I had my 21 week visit to the midwife today.
Happily, everything looks normal. According to her, my belly (and uterus) is just the right size, "a neat little package," as she put it. It's actually quite lovely to have some smile approvingly at my stomach. I'm not sure I've ever experienced it before... but highly recommend it. A wonderful way to feel good about your body.
My blood pressure was just fine (108/64, I believe), and I'd gained another two pounds.
And the heartbeat sounded great. I didn't ask her what the count was, but I could tell it was fine (my months in the NICU stand me in good stead here.)
Before and after the exam, I asked tons of questions. I feel like we're both starting to get to know each other now, and I'm really liking her. A little worried when she mentioned me meeting her backup midwife, in case she's away when I go into labor... but I told her that I'm planning to deliver at 39 weeks (the power of suggestion, little Lentil!) and she laughed and said she expects to be around then. Phew!
The question that made her break down laughing uncontrollably was when I said, haltingly, "I feel this weird heaviness in my lower abdomen. At first I thought it was that I wasn't emptying my bladder... but now I don't think it's that."
When she could speak again, after she wiped her eyes, she explained that yup, that would be my growing uterus and girl within causing that feeling of heaviness.
Ahh yes, the pregnancy. Of course.
No one had explained this to me, precisely, so I didn't know that it was going to feel like I was carrying a bowling ball around in my stomach, I guess?
Anyway, we had a lovely chat. I got the all-clear to skip childbirth classes entirely. After reading Ina Mae Gaskin's book, and Michel Odent's work, I really do think that the little I would learn from them would just freak me out. Again, NICU and other hospital experience mean that I know my way around the medical aspect of things pretty well.. all I feel like I need to learn is coping skills.
And I left the visit (conveniently located just a few blocks from work... have I mentioned that she comes to my office to draw my blood, because her son is a student in the school where I work? and how awesome is that?), I was practically bouncing down the street in the bright sunshine. This was the first visit together where I actually got excited about this adventure I have to look forward to!
Tonight I took the plunge and purchased the Hypnobabies Home Study course, complete with many CD's and tracks to listen to. What's cool is that it describes itself as a "complete childbirth preparation class" so I guess I will get all that info, anyway. Except for the experience of meeting other pregnant women. Which could be awesome, or could be... awkward, if it was hard being the only single one. I have a friend who offered to go with me, but you know, I'm not really into group study that much. So I think this will work well for me.