Friday, January 25, 2013

Fear release assignment

Less than 9 weeks away! Whoa, things are snowballing along now! Huzzah!

In general news, Hannah is going fantastically well! Feeling very happy and healthy, and no issues so far, so that's fantastic new. No swollen ankles, no high blood pressure, no cravings for pickles and ice cream (or dirt!!?) at 3am. Everything is going so great, and we're on track for the most amazing birth experience. I'm really, really looking forward to the big day, and Hannah is too, so you can't ask for much more than that.

Coming along nicely!!

As part of our hypnobirthing course, we've been asked to write a list of things that we're still worried about, thinking about, any concerns or issues: emotions, finances, family, health, doubts, life changes, responsibilities, anything at all.

Once we have identified and outlined any existing concerns we might still have, we address the concerns in our sessions, so that we can either move past the fear, or diminish the effects of the concern, so that we're less bothered by it.

My first thought was that seems like an excellent exercise to undertake, irrespective of whether you're having a baby or not! Too often I think we carry stuff around in our heads instead of looking at ways to deal with it.

I've obviously yet to see how effective the session is, but I'm pretty confident. In only 2 classes of hypnobirthing, and a bit of practice, I can already relax much quicker than I've been able to in the past. So that's promising. Our course facilitator is really good, so I'm expecting some positive results. Hannah has been doing her affirmations every day, and is feeling very good about it too.

I figured I might as well share some of the things on my list, for interests sake. I'm not thinking about solution or answers to any of these at this stage. That will happen in due course. This is just a brain dump of things I'll be thinking about in our next class.

Post Natal Depression

Depression and anxiety are two things I'm very familiar with, having dealt with them myself. So it's no surprise that I have the same concern when it comes to Hannah's wellbeing after the birth hormones have disappeared, and we're staring reality in the face. Post natal depression is something to watch out for, and so it makes it onto my list. This isn't a huge concern for me, but worth popping down on my list.

Transfer disappointment

If for any reason we have to transfer off of the home birth program, I think Hannah might be quite disappointed, even though there's nothing that can be done in that situation. We're really keen on a home birth, but there's no guarantees. You can tell yourself that "so long as the baby is ok, we're happy" but the reality is you always have a preference for one thing or the other. So that makes it onto the list.

Complications

An obvious concern for many expecting parents, I would think. Complications during the pregnancy or birth that would adversely affect Hannah and/or the baby. Definitely one for the list.

SIDS

This is always in the back of my mind when we're looking at buying or organising stuff for the baby, so it's obviously something I'm thinking about. Worth bringing up.

Decisions

Come on, everyone is afraid of making the wrong decisions from time to time! This is the sort of stuff like should we or should we not vaccinate our baby, should we do this, should we do that. There's no manual for your own kid, so you have to be Grown Ups and do your research and make the best decision you can... but it's still something that you worry about. I do, anyway.

Work/Life

I really hope I can spend lots of time with Hannah and the baby, around work commitments etc. I have my priorities pretty straight, but it's worth mentioning.

Identity

Am I going to lose my identity when the baby comes along? Experience tells me no, but it's still something I ponder. Will I still be James? What happens to my id? On the list!

Footsteps

I really want to develop my own style of parenting, and not fall into the habits and behaviours that my own parents had. You've heard this one before, people claiming they'll be so different from their parents and then realising that they've turned into their Mother/Father. I'm fairly independently minded, but it's something I watch for. This is like a personal achievement type thing: How do I improve when I do it for myself?

Interference

Given that I'll be at work a lot, I do have a concern that there will be other significant people in the baby's life (besides Hannah) who will get to spend more time during the week with the baby than I will. I don't like the thought of being over ruled, badgered, upstaged or ignored by well-meaning friends and family. Big one for the list.


So that's it for now. It didn't take long to come up with those things, so I'm sure there's probably more stuff if I look long enough and hard enough.

As I said, I'm not necessarily concerned with finding answers straight away, (although I'm sure there'd be people desperate to give me advice!), but more just identifying some of the things that I've thought about or am thinking about. I'll let you all know how the "cleansing" session goes! Let me know if you want to hear any more information about hypnobirthing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Differences?

