Tuesday, January 27, 2004

28 1/2 weeks

I went back to Wisconsin and had 2 baby showers! Our bedroom is now overflowing with baby clothes. We're searching for a used dresser to put it all in, one that would also make a good changing table.

My first shower was at Bette's, a friend of my mother in law's. It was so precious. Bette made pretty decorations including little blocks made of paper that said "Baby (Name)." I only knew about half the people there, the rest were friends of my MIL, in fact one lady even walked up to me and asked, "who are you?" My mom told her, "She's the pregnant lady!"
That night, we had my dad's retirement party, and I wore the little black maternity dress from Target that my mom got me for Xmas. Everyone asked where Erik was -- he stayed home to save his 2 weeks of vacation for after the baby comes. The party was great -- so many of my dad's union colleagues got up and said nice things about him, and he was really touched. Being pregnant, I was designated driver, and of course the evening got very late, and since they still allow smoking in bars in Wisconsin, it got really smoky in there as the night went on. I was wishing they had a comfy couch in the ladies' lounge i could nap on. But the good part was, once we finally went home at about 1, I slept better than I had in a week.
Which was good, since the next day we went to my other baby shower, which Hollie and Auntie Janice threw for me, back at the Danish Brotherhood. Hollie had the best decorations, and my mom and me helped put some of them up when we arrived. Some of the decorations were baby things, like tiny pink tennis shoes and a little hat and booties in a mesh bag, which i got to keep. Carie brought little Greta, who's 9 months old now and standing up by herself. I just love her.
I got soooo many presents. The monkey now has more clothes than i do, and she's got her whole Hawaii wardrome already. She got a lot of summer clothes in the 3-6 month size, which hopefully she'll be in when we go. We didn't get many 0-3 things, but then again some people advise that you don't even buy any 0-3, because if you have a big baby, they won't fit. Hollie's Katie never wore that size.
Everyone was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the presents home, but many of them fit in the 2 suitcases I brought, and there is about a suitcase worth for my mom to bring out here when she comes in April.

I also got my HypnoBabies tapes, the self-hypnosis course I'm taking. It's supposed to teach me to be in a light state of hypnosis through most of the labor, in which i can walk around and talk, but switch into deep hypnosis every time i have a contraction, or a "birthing wave," i think they call it. the course has all these special names for every element of childbirth, because they feel that the old names are tainted by all the stories we've had about the terrible pain we're supposed to experience. the theory is that most of the pain is caused by your body fighting the labor because of all the fear most women feel in childbirth. Apparently if you are afraid, the adrenaline in your blood will cause counter muscles in your uterus to fight the contractions, because if a woman is in danger, that's not a good time to give birth.

It sounds kind of overoptimistic, and also kind of insulting to women: Like, the pain is all in your head. But I have used hypnosis before and I really believe in its power. It's like any form of meditation -- people who get good enough at it can control their bodies, create natural anesthesia. At the worst, i think the hypnosis will help me stay calm and make the experience better, even if i don't manage to go without pain medication. But the more i hear about having an epidural, the more i don't want one. so many women write in their birth stories that their labor stalled or slowed down after the epidural. and i hate the thought of being tethered down in bed, with a needle in my spine, a catheter, iv and all that.

I saw a midwife from my practice last week, and I really liked the experience. instead of being really rushed like the doctors always are, she took the time to ask how I was doing, and if i had any questions. unfortunately, *i* was in a rush because i started the gestational diabetes test more than 45 minutes before and i had to be back at the lab in a few minutes for them to take my blood. The midwife said she'd worked with people using hypnosis before, she thought it was great. I had thought that only doctors from the practice would be on call for my delivery, since i had been seeing a doctor, but actually, she explained, i could end up with an OB/GYN, a midwife, or a perinatologist. The midwives are on call during the weekdays, the obs at night, and i think she said, the peris on weekends. now i'm kind of hoping i go in during a weekday, because i think a midwife would be more supportive of the hypnosis thing. most of all i wish that i *knew* who would deliver my baby, because you're supposed to discuss this stuff with your care provider ahead of time. but that's just not the way it is.

Finally, Erik and I got together with Allison and David, another couple who are having a baby this spring. We went shopping for baby stuff -- mostly looking -- and out to lunch at Stacks, the pancake place. It was really fun comparing notes about everything. They showed us an unfinished furniture place, where we looked at a dresser/changing table that would be really perfect, although we would have to paint it white ourselves. But it's over $300, so i want to keep trying to find a used one for awhile first. Until then, we try not to knock over the stacks of baby clothes on our way to bed!

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