- the next generation - the next generation
Week 29 Week 30 : Hey, the grass is greener... Week 31

"I don't think it can be called 'nesting' if it's what I do every Saturday." -a.

Baby stats:
Current size: About 37.5 cm
Weight: About 1.36 kilos
Cool new happening: Feeling bits of the baby move around, and being able to find her to kick her back.

Common occurrence: Strangers assuming I'm having twins, or am literally days away from giving birth.

Aimee's thoughts:
It's anywhere from seven to ten weeks until we get to experience the pains of labour and the joy of our new baby. After last week's NHS trials and tribulations, I'm taking the stance that it's better to be overprepared when dealing with any hospital staff, so I've made up my Birth Plan.

For those of you unfamiliar with birth plans, it's essentially a sheet of paper upon which you write down all your thoughts and wishes for how you would like your labour to be handled. You then talk through the plan with your midwife so that she's aware of your wishes.

A lot of people have the approach that their labour will be out of their hands the second they enter the hospital, and so what's the point of a plan? I disagree with this. I think it's really useful to think through all the aspects of labour even if it all ends up going differently. The plan isn't so that you feel disappointed when it changes, but rather that you have considered every aspect and will go into the delivery room being better informed.

That said, here's mine...

Labour Room
  • I would like my husband to be in the delivery room supporting me throughout the labour. In the event of a c-section, I would like him to perform the surgery. (Did I say 'perform'? I meant 'attend'.)
  • Unless the baby is in distress, I would like to be monitored by means that allow me full movement.
  • I would like to be fully mobile as long as possible.
  • If allowed, I would like the room to be slightly dimmed.
  • I would prefer that no students or non-essential personnel be present during my labour or the birth.
Inducing Labour
  • Unless necessary for the health of the baby, I do not want to be medically induced to speed up labour.
Pain Relief
  • I would like to adjust my pain relief according to how I feel during labour. If possible, I would like to avoid having an epidural and would instead prefer to rely on gas and other techniques to control the pain. However, as this is my first baby, I am unsure of how I will deal with the pain, so will be open to having an epidural if required.
  • Throughout the labour, my husband will be my voice and will be able to tell when I am really in need of the next level of pain relief.
  • I would like to try to avoid any methods of pain relief that cross the placenta.
  • I would like the midwife to cut the umbilical cord.
  • After the birth, it is extremely important to me that the baby be placed on my chest immediately.
  • Unless absolutely necessary for the health of the baby, I do NOT want forceps or ventouse to be used to help deliver the baby. I feel quite strongly about this.
  • I will take the advice of the midwives on whether an episotomy is required.
  • I would like to receive oxytocin to deliver the placenta.
  • As I plan to keep the baby near me following birth, I would appreciate if the evaluation of the baby can be done with the baby on my abdomen, unless there is an unusual situation.
  • If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband will accompany the baby at all times.
  • I plan to breastfeed the baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
  • Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to the baby (including glucose water or plain water).
It is extremely important that both I and my husband fully understand and are comfortable with the decisions that are made during the birth of our baby. One of our worries is that we will feel ‘out of control’ once we are in the hospital and it will be very reassuring to have things explained to us as the labour progresses.
Kevin's thoughts:
I'm about to make some grand, sweeping statements about gender roles, which may be regarded as sexist to those sensitive to that sort of thing, but please know that they're not intended in that manner. Picture this as a cultural thesis from one observing the history of the human race from an outsider's perspective. On that note...

From as far back as we can remember, men have gone to work, and women have taken care of the children. 'Work' could be defined as anything from selling vacuum cleaners, to pillaging feudal villages, to inventing wheels, but for the majority of human history, the men have left the women at home with the children with the intention of returning with money, food, valuables, and domesticated cows.

If you wanted a very simple visual to represent this idea, picture a field divided by a fence. On one side of the fence, there's a sign that says "Work" and the other, a sign that says "Raise children". For the first 99% of history, all the men are on the "Work" side, and all the women are on the "Raise children" side. Sure, they meet up at the fence and talk about their day, but nobody stepped across.

Then, about 50 years ago, we hit a feminist revolution. Women decided that they could do more than raise children, and, if permitted, could prove that they could do ANY job equal to or better than a man. Women started hopping the fence. (Quite honestly, I don't know why. It's not like work is that fun.)

