I've been doing a lot of things baby-related.
First, I talked to the church about Baptismal arrangements. Usually, there's a class involved, and I wanted to make sure we had it covered. Last time, they expected Paul and me to go to the class without any children, including the new babe. We took the kids anyway (as did most other people), and they were fine. This time, it's a new church, and they came to the rational conclusion that with four older children we don't need to go through Baptismal prep yet again.
Second, I'm doing a tour of the hospital maternity ward, although it's not called that anymore. It's "The BirthPlace." Paul is opting out of that one: "Why do I need to get a hospital tour?" He's considering opting out of the birth, as he feels worried and powerless when I'm in labor. He doesn't like to see me in obvious pain, and I haven't been able to convey that it's really not a problem. I don't hide my pain -- I'm loud -- because it helps me cope and it helps my labor progress -- but it doesn't help him. Last time, we had a scary delivery complication as well. (A complication that I am not worried about repeating, as obesity is a huge risk factor for it, and I'm no longer obese. But it understandably freaked him out a bit.)
I worry more about him while I'm in labor -- and I labor better when I'm alone and not worried about other people. So, it wouldn't bother me at all if he weren't there. At the same time, I wonder about the quality of my care in a hospital if the staff thinks I either don't have a husband or my husband doesn't care enough to be there. It's irritating not to live in a vacuum sometimes, where we'd only have to worry about each other, not how others react to our personal weirdness. I think we'll play it by ear, though, as it's hard to tell how we'll each feel at the time.
Third, I scheduled a "structural ultrasound" with the celebrity perinatologist, at the request of my doctor. It's age-related as well as related to the fact that I refused genetic testing or counseling. I've done my own research on the odds of genetic issues at my age. The only reason I agreed to the ultrasound is that they can sometimes discover things that are helpful to know in the delivery room -- like heart defects or bowel obstructions or spina bifida. They cannot identify Down Syndrome with 100 percent certainty from an ultrasound. They can pick up other genetic flaws, if they are incompatible with surviving life outside the womb. In those cases, it would be good to know ahead of time.
The ultrasound is a week from Tuesday.
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