Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And the beat goes on...

I must say, the Doppler has been such a lovely thing to have. With all of the strenuous packing and moving activities I’ve been doing, it’s a very reassuring thing to Doppler the tummy and make sure all is well. His heartbeat ranges in speed, but it’s always very strong and wooshy. I’m so glad I got the Doppler to decrease my paranoia. It’s also been simply a nice treat at the end of the day, especially with as much hard physical labour as we’ve been doing with the moving thing. Sandwiches, Toby and I have been intently listening to the baby swimming in there. However, I think he might not like hearing it as much. From what I’ve read, he can hear his own heartbeat in utero, and every time I turn the volume up on the Doppler he seems to stay for only a moment until he swims entirely to the other side of my belly!

The thing I’m currently waiting for is for that second semester rush of energy that everyone promises. Lately I’ve been simply drained, and I’m kind of desiring more of a manic-type of nesting, rather than feeling absolutely dead to the world at the end of the day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And back to the grind...

My week away was fantastic. I felt like I’d been working nonstop since December, and I was just ready for a substantial break. Nine days was nice, and allowed us to use our time both for business and pleasure.

In terms of “business,” our house is about 25 percent packed, thus allowing us to move some things around and get the carpets redone in preparation for listing the current place and buying a new one. Packing in a little more difficult with the tummy, but I keep telling myself that it’s not as difficult as it will be with a bigger tummy or even with a baby. All in all, I’m really looking forward to moving and having a place for baby.

Camping along the Oregon Coast was lovely. Unbeknownst to me, there are miles and miles of beautiful sand dunes along the coast. We rented an ATV and actually drove around on the dunes. While Toby was very careful to not jostle us too much, the same could not be said for me. I tentatively checked out my surroundings when it was my turn to drive, and then promptly got air while flying over a sand dune! Toby was neither pleased at all the jostling nor agreed with my next career choice and a sand-dune driver (because I’m sure there’s a market for that!). Pregnant camping is much the same as regular camping, save for additional difficulty getting out of the tent (Toby and Sandwiches both had a good laugh at my lack of grace in this area) and the lack of drinking (although sparkling wine was a decent alternative). I hope we go camping a lot in the coming summer, and of course, when baby comes. Almost everyone had children with them, and bringing a baby along will be as easy as bringing along a pack-and-play.

Now I’m in a doomy-gloomy mood of being back at work after a vacation. Twenty-ish more weeks to go. I feel rather uninspired to write here, to do work, to do anything not relating to home-type stuff. I’m sure it’ll pass once I get back into it…

Friday, June 18, 2010

And the good news abounds

After many calls and emails, I finally got the results of my blood tests for bad diseases.
The normal odds for someone my age to have a fetus with downs syndrome or spina bifida are 1 in 1250.
The chances of our baby having either is 1 in 20,000! Along with being freakishly fertile, we’re both freakishly healthy. Hooray!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hipster baby

A tiny little boy just came in tight jeans, a button-up shirt and checkered vans. He was the cutest little thing ever and made my eyes water. Maybe I’ll dress my child in hipster fashion…

What I realized today is that pregnancy is just a bunch of milestones, lined up and ready to cross. Today, we went through a big one. Normally to work I wear a button-up shirt below a nice sweater or blazer. Today I was unable to button up the bottom few buttons of my shirt. Meaning: I’m walking around with only the top half of my shirt done up and my belly poking out the rest. And I’m not even close to my full dignity-loosing potential yet. The best is yet to come!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How weird is this whole pregnancy thing?

There are a few pregnancy things that just make me cock my head to the side in a confused fashion when I think about them.

-Inside, I’m growing a baby with different DNA and blood type to me. He’s not just a part of me reminiscent of Eve being a little bit of Adam; he’s a weird combo of me and Toby. Lately I’ve been reading about the dangers of the baby’s blood commingling with mine (because I have something with a different blood type inside me!) in the case of an amnio and it struck me as bizarre. We’re totally different people, but for now he needs my resources to survive. In such a short time he’ll be his own being with his own blood type, his own DNA, and he’ll be on the outside! How exciting!

