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From red carpets to rattles this is the journey of one working mother attempting to see if you really can have it all....

Monday, 17 September 2012

Little white lie...

"This thing tonight goes for an hour right?"

"Mmmmm" I replied non-commitedly.

The thing Devoted Dad was referring to was our first pre-natal class. We had enrolled in these classes to get us ready for birth, and, to be honest, to tell us how to be parents. The reason I mmm'd a response was because I knew full well that tonight's class was going to go for at least two and a half hours, not the mere one DD was expecting.

You see, persuading DD that sharing the most important moment of our life with complete strangers had been hard enough. Throw into the mix that the classes were being held on a week night, straight after work and it was like selling meat to a vegetarian.

So let him go blindly into the meeting thinking he was going to get home in time for dinner and the much anticipated Chelsea game. Who am I to shatter his dreams? Plus, it serves him right for not reading the email.

As DD was coming straight from work it made sense to met him there. But there was a problem. We located the house really easily, meaning we found ourselves by the front door with 10 minutes to spare. "So what's the big deal?" I hear you say, "head straight in and get yourself a good seat." Well that might have been the answer for other couples in our position but DD was reluctant to be there in the first place. Being the first ones there was simply unacceptable.

"Right! We will have to walk around the block" he declares.

"But it's freezing out, and I don't have a coat!" I reply.

"You'll be right" he says marching off, his voice swallowed up by a massive gust of wind.

Wow! There I was thinking being 8 months pregnant allowed me special privileges, obviously not!

So off we go, sticking to the shadows in case any fellow newbies happened to be arriving at the same time. After 10 minutes or so we return to the house, now frozen to the core and me with the sorest feet thanks to having to walk a long distance in heels. (Well I was hardly going to meet prospective friends in flats was I? Plus, I didn't know that we were going on a hike!)

Our walk appeared to have done the trick and we were the last couple to arrive. This meant that all the comfy couches were taken and DD had to sit on the floor. Poetic justice if you ask me!

Now as I explained earlier, DD and myself didn't really know anything about babies before entering that room. Obviously we had figured out how to make them (high five!) but we didn't know how to give birth to them or what to do with them after they had arrived. But we had been watching a LOT of 'One Born Every Minute' and I'm not going to lie, that kind of made us the experts of the group.

The first hour seemed to go well. Thanks to the aforementioned TV show I knew the answers to quite a few of the questions and found some holes in the leader's responses. Apparently it was quite embarrassing when I drilled her for half an hour over her vague statistics regarding haemorrhaging, but I'm sorry, don't throw statements out to a room of journalists if you don't have the statistics to back them up!

To be fair, I was the only journalist in the room, and I was obviously missing work because I questioned that woman like she was on trial at the Hague. But I think the group appreciated the clarification...( I later found out they did nothing of the sort and shared DD's impatience to get the hell home)

Anyways after 'haemorrhage gate', our now slightly frazzled leader announced it was time for a break. Instantly six heads popped up as the men in the room woke themselves up from their boredom induced comas.

DD jumped up from the floor. I say jumped but to be honest it was more of a part jump majority heave as the effects of spending the best part of an hour sitting on the wooden floor took effect. After a rather embarrassing moment of role reversal that saw DD having to be winched to his feet by 4 heavily pregnant women, we were on our way into the kitchen for the promised meal break.

"Help yourself to a biscuit and there's the option of a glass of juice or cup of tea" our leader declared proudly to the room. "And those that are eating for two can have seconds."

Wow did the smiles fade fast as it dawned on us that this was what was meant by 'food will be provided'. You should have seen my DD's face! He looked like someone had clubbed a baby seal in front of him as he looked first to me in panic then to the biscuit tin and back again.

"Don't worry" I whisper, "you can have my second biscuit."

From that moment on it was like being involved in a kind of middle class version of Chinese water torture. Each helpful fact was punctuated with the grumbling of DD's stomach. As his blood sugar levels decreased so too did his patience. It's not often he gets upset or annoyed but when a fellow newbie asked yet another quite obvious question, pushing us over into the three hour mark he was a man on the edge.

We did eventually get out of there and DD's humour was restored with a little detour through the local Maccy D's on the way home. We had several more classes after that one and learnt a lot.

We learnt how to give birth. How to bathe, feed and dress our impending arrival, all useful facts. But most importantly we learnt to never, ever believe it when the pamphlet says 'food will be provided'...

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