Monday, December 13, 2010

Hush Now

Someone forgot to mention when the baby sleeps throughout the night, he doesn't sleep throughout the day. Cause I didn't make that connection.

For the past week William has been sleeping overnights anywhere from 7-11 hours. Anytime I mention this to someone I get an array of positive responses such as, "That's awesome!" or "Way to go!"

But when a baby sleeps 10 hours at night, he must certainly be up MUCH more during the day. The net effect is you end up with a series of 1-2 hour naps (if you're lucky). Because a 3 month old (as of tomorrow) is only up for about an hour and a half (often less) at a time, this cycle makes for a very LONG day. Now, would I rather have 8 hours of sleep at night, or would I rather have a day of William napping in 2-3 hour stints where I can accomplish things (like having a shower or putting up the Christmas tree)?

And I'm not exactly waking up and leaping into the air ready for action after a full night's sleep.

Alright, I suppose I've made my point.

The last two days have been a challenge. William has taken to being up for an hour or less at a time (he's been starting to cry at the tail end of "play time"). Normally I'd assume he was tired of that particular activity, but the crying is now also occurring on the change table and in Mummy and Daddy's arms, so it's got to be that he's tired, right? Well, he's also developed some new "sleepy time" cues, such as grabbing his whole head and face like the sky is falling (I'll try and get a pic but it might not turn out well due to his mindset at that point). : )

So, if he's only up for an hour and only sleeps for an hour, if that (and it's only 1 in the afternoon)...yawn, except now I've had a full eight hours of sleep so can not justify being tired. Alas.

Babies are hard.

And today even though he was crying (and sort of exhibiting sleepy cues), when I put him down all he did was babble for a good five minutes--which he also did when he awoke. But seeing as how everything is an experiment with a baby, I just left him to see if he'd drift off.

Yes, he is currently asleep. According to the sleep timer, that means I have anywhere from 20-40 free minutes because at 2pm there will be ten hours left in the day and he will have already slept for 11 at that point--so he should be awake for... another 5 hours!

Right. Mmmmmm, I had a baby to play with, raise, love...who knew it'd be all day long. ; )

Seriously, (literally) yawn.

Okay, what about the good stuff? Well, William has a baby Santa hat which is adorable!

Pictures with Santa were a trip and a half. Just watching all the kids clamor over one another to use the itty bitty kid slide was unbelievable.

Side tangent: one kid kept butting in line until another mother told him he couldn't do it and his mother finally came over and told him he shouldn't do it. Then he proceeded to stand in front of the slide, lay under the slide, climb up the slide (and get his finger caught). Some other kid was all whiney and wanted to use the slide but didn't have any confidence (or something), so she'd just hang out in front of the stairs, or on the stairs, or sitting too close to the end of the slide (she was my least favourite). Another other little girl would sit in the middle of the slide so no one could go up the stairs or down the slide (until I told her she needed to move on). One decked out girl in full hair and Christmas dress actually spit on the carpet and rubbed it away with her shiny black patent shoe (clearly knowing what she was doing). Between the sweater vests on the boys, and the girls with their salon hair and boutique dresses, my William looked ghetto in his baby clothes--I just figured with him being a little over 2 months old, can not sit himself up, can not walk, and gets overheated easily, I'd keep it simple. I had no idea pictures with Santa were such a "thing". Stroller after stroller was lined up to get in as soon as the place opened. The whole thing took just over an hour.

Anyway! William has discoverd he only has to roll over to get out of Tummy Time--so it's now a big game of rolling him back over for the rest of Tummy Time (shooting for a minimum 5 mintues), which will usually produce a bout of crying. He's gripping the big soft picture blocks he normally knocks over. He can grab and shake rattles (but has hit himself once, so now we're cautious). He was holding his own bottle the other day, which absolutely amazed Rob and I. And he wants to hold the medicine dropper when we're giving him gripe water, so I can see where this is heading. We appear to have a "spirited" child. : )

But he is and continues to be a delight--simply. : )

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I was going to ask, "what is it about new motherhood that makes you so beat?" Then I yawned.

Right, it's the sleep factor. Last night I tried the Baby Whisperer technique for inching William along to sleep longer overnight. Method: "Tank the Baby up"--feed him at 5, 7, then "dream feed" while the baby is sleeping (yeah, right) at 11. And watch him sleep (not literally).

Mmmm... Fed at 5 (ish), then 7 (ish), gave him a bath, we both went to bed at 8:30 and I set my alarm for 11:30. Didn't turn on any lights, and didn't unswaddle William as I attempted to "dream feed" him after my alarm went off. But then thought I smelled poo and changed him before putting him back down, thus waking him. Still, he went down again no problem at 12:30 (drum roll) annnnnd woke up around 5.

So, no go. I get that already. If I'd have let him sleep at 8:30 he'd have probably slept for 5 hours or more, so I lost out in this deal. Book says to keep trying, it could take up to a week. How does everyone else do this? Does the baby "organically" start sleeping nights? Like I say, I can get 5, 6 hours out of him now, it just might start at 8 or 9.


Of course, I also had an energy spurt when I awoke at 11:30, so I didn't go back to sleep right away. Imagine my dismay when I went to sleep at 2:30, only to be up 2 and 1/2 hours later. Let's see, 3 hours at 8:30 pm, 2 1/2 at 2:30 am, that's 5. I went back to bed at 7:30 am for 3 hours, but slept poorly as I was cold (despite being covered in tons of blankets).

I'm always doing the sleep math throughout the day wondering if I'm justified when I feel tired (like now). Like so tired I'd rather sleep then eat.

Screw it. I'm having a nap.

But I do love William to pieces, and he's still cute as hell. Despite of his recent growth spurt, I do not regret being a Mummy (though the sheer magnitude of it all can be quite overwhelming).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a Difference

a couple of months make. Well, the first picture is from September 18, and the second October 30, but William is now 2 months old!

Back then William would fall asleep on my chest for some skin to skin Tummy Time. Now he's not a cuddler. Not sure if I've somehow reinforced such independence (if that's what I'm calling it), or if that's his emerging personality, but I keep trying to sneak in some cuddles only to be met with staunch arching away from Mummy as he prefers to look avidly around the room.

What I've lost in cuddling, William now makes up for with smiles during our breastfeeding sessions. I get a legion of open mouth smiles from my little man in between sides, so I take the opportunity to reiterate to William how much I adore him as I try to teach him that I'm "Mum, Ma, or Mummy" and that he is indeed William, and "Mummy loves you--Will, William."

Then, William used to stare silently at his wall of animals along the change table. Now, he laughs his little baby laugh when he locks eyes on the red bird, and punches his fist out at the Eeyore rattle to make it jingle (which I believe I taught him then, but he does very frequently now).

Both then and now William slept for 3-4 hour stints, though it's stretching longer and longer with 7 hours being the most he's slept at a time. Back then William fed for 45 minutes a side at the longest, and now it's 5-7 minutes a side with me always wondering if he's getting enough (despite seeing the regularity of poos and pees).

William's baby acne is what I agonized over then as I breastfed him, and now I look alarmingly at the dry patches of skin on his scalp and little bits on his face. Cradle cap was a notion in a book then, and now I use a special shampoo on William and a medicated cream that sometimes takes over "play time" after feeding. His "sad face" has graduated to full-on lower lip trembling "wah, wah" cries, which were heartbreaking then, nevermind now when he gets tired of me fussing over his skin and hair, or whatever else is bothering him.

Like all parents, Rob and I talk incessantly to William as we interact with him. It's been fun watching his baby vocabulary grow from gurgles to what we swear are words. I keep guessing what I think his first word will be (either, Hi, Hello or Okay), as those are most used by me, it seems. I swear he deliberately said "Hi" recently, as he breathed out the word while looking directly at me during what I now refer to as "face time" (a new activity category I created on the iPad Baby Connect application with the description: William is being adored by Mummy/Daddy).

William hardly lifted his body during Tummy Time back then, and now he gets enough height for us to actually take a video featuring his face. He also rolled from front to back just the other day! Then promptly spit up after much fan fare from Mummy congratulating him on his great achievement. : )

Of course I loved little William even then, but now he takes my breath away when he looks right through me with his smile, follows me with his eyes around the room, and when I close my eyes and feel his small body wiggle against me as Van Morrison or another favourite musician plays on in the background.

