Recap for Blog 48 – Decisions decisions : During show time at the gynae’s rooms, Baby pulls faces, sucks thumb, moves the umbilical cord, kicks, turns and then turns again with the little legs wide open as if to say – you see, 100% top-notch grade-A male.
Vee wipes my tears and her tears and Miriam and Dr Marais just smile. They have seen this scene played out many, many times before, but agree that every time feels as though it is the first time.
They patiently respond to all my questions, showing and explaining until I understand all the answers. One of these questions is why my nipples have been getting darker in colour, and they explain that it is just another one of nature’s tricks to make life easier for a new born baby to find Mom’s nipple. Babies’ eyes are poorly developed and can only see contrast and movement with relative ease; the smell of my body and the darkening of the nipple thus work like a homing device to lure the baby closer to the safety and oneness of Mom.
“I’m also noticing funny marks on my face. Is there something wrong?” I am making the most of my opportunity, with both professionals in one room.
“No, there’s nothing wrong,” says Miriam. “That’s normal. The discolouring is due to pigmentation. Use a good sunscreen and moisturise your whole body often. The marks tend to fade with time. But, on that note, have you been to see your dentist?”
“No, not recently. Why?”
“It’s generally a good idea to see your dentist at least once during pregnancy,” Miriam continues. “The gums tend to swell a bit and can get inflamed when food is trapped between teeth and gums, and they may need a good clean. You may also want to take a calcium supplement to make sure your own calcium supply isn’t depleted by Baby’s rapid bone growth at the moment.”
“And have you decided where you would like to birth your baby?” Dr Marais intervenes.
I look at Vee. Whew! We are moving so fast on all these decisions.
“No, I haven’t. Should I have?”
“There’s no rush, no,” says Dr Marais. “But it is something you’ll have to think about pretty soon. Here’s a list of your options, as well as some points on the pros and cons. Discuss these with your husband over the weekend perhaps, and then let us know. It’ll help to get some of the logistics out of the way as soon as you can, ’cos you’re going to have enough on your plate in the latter stages of your pregnancy and it’s always good to get these things out of the way early.”
Decisions, decisions. But it is also a relief to know we are getting somewhere. Not only does Dr Marais seem to condone my inherent need for lists, but she has added to the points I’ve been listing on what seemed like a daily basis. ‘Choose a place of birth’ is yet to be ticked.
Vee and I walk arm-in-arm out of the rooms. This is good – this is really good.