-My whole life, it’s been a tiny bit taboo to talk about… certain things in mixed company. But here I am, openly acknowledging that my spouse and I have sex. I talk about the fact that I’m going to shoot the baby out of my vagina. And feed him with my boobs. Why is this suddenly socially acceptable? Generally you’re meant to keep the sex/vagina/boobies talk in either your bedroom or in the bar but suddenly it’s all okay, or even encouraged! Why?

-I woke up in the middle of the night last night and told Toby that I had no idea how to change a boy diaper! I don’t even know whether it’s a boy or not, but… I don’t know some things! When you diaper a boy, should his penis point upwards or downwards? Do they really pee on you when you change them? I asked Toby and he seemed to have a surprising amount of insight into penis things that I didn’t know, but still… There’s a lot of unanswered (and weird, I know!) questions that I haven’t yet considered.

This whole baby-having thing – it’s a pretty hilarious adventure…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This week my baby is starting to play; he’s tugging on the umbilical cord that attaches us and sucking on his thumb. He’s only the length of a six-inch sub (which is sooo easy for me to visualize!) and is expected to double in length and weight in these next three weeks. Month four is sure to be an exciting one! Everything I read suggests that I will not begin to feel pain in my sides, as my uterus and pelvic walls grow and stretch. The most exciting development this week is that the tiny bones in his ears are growing, which means he’s starting to hear sounds!

Also, I finally gave in to my incredible paranoia, and… rented a Doppler. It’s coming by the end of this week and I just can’t WAIT!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The day that Mr. Wiches was sad

When Toby goes off to work, as must inevitably happen at times, Sandwiches always sulks around for a few days. It’s not that he hates me or anything, it’s just that he really, really misses his daddy. I don’t pounce around and wrestle on the floor with him, I don’t clean his eye boogies as well, I don’t let him rest his jowlies on my mouth, and I don’t know how to itch him in the particular place where he feels scratchy. I hold him like a baby, feed him when he needs to be fed, let him lie on my tummy, and scratch his French Bulldog ears until he grows tired of it. But in the end, I’m his mom and not his dad. Since Toby left about 48 hours ago, Sandwiches has been looking around the house, hoping that his daddy is hiding somewhere. Even at night he’s been lurking around looking for Toby, even though I’ve told him that he’s not downstairs and will be back soon.

All of this gets me thinking about how it will be when baby is here. Will it be hard for Toby to leave his baby and will it be even harder for the baby to have her/his dad leave? Many people – from the doctors to the midwife to my friends – have inquired as to how I will handle being a single mom for some and up to half of the time. When Toby and I were first together, it was really hard for me. In a relationship, I was pretty used to having someone there always. I found it reasonable to assume that my loved one would be there for me on my birthday or when I was having a rough day or when I needed them for my amusement. With Toby, however, it was a different matter. When he’s at work, he really away. While it was hard to get used to at first, two years later I’ve discovered that I’m really used to it! So much that when there hasn’t been all that much work lately, I’ve really missed my alone time! I’ve come to enjoy our rhythm; both our time together, our time apart, and in turn – our reunion after being away from each for so long. Will the baby feel this way too? I like driving him to work, saying a tearful goodbye, and knowing that two weeks later we’ll drive there again to get him. I always say to Sandwiches, “It’s just you and me, buddy,” as we drive away, and he turns around and tries to keep looking out the back window. Will having time away from daddy make time with daddy more exciting for baby? I sure hope he sees it that way. Of course, they’ll always be able to talk on the phone and when Toby is here he’ll be able to be with baby full-time. I’m hoping that baby sees it as a good thing that his dad has such a fun and exciting and important job, which will hopefully outweigh the time we have to spend away from him.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

While I wander the aisles of the bulk food section…

The big date is set – our next ultrasound is on July 12th! I’m so thrilled and excited and can’t wait to see our little baby! I dislike that I have over a month to wait, but still, at least now it’s certain! By then we’ll be over twenty weeks in and the baby will be the size of a cantaloupe.

