Friday was my last at work – I’m officially on maternity leave. We decided this Thursday. It’s two weeks in advance on what I’d thought I’d try for, which was working through until 3 weeks before the estimated due date. D traveling for work on the weekends and a fairly substantial to-do-before-baby list were standouts amongst other contributing factors, and it just really made the most sense to start it now. Why take vacation days to do things when I have maternity leave available to take? And since I’ve been guaranteed that they won’t trash my PC (right away) and I’ll keep my work email account, I don’t feel any guilt there.
Birth class, check
Thursday afternoon we attended a birth class at the hospital. We got to meet one on one with the instructor, who fortunately speaks a good amount of both French and English. She had a nice model of a pelvis and a baby “doll” to show the contortions necessary for birth. It turns out she’s a midwife, or sage-femme (sounds so much better in French, no?), and by the end of the class we had all agreed she should be our midwife next month.
Why do we need a midwife? Well to start off, we don’t. But the system is a little different here than it is N. America. As we understand it, here most(all) obstetricians monitor his/her patients throughout the pregnancy, but they are not the doctors that attend the birth. The staff at the hospital, if you have a hospital birth, are responsible for that part. The hospital’s set of midwives and doctors work shifts, and labors/deliveries are handed over on shifts as well. So, if all goes well, we’ll have our midwife there the whole time, which is comforting, especially for the language factor. Of course the hospital doctors will be there too.