Now, at first, this was met with a lot of resistance. A bunch of the men gathered at the fence, and every time a woman tried to hop it, they'd hoist her up and toss her back over, and then they'd laugh a good, hearty guffaw. Eventually, a bunch of women got together and they all ran at the fence at the same time. They knocked down a good size hole and began to flow through onto the "Work" side.

"Fine," sulked the men, "You can cross the fence. Just" - and here's the key issue - "don't expect us to cross it back."

Most men of the time, and even many today, think it's mostly the woman's job to raise a child. They might meet up at the fence for playtime, but I know plenty of dads who've never changed a diaper, don't know how to feed, and haven't a clue what to do when the baby cries, other than yell "Honey? Can you take her please?" and hand her back over the fence.

Is it any wonder that Aimee's been asked if she's quitting her job to raise the baby, but I haven't? Of course not! I'm a man, I work! Women straddle the work/child fence, not me!

But here's where it gets interesting: I believe, here in the 2000s, we are at the beginning of another revolution. If I may coin a term, a "masculist" revolution. The men are finally starting to cross back. Just a trickle, but enough to notice that a few good men are beginning to take a responsible share in childrearing.

Not just an I-promise-to-read-a-story share, but an I'll-quit-my-job-and-be-a-full-time-dad share. A more-than-50% share. Men are beginning to set up camp on the other side of the fence.

It's just the beginning stages, mind you, and beginning stages are met with mixed emotions from both sides. There are working men who appreciate watching other men cross, but know they could never do it themselves. There are child-raising women standing at the hole in the fence with some resistance, as heard in stories of dads who take their children to daycare and are snubbed by the other moms.

Then there are the working women, passing the child-raising dads on their way through the hole in the gender fence, each giving the other an understanding and appreciative nod.

Revolutions happen slowly. It took 50 years for us to get to where we are in the feminist revolution, and while I'd like to think that the battle of the sexes has become equalised, I know the equalisation won't truly happen until the masculist revolution becomes ingrained into the human mentality, and we have just as many house-husbands as we do madam-chairpersons.

Perhaps in another 50 years, there'll be so much crossover that we will just take down the whole damn fence. But, hey, you've gotta start somewhere.

Did you know?

When a baby is 30 weeks developed, it begins to grow horns, a tail and vestigial wings! They recede within two weeks of appearing, but if you catch it at the right time, you might see a little demon baby growing inside of you! Hey, if it's on, it must be true!

Actually, I completely made that up to see if you were paying attention. Oh, you want a real Did You Know? Fine, okay, um, Aimee's producing a lot of progesterone right now, and it makes her tired.

Admit it, the demon baby thing was much better, even if it was bull shit.
Preggy pal follow-up!

Congrats to Mikki and Rigel!

They're our first preggy pals to have their baby!

Their little girl Isla (middle name pending) was born at 10pm September 27th. She was very early and very tiny - only 4 lbs, 12oz.

It was a scary start for the tiniest Jenman. Mikki developed a bad case of pre-eclampsia at 34 weeks and was kept in the hospital so that labour could be held off as long as possible. We're very, very happy that both mom and baby are now doing well and over the worst of it.

Aimee's cravings

Back to apples and cheese, but still staying true to the ceasar salad.

Everyone into the poll!

Thought we'd get a little controversial with this week's poll and see what everyone thinks about a dad's ability to take on the childcare. Tell the truth, or else we'll find out and hunt you down.
Moms: Is your husband/partner just as capable of taking care of your baby as you are?
     Yup!      Haha no.
Dads: Do you think you could do as good or better than mom when it comes to raising your child?
     Sure!     No way!
Tell us why in a very small box:

Results next week!
Results of the Midwife poll: It seems the majority of our viewers are from Canada and the USA, where the obstetrician seems to be the preferred method, but not by much...


Baby's Book of the Week

The Frog in the Kitchen Sink
By Jim Post
This book is nothing if not repetitive. Nothing if not repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. And there's a lot of yelling, and frogs being put in places they shouldn't be. But the googley eyes are really cool and the pictures are cute so I think our little girl will love it.
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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
Well, if they're not using Bellatrix...