Some coworkers were just talking about how they loooove to shop, and I joked about how clothes shopping isn’t much fun these days, but food shopping sure is. They laughed and said, “Heeheee! Imagine! Dana just ambling along the isles of Whole Foods!” I laughed too. It’s totally funny because it’s true.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


In reading the midwife booklet, they make it clear that each appointment is “a celebration of pregnancy” and that they’re there to aid something that is wholly natural and normal. Instead of seeing pregnancy as a medical thing to be dealt with, they just guide you though what your body is meant to do. That, I can totally get behind.

Five more months until my family goes from three to four

The midwife appointment went great. We heard the heartbeat and it was a quick woosh-woosh-woosh. She said it was about 150bpm, which is considerably slower than last time but still perfectly normal. I’ve heard the old wives’ tale about a very fast heartbeat (160, like last time) indicating a boy and a slower one meaning that a girl is coming. Now I’ve had a bit of both so we’re pretty in the dark about who will be giving the sex-talk ten years down the road (we’ve agreed that if it’s a boy Toby has to do it, and vice-versa). He’s swimming right in line with my belly button, which is soooo weird! I would have thought it’d be lower, and have a feeling that a higher uterus indicates an older baby. We’ll see at the next ultrasound, I suppose. She also showed us how to feel my uterus/the baby from the outside! She easily felt it and kept going, “Don’t you feel that ridge? That’s him!” I totally didn’t feel it, but even this morning Toby kept touching it and saying, “I can feel him!!!!”

In terms of my midwife vs. doctor dilemma, I’m still so totally torn. It was Toby’s job to be really aware of which experience was better for us, as now he’s been to both the doctor and the midwife. Like me, he could see the benefits of both. The midwife was a really nice and relaxed atmosphere. Instead of sitting on the doctor table thing, you sit on a nice futon with throw-pillows and face a “lending library” of pregnancy information. The midwife was attentive, easygoing, and gave validity to my typed list of questions. One thing that I really appreciated about her was how she really acknowledged Toby and asked him questions specifically related to him. She asked about his job, whether he had questions about the whole thing, and she asked also if having the baby brought up any feelings about his being adopted. I really like how they put a serious emphasis on to how he was feeling, rather than it being all about me and baby. I know this is so much about him too and I appreciated seeing that coming from the professional. So, all in all it was a good experience with the midwife. Obviously, I have no idea which is the better decision and I won’t know that until I’m actually going through it. We’re going to go through the process of moving over my paperwork and hopefully it all goes well with going through the midwives. And if it doesn’t? Well, if it doesn’t go well, we’ll deliver the next baby through the medical clinic!

When I told the midwife about my fears of something going terribly wrong, she acknowledged that it was not just me being anxious and paranoid, but that it’s a valid thing that happens to everyone at this stage. I inquired as to whether I should do something drastic, such as buying a Doppler, and she found that notion a bit funny. She said it was entirely up to me, but that I’ll truly find a sense of calm and acceptance next month once I feel the baby start moving around. She’s dealt with a lot of people who experience the exact same anxiety as me and then completely move away from fear once they have the constant reassurance of movement. So, since everything is fine, I’ll hold off on the Doppler purchase for now.

I’m so happy he’s swimming around in there.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Today is the first midwife appointment and I’m absolutely terrified. I tend to spend the few days prior to an appointment absolutely terrified about the news that they will deliver. Why is this? Everything has gone really well so far, and with the assurance of things going so well in the twelve-week appointment, I should really stop worrying that unspeakably horrible news will be delivered at an appointment. Yet every time, I’m so, so scared. I wish they would do the heartbeat thing first, so I can actually enjoy the rest of the appointment. I’ve tried to really think about what makes me so scared and anxious that something will go terribly awry, and have come up with the following:

-This is too easy. I got pregnant incredibly quickly and easily and surprisingly. I know that some people try for years and year and deal with all sorts of crap in trying to get pregnant. Why has it been so easy for me?

