Sunday, July 22, 2007

26 weeks: Attention, class!

In short: attended the first two pre-natal classes. They went fine, though it all felt a bit surreal to me. Also, less than 100 days to go until ETA.

To me, it still seems pretty early, but I've started my pre-natal classes. There is no fixed order to these classes, you just join one that fits your schedule.

The first class I attended was an optional session on breastfeeding. All the other women (except 1) were hugely PG, some looked like they could go into labour at any moment. It didn't hurt to see them, but I did feel a bit out of place. I half expected someone to ask whether I was really PG or just faking it. Absurd, of course.

The session was interesting. Especially the part where the midwife warned that new mothers tend to get a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to BF - and it starts right away in the maternity ward where each midwife/nurse tends to give her own version of how it should be done. To wit, she continued by saying the general advice the hospital gives is to let the baby nurse 20 minutes on each side from day 1. Wrong, all wrong, according to her. Your milk won't come in on day one, so there's no point in nursing so long, the only result will be sore nipples. Start with very short sessions nursing (repeating often) and gradually build up to 20 minutes.

Point to remember is to latch on to only one set of guidelines, and ignore all others. Unless they fail of course. Duely noted.

The second class was all about relaxation. Soothing music and the relaxation exercise led by the midwife led us to a level of consciousness between waking and sleeping. (Well that was the aim, I was so occupied thinking "am I doing this right?" that I didn't quite get there). In this dreamlike state, the midwife taught us how to cope with contractions. Apparently, the trick is to try and relax all the muscles in your face as well as your hands, while visualizing the cervix opening. Easy peasy lying comfortably on the floor without a contraction in sight, but will it work? The idea behind it is that you can consciously relax your face, but not the muscles in your abdomen. However, relaxing one should also relax the other. We'll see.

After gently pulling us back to reality, it was time for some huffing and puffing: exercises to breath through the urge to push, handy in case you're not dilated enough to push yet. The idea behind this seems to be distraction. Breathing in and out so quickly not only occupies your midriff, making it difficult to push, it also occupies your mind. Rather tiring though.

Attending the classes felt a bit surreal to me.  I feel a sense of wonderment that the information from these sessions might apply to me. A baby? Me?! Labour? Breastfeeding? Seriously?! Ain't that something!
Even though I'm preparing for the Insider's arrival in a number of ways, there is still a sense of apprehension just below the surface. I suppose that isn't uncommon, even among 'normal' women, and it's certainly in line with my worry-prone character. Infertility is certainly a factor as well.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Good news all around

The ob/gyn appointment went just fine. We had our anatomical scan and the doctor took her time to check the Insider out. All is well, though I wonder just how much they can really tell from a fuzzy u/s image.

The Insider was sitting with his/her legs crossed, so the doctor couldn't get a good look. We're still uncertain about whether it's a boy or a girl, but I don't care about not knowing. We'll find out eventually.

I was so happy seeing the Insider on the screen again, kicking and wiggling, and hearing the doctor's reassuring news that I forgot to ask how big the baby was. The u/s print-out said the estimated weight is 500g and the femur length is 4 cm. A friend told me that femur x7 is the babies estimated full length, which means the Insider measures 28 cm.

Still, I barely look PG. I'm still wearing some of my regular pants, fully zipped up too. Other pants require the trick with the rubber band. I just look like I've been enjoying too much good food lately.  But I'm not complaining, my time will come.
The doctor was happy with my weight gain though, meaning that I haven't gone up too much. That was a first - a medical professional approving of something related to my weight. I enjoyed hearing that.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Back in town

Just a quick note to say I'm back from a long and lovely holiday. Scandinavia is absolutely stunning, though all that nature can be a bit intimidating for an urban dweller as myself.

About a week into our holiday I started to feel the Insider move. To be more precise, I was finally certain that those little pangs I had been feeling before were in fact soft kicks.  The feeling is marvelous, there is actually another individual in there!
I can only feel it when I'm sitting still, and some days the Insiders seems awfully quiet - which does cause me to feel some alarm - but so far my patience has always been rewarded. Next ob/gyn appointment is on Tuesday.

At the very end of our trip, we had the opportunity to meet up with Nina and her husband. Meeting an online friend in real life was a first for me, kind of exciting! I thought it might be awkward - my husband doesn't officially know about my blog - so there would be a pink elephant in the room. Also, what do you talk about with someone with whom you've shared so much intimate below-the-navel details with, yet know little else about?
Within five minutes all my concerns fell away, conversation flowed very naturally and I enjoyed myself immensely. I wish we lived closer to each other so we could do it over some time soon.

I have a lot of catching up to do in blogland, which will take a while. I expect to get flooded at work the coming months, so things may remain somewhat quiet here.