In my uncle's garden
Thursday, April 10, 2003

It has been brought to my attention that I should maybe be updating more quickly since it's getting so close to D-Day and things are supposed to start happening soon. So I will try to do that. It should be easier now because we're almost done preparing -- everything we need is in the house, although it's not quite lined up and ready to go.

The birth stuff is ready -- I put it all, everything from towels to a small, bright light, to a bottle of olive oil (unopened) into a huge hamper-type thing in the bedroom, so it's all in one place for the midwives. We even have a hospital bag packed in case we end up needing to go to the hospital.

The baby clothes and diapers and other soft goods are laundered and folded, but the furniture -- the cradle and the bassinet and the bouncy chair and the high chair -- still need to be washed and assembled. I also have to launder the bedding for the cradle.

Oh, yeah, so the cradle; a friend of mine lent it to me. It seems to be the perfect solution to the sleep problem -- I wanted to get something small that Delphine could sleep in in our bedroom. I ended up getting a Pack n' Play bassinet/playyard, but the bassinet component is only good up to 15 lbs, which is around three months. I figured we would get a crib by then, even though it will be really huge in our bedroom.

Then my friend suggested I borrow her cradle -- she used it until her baby was about eight months, it's got a really small footprint, and she set it up so that it rocked freely when the baby wasn't in it, which stopped her cats from jumping into it (because they didn't like the rocking). I'm not sure if the cat thing will work for us, but otherwise it sounds like a great idea. Plus it's awfully cute.

The irony (very mild irony) is that my company got together and bought us a crib (! a crib!), so I now have a bassinet/playyard, a cradle and a crib. I'm going to keep the crib in its box until Del outgrows the cradle, and the bassinet can live in the living room so Del has somewhere to hang out in there.

Gestation-wise things are still going well. I'm really starting to look forward to getting my normal body back -- not in an aesthetic sense but in a functional sense. My legs and back seem to get tired really quickly; my belly hurts when I get up in the morning, adjusting to being vertical; I have to reach an extra two inches when I'm working at the sink or the kitchen counter; sitting on the floor or bending down is much harder than it ought to be; I can't reach forward very far when I sit cross-legged. It's the little things.

It's not the big things, though. My blood pressure is normal, I can sleep at night, Delphine is head-down and healthy. My pregnancy has really been quite easy.

So what has changed since last time I wrote? We had another midwife visit, with Midwife Number Two. It was largely uneventful, but she did say that Del has dropped a little bit into my pelvis. We also talked about two post-birth treatments that all babies in Ontario have.

The first is an antibiotic eye drop which is required by law to be administered to every baby born in Ontario. They put the law in place after World War II when all the men were coming home with STDs, and infecting their wives who then passed the diseases onto their babies during labour, sometimes causing blindness. Of course, now most women are screened for STDs as part of their pre-natal care, so you don't actually need to treat the babies unless you know there is an STD present. But, none-the-less, infidelity in men leads to STDs in their wives leads to potential blindness in babies -- so let's treat the babies! Brilliant.

So, whatever, we have to do that one whether we like it or not. The midwives will wait until we've had a chance to hang out with Del for an hour or so before they gum up her eyes so she can't focus properly, which is about all we can ask for.

The second treatment is a vitamin K injection. Vitamin K makes your blood clot, but babies are born without any in their system, and it takes a couple of days for them to create it or get it from your breast milk or whatever, so they give this injection to tide the babies over the first few days. If they don't give the injection, a newborn baby can haemorrhage, and once they start haemorrhaging there's nothing you can do -- the baby dies.

There's no law that you have to have the vitamin K injection, but pre-midwifery, everyone just got it without the parents knowing about it. Since midwifery has been practiced in Ontario, some parents have chosen not to get this treatment, and a couple of babies have died. Oops.

So of course, we're getting that treatment.

It's late, and I should sleep -- I'm supposed to stay rested because I could go into labour at any moment! We're seeing Midwife Number One on Sunday (a home visit!) so I'll try and post a new entry after that.