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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Week 23 ~ November 13 - 19, 2005
~ Classes and Cravings and Registries, Oh My!

Well, since our last visit with Dr. Abbott, I've been looking into the birth and labour classes offered by our hospital here. They have lots of options, lots of topics, and lots of class times, which is exciting. It seems like they really try to cater to many different people, and offer different experiences depending on your needs. Aaron and I talked it over, and have decided to go with their standard six week class option, which covers just about everything from birth and labour itself, breathing/relaxation methods, tours of the facilities, ideas on how to customize your birth plan, and then post-partum care. We were all ready to go, looking forward to meeting new people and learning about this crazy thing we call birth (though I suspect Aaron is a little on the leery side of watching the videos…), when disaster struck. What is it with me and disaster (ha ha)??? Can't a girl get a break?! We sat down to start filling out the paper work and registration forms for the classes, when we hit a major scheduling conflict. Aaron works Tuesday through Friday nights, all night. We were hoping that this wouldn't be a problem, and could take a Monday evening class, or something on the weekends. As we got to looking at the class schedule, however, we started to get really nervous… They offer a Monday night class, but the class for November had already started, and the next one wasn't starting up until next February! That would mean, in a possibly convenient twist of fate, we'd be completing the class just as I was going into labour! How's that for a stress-free drive to the hospital, we'd already be there?! Obviously, it was too close to risk it. There ARE weekend classes, but they start early, early, early in the morning on Saturday, and last all day long. While that wouldn't necessarily be a problem for me (though exhausting), it simply doesn't work for Aaron as he gets home somewhere around 2, 3 or 4 in the morning, and would never have enough down time to rest before getting up the stamina for the all-day, super-intense class schedule. I called the very helpful class coordinator, Kris, and explained our dire situation, hoping that we could start in the ongoing Monday night class, and make up the one session we had already missed. Unfortunately, that Monday night class had been cancelled outright, so no luck there. The hospital has an option to rent a series of videos that outline all of the information, to home-school ourselves on the processes of birth. We would still be able to attend a later tour of the facilities, and Kris would do everything in her power to accommodate us, but I still wasn't happy. It seems to me that Charlie's arrival is too important to just watch a DVD, and call it good. So, in the end, we're going to have to opt for a little of column A, a little of column B. I'm going to attend the actual classes on a different week night, with my mom as my support person. She said that she'd love to go with me, so no worries about being the sad Alone Mommy. We'll schedule our tour of the birthing center for a different time, so that Aaron will be able to come with us. If he can get a night off of work and attend some of the more important classes, great. As for everything else, Kris will let me take the DVD series home with me at no extra charge, so that I can go over everything with Aaron at a time that is convenient for him. It's not perfect, but it'll work. Finally I can stop worrying about my not having any sort of idea what's about to happen to me here in a few months, because at least one of us is going to get a good schooling in everything baby. Now it's just up to me to figure out a way to keep Aaron from closing his eyes throughout most of the DVDs, or run out of the room screaming…

I'm almost glad that things have worked out how they did, because it was very comforting to have the opportunity to actually sit down and talk with one of the coordinators of the program. She answered all my questions, was caring and friendly, and if I had any lingering questions about whether these were the right series of classes from out of the plethora for us to take, I was completely reassured by how informative and helpful everyone was. Also, after talking to her, I found out that as a Medicaid recipient, I qualify for a 50% deduction on the cost of all classes. Sweet! Apparently, sometimes it really pays to be a panicking mother-to-be with lots of questions about every little thing.

We are still going to be able to do some fun sessions together. Besides the recommended basics, Aaron and I are also planning to register for the more schedule-friendly First Six Months class, which is short and sweet, and lasts just one weekend morning. They'll cover all the many facets of life with a newborn, including everything from diapering and dressing the baby, to bathing, feeding, and how to tell if your baby is sick. Good stuff to know, as I haven't been around a baby in years and years, and Aaron hasn't since he was 8! It's a little worrisome to those who know me whenever I get something new, as my tendency is to just stare at it to see what it's going to do next. This is what happened when I brought home Steve, my cat. I'd never in my life had a cat before, and I just stared and stared and stared… not the best plan when he was so doped up on drugs from having been neutered, and kept walking into walls. Luckily, A.) the baby won't be able to walk into anything anytime soon, and B.) by then, I'll be properly educated on how to handle it if he does! I'm going to be the Diapering Queen of the world, just wait and see. Meanwhile, Aaron is interested in taking a class called Boot Camp for Daddies, which is taught by men, for men. He'll be able to whine all about how hard pregnancy has been on HIM with the other daddies-to-be, and best of all… I'll never know! Plus, here's hoping the daddy veterans will try to instill in him a little sensitivity to my woes, and we'll all come out winners in the end!

