Jan
15
2009

  Childbirth Class Is As New-Age-y As Expected

Terry and I went to our first childbirth class tonight. Interestingly, all the couples are planning home births. I'm the oldest woman in the room, which I wasn't expecting. Even the instructor is young. But that's ok.

We all started by sitting on pillows on the floor. Thankfully, the teacher told us we should make ourselves comfortable, and if we wanted to pull a chair up we could. I've never enjoyed sitting on the floor. Even at the beach, I mold the sand into a lounge-chair shape for myself if there is no actual chair for me. I don't know if there's anything peculiar about my hip joints, but my legs always go numb if I sit cross-legged too long, and if I shift positions and lean on one side then half my hip goes numb, or the arm I'm using to support myself. It's always something. After the first hour I was fed up with the whole sitting-on-pillows nonsense and I pulled up a chair. I was the only one on a chair, but you know what? I don't care. I'm an old pregnant lady and I'll sit where I please. I'm not all hippie-granola like the other couples, either. I noticed I was the only woman wearing cute shoes (or not wearing them, since everyone took them off before class started, which is another pet peeve of mine since I don't like sitting around in public with no shoes). The rest of the room was full of Birkenstock/moccasin type footwear. I can't say I'm surprised.

I don't think I have a good awareness of how unusual Terry and I are. Yes, we're doing a somewhat "hippie" thing by planning a home birth. But am I the only conservative woman making this choice? Perhaps just the only conservative woman making this choice in Charlottesville. The population in general certainly skews hippie/granola over conservative professional. It just doesn't seem that strange a choice to me, yet I really don't associate with the whole hippie aesthetic. Yes, I eat organic food. Yes, I live on a farm. Yes, I have an unconventional job. So I find myself surrounded by hippies, greenies, granolas, that whole crowd. But despite a few similar lifestyle choices, I really just don't relate to them.

Because I wear mink. I wear makeup, and style my hair. Because I like to wear cut gemstones (as opposed to those hunks of crystal that improve one's "energy" or "life force" or whatever their deal is, mine only increase my sparkle). I won't even consider being vegetarian. I trade stocks. I do most of my clothes shopping in NYC. I'm in the process of hiring a maid. I use my good china for weeknight dinners. I go to mass every week-- not some non-denominational group meeting or whatever they call their version of church (for those that go at all, from personal experience it seems about 50/50 if the hippie/granola types go to some sort of "church" or if they skip the group stuff to "follow their own path to spirituality". Whatever. I drive a luxury car, non-hybrid. I have zero interest in riding bikes, and very little interest in hiking. I pay a LOT of taxes. I think I've got very little in common with all the back-to-the-earth types around here, despite the fact that the whole back-to-the-earth concept appeals to me on many levels. It's just that I want to get all back-to-nature without giving up luxury products. To me, this seems perfectly reasonable, but the hippies seem to like things to be very plain and simple. I just don't get it. I really feel like quite an outsider, but nevertheless, I have no desire to be in their group.

It's not that I consider luxury goods important, or that I need them to be happy. Easy come, easy go, I'd be just as content buying clothes at WalMart if that was all I could afford. Been there, done that. For goodness sake, I know what it's like to sell my own plasma for a living (beats the heck out of working, but you really have to pare your expenses to the barest minimum). The main thing is, I don't REJECT luxury goods. And I get the distinct feeling that a lot of the folks around here actually go out of their way to avoid owning nice things on principle. Which is fine, I certainly consider that a valid choice, but I just don't relate. And it's human nature to want to fit into a group, so I'm just a little frustrated that there are not more people like me, so I could have a nice little group. Everyone I know like me lives in NYC, not here. So I feel a bit like an outsider in my own community.

Hmm. Interesting what a childbirth class makes me think about. I guess having kids does make one care more about their community, this whole bit about not fitting in never bothered me much in the past, it surprises me that I care now.