I know, I know, I know…. sorry.
Firstly, this article about the chances of Kate Middleton having a natural birth made me feel very sad for her.
Secondly, many people have been saying how sorry they feel for her in this heat. Well- lets be honest, I doubt she’s going anywhere that isn’t air conditioned. And it’s not like she’s at work (like me). Or going to appointments in 28 degrees in cars with no air-con, or trains with no air-con.
I have a lot of sympathy for the poor girl who is under such scrutiny in her new life as a Royal. However, as she’s not working 40 hour weeks in non-air conditioned offices up to 37 weeks pregnant like most ladies I know, in the hottest summer for a few years…. I’m not sure we need to be caring too much about that!
(brought to you from a 30 degree office on the third floor with just a desk fan to keep me sane…..)
We had our NHS Antenatal class at the weekend which was really good. There were definitely some gaps- the course was relatively organic in as much as it was shaped by the objectives of the attendees. So we didn’t actually speak much about certain things including pain relief.
What I did enjoy was talking through the “perfect” labour, and then looking at the flipside- quite literally. We were given lots of laminated cards with different options on each side- i.e “casearian” and “no casearian”/ “hospital birth” and “home birth”. We had to choose our ideals from each option and lay the cards out.
We were then made to turn over the cards to look at the reality of what might happen, and talked through it to make it all sound and feel less scary. For me this was an interesting exercise as I feel like I am well prepared for things not going to my “plan”. I appreciate that getting the baby out safely is the primary concern, and although the route we take might not be my “ideal” route, it’s ok.
What I hadn’t considered was “birth partner not present”. Even seeing those words feels quite chilling even now. I hadn’t for one tiny moment considered that Mr Bumpy would not be present at the birth for any reason.
In reality it is pretty unlikely. Our hospital is not far from home or work, and there’s only two days I plan to be much further away from home without my husband, and he will be a 1hour train journey or 90 minute drive away. So unless baby comes in a serious hurry, there’s little chance he won’t be there.
Either way, I’m really glad that the possibility was brought to my attention now.
Frimley Park (where I hope to have my baby) is also a teaching hospital, so there’s lots of opportunity to have someone with you- often a student- on top of your midwife care. Having said that, it’s also a consultant-led ward (which I didn’t really know anything about) and so there’s more chance of intervention by a consultant rather than the more passive midwife care you’d get at a midwife led unit.
This means that one definitely stays at home until the “right time” to come into hospital.
I was also pretty astounded that the average rate for casearian sections is 25% of all births (and Frimley Park is pretty average). Looking around the 5 women at the class on Saturday that meant that statistically it could be any one of us (or more).
I really appreciated the breast feeding part of the session. I know some people find the NHS stance too anti-bottle feeding, but it fits in relatively well with my own personal feelings. I found the session to be very balanced- in as much as we were told that we would find out WHY breast feeding is so important, and then if we decided for any reason that we did not want to that was fine and we were to be vocal and firm about it.
I also learnt a lot, especially about a 1-14 days old baby’s tummy size and how amazing colostrum is and how little of it they actually need per feed. In addition we talked a lot about positioning and how to get baby to latch on well. It was quite reassuring and made me feel more confident about breastfeeding.
No pictures to entertain you with, but here’s a mental picture….. they demonstrated for us with a knitted breast and an elmo puppet! 🙂