Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Do I stay or do I go?

I'm not really sure about what I'd like to do with this little blog here. I have many topics that I'd like to continue to write about, but I'm not sure about whether I should do it here or not. This is about "having" a baby, after all, and I've already had a baby. I suppose that if I don't, I could make a separate "mommy blog" and keep it anonymous. Otherwise, I could continue writing here and just own everything I say. Also, I've been thinking about making a blog for Bowen and filling it with her pictures, but I'm sort of torn on whether it's ethical to plaster the world with her pictures. Regardless, lots to come!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Six weeks

Yesterday we went to our "discharge appointment" with the midwives. It was bittersweet; it's great that we've gone through it all but sort of startling to realize how fast it's going already. Also, now we're on our own when it comes to Bowen's health so it's important that I'm well-read on anything and everything pertaining to my daughters' development. I asked about going for usual check ups to my/her family doctor and was basically told that doctors simply do visits on a per-need basis, rather than annual checkups or whatever. This means that unless something goes drastically wrong, we won't be seeing any doctors. Right now I'm struggling with the decision of immunizations and trying to digest the huge plethora of information there is out there regarding the topic. But now the good stuff! Bowen's progress:

Weight at birth: 6lbs 7oz
Height at birth: 20 inches
Head circumference at birth: 33.5 centimetres

Weight at six weeks: 9lbs 7oz - three pounds gained!
Height at six weeks: 22 inches - she's been called "tall and skinny!"
Head circumference at six weeks: 37 centimetres - growing, brain and all!

I know it's a good thing, but the fact that she visibly grows every day is startling. I know that she'll never again be as teeny as she is today, and that's kind of sad. We left the midwife's office, my little daughter and I, saying "See you for the next one!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

On talking to strangers

I'm really not the type of person who initiates small talk with strangers. I don't like talking about the weather and I don't strike up convo about the price of broccoli whist in the checkout at the supermarket. Hell, even when I'm being paid to make pleasantries and talk about dumb things such as hockey and the weather, I shy away from it. Toby calls it "snobby," I call it "socially awkward," but whatever. I just don't like talking to strangers.

Then about a year and a half ago, we got ourselves the cutest little French Bulldog puppy in the whole wide world. When Sandwiches was a baby I couldn't even walk two steps without being stopped and asked about his life story. They'd pet him and rub his tummy, all the while talking with me about what an adorable little thing I had on my hands. And eventually, I came to accept it. I just knew I wouldn't be able to go for a walk without talking to strangers, and I just kind of grew to begrudgingly deal with it.

But nothing, not even Sandwiches, could prepare me for the parade of stranger talk I deal with now. I like babies as much as the next person, but the amount of people that come up to talk to me about my baby is staggering! When I'm out and about doing my daily little tasks, I never expect it and yet it always happens.

Today as I walked around the mall with Bowen in her wrap a huge Iranian man leaned close to my boobs and whispered, "Welcome to the world, little one!" in a thick accent. A man in a wheelchair passed me at the grocery store and exclaimed, "Well, that's a brand new one, eh!" The old lady ringing that annoying charity bell outside of Walmart squealed and asked how old the lovely little baby was. I find myself constantly talking about her to strangers. While comparing the salt content in several different types of pickles, I found myself talking about our sleeping habits to a middle age woman with two kids who keeps saying, "It gets better!'

Everyone is so drawn to my Bowen, and instead of being irritated and shying away from it, I beam at her and talk with them right back! This is the best type of small talk there could ever be.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The day the entire world changed

I keep wanting to write this story, but both procrastination and life keeps getting in the way. After a long, full day/night of baby-raising, the last thing one feels like doing is staring at a computer screen for ages (oh, how things have changed in the past four weeks...) but I know that I need to write this down before too much time passes and the details begin to slip away. Even now, I know I need to keep a record of the amazing little things that Bowen does. New things are happening every day, and I know that if I don't somehow record them, they'll quickly pass and I won't remember.

So, my baby's birth story:

On Wednesday November 10th, about a week and a half into my maternity leave, we woke up very early. We'd finally decided, at 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant that we should probably get a nursery set up and were looking to find a smaller desk that fit in the living room, rather than in the nook upstairs. We began the day by going to Jethro's, a new breakfast place that we'd been meaning to try. Toby got huge buttermilk pancakes with bacon inside them, and I got a mexican-type omelette, specifically because it had jalapenos. My whole life I've been a fan of spicy, but for my entire pregnancy I'd had a huge aversion to anything with the slightest of spice to it, but all of a sudden I felt ready to eat jalapenos again!

After our lovely breakfast, we set out on the arduous task of finding a very specific desk. We went into about a dozen thrift and antique store, every one getting more tiring and annoying. Eventually we made a stop at a huge baby store, just to "see," and ended up purchasing our crib and a few miscellaneous items we still needed. On our way home to North Vancouver we stopped at one last thrift store, and ended up finding the right desk. Finally, we were headed home with a bunch of extra furniture and a long evening of setting things up ahead of us.

I wanted to get started on dinner right away (since I was starving!) but Toby wanted company setting up the crib. Thinking that this was just like an Ikea piece of furniture, I agreed and sat at the top of the stairs while he drank a beer and tried to get it done. But... it took forever! For every piece of the crib there were a million alternatives of how it could be put together and for some reason Toby wasn't at his sharpest with directions that evening. After over two and a half hours, we were finally set to come downstairs and make dinner.

I'd planned on making some wheat-free hamburger helper, and Toby was having a rest before tacking the living room project. We were going to get an old desk out, and put in the new antique one we'd found that day. After cutting some onions, I was browning the ground beef and suddenly there was a pop and my water broke. This was the last thing I was expecting.

"My water broke," I calmly told Toby.
"Oh, yeah?" he said with what sounded like a smile. He didn't believe me. When he turned around and I was gone, he believed me.

Even though I was so pregnant, I really didn't expect my water to break. I hadn't been having anything more than the regular Braxton Hicks contractions and for some reason just wasn't expecting it to happen until at least my due date. I called the midwife who suggested that I'd probably just peed myself (even though I was certain I hadn't and although I'd never had my water break before, I had in fact peed myself before) and told me to monitor the situation for a few hours and call her back later.

So I sprung into action. As everyone knows, a baby has to be born within 12-24 hours of the waters breaking, so I knew that this was happening today. I calmly finished making dinner and proceeded to clean the kitchen. After that I got my hospital bag "checklist" and packed the bag. I packed an overnight bag for Sandwiches and did a couple of loads of laundry. I folded a bunch of stuff and put it away. I cut Toby's hair, and then had a shower. I did everything well and methodically, not knowing when I'd have a chance to do this stuff again, and all the while hoping and praying that contractions increased because the last thing I wanted was to be induced. Once the "few hours" the midwife requested were up, I called her and informed her that I'd filled two large pads and a beach towel with liquid, so I was pretty sure that it wasn't a simple case of peeing myself. She agreed and told me to head to the hospital in the morning no matter what, if not sooner, depending on contractions. She made the point of telling me to have a good dinner and get a lot of rest; basically to not "engage" with labour and to not count all this "pre" stuff as being in labour because we had a long day ahead of us. At this point we went out to buy Gravol (I needed something to help me sleep and this is what they suggested) and we tried a few stores before finally getting some. Upon getting home I took two Gravols, had my first half-glass of wine in nine months and as I fell asleep I glanced at the alarm clock: midnight.

By two AM, I could no longer sleep through the contractions. They were very irregular in frequency and length, but they really, really hurt. I was sitting up in bed every few minutes; they were too painful to lie down through. By 2:30 I got out of bed and started walking around the house. While the contractions were not four minutes apart by any means, they were truly increasing in intensity and length. Eventually I sat on our bouncy computer chair and wrote a bunch of emails to our family. A few days later I read them and laughed: I had nonchalantly emailed everyone saying something like, "Just a head's up... my water broke so we're having a baby today. FYI!" The tone of the email is so relaxed and casual, when I was feeling anything but.

By 6:30am, after much pacing, lying down, standing up, and timing the increasingly regular contractions, I knew it was almost time to go. I started pacing upstairs and getting myself ready for a shower, when Toby finally awoke. He called out, "What time is it sweetie?" all sleepily, and I responded, "What time is it?! Look at the fucking clock if you want to know what fucking time it is!" At this point I'd been labouring for four hours, and not in the mood to answer any superfluous questions. Realizing the point we were at, Toby sprang into action too. We got everyone ready, called my sister to arrange dropping off Sandwiches and left the house as a family of three for the last time.

After a stop to drop off Sandwiches and get a coffee for Toby, we arrived at Lions Gate and even though we'd had the hospital tour months before, we walked into the Maternity Unit rather than Labour and Delivery. Upon finally arriving at the correct location, we were put into a room and I was instructed to take all my clothes off and put on the gown. The first nurse checked me and looked puzzled. She said that she couldn't feel my cervix at all, so was confused about me being in so much pain with a cervix that was still high and closed. She asked for a second opinion, and the second nurse stated that EITHER I was not in labour at all OR I was 8 to 9 centimeters dialated.

Really? I know that I'm an all or nothing type of person, but this is what they're telling me? I'd never done this labour thing before, but I knew that I'd just loose it if I wasn't dialated at all after the painful night I'd just experienced.

