Short Version: we went to our prenatal refresher class at the hospital.

So. Anyway. Let's refresh the page on that old sleep debate.

We went to our prenatal refresher class this week. Last time we didn't take the hospital class, instead choosing a privately-run series geared towards expats living in Singapore. We chose this course for two reasons: the content was created specifically to bridge a few gaps for people used to other hospital systems and western cultural practices, and also we could actually get to the classes without having to rearrange our entire lives or spend a fortune on taxis.

This time we took a hospital class. We mainly wanted to tour the hospital, and hear what they had to say under the heading "coping strategies for dealing with siblings". I was a little disappointed in their coverage of the latter, but there were a few good suggestions as well as some references for further reading, and in any case I am less worried about that subject nowadays. The hospital tour was very worthwhile. I was comforted to note that their foetal monitors are much harder to tip onto the floor in an amazing cacophony which causes staff everywhere to leap around in fright than the one we used last time. Also, they served great biscuits.

I was amused by their talk on pain relief. Granted, the last class was a full series with much more time to discuss details at length, but last time we learnt about a range of techniques for managing pain, from breathing and massage, to TENS machines, to prescription drugs. This time, just the prescription drugs. "You have three options: gas, pethidine, epidural." Uhuh. Because I remember doing a lot of things last time, and none of them involved pethidine or epidurals, and I only used the gas mask to beat against the side of the bed and throw across the room* - which wasn't a mode of use they even suggested. Perhaps a quick-list of other options wouldn't have been overloading things. In any case, that doesn't worry me at all, because I can always bone up on my breathing techniques elsewhere, and I am not sure I'll bother hiring a TENS machine again anyway.

What stuck out for me - apart from the quality of the biscuits** - was the bit where everyone introduced themselves and told us a bit about their family. There were eight or ten couples, and all of us had a single toddler at home, in the two-to-three-year age bracket. After all that, after everything that's happened... how did we get to look so normal? Sometimes it's as if someone took our infertile lives and hit "refresh".

*I tried it over my face and couldn't stand the sensation. It was interesting to learn that they have dispensed with the mask at this hospital because apparently I am not alone. You can now get your gas on a T-piece, which means I might actually be tempted to breathe some in this time, who knows.

**Tim Tams. Mmmmmmm. I played the pregnant card heavily on those ones.


Rachel Inbar said...

I loved the gas, wasn't sure I wanted to give it up after the baby was born either ;-) I also did the epidural thing a few times. In the labors where I went without, I did feel the recovery was faster, but probably just because I was able to get up and walk around very shortly after the birth.

I'm glad you feel someone's hit 'refresh' and you seem so normal. You still take that infertile-empathy with you and I know that for me, it's significant.

Portia P said...

Catching up with your last few posts.

I took a lot of gas second time around - the only pain relief I was allowed as it all went so fast. Preferred the epidural by a long chalk.

I too feel very strange to suddenly be part of the 'normal' fertile world - although i obviously got here via more treatment. I've managed to reproduce ahead of some of my more fertile friends and become part of a large local crowd with 2 'under 2'.

It's a very weird feeling but i'm still infertile at heart and connect with those in the same boat.

Betty M said...

Catching up too!

My hospital had the pain relief of the gods in my view - diamorphine. I remember it fondly. Gas just made me ill.

Once infertile always infertile I think. I still feel like one feven with 3 kids and 6 pregnancies under my belt.

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