If I love William this much now, then how much more could I possibly love him later?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


According to our iPad application, Baby Connect, William's been sleeping for 2 hours, 45 minutes (and counting). It's 11:06pm. So, rather than try and go to sleep for 1/2 hour or so, I'm waiting for him to wake up so I can feed him and then we both can go back to bed. My goal will be to try and feed him lots to see if he'll sleep longer. My data from Baby Connect indicates I can expect anywhere from 3-4 hours of sleep from him once we all go down. I keep crossing my fingers for 5, but I'm not sure how long that will take to achieve.

I can not say enough about Baby Connect. It tracks everything! Colour of poos, activities, growth charts, graphs--in a word, awesome. We've raved about it to Amanda and Warren and recently they came across what I can only refer to as their "manual" charting created when Rhys was born (as we all know, you need to keep track of this shit--literally). These applications simply have the advantage with today's technology (plus it's ideal for Type A mothers, which I've been told I am). We've even taken it to the doctor's office to record height, weight, etc--so handy. Though the percentiles the doctor tells us do disagree with the iPad percentages, so good thing I don't have to just take the doctor's word for it. ; )

You may be asking yourself (because you follow this blog so closely), didn't she say the next blog was going to be on what she enjoyed about motherhood? Exactly, dear reader(s). Not only do I enjoy tracking all this stuff, but I enjoy analyzing it to manipulate behavior and influence results. Which is why I also enjoy the Baby Whisperer so much--the cause and effect relationship is fascinating to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a lab coat spending hours pouring over the data, I'm just looking for trends and seeing where I can tweak things.

Though, I did read and re-read sections of the Baby Whisperer quite a bit to try and soak in the information to get us on a routine once William was born. Of course, if I didn't see results I'd have trashed the whole thing, but because of how well we're all adjusting, I'd say it's been well worth my effort. And I haven't been so crazed when things don't go according to plan, or go way off routine, that we can't adjust, but I'd say because we've had such a good routine we're all much more flexible when unavoidable things happen (and they do happen).

Case in point, our gas scare of last week. Situation: hot water pilot light went out early am (noticed when Mummy tried to warm a cloth to wipe William's red, teary eye which was beginning to look puffy, after a particularly challenging breastfeeding session). No hot water. Mummy starts to get agitated and calls Daddy (while William is starting to fuss). The clock is ticking down on home health care arriving, and I still have yet to make my own saline solution (rather than continue to buy it at $7.00 a bottle, only to thrown 3/4's away after 3 days because that's when it's "no good"--something I have yet to understand, but am unwilling to test on my gaping abdominal wound).

After calling Daddy, I then call my close friend who I know has had many hot water heating issues, and he tells me I'd be best to get someone in to relight it. Then I call my brother who asks me if I smell gas, at which point I go downstairs and declare, "YES, YES I DO."

"You've got to get out of the house!"

Now, in checking the ATCO gas website after the fact, it advises the same thing. However, Rob shows up just in that moment and I'm running up the stairs shouting to him, "I can smell gas! I can smell gas!" I grab the baby, a blanket, a coat and leave the house (still in my pajamas, of course). Meanwhile Rob is on the phone with ATCO, who is calmly telling him to simply ventilate the area. Mmmmm... Website says--don't use the phone, call from a neighbour's, and don't switch on any lights (among other things).

Rob tries to call me back down to the house as I'm sitting on a neighbour's stoop, cradling the baby (okay, and crying), and I will not budge. Home health care count down is less than 10 minutes ETA, which I have completely forgotten at this point, as I have images of the house blowing up with Rob in it.

He finally comes over to me and coaxes me back telling me all should be alright (based on ATCO call) just as the home health care woman shows up (I swear she must think Rob beats me). I can laugh about this now, but it's taken me a week to openly talk about it beyond that day.

ANYWAY, my point was supposed to be that William just took it all in stride. He was calm in my arms, though I had forgotten the soother "just in case", and when Rob took him back from me so I could get the incision treated, William just went back to sleep. No big deal. And the only thing worse than all of that (at the time), would have been if William would have been crying his head off during, or after, said "situation". But no, we've got a good little guy.

Is it the routine? His personality? Maybe a bit of both.

Either way, thank God there was no real issue (ATCO guy showed up with his gas sensing equipment and couldn't find a trace--aka hysterical new mother).

Where was I going with all of this? Mmmm...was supposed to be writing extensively on what I enjoyed about motherhood.

Well, there's plenty of time for that.

Here's a favourite baby pic! : D

And just like that William is stirring (really). At the 3 and a 1/2 hour sleep mark, no less.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baby Whisperer

I've read the book; I've got it tabbed and highlighted with things I reference constantly (such as as the crying grid of what the typical cries mean); I think Baby Whispering is working. Take today for example: normally we put William down to sleep and there isn't a lot of ritual. We swaddle him, we give him a soother, I tell him he's going down for a sleep and how well he's going to feel when he wakes up, and that's about it. The book suggests spending a bit more time helping him "transition" to the sleep stage (recommended if he's fussing a fair bit when you put him down, which he has been). So, today I tried giving him more time for "transition". This included a bit more time on Mummy's shoulder as I waited for his breathing to even out, and when I put him down, I patted him a little longer. Both times of doing this resulted in no fussing when he did fall asleep. Score yet another one for the Whisperer (which is now me).

Amen, post over. : D

What else is working? Well, we do have him on EASY (a routine of Eat, Activity, Sleep, You--as in Mummy). That's going well in terms of being able to predict what happens next for William at any given moment (both from his perspective and mine). For example, after he eats we give him some short activity, watch for tired cues, and when he fusses--because he's on this routine--we know he's then ready for sleep. Even though he looks wide awake, which often confuses Rob (and sometimes William's grandparents), when he goes down he falls asleep (because that's what William needs, which we both now know).

The other thing working well is the notion of "starting as you mean to go on". Don't start something now you won't be willing to still be doing 3 months from now (ie: rocking him to sleep). Thus the importance of putting William in his crib BEFORE he falls asleep. He gets used to putting himself to sleep (once we help him transition to a sleepy state) and doesn't require Mummy or Daddy's constant interference to stay asleep. Sooooo working well. When William periodically wakes up, he self sooths and is adept at getting back to sleep.

Not to confuse this with not meeting his needs. When he cries, we go in and see what he needs, meet the need and then leave. We don't overstay our welcome, and we don't rush in too quickly--thus giving us time to take note of what his cry might mean, and giving William a voice to tell us what he needs. Sounds easy in theory, but we do the best we can to meet his needs, making sure we're not just silencing him with a soother thus forcing all his cries to become the same (another theory from the book I think makes sense).

By all means, everything doesn't simply go according to these routines or the book, but for the most part it's helping keep us all balanced and I think has made recovering from a c-section easier, not to mention easing us into the shock of becoming new parents. If shock is even the best word. I think shock implies you have time to analyze and recover from an event. Whereas with being a new parent, there is little time for analysis (I've noticed my internal "filter" has disintegrated almost entirely), and who knows when I'll feel like this role of motherhood is the new norm.

Having said all of that, I've had this post in the "can" for so long waiting to finish that I'll just end here and continue with the next post on everything I enjoy about motherhood and my little William. : )

I must also add when I feel frustrated, it's alleviated pretty quickly by looking at photos of our lovely little boy. : )

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Real Labour

Has it only been just over two weeks since William was born? I can't believe it. I wish I could say it's all been smooth sailing, but William came into the world via an emergency c-section (and all I wanted while I was pregnant was to avoid a c-section).

Maybe I should back up a bit.

Induction day was 11 days overdue. I avoided any exams and sweeping of membranes not wanting to mess around "down there", because I was hoping things would take their natural course. I instead had two sessions of acupuncture (a woman in our birth and babies class swore by it--had actually gone into labour within hours of having it done). But on induction day, I was seen by some locum (not my doctor), who proclaimed me as barely a centimeter dilated, and was very quick about it. After she left, I cried and was quite upset knowing how little chance I had of not having a c-section from that point onward what with all the medical intervention that would be required. Rob and I immediately went over to the hospital for a cervical ripener, and had to actually sign a release when informed that Cervadil could cause a very speedy, hard labour.

Prior to the Cervadil, I had my blood pressure taken and it was quite elevated at 143 over 90, probably because of how upset I was. This turned out to be a saving grace, as they didn't want to release me based on the blood pressure alone. So, at 1pm I was given the Cervadil, then admitted where I was told I wouldn't be leaving the hospital without a baby.

