Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hey Baby

"All the boys say, / Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey / Girls Say, Girls Say, / Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey / Hey Baby Baby"

As soon as I confirmed I was pregnant, I made four phone calls: one to my sister, one to my mom, one to my endocrinologist, and one to the Shared Care Maternity Program in Stony Plain. It is the only licensed midwifery program in Alberta covered under provincial healthcare. You basically have to do what I did to secure a spot. There are many things I love about the program, but fundamentally, I love that it makes me feel very involved in my prenatal care. The midwives have taught me how to take my own blood pressure, check my glucose levels, and read my own medical chart. I feel like a healthy pregnant woman who is independently informed and prepared, not a sick patient who is completely reliant on someone else to tell her what is going on with her own body.

This afternoon, I went to my first group maternity care appointment and met seven other women who are due to give birth in June. Today was our first meeting, so we were still a little shy towards each other, but I already got the sense that a little community was forming. In fact, there are four other women who live within a few miles of us here in Edmonton. Go go Gadget Babysitting Swap! We took turns getting our monthly checkups, chatting while we waited.

One woman's hospital labor horror story convinced us all that we had made the right decision choosing the birthing centre and midwife route. It was her first baby and she didn't know what to expect, so she was naturally scared out of her mind. Not surprisingly, her labor had stalled because she felt uncomfortable being constantly poked, prodded, and exhorted to either push or not push. After her poor baby was delivered using both forceps and a vacuum pump, the doctor quickly sewed her up, LEAVING ALMOST HALF A ROLL OF GAUZE INSIDE HER. As the woman ended her story, I noticed that each of the other women in the room had instinctively, protectively put a hand on her own belly. I... can't... even... um... yikes!

HAPPY THOUGHTS! HAPPY THOUGHTS!

Today marks 22 weeks and 1 day of gestation: more than halfway there! W00t! Dusty and I read in a few of the hundreds of baby books lent/given to us that our baby is just beginning to hear sounds outside the womb at this time. I'd already been playing music for the baby, but a couple of nights ago, we decided it was time to start reading a nightly bedtime story.

We picked a book called "The Spectacular Tree" or "Ang Kagila-gilalas na Puno" by Robert Magnuson. It's written in both English and Tagalog, so we take turns reading it in our respective first languages. The cover alone sold us:

Just look at that cranky ol' tree and that spunky lil' plant! You just know there's going to be some kind of throwdown between those two. BRING IT!

I've been feeling really good and healthy lately, trying to stay active despite coming down with the flu and a head cold in the last three weeks. My wee-beastie-to-be is healthy and active, too. As Viv, the visiting SCOTTISH midwife said, "Yer baby's hearrrtbeat is strrrong! Tha's brrrilliant!"

Speaking of Scots, I keep meaning to mention that we felt some wee mighty kicking for the first time on Robbie Burns' Day. Either this kid is inheriting Mama's thang for Scots [Yay bagpipes!], or just letting me know how s/he* felt about me eating haggis [WTF, Mama?! Was that sheep guts?!].

I'd just gotten back from the Burns mini-supper at the Rose and Crown and settled into bed early with a book. Suddenly, I felt a twinge, like someone nudging me from inside. I put my hand where the nudge came from and felt another nudge, more like a kick this time. Excited, I called Dusty into the room. He crawled into bed with me and placed his hand where I had mine. It took a few moments, but he distinctly felt a nudge/kick. We called, "Hello in there, Button! Hey, Baby!", and giggled when Button seemed to kick in response.

We stayed like that for a good long while, his hand on one side of my belly, my hand on the other, until all we could feel were tiny ripples.

"Hey Baby" by No Doubt
*We don't know for sure because our last ultrasound technician was an incompetent asshole. At this point, we're okay with not knowing. We prefer green and purple to blue and pink anyway.
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