Thursday, September 4, 2008

Locked and loaded

Apologies for keeping you in suspense. The follow-up scan went fabulously well. While both Mr Green and I were keen to see our little man on screen again, we honestly weren't expecting any change with regard to the placenta situation. And despite the fact that we told ourselves it didn't matter either way, we were pleasantly surprised to find that not only had my placenta risen of its own accord at this late stage but Little Green himself had completely turned around in the womb (i.e. he's now head down, in prime position as it were). Which means a natural, vaginal birth is now an option for us. Hurrah! Of course there is still the possibility of a complication that would require forceps or a Caesarean, so we'll take it as it comes. I quite fancy the idea of giving birth in a pool (supposedly minimises pain and tearing), but I know better than to set my sights on that, or on anything as far as labour is concerned!

In fact, after so many antenatal classes, I'm a bit tired of dissecting and analysing what is supposed to be a primitive experience. While it is good to be informed about procedures, it's possible that in doing so we've 'belaboured' the whole experience to the point that many of us expectants are now terrified by all that can, and probably won't, go wrong. Yet in the same breath we are told to stay calm because anxiety is the enemy in labour. Sometimes in the face of a scary situation too much forethought can actually be a curse. Sometimes ignorance (or some degree of ignorance at least) truly is blissful. So here I am, a sitting duck with only a fortnight to go, and I'm trying to set aside all these pseudo-facts about labour and its aftermath lest I become paralysed with fear.

It's funny that labour, which lasts for anywhere between a few hours or days, gets so much press time whilst the business of looking after a new life in the weeks and years that follow scarcely gets a mention. Indeed, I've often thought intensive parenting courses should be on offer, and maybe in the advent of recent TV programmes like Supernanny, broadcasters have sensed this anomaly and responded accordingly. I may have an inkling about how to have a 'good' labour, but as for how to be a good mother I haven't a clue. However, I do suspect from what I've observed over the years that being a good mother isn't necessarily as instinctive as we're led to believe. For example, I know virtually nothing about a baby's development, be it physical, emotional and psychological, and frankly that's a bit sad given that I am just about to give birth and spend 24/7 with this fascinating and strange tiny being.

To mark our last antenatal class this week, new parents visited with real 'live' babies. Seeing their little bundled bodies and curious faces was a welcome tonic and reminder of why we had been gathering every Tuesday night for umpteen weeks. Not something you would think possible to lose sight of and yet... On the advice of one of the new moms, I will be making a concerted effort to clean less and rest more as my body demands it, especially as my nighttime sleep pattern is increasingly disturbed by Jackson's head engaging in my pelvis and pressing down on my bladder (to the point where I am seriously considering investing in a plastic sheet... Can pregnancy get any less dignified?).

In the spirit of treating myself, I have also booked in for a luxury pedicure and bikini wax -- to see to the bits I can no longer see! The moms-to-be from class are coming over tomorrow to scoff on cakes while we can still do so with impunity. Hopefully we will continue to meet regularly and build new friendships as our lives change in tandem. As a stranger in a strange land, I have often found England less than hospitable, so the commonality and warmth of these women is proving an unexpected delight. Sisterhood is really underrated, especially its value for only children like me... In an ideal world, Mr Green would have more time to spend with mom and burgeoning babe but, as is symptomatic of our sick times, the work-life balance seems to be tipping unevenly at the moment. And even though I know this to be the case for most households, knowing doesn't fill his seat at the table. Is the world moving far too quickly these days, or is it just because I've slowed down that I have noticed?

No comments:

Post a Comment