A New Book

Sometimes a new chapter starts so suddenly had the big heading stating it was new chapter not been there you would have kept on going without noticing. In life these seem to be most common. Its the transition from birthday to birthday or Christmas to Christmas. Usually a big holiday or tradition brings us to think “Remember this last year when…?” It is only then that we become abruptly aware of the changes that have taken place since “when” and we panic a bit about how quickly time is passing. Sometimes, however, the opposite occurs, we become abruptly aware that nothing has changed since “when” and we panic a bit about how quickly time is passing.

Occasionally in life, changes are so large there is no missing the chapter heading, you know you are into a new chapter of life. These chapters are usually exciting moments, new beginnings. Think of the young child off to kindergarten for the first time nervous of being away from Mommy and Daddy for so long. Think of the new high school graduate now faced with the unique challenges of the “real world.” Think of weddings, the birth of children, the purchase of new car, moving, leaving an abusive or “not-a-right-fit” relationship, starting a new relationship.

Right now however, a new chapter doesn’t seem enough. There are so many new chapters occurring so quickly it appears to be time for a new book. Its incredibly overwhelming, stressful, exciting, and about a million others things I cannot find words for. I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m ready.

Since 2012 I have ticked a lot off the ol life to do list.

 

Bought my First Car-Check!

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Married the love of my life-check

Graduated University-Check!

Attended weddings- Check

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Grow another human with the help of my favorite human-check

Deliver that little human-Check

Fall In love with that little human-Check

Go visit other little humans after their birth-check

Lose a best Friend

lose another Best Friend

Get the Dream Career

Capture

Buy a House

Lose Another Best Friend

And another one

Its crazy to me how hard even the good things were/are. We made the choice to rehome Bailey and Rusko (the last two) as with being two working parents of a child under the age of 1 we no longer had the time they deserved from us. My heart hurts so bad especially for Rusko. He’s been my best puppy friend for two years. He cuddled with me when I was sick or sad (he never left my side through the whole pregnancy regardless of whether I was puking or not). He played with me when I was bored. He walked with me when I needed fresh air. He watched TV with me when I needed a break. It was the hardest choice I have ever made.

I feel like I have made a post similar to this before. The point however is not to say oh look at me Im not even 25 and I have my shit together. The point is to say as the builders finish building our house, as my family shrinks from loss of fur babies, as time with my son dwindles as he sleeps most of the time I am home, change is never easy. I often lay awake at night and think about the gravity of the choices I have made in the last two years. I’ve pushed myself so hard to have these things I have left people and things I care about behind. In two weeks we move to the new house and while I am excited, I am nervous because this new book is about to start and its daunting. Its just daunting. Its like one day Im standing at high school graduation thinking wow I have no idea what to do with myself and now 7 years later Im thinking wow I muddled through this far lets keep muddling. Plans fall through. I should have graduated university a year before I did. We put an offer on a house a while back that fell through. We should have had a baby 6 months earlier.

Life is a ride that is for sure, and I’m hanging on by dear life. This many changes this quickly is overwhelming. Just as you get used to life it changes. and Im sure just as we get settled in the home and feel that we are settling into a life where the chapters seemlessly run into each other another big change will come. But thats what your twenties is all about right? Creating the path. Trudging ahead. Making the choices that will affect you for the rest of your life. Its not easy. But with my best friend and wonderful son by my side, I’m sure we will get through just fine.

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Jacobs Birth Story

Well they say babies come at the most inconvenient time ever, and although this could have been worse it was in that ball park of inconvenient for sure.

Saturday Sept 21, husband and I were invited over to a good friends house (another couple that we’ve known for years) for a good old Settlers of Catan battle. We accepted knowing that we could both sleep in the next morning as we desperately needed it after fighting off food poisoning on Friday and husband catching a bad cold. As we left our friends house they mentioned, as all friends have, that hopefully we would be parents soon and good luck. When we got home I had a cramp on my right side, similar to a gas pain. As I had been in false labour for over a week now and had been having contractions and cramping on and off so I didn’t think anything of it. I jokely mentioned to husband though that if there was a night where we could jump start labour this would be it but that it wasn’t worth it because our Dr was out of town until Monday and I would rather wait for her.

Around 3am (Sept 22) I woke up with horrible acid reflux and that wonderful acid puke in my mouth thing. It happens pretty regularly so I got up and had a Gaviscon (as I had already taken a zantac). I find when I lay down it makes the reflux worse so I sat up in bed and cuddled our cat Shredder for a bit and went back to bed.

