Saturday, we went to our "fast track" Childbirth Education class at the hospital. It was a whirlwind of information about the stages of childbirth, some of the medicines used, how to swaddle a baby, a few relaxation techniques, and a brief overview of what to expect if you have a c-section. We almost had a one-to-one student/teacher ratio, but the one other couple who signed up decided to come after all. I'm really hoping the third visit to hospital is just as personal.
Not sure what other peoples' experiences were like, but I've been pretty fortunate not to have a lot of random folks manhandling my belly. It helps that P threatens to tackle anyone who tries it in his presence. But, my naturally forbidding mien seems to do the trick when I'm on my own. Yesterday though, I dealt with something entirely different. I went to a tour of a new facility with my MiL and we were grouped with some folks we knew and a few we didn't.
One of the strangers was a woman of a certain age wearing a skirt suit and sporting helmet hair that defied the windy day and could have passed muster in any Texas county. However, she made me very uncomfortable by pointedly and repeatedly staring at my stomach. Almost like she was trying to make sure I noticed. I was really tempted to say something like, "it's a tumor and I only have 6 months to live." But, it really wasn't the time or place. Given her age, I'm sure she'd seen pregnant women before. At the time, I thought maybe she was just offended by my form-fitting t-shirt which didn't attempt to hide my bump. However, as I was putting on my rings this morning, it occurred to me that I'd left them off for the last several days because of that bout of edema. So now, I wonder if she was pointedly trying to make me feel uncomfortable because she thought I was an unwed mother. I didn't really think anyone was quite that close-minded these days, but apparently I give some people too much credit. I'm sure I'll never know, but it sure bugs me. As a little friend of mine would say, "rude, rude, RUDE!"
When we went to our pediatrician visit, one of the questions we asked was if he had any recommended reading. In turn, he asked how we preferred to learn. I replied that I like a general overview and then where to find more detailed info should I need it. What to Expect, for example, makes my head swim with all the information that I'm pretty sure I won't need. At the same time, I feel like it just grazes the surface of a lot of topics. At any rate, the two titles he suggested were:
• Caring for your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 - for the macro explanations
• The What to Expect Series - for more detailed information
And, when we were at the Childbirth class, it was recommended that I look into a breastfeeding book, so I chose, despite the off-putting title,
• The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - since it was put out by La Leche League and just released, so I figured it would be the most up to date.
Since I was on a roll, I purchased a couple others that we were going to get eventually anyway:
• The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer - Because I know we won't be that lucky couple that gets a child that sleeps through the night from the beginning
• Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year - Highly recommended by our friends with a 7 month old daughter
While I was searching for the first doctor recommended book, I ran across
• Taking Care of Your Child: A Parent's Illustrated Guide to Complete Medical Care - which looked a lot like one that my mom referred to constantly when we were little
So, I may have gone a little overboard, but I think we have a pretty good library built up. Now, we just have to read through them.