Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The German state and its interest in my pelvic floor! - Series 1, part 1

This is my first series - how exciting!

It is about my adventures in the world of post-natal exercise courses, and started beginning of this year.

"This afternoon we, Baby and I, are going to our first lesson in what is, literally translated from German, regression gymnastics. Not for Baby, not much regression to do there, being only three-and a bit months old, but for me. Post-natal gymnastics is probably a more apt translation. Anyway, they are held at the ‘parents’ school’ and are free, courtesy of my health insurance. I am torn whether it is a good thing that not only my husband and I am interested in the strength of my pelvic muscles.

Before I forget, 'parents school', for those of you not in the know – which is probably anybody not planning children or not in Germany – is where frazzled parents can go for first aid courses, advice on how to cope with and on very little sleep, parent-child groups, etc.... Not exactly a lecturing type of teaching situation, thank goodness, but more of a meeting and support point for those of us who are new to the parenting business.

So I get there, and struggle to schlepp the carry cot with my not-so-small son up the stairs and through the entrance of the school. Having found the room for the course, I eke out a small corner for myself and, to my dismay, my awakened brood, between what feels like at least a gazillion other mothers from the previous course, who are chattering away and don’t look like they are going anywhere.

A midwife - why is it you can always tell who the midwife is? – with a spacious, spotted sweater and a chest defying any attempts to control it, is wandering about and commenting on the fact that we have all brought our babies in ‘big ships’. Not sure what that means, but we are in a port-city, so maybe some local colour I am not familiar with.

Looking around the room I am – certainly typically for a new Mom – satisfied to see that, of course, and completely unbiased, my son is the most attractive and well behaved child in the room, and left wondering if I look like the other Moms here: tired, dressed in the first-best thing one could grab at home and at least still 4 months pregnant. Did I just say that??? Behave, Cary, behave! I am being a mean Mommy today .... but it is kind of true.... The Moms here make devotion to one’s child look rather, how should I say, unattractive/all-encompassing/sloppy. Maybe I was just lucky. Baby is having a good day. And for someone who never seemed to be able to lose those extra few kilos work blessed me with in the last 5 years, and whose anorexic inner teenager fretted about it more than just a little, I, to me magically, lost the extra pounds that the pregnancy brought with it while still eating pretty much anything I like.

Getting back to the course! The room finally empties after what feels like an aeon of diaper changing, breast feeding and exchanging of infants dietary needs and we are left with four mothers and children as well as the midwife."

And more the next time....

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