Lately I've noticed something new: babies. My focus has been widening to see babies everywhere. Suddenly I notice details I never noticed before, like that people with children under 3 get priority in the pharmacy line at the Kuppat Cholim (public health center). Then again, so do people over the age of 99, at least according to a line markered in by hand to the sign!
I take this as good sign, a hopeful sign. A sign that we're reaching for the home stretch and that things are going to work out.
Incidentially though I've also started looking at childless couples as "pre-pregnant". As though I can look into their future and see the inevitable that they do not yet see.
Maybe this is the reason that so many people, especially women who have had children before, are so excited that I'm pregnant and were so eager for me to get this way.
Graduates from Birthing Class!
We had our final session of our birth prep class this week. Wendy B. gave each couple certificates indicating our successful completion of the class. Apparantly posession of such a certificate used to be the requisite passport that would open delivery room doors to fathers. Today all Haifa hospitals grant entry to two guests, for example father + friend or mother. But it used to be that the father had to prove his qualifications! Wendy keeps giving the certificates because people like to get them. It will make a nice addition to Cholent's scrapbook.
The next to last class was all about breast feeding. We saw a movie that was much more pleasant than the natural childbirth movie. It included lots of cute, happy babies hungrily opening their mouths WIDE and sucking their little heads off. The film also dealt with some of the less pleasant aspects of nursing like PAIN. But in general I walked out with a still positive if somewhat more realistic notion of what's in store.
For some reason the idea of pumping really disturbs me. I guess I will have to see. But I'd like to avoid that if I can. I REALLY hope Cholent will take to nursing. When we went through the "pros" and "cons" of nursing in the class, I mentioned the pro of "feeling like I'm finally getting use out of these things I've been carrying around all my life!". This got snickers of non-identification from several of the small-breasted women in the class. Whatever. They were more interested in how breast feeding helps you return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Goody for them!
I was pleased to hear that at least in Wendy B.'s opinion, you can eat as you like when nursing. That is, healthy food of course, but that there are not especially restrictive limitations on the menu the way there are during pregnancy. I'm sure there are a wide range of opinions on this matter. I think I'll go with Wendy's advice until clear reason otherwise. She is a lactation specialist after all!
We visited B'nai Zion hospital (aka Rotchild) where, if all goes as expected and we end up with the planned C-section with our doctor, Cholent will be born, G-d willing sometime in early December.
The midwife giving the tour was nice and competent, but otherwise the hospital wasn't great. The maternity ward is undergoing renovations, as is every other maternity ward in the city of Haifa. This meant that recovering mothers were packed into the women's ward instead of the usual maternity ward. Actually those rooms were pretty nice, if a bit crowded. I snuck into one of them and talked with a mother and her family,
"This is my 3rd birth here, I wouldn't go anywhere else, even if it's crowded now," she told me, happily eating her lunch as her baby slept beside her and older daughters and husband joked.
The birthing room was pretty dismal, in that it was old. But they clearly were trying: there were massage oils, a small boom box, a TV... and most encouraging was seeing the little clear basket for the baby. So cute!
A bit disturbing was that you could hear the sounds of labor going on all around. Many frightened looks passed between the women in the tour.
They have a "nautral childbirth" room which was more cheerful: a funky round bed with pretty purple sheets, windows, some poles to swing from, a ball to bounce on, a fung shui fountain... and inexplicably, some hiddeous little Himmel knockoffs.
Still, if we're there it's for the C-section which will be over and done with quickly in an operating room (which we couldn't see). So all that will really matter to us is the post-op care. By December, we can hope that the rennovations will be done and that we may have a nice room with a porch. Getting a porch depends on "protexia". We should have that since our Doc is head of the dept. and if that doesn't work maybe Adi's uncle the surgeon who works there can help. The rooms are not private: 3-4 women to a room. But some of that just depends on how many people are giving birth then. Theoretically, December is a slower month.
We also learned that planned C-sections happen on Mondays and Wednesdays. I saw Adi visibly calculating his class schedule in his brain.
"Can I choose?" he asked me, hopefully.
"Um, I think Dr. G. will choose, and it will depend on Cholent too.
"So I guess that's a 'No'" he said.
"Well, if there's any choice left, yes, you can choose." I told him. My only request: let's try to do it early in the day since you have to arrive FASTING. Good thing is if it's planned, I'd go in a day in advance to do various tests and prepare paperwork. So on the actual day we can pretty much get straight to it. Also good: unlike an unplanned birth, when you can expect to be attended by a doctor on a TWENTY FOUR HOUR SHIFT, chances are Dr. G. will be well-rested and fed. At least, I sure hope so!!