It's only started to slowly dawn on me that in about 11 weeks, after this pregnancy business, we're actually going to have a baby. An actual one, just like other people have. We've done so much work on the pregnancy - antenatal classes, research, healthy eating, telling people we're pregnant, getting advice from people we don't want advice from (i.e. anyone) - but the whole goal of the exercise is creating a tiny person who lives with you and is a part of your lives and becomes a surgeon and makes a pile of money and buys Daddy a new surfboard and a Bugatti for Christmas.

With a bit of thought into "after pregnancy", here's a few quick thoughts on how my life might be a bit different (besides the obvious - I know all you naysayers and drama queens are just gagging to tell me I've got no idea and it's all so hard and YOU DON'T GET ANY SLEEP AND YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE BUT YOU CAN'T NEMO, YOU JUST CAN'T! but just try and relax for a minute, will ya?)

- I'm going to get into movies paying "adults at children's prices" which is awesome! Of course, I'll only be allowed to watch movies like Spy Kids 14, Giggle & Hoot Go To White Castle and The Wiggles: Jeff Collects A Pension After Suffering Narcolepsy For Nearly 20 Years.

- There's going to be a lot of poo. Con: stinky. Pro: Unrestricted license for poo jokes!

- Our child will continuously ask us why, until our brains are ready to implode... but on the plus side, I will be the omnipotent being of infinite wisdom and knowledge to our child. (Well, at least until they're 3 or 4 years old)

- Lego. You better believe we're buying all the Lego in every department store in the city. Lego time! Chuck the Xbox in the bin, it's time to construct Hogwarts out of plastic Danish squares! Lego Deathstar anyone?

- Kids love to dress up. Daddy loves to dress up! Match made in heaven.

- Water. Teaching our child to surf and to respect and enjoy the ocean could be one of the most compelling reasons for me to ever have kids. Maybe our kids won't be interested, but if they become as obsessed as we  have, we'll be passing on the infinite joy of feeling a wave's power propel them through a magical medium. Wow, that got a bit blousey... just go back to the poo jokes one.

In all seriousness, I still haven't actually processed the whole thing. I'm not sure you even CAN, until it's actually happened. Having a kid is surely like nothing else, so how do you prepare? I honestly believe that I'm just going to have to do what I do best... and wing it.

Here's a cool tidbit I just discovered: A baby can cry at a volume of up to 97dB... which is approximately the same volume as a Boeing 737 coming into land.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

12 Weeks Out!

Ok, so we're roughly 12 weeks away! Hannah  has 6 weeks of work to go, then she's off for a year. I've got about 10 weeks of work, a work retreat, 2 weeks working from home, and then 6 weeks off. I guess I better get onto booking that all in!

Hannah is doing especially well. The Bump is blasting out like a missile, and has taken to dancing on Hannah's inside bits. I was feeling the baby kick the other day (which usually just feels like a tiny flutter and flick on your palm... almost indiscernible) when suddenly I feel an elbow or an ankle or a unicorn horn or something press against Hannah's belly and run along it... it felt like someone pushing their finger into my palm and tracing along my lifeline. Mind blowing. And, it's fair to say, pretty bloody freaky. There's a little mutant in there, rattling it's bones against my wife's insides! I can imagine Bump's tiny face, a freakish grin etched onto their face, while they freak Daddy out with parlour tricks. "You like that, Dad? Just wait until I jump on Mummy's ovaries again!"

Here's something they don't often mention in these parenting books. Because Han's organs are all being smooshed and compressed by a fat little Bump-bottom, her stomach is somewhere in the vicinity of her right armpit... so when her tummy rumbles, it sounds like the most epic armpit-fart you've ever heard!

Things have slowed down on the purchasing front. Awaiting an order of "all kinds of that stuff" from my sister, we don't really need anything else. Of course we bought about 80,000 nappies (I hear you need about  4000 per day for the first few weeks... basically the boob milk is instantly converted into pumpkin coloured poop and sprayed liberally all over a nappy approximately 18 seconds after changing it) but otherwise we're pretty well done.

My brother and sister in law are expecting their 2nd any day now. By the time we get around to meeting Bump at Easter time, Mum will already have 7 grandchildren, so along with Bump, Mum's got herself a polo team!

Good news (for a change) as far as paternity leave is concerned. As of 1st January, there's something called Dad & Partner Pay, which basically entitles everyone to get minimum wage for 2 weeks after the birth of your child. The important role of fathers and partners is finally being recognised by the Australian government. It's about time, too!