We had our first class in there last night. Coats were hung on coat hooks I had hung five minutes previously. The person running the class had my phone number for two days to coordinate everything she might need; instead she showed up half an hour after she said she would and expected I could make it all work. And I did. But it's galling - "Yeah, I've never been here before, or met you before, and the last time my organization stopped by the sheetrock had just gone up I'm sure you can make my three hours of powerpoint and Youtube videos work just fine, especially if I give you half an hour, despite the fact that I've been forewarned the internet is spotty I'm sure you can work it out."
And then my wife showed up and then I took the kid home and then she got home at eleven. I'm on my 3rd or 4th 10-11-12 hour day on this fucker. Monday night was two hours naked knee-deep in lukewarm water scraping blue protectant off a tub. Yesterday, on the other, was easier... but I discovered that the tub they were 3 weeks late in delivering (thereby setting us back 3 weeks) is a factory 2nd with a massive chip in it that will spread if I can't get it fixed. So that made me happy.
The difficulty is the minute that class got there, it was abundantly clear that I don't belong. Nobody in the birth community says "husband" because it's offensive. We're all "partners." And we're all "supportive" and we're all expected to get out of the way so they can focus on women's mysteries. Except during the birth where the philosophy is basically "thou art thy partner's bitch who is suffering more than you can ever know to bring about the miracle of life you're lucky we let you in the room worm now help your master breathe!"
So what I'm left with is I've spent like three years building a business in an industry actively hostile to my gender, that will never have anything to do with me, and which resents my participation. I am a fish building an airplane. It's a fuckin' P-51 Mustang to be sure but I still got gills, you know? The only thing I get out of it is gratitude from my wife, and despite spending the better part of two days cleaning and tidying and polishing that place I was denied any reaction from her last night because god forbid we speak too loudly to interrupt the class.
I realized yesterday that while I've been maintaining social media channels for two years and organizing ad campaigns and infographics and all the rest, I've never once mentioned the birth center on my own Facebook page.
This is really the only place I talk about it.
That probably says something.