How Cervadil works is you get examined 12 hours later if you haven't gone into labour. This is when women are normally sent home. Intense contractions didn't begin for me until around 6pm or so, and had Rob and I wandering the halls to try and manage the pain/force labour into progressing. The contractions came in clusters, and I was very nervous as I was not yet admitted into the labour and delivery ward, and Rob would have to leave at 9pm when visiting hours ended on my ward. I was frightened of labouring on my own up to 4 centimeters until I'd be admitted and Rob would be able to come back and be with me(as yet another woman in our class experienced). It seemed as though all the things I was afraid of and trying to avoid were coming true.

Rob left at 9pm, and the contractions had settled to a manageable rhythm. I was even feeling sleepy and decided to get into my pajamas, turn the lights down, and try and get some sleep; we were both advised it could be a long day of labour. I had been in bed for hardly any time, Rob had only been gone 40 minutes, when I felt my water break in a big gush (a peculiar sensation that I still don't know if it was audible or was just an internal "whoosh"). I immediately pushed the nurse call button, and tried to get to the bathroom with as little mess as possible. I could barely get out of the bathroom and back to bed once the nurse arrived because the contractions were progressing rapidly. At that point I was 3 centimetres dilated and told it would likely take awhile.

Because I was GBS positive, antibiotics needed to be administered via IV as soon as my water broke, so that was a big focus. Unfortunately it took 3 attempts by different teams of people (nurses, residents and finally an anesthesiologist), which took close to an hour. I was desperate for pain medication, even at that point, as there was no spacing of contractions--no working up to 5 or 4 minutes apart, it was one minute, two minutes, one, one, one, and on it went. First I was told I could get a shot of morhpine, but that kept getting sidelined by the IV issue. Then I was told I could get pain meds via the IV, which of course wasn't in yet. Finally they located some laughing gas, and I went from 3, to 5, to 7 centimetres within an hour and a half.

Rob was called almost immediately, and appeared to be taking his time (at least forty minutes from my count). When he arrived, I believe I was using the laughing gas, I was in so much pain. I could feel the contractions build in the side of my belly like a heartbeat, which would clench and clench until it hit the peak. I prayed and prayed I would get more time in between to brace for the next contraction and try and relax from the previous one, but I had little reprieve. When the IV was finally in, I asked again for pain relief and the nurse actually sat down on the bed, took my hand, and told me it would be all natural. This was heartbreaking news at the time, as the pain was unbearable and had started and progressed much more quickly than I'd ever imagined it could.

After I was 7 centimeters dilated, they called for a room on the labour and delivery ward, but one wasn't available. Just as quickly it was and I was whisked away. From there things went very fast. It seemed I wasn't in my room long before I was being rushed to the delivery room. I can't remember when they put on the internal fetal monitor, which allowed us to hear the baby's heartbeat (in stereo it seemed, it was so loud). When the contractions would hit, I would suck on the laughing gas so hard it sounded like I was choking for my last breath through the mask, I was breathing so deeply. There were no other thoughts in my head beyond stopping the pain.

Then the urge to push hit me. My whole body trembled, and I vaguely understood what this meant, and that I could not yet push. I was finally told I could not yet push, and that's when we all heard the fetal heart rate audibly drop to a loud, slow and sickening thump, thump, thump that seemed to reverberate throughout the room (certainly throughout my pain induced, laughing gas haze) as compared to the cheerful quick staccato in between contractions.

I was measured again and was still 7 centimeters. I was then told I would need a c-section, as the baby was not "tolerating" the labour, and I remember signing off on a release form. I immediately asked if I would be getting pain medication, and was told there wasn't enough time for it, that I would need to be put fully under. Instead of being alarmed, I was more concerned about how quick they could make this happen. I was being wheeled to the OR (or whatever), as they fired questions at me about when I last ate, etc. The entire time they were prepping me, I just kept asking how long before I was under--HOW LONG?!

Rob was being rushed into scrubs and was then told he couldn't come in, so he had to listen to me howl as he waited outside in the hall. He saw person after person rush into the room, all while not knowing if everything was going to be alright. He was told, "Listen for the baby's cry." It wasn't long after he heard it, he was able to go in and see William sitting in the warmer all bright eyed. My water broke at 9:40pm and William was born at 12:59am. Rob can retell his side of the story now without welling up, but it was a challenge retelling it for up to at least a week after William's birth.

I was out for another two hours while Rob and William got acquainted in the nursery. When he was finally able to present William to me, I wasn't the least bit surprised Rob had a boy in his arms.

We both have since wondered if we would be able to endure this again for a second child (can't believe the thought has even crossed our minds at this point), but for now, we get to hold our little healthy William in our arms and thank God he arrived when he did.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labour Day

And so it is, though I am not yet in labour.

Not yet.

The official due date was September 2nd, but I didn't get too hung up on that, as I know it's not always entirely accurate, and the baby and mother nature usually have other plans. A woman in our birth and babies class remarked at how patient I was, but at the time I wasn't yet overdue and was in no rush to have this baby. While I am still not frustrated or anxious about it, I do want it to happen naturally without medical encouragement.

To that end, Rob and I have started to push the labour envelope, only to be surprised when it appeared to have worked in the sense that painful contractions began within the hour (though sporadic), and are still occurring though not necessarily progressing in any obvious pattern. I started using the iPad contraction timer, much to Rob's dismay--who then decided he should pull an all nighter to finish the odds and ends not yet done around the house (which I quickly discouraged and easily talked him out of).

I understand labour to be an active process where you should stand, walk and move around to encourage your body to continue the process, except Rob and I decided we weren't "quite" ready, so I lay down to try and stall it instead. : ) We didn't anticipate it happening right away and want just "one more day". I'm curious to see how we'll feel tomorrow and if we are as gung-ho on our induction experiments as we were last night--though, we still know that natural is the best option, especially considering how much I want to avoid a c-section which increases the more medical intervention occurs.

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I stopped working. Sometimes I wonder how I've been filling my time, as previously mentioned, but I'm still sick (and at this exact moment coughing is an all-body engaging, stomach hugging intense experience--and a mind numbing reminder that labour itself will be much much worse--gasp). Trying to get over this never ending cold by resting as much as humanly possible has taken up a fair bit of time, along with the odd cleaning, and shopping and such. The new mothers and fathers in our baby class keep saying over and over, "get sleep now" (they actually mouth it when I simply glance their way), as if we didn't already know this, and to that end, I continue to nap whenever a series of yawns strike me.

I'm under no illusions that I'm physically or mentally prepared for labour, I just know it has to happen in order to meet our little boy or girl. When I watch breastfeeding videos, I become emotional at the thought of holding our little baby, and how much he or she will rely on Rob and I for love and all the necessities of life. I feel weepy at the thought of seeing their little feet, and holding a little hand.

And I have no idea just how much our lives are about to transform.

Any day now.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ready or Not

I've only spent the past five days being sick, so I haven't gotten much accomplished baby-wise. What would I have been doing instead of combating a cold? Cleaning house, setting up car seats (getting them inspected--did anyone else do this?), clearing my trunk, cooking and freezing meals...isn't that enough?

What have I been doing? Having breakfast at a decent hour (after being up in the middle of the night for a minimum 2 hours), watching TV or being distracted with the iPad, and napping (if you can call going back to bed for 2 -3 hours a nap). I'm quite anxious at the prospect of going through labour sick, and even more alarmed at the notion of trying to mother a newborn while sick. Seems like a cruel joke for my body to come down with an instantaneous cold that despite all the sleep in the world continues to progress--first from sinuses to throat then to chest (if that is even any kind of medical progression). I harbour images of struggling to recover from a C-section while coughing--delirious from a lack of sleep--wondering if I'm developing pneumonia as I breastfeed and fretfully analyze my own baby's health on an hourly basis. I've used this image as a big green light to do as little as possible in an attempt to coax my body back to health before labour and my life as a mother truly begins.

I was finally feeling a tad better today so I dragged Rob to dinner and a movie (and had to remind him that despite his lack of interest and energy he was banking "relationship points", as I really needed to get out and spend time as a couple in what will be the last of our non-baby time together). The movie was the Expendables by Sylvester Stallone (and I must say one big pile of BS), because of course the movie we wanted to see was sold out in Imax on a Saturday night (Inception). I have to keep reminding Rob we will have little time for things like this over the next 3 months, and any type of couple time will be a substantial effort on our part involving babysitters and the like.

