i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

Antenatal Classes Mark #4. And you uncle is staying with us. April 25, 2009

Hello Little Spectacular,

how are you today?  Going well down there?  All is well out here.   I was feeling a little off yesterday and had a few doctor’s appointments, so took the day off work.  Subsequently today, a Saturday, feels like Sunday and I’m already all relaxed and happy.  I like three day weekends.   I’ve been out to the markets and bought some fresh strawberries, limes for coconut and lime ice cream, beetroot and lots of other goodies.

This week has been busy.  Your uncle has been staying, so our house has been busier / noisier than normal, in a good way.  Its strange getting used to someone different being in the house with your dad and I.  We are really very set in our ways.  I think its a good preparation for you coming – we’ve had to be more flexible and not do things exactly the same way.   I know you’ll create much more havoc than him, but getting used to it has been a start.  At least I think so.

Antenatal classes this week were about your birth and how to manage pain during it.  Basically talking through comfort measures, gas, pethidine and epidurals.    Again, a broad mix of people in the room makes for an interesting class.   Some women sound like they want the epidural straight away – “why even bother with trying and going through the pain for hours when you know you will want to end up with an epidural anyway?” was a legitimate question (fyi: answer from midwife was along the lines of apart from any personal sense of achievement / desire to labour naturally, doing it upright and moving about will potentially reduce the time of the labour and make it less likely for further intervention).   I find it a bit weird, I guess I know the pain relief options, so didn’t learn too much from that, but putting it in context of the labour and when most people use them etc was good.   Sounds like the ethos of the birthing centre at the Royal Women’s hospital would have been more our kinda ‘thing’, but I’m sure we’ll be ok at the Mater Private too.   I like our obstetrician and I think he’ll respect our choices.   I think your dad and I will write a simple birth plan that will be a guide if all goes 100% to plan, with the idea that we’ll just have to chuck it out and do whatever works best (naturally or medically) at the time.  Who knows.  Maybe you’ll be well behaved and your neural pathways will just guide you to be a perfect little descending head, facing the right way, getting your cord out of the way, and not getting too stressed about the whole thing.  On the other hand, maybe you’ll freak out, or my body will freak out, and we just have to get you pulled out as quick as can be.   Whatever way, your dad and I are looking forward to meeting you more and more every day.

The other weird part of the class was seeing the little suction-cap that they can use to assist pulling you out.   My goodness, its quite small, the suction cup about half the size of the palm of my hand.  But very strong suction.  You could use it as a pretty good drunk & sleeping trick on someone & give them a hickie-like bruise in a perfect 6cm diameter.  Party trick.   No wonder babies get even more misshapen little heads when they get pulled out that way.   Ow.

The class finished with a lovely video about babies and ‘dad time’.  It was about gazing and how important this will be for you to develop your neural connections, and how your dad can start to bond with you from day one by helping you practice.   And that your dad can settle you too – its not all about the boob.    A mushy, gooey video that made me and your dad feel excited and look forward to you coming.    It was interesting that in the video it talked about babies recognising their dad’s voices almost immediately, even in the hour after you are born.  Apparently your dad’s voice may be able to cut through all the background noise, whatever is happening, and you’ll focus on it.  I already think I’ve told you that I think you react to your dad’s voice even now – kicking and moving around and playing when we are talking, or he is talking to you.   So I hope you’ll recognise him straight away when you come out too.

Yesterday was another obstetrician visit.  Our doctor was away – apparently he’d had a busy week – so his fill-in was there.  He is a funny, old man who is very friendly and relaxed.  His comment when he saw me was that I’d “got bigger than last time I saw you”.   Funny that.  Anyway, all is good with you, as we knew, you’re head down, bum up, with your legs and arms coming over to the left hand side of my body, which is why I feel you kicking and moving around there.   He made your dad feel your head through my stomach – which was funny as your dad didn’t really want to, having done so already before going to the doctors, but with some encouragement (ie insistence on the doctor’s part) he did.   We were talking about it on the way home and decided that maybe some people don’t push on their tummies to work out where their babies are – and even less-so the man doing this to the woman.  We do it all the time.  But then recalled a conversation I had with other women at the antenatal classes, about where the baby was sitting, and apart from the ones whose obstetricians had told them, most didn’t know.  Which I thought was a bit weird, as I know where you are.  But maybe they don’t push around and feel with their hands?  I do.  I give you massages every day, and generally have a talk to you while I do it.  I wait until you’re awake and having a play mostly.   Other news from the obstetrician – I’ve remained the same weight since my last visit (see, some women do put on a lot at the beginning and then flatten out over time), my blood pressure is the same and good, and your heart is still beating away.   All A-ok.   Good growing.

Going to run and eat cheese, bread and figs for lunch.  To nourish you, of course.

love you

fig and cheese for lunch

fig and cheese for lunch