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What are the (Gender) Odds?

November 20, 2008 5 comments
Boy or Girl?

Boy or Girl?

So James and I have successfully completed our natural childbirth class, and I am happy to report that I still plan on attempting the feat of childbirth sans medication.

Interestingly enough, one of the most memorable things about the class occurred when we were all re-introducing ourselves at the beginning of the second session.  This time our instructor, Sandy asked everyone to also reveal the sex of their babies-to-be.

First of all, James and I might just be the last couple on Earth who wants the sex of their baby to remain a surprise.  Okay, okay – I exaggerate, but it honestly seems like surprise-seekers like us are few and far between when it comes to the baby gender game these days.  Of the six other couples taking the class, we are the only ones who aren’t aware of our baby’s flavor.

Sandy actually ended up commending James and me at the end of class for wanting to keep Baby Lump’s sex unknown.  She verbalized my exact thought process: There are very few true surprises in life, so you might as well take advantage of them when they come along.

The thing is, the lack of gender surprise among the couples isn’t even the most shocking part.  The most shocking part is that of all six couples, not one of them is expecting a boy.  That’s right – all six couples are having girls.  What are the chances?  (Math geeks, break out your calculators).  Now, I’m pretty sure this doesn’t say squat about the odds of me having one gender over the other, but I am extremely interested to see whether Baby Lump conforms to the trend set in my childbirth class.  Interesting, huh?  Does this make anyone second-guess their birth stat projections?

Baby Lump’s Week 32 Development:

Measurement/Weight: Baby Lump weighs about 5 lbs. and measures between 17 and 18 inches in length.

Other Highlights: At about this time, Baby Lump is running out of space and settling into the tucked, head-down fetal position.  He/she is also experiencing alternating periods of deep sleeping and being actively awake, much like a newborn does.

Oven Timer: 32 weeks, 3 days

What I Learned At Childbirth Class: That Exercise Ball Is Actually A “Birthing Ball”

November 13, 2008 6 comments
Birthing Ball

Birthing Ball

James and I attended our first of two natural childbirth classes last Sunday at Isis Maternity.  Before we went, I was thinking the class would either sell me on or deter me from my decision to birth Baby Lump naturally.  The verdict?  It’s still a “go.”

If you’re thinking there is still a possibility the second class will make me rethink my decision, it’s very unlikely.  The first class was devoted to the particularly scary stuff – we watched a pretty rough video, which was basically a compilation of unedited footage of women in labor.  Next class we’re focusing on more pleasant things like breastfeeding.

Birthing Ball - Alternate Use

Birthing Ball - Alternate Use

So far the class has done a good job of preparing us preggo students for the three stages of labor, suggesting various relaxation techniques and positions for coping with the pain.  During the early phase of labor, many techniques involve using what the obstetrics community calls a “birthing ball,” which every non-pregnant woman in the world knows as an exercise ball.  So for all you fitness enthusiasts out there who are planning to have a baby at some point in your life, that exercise ball you’ve been using for your crunches is going to come doubly in handy some day.  Messing around with that “birthing ball” was my favorite part of class – I’ve already ordered my own, and it’s on its way.

Oh yeah, and our instructor is also quite a hoot.  Her name is Sandy, and she had absolutely no reservations about getting down on the floor and demonstrating different birthing positions.  She is currently a nursing student who is planning to become a midwife.  We think she’s great.

Baby Lump’s stats for week 31:

Measurement/Weight: Baby Lump should now weigh about 4 to 5 pounds and measures approximately 16  1/2 inches.  He/she will continue to gain about a half pound per week until shortly before birth – Yowzers!

Other Highlights: Baby Lump is beginning to develop immunity to mild infections, his/her appearance is similar to what it will be at birth (sans some weight) and he/she may start to be getting into position for birth (head turned down toward the pelvis).

We’re down to a single digit countdown now – only 8  1/2 weeks (or fewer) to go!

Oven Timer: 31 weeks, 3 days

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