Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Look ma! I swallowed a beach ball!

My belly is just one big round ball full o' baby! There is the unwritten rule, that unless you are seeing the head emerge, you never assume a woman is pregnant. However, people glance at me, glance at the belly and with confidence ask when I am due. I can understand why.

Only 2 days of work left. It's a little disconcerting. I have been working since I was 16 (I took one semester off, first year of University, but spent my year's worth of savings in less than 4 months and got a job). There are projects I want to do around the house but it'll still be strange, to not have a schedule to follow, times to be somewhere. Until Sprout comes, then I am a slave again to schedules... her's this time.

I can BREATHE!

Sprout must have dropped this weekend. I can BREATHE! I can take large, easy breaths of air now. And my ribs don't ache the same way when I sleep. It's really a glorious feeling! Although, it also means I pee all the time. I'll feel like I have the world's fullest bladder and rush to the bathroom. And what comes out? A few drops. Annoying, yes, but I'll trade that for the breathing any time. Plus, my appetite has returned with a vengance - I have more room in my stomach and wow do I want to FILL IT UP!

Since the last big shoppign trip we picked up a few more things for the nursery. And bought the cutest doggy sleepers, for when she's older. The dimmer switch is installed. We have a laundry basket of sorts. More and more, it's all coming together!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

35 weeks

Well, another week down! 5 weeks to go, roughly, until we meet our Sprout. Neil is convinced she's coming in 3 weeks though. I am measuring large, but I think it's more wishful thinking. I am reaching the stage where it's getting harder and harder. Harder to sleep, eat, sit, walk, stand... my hips and back hurt. My memory has deteriorated more. And it's hard for him to see me so uncomfortable.

But today we got another step closer to being done. We finished the baby shopping! Except for the fact I picked up the wrong bottles (oops) we are all spent. We have enough clothes, diapers, odds n' ends to survive the first few weeks, at least. We have to put in the car seat still. And there are little things we want to do to the room. I hate the lighting (we have to change the bulbs at least) and install the dimmer switch. And plane the door a bit since it's squeaking. We need an extension cord for the lamp and monitor. There is a sticker on the crib I want to remove. And decals to put on the walls. There are a few toys that have to be brought up from the basement and sorted out. So perfectly ready? No. But close enough? Hells to the yah!!

The maternity bag is now half packed. A few more things need to go in. And then a LARGE note with reminders of the things (like glasses) that can't be packed until we're ready to go. Starting in January mom and I will start cooking meals to freeze. I am starting on the birth announcement list and want to have labels printed, so when she comes we fill int he details, take a picture and order the announcements. Then... then she comes! In late February/March my mom is having a women only baby shower, for family and friends, to meet Sprout. And around the same time Jocelyn, the amazing friend she is, volunteered to host the "our friends" shower. It will be co-ed, no games, just people coming over to meet Sprout and visit. Hopefully the little muffin cooperates... Joc will host it at our place, so we don't have to worry about moving Sprout. And my mom will help prepare foods. My only goal is to stay awake for it. I am aiming low.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Christmas as parents to be

This is a our sixth Christmas together. But our first as a married couple. And our last with just the two of us.

Next year, there will be the three of us. There will be new traditions to start. Maybe reading "Twas the Night before Christmas", putting out cookies and milk, singing carols together by the tree. Anything is possible right now. We will be watching the joy of a little one open gifts. Sprout won't understand Christmas, but she will be with us celebrating.

This year was wonderful, filled with so much food, family, love. And next year there will be more family and more love, as we get to celebrate with our daughter. Merry Christmas, little one! We are so looking forward to meeting you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A stressful non-stress test

This morning I had my every two weeks doctor's appointment. I go in, I pee, I get weighed (only a .1 kg gain from last visit!), I get measured (still measuring large - at 36cm when I am only 34 weeks) and asked how it's going. Then they use the doppler to listen to Sprout's heartbeat. This morning Sprout's heartbeat was high. Normal range for a fetus is 120-160. Sprout is at the top end, usually. Around 155-ish. Which "they" say is indicative of a girl. This morning? She was at around 186. Which is higher than the doctor wanted to see. So I was sent off to the hospital for a non-stress test.

And that stressed me out.

