The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Schooling, Afterthoughts and Affirmation

Last Thursday, Craig and I went to our first "baby class." This one was Infant/Child Safety and CPR. I know it seems a little early for that sort of class, and I would have preferred we had taken it a little closer to when we actually have an Infant/Child, but this was the only time they could get us in that didn't conflict with our other childbirthing classes. So on a weekday night, after work, we went over to the hospital for some learnin'.

The nurse that taught the class was actually a surgical nurse from the main hospital, but she said she has been teaching this class for a while. I was amazed at how much I already knew, and I got to thinking about why...

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time by myself. All that time on my hands and lots and lots of books in our house led me to a lot of reading. I remember in particular we had a medical book, a full-color transparency-plated sciency affair that I used to pore over for hours. (It's probably why I understand so much doctor-speak now...) In addition to basic anatomy and chapters on body systems, it was a first aid reference. So I learned a lot of things that I found fascinating back then, but that I would probably find kind of gruesome now. For example, getting a fishhook stuck in your hand. I now know that you need to push it through your hand until the barb comes out, and then you can cut the barb off, and remove the hook. YOWCH and YUCK. But back then, I thought it was pretty cool. So a lot of the first aid things in this course were a refresher for me.

But it was still useful to have to rethink all the things you have to consider when you have a baby. I leaned over to Craig at one point and whispered that having a kitten was going to have well-prepared us already for baby safety. We're already used to having to think about: what is that little creature going to put in its mouth, climb on, hang from, grab, knock over, etc. We already keep our toilet seat lids down (drowning hazard) and our blind cords tied up. Maybe adjustment won't be too bad.

Craig was more critical of the instructor than I was. He felt she brushed off some of the things that he wanted to know were important. You know, how sometimes in a class, they'll tell you, "The book says do it this way, but real life isn't always like that..." I tend to take that in stride, but he felt she should have emphasized: if it's important, you HAVE to do it, rather than leaving a gray area, especially in the minds of first-time parents... But that's small potatoes.

Two things stood out for me in post-class thought:

1. How in the world did any of us make it to adulthood? Our parents didn't know or do lots of those things. All the car seat rules, and food rules, and household safety things... It's a wonder any of us survived.

2. Any woman can get pregnant. (Hypothetically speaking in the broad sense, barring any medical difficulties, etc. I meant from a 50,000 ft view.) There's no laws or regulations or, these days, even strong moral imperatives keeping "unfit" people from having children. Along those same lines, once you give birth, the hospital hands you a baby, and says, "Here's your baby! Good luck!" and off you go. Nobody requires you to take classes. Nobody checks in on that baby ever. Nobody has any idea that you're in your right mind and can handle a completely dependent, brand new infant human and keep it alive. Any idiot can at that point be responsible. And that thought is kind of scary. I mean, it's something I've always known, but the gravity of it has just only really hit me recently.

On a lighter note, I received the first "public" acknowledgment that I'm pregnant a few nights ago! Craig and I went out to dinner with our lovely neighbor friends to a nice restaurant on Saturday night. We stuffed ourselves, but still had leftovers, so when the waitress brought the dessert menu, we weren't having any. But the waitress mentioned cake, and saying "cake" to a pregnant lady is dangerous...

By the time we got home, I said to Craig, "All I can think about now is cake..." So he agreed to indulge me, and we hopped back out of the house again to the store. (Hey, we were already all dressed up, and we needed some staples like milk, bread and eggs anyway...) We loaded up a couple of hand baskets with the basics, and picked up a delicious 4-quarter cake assortment (double chocolate, red velvet, carrot, and German chocolate. YUM)

We went to the register and the cashier looked at the cake and commented on how lovely it looked. Craig said, "That's actually the reason we came out here tonight!" And the cashier looked at me with a smile and said, "I guess you had a craving, huh..." And then she asked if this was our first child, and we got to talking about babies and kids and whatnot...

So that must mean I'm officially at the point where I look more pregnant than fat! Yay! I have noticed that, for the first time since...oh, I don't know, stomach sticks out farther than my boobs! The top-down view is a little strange for me, but I'm slowly getting used to it...

(Side note: if God forbid I ever need to find a job, I am so going to go work at that Harris Teeter! Those people that work there are the nicest, happiest bunch of grocery store workers I've ever seen. They must be treated well...)


  1. Is it just cake you craved? Are you having any other cravings? How about weird cravings?? I am going to need your addy I lost it and I have some baby stuff for you ;) All pink of course (Its Teena btw)

  2. Baby CPR and First Aide is important to know. Blake choked on a Bran Flake when he was 1 years old. It was super scary (for he and I both), but my classes came in handy. Hopefully, you will never have to use it.


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