The next fourty five minutes were spent with the contractions coming on stronger and closer while we waited for my midwife to arrive and confirm the situation, one way or the other. I was getting to the point where I was almost in a black-out, so intense was the pain.

Brynn arrived and calmly checked me. She congratulated me on making it so far on my own and informed me that I was entirely dilated, with just a little edge of my cervix in the way. Everyone kept saying that once I was at the full ten centimetres dilated and pushing already that the pain would stop. What a lie! Even when I started pushing, the pain was the most intense and excruciating that I'd ever experienced.

While we always see shows and movies about this whole thing, my experience was nothing like I'd ever seen. Everything was really left up to me, and I was encouraged to just move along according to how I was feeling. I was asked early on if I felt an urge to push and I didn't. When I did feel an urge to push, I was told it was okay to do so. Everything was up to me, and the rest of the peoeple were simply there to support me.

And this was labour. I didn't feel comfortable lying in the bed, and instead moved around to varying positions. I started on the toilet, and did some pushing there. I next moved to all fours on the bed, and clearly remember feeling quite thankful when someone covered my bare ass with a sheet. Next I squatted on the floor. After that I was on my knees on the floor, with my chest leaning on the bed and Toby holding my hands. The last position was on a little stool on the floor, with Toby behind me "like a bobsled team," as he always describes it.

Each push seemed incredibly long and painful, and it was really an out of body experience. It hurt so much, and after every push I hoped to hear, "One more push! You're almost done!" but never got that. I was quite loud and vocal, but was encouraged to channel that into my pushes, rather than wasting the energy on moaning and yelling. Once the baby crowned, I remembered distinctly about reading about "the ring of fire" and the contractions were nothing compared to the feeling of my vagina being stretched to the size of Bowen's head.

Throughout all this, Toby was amazing. I didn't want him touching me, so he was kind every time I swatted away his hands. He whispered encouragement and looked me in the eyes. He got out of the way when he needed to, and got into it when he needed to also. He was truly THERE and just what I needed.

So, sitting practically on the floor, on a little very antiquated-looking little stool, I was finally asked if I wanted her to be born right there. I said, "Yes!" because I couldn't imagine myself moving anywhere with what felt like a baby right between my legs! I leaned hard into Toby, gave my final push, and after an hour of pushing, Bowen was here.

The lay her on my tummy and we leaned hard into each other and cried and the whole entire world had changed forever. She had her first cry immediately, and I could just not believe that we were parents; that I was her mommy.

Bowen's first moments on earth were surreal, and suddenly I was completely in love with my baby.

Eventually her and Toby went over to an incubator to get weighed, measured, and diapered. She was 20 inches tall, 6 pounds 7 ounces, and beautiful. Her apgar scores were 9 and 10, and I felt incredibly proud that she'd done so well on her first tests ever. Toby was taught how to swaddle her (something that he's still a pro at to this very day!) and after about an hour we were asked whether we wanted to go home. We looked at each other incredously and asked, "Go home? Like, with the baby?!" Imagine! We'd walked into the place a mere three hours ago and now they wanted to send us home?! No way! We decided to stay overnight, and were then transferred to the maternity ward with our new amazing family member.

The next twenty four hours were spent in a daze of love, family, friends, and no sleep. We leaned some basics such as how to bathe the baby, a bit about breast feeding, and the fact that it's indeed normal when a baby sneezes or hiccups.

Once we were discharged, we were truly ready for our new lives to begin, and thrilled to be taking our little Bowen home with us.

And just like that... we made this amazing little thing, and here she is!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One month today!

My little baby Bowen,

Happy one month birthday! It seems both like a lifetime and like no time has passed since you came into our lives. One month ago today, our whole universe changed and suddenly you were here.

The past month has brought so many changes that I can't even start to recount them. You started as a teeny little 6 pound 7 ounce little morsel and have grown into a real life nine pound baby! Every day you have more alert time where you look around, hold my hand, bob your head, and stare at everything in your sight. You've started sitting in your rocking chair and looking at the plants above your head, as well as enjoying tummy time on your animal mat. Every day you become more aware of the world around you and there's nothing nicer than you looking straight into my eyes as I feed you.

Your favourite activities right now are: sleeping, eating, kicking your legs, and laying on our chest. Your biggest dislikes are getting your diaper changed, feeling gassy, and bathing. You're really adapting and making your presence known to your brother, especially when you're up at night. Every day you make more little chirps and nosies and I relish every single one of them.

Watching my loved one go from being just that to being your daddy has been one of the greatest joys of my life. He loves you with all his heart, and things like seeing him chant "Baby versus food!" to you while you eat, to seeing him snuggle you in bed makes my heart melt into a puddle. You love lying on his chest and burrowing your head under his goatee, as if that's the safest place in the whole wide world.

My darling Bowen, I'm loving seeing you grow. Sometimes I find myself thinking, "Oh, I can't wait until you can hold your head up!" or "I can't wait until we enjoy reading together!" but then I take it back because those things will come, and not a second too soon. You're already growing so fast and I don't want to wish a second of it away.

Happy one month, my little baby!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

In progress...

I really want to keep this blog going. Really - that's my intention! But getting that going has been a bit difficult, with the whole newborn thing. I've already began writing her birth story, but it's such a long thing that I've been adding one paragraph daily and don't really seem to be making any headway. Such a big story, it is! I really wanted to have things "in order" here by her one month birthday but it just doesn't seem to be going that way. So, instead of continuing to delay writing here (excellent therapy, I found) I'll just continue on and post her birth story once it's finally ready.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

She's here!


Bowen Naomi Barratt arrived on November 11th at 10:59 am. Weighing in at 6.7lbs and 51 centimeters tall, she's absolute perfection in a teeny little package. I couldn't be happier with how things went and how things are going. I'll post all about the birth in the next few days, while it's still fresh in my mind.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thirty Eight Weeks!

I'm sorry to report that week 38 is not much more exciting than week 37. Baby has basically grown everything she's going to grow and done everything she's going to do in utero, so there's not much left to do for us but wait. She probably weighs about six to eight pounds at this point, and is about the same height as last week. All her growth from this point forward is only in a little fat layer, rather than in new organ mass or height.

Last week I was having all sorts of pre labour pains and feelings, but things have been pretty quiet on the uterus front this week. Now that I'm rested and de-stressed from actually getting things accomplished, baby seems to be enjoying her time in there more. I think both of us are getting a bit bored and very much looking forward to meeting our little girl. This afternoon a six month old baby girl spent some time here while Toby and a friend moved around furniture, and Sandwiches quietly sat beside her and let her pet his head and pull his ears. I think he too is absolutely ready for his little sister to arrive!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good things are coming!

It seems as if we passed our home visit with flying colours this week. When the midwife arrived, it didn't really seem like she was looking in corners for dust bunnies, but Toby is convinced that she was doing so - just discreetly. The actual appointment was just like any other, except with Sandwiches begging to come inside to smell the midwife's bag, and us sitting comfortably on our own couch. The baby is truly making her way down now, and we're told that she's pretty much "engaged" in my pelvis at this point. We also finalized some of the last remaining details of the birth plan and decided to keep the placenta (much to someone's chagrin.) We're all on the same page regarding medication during pregnancy and I think Toby's finally decided on his choice of footwear for the event.

All in all? I think we're pretty much ready. Also? There's really no going back now.

I'm sitting here all surprised that a whole entire week of maternity leave has flown by already. I've had the opportunity to get some important things done - many freezer meals, some thank-you cards, important lists. Also, I've done things to simply make me feel pretty and better - nails, toes, wax, haircut. I think it's important to get the physical aspect of things complete, along with all the actual nitty gritty logistics.

Not too interesting, these days. Still, I really want to document that this pregnant time was such a good thing and that despite it all, I'm really going to miss it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

37 week tummy


Getting rather large over here...

Monday, November 1, 2010

37 weeks!

Here we are, baby - full term! The baby has grown from a poppy seed to a watermelon, and is now fully capable of living on her own. Not that she wants to yet, but at least we know that she can. Right now she's weighing in at 6 pounds and is about twenty inches tall. Her head is surrounded by my pelvic bones, and this has given her a bit more room to grow her legs as well as giving me more room to actually eat food again. Her hair could be possibly as long as an inch, but that varies widely with each baby. Also, she should technically be shedding her lanugo body hair (hopefully, but monkey children aren't unheard of in my family...) and also shedding the white "vernix" stuff that covers her body. She will then swallow the hair and exterior coating, and this is what will form her very first tar-like poo. Amazing, this baby stuff! I've been actually managing to get things done, now that I'm off work, but unfortunately I'm finding myself having a hard time falling asleep and thus being tired during the day. Still, I'm plodding along and confident that I'll be ready for the arrival of baby.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Signed, sealed, delivered

Guess what?! Today is the last day that I work outside the home for at least a year! I feel as giddy as the last day of school before summer. Except that this is going to be a very, very long summer. It really is time for me to be off work; I’m hardly sleeping which is severely affecting me ability to do my job these days. I feel fat and tired and grumpy and emotional at work. Just this morning an old lady told me that her dog died after sixteen years and instead of telling her how nice it is that he had a long life (my usual MO), I pretty much burst into tears. Clearly, I’m in no position to be here. I haven’t not had a job this long in my entire grown-up life, so this is an odd thing I’m going into. But the fact is: I feel happy and confident that my time and energy is being well spent on raising our baby girl. There’s nothing better that I could be doing with my time.