-I read a lot. I’ve read a ton of blogs about babies that die and mothers that loved them. So many of them knew it could/would happen, and just as many were completely blind sighted. I don’t want something horrifying to happen but reading about it all the time makes me really paranoid and scared.

-Everything is so good and happy that I’m sort-of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Ugh, how I don’t want it to drop…

The bottom line is that I need to stop it and enjoy. An anxious mom makes an anxious baby, and that’s the last thing I need. I’m going to get all of my questions and concerns answered, and hopefully this late in the game, I can calm the hell down and just… breathe…

Monday, June 7, 2010

Important Always...

Random things that I learned this weekend:

-Love is getting on the phone at a moments’ notice and asking a stranger about “rectal bleeding.”

-Punk rock and pregnancy do not go together.

-Regardless of whether we have a boy or a girl, Toby is going to be an amazing father. Kids are drawn to him like a magnet and he’s terrific at making them laugh.


This week baby is about four inches long and weighs 2.5 ounces. He’s flailing all around, and is pretty close to letting me know he’s in there with the party going on in my uterus. His eyelashes and eyebrows are now forming, and even though his eyes are closed, he’s now sensitive to light! This means that I’ll be taking him out in the sun and shining a flashlight into my tummy to see what happens! This week is an exciting one as we’ve got a midwife appointment and get to hear baby’s heartbeat again!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baby is kicking (but very softly)

I’ve dropped a little bit of the midwife vs. doctor stress, and I’m just going to let what happens happen. It’s not like this will be my only child so if one option turns out to be awful, I can always try, try again. After a lot of back and forth with the awful receptionist, the midwife actually called me and addressed my concerns. This further reinforces my idea that the problems are not with the midwives themselves, but with the jerk they’ve hired to take their calls.

Regardless, I feel like so much time happens between appointments and I hate that I have no idea what’s going on. I’m counting down the days until my next appointment (five) and am just incredibly anxious to hear his heartbeat again. I can see my tummy growing, but I need more. I know that in later months I’ll feel him kick and that’ll be reassurance enough. But for now, I keep reading all these blogs/books where everything goes terribly awry and it just puts me right on edge. I keep reminding myself that things are progressing and in one month I’ll know the sex for certain and around the same time I’ll start feeling baby kick. It will all start happening so soon and I’m so very ready for it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On getting old(er)

I’m having a hard time writing because everything is going well. My tummy is growing, and aside from that effin constant heartburn, pregnant life is good.

Just now a friend that I was really close to in high school came in to do some banking. We’ve seen each other around the ‘hood a few times since, but in high school we were inseparable. He’s going to school, and told me a bit about his summer plans and how his last semester went. When he asked what was new with me I told him the usual stuff, and said, “And I’m having a baby in November.” He was completely shocked. “Really????” he asked, completely incredulous. We laughed for a while how weird everything was. I told him how sometimes after work I get in my car and think, “Cool! I have a car!” and he often thinks the same. Our ten year graduation anniversary is coming up this year, and I have a feeling that many people just shake their head in wonder, shocked at how we all have cars and jobs and spouses and babies. Weird.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The baby is raking it in!

I opened a teeny-tiny little savings account for my baby when I first found out about him, and it got its’ first interest payment today! How exciting! Obviously I’m not going to put him through college with the thirty cents we just made, but quite exciting nonetheless.

I’ve been in a rather crap mood all day long, and just now I’m finally feeling better. I was helping this little old man and suddenly he said, “Wow! I have so many steps to go!” When I inquired as to what he was talking about, he said that he was working really hard to get ten thousand steps in per day, and he was only at 1600 so far. He was just the cutest little thing ever. I’m really loving (super) old people more and more these days.

