notes from the midwife appointment yesterday: the fatburger is being a smart little parker and is already head down and in position. generally, if they're head down at 34 weeks it's unlikely that he would be a jerky boy and then flip around and go breach in the last little bit. he's also not posterior, so far (posterior birth, also known as "back labour" is where the baby is head down but the back of his head is against your spine - ie. he's facing up towards your belly button - a lot of women find this creates a lot of intense lower back pain during labour and a longer labour as the baby's head has to twist and turn and get into the proper position).
my blood pressure is nice and normal and most importantly, my iron counts are really really really good. it's probably why i have so much energy. normal range for women is 120-160. i'm at 122, which is really good considering the iron depletion that happens during pregnancy - my midwife said my iron counts are better than hers.
at the visit my midwife (who is actually this new 4th year student we just met last visit who will be accompanying my primary midwife and who starts off the appointments now) was asking me about the GBS testing. she asked me if i knew what it was. and since my friends G and M had prepared me, i said, "yes, that's the double-dip" and she gives me this quizzical look and goes, "double dip?" and i said, "yeah, it's when i have stick a swab in my butt and in my vagine to test for strep b" and she was like, "ummmm...you don't have to stick it IN your anus [HATE that word!] - we ask that you swab around your vagina, the perineum, and the anus" and then she asked me if i knew what the group b strep was, and i go, "yeah, it's something that some women have in their bodies but it can sometimes be in the birth canal and then the baby eats it on the way out and can get really sick" and she gave me ANOTHER look and slowly repeated, "the baby eats it on the way out. hmmmm. well..." and then proceeded to explain the actual clinical stuff, which i kind of tuned out because i figure that my paraphrasing means that i get the gist.
only 30% of women have the GBS. they're asymptomatic and it causes no big deal. but because babies are all sterile and stuff, of the 30% of women who do have it, 1% actually pass it on to their babies during the birth (when the baby eats it on the way out), but of that 1% of babies who get it, they get REALLY sick, so if you test positive the canadian government makes you get antibiotics.
anyway, my next visit will consist of the double dip, in two weeks. and then after that it's a visit every week, one of which will consist of my midwives coming by the house and doing the home birth tour. e-freakin'-gads
in exciting grad school news, i've been tussling with the program director of my program. i found out that attendance is mandatory. and when i was like, "what are they going to do, not let you graduate?" i found out that the answer is YES. they will either withhold your degree or make you MAKE UP THAT CLASS the next time it's offered...IN A YEAR. totally stupid, right? so they've been making us sign in to class and on the saturday intensives, you have to sign in AND sign out.
on saturday, i left early because of K's wedding. i had notified the profs in the summer about this. when i showed up and informed the prof again that i would have to leave early, i found out that YOU HAVE TO ASK THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR'S PERMISSION to miss or leave a class early. like, seriously?!? there was a woman in my class who had her hair all done up to go to a wedding and she was complaining about how the program director gave her the gears for it. another person had to leave for her mom's 60th birthday and was again given a hard time. it's ridiculous. don't you think the PROGRAM DIRECTOR would have better things to do than say, "yes, you can go to a wedding, you're allowed to be in that family photo, you can be sick" ?!? it's absolutely the dumbest thing i've ever heard.
people in BOTH cohorts are naturally pretty displeased with the policy, so on monday, i emailed the program director and told him that i wasn't aware that i needed him to sign off on my early departure on saturday and was thus requesting retroactive approval and that i had noticed a lot of dissatisfaction with the mandatory attendance policy and if there was any way we could start a dialogue about it.
well! the response that i got was patronizing to say the least. he found it "very troubling" that i left class early and stated that class absences weren't fair to the other students (how does attending life events turn into an equity issue?) and that the mandatory attendance policy was made explicit in the application process, the website for the program, and at the orientation session and in writing.
so **i** fired back an email to him in response, first cutting and pasting an email he had sent me in the early summer when i was aware of being preggos and was weighing my options where the program director stated that he "firmly believes in reasonable accommodations" and i highlighted that phrase to him. then i stated that i had thoroughly checked the program website AND the supplementary AND general graduate admissions forms and found NO mention of the mandatory attendance policy. i also suggested that he might want to highlight this in the future for potential students weighing the york program against other, similar programs (like those offered at u of t and queens) where they are much more amenable to the exigencies of professional/personal requirements (they are, too - i called both faculties and checked - this is the kind of thoroughness i employ when being a s**t disturber).
i ended with a paragraph on how i was merely trying to initiate a dialogue with the program and got all lofty and moral-majority by saying that it was for the good of the program and future students and finished with a snarky, "with all due respect"
...it's been radio silence ever since from the program director. i'm pretty sure he's frantically flipping through the books to see how he can get me kicked out or not reinstate me or grant me extensions. but, my dear friends, this is york university. a place where they have transgendered bathrooms. they mess with me, i'm going to cry discrimination so loud and so fast and be on the horn to the dean of graduate studies and anyone who'll listen. as my friend S said, you have to use york's liberal craziness against them, and that i will do.
yesterday was a crazy 12 hour day. left the house at 7:30am and didn't get home until 7:30pm. i was scheduled to cover the closing shift at work and then had to stop and grab our CSA on the way home. i was zonked.
this helped, though. for dinner i made a shrimp boil - with jalepeno smoked sausages and CSA corn, and CSA potatoes, old bay, and jumbo shrimp:
as the dotytron said (he also had a 12 hour day), an omnipresent feed bag of shrimp boil would go a long way to making most of one's day-to-day trials more bearable.
tonight i have class (ugh) so i packed a cabbage roll and some CSA beets that i peeled and boiled last night and then tossed with vinegar, sour cream, and dill:
i'm starting to feel a *little* anxiety about how much i have on my plate right now and how much worse it's going to get, but i'm trying to just keep my head down and maximize every minute. wish me luck, kiddos.