At 5am (almost on the dot) I woke up to what I can only describe as a *pop…gush* I sat straight up in bed and kinda hit husband and said, “honey my water just broke! Its go time” I cannot even believe how much fluid came out. It completely soaked through my underwear and pjs onto the bed (luckily I had a previously laid a puppy pad under the sheet just in case and it did all manage to hit the pad) and as I ran to the bathroom it actually gushed out over the floor. I am so lucky one of my girlfriends told me to have pads on hand for when it popped! TMI? Perhaps but I was seriously unprepared for just how much fluid it would be. Amniotic fluid doesn’t have a smell really and its clear so it really did just look and smelt like water everywhere. I put a pad on and by this time husband had gotten out of bed and let the dog out and was gathering the last minute items for our hospital bags. He asked me if I was positive that it was my water breaking and I said yes but to prove it I took a strip of the Ph paper that our Dr gave us and tested it. The strip didn’t change blue like it was supposed to. I looked at husband and assured him that the paper was wrong and I was right and by 5:30 we were on our way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and got checked in and they confirmed that my water did break but because I was not having any serious regular contractions they asked if I would hang tight while they talked to my on call Dr., Dr. Ching. They told us that because I was not having contractions they may decide to send us home for 12 hours so we could go get some breakfast and do more of the labour at home. As we were waiting for the Dr i started having more noticeable contractions. They went from nothing to very painful very quickly. Dr Ching arrived and told us we could stay and they would prepare a room for us upstairs and that she would be in to check on us soon. She asked me if I needed anything for pain management and I said yes please give me all ya got! She mentioned that when we got upstairs I should have a shower and sit on the birthing ball for a while to see if either of those helped, if they didn’t she said she could give me some morphine until I was 4cm dialated at which time they could give the epidural. While they were getting things ready, the nurses encouraged us to walk the halls, so we did, but the contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart and were so painful that every few steps we took we had to stop and I would lean on husband and rock and try to take deep breaths through the pain. At this point I was already starting to doubt my ability to do this as the pain was getting so severe so quickly. I grabbed some water but ended up throwing it out because I was worried I would drop it on the floor during a contraction.

We were finally moved up to our room and our nurse Kara (a literal angel from heaven) was going to get things ready for me to take a shower when I had another contraction. Seeing how much pain I was in, She asked if I would rather be checked first and I said yes. She checked me and found that I was already 4cm dialated and asked if I would rather just have the epidural now. I again said yes please. She went and got the Dr who came in and also checked me and confirmed that I was 4-5cm and could get the epidural now. Before they could give it to me they would have to give me an IV and a liter of fluids. Being fair skinned with little veins they had a hard time finding a place to put the IV in. Of the whole labour process this was by far the worst part. My contractions were so strong that it literally took everything in me to breath through them and not bawl through them. I would start crying and swearing and the nurses and husband would have to remind me to take deep breaths. With every contraction Jacobs heart beat dropped drastically (like 140 one second to 60 the next) and taking breaths was the thing helping to bring it back up. I just kept closing my eyes trying to fight through the contractions. I remember one in particular I pulled husband down onto the bed so he was sitting and I was laying down and I just hugged him and buried my face into his back while he rubbed my back and reminded me to breath. It took 3 attempts to get the IV in and each time I had to try and sit very still through contractions for them to get it in. I felt so hopeless, I was ok’d for the epidural and all that was standing in the way between me and pain relief was this stupid IV. They were having such a hard time they started discussing calling in an anesthesiologist just to get the IV in. Finally a nurse found a working vein and got it in. The fluids were pumping but I still had to wait a bit.

Next the anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. He was also an angel. Getting the tape that held the epidural in taken off was more painful then getting the actual epidural. They just had me sit at the side of the bed and hug a pillow while he numbed my back then put it in. He said that it would take effect in 10-15 minutes. I literally stared at the clock. After 10 minutes I was still feeling my contractions but they were back to being bearable. By 12 minutes my feet were pools of pins and needles. By 15 minutes I felt like myself again. I would get a contraction but it was just pressure (kinda like when you have to poop) and not pain. I was able to talk and joke with everyone again and the swearing stopped. They checked me again and I was now 6-7 cm.

We all just hung out for a little bit. I was still having lots of contractions but they were just pressure and easy to talk through. They were monitoring me pretty heavily checking my blood pressure and everything frequently. We used this time to update our parents and chat.

We all expected to hang out like this for a while. Our nurse would come and go, my parents called to see if husband wanted a coffee (which he did). However Jacob had a different idea. My parents arrived about 20 minutes later but just before they arrived the nurse checked me again to find out I was 9cm. She called the dr who came about 5 minutes later and said well you ready to push? Just as my parents arrived. Husband declined the coffee now as we were going into the delivery now.

I remember looking at the Dr like she was crazy when she asked me if I was ready to push, my water had only been broken for 7 hours and I started with no contractions. With this being my first child everyone was expecting it to be a 12+ hour labor.

After pushing for about 45 minutes (I’m guessing) the Dr told us that Jacob was rocking in the canal. I would push and he would come forward then the contraction would stop and he would rock back. My contractions were incredibly irregular. I would have one then another 2 minutes out then we would sit for 10 min. She started to explain to me that they could give me some oxytocin in the form of pitocin so help make the contractions more regular and started explaining what that meant. Thankfully I already knew and just stopped her and said do it. I was so exhausted! (keep in mind I hadn’t eaten since the previous night and only had a few hours of sleep…also we were playing board games I was drinking pop not water so I was super dehydrated).

They started the pitocin and my contractions became so strong! they started hurting so bad it was hard to focus on pushing so they up’d my epidural. That slowed the contractions so they upped the pitocin. We played around with this until about an hour and a half of pushing was up. Then the dr started talking about bringing out the vacuum. I was so beyond exhausted at this point. I was having a really hard time holding the pushes for 10 seconds and was only getting one or two pushes in per contractions instead of three or four. I told her to go ahead with the vacuum.

Suddenly our room erupted! I don’t even know where all these people came from. Suddenly the dr was in a gown with big gloves, we had extra nurses, several students, then some respiratory therapists and I don’t even know who else. The room was full!

The dr hooked up the vacuum and explained that this was still all on me. The vacuum was to assist but I still had to push really hard. The next contraction came and I pushed with everything I had. Suddenly all these voices yelled stop pushing! Stop stop stop!!!!