During the movie the baby was of course periodically kicking about, and I started to experience what I believe is my body's labour preparation--sharp electrical type currents running down into my pelvis and of course pressure. I have occasionally felt my abdomen tightening, but is always a tricky assessment because my belly is obviously running out of room for the baby so always feels big and firm at this point.

At 39 weeks the doctor hasn't done any type of exam so I've no idea if my body has progressed in terms of dilation. All I know is the thought of it all starting in the next few days leaves me breathless, as I know this is going to be more intense than I could ever have imagined, and more tiring than I'm prepared for. I really hope those joyful moments come quickly and often to give me the energy to carry through to establishing a "natural routine" with the baby.

Of course I'm excited to meet the baby, but I'm also anxious about its health--not just during or after delivery but the sheer magnitude of taking care of a little person for the rest of his or her life. Will I recognize any medical issue requiring attention, do I take a baby CPR class--should I have done this already? My mom is at the stage where she would like to be updated constantly, which drives me bonkers though I know is natural on both sides, but when you're sick, is particularly taxing. Add to that the family drama continues to unfold and will always be an unfortunate backdrop to the story of my life.

Our prenatal class is equally exciting and anxiety provoking, as one after another new baby arrives. We have three bundles to date, and at least 2 more on the way with couples being absent last class. It's quite thrilling to see Rob swaddle the creepy baby dolls (labelled as "baby" in pen on their feet), and then practise again at home on Winnie the poo as we sit together in the baby's room (a very nice moment and memory, indeed).

The baby's room: a highlight for sure. I can't believe Rob let me go with such a bold colour, which he worried afterwards was too intense for the baby, but looks quite charming with the contrasting accents of pictures and such. I like to go in there and just sit, even though there are still a last few last touches to be made (crib needs assembly, curtains need to be hemmed and hung--and if it's a boy, one last picture to be purchased and placed. Baby, if you're a girl--we will celebrate and love you all the same!)

I knew pregnancy would not magically transform me into a serene and equally relaxed individual, I just pray my faith and fortitude carry me through the challenges new motherhood will inevitably bring, and that I will intrinsically feel it's all been worthwhile in the end (keeping in mind there is no end to being a parent).

Because after all of that, ready or not, Baby, here you come. : )

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day One

After two hours of sleep, was up until 3:30 am. I had this brilliant flash I would assemble the rocking chair while watching Hope Floats which happened to be airing on TV. Once I had all the pieces out of the box, along with the screws and instructions, I realized I was far too uncomfortable to be monkeying around with all that crap--which looked laborious at best, so I gave up on the chair, gave up on the movie (right after the worst scene where the father refuses to take his daughter with him, leaving her screaming and crying by the car--which of course stressed me out) and instead distracted myself by beating all the top scores in Jawbreaker on our new iPad. : D

Rob asks, "Why can't we just share the high scores?" He doesn't understand it's not the owning of the high scores I want, it's the challenge of beating them to begin with. Once I beat the scores, I wait impatiently for him to set new records so I have something to strive for. A person's got to have goals.

Okay, back to Day One. I count it as today--Monday. Friday was my last day of work. The day before that my co-workers threw me a surprise potluck/baby shower (really, as there were presents), which was an absolute delight. But also made me feel guilty as I've been quite self absorbed during this pregnancy--no energy or desire to plan and think about much in advance; I feel like I'm taking things one day at a time, unfocussed at best, uncaring at worst--even our 2nd year wedding anniversary I put no thought into what-so-ever, and was happy enough we managed to get out to dinner.

Some co-workers in other depts sulked when they glimpsed our celebration (which was subtle). But I've done the "office party" thing: someone brought in a cake for me for my wedding, put up little signs day of, and it was brutal. After the initial cutting of the cake in front of a smattering of people, I sat there for an hour and a half over lunch while the odd person wandered in, politely inquired when the big date was, took a slice and left me alone with the enormous slab of orange and white iced Costco cake. UGH. I even guilted one woman into keeping me company while she ate her lunch. Never again, I vowed. Now I always avoid everyone else's office parties, assuming they have enough people without me. And I hate goodbye parties.

Back to Day One. I spent what you could consider the real day one (Saturday) working on the birth plan in light of having tested positive for GBS. The pregnancy books I've been reading gloss over this little gem with just a small blurb on the test itself, which my Doctor did not warn me was coming (much to the nurses surprise the day of the test) and I can't help but wish I'd known about sooner, as there's much information that suggests I could have treated it naturally had I realized it could be such an issue for the baby.

Despite whatever low percentages there are for actually passing this along to our baby, it changes the labour entirely and adds a very real level of anxiety to the birth process. Not to mention the antibiotics which appear to be standard issue once you test positive only treat the early onset of GBS, do nothing to eliminate the risk of death, and have no bearing on preventing late onset GBS. And when you think about what would cause late onset GBS, you slowly realize the baby would be contracting it from interacting with me, and then you realize you'd better get to sterilizing the daylights out of your house and all hard surfaces which could be carrying this "naturally occurring" bacteria that's perfectly harmless except for those with compromised immune systems such as pregnant women and babies.

Meanwhile, Rob says I should relax as I have the "hardest job of all" of carrying the baby. Right. Let me just finish decorating the room, buying crap for my hospital bag, finding my Dr Ho massager (I hope in and amongst the crap still to be cleared from the baby's closet) to ease the latest sharp pain reverberating throughout my left buttock, wash the rest of the baby clothes, wonder incessantly why I didn't order the baby's dresser online as I wait impatiently for a call from effin Toys R US, finish sterilizing every surface of our messy house--made worse now by my sad attempt at assembling the rocking chair, and get to preparing and freezing those meals that are supposed to make our lives easier once the baby arrives.

No wonder all I look forward to is setting the high scores of Jawbreaker. Oh yes, and I'm more than well aware that no matter what, this baby is on it's way, so I'm even more cognizant that the "more organized I am now the easier that transition will be".

So, now that it's Day One--where exactly do I begin?

Well, seeing as how I've had about 4 hours of sleep, broken up into two shifts from 9:30 to 11:30 and 3:30 to 5:30--I think the iPad and I are heading back to bed (window closed and ear plugs in, of course, to block out the never ending obnoxious West LRT construction noise).


Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Letter

A search on the Internet revealed a very small clue: a listing of two names from a Local History book index for Vulcan and Wheat County. Fortunately the maiden name was present, and this gave me an indicator for what her married name might be. After searching her under the married name, I found a listing in Lethbridge.

I didn't think much of it until the subject came up again during a family dinner. My brother revealed he had even gone down to Vulcan and searched the cemetery to try and find the family connection. I mentioned the information I found, and it was surprising just how interested we individually were in our family history. I forwarded the info I'd discovered to my other brother and he had the foresight to search the address I'd found along with the name listing in Lethbridge.

It was a senior's center. After that we knew we had a chance. How many women in Alberta could have such a distinctive name such as Wilma, have the Vulcan connection (which was her birth town) and be alive in a senior's center? It had to be her.

Before I had confirmed the senior's center, I'd thought of phoning the number I'd found with her name. I'd considered writing a letter. Once I had my brother involved, he was as convinced as I was that some contact needed to be made and needed to be made soon.

This was my grandmother, after all. My mom's mom--who had left her and the family in 1950 when she was 18 months old--never to be heard from again, at least from what we knew.

We wondered if we should even tell my mom what we found, but I couldn't help it--as always, and it turned out she wasn't concerned about our plan in the slightest and gave us the go ahead. She kept reiterating what we were doing was for "us and us alone", as she couldn't care less. Right. Who wouldn't care to find out the true story behind their mother leaving and never having contact with them for the next 60 years? I'm sure there's no baggage there what so ever. : )

My brother thought my letter was confrontational--"accusatory" even. I thought it was factual and respectful, and my Dad and Mom agreed. My grandmother's leaving the family had always been a big secret. Even after my mom asked a few family members, she was told nothing--no one was the wiser, it seemed. The true story, it seemed, had gone to her father's grave.

Until now.

The letter asked for a bare minimum of the truth to be shared, and indicated that no knowledge of the series of events had ever been given to my mother. It mentioned how I was currently pregnant with my first child, touched on my brother's briefly and also underscored that should nothing come of our attempt, we would fully respect a responding silence. I included a copy of my mom's baby picture, a wedding picture which she keeps in an album next to her mother and father's wedding picture, and a copy of the family tree from my mom's baby book.