At work they’re having an ice cream sundae party for me – what a perfect sendoff for a pregnant person!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fat&Tired?

Well. My last midwife appointment as a working person was yesterday. The first thing she said when she saw me was, “So! You look ready to have this baby!” Why does every person I see say that? I don’t think I look particularly tired or haggard or large, but I get that comment about a billion times a day. I guess I’ll choose to take it as a compliment.

Anyway, baby was laying down and still in the right position. Her head is 2/5ths (that’s actually the fraction she gave me – weird, huh?) into my pubic bone, and I’m told this is a good sign that her head will fit with no problem. As if there was ever a doubt! We revisited the basics of my birth plan, just in case I don’t “make it” to discuss in extreme detail at my next visit, and I feel quite pretty confident that my wants/needs will be met. I also told her how, while I feel strongly about my specific labour requirements, I’m very open to the fact that whatever happens happens and the only true goal of this whole thing is a healthy crying baby. So, having said all that and going over it with her made me super happy and confident about how it’ll all go down.

Our next step is this so called “home visit.” What’s that all about? Toby thinks they want to make sure that we’re not weird hoarders with a dirty kitchen and a sword collection. But really? They don’t even do a home visit when you adopt a puppy. It seems really bizarre that they want to check us out. Luckily our house is immaculate and I hope that they don’t consider us unfit parents because of the excess of stairs we have.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Before and After

This is the view of my guts, before and after. No wonder I feel a little cramped...









Pictures from: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/

The great debate of the decade.

The biggest thing that my spouse and I disagree on in terms in child rearing (so far) is TV. While we’ve been raised in really different ways and in really different times and places, we do have common goals and values that we truly agree on. We knew this before the child thing even came into play. But TV? We just can’t seem to agree on that.

This morning we were sitting on the couch exhausted after having woken up an hour early to clean the house for yet another showing. We were both whining and complaining to each other about how tired we are and I said something to the effect of, “Well, in a month we’ll be more tired. Except there’ll also be a crying baby here and the TV won’t be on.”
Whaaaaaaaaat?!” said Toby incredulously, even though we’ve been discussing this very thing for months.

I don’t want the baby to look at the TV at all. I hate the way that babies are just drawn to TVs and when they’re in their vicinity can’t keep focus or their eyes averted. Well, it’s not just babies that can’t keep their eyes from the TV; it’s grown men also! I’ve really been pushing for cutting off our cable all together, but we obviously haven’t really gotten to that (or any) level of acceptance yet.

I know that practice is very different that theory and that I could easily get to the point where I need to plunk the child in front of a TV in order to pee by myself once a day. But now that we’re actually in the theory stage of things, I can certainly have ambitious goals! And really? By not watching TV, we’re not missing out on a thing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Huh

I’ve been waiting for the baby to “drop,” but looking at pictures of week 35 and 36 together, I can really tell a difference of how low she’s sitting. I’m so glad I have all this visual proof of where I’ve been.

I’m working hard to decrease my fear/paranoia. I’m accepting that she may come early or she may come late, and no matter what I do or say, she’s going to be coming and it’ll all be just fine. It helps a lot that Toby doesn’t spiral into the craziness with me and that all inquiries of “Aren’t you scared?” are met with a very sure and secure, “No. There’s nothing to be scared of.” Bit by bit, everything’s getting done, and even if it doesn’t, our baby girl probably won’t even notice! I think a big factor of the outcome of my day also comes greatly in how I sleep. The night before last I was up throwing up and awake for a few hours, and yesterday was a crap day. Last night I had a great sleep, and my today I’m already feeling a billion times better. Important life lesson when the baby comes!

Also: four more days of work!

36 week tummy!


Sandwiches usually likes to be in the belly pictures, but this week he's just too tired.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thirty Six!

Well, this is the last week of having a non full term baby! She’s coming!! At this point baby is probably about six pounds heavy and 45 centimeters tall. My tummy is measuring at 37 weeks, so we’re right on track with that! She should now be completing her absolute last stage of development: getting her lungs ready to breathe real air! I’ve been a bit on edge this weekend, as her movements have slowed significantly. While I was trying really hard to shrug off the lack of movement, the midwife asked that I go in for a non stress test this afternoon. Her movements and pulse are absolutely perfect, but for some reason I’m not feeling her at all from the outside. The nurse at the hospital, after scolding me for waiting so long to come in (I was trying hard not to be crazy and paranoid!) hooked me up to the machinery and on hearing her heartbeat my eyes just watered with absolute relief. There’s just no sound better than that. Anyway, our little baby is doing great. I’m heading into my last week of work outside the home and… we’re getting there!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Loved

Last night I started crying because I thought I was in labour and the car seat was not installed and we didn’t even own any baby laundry detergent. And maybe “crying” is an understatement – I was incredibly hysterical. Toby just called to say that the car seat is installed and that he located and purchased that special baby detergent. Sometimes I forget that I’m listened to and loved…

Bla

I haven’t been feeling well lately. I’ve been exhausted, nauseous, crampy, and overheated. I’ve been checking my blood pressure, and it’s slowly creeping up which is a bit worrisome. All of this is leaving me emotionally drained, since I’ve been stressing and worrying about having this baby early. I’ve always imagined that she’d come late; never ever early. So long as she makes it past next Friday (full term at 37 weeks) I’ll be feeling okay about it, but before then, I just can’t accept. I know I just need to calm down and let what happens happen and that stressing out is working in the opposite way. It’s awful, but I know that I’ll feel like I failed baby if she has to come out early.

So for now, I will have my hospital bag ready, and install the car seat, and sit and hope for more time to pass.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taking a bit of a leap...

A few years ago I decided that it would be a good idea to jump out of a plane. Skydiving had never really been on my “bucket-list” or anything, but at the time it just seemed like a fun thing to do. In the days leading up to it I was just super excited. Driving there I was thrilled that we were finally doing it. Getting changed into the outfits and helmets and getting trained to properly jump out left me jubilant with anticipation. Climbing into the plane with all the other jumpers and sitting down with all our gear made me giddy. But when we hit the 5000 feet mark and suddenly it was time to jump, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I was just so irritated with myself: “Why am I doing this?!” I thought. “I could die! Why am I taking my life into my hands like this?! This is absolutely ridiculous! I don’t want to do this anymore!” It’s a good thing that I was basically pushed out of the little plane, because otherwise I know that I would have ridden back to the sweet, sweet ground within the safety of the plane.

And just as quickly as that, I jumped and it was amazing and then it was over.

Lately, I’ve been in sort of the same place. I’ve been planning and preparing and getting excited about this thing for oh… my whole life? There’s never been a time in my conscious memory where I haven’t wanted to be a mom and have a big family, and do exactly what I’m doing. But recently, now that I’m one month away from my entire world changing, I’m getting flashes of anxiety in the way of, “OMG, this thing… it’s really happening. There’s no going back. Ever.” I’ll have about thirty more sleeps and then I’ll push out this little baby and I’ll never live a day again without being a mom. The utter finality of it is making me scared. I guess in the end it’s all part of the process, but the starkness and reality of the whole thing – it’s just really making my head spin…

Monday, October 18, 2010

35 Weeks



As I keep doing these updates, I continue being shocked with just how far along I really am. It’s just not sinking in lately – the fact that this baby is coming and she’s coming SOON! This week she weighs in at about 2.4 kilos and is 18 inches tall. She has fully developed fingernails (which must be so amazingly cute right now!) and also fully working kidneys. All she’s doing in this next month is gaining fat and increasing her weight by an ounce a day. She’s already entertaining herself with activities such as blinking, practicing breathing, and dancing little jigs inside my belly. I continue on with the extreme nausea and heartburn but in the end it’s a small price to pay for our amazing baby girl.

35 weeks with some shiny new bling...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Head Down!

There’s a girl about my age whose pregnancy I’ve been following since I started working at the credit union. I saw her when she started showing, and almost weekly up until the week she delivered her baby girl Gemma a few months back. Watching the real-life progression she’s made has been awesome and it’s neat to see someone who’s in a very similar situation to mine. It’s been really helpful tracking her progress and the realities of this whole ball of wax viewed against our (sometimes unrealistic) expectations. Today she came in looking beautiful and skinny, and she had two helpful hints:

-“I would have done more to prepare.” I have a huge list for my 2-3 weeks off work pre-baby. There are so many projects to finish, meals to make, books to read. Sometimes it feels like the day before school starts: everything has to be in perfect order to get a nice start on this whole endeavor. Sometimes I feel like I’m being a bit anal, but even coming from new mommies, it’s good to know that doing as much as I can when I can is imperative.

-“I thought I’d be able to get things done when she sleeps.” I’m in the same school, but deep down I know she’s right. Everyone has the hope of being the perfect housewife – not only raising a happy and healthy baby but also of keeping an impeccable home. It all seems fine and well to want to do things while the baby naps, but in reality, they often don’t nap for long enough to even start to embark on a small project. She advised to not get frustrated, but rather to love and enjoy the time that you do get with baby.