I was sent right to the RAWH, where I was admitted and then was put in a clinical white room with belts around my midsection, holding 2 sensors in place. The exact set-up that will be used when I am in labour. And Sprout was monitored for about 40 minutes. She slept the first 20 and her heart rate was around 160. Then she woke up and her heart rate was 155-165. When she moved (which she did a bit, she did NOT like the sensors pressing into her space) her heart rate would go up to 185-ish. Which, according to the nurse, is very normal. And I have to say the nurse was awesome. She was so kind and friendly and really made me feel so comfortable.

When she was being assessed she had the hiccups and was moving around a bit. Plus, I had just had a glass of OJ at breakfast, which makes her a bit hyper. That is likely why her heart rate was higher. But I am so glad the doctor sent me in, just to be sure.

But, I know she's doing well! And I know what her hiccups feel like. And I am glad they took my blood pressure before any of the non-stress test stress started... by the time I got to the hospital it was quite high *grin*

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week 34

Every week is shocks me how fast the last week went by... this week? No different. 6 weeks left before her due date. And actually only 6 working days until I am finished my day job and get some time to prepare for the job that I will have for the rest of my life.

Neil is still convinced she'll be coming early - as in the first few weeks of January. I am still thinking she'll be very early February. Although since Neil was right about the gender I am going to have the room perfectly ready by early January - just in case. And honestly, we're so close to being there.

There isn't a lot to report on Sprout's changes - she's growing, kicking, stretching and getting chubbier and chubbier. I am still doing well - more swelling, more tiredness, more girth but still feeling good. I have to say, I am looking forward to being done work and able to nap when I need to - which is about once or twice in the afternoon. And there is so much to do around here! Like renegotiate the mortgage (I can't believe we've been here 5 years already) and make many frozen meals for when Sprout arrives, purge and clean and organize and maybe even paint! Although don't tell Neil about the painting... I haven't sprung that on him yet. Our laundry room has been in need of extra shelving (and thus storage) for oh... about 5 years now. And it only makes sense to paint before we put up new shelves, right? Then we'll take advantage of post-Christmas sales and pick up the rest of the stuff for Sprout's room. And nap. Napping will be glorious!

Well, we're off to take the boys (our dogs) to see Santa! And then bring them back home and get a few errands done. Later today or tomorrow I also want to take yet another pic of the expanding belly. It's getting quite impressive in its size, I have to admit.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our little drummer girl

Last night Neil and I were invited to an elementary school Christmas Concert. We had a blast watching all the little ones perform - especially the kindergarden class. Kids? They are CUTE!

During one of the songs, an African song with a strong drum beat, Sprout started kicking.
To.
The.
Beat.
For an extended period of time.

I made Neil put his hand on my belly to feel. He felt it too! He got about 4 beats before I burst into giggles at the shock and awe of our little drummer girl. And she continued to move to the beat after I stopped laughing.

I think we need to start playing a lot more music for this little one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Week 33

I can't believe another week has passed... we're another week closer to Sprout coming. Time is FLYING by.

Sprout is about 5 pounds now, about 17 inches long. Those are the averages, but I will guess Sprout is just a little longer than that, considering who her papa is. She continues to wiggle and stretch, trying to get as much room out of my belly as possible. This week she's taken to pushing on the inside of my hipbone, to try for more room. My little one, that is a part of me this is not going to move much! We are on the second last fruit, our little honeydew melon. She is continuing to fatten up and get ready for her grand entrance.



This week has been a better one for me. I have been feeling a lot stronger, although it's also been a crazy busy week which has tired me out. I am happy to say I am getting closer to being ready for Christmas, which is a huge relief. Cards  done, gifts basically done and wrapped, house decorated as much as I am willing to this year... woot! Back to focusing on having the nursery ready to go and then the hospital bag packed.

And now for yet another TMI (too much information) part of the blog. Skip the next bit, if you like. And you really may just like...

A few years ago, after a friend gave birth, I learned something new about pregnancy. Something no one ever told me before. Something that happens to most women. The evil "H" word. Especially during the pushing of labour but commonly in the later weeks, as the pressure of the babe and the increased blood flow take its toll. When I heard that, it became my worst pregnancy fear. More so than even labour. The idea of my veins swelling that much, sticking out. It gives me the shudders. Much like needles, it the THOUGHT of it that bothers me. And I have spent the last few months reading about how to avoid them and doing whatever they said.

However.... it happened.

