Monthly Archives: July 2008

Antenatal Class #3

The third of our five antenatal classes were on tonight, which largely covered the different types of medical interventions, what the typical trigger points for each of them are and preventative measures to avoid them if possible.

We got to inspect a couple of the different instruments that the doctors use, such as the vacuum and forceps. The vacuum was pretty interesting, the majority of the doctors at Pindara Private use one made by a company named Kiwi, which is made of plastic and disposable while two use a metal one which looks quite similar to a metal bath plug. While I’d heard of forceps many times before, I’d never seen them first hand — they were described to us as really expensive salad tongs and that was pretty accurate. After seeing them and how they are used, I can now also see why people prefer not to have them used.

We also watched an elective caesarean section, I’d seen different parts of them before but this was end to end. It really is a very clinical exercise, which makes a lot of sense since it is major stomach surgery. Neither Claire or I really want to have to go down that path if we can avoid it – everything we’ve read and learned from different sources says its not all that kind to the body. Of course, as per the you’re there to have a baby not a birth statement from the antenatal class #2 – if a caesarean is what it takes, then we’re all for it.

I think a lot of the other class members were also a little disappointed that the anesthetist couldn’t make it tonight. He was booked in for 7PM, however Alex (the instructor) didn’t get notified of a cancellation – so I’d assume something important cropped up.

Next week we’re going to take a tour of the Pindara Private Hospital, which will be good – with a bit of luck I’ll remember my way around the inside of it and not get lost!

The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch, the creator behind the now famous Last Lecture passed away last Friday 25 July 2008 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. After reading more about Randy when Belinda first mentioned it a few months ago – I’ve come to realise that he was a very unique individual who was respected across many different disiplines.

I’ve included the video of his Last Lecture, about achieving your childhood dreams. It goes for a little over an hour, however I would recommend that it is time well spent. Throughout the video, Randy offers some excellent advice that all of us could apply to our lives to improve it and those around us.

Finely Tuned

On the way home this evening, I noticed a car parked on the side of the motorway and shortly there after, a guy walking. Aside from the weather not reflecting the post card that the Gold Coast is known for, it was getting dark so it wasn’t all that safe for him to be walking beside a four lane motorway. As I approached, he popped a thumb out asking for a lift – so I obliged.

The unfortunate bloke was a strapping middle aged New Zealander and wasn’t in the car for two minutes, when he asked me if I was from New Zealand as well. For those that aren’t aware, my family are from New Zealand (specifically, my parents and oldest brother were born in New Zealand, while myself and other two brothers are born in Australia). It took me by surprise a little as I haven’t lived in New Zealand and I’m not around any New Zealander’s with an accent with any regularity; despite which he picked up something in my voice that made him comment on it.

We weren’t in the car long enough for me to ask about it further but it did get me wondering if I carry an accent from my parents that the average untrained ear can’t hear. A few minutes later I dropped him off at the closest service station to his car and we parted ways but not before he asked me a timely and mandatory question – who was I barracking for tomorrow night in the Bledisloe Cup!

Antenatal Class #2

Last week I mentioned that Claire and I attended our first antenatal class and that it was really informative, the second session (which was meant to be scary and so on) was probably even better than the first.

The second session primarily focuses on labor and the birth, starting out with a warm cuddly video and progressively heating up until the last one was a pretty straight up graphic of the realities of child birth. What I’ll say right off the cuff, the female body is an incredible piece of work – it really does amaze me just how much punishment it can take and just keep on giving. What was quite funny was watching some of the other people there (men & women) squirming while the video was playing and various other odds & sods were discussed.

Other information that was really good to know was what sort of options and strategies are available for women to manage their pain while going through labor and the actual birth:

  • Massage, heat and water are apparently a woman’s best friend during labor to relieve pressure on the lower back.
  • I wasn’t aware that nitrous-oxide was absorbed into the system in less than 15 seconds and is passes out of the body just as quickly; so if you don’t like the high-ish sensation or it’s distracting, it can be out of your system in a matter of seconds.
  • The idea of using pethadine as a relaxant and sedative didn’t sit well with us, as that does cross into your child and there is strong evidence to link the doziness of the baby with initial attachment issues and so on.
  • Epidurals were covered a fair bit as they are quite common these days. I didn’t know that it can take up to four hours to wear off after child birth (varies person to person). During that time, your wife is going to be bed bound as she won’t be able to feel the lower part of her body.

Next week we’re meeting with one of the anesthetists to discuss all of that in much more detail and also more strategies to increase the likelihood of an active birth with no or limited intervention. Claire and I like the idea of an active birth, however we’re open to everything that the doctors are going to throw at us. Someone said this to me a while ago (not sure who) but it sits very well with me – you’re there to have a baby, not give birth. While having your planned birth might be ideal, I’d find it hard to believe any expecting parent could find it in them to whine that they are unhappy that their partner/wife and new child came out healthy and happy after whatever intervention may have been required.

My views on all of this could change in a heartbeat as my awareness of the pro/con of the whole thing unfolds further; stay tuned.


This week was meant to be my bye in squash, so this morning I didn’t bother packing my gear to take to work. Of course, the day I don’t do that – I receive a call late in the afternoon from another player who wasn’t able to make it (his wife sprung a surprise on him for his 50th birthday). I asked if he could call around to some other folk first, as I’d need to travel home to get my gear and then head down to the Robina squash courts; bit of a drive. Long story short, we’ve got a bunch of guys out injured at the moment so I said I’d fill in for him on late notice.

I get to squash on time, expecting that I’ll be 2nd or 3rd up to play and I don’t see my opponent anywhere. I ask around and no one has heard anything, which is very strange but figure he is just running late. After waiting there for about two hours, 9 o’clock rolled around and I was just about to go home when one of the B grade players asked if I’d like to have a hit regardless. Given that I’d made the trek home, then down to Robina – it made sense to at least have a hit while I was there.

First game I lost quite convincingly and I thought that it was going to set the tone for the next three; but that didn’t seem quite right. I grabbed a quick drink between the games, regrouped and preceded to take the second and third games in a similar style to what had happened to me in the first – Darren didn’t know what the hell was going on. The fourth game wasn’t quite as good, started hitting the ball a little loser – which he capitalised on. By the end of the four games, we were both working really hard and were sucking in a whole lot of air coming off the court; pleasing to know that he was working just as hard!

The next squash season is soon to start, so I’d be fantastic if there is an opening in a higher grade as the extra challenge presented by the stronger players is great. Playing against stronger players makes personal development a lot faster, it is quite hard to continue to progress if you don’t have opponents that have superior skills to you; I find you tend to plateau at or slightly above the strongest player after a while.

If you’re interested in joining the club for some fun and fitness:

Robina Squash Club
University Drive
Robina QLD, 4226
0427 627 229