How I Failed Childbirth Class

I like to pride myself in being a good student, but I failed childbirth class.

As many obstetricians do, my doctor recommended a childbirth class and I attended. We attended. It’s my understanding that during childbirth, the partner is supposed to be strong, supportive, and inspiring while the pregnant person performs a miracle. I’m like, really good at being strong, supportive, and inspiring, and would have preferred my husband perform the miracle.

I am a woman, no one cares what I want.

I expected to perform my miracle naturally. All the women in my family had natural childbirths, how hard could it be?
In retrospect, I can say women in my family have basically had natural childbirths because they have had very short labors and deliveries.
“Oh, you wanted an epidural? Sorry, too late. Can we offer you a shot of Demerol instead? Oops! Here comes the baby!”

My baby decided she liked sitting upright inside me.


Like this, but with her foot by her ear. She’s an overachiever.

I suppose it could have been all my yoga that inspired her, but personally, I blame her sister for having been breech, which ultimately means my husband’s DNA is responsible.

So I crawled around on the floor, literally, on my hands and knees, for two weeks, because that’s what the Chinese do to make the baby turn, and they have the lowest rate of breech births. Incidentally, the crawling did help with the intense back labor pains, since I couldn’t take the drugs.
“I’m going to prescribe you a muscle relaxer for the day and a narcotic for the night.”
“I’m very sensitive to medication. I have other children. I’ll need to be awake and alert and capable of driving.”
“No worries. I’m prescribing low doses.”

>Flash to me, unconscious for 8 hours after 5ml of Flexril<
I never took the narcotic.

The crawling didn’t inspire my baby to move, so the doctor told me he’d turn the baby.

I know y’all think I’m a ridiculous person and you never believe anything I say, but if you take away only one thing from me, this is it:

This is the kind of unsolicited advice I give to strangers.

It hurts. When the doctor says you may feel some discomfort, that means it will hurt. For about an hour, my doctor manipulated my baby manually, through my abdomen, while I writhed and groaned in agony discomfort. A stream of tears flowed from my eyeballs in a way I only otherwise experience during waxing.
They do not offer analgesics for this turning procedure, but had I known what it would be like, I might have tried that narcotic.
I left with bruises all over my middle, but the baby had been turned, and my back pain was gone.

For a few hours.

Until the baby turned back.

signs your child may be strong-willed may include…


Into the tub I went.
Oh dang. OW.

Per the instructions of my OB, I called the doctor on-call to tell her the baby moved back and that I was experiencing pain.
She told me to go to the hospital.
I didn’t want to go to the hospital.
She said it could be labor.
I said I had had this pain before. It’s not labor. Labor must surely hurt more than this.
To the hospital, she ordered.
Monitors and all that.
The nurses rolled their eyes at me, “It’s not labor.”

For three more weeks, I crawled around on my hands and knees to relieve the pressure on my back. Then I went to have my baby the new-fangled, unnatural way.
It was delightful.
I had my spinal block and lay on a table feeling that sorta feeling that you get when you’ve been in the bath long enough to prune and you’re relaxed and downright dozy. I couldn’t feel anything below my waist. Numb is so much better than pain.

So yeah, I failed childbirth class.

While I was recovering, I heard women in labor. It didn’t sound like an easy A.


SoCS ‘class’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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57 Responses to How I Failed Childbirth Class

  1. orbthefirst says:

    That does not sound pleasant. They turned out nice though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jan says:

    My son tried to come out through my rib cage and it was painful! They had to turn him around and pull him down!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had my son on the kitchen floor, I was so happy I had just cleaned it. Those fireman all have a sense of humor and one knew how to take the cookies out of the oven for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ugh. None of my kids were breech, but it still wasn’t fun. I think they can tell you anything they want in those childbirth classes, but the reality is totally different. Really hard to do that in-through-the-nose, out-through-the mouth breathing they told you to do, when you’re busy screaming at your husband that he better not ever come near you again! Good thing we all forget that moment by the time the first child is ready for a little brother or sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Veronica says:

    You and me, both!!! Not sure how I would anyways with an almost 10 lb baby. Ouch! 😳 You can throw those notes out the window because every birth is different.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John Holton says:

    Based on the picture, your daughter was probably thinking “cannonbaaaaaaalll!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great post. I had to read it outloud to my wife. Loved the whole thing about the crwaling on your feet (Sorry)., You will be forgiven for failing this course. lol Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Benson says:

