It should be noted that we fly by the seat of our pants and are overly optimistic about the amount of time we have to complete a task, whether it’s driving across town to meet friends for dinner, or, say, enrolling in childbirth classes. On Sunday we realized it’s probably time to sign up for classes. The only set of classes that ends before Bean’s due date started Monday. Whoopsies. Luckily there was room in the class, and as a bonus, I only had one day to dread the awkward stares and the Sisters Question.
We arrived at the posh hospital ON TIME Monday night. We were cheerfully greeted by Erin, the child birth educator, lactation consultant, and certified doula who will teach our class each Monday for six weeks. There were two other couples sitting in the waiting area. I braced myself. But no one had a chance to ask the Sisters Question. After signing us in, Erin announced we had a small class of three couples and then led us into the classroom. She left the room while the six of us interviewed each other with a set of get-to-know-you questions. The other couples were really friendly, and we shared a palpable nervous energy one would expect from first time expectant parents. Each couple introduced another to Erin, and then we got started.
The first class focused mostly on what to expect during the third trimester, and how childbirth classes would help us prepare for labor and delivery. We watched animated videos about lightening and fetal positions. We watched a few videos of women managing labor with breathing and position changes. Then we practiced some relaxation techniques, and that’s about the point at which I lost my composure. Every time we talk about labor and delivery, my (apparently suppressed) grief over Peanut resurfaces. I guess that the grief is two-fold. One part of it is being faced with the reality that R will deliver one live infant when we expected, for 14 weeks, to deliver two. The other part is knowing that Peanut will be separated from us at the birth. Her body will be delivered after Bean’s, along with the two placentas.
At our last doctor’s visit I realized that Peanut’s body would be unceremoniously thrown in the trash with the placentas, unbeknownst to most of the attendant staff. I can’t tolerate that idea. So we’ve decided to bring the placentas home with us. We will bury them and plant a tree over the site, so we’ll always have a place to visit Peanut and part of her can grow and thrive alongside Bean.