I stopped at looked down. This gorgeously disgusting perfect white and bloody blob of a baby was in the drs arms and crying! I looked up at husband and back down at our baby and burst into tears. Husband cut the umbilical chord and I just watched and bawled. They asked if they could take him to clean him and check him and we said yup do whatcha gotta do.

Next I noticed the dr delivering my placenta. I still cannot get over how massive that thing was! I was really confused cause I thought I would have to push the placenta but it just kinda fell out it seemed. The Dr and her resident began stitching me up and they took forever. I couldn’t feel a thing but she was down there for quite a while. They continued to run tests etc. on Jacob while I was getting stitched. Husband went and took some photos of him and brought them back. I stared at the photos of our son while she finished the stitches and kept looking at husband thinking I can’t believe I just delivered a baby!!!

They brought Jacob over and I instantly fell in love with him. The dr explained that I had 3rd degree tearing and would probably be quite sore. Essentially she said I ripped all the way back to my bum but not through the anal muscles.

We invited our families in to see Jacob and shortly after our nurse asked me to go sit on the toilet and use the perri bottle (not actually pee as I had a catheter in) and then have a shower.

Our bags were still in the car so I didn’t have shampoo or anything. I got into the shower and let the water pour over me but just kept thinking I don’t really know what to do so I rubbed the water everywhere and realized that she didn’t give me a towel for my face (I hate water in my face and always bring a towel in the shower with me so I can dry it) I stood there waiting for her to return and just kept thinking omg I had a baby, omg I’m a mom, I’m a mom. I have a son!!!

The nurse came back with a towel and I got out. Suddenly I felt very light headed and told the nurse I was blacking out. She called husband to bring me a chair. The next thing I knew I was crumpled on the floor staring at the toilet with a loud ringing in my ears. It took me a few moments to remember where I was and piece together what just happened. Husband and the nurse helped me back into bed. We had some visitors come in then and our nurse wanted to take Jacobs footprints and give him a bath. I was really nervous about giving our baby a bath because it seemed really difficult so I wanted to watch her and ask questions. We were all uncomfortable with the idea of me getting out of bed again so soon so she wheeled my bed over to the sink so I could watch and encouraged husband to take photos. 

Our first night there was hard. Jacob did feed but he was crying a lot and we had been through such a long exhausting day that I ended up asking the nurses if they could take him for a couple hours so we could get some sleep. He was breast feeding like a champ though and so they brought him back a couple hours later to feed. 

The next morning we woke up and the Dr that delivered came around as well as our actual Dr. They gave us both a clean bill of health of we were discharged. After handing in some paperwork and getting the car seat checked we were on our way. 29 hours after my water breaking we got to take our son home. 

It was such an amazing amazing experience! We could not possibly be happier with anything. 

What Birth Plan? Comments/Questions

After my last pregnancy post, my Aunt left a very detailed comment and I really appreciated her point of view and thought I would touch on some of the issues she mentioned that I did not. You can read her whole comment on my last post here. I also heard from a few people via text, e-mail, in person etc. So I thought I would write about those as well.

My [aunt’s] plans consisted of no drugs unless [she] request[ed] it. “No pain meds needed at all because I’ll work WITH my body and not against it. Thankfully epidurals were not routine, they were for C-sections. They are not healthy for the baby and can create needless medical interventions (C-sections, induction, forceps…). Just remember, any meds that are for you are based on YOUR weight, not the baby’s and so baby will receive a lot of medication. Not all meds given are completely blocked by the placental blood barrier. When a low risk labouring mother is given an epidural she is now confined to bed usually flat on her back (thereby eliminating assisting the process with walking, kneeling, squatting, walking (it really does help), and other issues). Yeah, I’m on the “why on earth would you actually WANT an epidural?” team. I maintain that if you work WITH your body then you will reduce the need for medical intervention and decrease the potential for pain.”

I completely agree. I find it very comforting going into this that I am low risk and my body should be able to figure this stuff out. However, I am definitely not opposed to getting an epidural either. This goes back to I don’t really have a plan because I think it is something that I need to be ok playing by ear. Ideally, things will progress so fast there simply won’t be time for one. However if there is time I will ask for one. I have 2 major reasons for wanting an epidural and honestly neither of them have to do with pain management. Sometimes you can have a wonderful pregnancy and then the baby just doesn’t want to cooperate with the birth. If something happens and I suddenly require an emergency C-section (chord wrapped around the neck etc.) If I already have an epidural they simply up the dosage and prep you for C-section. If you do not have one, you are likely to be “knocked out” cause there simply isn’t enough time to deal with the process of an epidural. I feel like having the epidural in is a safety net that will allow me to stay awake through an unforeseen emergency C-section and thus will allow me to be conscious to hear his first cry and actually be one of the first people to see my son rather than spending hours trying to wake up and understand what happened and who this baby is. My other main reason for wanting an epidural if time/situation allows is because there is a chance that I have a succenturiate placental lobe. Essentially what this means is that a small portion of my placenta may not be attached to the main part of the placenta. 1 ultrasound said I for sure had one, another ultrasound said maybe- maybe not, depends on the angle. If I do have a succenturiate placental lobe there is a chance that the unattached portion may stay inside when the rest of the placenta is delivered. if I have an epidural the Dr can simply go in and get it, if not it makes the process much more difficult. It is vital that if a piece is left behind we get it out though because if it stays in there I could go home and then start hemorrhaging blood at a call a damn ambulance now type pace. Obviously Dr knows about the lobe as do husband and I and it is included in my chart that I have in my possession to bring to the hospital so we will ensure everything is out before I leave the hospital but if is separate, or becomes fully unattached during delivery if it isn’t already, having an epidural will make things a lot easier on my body to get it out.

