Saturday, February 20, 2010

Teaching Class

Last week I filled in to teach some of the kids' classes at my taekwondo school.  The first day, I had two students; the next day I had about eighteen.  I have a new appreciation for the owner, who usually teaches every kids' class by herself.  I'm pretty sure the parents drop their kids off in the hopes that they will have a bunch of energy burned off this before class is over ... and they are a huge handful.

Ok.  They are also about 150% adorable.

God, I'm so pregnant.  I would never say that stuff six months ago.

Here's a rundown of what class was like:

  • Warm up.
  • Two kids forget where to stand in line.
  • Three kids simultaneously have their belts fall off.
  • Break, re-tie belts; they are falling off all over the place.
  • Two kids and one mom stop me to say they are all sick/injured and can only do a few exercises today.  I immediately forget who they are and for the rest of the hour, I keep asking them to kick pads or whatever and they politely raise their hands and tell me how sick/injured they are and then I feel dumb.
  • Kicks.
  • Four more kids end up with belts around their ankles.  It's like trying to tie on a piece of jello.
  • Break.
  • We learn run-jump-front-kick or butterfly kick or whatever the kids are calling it these days.  I discover that the kids have new and adorable names for about half the stuff we do.
  • Self-defense.  Because there are a million kids in this class, I have partner an older kid with a younger kid and have them review.  I kneel in front of the smallest girl -- I swear she was about four years old and was wearing the sweetest pair of purple eye glasses ever, they may have been butterfly shaped -- and teach her two moves.  I remind her to kihap.  She hits me in the head a few times by accident.  It's cute.
  • Break.  More belt retying.  I wonder if I should get out the stapler.
  • Dodgeball.  The kids all wanted to play it.
  • I say a silent prayer of thanks that the kids are good at lining up.  Every time they got out of control or too loud, I could clap my hands and they would all dutifully drop whatever they were doing to line up.
  • After class, I deal with several parents who have varying requests -- paying a bill, needing a new uniform, looking for the lost and found, wanting a mediator between a few boys who weren't getting along.
  • My feet hurt for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Coming Soon and an Anecdote

I just got home from the library with a new armload of books.  As I look through them in the next week or so, I'll put up quick reviews about them.  I'm still looking for the golden goose: a book that contains practical advice for how to exercise like a normal person even when you're pregnant.  I think what I have ended up with instead is a lot of How To Get Your Body Back After The Baby (cuz look out, the baby is about to hijack it).  Not exactly what I wanted, but maybe there will be some helpful information in there somewhere.

But first, an anecdote:

I hate needles.  When I have to have my blood drawn, I always warn the nurse that I HATE having a needle in my arm and I promise to try not to freak out.  It takes concentration to keep myself calm.  When I was in high school, I had to get my wisdom teeth taken out by surgery -- all four of them were impacted up in my jaw, so I couldn't just have them pulled like most of my friends -- and I know for a fact that this is where my fear and hatred of needles of comes from.

That day, I went to a new dentist's office, one better equipped to handle the surgery than my normal dentist.  The man in charge, whom I had never met before, had a huge red nose like an old cartoon of a drunk.  He didn't say much to me as I sat down in the chair.  Soon, we were joined by about five nurses or assistants.  They each had a different job to do and they didn't say anything to me as they got started, either, but they talked amongst themselves about medical things I didn't understand.  The dentist was tying a rubber hose to my right arm so he could put in the IV of drugs.  He didn't say what he was up to, so when I looked down to watch him, I was really surprised when he grabbed the lower half of my arm and slapped the inner side of my elbow hard.  A giant vein popped right up from the skin; it really frightened me.  That's when an angry nurse who was doing something on the other side of me shouted, "You better calm down, you're messing up your blood pressure."  The tone of her voice was along the lines of "Hey, stupid, quit ruining everything."

I was about ready to cry at this point.  I couldn't calm down.  I was really scared.  When I looked over to see what was happening to the poor vein in my right arm, I saw the dentist take a giant needle and shove it in with a hard jab.  I opened my mouth to scream, but before I could finish drawing a breath, I passed right out from the medication.

I woke up after the surgery several hours later in extreme pain and I had big purple bruises up and down my chin for the next two months.  You can see them in my school pictures from that year, even though I had my wisdom teeth taken out in the middle of summer vacation.

This memory has been coming back to me lately.  I thought it was just that I've had to get my blood drawn more times in the last five months than in the last five (or maybe more likely fifteen) years put together (my favorite was when the lab admitted they dropped my first sample and I had to go back another day to do it over).  Every time I see that needle approaching, I have to mentally coach myself through it.  I feel like a baby.

But this week, after delving into the first of my library books -- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin -- I've decided that in my mind, when I imagine going to the hospital to have a baby, the whole scene from that dentist is what goes through my mind: bright lights, surrounded by people I don't know or trust, a million things going on that I don't understand and can't control, a nurse who might be having a bad day telling me I'm doing something wrong, and the feeling that everyone is really just waiting for the drugs to take over so they can do their jobs without any more interference from me.  After I saw a picture of what happens when you get an epidural, I couldn't even THINK about it anymore without getting bad chills, and it was just a drawing, not a photograph.  My mom thinks I'm obsessing over it, but I've gone through most of my life with little or no illnesses or injury.  I never broke a bone as a kid and my worst sickness as an adult was a misdiagnosed yeast infection I had for a few months.  Sure, it sucked, but most of my emotions about it were simply anger at the doctor who kept misdiagnosing it every month.  So, when I start thinking about hospitals and medical procedures, my mind only has that one surgery experience to draw on.

I'm relating this anecdote as an explanation because Ina May's Guide to Childbirth will probably be one my first quick reviews.  Of all the pregnancy books I brought home from the library this time around, this is the one that stuck out, and once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baby Update

I've been struggling with how much of the baby to include here.  Pictures?  Funny stories?  Embarrassing stuff that will be here forever?

I haven't decided on most of it, but I can at least give a few updates here and there.  My husband and I went for our ultrasound last month where we discovered that the baby is going to be a boy and that he seems to be healthy.  I can feel him moving around now.  He really loves to roll around inside when I am sitting at the computer or the kitchen table.  Sometimes it's cute and sometimes it feel like that bottom-dropping-out-of-your-stomach feeling you get on a roller coaster.