Saturday, October 22, 2005

Change in baby movements

Today was our second session of prenatal class, and also our last. We talked more about pain relief measures, lactation and medical interventions during labour. We practiced some nursing holds with stuffed animals and we got to play with several different types of breast pumps (play, not try out). I hope that this means we will be better informed when the time comes and that we can make the best decisions possible. It is clear that while having a general plan in mind is advisable, it is also worth being flexible because until labour happens, we won't know what it will be like.
Greg and I had a discussion about the duration of labour. Greg said he thought that humans had the longest labour, while I suggested that elephant labour was probably pretty long. According to our prenatal course, the average duration of labour for a first time mom is 14 hours. Apparently, for our instructor, it was 45 minutes (lucky girl). For mommy elephant, it is apparently 11 hours on average, but can be from 5 minutes to 60 hours. Elephant gestation is 22 months (suckers). Of course, proving Greg right really makes me want to find a mammal that out-labours humans. My next guess was that large whale labour might be long. Unfortunately, little is known about the whale birthing process in the wild, only in captivity, which may not be a good representation of real whale life. What about giraffes? Normal labour is apparently only around 8 hours. Mind you, the baby weighs 130lbs. Anyhow, if anyone can find an example of a mammal who labours longer (on average) than a human, please leave a comment to let me know! Maybe big cats due to litter sizes???
Onwards to the title of this entry... change in baby movements. It is approaching the time when Rebecca's movements will be more hampered. I will be very sorry to see this happen, but it is quite inevitable. Already, her movements have changed. While she used to be far more kicky, she is now more interested in pressing on the edges of her shrinking universe (o.k., it isn't shrinking, she's growing - but I suppose from her perspective, it might seem like it was shrinking). She still kicks, but it is far more common that she "stretches" or "squirms". I have also discovered that when I feel pain in my squooshed organ area (usually upper right around the rib cage) it is because she is actually demonstrably there doing her thing. It is now possible for both Greg and I to feel where Rebecca's body is in the belly. Places where she puts her head, hands and feet are extra hard. To explain - the belly is always hard (in general), but certain places are now super firm. So, when I feel her stretching or kicking in a certain location, I can now always feel those hard spots in the same place. When Greg and I had dinner today, I was massaging a sore spot just beneath my ribs, with a very gentle touch, and when I ran my hand over the spot, I could feel corresponding pressure at the bottom of the space. This has never happened before and was a little strange.
Today I acquired some maternity socks. This was an absolute necesssity since all my normal socks have enough elastic in them to create major leg dents that take hours to undent. I guess this means I still have some edema, although both Greg and I have noticed that with the cold weather finally in evidence, this has greatly improved. I would have just worn my mat nylons all the time, but I can't wash them fast enough to use them daily. Besides, the mat socks are nice and thin. I am finding that even though it may be cold, my feet are too warm to wear even the tiny thin socks that I normally wear this time of year.

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