Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Rabbit Died

Recently I find myself in a family way.

I'm excited to meet the person who is currently residing on the far side of my navel, but in the meantime I'm enjoying playing scientist with my very own body. Really, is there anything more fascinating than one's own self, and more so when every day brings a new sensation, change, discovery, bodily function? I'm creating a pancreas, what are you doing this week?

Being my very own maternal experiment allows me to put my theories and preconceived (ha!) notions to test. Here are some of my scientific results.

Theory: Prenatal Yoga is beneficial
Conclusion: Affirmative! That front hip pain that my pregnant patients always complain about? It is real! Turns out that knowing that the hip flexor muscles tighten due to a forward shift in posture and pressure from the uterus, and experiencing said tightness and pressure - two different things. I'm finding that yoga is very helpful in releasing these muscles. It is also very calming. Oh, and hilarious to watch your friend who is 10 weeks ahead of you try to get into child's pose when her belly is hitting the floor...

Theory: Maternity clothes are for suckers and the unfashionable, just wear low-rise pants and long tops!
Conclusion: Negative. I assumed all the cute little bumps I saw on Eglinton Ave. (seriously, there is a baby boom right outside my clinic) just developed on top of previously toned abdomens. I neglected to take into account the general widening of... everything. If it doesn't have an elasticized waist band, I'm no longer interested. Buffet pants are my new fashion.

Theory: Chiropractic is good for pregnant women.
Conclusion: OH YES. Besides being a drug-free and safe option to treat the myriad of aches and pains that arise during this delicate time, chiropractic can actually make labour smoother. The pelvis is made up of a few parts, parts that work best when they are aligned and freely moveable. When these joints stop moving properly, pain arrives. A pregnant woman's pelvis really relies on the normal movement and alignment of these joints - not only for pain-free walking (waddling), but so that a baby can, you know, travel through said pelvis en route to the world. A fixated pelvis is not conducive to a smooth and easy labour.

Theory: Natural childbirth is possible!
Conclusion: Ask me sometime in January. Like every health care decision, this too is a choice, and like every health care decision, a not always controllable one. I hope that with my midwife, my hypnotherapy CDs, my loving and supportive husband and my faith in the power of the female body to manage this feat, that the birth of this baby will be gentle, pain-free and lightning fast. I also hope that the USA will elect the right president, that the Middle East will find peace, and that my favourite jeans will fit the day after the baby is born.

Theory: Pregnant women deserve to be pampered.
Conclusion: YES YES YES. First of all, hearing over and over that 'life as you know it is over' is getting tiresome, if not a little frightening. Prenatal massage turns out to be a wonderful antidote, relaxing my aching joints and giving me an hour of 'me time', something I'm told will be in short supply very soon. Reflexology and Reiki are positively wonderful, sending me off... elsewhere. I emerge relaxed, and it lasts for days. Acupuncture has been a wonderful tool as well, especially in those nauseating first few months. These treatments are all safe during pregnancy when done by qualified practitioners who understand the necessary precautions when treating expecting ladies.

I'm told over and over by grinning (smirking?) moms that EVERYTHING will change... and honestly, I can't wait.

So far all that has changed is my figure.

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