Helpful advice from another first-time mom!

Also quite exciting today: we saw the baby! My mum-in-law and I got a 35 week ultrasound to confirm the position of the baby. As I thought, she’s head down and quite beautiful in my opinion. While we didn’t get measurements, she looked normal, healthy, and is swimming in an appropriate amount of fluids. Basically she’s the one who’s ready to go and I’m the one who’s not overly ready yet. But it was fantastic to see her and made me feel so proud and ecstatic that we’ve made such a lovely thing and are getting to close to finally meeting her!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So tired...

All of a sudden I’m very, very tired. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, I’m in a sleepy daze. The first words out of my mouth when I wake up are “I’m sooo tiiiiiired…” I don’t know why this has happened all of a sudden. I didn’t get any of the usual fatigue of the first trimester, nor the burst of energy of the second. I’ve been normal and balanced throughout this whole process, and suddenly I’m slouching around dying to crawl into bed each evening. Maybe the baby is sucking up all my extra energy, or maybe the weight of her is tiring me out? Anyway, I’m still not at the point that so many get to where they just want to be done and over with the whole thing. I wonder if I’ll ever get to that point. For now, however, I’d be happy with a nap and maybe a sleep-in once in a while…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

34 weeks

Baby and I are 34 weeks along, putting us at three weeks away from “full term” and a mere six weeks from the due date. My tummy feels full all the time and baby girl is kicking constantly, except for when other people want to feel her kicking. Like my dog, she doesn’t really seem to do things on command. She’s weighing in at close to five pounds this week (!!!) and should be around 45 centimeters tall. Her hearing is fully developed (Toby insists on playing Metalica for her these days, because he doesn’t want her to have too much exposure to my “crappy girl music”) and I kind of feel like she hears us when we talk to her. 34 weeks marks the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy, and I still can’t believe we’re already here.

34 week belly!


After thanksgiving dinner, but the turkey didn't change things much. Things like putting on socks and tying shoelaces (anything involving my own feet, really) is becoming increasingly difficult.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Hundred!

This is my hundredth post since I started this blog here! I can’t believe what a long weird journey it has been. I’ve gone from freaking out at every minute detail to… still freaking out about every minute detail. I guess that’s just me, and baby or no baby; it’s not going to change. But I’ve certainly gotten bigger in these hundred posts. The baby has gone from being the size of a plum to now the size of a honeydew. I’ve gone from ravenously eating everything in the world made of cream cheese to just not being hungry anymore. Our zygote has turned into an embryo, a fetus, and now in our minds she’s a real baby with a name, shoes, and a bank account. We made this amazing thing out of love and we’re both thrilled and dying to meet her. We’ve learned so much in the past eight months and have gotten stronger as people and as a team. A hundred posts ago I had no idea how all of this would feel and look and now I’m absolutely loving every second of it. And… it just gets better from here!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To clear up

I didn’t make this clear: I’m totally convinced that baby is head down. I feel her strong kicks only along the top bit of my belly and from all my reading I know that you generally just feel movement from legs and not from arms. Also, when I feel around very hard, I can make out the shape of her bum and her head around my pelvis. I’m not worried at all about having to go to a special “baby turner,” but rather am super excited for yet another chance to see baby before she makes her real-life debut.

Also, since I have bounds of internet time now that I’m pretty much checked out from work I’ve been looking at a lot of used baby stuff on craigslist and kijiji. My daughter is really fortunate to have a dad that bought her the fanciest car seat and stroller and also tons of friends and family that have showered her with amazing new gifts. We haven’t purchased anything used yet, but I’ve noticed lately that on those websites people are selling recalled cribs. What’s with that? They’re only being sold for about $50, but really? Can you justify putting your child in a bed that might kill her to save some cash? There’s even NON-recalled cribs being given away for free/very cheap, so why go the dangerous route?

Anyway, I’m just incredibly bored at work and counting down the days (Fifteen days of work!).

Another day at the midwife

The appointment with the unlikable midwife last night actually went really well! Toby came along, since I was really keen on showing him what a crazy hippy-dippy person she was and so he could be prepared to be my ally in the delivery room. Upon sitting down, she immediately asked me what my latest questions and concerns were. She attentively listened while I expressed my thoughts and inner turmoil about the whole Strep B issue that I’ve been thinking a lot lately and she made sure to tell me what is “recommended” by doctors and midwives. She validated my morning sickness, and didn’t give me too much grief about my weight like last time, since I’ve only been gaining one to two pounds per month. Halfway through the appointment, she leaned back and said, “Well… you sure have mellowed out.” I asked her what she meant, and she said that my attitude has improved and that I’m being more accepting of the process and the fact that what happens will indeed happen. I think, on the other hand, that I’m much less scared than when I last saw her (at 16 weeks only!) and feel confident and powerful in all of the knowledge that I’ve gained. I have nothing to fear because I’ve prepared myself for this as much as is humanly possible, so perhaps I’m not coming off as so insecure and flaily. Whatever it is, I’m happy that we were seeing more eye-to-eye. I still don’t buy any of her meditative “having a baby is like having an orgasm” crap, but I’m more confident that we can meet somewhere halfway.

When we left Toby said, “She seemed really nice and she didn’t even smell!” implying that I was perhaps exaggerating a bit last time I left her office in tears. But he also acknowledged that I was very firm and clear and concise in my questions and that she responded well to that. Anyway, I’m happy he got to meet her on the chance that she does actually deliver our child. As for baby: she’s “probably” head down, but it’s not absolutely certain. There’s a hard bit up by my ribs which is also “probably” her bum but I’m going for another ultrasound to be one hundred percent certain. We don’t want any surprises during delivery and I’m more than happy to get another opportunity to see my beautiful baby girl. Also, baby is measuring in the seventieth percentile and the midwife is pretty sure that she’ll be born weighing around the same as when I was born: a healthy eight pounds! I was imagining an average of mine and Toby’s birth weight (5.8lbs!) but am perfectly happy pushing out an eight pounder!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gross

I was feeling pretty good this morning as I walked to my car. I’d had a good breakfast of milk, a banana, and my three vitamins, the sun was shining, and Sandwiches was excited to be on his way to daycare. Then it happened all of a sudden: my eyes and mouth water, and I projectile vomit all over my neighbors’ lawn. Banana wasn’t so bad; the vitamins were. Sandwiches wagged his tail stump all excitedly, like, “Hey mom! That’s what I do on walks too!”

What’s with that? Morning sickness has stuck at full force after the thirtieth week for me. When I told my midwife about it, she suggested that I journal my thoughts about the impending arrival of my little one because I’m probably secretly really terrified of having a child. After silently telling her to eff off in my mind, I researched extensively and found that it’s probably just a big huge surge of hormones, which can happen at any time during pregnancy.

I don’t want to say what I actually did, but… what is the etiquette when you throw up on someone’s lawn?

33 week belly



She's growing!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

33 Weeks

Well, this little baby is a mere month from being considered “full term.” After all this time, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that. Currently she’s weighing in at 2 kilos and is about 44 centimeters tall. I’m definitely noticing her growth spurts – the tummy seems to be growing daily. Supposedly in this particular week, the baby will to move into my pelvis and press her head “firmly” against my cervix. So far, though, she seems to be staying put. I think this weekend brought my first contraction – it was just like a Braxton Hicks contraction, except quite hurty. Hurty is the word of the day, it seems. With my incredibly swollen and painful ankle along with everything I have to get done lately is making me fairly sullen and cranky. But oh well… This too shall pass.

Last weekend I did my blood test for iron and hopefully that’ll be my last prick before labour! I’m amazed with all the blood-tests this whole process has brought about. This week also brings a midwife appointment, and I’m really looking forward to hearing her heartbeat and getting a second opinion on her positioning!

Friday, October 1, 2010

49 days! What!

I’m not done being pregnant! And now all of a sudden our daughter will arrive! Unbelievable.

Lately I’m feeling very pregnant and hurty. I’m hoping that spending the weekend healing my ankle will serve in maybe expediting the process. There’s just so much that I want/need to be doing at this point, and lying on the couch waiting for my ankle to heal doesn’t really help anyone (except for maybe my ankle).

So much exciting stuff is upcoming, but I think that for now I should just focus on today. Because all of this is suddenly going way too fast.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Well, crap.

Last time I wrote I was feeling positive and happy and optimistic. That night I went home and was running up and down the stairs, convincing my spouse to take Sandwiches out for a walk with me. Coming down at the second to last step I missed a stair, rolled my ankle and fell on the floor. The loud popping noise was horrific, and I was so in pain that the wind was absolutely knocked out of me. It hurt too much to cry. I just lay there, trying to catch my breath and seeing stars while Toby barraged me with questions. Finally, I got out the words to tell him to be quiet for a minute (this situation has happened before!) and about ten minutes later I could talk again but was shaking and maybe going into shock. I was really against going to the emergency room, but after being unable to move for about 45 minutes, he finally convinced me that we needed to go.

At least we know the route to the hospital!

