The exciting thing about these weeks is that you notice in everything that the end is in sight. Hello belly, boobs and stretch marks, you can't miss your existing growth. Physically you become rounder and you see the scale ticking up a little more, slightly confrontational but completely fine for me. In addition, you see your agenda increasingly filled with all baby-related appointments. (Fun) ultrasounds, obstetric visits, maternity care intake, the 22-week injection that still had to be made up; there is at least one appointment for the baby every week. And this week it started with something very special: the pregnancy course that I was going to take with my husband.
We participated in the group course 'Positive and relaxed birth'. A course by an obstetrician and a gynaecologist who have followed a course in hypnobirthing, the perfect mix for us between looking at the birth in a relaxed but also realistic and medical way. Just before the course started, I decided to read the mail and we found out that there was an e-book waiting for us that we could read in advance. Typical case, nice and unprepared to class. I quickly read through some of the e-book and told my husband between nose and lips what the highlights of the first chapters were.
When we arrived in class, we first got a lot of theoretical knowledge. Questions such as 'what exactly does it look like on the inside', 'what makes you have to go to the toilet so often' and 'which hormones do you want to produce during your birth' were discussed. A real eye-opener for us as to why those muted lights, salt lamps and calm music have been proven to help with a more pleasant birth.
After all the theoretical knowledge, we continued with a relaxation exercise. Lying together on a big bag, we lay with closed eyes thinking of beautiful beaches and the security of our baby in my womb. Once we opened our eyes again, my husband told me he had stayed on the beach and never reached the baby-in-womb stage. Because my pelvis hurt so much during the session, I could already test the principle slightly. And yes: I really noticed that the pain symptoms disappeared to the back and the relaxation was very good for that. Not really to be performed during childbirth, but a real tip for now during the last stretch.
The next - and final - assignment was to complete a canvas with positive affirmations. Beforehand we had started working at home with our fears and worries that we had to give a grade. Very interesting to go through with each other as a couple and to see which similar fears you had and how you viewed these fears. The differences were also clear; where I had fears for the hospital, my husband had this one just before I gave birth at home. Together we turned these into positive affirmations, which are now hanging in our kitchen. Whether it will work; no idea. I'll let you know at the end of the pregnancy… And lucky me; it's slow in sight ;-)