Thursday, 30 January 2014

Stand and Deliver

Week 37: My girth has amassed to 130cm.  That’s just over 50 inches or 4 foot in olden speak.

That’s an acceptable height for a small pony, the recognised shoulder height for a fully grown adult polar bear, and the length of a teenage Golden Tree snake.

It’s also just a little ridiculous… my bikini modelling days are officially over.

As we count down the last few weeks to D-Day (cue Europe/Final Countdown), Mr Shoe and I are finalising preparations and have left the three trickiest tasks till last.  Namely; baby names, birth plan and figuring out the damn baby capsule car seat manacle beast with 100 straps and buttons and badly-translated-into-English instructions.

As my waistline has expanded, my patience and brainpower has diminished with an equal and opposite force (thanks Newton, you were definitely on to something there), so I’m just dealing with one thing at a time.

So today is ‘Birth Plan’ day.   Even the title of this task is slightly oxymoronic, as every single article or book I have read on the subject starts by saying that your Birth Plan will likely go flying out the window so don’t get too upset if things don’t happen as you expect.

Now for someone who lives and breathes plans, this is a hard pill to swallow.  I had a checklist for the runsheet for the event plan for our wedding.  I plan time to create plans.  I have Gantt charts to monitor our family activities and I am genetically programmed to refute ‘winging it’… or (heaven forbid!) ‘going with the flow’.

Hence my dilemma.  I have been asked by a wise woman whom I am trusting to bring my baby into the world to create a ‘plan’ for a situation that isn’t likely to eventuate.  And, I quote, “not to get to focused on the details”.  This is like telling Lydia Ko not to worry about aiming for the little flag at the end of the green bit, or suggesting to Greg Murphy that he lets the other cars pass him as they’ll all end up back at the Pit Lane together eventually. 

To help with the task at hand, we have been provided with a series of leading questions that we are supposed to discuss and note our preferences. 

My preference is to unexpectedly sneeze, look down, and have a clean, perfect, dressed and sleeping baby resting between my knees.  Likelihood = zero.

So on to some of the questions... 

What would you like to do in labour?

Answer – not be in bloody labour.  Sitting by a pool somewhere drinking cocktails is apparently not an acceptable response.  Nor was Mr Shoe’s answer of ‘sit at home watching the cricket and have a beer’.   Apparently we should include things like ‘relax by listening to music’ but we could never agree on what to play and seriously, what child wants to be born to a soundtrack of 80s pop mixed with Green Day and Metallica. 

We’ll try another question.

Who will catch the baby?

This one we both agreed upon quite easily.  Dan Carter.  Israel Dagg might have better hands under the high ball, but if any All Black is going to be up close and personal with my girl-bits, then it’s obviously got to be Dan.  And bonus – he’s in Taupō at the moment so I’m sure we can arrange that.

Nailed it, so let’s try another.

Do you want to be mobile for as long as possible?

At this juncture, I had to seek clarification.  Sadly, mobile does not refer to access to my smartphone or tablet so I can keep up with my emails.  Such things are frowned upon in the starched and bleached environs of the maternity ward.  Mobile means active – walking around, bouncing on a swiss ball, etc.  It sounds like they’re sneakily trying to introduce an exercise regime into an otherwise already challenging period of my life, but we’ll go with it for now.

Last one before I need to rest and unashamedly eat cake for my 2nd breakfast (hey, if it’s good enough for Hobbits, it’s good enough for me)…

Do you want to birth in the water?

So I don’t swim.  I splash around the fringes and have been known to snorkel once or twice when on a tropical island fuelled by fruity cocktails.  But I’m open to try anything and have done some homework.  Apparently the warm water is very relaxing and the weightlessness of labouring in water can be smoothing for some.  Others hate it.  So that doesn’t actually help much.  Mr Shoe was equally perplexed by this one.  His biggest concern (and rightly so) was what happens to the baby after it is ejected into a tub of stale water and unmentionable bodily fluids.  But our minds have been put at ease by our wise and seasoned midwife… “it’s just like fishing but with a handline”, she says.  “I’ll just grab hold of the cord and we’ll reel it in!”

On that note, I'm off to find some cake and ponder whether we want to keep the Placenta (mind immediately wanders to Tom Cruise and Scientology) and what we want to do in 'unexpected situations'... do they not realise that type of question will induce early labour!?!?

PS - If you possess a robust constitution, you can read about Tom's placenta-eating habits here.

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