We waited about an hour in the ER, where I was creeped out by the screaming and yelling and germs abounding. I really, really didn’t want to be there at all. Eventually they talked me into doing x-rays, which I was initially vehemently against. Radiation is bad for babies – that much I know! But the tech, a new dad, said that I’d probably been more exposed to radiation sitting in the waiting room that I would be when he covered me from head to toe in lead. X-rays confirmed a very bad sprain and after wrapping it up and teaching me to walk with crutches, we were on our way.

Well, shit.

The next day the pain was excruciating and the ankle was entirely purple and the size of a grapefruit. The day after the swelling went down to the size of a lemon, but the gross colour has remained. On top of never having walked in crutches before, my upper body strength and physical fitness aren’t at their peak, not to mention that the extra thirty pounds I’m carrying isn’t helping anyone. I lay around the house for two days feeling like crap, and against everyone’s better judgment I came in to work today.

I already feel horrible that I left my job terribly short-staffed for the past two days, not to mention that I just returned from a twelve day vacation and am on my last month before mat leave. It was torturous getting myself here today, but now that I’m here and not doing much moving, it’s actually not that bad. Plus, I just needed to get out of the house and so did Sandwiches.

I’m so frustrated with myself for not walking carefully down the stairs. There’s so much I need to be doing and obviously I’m doing nothing. I’ve had quite the pity party for myself the last few days, but now I’m working hard to snap out of it. Yeah, my ankle hurts but things could have been much, much worse and thankfully they are not.

Monday, September 27, 2010

For posterity

-Our baby shower was incredible; I can’t believe how many people came and partook and how many people this baby will have in her life. Everyone was so kind and generous and I’m still in disbelief about the presents everyone showered us with. I’m really not good in settings with lots of people and when I mentioned that to a friend who was there she said, “These are all the people who love your baby already!” and it sunk in that it’s all for her. I felt really lucky and thankful to everyone who was so kind and generous. Now, baby girl has four boxes of clothing, tons of toys, shoes, and everything else she could possibly need. So exciting!

-We purchased our stroller! We got the Mountain Buggy in black, along with the carry cot bassinet thing, and I have to admit it looks really, really cute. We walked out of the store and both pushed it around the parking lot for a while, making sure it looked good. It’s already set up and eagerly awaiting baby! I’m glad we got it set up already, as the new plastic is fairly stinky and I don’t really want her smelling that weird smell. Toby keeps asking to put Sandwiches in it, but I don’t know if he should really get too accustomed to acting more like a baby than he does now, since his time to step up and be a big brother is coming soon.

So, thanks to being literally showered with everyone’s kindness and generosity, this baby is good to go in terms of material things. She even has two Sophies, so she’s indeed a very lucky girl. Now I can’t wait to see her wearing all these cute little things and playing with her new toys. Not too long now!

32 Weeks


I’ve been away for a while, and I have so much to report! First of all, our baby girl is really readying herself to make her world debut. I’m certain she’s head-down, evidenced by the soreness I feel behind my ribs constantly. She weighs about 3.75 pounds and is 42 centimeters tall. She’s thinking and dreaming in there and probably has a ton of hair also! As for me, I’m feeling significantly crappier than I have all pregnancy. I’ve been running around boasting about how easy it’s all been, but all of a sudden the morning sickness has hit. Weird, hey? Apparently it’s not just a first trimester thing, which is made quite obvious by all my recent throwing up.

Coming soon: posts about our baby shower, prenatal class, and the babymoon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This and that

A few things before I head off for a long time:

-Our last midwife appointment was great. Again, we got the better of the two options and she excelled at answering all of our questions. She even validated Toby’s questions and concerns about what footwear was appropriate to wear during delivery (wtf, right?) and assured us that everything is coming along nicely. Although baby’s heartbeat is really close to my belly button, the midwife is fairly certain that baby is already head down. This will be confirmed in the next appointment.

-This is my last day at work until September 27th! Hooray! For those who are counting, that brings my total days left of working down to 25! Amazing! Lately I’ve just been getting so bored and tired with being here all the time, and just feel like my time could be so much better spent elsewhere. Like, getting ready for our baby.

-Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m bringing in number 28 in exactly the way I want to. How lucky is that?

-Saturday is our prenatal class! So many baby things happening lately! I was super bummed yesterday because they sent me a quick email saying, “Class got cancelled, please reschedule.” I was fairly annoyed, because with someone who’s only here half the time such a thing is not so simple. I’d scheduled this particular date because we were both on vacation and it’s the only date I knew for certain that we’d be able to attend. Anyway, after much bitching and pleading, they squeezed us into an already-full class. In Delta. So, we have to drive an extra 45 minutes, but at least we’re getting our class in!

-Sunday I have my baby shower. I’m really not a baby shower person and can’t even remember the last time a party was had for something relating to me. Buuuut, it’s very important to some people, so I will make the best of it. At the very least, it’s a good opportunity to see people I haven’t seen for a while and that I will not see for a long time after having baby.

-I was just sitting here, bouncing on my computer chair, and in my pants found a chocolate covered peanut that I lost this morning. I ate it and it was delicious. Yup. This is my life.

-On Monday we’re off on our Babymoon – our last child-free vacation! I can’t even believe it! Even when our babies grow up and they stay with someone else so we can vacation alone for a few days, we’ll never be a childless couple ever again. It’s so baffling to think about. Anyway, for our last vacation we’re heading to Southern Washington to stay in a yurt for four nights. I’m so thrilled about a vacation with my loved ones. Sandwiches, especially, really loves doing things that are camping related because he thinks it’s pretty cool to be outside all the time.

So, that is life. Really great, I must admit. Have a happy September!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Touring

We went on our hospital tour last night, and suddenly, everything kind of clicked. It all started when we walked into the lobby of Lions Gate and Toby stage-whispered, “Sweetie! We’re in the wrong place – this is a support group for husbands with fat wives!” It only got better from there with the jokes (culminating with his new game called “Is that her husband or her father?”), and not even my usual DeathGlare was enough to silence him this time. About fifteen couples sat around a big conference table and were told about the minutiae of what will happen during labour: from where to park to what type of juice there is to the channels available on the TV. After, we walked around the Labour and Delivery unit, followed by a tour of the maternity ward. I touched the bed, the couch where the “primary support person” sleeps, looked into the bathroom and the shower, smiled at the nurses.

And oh my god, the whole thing just scared the hell out of me. My eyes kept getting all teary with nerves and it’s like everything just hit me at once. What have I been thinking about for the past eight months? Like, where has my brain been? Obviously, not on the fact that I’ll be having a real live baby really soon. I’ve thought about being a mom for as long as I knew the concept. Toby and I talked about children on our second month of dating. My whole life, this is something I’ve known I would do. And then last night, I’m all like, “Holy shit, this is fucking crazy!” All at once I realized that I’d go into that hospital, push out a baby, and then just a few hours later they would send us home with this baby. This real person. And then… what do we do? How does life go on from there? That’s not even going into the fact that soon after that I’ll be left alone to keep this whole baby alive and well and thriving. I kept saying, “I just can’t believe this is happening…” and apparently that’s a weird thing to be in disbelief about at this point.

I know I’ll calm down and that I’ll excel at this parenting thing, but right now… I’m truly in a state of disbelief.

Thirty week belly


Did you hear the one where the girl swallowed a seed and a watermelon grew in her tummy?

Monday, September 13, 2010

ThirtythirtyTHIRTY!

It’s the thirtieth week! Wow! This is the last week of the seventh month of pregnancy! While on one hand I feel like I’ve been pregnant for an eternity, a bit of my brain feels like this is all going by too quickly. This week finds baby weighing in at three pounds and is about 17 inches tall. She’ll slow down in gaining height right now and focus instead of gaining weight at about half a pound per week. She’s swimming around in about a liter of amniotic fluid, which will steadily decrease until that fateful day when she finds herself getting all dry and being evicted from my uterus. Her skin is getting increasingly smooth while her brain is developing all sorts of ridges and grooves where her knowledge and information is stored. I continue my life of constant heartburn and discomfort, but by now I’ve grown pretty used to it. Sandwiches seems to be increasing his excitement about meeting his baby sister: lately he smooshes his head against my belly and purrs. Maybe he can hear her?

Friday, September 10, 2010

It goes on...

This morning my dentist called to schedule a cleaning appointment. We set it for January and when she asked which day of the week I want I stumbled and said, “Any?” realizing that I won’t have an outside the house job by then. “How bizarre!” I thought. I’ll have a two-month old baby girl by then! And just like that, I’ll keep being pregnant, I’ll deliver my child, and then… life will just go on as usual. I know I won’t be able to wrap my head around it until she’s actually here.

Last night I read a book (because now that I don’t sleep anymore I’m using my time wisely by reading entire books at a time) called “Babyproofing Your Marriage” and it scared the hell out of me. Basically, it says to abandon all hope now. The book goes on and on about how there’s about to be a bomb dropped into our lives and that things will never be the same. It says to accept the fact that I’ll turn into an overbearing crazy bitch and that he’ll turn into an uncaring slob and that there’s absolutely nothing we can do to change that fact. Scary, huh? Enough to keep someone awake at night, I reckon. But when he comes home after being gone for a month and nuzzles his head against my tummy and goes, “Hello, baby girl…” it’s hard to think that anything could ever go wrong….

