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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't have a lot of time here - Lisa's taken to the sofa this afternoon, looking peeky with a bad back. She says she's ok, but just between you and me, I think she's 10cm dilated and putting a brave face on it. I'm typing this with my car keys in one hand.

But the good news is we're now fully prepared, having just completed a raft of baby education seminars. Last night we attended our final HypnoBirthing class in Lewes, so I'm now a dab hand at breathing through contractions. Having pictured myself as a human thermometer and drifted off into relaxation as the temperature dropped, we were led through a positive visualisation which involved chasing an elusive baby deer through an enchanted forest, before emerging into the light, cuddling the deer, and walking off into the sunset. I think there's some kind of metaphor there, but I've no idea what it is. I do have a strange urge to buy Bambi on DVD though.

HypnoBirthing done, I had the morning off work today so that we could attend our one and only free NHS ante-natal class at the Tarner Children's Centre. It was three hours long and we learnt a lot of interesting facts. The main one being that the midwife's 75-year-old godfather is currently cycling from Land's End to John O' Groats in his plimsolls. I'm still not quite sure why she told us that.

Anyhoo, back in the olden days, every expectant mother got a tour of the labour ward and a chat with a midwife. Now you get a fifteen-minute DVD and a photo of the birthing pool. That's what I call progress. It was quite an entertaining film though. Especially when they chose the only male midwife in Brighton to demonstrate the birthing positions.

Having sat through a talk on labour which felt longer than the real thing, we then had an hour of breastfeeding instruction, and a detailed lesson on poo colour. It was all very informative, and we were given our own lifelike doll to practice with. Unfortunately, having held it to her breast for ten minutes, Lisa complained she had a bad back and handed it straight to me. I think it's a taste of things to come.