In the middle of my online research for the classes at the hospital, I also came across a link to their facilities and amenities page. Our birthing center is incredible! Who knew that hospitals would strive to be so hotel-esque? I mean, I know that the more modern centers are working really hard to make themselves less cold and sterile, and more a place that will be as relaxing and homey for new mothers as possible, but I had no idea how much so! The rooms include fold-out couches for your partner to sleep on, showers and tubs, CD and DVD players, massages for mothers post-delivery, and (my favourite), a daily warm cookie service for new mothers and their guests! I can't wait for our tour, so that I can ogle all the luxuries I don't get at home. Massages and fresh cookies?! I'm never going to want to leave!

As everything starts to come together, I've been feeling better and better emotionally - even Aaron would say that I've been doing really well. Over the past couple of months, it's been so rough, but necessary, I think, to get all my insane emotions out. I went from being single to (soon) having a family of 3, all within a year's time. Sure, Aaron is nothing new in my life, and he's always been exactly what I want, but still… it's a lot to take in! And while Aaron might not necessarily agree with me on this point, I'm of the opinion that all of my insecurities in the end facilitated a whole world of important conversations that we might not have had otherwise. Sure, they were dramatic, and often stressful and tear-filled, but more so now than ever we know what the other really needs in our life together, and we're better prepared for not just the baby, but for our much more stable and happy relationship. Things lately have been so nice at home; we talk a lot, laugh a lot, and spend time together. Chores are understood on both sides, and for the most part everything is getting done, the house is coming together, and we're starting on the nursery next month… it's good! All of it is really, really good! Again, I would like to say thanks to the women have responded to my ramblings. While my motive was more to get everything out of my head than anything else, it was such a great comfort to suddenly and unexpectedly find others that not only refused to look down on me for my whining, but actually supported and understood it! I can now tell all of you that there truly seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Nearing the end of my second trimester (already!), I'm finally feeling more like my old self again, and better. Things are starting to get exciting now; the baby actually looks like a little baby instead of a blob. He has a gender, he has a name, clothes, belongings, a bed. And he has a little personality, likes and dislikes (I was eating an orange this afternoon, his favourite fruit, and he jumped for joy again and again. Unless, of course, I've interpreted him wrong, and the jumps were more kicks of protest! Oh well, I'm his mother, I get artistic license…) And as I race towards the finish line of this pregnancy, I have the real Charlie to look forward to for the rest of my life.

How I've been feeling physically is another story completely. Besides the headaches, and backaches, I'm now starting to develop a little shortness of breath, and mild heartburn with the accompanying sensation that I'm stuffed with food all the way up to my throat. The bright side is, that with my new happier outlook, I'm finding it harder to worry or even complain about little discomforts. Charlie's getting to be a big boy, and that's more important than a little squishing of all my insides any day!

In the past week as well, there have been a few other fun new baby things we've been dealing with. We finally got our baby registry completed at Target, so now that is out of the way. I wanted it done by Christmas, just in case anyone had planned to give us something for Charlie, and didn't know what we needed. It's a lot of fun, you get to play with a laser bar code zapper gun, and go wild throughout the store. Admittedly, we registered for a few things that are a tiny bit more luxuries than necessities, but hey, it's my dream registry, and if I want musical menthol humidifier with glow-in-the-dark capabilities, who can say I'm wrong?! However, I will say that we also spent oodles of very responsible time in the diaper aisle, zapping bundles of diapers in various sizes over and over, for the more practical of gift-givers.

And finally, it's all about the cravings! I'm starting to get cravings, and I have to say, it's nothing like I imagined it would be. I've always been under the impression that pregnant cravings are completely irrational, and suddenly I would want some disgusting concoction of coconut, tuna and frosting on a toasted bun, and I'd want it NOW! Who knows, maybe it's simply still a little early for me, but my cravings have been less on the oogie, irrational side, and more normal than I was expecting - though completely random! I've had cravings for very specific things, specific brands, which can be extremely frustrating if you don't happen to have that particular shop in town. Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream has haunted my dreams for weeks now. We're alleviating that craving this weekend with a special trip to the nearest town with that particular ice cream parlour. We're actually bringing a cooler in the car to bring a surplus of the ice cream back with us! Ha! Then there have been my real oddball cravings, things that I never would have expected. Spaghetti with Italian sausage meat sauce… blech! I've NEVER liked spaghetti, and I don't really care for sausage, either! Aaron is in triumph, because, as he puts it, "the boy" is bringing "the picky eater" (me) down with his powerful man-food cravings. And finally, there's the real kicker - fried green tomatoes. I've only ever had them once in my whole life, and I absolutely HATE, LOATHE, and DESPISE tomatoes, but I am a woman obsessed. While we're out this weekend, we're going to try and hunt some green tomatoes down at the specialty, organic grocery stores, and if that doesn't work, we're taking a friend to the Denver airport on Sunday, and I've got a little side project for us in the big city. My diligent research has produced three Denver restaurants that allegedly serve this particular southern delight, and we're going to go to all three of them until I am satisfied. Oh yes, I WILL have my tomatoes! Aaron puts on a brave face, and tries to laugh it off, but he actually had a nightmare the other night about fighting to find me tomatoes, so I know he's more concerned about my cravings completely taking over our life than he lets on. Ha! Well, food cravings are immensely more entertaining (and kind of fun) than constant weeping, so I say let the hunt begin!

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