Sunday, October 5, 2008

Balloon belly

Last week my belly got big and I suddenly started to look pregnant. Lucie came round to do some yoga with me on Friday night and commented on it. It was only five days since I'd last seen her. Then when I got to yoga on Saturday morning the girls were all "ooh... look at your belly" so it's obviously just appeared in the last week. I actually woke up on Sunday morning feeling trimmer than I have in ages, which was a bit unexpected (especially after munching 5 home-baked ginger biscuits on Saturday). I put that down to the fact that I rode my bike to work on Friday and went for a swim, where I reintroduced breaststroke to my routine and added backstroke. Anyway, I took another belly photo so you could see the balloon. It doesn't seem as big to me now as it did on Saturday but that's probably because I'm getting used to it. It also doesn't look as big in the photograph:

I still haven't bought myself some summer shorts. I was going to go after yoga on Saturday but I was too hungry and went home for lunch instead. I then couldn't be arsed to go back out again and persuaded myself that it'd be best to do things around the house and go shopping in the air-con when it was hot on Sunday. Only thanks to a fresh north-wester, Sunday didn't turn out to be that hot after all yet I still didn't manage to shop for shorts or do any painting. Toby and I finished off some housework in the morning then went to the beach and for a coffee. We went and looked at lounge suites (settees to us northerners) and got home in time for lunch before heading up to a maternity ward tour at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital. Yes, I kept forgetting about that appointment whilst making my mental plans.

The ward tour was pretty good and allayed many of my anxieties. I am still worried that I will go stir-crazy confined to the birth suite, and then to the small maternity room, but the midwives said to stay at home for as long as we were comfortable to do so and we timed the trip to the hospital which was only 6 minutes. So, at this stage my plan is to keep busy around the house, go for walks if it isn't too hot, and go to hospital with just enough time to spare to check-in (or whatever you do at hospitals) and unpack a few things. As for the confinement afterwards, well, we'll just have to play that by ear. I'm sure we'll have plenty to keep us occupied.

Toby asked to be shown forceps and suction caps and, whilst I'm still determined to do everything I can to avoid having to use them, I do feel a bit better after she talked us through it all. I also saw what a birth stool is after reading about it many times. It's a little stool that is horse-shoe shaped and you sit on it facing away from the shoe opening, sort of like a toilet seat with the back cut out. The idea is that the baby can be delivered through the middle of the stool and the midwife has access via the opening at the back (guided by a mirror, which she sticks on the floor underneath).

The couple of midwives we met seemed really nice and the facilities are pretty good: huge big spa bath, shower (with rails you can hang onto), beanbag, and they're happy for you to throw the mattress onto the floor. I can imagine wanting to spend a lot of time on the floor with pillows so I was disappointed the floor was hard and shiny. Understandable though, I suppose. They have a fitball too although I might take my own in case someone else is using it. The only things missing were ropes. In our yoga studio we have ropes hanging from the wall and we use them in all sorts of asanas (postures). During one preggie yoga class we were in a chair-like pose with our backs against the wall, knees bent at right angles, blocks between our knees. It's a pelvic floor posture and it was the first time I'd done it. My legs were burning and shaking and Sherry was telling us to work through it, that it was good practice for working through contractions. I held onto the ropes to ease the tension a bit and suddenly thought "wow, these'd be great in labour". I wasn't really expecting the hospital to have them though. My only other thought was that the hospital seemed really small but in a way that's a good thing as you'd get lots of care, and they don't mind how often you phone them with an update on your labour progress enquiring whether you should come in.

Tomorrow I'm going back for my early-bird ante-natal class. It's a bit late for me really because the last one, a month ago, was cancelled, but I don't really want to miss any information. Hopefully it won't be a waste of time. I was supposed to be meeting a friend for lunch and she was going to show me how to prevent mastitis by massaging the milk from the outside of the breast to the nipple. I'm not sure whether she was intending on using my breast to demonstrate or her own but I guess I'll have to wait until next week to find out now.

So anyway, my current worries (because it is customary for a pregnant lady to always have something to worry about; it helps to prepare her for motherhood because everyone knows that a mother always worries) are as follows:

  • Breastfeeding, or more specifically coping with cracked and sore nipples. My friend assures me it will hurt but that it will only do so for the first few weeks. What? WEEKS? Oh my god! Give me strength.
  • Induction. I am convinced that induction leads to many undesirable events and so I do not want to be induced. However, I am aware that my anxiety over this may delay the onset of labour, because a stressed out, nervous mother is less likely to deliver, thus leading to the very thing I don't want to happen. Therefore, I must spend the next few months preparing myself for the possibility that induction may happen and convincing myself that that's okay. Then maybe it won't happen, and if it does I won't mind.

By the way, for those of you who have no idea what 22 weeks means - and before I was pregnant, I was completely clueless; every time a pregnant friend told me how pregnant she was I'd have to ask "and what's that in months?" - it means I am 5½ months pregnant. In fact I am only a week and a bit off being 6 months pregnant. Scary biscuits.

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