We thought we were throwing the equivalent of a bottle into an ocean. After 60 years, I thought there was no way this woman would have anything to do with any one of us, never mind my mom. She hadn't made any attempts as far as we knew, so why would we have any success now? I'm not sure under the same circumstances if I would have the courage after 60 years to provide or get the necessary closure. And did she even have any of her faculties left? So many questions, and such a long shot.

I mailed the letter on a Sunday. I got a phone call that Thursday.

"My name is Adrien. My mother received a letter from you about a family connection. Give me a call so we can talk about it. I look forward to hearing from you." He didn't sound that old. He didn't sound angry. But I was afraid to phone him back. My mom couldn't believe we'd gotten a call and encouraged me to phone immediately. I stalled for a few moments, but started dialing anyway.

After introducing myself, Adrien responded, "I'm your uncle. And my mother is your grandmother. I can't tell you how excited I am." And after a bit, "Let me assure you, my mother has never forgotten your mother."

We couldn't believe it. My mom still can't believe it. She thought she didn't care, but once we'd made contact she worried her mother wouldn't have the courage to come through and actually meet with us--meet with her daughter. Give us some answers.

They are meeting today for the first time in 60 years.

It all seems so simple now. If we hadn't sent that letter, we would never have known this could be possible. In a million years, my mom never thought she'd have this opportunity. We know to have low expectations, but having come this far, we can't help but wonder at the possibilities--even with her brother's (our uncles) at the very least.

And if nothing else, my mom will finally know more of the truth, can stop speculating, can stop looking at her mom's pictures for "clues", and can perhaps get some peace.

Adrien also commented several times just how "well written" and "respectful" the letter really was.

Well of course it was.

: D

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

17 Hour Ordeal

The pain started while driving: menstrual like aching across my lower back, and sharp mid abdominal pain. So much so, I thought of turning the car around and going straight back home. Except we were counting on the vegetables I was going to buy to go with the fish we were planning to have for that night's dinner.

As I walked around the store, my discomfort eased. My stomach felt a little more "full" than usual, but I'd just taken my blood pressure at the drug store, so I knew that was all good.

I had decided not to get the mini grocery cart I like so much, as I couldn't be bothered with the quarter, opting instead for the handheld basket--never a good idea, never mind when you're seven months pregnant. Of course, I ended up with all kinds of things in the basket, legitimately making it too heavy for me to sensibly carry, but still I forged on.

Even the bag of groceries I carried back to the car was obviously much too heavy, because I'd only brought one shopping bag with me and I refused to get a second plastic one. The drive back home was again extremely uncomfortable, reminding me of getting my period last October when I discovered I was no longer pregnant for the first time.

Back home, I only put away what groceries I absolutely had to and made it to the couch where I immediately laid down. Except it hurt more when I was on my back than when I was sitting in the car. Rolling over to my side, I found my breathing to be quite shallow and wondered not for the first time if this was what one element of labour would be like. As the pain subsided, I hoped this would be but a brief pregnancy phase.

Rob kept trying to encourage me to get things done regarding the baby room, and I kept insisting with my silence and stationary activity that wasn't going to happen. For the rest of Sunday, every time I sat up straight, I felt this pain mid abdomen and aching immediately flare up in my lower back to radiate higher and higher.

After as much TV as I could stand, a slow walk around the block, and several unsuccessful self diagnoses on the Internet, I finally went to bed. Everything seemed fine, except when I rolled over. The brief moment on my back produced an intense mid abdominal pain. During once such roll over, I got up and decided to walk around the house. After pacing back and forth for over 5 minutes, I tried another search on the Internet. But just as with the others, all I could discover was that menstrual like back pain or sudden onset back pain was not considered a good symptom, and mid abdomen pain was more difficult to diagnose--ranging anywhere from heart burn, to urinary tract infections. Not to mention that just sitting in the computer chair was causing me a tremendous amount of discomfort (say 7 out of 10 on the scale) which was taking longer and longer to ease off.

Still, I went back to bed. When I woke up in the morning to what seemed a worsening set of symptoms--taking special note of the level of intensity of discomfort while on my back, I decided to call Health Link. I thought perhaps they might refer me to my doctor, or a clinic, but they of course, referred me to the hospital. The nurse later said they always will--which should be reassuring except when it's coming from a nurse who is telling you to "keep this in mind" if/when you call Health Link.

So, after Rob got home from the gym at 6am, we trucked off to the hospital, me lying as prone with a pillow as possible in the passenger seat. Even though we were able to bypass emergency and go straight to the labour and delivery unit of Rockyview, we still ended up spending 17 hours there while the doctors practised due diligence in terms of ruling out a variety of the possible sources of my symptoms.

Many things were eliminated within the first four hours. But the final test was to be an ultrasound to make sure my placenta had not ruptured, which could be the source of that mid abdominal pain (which had lessened only to a small degree, but was still fully present when sitting and lying on my back). I was told around 2pm the ultrasound would not occur until after 4:30. Meanwhile, I had sent Rob to work as it didn't make sense for us to both sit around waiting for this final test--which didn't end up happening until 8:15 that night!

Cut to 11:30pm, where we finally decided we should leave the hospital (against medical advice we were told--which had always been an option). The people at the hospital had been very attentive in the beginning, and did periodically check in on me while I waited (very patiently, I might add) for the ultrasound, but we felt after 17 hours, there had to be a little more attention thrown our way.

When I told the resident I wanted to leave and just needed to know the risks, I also asked what the treatment would be if my placenta had ruptured--which I was told was TO DELIVER THE BABY. Riiiight. It was that kind of initial risk, which we hadn't even fully known, that kept me at the hospital for 17 hours to begin with. But the resident said she'd check with the doctor one final time and come back to advise us.

Lo and behold, the results of the ultrasound were able to be produced upon her return, and like all the other tests, were just fine. This was of course the best answer and clearly a relief; I did not need to find something wrong to feel justified in taking the precautions I had, however, I could not help but feel like an over reactive pregnant woman, or worse, a hypochondriac.

The pain was real.

The pain was getting worse.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant; I have to take abdominal pain seriously.

Still, I felt guilty.

Still, I second guessed--had I just rushed off to the hospital when I could have just assumed I was going through yet another uncomfortable phase in the pregnancy (even though the symptoms didn't seem to correspond with any typical phase)?

It's not like I wanted to spend 17 hours at the hospital, have 2 internal exams, have people fussing over the monitors that were placed on my belly which produced little charts to trace the baby's heart beat (for over 4 hours), and push a little button every time I felt the baby kick, all the while worrying about what was normal or enough.

Or not go to work for a second day because I was exhausted and still in discomfort from the original set of symptoms.

While I was waiting, I told Rob it was only time I was losing, and I felt the symptoms were serious enough not to ignore when I first went in, so how could that really change the longer I waited? How could I not make that decision again? The only thing was, contrary to all the symptoms, I was convinced my little baby was okay. I just wasn't convinced the symptoms were what they should be for this stage of the pregnancy.


I want this baby to stay in there as long as possible, of course.

I have to wonder though, how long will it take before I'll feel like I have my body back?

In future, I absolutely will make sure I'm not lifting anything too heavy. I'm just not sure what that always means, but the notion of "placental rupture" will run through my mind the next time I attempt anything out of the ordinary lifting-wise.

Sweet Baby, just take it easy on Mommy, will ya?

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Feeling freaked out. 31 weeks pregnant, 9 weeks to go.

9 weeks.

Baby's room is still not done. And between things I need to do to prepare for that, and everything going on at work--I'm overwhelmed. I don't know what anyone else's countdown to mat leave is like, but I'm entering what will be a very busy period between training my replacement, training a new advisor, getting everything I can into some kind of succession plan documented, oh, and two fee deadlines in the next 9 weeks. Keeping in mind I'm only working for the next 6, and in the next 4, I start reduced work days (which is a blessing, but it's not like those shorter days will be easy or breezy).

Maybe I should think about what I have left to do for the baby. Not in any particular order: clear room for painting, set up room after painting, birth plan, hospital bag, sign up for EI, buy stuff for breastfeeding/nursing.