 

“A word of caution…be aware that if junior wants to come before your wonder doctor gets there, you will be at the mercy of residents and THEIR current beliefs on L&D…so letting them know what you want will reduce the likelihood of a routine birth being hijacked. Including the possibility of needing a C-Section is wise, but you want to avoid it as much as possible, you need to understand the reasoning for the recommendation (& Dr. having a dinner date is a very bad reason), What conditions need to be met before induction or augmenting are to be considered?”

There are so many what-ifs that handing the residents a list of demands won’t change anything because I can’t possibly hit them all. If they believe that a C-section is the right way to go and miracle Dr. isn’t there (she is in fact going on holidays for the next 5 days so if baby doesn’t come today hopefully he will hold tight till she gets back Monday) then husband and I will talk it over with those medical professionals and make the call that is right for that situation. Unfortunately there just is no black and white. Same with induction and augmenting. One of the most common criticism seems to be that the hospitals rush to use Pitocin to speed up labour if it is not progressing fast enough for their liking. Pitocin then increases the likelihood of further medical interventions such as C-section. But again this depends on the circumstances. If I have been in labour for more than 24 hours or getting close to it then yes please lets speed up the process. For one I will be grumpy and annoyed but the baby has an increased risk of infection if it stays in there much longer than that after the water has broken. Especially because when having a hospital birth there are many things constantly going up your lady parts and while sterile gloves and equipment are used, they are still potentially introducing bacteria. However, I consider that a safe risk because home births freak me out. Again, a perfectly normal birth can turn topsy-turvy on a moments notice and only the hospital is equipped to handle the worst case sinareo. I would rather have the chance of bacteria being introduced and then needing Pitocin or a C-section and know that I am in good hands then wait it out and potentially harm myself or my baby,

“How about pain relief well before the transition stage (it is basically useless after that stage)?”

Again I am hoping things go really well and I can do the majority of the labor process at home. I would then be using things like a warm shower, heat pack, getting husband to rub my back, trying to sleep etc. as much as possible. If I have to go to the hospital before that then I will be able to get the epidural earlier haha. But no, a woman’s body is built for this. We will manage.

“Episiotomy? Do you want them to automatically do one or only if absolutely needed to avoid ripping you all over hell’s half acre? (If they aren’t skilled at working the perineum to avoid one, let them cut I say).”

These aren’t really common practice anymore, most Doctors say it is better to tear and the healing time is actually better. However I just don’t care. I am fully expecting a baby whale (at 34 weeks the ultrasound guessed him to be 5lbs 7 oz, if he has been gaining at a “normal” pace he should be about 7lbs 7oz now at 38 weeks. Husband was 7lb 11oz and I believe I was 9lbs 14oz). I am very fortunate to have an amazing support network and husband will be taking time off work to be at home with the family after baby arrives. So I’m not afraid of healing times.

 

You also have the right to limit numbers of people in the room. (you don’t have to have all the med/nursing students & residents and their friends in there).

I am actually ok with students in the room and would encourage them to be there. I think the best way for the next generations of medical professionals to learn is by doing and seeing. Throughout this pregnancy I have had brand new student ultrasound technicians and nurses a couple times. The lady that did my gestational diabetes test had never done one prior to me. These students are always highly supported and supervised so that doesn’t bother me at all.

As for my friends/family. I really do believe the birth of a child is something very intimate between a husband and wife and while I am laboring I would prefer to be alone with my husband. Once baby is out and we are all safe and happy then please come visit!

And do you want a birthing room? Or delivery room? Do you have that choice (hopefully yes, and that the default room is a birthing room).

I have heard that the hospital I am going to has the best birthing rooms in the area with some even coming with a full room space so that husband can sleep comfortably in there as well.

Are you wanting to nurse immediately after the birth?

Yes please! I have considered making him a onsie that says, “I am trying to learn how to breast feed, please don’t give me a pacifier or anything else. If I am fussy, please bring me to my Mom” This is one area where I guess you could say I do have a plan because I want to do whatever it takes to establish a good supply and ensure that my son is getting the best nutrition possible.

Cut the cord?

Is more a question for husband but we have discussed and he doesn’t really want to do it. I can’t blame him….it looks really friggen disgusting. The medical pros can go ahead and do that!

Oh, and if there is only thing you demand, make it the warmed blanket immediately after they clean you up! That is non-negotiable, you must have the warm blanket afterwards! It is almost as great as holding your baby for the first time!

Great tip! Thanks! I would not have thought of that!

What are your plans when you get home?
Relax. Take it easy. Focus on establishing a good supply and having time to bond as a new family. I don’t think anything can fully prepare you for what life with be with a newborn however as I said I have an amazing support network. I plan on leaning on them. I have not made freezer dinners because we most likely won’t eat them. We have come up with lots of quick and easy meals including lots of quick and easy crock-pot meals. We have cleaned the house up and it falls to pieces again oh well. The important thing is that we are bonding, a good milk supply is being established and baby and I are recovering from the whole process. I bought some cute comfy (and Black!) pajamas specifically to wear around after he is born (they are like loose lulu lemon pants I could probably wear them in public without anyone batting an eye and they are sooo comfy). I won’t let myself touch them until after he gets here so I am really looking forward to that!