Midwife Vs. Doctor

I woke up this morning after a bunch of terrible dreams, feeling all headachy, stuffed up, and generally like crap. I’ve been really stressing out about which way I’m going to go with the remainder of my medical care for this pregnancy and I just don’t know which way to take it. I realize that it’s not the most important decision in the world – in the end of it all, I’m going to have an amazing little baby. But I kind of feel like the knowledge and help that gets me there counts for something, doesn’t it?

Originally, my GP referred me to the Lions Gate Maternity clinic. That clinic has five women doctors running it, and throughout your appointments you meet all of them. Once the day of delivery comes, you have a 20% chance of each one of these women delivering. They are all really nice, knowledgeable, and helpful with my questions. Even when Toby went with me, he was impressed with how thorough and helpful the doctor was. So far, I’ve been reasonably happy with them and my one and only qualm is truly not knowing who will be there at delivery. The thing with doctors is that you never get their full attention, and you never have one person from the start to the finish of your labour. Nurses are in and out; changing shifts and helping others. The fact that I’d have to fill in every incoming person on my needs and wants wasn’t exactly an ideal situation for me.

About nine weeks into my pregnancy, my sister-in-law told me about the midwife who delivered her daughter, and she had absolutely wonderful things to say. I really trust her child-rearing/raising opinions, and along with the extensive research I did about midwifery it really sounded like a great route. The appointments are longer, and they really focused on you and getting you truly prepared for labour in the most natural and pain-free way. Not only that, but the midwife is with you throughout the whole labour, which I really, really like. I feel like I should have an ally there for me, rather than a string of people coming in and out. We really weighed the pros and cons of both situations, and this particular midwife seemed like the way to go. Not only that, but their practice is really well known and received on the north shore, so every person I talked to had positive things to say about these particular midwives. I had a long chat with one of them prior to making my first appointment, and that talk really left me feeling with a positive attitude about moving over there.

My first appointment was made, and everything was fine – and then they put me in touch with their receptionist. She’s the woman who basically handles everything to do with the Midwives, and essentially the point person when it comes to getting in touch with them. We got off on the wrong foot, because after making it explicitly clear that I work business hours and would like either early morning or late afternoon appointments, she sent me my entire set of appointments from now until delivery, and they were all scheduled for eleven am. I can understand if some of them don’t fit into my schedule, but every single one? Also, if the clinic, with tons more patients can work itself into my schedule, I’m sure a tiny practice can too. It was pretty clear that she just wasn’t listening, and every email I received in return had a crappy, snippy comment. In the latest annoyingness, I inquired about my blood work. I have to get the second round of a particular blood work done this week, and it’s pretty time-sensitive. I asked her whether I needed a new requisition, or if she could send me info about where to send it instead of the clinic. No proper answer. I asked her about whether my files would be there be the time my first appointment rolled around, and she sent back an email saying that she thought I’d already asked my questions of the midwives. WTF? I can’t get a hold of the midwives if it’s not though her. So, if she cannot answer my question, then she needs to direct it to the appropriate place. The last straw was her telling me to contact the other clinic and ask them to send my stuff over, if I wanted it there before my first appointment. I’ve changed dentists before, and I know that the new place asks for the old files. Why should I have to do it?

Bottom line: I’m getting realty annoyed with the whole thing. I realize that she’s JUST the receptionist, BUT… She’s the link to the midwife, and obviously a shitty one at that. What if I go into labour and she neglects to contact the right people and I have my baby in an elevator? That would be so horrible! I don’t want to have the baby in an elevator! I just don’t want some bad-attitude lady making things more difficult for me when everything was fine to begin with.

So now I’m really unsure with what to do. I don’t want stress associated with my baby-having, and I hadn’t had stress until I started dealing with this lady. So, do I stay with the doctor or continue with the midwives with the hopes that their goodness outweighs the receptionists’ annoyingness and incompetence?