Once again, I am lucky that it's small and not painful. But it's there. My worst fear of pregnancy just hanging around, taunting me. The doctor assures me that I'll likely bounce back to normal, once the babe is out. But until then, I am surviving this. And somehow it makes me feel like I'll be able to survive the other stuff of pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing that are harder or scarier. And if anyone sees me with a ring pillow or a box of adult wipes... just ignore me. It's part of the whole baby-growing shtick.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Prenatal class two and happy birthday!

Last night was the second prenatal class. And it was the massage class! I just have to say, massages are nice on the aching body. We also learned about what to expect once the little one is out and how long before we get to hold her. She'll get the erythromycin, the vitamin K, the suction, the 3 apgar tests... so about 10 minutes after she's mine! One mother was asking to delay the erythromycin, so that her baby's eyesight will not be blurry and they could then look at each other. Um... your child doesn't come out with 20/20 vision. She will not be able to sit in your arms and see you and bond. The bond will happen, whether she has the medication in her eyes or not. I guess I understand that this is magical, that I'll just want to hold my little one as soon as possible. But I also have no pretensions that the first 10 minutes are some duck-like imprinting time where if Sprout is not near me she will never bond with me.

Next week we learn all about drugs!

And yesterday was the birthday that makes me officially almost too old to have kids. 35 years old... Wow, it feels like it didn't take long at all to get to this age. And, yes, I celebrated by going to prenatal class. Tonight we do pizza dinner. Low key but I have been going way too hard the last few days (weeks?) and can't wait to just rest for awhile.

Hey! THAT is what I should have asked for, for my birthday - sleep. Glorious, uninterrupted sleep...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Week 32

This week Sprout is no longer considered premature - if she was born today she'd be pre-term. Which is another step closer to full term! Her immune system is strong, her lungs are mature. We are on the last week of squash and she's happily nestled inside and growing. And growing. And stretching. And wiggling... It's amazing to me to watch my belly roll and undulate as she dances around. Neil is often getting to feel the kicks now too. She's now sensitive to temperature! Although I haven't tried it out yet, to see if she'll kick me if I put something warm or cold on my belly.


Me? I am swelling. My wedding rings that were once way too large and falling off are snug now. My ankles are rapidly disappearing. Movement is harder, breathing is harder, I am out of breath just walking. And I'm in constant amazement at just how large I am. And before I'd have 6 good days, then 1 bad day. Now? I'll alternate between good and bad days, always pretty much 50/50. But it's still such a wonder, such a joy. I haven't hit that point where I just want it all over but I am reaching the state of discomfort that makes the thought of labour more palatable... if it means being comfortable again.

The nursery is still about the same place as it was last week, however all Sprouts clothes are washed and put away. Which gives me the chance to see exactly how much more we need. For the absolute basics? We're pretty much there. There is plenty of wiggle room to comfort, extras of items that would mean not having to wash clothes every day/every second day. But I feel less panicked about not being ready "just in case". But the small room is completely jam-packed full of stuff. My folks came by and were a little shocked how full it is. Although when you're in there, it's definitely functional.

And in case you are not in the mood to see stretched out naked belly skin? Look no further. For those with a stronger stomach... I look like I am about to BURST!!









Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prenatal class numero uno

We made it to the first prenatal class last night. And they did not ease us into it. First night? The video of the baby coming OUT. The huge headed baby coming out... The huge, hairy, vernix covered head out of the once itty-bitty place. *shudder*

The video was made by a company called "Injoy videos" which amused me greatly. The couples in the video? Often unintentionally hilarious. The one dad made a commment about what was "coming down the pipes" aka - the baby's birth. I immediately turned to Neil and made him swear NEVER to use that phrase during my labour. Another couple spoke about how excited they were about early stage labour and how they had walks and naps together. Um...

I was curious what the class would be like. Would we have a granola-y instructor who went on about the sparkling unicorn and rainbow filled miracle that is childbirth? Or someone more realistic. Thankfully we got someone more realistic. I think there are a few in the class who are not appreciating the humour of the instructor but Neil and I are all giggles. Plus, we're the couple with the earliest due date, so we're the keeners with the room basically done and almost ready for the big show.

