In my uncle's garden
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

I'm at 36 weeks, which means I'm due sometime between two and six weeks from now. We're almost ready to go, logistically, at least. We have all the baby gear we'll need, but I haven't bought any of the supplies for the birth.

We need two sets of supplies -- one set for if we have a hospital birth, and another for a home birth. We will only have a hospital birth if I go into labour before the end of my 37th week, which is unlikely -- apparently first-time mothers are, on average, six days late. I haven't bought the hospital birth stuff yet; I'll get it on Friday and gamble that I don't go into labour before then. Then after I get to the end of my 37th week I'll get the home birth stuff, which is actually a superset of the hospital birth stuff.

If you're wondering, the "stuff" is things like gauze and disposable bed pads, a hot water bottle, high-carb food and drink, a desk lamp, a space heater...

I'm starting to get impatient. My body is protesting at the extra load -- it takes a few minutes to get comfortable when I stand up first thing in the morning, and my pelvis gets achy when I walk around. It's not terribly bad, just mildly annoying.

Last week the midwife said Delphine is still head-down -- good news. The appointment was on Friday, and I wonder if she's dropped a little since then -- it was on Saturday that the pelvic aching started, and I haven't felt out of breath since then. I'll have to see what the midwife says this Friday. (We're doing appointments every week now, because I could bust at any moment! Whoo!)

There's a horrible bug going around the city (and the world) which has shut down a couple of hospitals in the city, and caused the rest of them to turn away anyone who doesn't need to be there. It's making me feel a little smug about choosing a home birth, although the problem of exposure to foreign bugs wasn't a factor in my original decision at all. I take my smug where I can.

I don't know why I can't think of anything to say... I'm writing this in the office and I'm kind of distracted. There are interesting things going on, I'm sure of it. I hope I'll be able to sit down and write a proper entry at home sometime soon. It's a busy time.

This weekend we went to Loblaws and bought assloads of laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and frozen foods like lasagna and moussaka, so we don't have to cook after Delphine comes. I love the feeling of being fully-stocked-up.

In our last pre-natal class the instructor said that we should stay home and rest for about a week after Delphine comes. A week! I can't stay home for a full day, let alone a week. I guess for the first few days it will be easy because we'll be tired and dealing with a massive learning curve, but I might have to take myself outside around day four or so. Just to Starbucks, okay? Just across the street?

One of the goofy things I'm really looking forward to is taking Delphine out in the neighbourhood for the first time, to meet Carlo the pasta guy, and Anne and the others at Starbucks, and at the nice people at La Salumeria and the pet store. I think that will be a lot of fun.

This weekend we're going to stock up on the food and drink we'll need for labour, and I'm going to put together the hospital birth stuff, and pack a suitcase. And I'm going to scrub the things we've bought or otherwise received second-hand, because some of it is revoltingly filthy. Like, I wouldn't give it to Goodwill in this state-filthy. Beggars can't be choosers, but we can bitch about stuff.

The person who is replacing me at work has started -- we decided to go for a big overlap because the learning curve for my job is kind of hard-core. For the last couple of weeks we've been training, and next week I think I'll put her on primary tech support and just sit around and help her when she has problems with stuff. It should be pretty sweet.

I'm also giving her my desk next week, which I'm kind of sad about. I've really made this place home in the last four years, with my stuff all around, pictures of Blake, knick-knacks, a teapot. It didn't really occur to me that leaving work would be a long, drawn-out process, but it's turning out to be.

Everyone wants to know when I'm leaving -- apparently it's normal to set a date to leave work, and then sit around at home waiting for the labour to start. But what would I do at home, I ask you? Daytime TV is crap, I only get one newspaper a week and the news is very depressing these days, I can only read a book for a few hours before I get antsy. I guess I could do housework, but if that's the case I really ought to stay at work and rest instead. Besides, I want to get as many full paycheques out of this company as possible. So I'll leave when I go into labour, unless for some reason I become so incapacitated that I can't come to work before that.

Our next prenatal class is the last class -- care and feeding of the human newborn. I'm excited about it; I'm kind of not thinking about labour and thinking about the baby instead. I hope they have an actual baby or two; the class includes a visit from some new parents, so they might bring their babies.

I had a couple of stabs of fear about labour last week -- they showed a video in the prenatal class which made it look very miserable and uncomfortable and sordid. Since then I seem to have gone back to thinking of it as a manageable challenge, though.

I'm kind of pissed off about how painful and undignified it is, and how I'll have to rely on Blake and the midwives to get through it. I hate relying on other people. But, logically, the big head/tiny hips combination makes labour hard for humans, and we have this society which provides lots of support for labouring women, so it's normal that it's so hard. I just don't like it.

That's all I can think of for now. I apologize for the choppiness of this entry; hopefully I'll have a chance to create a more fluid one soon.