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Twenty Nine

Hm, this one seems like a landmark. Last of the twenties. I picked up somewhere that at this point my daughter goes into her most intense phase of brain development. Her brain is growing in size and in connections and getting ready for all the heavy-duty thinking she’ll do as an academic. I’ve started taking a whole bunch of fish oil to aid in this development (gross burps, though). This week I’ll review the quadratic equation with her and then we’ll move onto Voltaire and civil rights. Just kidding – we’re only reading children’s books for now. But every little bit helps, I suppose! Another baffling milestone: I’ve been religiously going by the fruit-size chart from when she was a mere poppy-seed. Now, I’m sad to report that she’s moved on from eggplant to squash and we only have two fruits left to go! It seems like forever ago that I had a little plum, and look at how far we’ve come. She’s getting cramped in there, weighing in at 2.5 pounds this week. She’s hiccupping often, and squirming like crazy. Days like these, I’ll miss when she’s here.

Sandwiches says...



"Wow, my little sister sure is getting big!"

Friday, September 3, 2010

All good

I wish I had something fun and exciting to report, but really, I don’t. I’m lucky to be having such an easy and painless pregnancy. I’m happy that I have another week of work and then a one week vacation. I’m excited that the week after that is my 28th birthday and rather than having a midlife crisis I’m thrilled that life is exactly where it should be. Baby girl is kicking and somersaulting, and every morning I wake up and look at my belly and think, “Whoa… When did this happen?” and get excited about meeting her all over again.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Twenty Eight

Well, still plodding along over here. I haven’t written much lately because I just don’t have much to say. Nowadays baby girl is about 15.5 inches tall and about 2.2 pounds; we’ve finally hit a kilogram! Her skin continues to smooth out and get more pink as time goes on. She responds very well to light and sound; as I tested out by shinning a head lamp on her last night. Her lungs are big and strong enough that she’d be able to breathe on the outside, if needed, but she’s going to keep cooking for a while yet! I’ve felt her hiccupping a few times and women are right when they say that it’s both the coolest and weirdest sensation ever.

As for me; I’m not at my greatest. Over the weekend I had several really sharp cramps and cramps hard enough to wake me up last night. I know it’s normal because of her growing size and weight, but it still has me a teeny bit concerned. I wish I could call the midwife without getting chastised for “worrying,” but instead the knowledge that Doctor Google says it’s normal will suffice. Sleeping has become more and more difficult and the combo of heartburn, cramps, and sharing the bed again doesn’t help. (Speaking of which, last night I woke up and Sandwiches was snuggled right between us. I was really surprised because he’s very independent and likes to sleep in his own bed lately, but Toby claimed that he was very cold and crawled into bed shortly after I fell asleep.) Anyway, I know that it’s all usual stuff and I’m trying to enjoy it as it comes.

Lastly, we went out to buy our stroller over the weekend at Baby’s World, but they didn’t have the particular one we were looking for. It seems like we’ve switched roles lately; I’m no longer worried at all about having “things,” for her, but it seems like this has put Toby on overdrive. I think I’m much more relaxed now that I have a few onesies to take her home in. The assurance that she won’t be cold and naked seems to have done the trick for me. Also, we’re showing our house right now and the last thing I want after all the cleaning I’ve done is more stuff cluttering our space. Toby, on the other hand, wouldn’t let us leave the store without purchasing something. He insisted on nothing but the best for our daughter (but instead blamed my reckless driving) and now we own a lovely top of the line car seat. Both of us remarked on how weird it is that soon we’ll be taking home our baby in that fancy car seat…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing new

Life goes on around here. Toby’s been gone over seventeen days and that just makes me feel like having a temper tantrum. I understand that he has to work, and it’s probably a good thing that all the overtime is now rather than in November, but still… I just want to pout and whine. I’ve reached my limit and I want him home now.

In the last week, baby’s gone through a huge growth spurt. She now manages to wedge her feet up near my ribs, so often it feels like I can’t even be in a proper sitting position. Thankfully I often lean at work. Perhaps baby will be unlike both her mom and dad and be freakishly tall.

I’ve done a ton of research on the best possible wrap for baby-wearing, and it seems like it’s the Moby Wrap. I’ve found one that I can buy on craigslist, so at least we’re squared away on one front!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Twenty Seven Weeks

Twenty Seven weeks! One hundred and eighty nine days! Amazing! Most sources say that week twenty seven marks the beginning of my seventh month of pregnancy and of my third trimester. This is all very exciting news. This baby and I, we only have one trimester left together eating and breathing together. After that, it just gets more exciting since I get to meet my amazingly cute and lovely daughter. By no means am I wishing away this time, but I’m also thrilled and ecstatic to finally meet our little person. Starting now, baby’s growth is slowing down and she’s working instead to pack on pounds. Right now she’s just over two pounds and about fifteen inches tall. As for me: I’m thrilled that I didn’t get a call back regarding the gestational diabetes (Yessss! I knew that my lifelong obsession with candy would some day serve beneficial) so no news is good news in that regard. A new and exciting symptom is my shortness of breath. I was talking with the big boss the other day about something pretty important and suddenly found myself really short of breath, as if I’d just power walked over to her office or something. At first I took it as I sign of my lack of fitness lately, but after researching found that it’s due more to my uterus being up near my rib cage.

Welcome, third trimester!

Sandwiches Says:







"Those with big bellies should not wear stripes."

Friday, August 20, 2010

What keeps me up at night

It’s not thinking about labour or the fact that I’ll be short on sleep for the next few years. What keeps me up at night (aside from the heat and the heartburn and my dog) is thinking about how I can teach her to be a proper girl. A girl that knows her power and strengths and the fact that she can do everything she wants to. I’m scared of having to teach this role; while I was kind-of raised on a principle like that and was around educated people my whole life, can I teach my daughter this coming from my current life position? I know I’m going to stay home for a while and I know that the whole baby-making mothering thing will be my stage of life for the next while. I’ve gotten a degree and had a semblance of a career and then didn’t want it anymore and here we are. I have a job that doesn’t pay, that I have no desire to grow in right now, and rely on a man. I’m absolutely elated to bring a baby into this world and it’s by far the most exciting thing that I’ve ever done.

How do I teach my daughter to be a proper feminist? Starting off, we’re listening to a whole bunch of Ani Difranco and perhaps I’ll pull out my old women’s studies books to read to her. A little bell hooks and Judith Butler in utero can’t hurt anybody…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Growing a baby, loosing my mind

More and more, I’m doing absolutely ridiculous things. I’m not the type to forget stuff or trip or drop things, but apparently we’re welcoming in a new era. In the past month and a half, I’ve managed to:

-Set off my car alarm four times. Prior to this, I had not even the remote clue that my car even has an alarm. The first time it happened I just stared at Yoshi the Yaris like, “Huh? Why are you doing this?”

-Drove over a bridge on my way home, only to realize ten minutes later that there are no bridges on my way home and that suddenly I’m driving around East Vancouver for no reason.

-Baked a wheat-free cake, iced it, cut it, and put it in my fridge. I forgot to eat it and now it’s gone off.

-Dropped a thousand things a thousand times.

-Came up with the perfect middle name for our daughter and then promptly forgot it.

Plus, I just get more huge by the day. I’m pretty sure I’ll start pulling things into my orbit any minute now.

Things

Yet another reason why I love the father of my child:

Yesterday I picked up Sandwiches from daycare and noticed a sign promoting their new services: pedicures, massages, and aromatherapy for the dogs. When I talked to Toby later on in the day, I mentioned the fact that they were doing these things. He says to me, “Get him a pedicure. I don’t want him wondering why everyone else gets one and he doesn’t.” So effin cute.

This morning I was grocery shopping and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a giant display of pumpkin pies and Halloween candy. “What the hell?” I wondered, while trying really hard to figure out if I’d gone into some freakish pregnancy coma and forgot the past two months. But no, they’re just putting that stuff out earlier and earlier. I also thought about the fact that by the time Halloween candy is on sale, I’ll be almost finished working and almost holding my baby girl.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The happiest part of my day?

My baby kicking all day long. Aaaaa-mazing...

On being girly

The other day I was sitting on the couch painting my nails when Toby asked, “What’s with you today?”
“What do you mean,” I asked him, knowing fully well that he was referring to the fact that I was painting my nails black.
“You’re all goth now? You’re feeling emo today?”
I just wanted to paint my nails black because I thought they looked cool, but it brought on a discussion about what mommies do and do not. Apparently, they do not paint their nails black. Red and pink are fine, but not blue or black. Weird, hey? These concepts he has? This whole thing is we’re embarking on is the biggest learning experience ever for both of us.

During the weekend I had my second pregnancy massage and it was absolutely fantastic. This time I actually had the foresight to arrive early so I could be all luxurious in my fluffy white robe while eating dried kiwis and prunes and drinking roiboos tea out of a champagne flute (really). I even stepped into the eucalyptus steam bath for a few minutes, even though it’s kind of a no-no for pregnant people; it just smelled soooo good. This time I had the foresight to request a woman – her name was Britta and she looked like she should be giving massages. She was absolutely wonderful and I was able to actually relax during my massage, which is totally unlike me. I think baby girl really enjoyed it too; she wiggled around constantly while we were there. I think there’s more of these in our future!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Twenty six week belly

It's been a while since I've photographed my belly:





Time, it goes on.

