Friday, 10 October 2014

Fat Woman and the mind bending requirements

Fat Woman is doing rather well at pregnancy. So far Fat Woman has
  • Managed her thyroid condition, with variable help from the GP surgery
  • Aced the glucose tolerance test (fat does NOT mean diabetic so yah! boo! sucks to you, NHS mandarins)
  • Been able to wear her jeans until the bump simply made it impossible - no fat gain
  • Kept up training three times a week even though Personal Trainer won't let her do half the fun things in the gym.
Fat Woman went for a meeting with the consultant anaesthetist. Fat Woman had to do this so the anaesthetist could check that she wasn't so fat that they couldn't stick needles in her spine, her arms, or her hands. Fat Woman was also asked about the state of her teeth (currently excellent according to her dentist, no gestational gingivitis) and if her enlarged thyroid caused any problems swallowing in case there was a need to intubate. Fat Woman felt really sorry for the consultant anaesthetist who had a high, falsely sweet voice and who sounded like a breathy mummy talking to a six year old. Fat Woman reckoned that it must be hard to work in medicine if people think you're talking about ponies and fairies and rainbows. The midwife who accompanied Fat Woman said that the anaesthetist was in fact incredibly patronising, inappropriately so when Fat Woman is obviously intelligent and well informed about risks. Fat Woman is not so bright that she had noticed she was being patronised, but as she was having fun letting the consultant advise her that she really ought to be giving birth in the hospital despite her birth plan being "I'm only coming near this place if something goes wrong". The anaesthetic consultant asked three times in tones of concern and horror if the obstetric consultant was aware of Fat Woman's plans. Fat Woman shrugged, said she'd had a letter after one meeting saying that it all seemed under control and that if the anaesthetic consultant felt there was something the obstetric consultant should know then she should feel free to go ahead and pass the information along. Fat Woman is not sure at what point in the process she is expected to beg permission to stay out of hospital and not get sliced and diced but when the obstetric consultant has not requested another meeting Fat Woman sees no reason to bother her with niff-naff details. The anaesthetist can take her surgical prejudices and stuff them up her arse because she embodies just about everything wrong with NHS obstetrics so far as Fat Woman can see, and kept citing guidelines and policies to back her point up. Fat Woman is certainly not going to base a birth plan about making life easier for the anaesthetic department. There was a marvellous point during the meeting when Fat Woman leaned forward and said in confidential tones that of course if she did need anaesthetic she would be seen by the consultant rather than a registrar, as detailed in the hospital's own guidelines on treating patients with a BMI >40. Fat Woman had her crocodile smile on as she said this and watched the anaesthetist squirm about how that might or might not happen. Fat Woman has seen exactly one piece of NHS policy that benefits her personally and that is it, so she's damn well not having any junior staff sticking needles in her spine, not if her high BMI makes her so fucking dangerous that they've banned her from even setting foot in the birthing centre.

When Fat Woman got home her resolve to stay as far away from hospital as possible was strengthened enough that she was actually motivated enough to start listening to the hypnobirthing CD. This is meant to train Fat Woman into being able to manage pain so she

It turns out that Fat Woman isn't a natural at hypnobirthing.

First, Fat Woman finds the "breath in through your nose and out through your mouth" thing terribly irritating and not at all relaxing. Fat Woman is a singer and a woodwind player and has excellent breath control and finds that either she has to make some concious effort move her epiglottis to change the way she is breathing from nose to mouth, or she has to leave her mouth open the whole time, which gives her a dry mouth.

Secondly, although Fat Woman finds visualisation a useful tool in some circumstances she is quite literal about physiology. So if you tell Fat Woman to visualise breathing in golden air that's fine, and she will quite happily visualise said golden air filling her lungs but you can't suddenly turn around and say that the golden air is sinking lower from your lungs because AIR DOESN'T DO THAT. You would be dead if it did. Fat Woman isn't keen on visualising suffocating to death. Fat Woman has good suspension of disbelief when it comes to fiction and films but not when it comes to basic biology and resents that visualisations are apparently for people who don't remember any GCSE science.

Thirdly, Fat Woman would like to know why visualisations always require you to think about being on a beach. Fat Woman is not a fan of beaches. They are sandy and too hot (or if in Britain too cold) and so far as Fat Woman is concerned the only reason to travel to a tropical beach is so you can go diving in warm water. Fat Woman would rather be able to visualise being in a nice English wood, late summer or early Autumn. Beaches are such a chavvy cliché. Fat Woman actually yelled at the CD at this point.

Fat Woman hasn't managed to get past 25 minutes into the CD yet but knows she is going to have to have another go. Fat Woman would find the whole thing less irritating if you could listen to hypnobirthing CDs on the cross trainer, but no, apparently you have to be lying down and relaxed. If there's something Fat Woman doesn't find relaxing it's having to lie down and be relaxed.

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