Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thirty-seven weeks

Yesterday the primary midwife (M.) and the student midwife (C.) made their home visit. The cats were friendly; Martha certainly did turn on the charm. M. and C. had a look around the place, deemed the master bedroom an appropriate place in which to give birth, and then examined me. Blood pressure 110/80, fundal height 36cm, baby's heart rate 144bpm, head engaged in the pelvis, body starting to turn so that the back is toward my front. This last in particular is very good news, because I'm told it's extremely painful to give birth to a baby whose skull is pressed up against one's tailbone. (This is what's known as the dreaded back labour.)

Plus, we've made it to 37 weeks. The baby could come today and be considered full term. People keep telling me that first babies are usually late, though; we could be waiting for another five weeks. I hope that labour waits for at least three more, because the prenatal classes that we're taking end on October 4.

I'm not sure what to think about these classes. I've been very glad to be able to approach this birth with so much attention to its emotional and spiritual aspects as well as to its physical ones; the traditional medical model of care tends to ignore all the touchy-feely stuff (literally, with babies often being whisked away to warming units when they'd do far better to be lying skin-to-skin on the mother's chest). And even though I'm more than a bit of a hippie, I find myself oddly resistant to the idea of self-hypnosis, and I'm having a hard time achieving the deep relaxation that we're being taught. The classes are paid for, though, and I'm sure it'll be good for me to hold a lot of my fears about labour, birth, and being a parent up to the light so that I can try to let them go. It is nice to be in a class in which everyone has a midwife, not an OB.

Plans for the next week: exercise class tonight at 7:30. Lunch with the old boss and his wife tomorrow at 1:00. (I have to figure out a nice gift to give them. Suggestions welcome. They've been very good to me.) Trip to the west end tomorrow evening to look at the contact sheet for the pictures we had taken last Saturday, and to pick up another dozen and a half cloth diapers. (Doug: we're planning to wash them ourselves.) Then back out east to greet Teezonk and two other friends who are coming for the weekend.

Saturday is the neighbourhood garage sale; if I weren't so lazy I'd have spent part of today making price tags for all the stuff we need to get rid of. Saturday night we're having dinner at the Thai restaurant owned by one of my former students. (I hope she's there; I'd dearly love to see her.) Sunday we see our friends off and then get to work moving furniture and boxes of crap so that the painter can show up on Monday morning to work on the nursery and the master bedroom for three days.

Monday is lunch with my awesome trainer, with whom I hope to start working again a couple of months after the baby comes, and then yoga class in the evening. Wednesday is lunch with my friend Mika, and then another prenatal class in the evening.

I write all this here mostly to keep myself from forgetting something. I'm looking forward to getting my brain back someday. It's not a bad brain, when it has enough serotonin floating around.

I'm going to go downstairs and get some more food and water, and put my feet up, and finish this second baby hat. I like knitting for babies: yesterday's hat took, yup, one day.


Mija said...

Yes, back labor is incredibly painful, and eventually the mommy-brain does go away, although I wouldn't expect any increase in brain cell activity for at least 3-6 months. :)

RobinPregnancy said...

Sounds like you're all ready! I hope it's a great birth for you.