January 28th, 2004
I had my regular aquanatal class (I love that word, aquanatal - it sounds like a brand name, like Teasmaid) yesterday, and there were over a dozen people there. Before the class, I spoke to one of the other women, while we were sitting at the edge waiting. She's one who swims without getting her hair or makeup wet.
She:I have seven weeks left, and I wish I knew when it was going to happen! Not knowing is driving me insane!
I:(laughing) Well, there's always elective C-section!
She: Yes, but when I said that to them, everyone acted as though I'd said something bad.
I don't think I've ever met someone who didn't want to avoid C-section at all costs before; the most pro-C-section I've encountered are people who are willing to concede that it might be medically necessary.
A while after the class had started, 12 women bobbing up and down astride u-shaped polystyrene floats of various colours, I noticed that we had a few less refined accents among us, and people were - godhelpus - conversing. Yes, you heard me, conversing. A gaggle of terribly well-arranged blonde-streaked hair women, with makeup, were talking about what a waste of time this class was and how unpleasant the pool was. A few more realistic looking women were remarking on how heavy / fat / tired / unfit they felt, and people commented on babies moving, legs aching, and the temperature of the pool. It was most un-British. I bet they wouldn't dare to do it on the Tube.
Then we had a couple of late arrivals - our first fat person (no surprise; thin people are far more likely to attend a semiclad exercise event, I imagine), and our first black person. This was good - the idea of a classfull of pregnant women in Reading, of all places, and everyone being white, was a bit weird. I was blaming it on antenatal exercise being such a middle-class thing, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't some middle-class black people too. I get nervous in homogenous groups when I know that outside in the street the mix is quite diverse. As far asI could tell, neither new arrival spoke to anyone. This didn't worry me unduly, as no-one spoke to me the first week I was there either; I made a point of saying goodbye to them both, though, since complete ostracism isn't encouraging.
My mother said "I hope you talked to her [the black woman]; you're both foreign, at least." I pointed out that I am, in fact, foreign, but the black woman is probably British for two or three generations if not longer. Of course, I'll talk to her anyway, even if she is British, because she is the only one without a Mothercare maternity swimsuit, which means she has found - da dadada DAAA - a source of clothing for bumpy people.
Yesterday evening, we went over to Janice's again to eat and sort of help packing. The baby woke up and went absolutely berserk at about nine-ish; it didn't settle down again until quite late. It really wants me to stop breathing.
And today, I called the doula people again; they are having trouble finding one in my area who is free to come in April. They are going to try Oxford-based people next, and if that doesn't work, they are running another course in February and may be able to get someone fresh off that course for me. The last option, I think, is that my midwife (all hail the mighty midwife, for she is kind and reassuring above and beyond what the medical profession generally has led me to expect!) knows someone who might do. I really would prefer to have a doula, because she won't panic the way me and Rob probably will.
I am also importing my mother for around the time of the due date, but I can't depend on her being here when the baby decides it's due, really. Plus I'd rather not have her observe the actual birth, for some reason which I could probably analyse if I thought it mattered a damn.
I have placed a bid for something on Ebay, since it's something we need anyway - a Moses basket. I have just enough money saved up to cover it, in the Baby Furnishings Fund, and yesterday the covers from my baby sister's Moses basket showed up; she had them at 12 days old, and they have been used by both my niblings since, and by a half-Swedish baby called Elva.
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