    Ouch. You didn’t really fail it. Your kid came out all right.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Having kids is not easy. You will have some discomfort, right. I think I always start to panic a bit when they say that. Where’s the trust? I tell yah. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ghostmmnc says:

    Glad you and your children made it through all that ok! Way back when I had mine, I don’t think fathers were allowed in the room, and never heard of classes to take. MIne was so fast I didn’t have time for any meds anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Good for you! The classes are pretty lame, in my opinion. It’s all about teaching you mind over matter, which doesn’t seem to help a lot of people at the dentist, so I don’t know why it would help with CHILDBIRTH, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, our second was breech (knew we shoulda stopped at one) and they tried to turn him…two grown men pushing on my wife’s belly like they were kneading dough, to no avail. 23 years later, I’m still sleeping on the couch…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The need to send the baby to class. Teach them about a Pete Rose headfirst slide, or Superman. Superman would be good too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bikerchick57 says:

    I was a breech baby, but my mom never recounted any floor crawling or back pain or a doctor’s attempts at turning me the right way. That sounds sooooo painful, but I’m glad they finally gave you the spinal block and the kid came out okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Prior-2001 says:

    Hey Joey! I heard that crawling is also good for relieving migraines – hm- and ouch to the manual turning – yikes – and also – bless u for the advice you pay it forward with!
    My friend did this for me actually with that muscle relaxer stuff – told me to get it and it was what worked for me – glad we have options today and I tell people they don’t have to be a cave woman here…ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Right? Choices are key!
      I haven’t had a migraine in a long time, *knocks wood* but I will try the crawling next time — crawling off to bed and a sleep mask! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior-2001 says:

        Well I am not sure if the crawling actually helps – but know a blogger who insists that magnesium is the magic elixir for all things – especially migraines – anyhow – I also heard magniesum chloride is amazing for folks with Lyme – I hope to make a blog post later about the magnesium chloride I tried last month – it really is amazing stuff – and then some people insist that “CALM” magniesum changed their lives- never did much for me…. Sorry to ramble – but I really believe In this magnesium stuff!
        And getting back to your post – you really got me when after the baby was turned manually (ouch) – later the baby turned back – oh my goodness –

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Anxious Mom says:

    Oh lord, strong-willed indeed! Should’ve grounded her right out of the womb 😉 Baby Girl was breech, too, and the doctors told us they could try to move her, but I just did the C-section. Good thing, too, since she had her cord wrapped around her neck three times and moving her probably would’ve resulted in an emergency C-section.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. JoAnna says:

    You didn’t fail. You worked really hard! I remember my plans to go all natural with no drugs until I got several hours into labor. Then I got a shot of stadol. When it started to wear off, I asked for another but it was too late. Sounds like you paid your dues with that turning procedure.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sorry, but it’s stories like these that make me thankfull for beeing a man – but you have my sincere compassion!


  18. lbeth1950 says:

    Whoever designed pregnancy and birth definitely was not a woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. revengestar says:

    *taking mental notes* thanks for sharing i am so pissed off with all those male obstetritians saying ”some discomfort”. Like CAN YOU NOT minimize excrusiating pain.


  20. Dan Antion says:

    Let’s just say it was a pass/fail class and you passed. I mean, you did come home with a baby in your arms. I’ve never heard of the Chinese crawling thing. I’ve never been in danger of having s breech birth either, but I’m impressed that you tried that.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. OMG…the things we do in the name of motherhood. Great read, though, Joey. And you survived to tell….and still like your children. 💘

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Chez Shea says:

    Nothing prepares you- those childbirth classes weren’t all they were cracked up to be. But epidurals…ah yes, they help.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Judy Martin says:

    I am not surprised you failed childbirth class, That whole experience of turning the baby sounded horrendous! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. joannesisco says:

    I must be weird, but I like birthing stories. They’re always funny in hindsight … but not so much at the time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. larva225 says:

    Both of my kids came out from me being “unzipped.” You know what? It was pretty awesome and I don’t feel any less a mom. Whatever works, yes?? (BTW, that whole turning thing? No thank you.)


  26. If the human population depended upon men producing offspring, we’d have a shortage of neighbors. 🙂 This post would make a great chapter in a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Alice says:

    “I’m like, really good at being strong, supportive, and inspiring, and would have preferred my husband perform the miracle.
    I am a woman, no one cares what I want.”

    Way to follow a literal lol’ing line with a sharp jab to the solar plexus! Nicely done, Joey, veeerry nicely done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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