It seems like just yesterday I was peeing on a stick. Well, on seven sticks, if I’m going to be perfectly honest. And now all of a sudden I’m peeing myself when I sneeze. When did this all start happening so fast?

Testing…

This weekend I went to my gestational diabetes test. I was kind of looking forward to it, as I’d read so much about it on the internet. Even the midwife warned me about this one, actually, so I was looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about.

I arrived early as to avoid lines, but the place was already packed with people, including three other very pregnant ladies. They got me this mysterious drink that I’d read so much about and asked me to take the first sip on front of the lady who checked me in. I’d read that the liquid is a thick sugary concoction, so I kind of scrunched my nose and took a teeny tentative sip; expecting the worst. It was… delicious. So amazingly delicious. I drank it all and asked for a second cup! Well, I didn’t ask for a second cup but I really wanted to. It was exactly like orange Fanta (actually, I think it was orange Fanta.) The receptionist made sure that I could stay for a full hour, and by that they meant in the actual waiting room. I was planning on going outside to paint my nails and to avoid germs, but they made it very clear that there would be no stepping foot outside that office.

After an hour of shifting around in the uncomfortable plastic seat and staring at the other pregnant girls, I was called up to draw blood. The tech told me a huge story about how much she dislikes having a child, took my blood (out of the top of my hand since my veins are little) and sent me on my way. Hopefully I’ll hear nothing back and continue on my amazing tasting journey of slurpees and chocolate bars.

Twenty Six…

This week baby is weighing in at almost two pounds and is about 14 inches long. She’s opening her eyes and pretending to be a fish by breathing in amniotic fluid. Her immune system is getting strong and she’s getting all systems up and running for d-day! She’s now really proportionate-looking and is putting on fat which is smoothing out her skin wrinkles. As for me, I’m feeling fairly emotional when it comes to the fact that baby will be here so soon. I happened upon a clip of when Obama won last year and burst out crying because, man, his mom must be so proud of him! There was also quite a bit of crying when I watched Everybody’s Fine during the weekend. I came to the conclusion that it’s okay if she’s not in Mensa or Prime Minister; she just needs to be happy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Old Man Cuteness

I was helping a little old man and out of nowhere he asked if I had children. I told him I was expecting my first – a girl. “How do you know that?” he asked me incredulously.
“I had an ultrasound. The doctor told me.”
He was absolutely shocked. He just could not even fathom why I would want to know, even after I gave him plenty of reasons. I don’t like surprises, I like to plan, I don’t like not knowing what’s going on in there, I’m nosy and curious.
“What did people do before they had this technology?” he asked me.
I guess they didn’t find out. But now we can, so I did.
He just shook his head in disbelief and said, “If you were my granddaughter (and you could be, because I’m 81!) I’d go to the doctor and tell him not to tell you! Because you should not know those things!” I love how little old men always tell me their age even though I can see it on the screen; they’re so proud of their age and that’s awesome and unlike women. This man was just so incensed about the whole thing; he kept walking away and then coming back to tell me another thing he thinks about it.

It’s really funny how everyone has such an opinion about finding out. At first I thought it was older generations that were super anti it, just because they hadn’t had the option. But even people our age just don’t get why we’d want to know. But like I told little Mr. Grant, I don’t like surprises. It even irritated me after 12 weeks to know that baby was a boy or girl in there and I didn’t get to know about it. She’s not a birthday present or an engagement ring; she doesn’t need to be a surprise! There will be so many surprises that day – another one is the last thing I need!

So, whatever.

Not in a huge mood to write, but I’m hoping to get over it with the upcoming weekend. I really need a weekend.

I’m finally at the point in pregnancy where a customer will come up and say, “When are you due?!” without any hesitation of me being pregnant. It’s wonderful because then most women will go into a big tale about when they had their babies and share their own experiences. I love hearing what they have to say; no one has any complaints about being a mommy. I’m so excited about my new adventure.

For those that have asked, baby girl does have a name already. Well, she has a first name and a last name but we’re still struggling a bit with the middle name. And I think we’ll be keeping quiet about it for a while, as to not be influenced by others’ judgment. I love her name and I’ve been calling her and typing it a lot to get used to it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coming out

The midwife pointed out something that I’d actually never thought about. She was going on about the endorphins and all that and then mentioned how stressful and traumatizing the whole coming out ordeal is for baby also. I’d actually been so wrapped up in thinking about ice cream and me that I totally forgot about our baby girl. For her whole existence, she’s been comfortably resting in my cushy uterus. We do fun things like rock in my computer chair, lay on the couch, ride in a car. I guess her apartment gets smaller and smaller, but even until the end she feels really safe and comfortable in there. But come her birthday, all of her warm amniotic fluid that surrounds her will suddenly be gone. “WTF?!” she’ll probably think. Her previously cushy home will start contracting and squeezing and pushing to evict her immediately. What a crappy deal. Not only that, but her head will actually mould to fit through my dainty “canals.” When was the last time you tried to squeeze your head through something that small? Also, I was told that it usually takes two pushes to get them fully out, meaning that first her head will just be on the outside and then she’ll have to maneuver her shoulders and little slimy body out a few minutes later (picturing that visual totally makes me laugh). All in all, the experience of going from the only wonderful peaceful existence that she’s ever known to all that other chaos is probably stressful and annoying. No wonder they cry when they come out.

Bottles of beer on the wall

So. 99 days. Pretty cool, if you ask me…

The other day I saw someone who I hadn’t seen in a while and she said, “Wow, you’re like… huge…” in a pretty shitty and annoying way. I didn’t think anything of it until I was recounting the story to Toby who got all defensive and like, “Yeah! You’re having a baby! That’s what happens! In six months you won’t be huge and you’ll have a baby, but she’ll still be a bitch!”

I’m not quoting him to point out his overreaction, but the fact that he’s always on my side. I’ve always really believed that your loved one should be your strongest advocate, and I’m so lucky that mine actually is. Also, Sandwiches and I miss him a lot.

99 days of pregnancy left!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our little houseguest

We were lying around the other day and I said, “So, we just have one more trimester to go and then we’re going to bring our baby home. Scary, huh?”
Toby says, “Which part of it?” knowing full well that I’m not scared of labour.
“Well, just the fact that we’ll bring her home. And then she’ll be here. And we’ll have to entertain her! All the time!”
“Dana, it’s not going to be like having a house-guest. We don’t have to take her to the Capilano Suspension Bridge or to buy smoked salmon in Gastown.”
Huh. I guess he’s right. But I’m sure that one day she’ll want to go do that treetop adventure at the suspension bridge.

The point of this? I just wanted to draw your attention to my ticker on the left-hand side of the screen: one hundred days of pregnancy until our baby girl is here!!!

What a change!

The appointment yesterday was fantastic – everything I wanted to know was answered. Luckily, I had the good midwife and she was incredibly helpful and reassuring. I’m really crossing my fingers that she’s the one who delivers the baby.

I finally got to ask about pain meds during labour; I really had no idea why so many people were so vehemently opposed or in agreement with things like epidurals and I couldn’t really find any non-biased medical info about the types of pain meds that were an option during labour. She sat down and went through every pain med option, and in turn pointed out:
-The effect on baby
-The effect on me
-The effect on labour
She quoted actual scientific info and papers. She gave me facts. This is what I needed. Last time I inquired about this subject, I was given a speech on the fact that women have been doing this without meds for gazillions of years and I know that. I wasn’t looking for a value judgment – I wanted the real information and facts. The fact that one midwife can actually do this for me really puts my mind at ease.

Everything is going swimmingly; my uterus is measuring at 26 weeks, and baby is lying in a weird sideways position which is not of any concern until week 32. Personally, I think she’s just doing gymnastics, since that’s also her mom’s forte. Hee! I also weighed myself (she didn’t ask me to weigh myself and then yell at me about my weight gain, as the other very-large midwife did last week) but when I chose to secretly weigh myself in the bathroom, I discovered I only gained two pounds in the last five weeks! Hooray! This is totally completely baby related and having nothing to do with ice cream, which is great. She also let me actually look at the results of the ultrasounds and see for myself that everything looked perfect.

We went into depth about labour and exactly what would happen. She said that Toby could deliver the baby if he wanted, but since I’ve already had to coax him into cutting the umbilical cord I don’t really think he’d be into it. I might catch her myself, though!

The next steps are to do my glucose testing for gestational diabetes sometime this week, and to schedule a hospital visit. Yay for healthy baby!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just random

I’m sitting at work, out of things to read on the internet. While I complain a little about my job, I’m pretty lucky to have one that affords me a comfy leany chair, unlimited internet time, and a little spot to set down my tea. I’m really comfortable at work – no one can see that my shoes are off and that my legs are sprawled out on the computer tower. I guess it sucks to not really make any money or be doing something productive with my time, but luckily this is what works for us for now.

Today is my monthly midwife appointment. I used to get excited about these things, but not anymore. I’m just going to keep my mouth shut and have her say what she needs to say. I’ll also sit in the seat furtherest away, as the smell of sweat makes me nauseous. Last time I was so put off and intimidated, that I didn’t even get to ask my questions, but this time I will not allow that. I will continue to sit there until all of my questions are answered – I will not be intimidated by midwife!

