That’s how much time is left until our due date! Here’s what’s been going on recently in our baby world…
This Sunday, Becky and I went to the [American Baby Faire](http://www.americanbaby.com/ab/category.jhtml?categoryid=/templatedata/ab/category/data/BabyFaire_Main.xml) at the [Bayside Expo Center](http://www.baysideexpo.com/) in Boston. We met up with Becky’s parents and spent a few hours strolling around the expo floor. The floor was packed with booths from just about every major baby product vendor (how many billions of dollars a year does *this* industry bring in??) Most of the items we had already seen, either at [Babies R Us](http://www.babiesrus.com/) or [Baby Depot](http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com/Registry/Home.process) or through online research. There were a few interesting booths from smaller companies that had some innovative, if expensive products. For example, there was the wearable diaper bag for dads, which housed all of the compartments of a standard diaper bag in a surprisingly attractive fleece vest. The price? $81. Thanks, but no. We also saw a few funny baby onesies, similar to Becky’s own [geeky onesies](http://prwdot.org/2006/01/11/geeky-onesies-a-hit/), for example “My Dad’s a Geek”. 🙂 We ended up with a big shopping bag full of pamphlets, magazines, and free samples… many of which ended up in the recycling bin when we got home, but some of which will probably prove valuable.
On Monday night, we took the fourth of six childbirth education class at [Beverly Hospital](http://www.beverlyhospital.com/). We’ve already been through the classes where they show the videos of a normal delivery, and Monday night we watched a video of a cesarean delivery. Thankfully, the producers put together these videos in a fairly tasteful manner, so we didn’t have to witness a whole lot of cutting. But it definitely got the point across and gave us the information we needed. I hope that we won’t need to do a cesarean delivery, but if it becomes absolutely medically necessary, at least we know what to expect. That’s what these classes are all about, after all – giving you all of the nitty gritty details of what is happening now, and what is going to happen later, so that you can conquer fear with knowledge. I can’t honestly say that either of us is feeling fear right now, but I realize that could change at any moment, so I’m glad we’re taking these classes.
In addition to the videos, we’ve also been learning about ‘comfort measures’, or the things you can do to help with relaxation and pain relief without resorting to medication. Comfort measures can include massage, concentrating on an external focus point, listening to music, calculated breathing, and relaxation excercises. Many women these days do opt for various types of pain medication, with the “epidural” being the most effective. It’s basically a continuous feed of numbing medication, injected through the back into the epidural area surrounding the spine (but not into the spine itself – that would be a “spinal”). The epidural essentially removes any feeling from the waist down, allowing a woman’s labor to progress without a great deal of pain. The feed is normally turned off towards the end of the process, because the pushing stage of labor is very difficult if the mother can’t feel the muscles that are involved. Becky is hoping, and I support her, that she won’t have to use any pain medication during labor, especially the epidural. We obviously won’t completely rule it out if it is the only way for labor and delivery to proceed, but we will definitely pursue all other non-medicinal measures first. And Becky is one tough cookie… her pain tolerance is light years ahead of mine.
We also got to take a tour of the maternity ward (or “Beautiful Beginnings” as it’s called at Beverly Hospital), though I missed out on the first part of it due to having to answer a page from work. I did catch up with the tour, and got to see the nursery and maternity rooms with Becky. The facilities do look very nice and comfortable, and the staff is very friendly. I guess that’s the best thing you can hope for when you’re going through such a physically and emotionally draining experience.
We don’t yet have a nursery set up at home, but we are taking some preliminary steps. We’ve done a lot of cleaning and purging of our closets, as well as purging and rearranging items in the room that will become the nursery. I’ve given away or sold a lot of computer and electronic equipment that we don’t need any more, including two old printers, three old monitors, a couple of old computer cases, and most recently, our previous desktop Mac, the PowerMac G4 Sawtooth. It will be good to get all of this non-baby stuff cleared away to make space for the baby stuff.
Becky is doing remarkably well for being in her eighth month of pregnancy. She’s still teaching swimming lessons at the local Y two days per week, babysitting one evening per week (tonight), and working at the [Otis House](http://www.historicnewengland.org/visit/homes/otis.htm) two to three days per week. Yikes! That’s a lot of work for a pregnant lady. It does take a lot out of her, though. She’s almost always tired, and the whole standing up/sitting down/bending over thing is a bit of a chore. But overall she’s doing very well, and her prenatal exams are all just great.
We’re very thankful that this pregnancy has been so uneventful, and we’re looking forward with a great deal of excitement to the day our baby finally arrives!