Friday, September 27, 2013

Ups and Downs

Hey there! I'm back after the extended absence which I like to refer to as My Three Weeks of Hell. And I survived! As a reward to myself for not collapsing in a watery heap of tears every five minutes and, better yet, for not killing anyone, I decided to treat myself to a massage and pedicure. A nice relaxing afternoon of pampering to get me feeling better and back on he right track to mental stability.  I booked these appointments almost two weeks in advance after a mid-Three-Weeks-of-Hell jaunt to find someone with a chair massage willing to help relieve the tension in my shoulders and neck from hours of sitting hunched over a switcher ended up with me in tears because they refused to touch me due to being pregnant.

Now, I know it's a liability issue, lack of insurance to cover if something were to go wrong. But shouldn't pregnant women be the ones they prepare for the most? We're the ones in pain, busy growing a human and allowing our bodies to be stretched, pulled and expanded to such lengths we no longer know what our feet look like. We are the uncomfortable ones who have to abstain from so many other things that relieve stress, hot tubs, drinking, full-contact sports and did I mention drinking? Turning away a pregnant woman in pain, pleading with you to just rub her shoulders a little bit, is just plain mean.

So I was smart and checked twice when I made the appointment, that I was getting a pre-natal massage. I have a baby on board and I needed a massage therapist certified to handle me with care.

Which is why, when I showed up to the spa, checked in and stated I was there for my prenatal massage and pedicure, conversed with the girls at the front desk oohing and ahhing over my beginning to show baby belly, was walked back to the treatment rooms and met my therapist, I was astounded to see that number 1: he was male (not that men can't be certified in pre-natal, but I had yet to meet one) and 2: the table was not even remotely set up for a pre-natal massage. The look of abject horror on his face when I reminded him I was pregnant, clued me in to the fact I was probably not going to be touched again that day. As he scurried off to check with the front desk I wondered about my bad luck and miserably concluded I was to spend the rest of this pregnancy waddling in pain, hunched over and moaning. When the young man had not returned for over five minutes I made my way to the front to see a cluster of girls around a computer screen and the massage therapist wringing his hands on the outer edge. They informed me they had not one pre-natal therapist on staff at that location. Funny, since I mentioned it twice when I booked the appointment and nothing was said to me. Their consolation prize was to book me with "the best pre-natal massage therapist in the company at this other location" on Friday and wait for me to jump for joy over having to wait another three days to get the kink in my neck worked out so I could finally sleep.

Seeing no other choice, I agreed, wondered some money back due to the inconvenience and asked if I could still get my pedicure. At least my feet would be happy. They agreed, although informed me the massage would be "brief" due to my condition. When I mentioned as long as they did not massage between my ankle and Achilles tendon I would be fine, they just smiled and said they weren't comfortable rubbing me at all, too scared of causing contractions. Upset, but understanding of their predicament, I sat through the quickest and least enjoyable pedicure in my life and could not get out of that place fast enough.

After my disastrous day one of my first full weekend off in over three weeks, I had a premonition the next day's appointment for my return visit to the High Risk Pregnancy Center would not go well either. It just seemed how things were progressing. My disturbing first meeting with these people did not put them in high regard in my book and I was not interested in having to go again. However, my doctor stated I would not have to visit them again after they checked things out for this last time and I just needed to suck it up and go.

I was glad my premonition did not come to pass. To say this visit was a complete 180 is an understatement. I am sure now that everyone must have been in a pissy mood the first time we went because this experience was world's different. Not only was everyone nice and helpful, everything they found about the baby was perfect. Every finger and toe and organ is in place where it should be and now all we have to do is see how much bigger the baby grows in the next ten weeks. No more scary pushing about testing or freaking out because they can't see something and don't know if the baby will be born healthy. We have a perfectly formed, one pound human growing in my belly and now we just have to let it get to full size before we meet our little addition. And the pictures we got were amazing! Tiny feet hands so perfect I could star at them all day. But the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my entire life was the profile shot of our baby (and it for sure is a baby now, no more alien looking features), its tiny lips parted, tongue and throat moving as it drank and tasted the amniotic fluid. We could see the whole process and it was fascinating! The closest I have felt to my baby was in that moment as I watched it perform a completely normal human function while inside my belly. Definitely a "we're having a baby!" moment.

To go from the disappointing day before to a day of unbridled joy and relief that everything has finally been confirmed as being okay was a roller coaster ride of emotions. But one I am glad I got to ride.

Look at those lips!! And yes, we are no longer having an alien, that is a real baby in there!

We have feet people!!

2 Sprinkles:

Cyndiblock Talk said...

That is crazy Amanda! I used to be a reflexologist and we were told not to do foot massages after the third trimester. You are still early enough to have a safe and relaxing foot massage. Now is the time you need it.

Jen said...

That's really weird. I know the laws vary by state, but the spa I worked at for 3 years did lots of prenatal massages and pedicures. The therapists were happy to do it. They were always excited/happy to work on/help any client but prenatal massage was definitely no problem. The massage chair was most often used in such cases, too. I think next time you should just drive to San Diego and see Janine. Or y'all could meet halfway.