Chilling after a big day
The wee man is eight whole months old today. I like to celebrate these little milestones (on his 7 month ‘birthday’ we all had a fabulous lunch in a cliff-top restaurant in Tenerife) but today I was working and Rod was working away overnight. We both felt guilty, which is ridiculous, but I did manage to squeeze in a treat this morning – I took him to Baby Sensory.
Normally these kinds of baby activities are really not my cup of tea – I always end up feeling like a bit of a tit – but today was all about the wee man. It only took us ten minutes to walk there and one of the first mums I met was a woman I knew from my antenatal classes. We were really pleased to see each other again and swapped birth stories, which sounds like a weird thing to do, but given we did our training together it would be odd not to discuss the race! She had a pretty horrible time of it so I was careful not to make mine sound too wonderful (although I kind of think it was) and we compared notes on motherhood. Her son is two days younger but he is really advanced – he’s sitting really well all by himself and stands too. I hope he inspires my wee guy!
As for the class – the wee man absolutely loved it! He giggled his head off and was fascinated by everything. The idea is to stimulate all the baby’s senses and promote all kinds of development, so we were singing, dancing, playing with coloured ribbons, shaking maracas and bouncing on balls. There was a bubble machine, some flashing coloured lights and loads of new toys to explore. Actually it was probably all a bit too much for him because ten minutes from the end the thumb went in and he snuggled down and slept almost instantly. Other mums told me their babies had been the same and it takes a few sessions for them to settle. Every class is different – apparently we can look forward to baby massage, baby signing and all sorts, so I’ve signed up til Christmas. It’s £6 a session and it’s totally worth it to see his delighted wee face. Plus he can clap now (thanks to Grammy’s training) and he was chuffed to bits to have an audience for his new party trick!
Both Rod and I had been working late, so when we raced into the hospital just in time for the 7.30 start of our first antenatal class we weren’t exactly “in the zone”. Plus I’d cooked sausages while sending my last emails and was suddenly aware that I smelled like a burger van.
We had no idea what to expect. We sat meekly alongside 12 or so other couples and stared at the diagram of a non-pregnant human body – so that’s what I used to look like.
The midwife grinned at us, introduced herself and suggested we all do the same. Everyone was married, everyone was having their first baby and everyone was due within a month of each other… I instantly felt like we belonged. Two husbands were missing due to car trouble (a loose handbrake and a flat tire) so when it came to us I joked that Rod was in the car game if anyone needed a hand. One of the women was having twins (so that’s why my belly seemed so small!) and the lady on my right shared my due date, so all in all I’d say the ice was broken pretty quickly.
The first class focused on our bodies and our pain relief options. The diagram we’d been staring at was flipped to show a pregnant body… Jeez, where did my intestines go? “This is why you’re all probably guzzling Gaviscon” the midwife joked and there were several nods and smiles round the room. And that wee black blob right under the baby’s head is my bladder? “Yup, that’s why you’re in the loo constantly!” It’s always nice to be reassured that your symptoms are totally normal.
When it came to birth plans I was the only one who raised my hand when she asked about water births. She was really supportive and explained exactly how it would work, including the fact I could effectively deliver my own baby by grasping him/her under the arms and pulling him/her to the surface. I loved this idea! She said that Rod could even be in there with me – “Great! I’ll bring my mask and snorkel!” he piped up. Everyone laughed but then there were a few murmurs and I wondered if some other mums were beginning to consider the idea.
At the end of the class we were offered additional breast-feeding and physio classes so I signed up for both. A few others did too, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them. Isn’t the NHS a wonderful thing?