If you're having a baby and want to have a good time -- call Rachel.
So this fall, she decided to add to her already rather impressive list of skills and become a Lamaze instructor. I used the Lamaze approach when I was having babies. Apparently they stopped teaching the heavy breathing techniques and I think that is good because I definitely could have done without that heavy breathing part those-oh-so-many-years-ago.
Her class is composed of an instructor, originally from Zimbabwe, and seven or eight students, all of varying backgrounds. Some of them are doulas like Rachel, others have a background in massage, lifeguarding, or La Leche League leadership. They meet once a week for seven hours and will end up with college credit.
Sometimes I even get the grandchildren while she's in class. A pretty nice deal for me. I took number two granddaughter to a cute kiddie place full of toys -- ROOMS of toys -- and she was the only kid there. So she burbled around happily while I knit my latest project.
And now the plot thickens. What am I knitting??
You knitters are all familiar with this, of course. You're out in public and mostly get ignored, but some people will smile at you, and then there is the exceptional individual who will ask --
"What are you making?"
The ones who used to knit tell all about how they used to do it, but their hands got arthritic (this gives me unpleasant shivers), and then there are those that "tried but never could get it," or "made a scarf once." I like these people.
There are those who say they could "never do it!" and so I reassure them (and I'm sure you do too) that they most certainly can....every woman could do this once...it just takes practice....
Okay, so they need audio/visual aids to teach all about gestation, labor, birth, post-partum -- and even about complications. So they use videos, diagrams, pictures, life-sized infant dolls...
And they need uteruses.
The best uteruses are knitted. They have a snap-on birth canal and a ribbed cervix. The body of the uterus is in stocking stitch and the top is closed off in a decreasing swirl like the top of a hat. They need to have placentas and umbilical cords to "expel" with the baby and it's best if those are knitted, too.
Now there are several styles online. Some have a drawstring top (to make it easier to jam the baby inside in the first place) and others have a button or zipper opening for C-sections. Ravelry has a few patterns and there is a Mothering website from Canada that has one too. That pattern does need to be redone though, because it has a lot of mistakes in it.
So picture yourself, sitting in a hallway, bus station, doctor's office, or lobby, knitting away, and along comes that sweet, unsuspecting person who innocently asks "what are you knitting"?
There is surprise. "You've got to be kidding me." Shock. Giggles. "Look," I show them, "You can see the head crowning this way," I say, punching my fist through the "cervix" to show how it works.
To be honest, I especially like punching my fist through the "cervix." The effect is always a certain......well....je ne sais quoi....
Listen, there's money in this, too. These things can sell for as much as $80.00 a pop (sorry), including the placenta. And if you buy that self-striping baby yarn, they come out real pretty. My latest is a lovely light lavender with a deeper purple stripe, and little dots all dispersed throughout. A real work of art....
So those in the knitting business need to consider those doulas, birth instructors and midwives who are out there trying to help the new to-be parents figure out what is what ....