Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being an OT in a social world

I've been thinking about writing this post since Sunday evening, after visiting with our friends at their house-warming. So, here goes.

 Basically, I really struggle to switch off my OT-brain and just be a normal citizen, interacting with others in a non-OT way.  Why?  Because one of an OT's main attributes is that of being super observant.  Nothing goes unnoticed.  I look at everyone's gait (their walking pattern / style), I check out their pencil grip (and proceed to comment on it), and I always wonder about visual perception (my life at a school kind of means that visual perception receives a LOT of my attention).  When there is someone in a wheelchair, I check out the specs.  I LOVE going to disabled sport meetings, because I get to see the newest technology in prosthetics and wheelchairs.  And when I look at kids?  Well, I check whether what they are doing is on par with what would be expected of them at their chronological age's developmental milestones.

Now, here's the question - will I look at my OWN kids that way?  I certainly do look at my brothers, sisters, PARENTS, husband (shame...he falls victim to this quite often) and nephews and nieces in this way.  Friends, friends' friends and their children are also not excluded.  So, will I monitor my own child that way?  Will I make sure he / she reaches their developmental milestones at exactly the right age?  Will I try to stimulate them to the point that they achieve all their milestones?  I don't know...but it might bug me for some time to come.

The reason for this random thought?  I met a little boy (2 1/2 years old) on Sunday who was born a whole 12 weeks early.  My first thoughts were immediately on how these children usually present - they have quite a great chance of having a hemorrhage due to fragile vasculature in their brains, which can lead to Cerebral Palsy.  They can be deaf, blind and developmentally delayed their whole life through.  And yet, this child was walking, talking, could see and hear.  I kept on telling his mother what a miracle child he is (as if she doesn't already know that), and the fact that he could do all these things was awesome.  But, of course I looked at him as a whole - I observed a lot, and yes, he still seems to have some delays if you compare him to other 2 1/2 years old.  Yet, I should be comparing him to himself - and that was pretty awesome!
Thus the question I'm throwing out there today is this: How does the type of work you do / your occupation, influence how you interact with people?

Anyways, that's my rambling for today - I'm now off to finish supper (Aubergine Masala and yellow rice!).  May you have a blessed week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The size of a peach - 13 weeks 4 days

I am soooooo happy to announce that we FINALLY have a little one on the way!  After 18 months of trying - which means we were medically infertile.  It is beyond amazing to have seen this baby move around, wave and kick... WOW!  I am now 13 weeks 4 days along, with my expected due date being 6 August.

Spikkel at 11 weeks 4 days
  Here's an exciting thought, though - the baby is the size of a peach! About 3 inches from Crown to Rump.  So awesome!  We get to see the gynae again in 12 days' time, and we can't wait to see what our baby will look like by then.  And my husband is the best - he also becomes all emotional and overwhelmed by the thought that a part of him is growing inside of me.  He can barely wait until the baby's big enough and moving around for him to feel.  So precious!

I started feeling nauseous at 6 weeks (started with a metal-taste in my mouth), but I don't easily 'lose my food'.  That has only happened ONCE so far (apparently one should not eat eggs, mushrooms, cucumber and cheese as breakfast at 05h30 AM), and I hope to not repeat that episode.  Furthermore, I've been able to mostly control my weight gain, although I'm eating my husband into financial ruin!  Never knew I could be THIS hungry!  My clothes are now starting to sit tighter, and I am planning on making myself some maternity pants this weekend (yes, I know, then I should stop blogging now and actually just START already!).  My body has changed, but my husband has seen most of the changes, since I don't own such a thing as a full-length mirror, and most of the mornings I just check my face to make sure I've covered every square millimeter with sunblock (SPF 50+).  I was very tired initially, but now mostly go to bed early...only to be woken at 2 AM with the URGENT need to visit the loo (your kidneys, and thus bladder, work over-time!).  I've never been a fan of interrupted sleep - let's see whether this baby turns out to be a sleeper.

One of my friends gave birth to a beautiful girl this morning at 10h00 AM, and it was so special to receive multimedia text messages from her mom to keep me up to date with the process.  And suddenly I realised - that's ME in 6 months' time!  The big debate though, is whether or not to find out the gender of the baby.  My husband and I already made up our minds 2 years ago that we do not want to know the gender of our babies, because why spoil the surprise?  Some of my colleagues asked me this morning, while we were all busy gushing over the GORGEOUS new baby girl, if THIS does not make me want to find out our child's gender.  The answer?  NOPE, I LOOOOOVE SURPRISES!!!!

I am looking forward to that amazing surpirse at the end of this pregnancy, and how awesome to hear the doctor say "It's a boy / It's a girl"?!?!?  What could be more special than finding out the last part of the surprise when we also get to meet our baby for the first time? 

The other part of me also don't want my child to be stereotyped.  By this I mean the baby clothes and products one gets at one's baby shower.  As soon as there is a gender linked to the expected baby, people tend to fall into this loop of 'blue is for boys and pink is for girls'.  I prefer that if I do have a daughter she finds out a loooong time from now that such a colour as pink exists.  I think there are awesome colours out there, why limit my child to one?  Which means I'll be making (hahahahaha) baby and toddler clothes to ensure my girl / boy does not fall into the trap of pink=girl, blue=boy.  Oh, and on that - my boy should also preferably not know about the existence of pink until he's MUCH older!

Then what colour do you buy for a child clothes-wise when you don't know the gender?  All of my other favourite colours!  Avocado green, gray, beige, white, RED, orange, yellow, teal blue/green...  There is just so much more variety than blue, blue, blue, blue, pink, pink, pink, pink. And it also allowed us to be very creative whilst dreaming up our baby's nursery room.  Together with my husband, we've come up with an AWESOME colour scheme which will not only serve us well as a nursery, but also as a toddler's room and school-going child's room.

Just wanted to shout this out to the whole wide world - I AM PREGNANT!!!!!