We walked into the room a few minutes late, having rushed across town after work to make it to the Infant CPR and Emergency class at the hospital. After spending all of the second trimester on modified bed rest, it felt great (although a little physically uncomfortable) to be out of the house in the evening. Even better, to be doing a “normal” pregnancy activity.
Taking the last two available seats, James and I sat down between two equally pregnant moms-to-be. Just in time for our table introductions, the couple to our left shared that they are expecting a boy and due a week after us, while the couple to our right is having a girl and due 10 days after us. Before we had time to say much more, class began.
As a group, we learned about home safety including electrical plug covers, cabinet latches, poison control, choking hazards and SIDS but what I noticed was the way the other moms would stretch and shift in the uncomfortable chairs (just like I was). One mom discreetly pulled a small bottle of pills out of her hand bag, opened it and popped a couple into her mouth. TUMS, I smiled to myself; not at her pain but in understanding. I keep a large bottle in my own purse.
During the 15-minute break halfway through the evening, I chatted with the mom to our right about the still-odd sensations of baby movements. She shared how surprised her boyfriend was when, used to driving around by herself, he would ride in the car with her and she would randomly exclaim, “Whoa baby!” at her little girl’s kicks and squirms. I nodded and laughed in understanding.
As class started back up, the facilitator turned on a video for us to watch about CPR before we would practice. I noticed the mom to our left tear up as the woman in the video began performing CPR on the infant doll. Her husband gave her to same concerned look I often get from James: Are you okay? What do you need? What can I do? She nodded away his concerns, shifting in her chair as she blinked back the tears. I get that too, not wanting to imagine my child ever needing CPR.
As we walked out of the hospital that night, James and I talked about the precautions we would take in our home to protect our baby. But as we got to the car he observed, “You enjoyed that tonight, didn’t you – being with other moms at the same stage as us.”
I smiled. I guess I wasn’t the only observant one that night.