Ante-Natal Classes Take 2

After last week’s shambles of arriving to find the venue locked-up, we had a second go at the ante-natal classes.

This week’s was more of a success, but only slightly (more later). We turned up, there were lights on, we rang the bell and someone answered the door. We had deliberately got there early to speak to the woman running it and catch up on what was covered in the previous week. As an addendum to last week’s exploits, we rang our contact on the following day. It was only then that we were told the venue had changed. Talking to the woman at the class tonight, apparently the venue had been changed before Christmas, so there’s efficient communication for you.

Back to tonight then. We got there and chatted with the organiser. I say chatted, what really happened was that she continually checked her mobile phone, raked through cupboards, fumbled in her bag, and did some paperwork while we talked at her. She wasn’t uninterested in the same way as a moody teenager, but just seemed to be unaware of her own constant fiddling.

We slowly learned the following about the classes:

  • Total cost for all sessions would be £45 – we had been told £25 originally
  • There would be five sessions in total – we had been told seven
  • There would be no pre-arranged visit to the Winchester hospital labour ward – we had been told otherwise
  • We were supposed to have received an information pack prior to the classes – no-one had taken our details in advance, so that’s not happened either

Spotting a pattern here? Throw into the mix the fact that we were told the wrong venue and you can see the only element of truth in the initial information was that the class started at 7:30. Everything else had turned out to be complete hogwash.

So anyway, we got there around 7:15 and waited – everyone else turned up at 7:25. And then we waited. And then we waited some more. It was about 7:50 when I realised that my recent wallet clear-out had made the situation even worse. If I had had my Girl Guiding card on me, I could have organised a game of Fruit Salad to keep everyone entertained, but I had no proof of my qualifications so the plan was scuppered.

The evening’s theme was supposed to be Relaxation Techniques to manage the mother’s comfort during labour, but sitting on those stackable chairs that are always just a little bit too small, in a circle of strangers, can hardly be described as relaxing. The problem is, you can’t really even make small-talk with people:

“So you’re pregnant then?”



“Yeah. How about you?”

“Yeah – same here.”

It got to just before eight and the organising woman came back in with grave news. Apparently the woman who was supposed to be running tonight’s class (the relaxation teacher) had “forgotten” about having to do the session and was busy celebrating her birthday. We were given the choice of getting her to get out of the house to be with us for 8:20 (leaving just over an hour for the class), or split into two groups and return Weds or Thurs for a re-run.

Now I don’t think someone who has just dashed away from their birthday party is likely to be in the right frame of mind to be running a relaxation class. Everyone else agreed, so we’re going for the “repeat” options. We can’t get to a Wednesday session (commitments with Rainbows), so it had to be Thursday. So come Thursday night, we’ll have to do the 15 mile round-trip again. We’ve also needed to change the delivery slot for our internet shopping to be during Friday, because it was originally booked for 9pm on Thursday night, which obviously we can’t keep to now.

The final nail in the coffin was the comment that it won’t be the birthday woman on Thursday, but instead will be a yoga teacher. Now I’m hoping that we don’t need to do the full stretchy-balance routines: I’m sure there’s plenty “New Men” in the group who think they can manage everything at the baby end of their partner once the delivery date arrives, but nothing would prepare their stomachs for the sight of me in a leotard.

What a farce. I came away tonight with my blood pressure higher than when I went in – surely that’s not right? Relaxation techniques? You’re having a laugh.

So this week’s ante-natal classes were better in that we got into the building, but didn’t get to do the class.