~ Feeling pretty positive now!
On Saturday, Andrew and I went to the "refresher course" at the hospital - ever since then I have been feeling so positive! It was SO great! The educator, who is a midwife at the hospital, was excellent. There was only one other couple there, and this time we actually had quite a few things in common with them. They have two little boys (7 and 5 1/2), so if we ever do get together, Thomas would think all his Christmases have come at once! They are also fans of co-sleeping and breastfeeding, as is the midwife, so I felt quite at home for once!
Sarah (the midwife) showed us a labour suite (the exact one in fact where I had Thomas!), as well as giving a tour of the maternity ward. Things have changed a bit since I was last there, and they now have a lot more "props" to help with natural labours. We even got to try out a "peanut ball" (like one of those fit balls, but peanut-shaped), and it was fantastic! They also have the regular fit balls, beanbags, hot packs, your own bathroom with a nice warm shower, cassette players and so on. Even though it is a hospital, and therefore they are equipped to do anything including inductions, epidurals, c-sections, and forceps deliveries, there is a great deal of support for a drug-free birth and the midwives there will do their utmost to help make that happen if that is what you want. Sarah told us that just this past week she had been nursing a woman in labour who decided in transition that she wanted to be in the bathroom with the lights out, so Sarah just sat on the floor in there with her and comforted her, while the OB waited in the main room!
We were able to ask a lot of questions and I felt at all times that my concerns or queries were treated with the utmost respect (unlike at the other class!) The other mother and I were able to talk through our previous birth experiences and I was so happy that I FINALLY had some things explained to me about what happened last time. She confirmed that my OB is very laid-back and happy to deliver in whatever position the woman likes. We actually bumped into him in the corridor of the labour suites.
I am feeling much less anxious now about the labour and birth. I really feel like I will be in the best hands. Oh, and the other great thing is that the hospital now liases with a home midwifery group so if women choose to go home from hospital earlier than the standard four night stay, you can get home visits - and your private health insurance even pays for it! They have lactation consultants on staff, which is a double plus. (The hospital maternity ward is staffed by midwives, all with lactation knowledge, and there is always at least one IBCLC on duty there each shift, so the hospital is certainly very helpful with breastfeeding too.)
Having the weekend start with this great class was wonderful. The whole weekend ended up being really lovely in fact. On Sunday afternoon we all went to a Hi-5 concert (they are an Aussie kids' group). I guess you could say that Katelyn has been to her first concert - she seemed to have fun, and was certainly moving around a lot. Thomas was bopping away the whole time too of course. Afterwards, we went and had an early dinner of pancakes, and played a game of billiards at the Pancake Manor (if you can call what we were doing actually playing the game!). When we got home I was so tired that I could hardly even speak, but it was so nice to have some family time.
I have been feeling so HUGE! It seems like my tummy arrives everywhere five minutes before the rest of me! Maybe my memory is failing me, but I just don't remember feeling this big this early when I was expecting Thomas. (I even measured myself and I am now 37 inches around the biggest part of my tummy - holy moly!!) On top of that, between my legs feels like I am about to give birth any day now (gee, I hope not!). It HURTS! Everything is loosening up nicely in preparation for the birth I guess, but oh boy I am moving like an old woman. My pelvic floor feels like it is about to hit the floor and I have developed THE WADDLE! Oh my . . .
My rib pain is unfortunately quite severe now, especially in the evenings. I am trying to be as tough as I can, but the thought that I could be in this amount of pain for the rest of the pregnancy is not at all a thought I relish. I tried physiotherapy for this problem with Thomas's pregnancy but unfortunately nothing at all helped and I ended up needing prescription pain relief at night in order to be able to sleep. Gee I hope it doesn't get to that point this time . . .
I have had some good news on the health front. Firstly, I am FINALLY feeling almost completely over my bug. My nose isn't perfect but I am getting good sleep now (well, as good as anyone can get when they need to wee every hour! LOL!). I have also had confirmation that the sprays I have been using are now category A. Yay! My asthma also seems under control again. I phoned and got my blood test results and I passed the 1 hour glucose test, and had no problems at all with my full blood count. I wasn't seriously worried about these but it still feels great to get the all-clear.
Despite feeling pretty positive and organised, I must say that I have had quite a few moments of real sadness lately too. It is almost exactly this time last year that we found out that Nicholas had died. I am dreading December 8th, because that is the day we were told this awful news, and December 10th, because that is when I had my curette. I actually have my next OB appointment on December 10th, and am not quite sure whether that is a good thing or not . . . Maybe I will want some reassurance that day and some positivity. On the other hand, I don't imagine I will be feeling up to doing much. Little things have been happening that have been sending me deep into my grief again. The other night for example, I heard some fireworks, and it reminded me of how we went to the Christmas fireworks at South Bank (on the bank of the Brisbane River) last year shortly after Nicholas had died, and how empty I felt right then in amongst all that beauty (there was music too and the Christmas story being read). I also got my latest issue of a baby magazine that is for a club I joined last year. I keep meaning to let them know that I lost my baby, but never feel up to it. Anyway, on the front of the magazine was a picture of a baby about the age Nicholas would be now, and it had the words "Your baby: 6-12 months". Sigh . . .
One thing I did this week to both be positive about the future and to remember Nicholas was to get a Christmas bauble personalised for each of my three children. Thomas chose navy for himself, and I got a light blue one for Nicholas, and a pale pink for Katelyn. They all look very beautiful on our tree. I just hope that no-one who sees them makes some comment about me being morbid, needing to "move on", or something else along those lines.
I really feel like I am getting there in the pregnancy now. It has not been easy at all (and I NEVER want to be pregnant again!), but I am on the homeward stretch, getting well organised, growing a very healthy little baby, and basically coping okay. I feel pretty good!