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).