And I can't even drink to procrastinate (like, the odd evening--not at 8 in the morning). : )

I know every single mom to be goes through some of this, but it does not make me feel any better. Just putting it all down makes me feel anxious.

Last night Rob and I listened to a parenting podcast, The Parent Experiment which featured a guest John Salley. I don't know much about John Salley, but the program was on nutrition and how what you're eating, you're feeding your kids, and how everything they learn they learn from you as the parents. Not an earth shattering notion, but he's a vegan so he doesn't drink milk, or eat eggs, and it was just freaking me out thinking about all the things we put into our bodies that are really lousy for us and how I now have to think about raising a healthy little being, so I can't be as cavalier.

A point of contention between my mom and I is her health. I believe that considering I did not choose to come into this world, she as my mother is obligated to be healthy to stick around for as long as I need her. A parent's job never ends, so she should choose to be healthier because I'm going to need her help my whole life. My mom is not healthy, and certainly does not role model a healthy lifestyle or choices.

It's all just a little much and too much to think about!

There's isn't even any bad reality TV I can sink my head into, or a shopping spree I can lose time over (cause I don't know the sex of the baby!--whine, whine).

Deep breath out.

Some people's lives just seem easier. Of course I had to immediately remind myself that to some people, my life seems easier.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Loving the New Design Options

As I'm still on hiatus from Facebook and Email, I had to have something to kill time with on the Internet, so I chose some yahoo news, of all things, and redesigning my blog. After the Miley Cyrus upskirt photo controversy, I found myself on Perez Hilton's blog and I must say, what a complete waste of time. First and last time I'll be heading there. How are these idiots making a name for themselves? I don't spend much time on Internet sites, even other friend's blogs, for some reason--perhaps I'm narcissistic, or perhaps it makes me feel inadequate when I look at my own blogging capacity or day to day output in life. Hard to say. : )

Anyway, for people who don't know HTML, blogger has offered some nice design options with a fair bit of variety in terms of customization. My only complaint would be in not being able to upload your own photo for a background image. Which I'm sure if I investigated HTML a bit more, I'd be able to do fairly easily (she says without trying). As is, I did manage to kill a fair bit of time and still feel like I was able to get some satisfaction from using the Internet.

Why would I need an Internet "fix"? Well, it's fun for one thing (when family members are not plotting your demise), and it's nice to have access to people outside of the normal means of seeing or calling them. Makes you feel like you're connected without really trying. Makes you feel like you have a "network" even if it's only on the surface.

Not sure how much longer I'll continue with the hiatus, but I do notice feeling much more relaxed. I'm still aware there are possible messages waiting to stress me out, or even none which would also stress me out under the circumstances based on the communications that have been exchanged thus far.

I'm still not getting much more accomplished baby-wise, but did manage to put together the stroller which was fun. Rob and I joked about taking it out for a walk to have someone come up to us to "admire" the baby so we could react in surprise at where said baby was. : ) Seriously though, how come this nesting thing hasn't kicked in? Maybe I'm just wired differently.

Just maybe.

Have to mention my pleasant experience with a mature salesperson at Sephora. I had inquired about whether or not my foundation was the correct shade (I'm always quite frustrated at the difference in color between my neck and face in photos). The woman briefly analyzed my face as compared to my neck, took a scrutinizing look at my complexion and proceeded to compliment the daylights out of me--to the point where I was blushing. Okay, all she was really saying was how great I looked, how I was glowing, that my eye makeup (while very simple) was flattering, and how my blush was nice and just the right amount, which turned into a commentary on how some pregnant women let themselves go, etc, etc.

What pregnant woman does not want to be told how lovely she looks? It certainly beats your parents telling you over and over "how big this baby is going to be" despite the doctor telling you you're measuruing just right.

Ahhhh, how I can not resist the digs into my family! I recognize this for what it is, but this blog remains my outlet of random retribution (as only one family member is aware of it, who I'm rather fond of so do not fear her knowing about my ramblings or acerbic comments). And any attempt to share the blog with other members of my family has resulted in little to no attention as they can not see the world outside their own neruoses.

I really do welcome a new little person with which to shower postive love, reinforcement and attention, it will be a refreshing change of emotional scenery--and just in time, I might add.

No, I don't overly worry that I will pass on any nastiness from my family. Okay, maybe just a little, but I feel confident I will work hard at controlling any learned judging tendencies, and will be able to respect and focus on the well being of this new person Rob and I have knowingly/willingly brought into this world.

Am I going to magically turn into a four leaf clover kind of person? We all know the answer to that question, but I do believe with work and vigilance I'll be able to put aside my own baggage in order to allow this child to see the world through their own experiences which will not tainted by the color of crap that has been passed down from my family crayon box.

If that makes any sense. : ) Sounded good, anyway.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh My

Has it really be over a month since the last post? How am I supposed to have clearly documented this momentous journey if I can only manage one post a month? And, what the hell have I been up to really?

Well, the baby's room is not done--so not that. : D

Robert and I did go to the US and buy some baby stuff, so that takes into account about 4 days. Family drama can account for about two weeks interspersed throughout the month (what a waste). And the rest, the occasional sleepless night, dental surgery, and general pregnancy malaise.

As an aside, I'm 37 now and wondering how we'll manage to get another child under our belt before the reproduction window closes. I don't even have the first one here and I'm already wondering how to get to the second.


I've had the week off and it was supposed to be one of great achievement. I was to get the baby room all cleared out and ready for painting. Instead I've had to give Rob access to my Facebook and email account to change passwords so I'm not tempted to continue engaging in the current family drama (which has taken on a steamrolling effect of staggering intensity).

An in-law of mine is intent on degrading my mental stability, and appears to carry ill will towards the healthy birth of this innocent baby. How else would you explain a) the timing of these (what can only be called) attacks, and b) someone who would incessantly harass a pregnant woman for the purpose of making their own neuroses easier to swallow? How low can any one person sink? (Pretty low, judging by the emails I've been receiving and my therapist's reaction to some of the things which have been written, and I quote, "that must be one of the cruelest things that could possibly be said to someone in your circumstance"). Thank God I have a good therapist.

So, in order to protect my mental health and the well being of this little growing baby inside of me, I had to step back and cut off all contact with the social networking world to minimize the stress. It's been one hell of a "staycation".

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of hanging out in a clinic to do a second test regarding gestational diabetes, as the first one came back just over the acceptable limit--I'm sure due to the overwhelming stress my family has been putting me under. This second test involves a 3 hour visit in which I'm not allowed to leave the clinic, have to have fasted for 10 hours, and will drink 2 glucose orange drinks while I'm there. Yay.

To pass the time, I've purchased a cheeseball romantic movie for my ipod, and may take notes from a parenting podcast about sleep patterns for babies. I've also recently purchased the "Baby Whisperer", so I'm trying to retain as much of that information as I can before the baby bursts onto the scene.

On a happier note, the baby is kicking quite regularly now. And since I've stopped looking at my email and Facebook in anticipation of the next harassment, each time I feel the baby move, I have a smile on my face. Rob can feel him or her quite easily, and tonight he said, "To think, we're going to have a little person here in just 11 weeks!" To which I looked around the room at everything left to be done and felt some of the stress return.

I can't wait to find out if it's a girl or a boy. And I can't wait for the first little smile and laugh. And I can't wait to hold this little person and tell it how much I love it. Yes, I try not to imagine the poo, and the crying, and for the love of God the actual birth--so, I'll just skip ahead to the fun parts like most people do when they're falling in love with the idea of a baby.

I can't wait for this new little person to form my new family with Rob, which will also allow me to leave a part of the old family behind as my focus will be forcibly (thankfully) redirected.

As for pregnancy stages, I haven't felt my appetite increase, and I haven't noticed any long term cravings--though lately I'd like to drink a fair bit of apple juice (which I know I must control, especially if I'm to avoid any high intake of sugar, never mind full on gestational diabetes). I certainly feel tired, but I can't tell if that's attributable to the pregnancy or the family shit. The doctor says I'm measuring perfectly, despite my Mom and Dad making comments about "how big this baby's going to be".

But overall I think I've been pretty lucky as a pregnant lady, and here's praying that continues on through to holding a little bundle in my arms who looks just as tired as I know I'm going to be after the ordeal, and looks as equally baffled by the world around us, but maybe has Rob's eyes, or my nose, and is grateful for all the love we have to give.

