Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gettin' baby wit' it

Thursday, June 22:

Today, I have my regular monthly visit with my Ob/Gyn. I also take the blood glucose test. Is it bad that I actually liked the sugary orange drink that everyone has told me is so disgusting? Does that mean I have gestational diabetes? We'll see . . . . The nurse sticks me in each arm because she couldn't get blood out of the first arm.

Seeing my doctor -- the one I started out with since before she began adding people to her practice like Donald Trump adds apprentices -- is refreshing because it's the first time I'd seen her since getting pregnant. She takes her time with you. I ask her what the deal is with birth plans and whether anyone actually pays attention to what you want. So she takes my two birth plan checklists (printed off a couple baby sites) and goes over one of them, telling me what she absolutely insists on; the rest of the things on the list are OK.

And she tells me to watch my weight.

"You've gained 22 pounds," she says, "And you still have 10 weeks left."

Holy what?! I have 10 weeks left?!

"You don't want to gain too much weight. It'll be harder on you after the baby comes."

So this makes me sad to think someone is reproaching me about my weight. Especially when my friend who just gave birth last week calls me "little mama" (compared to herself) and another friend I hadn't seen in a while met me for dinner and proclaimed, "Oh! You're little!" So I have to think about what more I can do to keep from gaining more weight. Is it even possible?

The doctor tells me to start keeping track of the baby's movements. And I ask for a list of recommended pediatricians, because apparently JP and I are slackers among those in our childbirth prep class, where most parents-to-be have already picked pediatricians.

Now the fun begins: I get to come back every two weeks now. That's more run-ins with the FBI, who continue to be clueless. (Calling yesterday to confirm appointment: "Are you pregnant?" "Um, yeah!" "Oh. Have you ever been here before?" "Yes, for like the past three years?!")

So this baby stuff is starting to get more and more real.

Last night's childbirth prep class had JP and me diapering and swaddling my teddy bear (who still feels humiliated and hasn't forgiven me yet) and getting a talk from a pediatrician about baby care. Monday night's class ran long and was mostly about pain management. I made a real flake out of myself by asking the nurse teacher what she thought about TENS units for labor pain and if she'd seen people use them for labor. She responded by saying it works if you believe it works, which was an equally flaky answer, if you ask me. Then some father-to-be in front of us said he used a TENS unit on his abs, and it microwaved the food inside his body and made him really sick. Once outside of class, JP went off about him and proclaimed him to be a moron. TENS isn't a microwave.

These classes are helpful, but every night of the class, I come home with a new concern. The latest: if it takes you a half-hour to breastfeed, and a newborn needs to eat every 1.5 to 2 hours, then how do you possibly have a life?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the baby grows, the time between feedings tends to get longer.

Yes at first, it seems like you don't have "a life." The life of a new mom basically IS tending to the baby's needs, at least for the first few weeks (and hopefully you have an involved dad who will help with meals, dishes, laundry, so that all you absolutely need to do is eat, sleep and feed the baby). But you also gradually get better at multi-tasking.

My sister ("Melstra" on livejournal) has been able to type at the computer while nursing. The baby slings (I think she has a bjorn) even allow her to nurse while doing other things.

Best wishes


5:57 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Answer: You don't... at first. Keep in mind that it is 1.5 to 2 hours between feedings. Plus you won't exactly feel like going dancing every night either. It is nice to be able to use those first weeks to recoop if you can. The change in lifestyle, sleep, ect. will be stressful, I won't lie. Everyone lies and says the first 6 weeks are just great. They are hard, but they are manageable if you don't fight it. Really do sleep when your baby sleeps. Really do drop her off at Grandma's house with a bottle of breastmilk so you can shop, or sleep, or shower. Mostly, if you can, listen to what your baby wants instead of trying to tell your baby what she needs to be doing. It took me a little bit to realize that even at a few weeks old, my newborn really was his own person and not just a doll that I feed and rocked and burped.

Don't freak. You will find a rhythum and routine. It all works out.

I guess I am weird too. I liked the orange drink both times. I thought it tasted just like slightly thick orange soda.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Wow, thanks for your supportive comments. I do want to be devoted to my baby. And going out dancing isn't really what I'm concerned about. ;) I'm just wondering how to fit it all in -- to find that rhythm and routine, as you say.

7:35 PM  

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