Obviously, I have nothing meaningful to say. I’m a single mom to Sandwiches for the next two weeks (!) and everything is progressing nicely. My tummy is getting bigger daily, and baby girl does nothing but wiggle and kick. I’ve been getting Braxton-Hicks type contractions lately, which is just incredibly bizarre. My tummy gets really hard for about thirty seconds, but isn’t really bothersome. I hope that’s a sign of things to come! My insatiable desire for cream cheese has finally waned and it seems like I have little room in my stomach for actual food.

I’ve also been considering having a baby shower, but am still mostly undecided. A friend of mine has offered to have it, but we’ll see how into it we get.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Twenty five...



The combo of the advanced due date along with being away for the week has propelled me into week twenty five! How shocking! Every picture I see of baby shows her in rather cramped conditions. While she was comfortably doing the breast stroke mere weeks ago, she’s now totally packed into my soccer-ball sized uterus. I think it looks really uncomfortable and cramped, while Toby thinks it looks cozy and safe. Our baby girl now weighs about 1.5 pounds and is about 35 centimeters tall. She’s finally putting on some fat and turning pink. She’s now technically able to survive “on the outside!” Still, I think she’d rather keep cooking for fifteen more weeks. As for me, I’m starting to feel all sorts of brand new aches and pains. Pregnancy has been great for me so far, so I’m guessing that these new symptoms are just part of the process.

Friday, July 30, 2010

112 days to go? Whaaaaat!

As I’d long suspected, baby is two weeks older than they kept telling me. I was told repeatedly that our first ultrasound at 7w1d was absolutely accurate, but I never fully bought it, knowing that Toby wasn’t in town on the said date. No Toby - no Dana getting knocked up. So, it was nice to get confirmation.

This puts us at twenty four weeks pregnant now! Six months pregnant! Yay! How exciting!

I’ve already updated my baby ticker on the left side of the screen and baby is looking huge, isn’t she?

In my mind I’d had week thirty as a deadline for certain things (packing my hospital bags, choosing a name, getting her set up on our insurance, telling the HR department that I’m leaving) so this gives me a bit of a shorter deadline. I’m on vacation for a week, and fully intend to have a name picked out by my return.

I’ll be back in a week – for now I’m off to rest and grow and play in the sun.

So far so good

Yesterday’s ultrasound was absolutely fantastic. At first I was a little weary, because not only was the ultrasound tech there, but there was also a lady in a white doctors’ coat. I lay there silently with my mind working on overdrive about why the hell there were now two people in the room after being asked for an extra ultrasound. How could they have not told me that something was wrong and that they needed an expert there to oversee things? After a wee internal freak-out I casually said,

“So, why are there two of you guys today?”
“Oh, sorry!” said the young one, “I’m a student and she’s just overseeing me.”

I thought that was cool and proceeded to ask all about her new career. Did you know it’s a two and a half year course to be an ultrasound tech? There’s tons of information to know. Also, they don’t just look at babies; they have to look at cancer and bad things also. She said that she doesn’t mind doing diseases because when people come in to scan those, at least they’re expecting the news and know what’s going on. Her least favorite part of the job is when there are actually things wrong with babies, because unlike cancer, people come in expecting good news and it’s difficult to give them bad ones. I felt a bit validated in the fact that I always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Back to the ultrasound. She started scanning me and I was kind of craning my neck to see, as usual. My barrage of questions started, and she said, “Oh! You can look on the screen!” and turned on a huge fifty inch TV mounted on the ceiling! Can you friggin believe that?! It was a dream come true! Toby and I stared at her forever, and she looked really happy and comfortable in her apartment. The reason we had to return was because at the last ultrasound she was curled in a little ball so they couldn’t get proper pictures of the four distinct chambers of her heart, but they did see that she indeed had four chambers. This time she was stretched out fully and they got every picture they needed. The neat thing is that the tech really didn’t know what she was doing, so she kept asking her instructor for assistance. This led to a very long and detailed ultrasound. We looked at baby for well over an hour and it was perfectly fine with me. So long it was that she had to re-gel my tummy about six times. It was also great to have Toby there because he held my foot the whole time. (Got it, Becca? Hold my foot next time! :P )

All in all, she looked amazing. She was doing flips and turns and little jigs. At one point we had a great look of her face, which includes eyes and a nose and lips. She was moving her little mouth in a suckling motion also! It was awesome! There was a huge “awww” in the room when we saw that. She’s absolutely healthy and normal and freakishly smart and beautiful.

A brief recap on the most important information learned:

Weight: One pound, eight ounces
Height: Twenty three centimeters long
New Due Date: November 19th 2010.

Yay!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yesssssss!

I’m giddy and excited and thrilled because… I GET TO SEE MY DAUGHTER TODAY!!! I can’t even WAIT. I bet it’ll be this exciting when she’s on the outside also.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jewish Jumping Beans

My daughter seems to love Bean coffee as much as her dad does – she hasn’t stopped jumping around since the moment I had my first teeny sip of coffee this morning. I’m loving how active she is lately and relishing it now that it’s just movement instead of actual kicking and punching once she starts to outgrow her uterine apartment.

I keep getting the inspiration and motivation to write really deep and meaningful posts, but then I end up scratching the whole thing. I have so many ideas about parenting and how life will be after baby but I don’t want to jinx myself by writing them/saying them out loud to anyone but Toby. I realize that everyone has grandiose plans about what they will and will not do as parents, but those theories sometimes get tossed out in practice. So, we’ll see. I’m finally reconciling the fact that there will indeed be a baby here in fifteen or so weeks, and that’s a good start.

Tomorrow I get to go for another ultrasound and Toby will get to see his daughter for the first time. I’m thrilled to see her again and to get clear and certain “it’s all good!”

Monday, July 26, 2010

No complaints

This weekend we were loitering around a big Philippino house warming party filled with children and families and Toby’s tugging friends. I was stuffing my face with Lechon and being grateful that the food was so plentiful while Toby enjoyed the beer. The hostess walked up to me and said, “This’ll take some getting used to, huh?” motioning towards the shrilly screaming children, and I said, “Uh… yeah…” being too embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t even heard them. Like, there had been children screaming at the top of their lungs for about seven minutes and I’d tuned it out completely. I really hope I’m better when it comes to hearing my own child scream. Then again, this might be a good skill for not getting too stressed about the whole thing.

Eventually a girl came in who looked incredibly pregnant, and I was just dying to talk to her. Toby told me that her husband is an MMA wrestler and I was like, “Really… Wow…” and he totally played into this charade until the instant before I made a fool of myself by asking him about his wrestling career. He’s a deckhand, not a wrestler. Should have known. Anyway, I stage-whispered to Toby to ask how far along she was since I’m generally too shy to approach strangers with such a question. She was seven and a half months, and soooooo huge. My eyes widened with the realization of how much I truly still have to grow. She looked beautiful but said that her pregnancy had been horrible due to her hips separating. Like, her hip bones moving away from each other. She’s not confined to bed rest, but said that she can only walk and do no other extra activities. “What else would you be doing?” I asked, imagining her sky-diving or jumping on a trampoline. She pointed out that there was no walking in sand (no beach time!), swimming, climbing stairs, no anything but walking. Wow. I’m so appreciative that my body is being good and receptive and going along with these changes so well. All I really have to complain about is constant heartburn all the time, and compared to most things people complain about, that’s truly no complaint!

Twenty Two!

Our twenty second week bring a lot of stress and anxiety. We’ve got so much going on in life and are in a very transformative and changing period of life. It’s all good stuff, but I sort of want to fast-forward through it all. Toby is especially quite stressed about work, so Baby and Sandwiches and I are all trying to be as supportive as we can. Baby is moving so often, especially when I eat ice cream (ie, all the time!). We’re just realizing that we’ve got a mere month left of the second trimester! Can you believe it?! She’s very much proportioned in the way she will be as a newborn, minus her baby fat that she hasn’t grown yet. Hey skin is all wrinkly for this reason – she hasn’t grown into it yet! Sometimes I notice that my tummy is super hard, and I figure that it all depends on the way in which baby is lying. Every time I Doppler, we hear as many moving noises as we do heart beats. She’s such a tap-dancer already!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not much

I’ve been in a funk and just haven’t really felt like writing at all. I feel fairly crappy about the fact that baby doesn’t yet have a room or a bed or a stroller or a car seat or a bathing suit. I realize it’s all just material crap that can be picked up in the matter of two days, but I still wish I was prepared in some way. So far she has a pair of slippers, two pairs of converse shoes, one pair of Toby’s baby shoes, one jean overall, and one hoodie. That’s not even enough to bring her home from the hospital! Whenever I bother Toby about it he says we can certainly go buy it, but makes the point that it’ll just sit in storage for the next four months, since we’ll be moving houses and are currently living with minimal stuff.

One productive thing that I’ve done this week: I signed us up for a prenatal class. It’s the day after my 28th birthday and less than fifty days before our daughter is born. I’m loving that my first child is coming when I’m 28 – I’ve always known it would be this way.

So, really nothing new and no news is good news when it comes to babies. She’s wiggling around and learning how to break-dance and I’m counting down fifteen more weeks of work!