Sweet Baby (rubs belly), I can't wait to meet you!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Get on It

Okay, it's time to get in gear. I'm 6 months pregnant, we have 3 months to Baby, and we've done very little to prepare. Sure we've got some cute stuff, but nowhere near what we need. Room's not ready, I'm not ready, Rob's not ready--we need to get on it!

Rob is going to be exhaused from golf this morning, as he also golfed for the first time of the season on Thursday. What he's not going to be prepared for is my sudden urge to get shit done.

I've got Jorge coming over tomorrow to help move the existing furniture out of the spare beadroom (the plan which Rob is not aware of), and ultimately into our room. This will be quite a shock as we're used to having a certain amount of space in the master bedroom. But it's not like it's a temporary change. Alas! I believe it's time to pull the bandaid off! I'm tired of looking at the spare room and everything that needs to be done to change it into the Baby's room.

We head to the US next week where we hope to get some necessary baby things (stroller, Beabu, etc)--then I want to get on the painting (or Rob rather), and I want the room ready by the end of June at the latest.

Now's the time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby, Now That I've Found You I Won't Let You Go

I think I felt the baby kick.

I can't be sure, because it didn't feel like what has been described, and really it could still be too soon at 21 weeks today. Also consider the placenta is at the front of my uterus--which acts as padding in terms of me feeling the baby. Amanda didn't feel anything until 23 weeks, and her placenta was at the back, so it's hard to say.

I was lying on my back and felt kind of a poke on the inside--almost like a puff of air. I felt it again in the same spot a moment later, and then another in the same area. Hard to get excited when I don't know if that's the baby or not, but I can't wait for the first time for Rob to feel it--that's bound to be a very special moment. The other day we put earphones up to my belly and played a Bruce Springsteen song (he'll have to share what it was, as I'm not that familiar). He was a tiny bit emotional as he sang along. : ) Now that I know the baby can hear me, I've been talking to it a bit more. Just little things like telling it how much we love it, and how excited we are about it coming along. Makes me feel shy. Overall, I can't believe how vulnernable being pregnant makes me feel.

Had a huge shopping trip at Motherhood Maternity not that long ago, and I rationalized all my purchases by reminding myself I would get a lot of wear out of these clothes over the next four months, so the cost per unit will go down considerably the more I wear each item. Of course you would expect a photo, but I'm still leery of the camera. I know I'll want to get a few, so there's some time yet. What a fantastic store, by the way! Tons of price points, styles, it completely made up for my other maternity shopping experience and has actually made me excited to show off the baby bump.

Went with Amanda to a "Mom to Mom" sale in Okotoks on the weekend. If we'd have known the sex, I'm sure there would have been a ton of clothing purchased, but as it was I got a baby swing, Snugli and a tiny rocking horse for the baby's room. : ) All at pretty good prices, and in reasonable shape.

Having the baby swing in our place is a little surreal, as it's a larger piece of baby furniture. On Sunday I came downstairs to Rob puttering around in the kitchen and the swing was set up just outside the living room couch. I thought, "This is what it's going to be like--only a little baby will be watching in wonder." Quite nice. I can't say enough how lucky I am to have Rob to share this experience with. Aside from the the baby itself, I'm most looking forward to watching Rob turn into a father.

Almost fainted at a Baby Budgeting class the other night. I don't think it was blood sugar related, or heat induced, but I lost hearing in one ear, and the world around me paled a bit as I sat there with my eyes closed breathing and praying for it to pass. Kind of frightening. Nothing like that since then, so hopefully just a blood flow thing.

So far I seem to be craving a lot of milk, even though I drink a fair bit regularly--and if chocolate milk wasn't so high in sugar, I'd drink that by the gallon. My "reduced sugar" Quick makes for a nice substitute, but there's little that can compare to the thick chocolately goodness of actual chocolate milk. And I still want grape flavored things. Not like real grapes, but the artificial grape flavor, making grape koolaid a current favorite. I'd also drink the welch's grape juice non-stop, again, if it wasn't so damn high in sugar. If only restaurants had grape juice on tap and I then could get a grape and soda whenever I'm out...mmmm....grape soda....

Started my pre-natal yoga class last week. First class was with a substitute teacher who declared several times she had never taught pre-natal yoga. Thanks for freaking us all out! Jeez.... If the regular instructor wasn't so pleasant, I'm sure we'd all have been quite vocal at our second class. Overall it was a good experience. I'm a little self conscious that some of the thinner mommies-to-be look about the same size as me, despite being farther along, but I think the class as a whole will help me get over it, as it's too late to go back now! Rob has also mentioned that watching me grow has been a moving experience for him, so that was quite nice to hear.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Working on a Dream

Ahhhh, 3 more days to the half way mark. The Doctor says I have a low risk pregnancy at this point, and actually looked relieved when he saw me. He said he was very happy I was "still pregnant"--which he said a few times and is something I'd find quite alarming if I wasn't basically 20 weeks and doing fine.

Heard the little heart beat at around 150 beats per minute. : ) The 19 week ultrasound showed the baby kicking up a storm, which if the placenta were not in the front of my belly I might be able to feel, as he/she was pretty much standing on my bladder at the time. A few tears leaked out when I saw the baby moving all about. I was overcome with the feeling that I wanted the baby to be okay--it was quite profound. Especially when you consider I've never been baby crazy, or all hopped up on the baby train. Rob looked over at me during the appointment and exclaimed, "Are you crying?!" Well, yes, yes, I am. And he'd better get used to it, apparently.

I was an emotional wreck this past weekend; I was wound up from Rob's birthday on Saturday and had at least 2 crying sessions over it (thought his presents weren't good enough, was stressed about when we said we should get to the bar for Karaoke, then more stressed when we did get there and had to figure out seating arrangements, and capped it off feeling irate over the UFC fighting that went on until 11pm--leaving Karaoke starting 2 hours later then expected). Add to that, my family has always placed a high importance on birthdays and gifts, and although Rob and his family never have, it's hard to shake that kind of learned pressure over 36 years. I just want the man to be happy on his day; he deserves it and I want him to feel special because I love him so dearly--and I'm getting all emotional again.

I cried when Phil Mickelson won the Masters on Sunday, so I can see the direction my moods are heading. In my defense it was when he hugged his wife Amy who has been battling breast cancer, and there was a tear running down his face.

But right now, right now I'm quite happy. I booked today off in advance, and after the dr's appointment, I went and bought a few cute baby things (little baby bootie rattles--which I don't know if they even make sense, but I wanted them none the less). It's all from Winners, so at least I'm not spending a fortune.

I did manage to get what I hope is a stylish top from there, as well (and no, they do not have a maternity section. However, a number of tops in the plus section are slightly maternityish--too bad for those ladies!) I tried picturing Heidi Klum in the shirt, and thought I could see it, so I headed for the checkout (I've been watching Project Runway online, and right now she's pregnant. Surprisingly, I'm not that impressed with the tops she's been wearing, and she must have access to all kinds of stores. Mmmph).

When I got home I purchased Sleepytime Tunes: Bruce Springsteen Lullaby Tribute from iTunes and I'm listening to it now, so of course there's a big smile on my face. So pleasant. I just need to pipe the music into my belly now.
: )

As you may have guessed, we did not find out the sex of the baby; Rob wanted the surprise, I did not. Alas. That was our last ultrasound, also (barring anything unusual happening) and we checked at the Doctor's appointment--they do NOT have the sex on file, so there will be no spoilers for Rob ala Office style (where Pam accidentally reveals the sex as they leave for the hospital--she had phoned the Dr's office in advance because she couldn't wait to find out).

And all this, I'm sure is my way of avoiding homework which is due tomorrow. I can not wait for this writing class to be finished! Wednesday I start prenatal Yoga, which I hope will help ease some of my moodiness. The Dr, however, says how I'm feeling is all perfectly natural, and even though Rob wasn't sure he needed to be at this latest check up, I'm confident it didn't hurt for him to hear that. : P

Thursday, March 25, 2010

All Baby All The Time

Yup. I'm one of those annoying women who is consumed by her pregnancy (sometimes I show it, but not always). I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm smug, though.

Whatever, it's my body, my baby. : D And here in my blog world, I will choose to write about it as often as I like. My friend Amanda only wrote about her pregnancy on Wednesdays , but considering the blogger's block I've suffered from over the past year, I'm going to take advantage of a positive effect of the pregnancy--I feel like sharing and this is something personal and uplifting I can write about. Plus, it's not like I have a legion of followers to lose. Worst case I lose 2 out of the 4 readers that occasionally stop by.