When are you having a baby shower? Are you registered?
We are waiting until after he is here so it is hard to say. Probably mid-late October. Yes, we are registered at Babies-R-Us. We do already own all the big things necessary for his debut (crib, change table, diapers, wipes, car seat, stroller, pack and play etc.) We registered for the things that are a little more “fun” toys, clothes, diaper genie, etc.

What Birth Plan?

Eek! Parenthood is getting so close I can feel it (no literally!) 15 Sleeps till my due date but I am starting to think that I won’t make it that far. I trying hard not to read that much into it but all the classic symptoms have graciously appeared. As of 2 days ago I was 2+cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at +1 station.  What does this mean? Well when my cervix in 10cm dilated, 100% effaced it’s go time, at +5 Station baby is crowning.  It is explained really well with good photos that aren’t gory here.  The mucus plug is gone and the bloody show has come and gone. Not sure what those are? Google image it. I dare you! I am scarred. The bloody show was probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever experienced (believe me its even grosser than it sounds!). Luckily I didn’t know too much about it when it happened but I had heard the term before so when it occurred I was able to put two and two together. However it appears a lot of women obsess over it as it is a fairly reliable sign that labour is around the corner. But seriously, only in pregnancy would women start obsessing about finding bloody mucus in their underwear…..there has  gotta be another way to grow a baby!

I am wishfully thinking that this baby will come soon. It seems pretty common for the baby to come a day or two after the bloody show but I don’t want to get my hopes up. Baby will come when he is good and ready! I am mostly just amazed at how quickly I have been whisked back to the trying to conceive stage. As I mentioned in an earlier post when we were trying to conceive I spent a lot of time on my phone googling pregnancy symptoms thinking could this possibly be it? My hands are currently sore from sitting on my phone googling signs that labour is imminent.  As it draws to an end I’ve been asked a lot of questions so I thought I would answer them here.

Q: What is your Birth Plan? 

A: Go to the hospital and have a baby.

I truly believe birth plans are utterly useless. Baby is going to come how and when he wants. Having everything written down isn’t going to change anything except make me antsy, frustrated or concerned because things aren’t going according to plan. I trust my Dr. she knows what she is doing and will do whatever necessary to ensure baby and I are both alive and safe at the end. I have watched the Business of Being Born and I appreciate the film however it did not change my personal opinion on labour and delivery. I know for some women the whole process is…. i want to say magical, but that isn’t the right word. It is a moment to relish, to understand your own strength as a woman, to understand your body. To me? It is a period of time that is going to suck majorly that precedes the most wonderful gift this world has ever given me. There is no award for me if I don’t swear from pain, no prize if I do it without an epidural and no trophy for doing it vaginally. At the end of the day if I am holding my son that is the only award I need. This is not to say I am not educated and plan on making educated choices. But they are choices that husband and I will face as they arise. No need having a broken heart because I need a c-section. We are totally okay playing out the process by ear. If I need a c-section cool. If I need to pushed along a little bit with pitocin so be it.

Q: Are you Scared?

A: As of this moment? No.

Women have been having babies for a very long time. I appreciate the openness and honesty surrounding labour and delivery. I feel like this is the ONE part of pregnancy that it is okay for women to talk about. It seems as soon as you understand that babies come out of mommies’ tummies through their vagina’s you understand that it is painful and that it sucks. You are a complete and utter idiot if you go into pregnancy not understanding that labour and delivery are going to be painful, bloody and gross.  I feel like this openness has allowed me to spend my life preparing to deal with it rather than a couple months (as has been the case with every other symptom). I know that as I woman my body was built to do this and even if it fails me, as a Dr, she is trained to cut me open and get the baby out.

Q: How are you feeling? 

A: I’ll let Spongebob take that one

Q: What did you do to prepare for the baby?

A: Aside from all the reading I haven’t done a whole lot. I was really lucky and experienced what I like to call second trimester bliss. This occurred during the Spring when it was nice out and so that is when I felt the urge to clean the whole house. Everything was pulled out of the cupboards, drawers etc. Everything was wiped down. A full house spring clean. Husband and I also took advantage of the weather and energy to set the nursery up. I won’t post photos of it until after he is born because we have his name on the wall and I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we painted, set up the crib, change table etc. several months ago. Then, about a month ago I washed all his clothes in baby friendly detergent and hung them up in his closet (as well as his sheets, towels etc.). We gathered everything for the hospital bag 2 weeks ago and just laid it out on the change table. We kept the bag pretty simple just the bare necessities. But I won’t really get into what we packed because their are a ba-zillion blog posts on what to pack. A  few days ago we installed the car seat base (only to discover my car is actually too small for it and the passenger seat has to be all the way up for it fit…so if we go anywhere as a family husband will get to chauffeur baby and I until we can put it a different car seat).  Then I have just attended my weekly Dr. Appointments, made sure to stay extra hydrated, tried to walk as much as possible and just overall get lots of rest and stay healthy.

If you have any other questions, feel free to comment on this post and I would be happy to answer them. No holds barred. As you can tell, I am fine talking about the stuff other people won’t and truly believe that pregnancy taboo needs to end!

A Whole New World: Battling the Pre-Baby Blues

As I’m sure you can tell from my pregnancy posts, it has been a tough 8 months for me. I’m sure by now you have also figured out that I am a very “Type A” personality. If this term is unfamiliar to you it basically means that I am ambitious, impatient, frequently take on more than I can handle, always trying to beat my past record etc. I want everything and I want it now. I am a workaholic and nothing I do is ever or will ever be “good enough.”

