Last night was our very first Bradley Method Birthing Class (TM). Which was very fun, and interesting. Especially because we did it undercover.
I learned long ago that– in most public settings, anyway– the ‘what do you do for a living?’ question ought to be avoided at all cost. Back when I was a Pastor(TM), dropping that bomb created a prolonged silence during which my victim would rewind the previous conversation and try to remember any expletives, offenses, or honest statements they had made. Forthwith, the conversation would be deader than the grass in January. It really stunk.
Partly for that reason, I dropped the trademark and title and moved to DC to plant a church. Then, I could avoid the issue for many, many hours before the person would corner me with ‘so why did you move to DC, anyway?’ But by then they knew that I wasn’t crazy. Well, not completely.
For the last little while, I’ve been able to do an interesting experiment. Since I’ve worked at a University, and at a church, and as a remodeling contractor, I’ve been able to offer a short list when faced with The Question. And every single time I’ve done so, the follow up question has ignored the middle occupation. So I’ve decided that it’s best to not mention it. Who wants to make people uncomfortable?
As far as my wife goes, her profession as a labor and delivery nurse might make folks at this natural childbirth class a bit uncomfortable. We worried that they might see her as the enemy– as a representative of the evil establishment that drugs moms and drags babies out into a cold, harsh world. Or, conversely, that they might look to her as some kind of enlightened expert (which might be especially unfair to the teacher). But most importantly, she is trying to lay down that mantle and approach this experience as an expectant mom and not as a medical professional. Which is hard enough to do, especially given all of the complications of the past few months.
Now, we’re not going to lie or anything. If someone asks a direct question that can’t be evaded, we’ll sacrifice ourselves (I think I’ll go first…). But it adds a fun subtext to the two-hour class as we negotiate all of the social expectations and assumptions. It worked really well this week, and so we’re free to pursue a week of Kegel exercises, tailor sitting, and a 130-gram a day protein diet in relative peace. Pass the eggs.