This week is gonna be a busy one, but I’m excited for it all!
Last week was our final “Prepared Childbirth” class. I think we both learned a lot about exactly what to expect at the hospital. I know I feel a lot more empowered about some things (like my right to refuse *any* intervention I don’t want used on the baby – like the vacuum or forceps) and more alarmed about other things (like how much of a crapshoot it will be as to whether I can prevent the hospital from giving my son a bottle of formula, or whether I’ll be able to have him and breastfeed immediately after birth.) I think Paul learned A LOT about what really goes on before, during and after labor. His comment to me after class last week (which focused on delivery and aftercare) was “There really is no way that this isn’t going to suck for you, is there?” Nice to know I have his full support and understanding. Ha!
Edited to add: The formula/BF thing is mostly a factor of whether I end up with a C-section. It’s just not possible for them to let me have the gooey baby on my chest try to BF when my lower half is still open to the world. The formula part (which honestly is what I’m most worried about) is a diabetic thing. They’ll test his blood sugar once he comes out and if they don’t like it, he’ll get a bottle. I was under the impression that maybe they’d give him a bottle of glucose water, but apparently St. Rose Hospitals doesn’t do glucose water – only formula. I’m very concerned about this because of the whole “Open Gut” thing, but there doesn’t appear to be much I can do about it. Not much I can do to control the baby’s blood sugar during the rigors of labor, but Paul and I will make sure that everyone on my delivery team knows that I want to avoid giving our son formula (or any other nipple but the ones attached to me) at ALL COSTS. We’ll just pray that I don’t end up with a C-section and hope for the best.
So tonight is our hospital tour and registration. We’ll tour the labor and delivery ward, hopefully seeing an unused room and meeting some of the nurses. (Actually, our Prepared Childbirth class was taught by 3 different nurses from our hospital, so here’s hoping that we might get one of them when the time comes!) I don’t know what the registration process entails, I’m assuming just sitting there and filling out a bunch of paperwork and letting them photocopy my entire wallet. I’m HUGELY looking forward to it though. Knowing exactly *where* to go and where I’ll be helps me visualize things better and makes it a lot easier for me to be calm about how the event will shake out – whenever it happens.
Wednesday is a big day too. I have my first weekly appointment with Dr. Schwartz for fetal monitoring. Non-Stress tests start this week – so I’ve gotta get used to longer appointments based on how cooperative the little man feels like being. Dr. Schwartz has been up front about these appointments, so while I’m concerned (as usual) about using too much paid leave to go to them – I knew they were coming, which helps in being prepared. I’m hoping we can keep these appointments down to once a week, but they might move to twice a week as I get further along. We’ll see. So that fetal monitoring appointment is as 2:30.
Then at 6:00 on Wednesday is our “Baby Basics” class, wherein we learn (refresher for me, 1st time for Paul) how to take care of our little bundle of joy. Feeding, diapering, dressing, washing… I assume this will all be covered. Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a 3 hour, one-time class. I think it will be a good place to start at least. Paul is convinced that the knowledge will just come to him when he’s presented with the baby. I’d like him to have at least a little instruction to build on. :) (Fortunately, there’s a lot of YouTube videos on how to properly apply a cloth diaper – complete with the various folds used. So that will be a help.)
In between all of these classes, there’s lots to do at home in the nursery with washing and sorting baby clothes. I need to get over to Paul’s parent’s house with the unwashed stack of diapers to borrow Jeanne’s sewing machine. I want to run a zig-zag stitch of color down the serged edges of the diapers to make the sizes easier to tell apart at a glance. And I figure this will be easier to do while they’re still very flat, before washing & drying them multiple times quilts them up nicely.
Work is busy this week too. My Executive Director is in the office this week, so that’s always exciting. But the official meeting to discuss my maternity leave duties while I’m gone will happen this week at some point. That’s a little stressful, just to have it all laid out. My boss and I have talked at length about it, and we’re both comfortable with what we’ve concluded about the work that I’ll do while I’m out. (My key duties are best continued by me so an outside person doesn’t need to be brought in, and I can not burn as much paid leave since I’ll be doing Accounts Payable and Payroll twice a month each while I’m out. Telecommuting is a beautiful thing.) I’m glad to be able to work somewhere that is as flexible as my agency is. They don’t have to be – FMLA doesn’t apply here because we’re so small. So I’m appreciative that management is willing to work with me to find an acceptable solution for both sides.
OK, lunchtime is over so I should wrap this up! I PROMISE that sorting through pictures and building a Nursery gallery is very very high on my priorities list. I’ll have it done before the end of the week, I promise – but I’ll aim for sooner than that. Your patience is appreciated. :)