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Language, a barrier like no other. A lesson in child-birth

Week 30 day 3
Baby boy
Name : TBC
Mood of significant other : Flustered, she’s just witnessed a kestrel attack our budgie Elvis and is now convinced he has a nose bleed.


The day of our first ‘anti natal class’ arrived (fist pumps into the air with glee). To be honest, I wasn’t even sure they still did them anymore. All you have to do is type in ‘I’m pregnant’ into google and an array of terrifying educational videos and pictures splatter against the screen like a horrific yet beautiful car crash. My understanding of anti natal classes was that a room full of pregnant ladies (accompanied by their confused and bewildered partners) sit in a circle with a plastic doll between their legs, and practice the art of panting to a melodic rhythm as their fella cheers them on with enthusiasm. In light of this, I spent all day reciting what ‘push’, ‘breathe’, and ‘keep going sport’ translated to in Spanish, sadly my efforts were in vain. I must remind you, I speak very, very little Spanish. Anything out of the realms of a watering hole, and I am pretty much stuck.

What in Gods name is going on here


So we entered the auditorium where the lesson was held, and immediately I realised I was well out of my depth. I’ve never seen so many pregnant people in my life. There seemed to be millions of them gathering in herds, all as wonderfully egg shaped as the next, hobbling around like grunting, flustered Penguins.

The lady who was running the seminar asked us to fill in our details and take an information sheet. Due to the language barrier, I didn’t quite grasp her request, so I enthusiastically responded with ‘My names Tom, nice to meet you, England’. She looked at me with pity, and pointed me towards an empty seat.



The lesson began with a diagram of what was either a vagina or a jellyfish. I attempted to look towards Robyn for assistance a couple of times but I didn’t want to attract the attention of the midwife in case she asked me a question and unveiled that I am in fact a stupid Northerner. It was however very difficult to hide. Even if I was wearing an ‘If found, please return to the pub’ vest top with a Daily Express under my arm, I couldn’t have looked less Spanish.



We spent a good twenty minutes passing objects around. Forceps, a suction cup and some other weird and wonderful devices to help retrieve a baby. The next however was a plastic stick with a hook on the end. It’s always difficult when someone passes you an object to observe. Of course, you don’t want to be rude so you pretend to be enthused and give it a good once over, nodding with a look of agreement before you pass it back. This though, was a plastic stick? A fucking plastic stick. What reaction did they expect? I was trying so hard to seem interested, I ended up examining the thing for about two minutes until a ‘bubbly’ Spanish lady next to me beckoned for her turn.


As the session went on, I found my self fixated on the fire exit, rehearsing the old ‘what would I do if a terrorist entered the room now with a machine gun’. Struggling to decide between ‘playing dead’, or ‘fighting them off heroically with a breast pump’, a plastic replica of a pelvis was suddenly thrust into my face. ‘What do you think?’ said the midwife. ‘My names Tom, nice to meet you, England’ I replied. She shook her head in dismay and walked on.

Partner update. ‘Glowing’ apparently. Difficult to agree really when she’s drooling on your shoulder with a big snot bubble pulsating out of her face.

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