I understand that I will never be satisfied. Until the day I die there will be things on my to-do list. I want to learn everything, experience everything and see everything. It is very difficult for me to slow down and just be. This whole having a child thing was planned to the last detail, I was supposed to stay working in recreation, set a butt ton of money aside to help with maternity leave and then husband and I would both take some time off with the baby and buy a house before Christmas.

As always, nothing goes according to the plan (if I had I would have had a May baby and not still be pregnant first of all….) During early pregnancy, I was asked to leave my job due to the illness and fatigue I was experiencing. They stated that I was now “unable to fulfil the mandates of my job.” The stress of dealing with the union and labour relation boards was keeping me up at night and husband and I decided it was best for me to throw in the towel over risking hardship to our child. This event started the pregnancy with a bad taste in my mouth. 6 weeks into a 40 week process and I was already being penalized and receiving set-backs for the choice to have a child while also running to the bathroom to puke several times a day. Soon, as always, several more set-backs occurred resulting in me spending 4.5 months of the pregnancy unemployed. Finding a job while pregnant is no easy task. Thus, this girl who loves to be at work has spent 4.5 months sitting at home. I’ve cleaned and organized a bit but I find myself getting restless with these tasks quickly. Before I knew it I was napping 3 hours a day while watching my IQ drip away the tv blared Jerry Springer and Maury day after day. Worse…when husband got home from work the only thing I had to discuss with him was how many tests were required to find the real baby daddy. Awful. Just months ago I was talking to him about the exciting research I was a part of in one of the social psychology labs at school and how the study was going according to my hypothesis, and the paper I wrote which my professor offered to help me try to publish. I went from Grade A student and workaholic to feeling like a dumb useless wife who slept 12+ hours a day. I find it ironic that they used to think there were too many positive hormones in a moms body for her to feel depression, because if it wasn’t for husband I would have lost my grip on reality and fallen into clinical depression by now, I am quite sure of it.

I mentioned in the last pregnancy post that I was not going to miss pregnancy. I was not getting any joy from relishing the last moments of it. That remains true. But something is getting me through this and it consumes me every day.

I think when a lot of people are pregnant they think about holding their baby, having baby wrap their tiny fingers around their finger, think about the swaddling and cuddles. I am always thinking so much further ahead. I cannot wait to sit down at the kitchen table with my son and help him with his homework. I look forward to playing with his trucks in the sand at the park and taking him to build a bear. I can’t wait to take him to the science center and the summer carnival. I am looking forward to teaching him how to drive, watching him leave on his first date and trying to pry information from him about his first kiss. I look forward to holidays, birthdays and random Tuesdays where husband and I keep him home from school and go to a movie. I look forward to being the crazy mom cheering at the sidelines of his first sports game, or dance recital, or whatever it is he chooses to do with his life. Husband and I frequently joke about how we look forward to grossing him out as we kiss in the kitchen or snuggle on the couch. I am not excited to have a baby, I am excited to have a son. Excited to watch him grow up.

I feel like once baby boy enters the world that I can resume my type A personality. I can obsess over his temperature, breast-feeding and tummy time. I can get back to the gym which is a huge source of happiness for me. I can move on and adjust to life as it meant to be rather than pissing away this “what-if time.” Soon I will know what life will be. And I know I am going to struggle. I know its going to be hard. I know that some nights I will fall asleep crying due to sheer exhaustion and feeling like the worlds worst mother. I know that there are going to be days where I ask husband what on earth we were thinking having a child just as there will be days when I look in his eyes and can’t believe how blessed we are. I’m not in this for a baby. I’m in this for a family of more than my fur-children. When I look back on the last 8 months, and think ahead to the next few weeks (I am seriously so uncomfortable and we are in a crazy heat wave and I lost my only pair of maternity shorts…) none of it really matters. I know this. I know that in a few short years I will want to do this again. Not because I enjoy carrying around a watermelon, not because I enjoy being sick, not even because I will miss the baby cuddles, I will attempt to do this again because even if my son isn’t “perfect”, even if he has autism, downs syndrome, or clubbed feet, he will still be my son. A perfect biological combination of my husband and I.

To say that my husband is the best thing that ever happened to me is an understatement. It sounds so cliché but he is a perfect husband. There is nothing else I could ever want from him. He is the love of my life and my everything. That isn’t to say we don’t ever disagree, we are human, but there is no mountain we cannot climb together. I cannot wait to look at our son and see that he was created out the love we have for each other, know that our blood is always tied through our son and know that his entire existence would not be if it wasn’t for us. That, to me, is a miracle worth repeating, even after an awful pregnancy.

Am I Ever Actually Going to Miss This?

Between the anticipation of knowing that I am only a month away from the big due date and the extreme physical discomfort I’ve pretty much given up on sleeping. Fortunately I am not working so these long nights of tossing and turning can be counter-balanced by long naps during the day while husband is at work. I know that I could skip the nap (sometimes naps) and spend a day tired so that I can “sleep through the night” but with the physical discomfort and constant trips to the bathroom what is the point? (baby is sitting heavy on my cervix and bladder right now…I can usually sleep for an hour and a half to two hours before having to get up and pee) Besides soon I will be getting into an infants sleeping patterns so why not start now?

