The 37 weeks are over. The date due is 10th of May....but it could be any minute now (they say). We don't know since this is our first baby. Miriam feels uncomfortable especially when it comes to bed-time. Don't blame her. She now snores too. She never snored before. Besides snoring, she makes babbling sounds....yeah, like a baby, and I like it.
I accompanied Miriam to the Parents Crafts at Mater Dei hospital. Then, we were both staying in Malta, so it was easier for us to attend there. However we want to make sure that our first newborn will have a (G) on his/her ID card :)
I missed some sessions, but the ones I attended I remember very well.
The first session was very interesting. The midwife was very nice and very enthusiastic in delivering her knowledge on the subject. Overall the sessions were not very participatory but rather informative, however the midwife was always ready to answer any questions posed by the participants.
I remember how mothers-to-be expressed their fears and concerns, especially regarding the food intake. It was interesting when the midwife asked if they noticed that they had started to be selective on the type of food they ate during the pregnancy.
We remember when back in early September Miriam and I drove down from Pisa to Marseille. It was there where we were impressed by the fish markets and restaurants by the huge harbour. Some restaurants were serving fresh seafood. Miriam was mad on seafood. We went inside “The Blue Grouper” that specializes in the typical seafood dishes of the south. The photo on the right shows the chef preparing fresh seashells. The tourist menu posted outside looked promising – a number of appealing complete meals for €15-20. We went in and were seated in the narrow outside area of the restaurant where we could watch the passersby.
Something strange happened. When it was time to order, all of a sudden Miriam refused to take her order. She told me that she would like to share from my huge bowl of shrimps, sea urchins, mussels, small crabs, spider crab, octopus, and other shellfish.
Since then she never touched these type of seafood. Yes...she was pregnant without us knowing...but her body knew. Amazing!
Back to the parents Crafts.
I think that which I did not like much was the fact that fathers-to-be present were almost completely ignored. Since these lectures were not participatory, I had no chance to express my own feelings about becoming a new dad.
For me it feels quite exhilarating one minute and completely alien the next.
What is my role during the pregnancy and how will I feel? This is a new lifestyle after almost fourteen years of marriage. By experience I learned to relax and bask in the reflective glory while my wife was getting lots of attention from all relatives and close friends. I quickly learned that providing the support is more than enough.
And what kind of support I offered (still do)? I can say that Miriam had quite an easy, no-complicated pregnancy. No morning sickness or cravings for certain foods and her moods were quite stable during the first 6 months. Recently, her moods became like a rollercoaster. Simple gestures from my part like offering to cook a meal and clear afterwards made all the difference. I am in charge of the shopping, the garden and massaging her feet every evening and lately in the afternoons as well.
I always ask myself: How much will our lives alter?
A lot. I used to work ill hours at the Foundation for Educational Services. When we found out that Miriam is pregnant, I decided to resign. I was determined to change my working lifestyle. I knew that eventually we were going to return to Gozo. Although Miriam is an acting head of Mosta Primary School, we knew that soon she will start her pregnancy leave. I wanted to live with her and be close to her. I applied for a job in Gozo. I applied for the post of Assistant Head of School (Gozo), went for the interview, the results were officially published in late September and I was selected. I ended my work at FES and waited to be called for duty. I do not want to get into this messy subject here....but I am still waiting to be posted even though there are the vacancies in a number of Gozitan primary schools. Perhaps this is the price I have to pay for my political involvement and not submitting the the political feudal system of asking favours from politicians. But my mind is free. Anyway I have enough time to spend with Miriam and do the necessary chores.
And sometimes I am still worried that I won't be able to deal with the labour and birth. I made sure to attend all hospital visits. I was there for all the ultrasounds and the usual routines. Now we started the weekly visits. I am there too. I am getting used to the midwives. This is great. One midwife in particular is so sweet and gentle. She took us for a tour of the labour ward. My friend Charles from New York, sent me some DVDs about birth. I am determined to be present during labour since I know that it's a one experience I wouldn't want to miss out on.
These days I am thinking on what I can do when labour starts and what I can do during the birth. Hmm so many thoughts. I hope that I will write soon before I become a Daddy Soon.
Photo below shows Miriam with her parents. They were both delighted when we first told them that Miriam is pregnant. Her father Mikieli is holding our Tetuta....but the Tututa won't look at the camera. She might be already jealous!