Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pineapple

Today is 33 weeks. The pineapple stage. Ever since I found these produce comparisons back in week 5 or so, I've been both looking forward to and dreading the pineapple week. Dreading because ... ouch. But looking forward to it because, when your baby is being compared, size-wise, to a lentil or a kidney bean, growing to the size of pineapple seems impossibly far away. And yet, here I am. 33 weeks. Wow.

Things are going really well, but are also getting increasingly uncomfortable. My hips are getting worse, feeling like the bones are going to pop out of their sockets any minute now. Actually, that applies not just to my hips, but to my knees and ankles, too. It helps when I keep a pillow between my legs while sleeping, but I inevitably kick it aside during the night, so I always wake up hurting. My leg joints are just always hurting these days. But some of that might be from falling off a ladder Saturday night. (Note to self: when you're clumsy and off-balance, don't climb ladders. But hey, the nursery wallpaper border is done.) Heartburn has returned, though honestly, I know so many people who suffered from heartburn for all 9 months that I really shouldn't complain after having so many carefree months behind me. And I'm not sleeping at all. The combination of sore joints, heartburn, and nonstop kicking just doesn't lead to sound sleep. Today, I asked my manager for permission to work from home several days a week instead of just one, so that I can elevate my feet and take an occasional nap. Thankfully, she agreed, so that should make my life easier and hopefully enable me to work for 5 more weeks like I want.

We had our second birthing class this weekend, and unlike last week, I left this one feeling like maybe I could do this labor thing after all. I think that my main problem is with the videos of women going through labor. The information and advice and relaxation techniques that we're being taught are great, but the videos are killing me. Our instructor believes that, the more deliveries you see, the more comfortable you become with it, so she likes to show us as many deliveries as possible. (She does a lot of other things during the class, too, but breaks them up with labor videos.) All of the early ones she screened just showed women who were clearly in tremendous amounts of pain. That is to be expected, I know. The problem: there was no upside. They weren't coping, they weren't getting help, they were just in raw never-ending agony. Each one looked like she wanted to just kill herself and get it over with. This view of delivery might be honest, but it is NOT comforting.

On the other hand, one video showed a woman who I swear must have been acting. She was so preternaturally calm that there is no way I believed that she was actually giving birth. Her husband was the same way -- robotic, as if in a trance, always there saying and doing the exact right thing, the entire time using this soft, soothing voice usually reserved for calming mental patients. S said that he was really intimidated by how perfect the husband was, but I'm convinced the entire thing was staged. Or they were both completely stoned out of their minds.

It was the last video of the class that finally calmed my nerves. A nice middle ground. The woman in this video was in pain, did realistic things to manage the pain, got frustrated, worked through it, and survived to hold her baby. Her husband and nurses did realistic things to help (massage, hot showers, joint breathing exercises) and those things provide a realistic amount of relief. She clearly wasn't enjoying labor (duh) but she also wasn't jumping out high-rise windows. A labor like that would clearly be no picnic, but I believe that I could get through it. So, that's the image I'm holding onto. Also, the couple had awesome 1970s hair and thick Boston accents. I love me a good Boston accent. Wicked cool.

2 comments:

Fertilized said...

the videos only freaked me out more also! You will get through it just fine, It's amazing what your brain/body/nurses do to help you make it!

Jen said...

Our birthing class is next month. While I think I'll be okay with the videos, the whole birthing concept completely freaks my DH out.