Two years ago...
"Jim, I'm going to sign us up for Lamaze classes, okay?"
"Uh...Okay...What exactly do you do in Lamaze classes, again?"
"You learn how to have a baby without passing out, or murdering your spouse in the delivery room".
"Jim, it's okay! They teach you about what is going to happen during delivery, and give you techniques to use, so that you can have the baby naturally".
"Naturally?! You aren't going to take drugs? Are you sure?"
"No, I'm not sure, but I would like to, and I think the classes will help us feel calmer about everything, don't you?"
So, we went to the classes, and they did help us feel calmer. The teacher was fantastic, and looking around at the other nervous couples made me feel like everything was going to be fine. After learning how to go to "my happy place" and concentrate on my breathing, I started frequenting that beach quite often, for all sorts of reasons.
By November, I was big and uncomfortable, but I was feeling confident. My due date was December 8th. We had one more Lamaze class to go, and then we would start the final preparations - packing the hospital bag, finishing the baby's closet, and stocking the fridge with groceries for when we returned home from the hospital.
Monday, November 13th, I went in for my first internal exam. The doctor calmly informed me that I was "2 1/2 centimeters dilated, fully effaced, and that the baby had dropped". I had learned what all that meant in the classes, but all that meant to me was, "OH MY GOD! THE BABY IS COMING!!! I'M NOT READY!!! I HAVE ONE MORE LAMAZE CLASS!!! I NEED THAT ONE!!! IT SURELY HAS ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF!!! I HAVEN'T PACKED THE BAG YET...I HAVEN'T...I HAVEN'T... Breathe in through your nose, Breathe out through your mouth...Happy place time..."
That Thursday evening, November 16th, we made it to our final Lamaze class. When I told the instructor what the doctor had said, her eyes got big and she glanced down at my belly, before she visibly recovered to tell me, "Don't worry. It could still be a few more weeks". Worry? Who was worried? We had packed the hospital bag, and bought some groceries, and really, does a baby care about a closet? As long as I didn't have the baby during this class, everything would be fine, but I needed this last class.