and bounces it around in the air saying "Now what if Lucy leaves her cave (closed on one end) and goes out looking for some food?" Heather reaches behind her and grabs a tiger statue and viciously attacks Lucy. "She comes upon a tiger!!!" OH NO! "Now if Lucy tries to walk away from the tiger, what will the tiger do?"
(Absolutely silence, confusion, and some expressions of panic at how viciously the tiger just attacked Lucy.)
"That's right. The tiger will follow her. You have to work through your fears or they will follow you."
Okay, now I get it. The tiger represents your fears. Why couldn't we just say that from the beginning? Why the production?
Now it's art therapy time. We make a list of all the fears we can think of and write it on the side of the paper. We've got everything from death to grandparents showing up unannounced. We've probably got a list together of about 20 fears. Then you have to pick one of your fears and draw what it would look like if you gave in and were absolutely overcome by the fear. I picked Jen being in a ton of horrible pain and me standing by uselessly. A medium to medium-high level of fear. I don't have permission to share Jen's fear with the world, but its about equal in severity. Then on the other side of the paper you have to draw what it would look like if you worked through and over came the fear. What would success look like?
In all honesty, this was some helpful stuff!
Who the hell wants to talk about their fears? This started a great conversation between us and I have to say, just as it was uncomfortable (the non-manly word would be scary) to draw you losing to your fear, it felt pretty good to draw me being successful and getting through the fear.
See what I mean? 75% is actually some helpful, cool stuff. The other 25% is re-enacting a battle between a chimp and a tiger using figurines and scolding people for how they are sitting.
Apparently "scientists" have linked ADD to mothers crossing their legs when pregnant. All you people with ADD can now glare at your mothers. After spending some time talking about posture, and this really is my favorite quote of the night, we talked about the benefits of being up and around a doing a lot of walking.
"I mean, in Europe they don't have cars. They walk everywhere they go. They walk to the store, they walk to work, they walk all the time."
They must have really low rates of ADD in Europe.