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It’s just not natural!

November 18, 2011

Last night was my first visit to baby class. The NHS one (apparently it used to be 6 two-hour classes but has been cut down to 3 two-hour classes now) and due to circumstance, we started at class number 2.

I fully expected it to be full of 17 year olds (as The Rosie seems to be so often) but no it was all ‘older’ people (mid 30s upwards) and gratifyingly they all looked as petrified as I felt!

We went in and were met by lovely midwife called Ruth who made us wear little sticky badges and introduced us to the other anxious looking folk sitting in the neon lit room shifting nervously from side to side. The women all large like me and the blokes sweaty and uncertain like Roy, it really was quite funny.

She started by checking how squeamish we all were saying she had ‘stuff’ hidden under a plastic baby incase anyone couldn’t cope with seeing ‘things’ … we all agreed better to see in cold light of neon than for the first time at the point of no return and so having been through all the pain relief on offer at birth (TENS machine, Gas and Air, Epidural, Pethadin etc) she handed round the biggest needle I’ve ever seen (epidural) and various other drips, catheters and gadgets … oh and let one of the blokes (the most nervous looking one) have a try with the gas and air. I was only really interested in the epidural … I don’t think the needle I’ll have for the cesarean is quite as large as that one (hope) but I did feel slightly ‘pale’ at the prospect .. She then talked about cesareans and emergency cesareans and on hearing that the feeling is much like ‘having the washing up done in your tummy’ even Roy turned pale.

It was very helpful and good at least to know all the options and to see ventouse cup things (that looked so ancient) and various other suction devices. The forceps were slightly alarming … like a gigantic pair of salad servers combined with the Spanish Inquisition.

All the jolly talk of birth in paddling pools or whilst lolling around on the futon in the birthing unit seemed to be forgotten in the face of the terrifying array of implements and we all went very quiet! I don’t really know if I feel relieved to be having a Cesarean, or gutted not to have the chance of a vaginal delivery (and seeing how much fun the gas and air is!?) but all in all I guess it’s got to come out somehow and the safest way is best. I must trust the doctors and not go all earth mother. It’s been a big enough battle to just get to this stage let alone risk looking The Spaniard at the last.

Anyway – so we came home a bit speechless, and Roy’s been the ideal husband ever since!!!

Next week we talk about which way up to hold them, how to wash them and so on which hopefully won’t be so daunting. I did leave with the definite feeling that childbirth is just NOT natural!

Today I calmed myself down (briefly) by thinking about prams and pushchairs only to be forced into an even bigger sense of overwhelmed confusion by the vast array of confusing items (all MUST HAVE apparently) … no where is there a glossary saying

travel system = xxxx


pramette = yyyyy

with a picture so you have a clue. TOP TIP if you have one of the sites that sells or promotes them … explanation, features, benefits, drawbacks, pictures

so I turned to twitter to see if anyone could help – several people responded with ideas of what not to get as too plasticy (thank you @clairedobinson a very new mum) and then the good folk at sent me all sorts of information links which have been extremely helpful. It all seems astronomically expensive so I need to identify what I want and then go and trawl through the second-hand shops and sites to see if I can find something that will fit in my boot, have the baby facing me and fold down easily .. I suspect I’m looking for the holy Grail!!

I’m still slightly distracted by the memory of those forceps and the very large needle – and the thought of a catheter and major surgery … it all seems slightly barbaric from where I’m sitting! Best I get a hypnosis tape or something so I can feel a bit more zen about the whole thing. The Spaniard was decidedly unsettled as well and has had hiccups ever since – it must have been the doll being pulled along by the sucky cup thing.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsey permalink
    November 18, 2011 7:11 pm

    Prams etc – do you have any Army barracks near you at all? If not near, find someone like me who has Catterick not far away. Army folk move on all the time, and most barracks seem to have thrift shops with almost brand new stuff available for pennies. As I recall, I paid £10 each for the car seats that were also carryable (summat like this when the sprogs were still pretty little. In the shops they were abt 10 times that.

    As to what pram to buy, I had the car seats and a Moses basket that I lugged around with the two of them in until they were old enough to sit in a double buggy. It wasn’t designed to be offroad but it took it seeing as we lived on the other side of a dry river bed (barranco) and then in the Dales. I’d get the best buggy you can for when he/she is sitting up and carry him/her around until that day wrapped in a length of material as the Africans etc do. Firstly, it saves you forgetting them anywhere (!), it’s far easier to get on the bus or into a car, it leaves your hands free, it’s cheaper, you can mix and match materials, and it keeps you fit!

  2. Janet Harkin permalink
    November 19, 2011 8:51 am

    I have 3 pushchairs so perhaps not best placed to advise on purchase however I would advise you to check the weight of the contraption before buying and get the lightest that you can. Lugging car seats around is hard work, even weeks after a section.

    Also, have you asked Mumsnet? There are loads of discussions there. Haven’t been on in a while but remember it being quite good (and funny).

    For the record my 3 purchases were:

    1. Mamas & Papa’s pushchair, carry cot and car seat system. Fantastic, very sturdy, has taken a lot of battering. Reassuringly big for the newborn. Carry cot fits onto frame and also straps into back seat of car, great for long journeys with a newborn but didn’t use after about 6 months. Only bought 2 (mistake) and 3 for travel on planes

    2. Microlite. Lovely looking 3 wheeler hybrid. Light but not light enough for planes and substantial but not enough for forest walks. Still use it when want to impress folk around town.

    3. McClaren stroller. Best purchase, comes with carry bag so you can sling it across your shoulder. Simple but not flimsy. Dead easy to use. Not for newborn but used it from 9 months on.

    Def get nearly new if you can, they’re so expensive. Good luck!

    • November 30, 2011 11:28 pm

      oh i’ve been looking at the mamas and papas one on gumtree … and it fits into my boot … wish you were over here Janet, you ‘re always such a good source of information and common sense THANK YOU x


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