I find the social constructs of pregnancy to be utterly fascinating. In particular I have been having a lot of difficultly with this one. For some reason, social constructs say that It is not okay to say you hate being pregnant. This somehow insinuates that you are ungrateful for your miracle or that you don’t want your child.  I find this to be as ridiculous as saying, “you have to eat all the food on your plate because children in Africa are starving” I’m sorry but how is making myself obese going to help the children in Africa?? Similarly, just because I hate being pregnant does not mean that I have less empathy for people who have difficulties getting pregnant or can’t conceive. In fact I have more empathy for them because if they do manage to conceive, socially speaking, that woman has no right to complain. You know dang well that the couple who tried for a baby for years and then has a miserable pregnancy cannot complain because if she did she would hear “you wanted this..” well no Sherlock, she did not want this. She wanted a family, a child, a perfect biological combination of herself and her lover. She wanted to be a mother. No one in their right mind tries to conceive for the soul purpose of morning sickness, swollen extremities and pure exhaustion. These are unfortunate crinkles that either evolution or god (depending on your beliefs) hasn’t quite wrinkled out yet.

People complain all the time. First world problems are so rampant. “I want to eat the cake…but I don’t want to break my diet” “This steak isn’t cooked properly” “This lady at work is so annoying” “I had to wait for the bus in the rain” “I am never drinking again” etc. So why can’t pregnant women complain? This is the most miserable I have ever been and over the longest period of time. However if I dare to say anything negative, or count down the days until the due date I  get berated.  Or I hear all these wonderful cliches that also seem to be part of some weird “buck up soldier” social construct. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “You are going to miss being pregnant” or “Soon you will be wishing for these days back” or  some other rendition of that general meaning I would be rich. Even complete strangers will approach me and say “Oh you must be almost done now…aren’t you going to miss it?”    Then a personal battle develops…do I hold true to this weird social woman code and say in my sweetest voice ever “I know! I can’t believe its been 9 months already, I’m going miss these little kicks” or do I hold true to… well the truth…and say “Ugh are you friggen kidden me? This has been the longest 9 months of my life and if he punches me in the cervix one more time I am going to lose my shit”

As I was laying in bed attempting to sleep I decided to count the things I will miss about being pregnant instead of counting sheep….I wasn’t very successful and thought maybe I should blog about it and inspiration will come

Here’s my list.

1) I will miss the small victory that is parking in the expectant mothers parking…although I always forget about it and like to park far away so that I burn the extra calories so I’ve only actually parked in expectant mothers parking twice….

2) ok seriously I’m tapped….there has to be something else…..Oh! Sometimes when people complain about working I say “ya well at least you get to go home and forget about work at the end of the day I am working and spending literally 24/7 growing another human being” but mostly that’s sarcastic cause I get it….work isn’t always fun and people need to vent.

3) ummmm I gonna go get a snack…that will help me think…No I’m really tapped I will come back and add more if I think of them.

What are things that I will not miss?  (Keeping in mind this is my personal list)

  • Waking up to pee (I hope the waking up to a crying baby stage doesn’t last too long)
  • Being the center of attention (again social constructs, I hate feeling like I have to lie to people all the time…also Im tired of talking about it can we talk about you? Or literally anything else)
  • This friggen belly (I miss my old shape so much. I worked hard to have enough meat on my bones that I was cuddly but skinny enough to wear cute clothes and be healthy)
  • Having to explain that I can’t eat what you are trying to serve me because I am “with child”
  • Feeling like a useless homemaker (Taking the laundry up or down the stairs will take all my energy for a whole day)
  • Feeling like a useless wife…”honey I know you just worked 8 hours but can you cook dinner? I’m feeling really nauseous” “I know its been a long day but can you rub my back?” This relationship is like 85% him and 15% me right now despite all my best efforts and I hate it!
  • Watching what I eat….I know some people find pregnancy freeing. “I’m eating for two” they think. I think that those people give themselves Gestational Diabetes. I have been much more OCD about my diet since getting pregnant…need to eat more veggies for the baby, I really want ice cream but I already had a cookie, baby doesn’t need both. I figure when I pop I should only have 10-15lbs to lose as Ive only gained 20 throughout the pregnancy. Some people gain like 50?? Yikes!!
  • Maternity clothes. They still don’t fit right, they are incredibly expensive and often (at this stage of the game uncomfortable). I literally live in yoga pants and cotton tank tops because that’s all I have that is comfortable and fits and I have owned them for years.
  • Movement:  you mean this???

Ya I wont miss that…

As days are turning to an end (28 sleeps till my due date…well technically 29 cause I haven’t gone to bed yet) I am not consumed with what I will miss but rather I am consumed by something so much bigger than this. (To be continued)

You Know You’re Really Pregnant When…

 

Ahh the pregnancy glow, the cute waddle, the big belly bump. Pregnancy is the most wonderful miracle ever. Right? *cough cough* maybe? I mean it is pretty cool if you think about it, the biological process. The fact our bodies just know what to do but here are some of the things that make up the ugly side of pregnancy that you probably don’t know about. I mean I knew I should expect to be uncomfortable, hot, & swollen. I heard that I would probably sweat more, I knew clothes weren’t going to fit the same way. I tried to be educated and early on googled “things no one tells you about being pregnant” and mostly I found things no one tells you about being a new mom….bleeding, padscicles, trying to poop for the first time after delivery etc. not pretty! I’m glad that I googled those early though it was nice to know that I needed to stock up on gigantic pads we all initially wore when the periods started early so I could brace myself for it but there were so many things about actually being pregnant that no one ever told me. I mean we grow up hearing ladies don’t sweat…they glow…and other tales of vacuous crap! Why would anyone feel the need to tell us this stuff?

