L has now been off work for three weeks and is starting to get very bored. The baby is due on Friday week and we're effectively now just sitting and waiting for it to happen.
Two weeks ago I went along to the ante-natal class with L (I wasn't allowed to attend the other three). We had a look around the Birthing Centre in Hemel Hospital (very nice indeed but suffers from the lack of a maternity unit in the hospital so if anything went wrong you'd be in an ambulance heading for Watford) as well as a couple of talks on labour and pain relief.
The midwife also gave us a handout titled "Tips For Fathers To Be!" Most of the contents are very sensible, geared to making the labour as easy as possible, but some of them are ridiculous.
For example, during second stage, it advises you to 'Tell her to imagine "opening and giving", avoid using the word "push".' Opening and giving? What? That's a load of bollocks. I think I'd get my head ripped off If I said something like that. I have taken on board the tip about not using 'push'. I took out the thesaurus and dug out some alternatives: 'thrust' and 'shove' aren't too bad but my personal favourite is 'propel'. It conjures an image of a line of midwives in various positions on the other side of the room ready to catch the baby as it comes flying out of the womb. I shall definitely be trying to use it when the time comes.
Then there's the bit that tells you to 'Hold a mirror for her so she can see the baby's head crowning'. I can't imagine anything worse to do and neither can L, thankfully.
Last week we had a tour of the maternity unit in Watford and saw the delivery suite, post- and ante-natal wards and the birthing centre and we are booked into to go there when the baby decides to put in an appearance. All being well, we'll be in the birthing centre rather than the delivery suite because it's a much more relaxed atmosphere, where you can have your own music playing, go in the birthing pool, or lie around on bean bags. The whole idea of it is that it helps you to stay calm and relaxed, which makes labour much easier to handle. I'll let you know if it works.