Monday, 15 August 2011

Preggie Product Review: Kneeling office chair

I'd first heard about these kneeling chairs (aka architect's chairs) when a colleague of mine in England got one. He had back trouble and swore by them. Then I heard they're good for pregnant women as they allow more room for the belly and are better for posture and the lower back.

When my back started aching from my normal chair at work (where I spend an awful lot of time) I started Googling them. They are quite expensive, around R1000. I don't know if I've ever before gone past the first 5 pages of a Google search; luckily this time I did because on page 8 I found a junkmail advert for a second hand one for a LOT less. I went to have a look and bought it on the spot. While obviously second-hand looking, it was in perfectly fine condition and exactly what I'd had in mind.

From the Wikipedia article:
The intended purpose of a kneeling chair is to reduce lower back strain by promoting proper spinal alignment.
A proper kneeling chair creates the open body angle by lowering the angle of the lower body, keeping the spine in alignment and the sitter properly positioned to task.

Although one's weight still rests primarily on the bum and not on the knees or shins like you would think, it does take some getting used to. The shins do take some weight and although you get used to it quickly, at first the shins do feel slightly sore at the end of the day.

Another effect of the shin pressure is a more frequent reminder to get up and stretch, get a glass of water or go to the loo. This isn't a problem for me to do as my bladder reminds me to get up long before my legs might, but in general I think this is a good thing anyway for people who spend around eight hours a day in front of a desk.

Another thing to get used to is getting in and out of the thing. While easy once you've got the hang of it, if you don't plan your first attempt well you may well end up sprawled or chasing the chair in a circle. Skirts are also another thing to get used to when using the chair.

I do however find that the further my pregnancy progresses, the more glad I am for the chair. With Ziggy already as big as ze is, I find several things uncomfortable about sitting in the typical 90o angle position: I find my blood circulation to my legs (and thus swelling in my feet) is better in my kneeling chair; I find my lower back is fine at the end of the day; I find my general posture is better (my shoulders are kind of forced straight and pulled back to maintain balance, but in a very natural feeling way); my belly isn't pushed against at all by the lap that forms when you sit in a normal chair which eases pressure on my stomach and lungs, a minor but growing issue with sitting normally.

If I did end up needing to have a c-section I imagine it will also be a lot easier sitting down with my thighs away from my abdomen, reducing the risk of accidentally pressing against a scar.

All in all I'm very happy with my purchase and can recommend a kneeling chair to anyone, pregnant or not; provided you get a decent deal like I did.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ziggy at 24 weeks

The stills the doctor takes when he's doing sonars are rarely very interesting to laypeople like you and me, and I'm lucky to get one moderately interesting picture to post on here every time we go.

The 24 weeks scan was no different, in that respect; but what was different is that the best picture from this batch is also the first decent 3D (or 4D or whatever it is) picture we have of the baby.

Apparently the baby is huge - in the top 98th percentile of the growth graph at this point. It's making it a little trickier to make decisions about the birth since, as much as I want a natural birth, it might not be practical. It might also go off without a hitch, I just don't do well with so many unknowns. More on that decision making process in a future post, though. For now I'm simply grateful that the baby's healthy.

Ziggy's also very active now, and I am reminded of the little presence every now and again by a kick; and even Steve can feel them by now. It's very strange and very amazing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Why "Ziggy"?

I quite like giving things nicknames. I also don't much like being just like everyone else. There are a few standard nicknames people tend to give their baby before the birth, like "bump", and that's lovely, but I can't help but be otherwise.

One way in which we're being a bit otherwise is not wanting to know the baby's gender before we meet hir. It makes it even harder to refer to the baby because you can't use "he" or "she"; "he/she" is stupid; "they" is clumsy; the gender neutral pronouns "hir" and "ze" confuse people; "it" is horrible. And none of the names we like are gender neutral.

Early in the pregnancy a term sprung up from somewhere in my weird brain, where it had been lurking since matric (high school senior year) biology. One of the very first stages of a baby, when the two parents' cells have just joined together, is called a zygote. And right then and there a nickname was born: Ziggy the Zygote.

Ziggy is long since not a zygote any more but we've become quite fond of our little Ziggy and even other people in our lives refer to hir as such by now.

So, no, it's not after Ziggy Stardust, and it's not the name we have decided to give the little one once Ziggy makes an appearance in November; but it's our way of referring to the baby and it makes us happy.

And now you know.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ziggy at 21 weeks

At 21 weeks we had what is called the anatomy scan.

The doc checked for certain markers and indications of known illnesses and syndromes; I'm very grateful to say that all he found was a picture of health. Below I've uploaded the only good picture from the stills he captured.

’s a big baby – in the top 70% for growth at that stage (even more at the moment but more about that later). It has made decisions about the birth a little harder to make but at least the baby has turned from the breech position ze was lying in at the time of this scan.

Around this time I also started feeling Ziggy kick, which was amazing.

Since 21 weeks was a while ago now, I promise there'll be more updates soon, including news from the latest (24 week) scan.