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Compartment 14B

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Footloose and fancy free. Plus, massage and midwives.

2005-12-08 - 10:36 a.m.

I was at the gym on Tuesday (yeah, Iím a glutton for punishment) and did a respectable waddling speed of 3.3 mph on the treadmill for half an hour, followed by some prenatal-specific yoga stretching. Alas, I did pay the piper for my folly as the Belly did not take kindly to being subjected to my jaunty, bouncing stride for an extended period and my ab muscles Ė top and bottom Ė got sore after the fact. I really must learn to glide more when I walk.

My gym is in the biggest mall downtown and J and I took advantage of being there to run some errands when we were done working out. While there I noticed an odd trend. First I have to set the stage Ė Tuesday it was snowing and it was snowing quite hard. Big, fat clumps of flakes were drifting down. I saw a group of girls in snug-fitting hoodies Ė no hats, no gloves, no jackets, no nothiní Ė heading out into the snow. Now I know that young whippersnappers donít dress for the weather: I myself didnít wear a toque or zip up my too-thin jacket when I was in high school. However, one of them was wearing flip flops on her bare feet! She didnít express dismay or even seem notice that her attire was saying ďwarm springĒ when the sky was saying ďdead of winterĒ.

A few minutes later, two more women, groomed to perfection with shiny coiffed hair and strappy high heels also headed out into the snow without batting an eye. Their towering, golf-tee-wide heels pegged right down to the concrete through the snow.

What is with these people?

The oddest thing in inappropriate footwear that I saw, however, was a tall, slim, mustachioed man, also gliding along on super-slim, super-high heels. His jeans were fashionably long enough to come part-way down the heel, so you know itís a thought-through outfit. Now itís a bit incongruous to see a man with a mustache in heels but whatever floats your boat dude, I donít care. Iíll notice, but I donít actually care. But put them on in the winter when I think itís insanity for women to wear that style of footgear and I will not think that your particular choice on that day makes a lot of sense.

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In other news, last night J and I went to the massage therapy school that offers two free massages to women in their third trimester. I booked one as a treat for him as well since itís ridiculously cheap ($25 for an hour-long session) even if youíre not pregnant.

I have to say, Iíve always thought of myself as a fairly relaxed person who copes with stress pretty well. I know exactly the spot on my back that knots up when I do get stressed out, but it doesnít flare up that often. Now that Iím pregnant though, my back does get sore by around mid-afternoon (sooner if Iím sitting on bad chairs) and, sure enough, the massage therapist found a whole string of tender knots along my erector spinae. To my surprise though, she also found them in my shoulders as well as other areas of my back. Apparently the majority of the problem areas she found are very common in pregnant women and men with large ďbeer belliesĒ.

Jís experience was the opposite: while Iíd cited my back as a problem and thus got only my back worked on, J had mentioned that he was on his feet all day so his massage therapist worked solely (pun intended) on his feet and legs. When I met up with him back in the reception area I asked if heíd enjoyed himself and his big grin gave away his response before he voiced an affirmative. Both of us had been given some stretching exercises to do so it was a gift that will keep on giving if we actually do them. Weíll definitely be going back there.

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Our midwife appointment with our least-favourite midwife yesterday revealed that they still think Grommet is stubbornly head up, but arenít positive because my ďab muscles are so strong* they make it hard to feel.Ē If this is still the case in a couple of weeks they want to book an ultrasound to be sure. By now Iíve heard many references to the fact that babies can flip over many times in the womb, before settling into their final position. To this I say pish tosh, because I know the Grom squirms around a lot but itís mostly back and forth. The hard bit that is probably a head is at the top in the middle, or at the top on my right side, but Iíve yet to feel it shift around to the bottom.

If the head is indeed up, Iíve been told that it may do the trick to lie flat on my back with my feet higher than my head and put a bag of frozen peas near the top of the Belly and have some nice music playing through headphones near the bottom. The theory is the Grom will squirm his head away from the cold peas and towards the intriguing music.

If that doesnít work there are much more dire things that can, supposedly, be attempted. If all else fails, a breech baby in Ottawa means a C-section. Iím not worried at this point though Ė a lot can change over the next few weeks and I donít really care a lot how Grommet gets here, as long as she gets here healthy.

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* An opinion echoed by the massage therapist who told me that she didnít need to assign me ab-strengthening exercises like she normally did for pregnant women. Guess Iíll be able to spit Grommet out like a watermelon seed.

Not.

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