[Side note to explain my defensiveness: last year I stumbled upon some Brat Free websites where people who do not want children "rant" about "breeders" and "moos"--which is putting it mildly. I've never come across anything so vile and upsetting, but then again I don't typically troll the web looking for the bottom of the barrel of humanity, either. Still, I can't help but wonder how many of these people have glared at me and my bump all the while seething with hatred. Ever since then I've felt the need to defend my choice to have a family and my happiness over it.]

Having said that, I doubt I'll be quoting pounds gained, or showing regular belly photos. Maybe the odd monumental baby bump pic, but so far I've only allowed Rob to take one--and it wasn't particularly charming. Despite my eagerness to talk about said bebe, I'm not of the "pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman's life" mindset. A little sad, I know.

Well, maybe just one. From St Patrick's Day. : )

Anyway, I'm 17 weeks today and experienced what I feel was the first definitive emotional manifestation of pregnancy hormones.

While walking into work I heard the honk of a goose (I assume). My thought, "I hope that is not an animal in distress." No dramatic images flooded my mind; I can't even say for sure it was a goose; I just had the one thought. Then I felt tears coming on. I quickly reasoned myself out of the reaction, but when I retold the story a few times to coworkers, I found myself getting emotional all over again (I even cried once).

Luckily I work with fabulous women who helped me laugh it off.

I have a feeling this is just the start of the emotions to come, and I really hope those around me give me a wide berth with regards to my "Baby Brain."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baby Bump Blues

Made it through the first bout of baby bump blues. It's really just baby blues, but if the baby isn't here yet, and it's just a get it.

It took several days to get past an unfortunate visit with the dentist, something I don't normally react well to, but was exacerbated by the pregnancy. It started with the natural worry about x-rays (which I researched prior to going for the visit to begin with, and followed up with a friendly call to the office to ask if my treatment would change due to the impending bebe).

The appointment took a turn for the worse when the x-ray technician couldn't get a good scan and proceeded to take 6 x-rays, making the comment, "I always have one patient." To which I responded, "Except I'm pregnant and you're freaking me out." Her response? "Oh." Silence. "Ten of these are equal to one."

What does that mean exactly? And because I can easily take on a victim role in the dentist's chair (childhood issues, I think), I said nothing. When the dentist was filling me in on the follow up treatment and I mentioned my due date, he just paused. So between the two of these professionals, I felt as though I hadn't done my job as a mother informing them adnauseum of my pregnancy (despite the rescheduling of the appointment twice and the third call directly asking about the effects on the pregnancy).

Women at work initially bore the brunt of my emotional fallout. Why didn't you say anything to begin with, was always the first question. Because the office knew and knew and knew, I responded--and I researched it in advance! But still, I worried. And when I got home to Rob, the crying started. It was all so avoidable, I sniffled. Are you going to blame me if there's something wrong with the baby, I cried. Finally after much distressing research on the net--both positive and negative, I just called the office and left a message asking exactly how much radiation I had been exposed to.

The dentist himself called me back the next day. My main question, would my treatment have changed had they known or acknowledged I was pregnant? He reassured me that no, it would not have, and yes, he himself knew I was pregnant. He gave me some technical figures about the x-ray exposure itself, and I felt better for having clearly communicated what I needed, and for being heard as a pregnant patient.

Despite this much needed reassurance, I carried the feelings of inadequacy into the weekend and stewed on them subconsciously. Between the dental pain I was experiencing, the abdominal cramps from the baby, and reading the baby books about how much I was going to bond with my mother over the pregnancy--I hit my emotional breaking point.

There are issues I can't even publicly discuss about my mother, so how the hell can this be our grand bonding time? And of course, what kind of mother is that going to make me? Normal, typical, expected questions, even. Doesn't mean they make me feel any less shitty.

Let the comparisons begin. Who do I know with a wonderful mother? Blah, blah, blah. How many female friends do I know with fabulous support systems, yada, yada, yada. Mental neuroses is so predictable and oh-so-tired, but debilitating none the less.

Having made my way through the cloud to the other side (the here and now), fuck that. I'm going to be a damn good mother--my own mother and childhood be damned. I go to therapy. I figure my shit out.

I'm progressive, modern, and aware.

Screw you, insecurity.

Hello, baby. : )

Yes, at some point, my life will be edited for cursing.

But not yet.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yeah, Baby!

A few baby anecdotes.

When Rob and I were trying to get pregnant, it seemed as though it would truly never happen. Meanwhile, Rob's co-workers were either pregnant, announcing they were pregnant, or had just had babies. This was occuring with such regularity, his boss commented, "Must be something in the water!"

Picture the light bulb going off above Rob's head, and thus, the fertility water was born. Rob would take this water bottle to work and fill it specifically from that water cooler then bring it home. and take it back for a refill as often as possible.

It's just too sweet, I haven't been able to remove the sticky note. : )


Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Rob's Dad's birthday is today and he's been quite grumpy about turning another year older. He went so far as to email Rob saying his phone would be off and not to bother sending him any birthday wishes. Thus the covert operation: "Happy Birthday from Baby" card was born. Rob picked out an ultrasound photo, added the Birthday caption, and arranged for a relative in South Africa (where they vacation every year for a few months) to purchase a Grandpa birthday card and handle the delivery until the "Baby Eagle had landed".

Apparently the old guy softened up just enough to actually speak to a few members of his family that evening, which is saying a lot.

Monday, March 01, 2010

13 weeks 4 days


Well, I suppose it was more OMG when I actually saw the positive pregnancy test, but after you've been trying for awhile, it's more joy and less surprise when you finally get the second blue line, or whatever equals a positve result with the test you're using for the moment.

And you think once you've seen one baby, you've seen them all--not so. When the picture is of your baby, it really means something. Rob and I went in for the second ultrasound last Thursday, and the first image we saw was the baby squirming about. Aside from that being a major relief, it was amazing. Rob was on his feet and staring in awe between the screen and I on the table. The technician told us she had to do some measurements and she'd come back to the baby, but that first shot of it moving--kicking--was thrilling. After she took the measurements and came back to the baby, it let out a few more kicks. Rob had tears in his eyes after she left the room.

Aside from the baby itself, my second favorite thing about the pregnancy is sharing it with Rob. I've always had misgivings about becoming a mother--not because I don't think I'd be fantastic, but because I don't harbour any unrealistic expectations of the sacrifice and committment it takes, and how utterly life changing becoming a parent really is. Sharing this experience with Rob has taken away a lot of the gut reaction anxiety and fear, and again, not because I know it's not going to be challenging, but because I have a wonderful partner to share this with. Seeing Rob's excited, awestruck, relieved face was worth it. I can't imagine what I'll feel once we see the baby's face after it's born.

Now after holding the news in for sooooo long, being able to finally tell people is making me giddy! I'm "bingoing" all sorts of people with the information--fully understanding not everyone is genuinely happy for me, but I don't care. I'm pregnant. It makes me happy. I wasn't sure how I would feel, as I'm such a realist about the whole motherhood thing, but now that we've been told it's a low risk pregnancy, and everything looks as good as it can--I'm bloody excited!

Purchases so far:
- one random light for the baby's room (cute solar powered "plane ride light", which I've wanted for my "baby" the first moment I laid eyes on it in a toy store).
- Western baby onesie--of course, soooo cute.
- Flames baby onesies. Ahhh, the joy of purchasing for the future little person is so fun in itself!

- hardly any of which to speak of. No nausea, hardly any aroma issues, odd physical things here and there, but compared to this woman at work who's at least 6 months pregnant and still on anti-nausea pills--I'm laughing. The symptoms have been so few, I was worried it meant there was something wrong with the pregnancy.

People told so far: Both parents, many at work, brothers, close friends. We didn't make any ceremony out of it with friends, as we just felt so tentative. Now that a few days have passed and we feel a bit more confident and excited, I realized we could have "done it up" a bit, but once the baby gets here, there will be plenty of attention all around.

Of course my Mom is already talking about being in the delivery room, so I'm working on letting those expectations down for her. : ) I'm just trying to get used to the idea there's a little being growing inside me. What with no symptoms for so long, I truly felt maybe it wasn't real. Even after the first ultrasound, and the picture of the little baby bean on the screen, I didn't think it was real.

Now I know, this is real.