1) The Belly is More of an Obstacle Than You Think

Sure the belly looks really cute when you see some 8 months into it lady waddling down the street but have you thought about these?

  • You can’t really bend over so simple tasks like shaving your legs or cutting your toe nails become very difficult
  • You can’t really bend over so putting on pants/underwear is pretty much the equivalent of running a marathon…seriously you’ll need a break after-assuming you managed to do it without falling, if you fell and have to get yourself up then you’ll really need a break
  • The belly is putting pressure on your everything….your lady parts hurt from the pressure, your bladder is lacking the control it once had (Ive done my kegels….still pee a little bit when I sneeze or blow my nose…not fun!) your back hurts, well pretty much your everything hurts
  • You can’t see your lady parts….its like magic! You put underwear on…look down and they’re gone! Also unless you wax the days of easy grooming are far behind you. If you do wax you are going to be swollen down there too…oww!
  • Rolling over at night becomes painful, sleeping on your back is out of the question (though you shouldn’t do it anyways) and getting out of bed (which you will do several times a night) is akin to a turtle (or this little puppy) being trapped on its back.
  • You have to use the handicap stall because you can’t close the door of a regular stall

2) Going to the bathroom (#2) may be a luxury of the past

Constipation is super normal while pregnant. Along with that comes wonderful trumpets of smelly gas. Attractive right? There are lots of different remedy out there. Tim Horton’s is a personal fav.

3) Ready to feel 14 again?!?!

Well you have heard about the pregnancy hormones. You can expect to cry over small things and get enraged over smaller things. You are also probably going to get that wonderful teenage acne again! Up your back and shoulders and face and arms and ugh! It sucks, also nothing fits right. I have maternity jeans that I have to wiggle on because my hips and butt have grown too much even for them. Yay self-esteem booster!!

4) Remember that level of exhaustion you felt after______ (building a fence, running a marathon, moving, etc.) hello again! Except every day all day

While you aren’t making the baby in the sense that you would make a bookshelf from Ikea you are still forming life. That is EXHAUSTING! I have been getting 10 hours of “sleep” a night (really no where near that with bathroom breaks and restless attempts to roll over). Plus I try and nap everyday. Without a nap I am seriously dragging my ass. This briefly went away in the second trimester and then came right back in the third! No sleep=grumpy, extra hormones=grumpy. Ah pregnancy is so much fun!

5) You may become insanely itchy….like you went to bed with a bunch of mosquitoes itchy

Your skin is swelling and your tummy is growing rapidly. The skin begins to feel like it can’t possible stretch anymore and it itches. The only thing I have found that helps is a warm bath at night and a whole lot of body butter.

6) Long before you go into labour you will wake up in pain…lots of pain.

Being pregnant you are prone to getting massive leg cramps especially in the calf. I have been pretty lucky and only get them once a week or so, but they hurt enough that i wake up and shoot up defying the sources of gravity to try and massage the cramp out. Other times I wake up with a braxton hick or a particularly well placed kick to the rib and the fun part hasn’t even started yet!

7) Ya Hemorrhoids…you’ll probably get those too. Especially if you stand a lot at work.

8) Pregnancy Diet is a lot of fun if you choose to stick with it

Here are things that I have not eaten in 8 months and miss dearly

  • “under cooked meat” so that juicy steak with the red stripe down the middle is gone. Well done steaks suck.
  • Runny and under cooked eggs. I can’t try my cookie dough when I bake, no hallandaise sauce, no delicious runny yolk with my poached or fried eggs which I love so much. I like to pop the yolk and then mix it with a little bit of ketchup and dip toast in it….mmmmmmm
  • No soft cheeses….so no feta for me
  • Lunch meat. Subway we will meet again soon!!! I want a delicious ham sub on Italian herb and cheese bread with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, & light mayo. I know simple and boring. But I want it and i want it now.
  • Bean Sprouts. What is pad thai without bean sprouts??
  • (There are a lot of restrictions on seafood too but I don’t miss seafood cause I don’t like it)
  • Tea. there are some teas which are “safe” and some teas are not safe. So while one brand of Peppermint Tea may be ok for example another brand may not be. Easier to just stay away from tea
  • Aspartame. I’m not really a diet soda drinker but it is also in crystal light. Try drinking 2-3L of water every day without flavouring it once in a while. Bleech! (I put frozen fruit in it)

9) Discharge. Lots of it 🙂

Between an increase in discharge, sweating, occasional dribbles of pee and as you get further along potentially pieces of your mucus plug you will probably want to invest in panty liners.

10) Intimacy can be difficult

Sex is awkward, the days of cuddling on the couch are gone cause you don’t both fit anymore. You are probably feeling as attractive as you did when you were 14 (lucky you if that was good time….not so much over here). Making time (and finding energy) for your marriage can become really difficult. Don’t give up though! remember these may be the last weeks you have just the two of you so make the most of it.

To me, these are the things they need to tell you in Sex Ed in school. Don’t have sex because if you end up pregnant you will have to deal with these things. Isn’t that so much scarier than the usual “you will have a life time commitment or have to choose to abort or adopt and you will have to grow up fast….etc.” Our little secret as adults is that its all worth it. I know without a doubt, even with a little over 6 weeks to go, that this is all 100% worth it….but we don’t need to tell the kids that. We could just scare them instead.

On that note…this room is insanely hot and I am sweaty and thirsty so that’s all for today folks.