I still continue to feel tired and achy. I think part of it is just the amount of stuff that needs to be done to get ready for Christmas. I still have a few gifts to get and the wrapping, a few (ok, lots) more cards to write up, the tree to put up/house to decorate. Plus this weekend I'll be out of town (and losing 2 days) and we have guests coming Monday evening for 10 days from Costa Rica. Marcella is bringing her boys to Edmonton to see snow! Too bad it's also going to be FREAKING COLD the time they are here. And there isn't much snow in town anyway. But I think it'll still be a huge shock to the boys and they will have a blast. However, that is more time taken away from resting and getting ready. Don't get me wrong, it's all wonderful stuff to do! I just can't figure out how to get it all done when everything takes so much time to do AND still get ready for Sprout (aka put the room together, nest and purge!) AND still rest more than ever before. Well, out will have to come the lists and it'll all get done. Either now or after Christmas. So if you get your card in the end of January? Blame the pregnancy. Please.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And the time continues to march on - we're on 31 weeks now. 9 weeks (plus or minus) to go. Another doctor appointment this week, another thankfully uneventful visit. I continue to do well, Sprout is growing and doing well and I am getting so good at peeing in a cup. That may have been TMI... I was measuring at 32cm when I was 30 weeks and 6 days. So still just a little large, but steadily growing.

Sprout now has a doctor for after she's born! Dr Loiselle has agreed to see her. That makes me feel better, that she has someone. While Neil and I are are with another doctor, their offices are side by side in the same building. And Dr Loiselle is younger, I hope that Sprout can have the consistency that I had with my doctor (I have been seeing him for 30-ish years - the man knows me and that is reassuring).

We got a few more diaper inserts and a few disposable diapers, just in case. Today I want to get back into the baby's room and continue to sort and clean and wash everything.

And now for a day long pause in typing...

Today was not a good day for my body. This morning I threw up for only the third time this pregnancy (first two were before 12 weeks and had a cause). I have been sore and tired and achy. I tried to sit up and somehow pulled something in my belly, which thankfully isn't still hurting. Sprout's movements are starting to really be felt. Basically, today everything is getting uncomfortable. I still got a lot of laundry done (both for adults and for Sprout), cleaned half the bathroom, made bread and other house stuff. But I definitely was not as productive as I could have been.

Well, this little one is dancing up a storm and sitting just isn't working. I think it eats into her space. Off to bed to relax and stretch!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

30 weeks

How can we be at 30 weeks already???! Time is flying by...

In 10 weeks it's Sprout's due date. In 7 weeks she's considered full term. In 2 weeks? She'll be considered ready to come out - not fully baked but close. TWO WEEKS! Which has sent me into a bit of a panic, needing to get the nursery finished. Tomorrow we get the dresser and the pieces we're getting to organize the closet. Then I can start washing everything and figuring out where to put everything.

Sprout is about 16 inches long and around 3 lbs 12 ounces or more. And it's starting to hit me that she's going to have to COME OUT. Ack! But i know that pain will be finite. It'll hurt more than anything I can even begin to imagine but in 2, 10, 24, 36 hours... it'll be over and I can heal. The forever part is having a person, another human being, that I am responsible to raise. Neil and I will need to help her shape her morals, her values, her beliefs. And that part is the part that scares me most. I know that I will do things wrong. I know that some of the decisions I will make will come from a place of love but be perceived by Sprout as something less pure. I know that in 15 years (well, less) she'll think I am the stupidest person alive. Or at least the one who doesn't understand ANYTHING! And that by saying no I ruined her life. And 20 years from now I'll be blamed for whatever psychological crisis she's having, whatever flaws she sees in herself, real or imagined. But I want her to know that everything we'll do and say really will come from a place of love. From two people who only want everything to be right for her. Maybe 30 years from now she'll be able to see that...

Today I went on the annual shopping trip with my goddaughter for her birthday and Christmas gifts. Well, I ended up buying one thing for Sprout. And I shouldn't have... it won't fit her for something like 5 years. And by then it'll be so completely out of style. But I am a geek... Neil is a geek... and it seemed to perfectly GEEKY! I think this is the kind of thing she'll mention in therapy one day.





I am sorry, my little one!

Wednesday, after a horrible night's sleep and many aching spots on my body I had enough. I was just tired of being pregnant. I wanted to bend over, I wanted a glass of wine, I wanted to sleep on my stomach... but after a solid night's sleep (as solid as they come now) I felt better and still excited about the journey we're on. Even though I still miss bending over, drinking wine and sleeping on my stomach I am not ready for Sprout to come yet. I am willing to hold onto the aching ribs (and the pins and needles in my ribs), the sore hips and back, the widening feet that fit no shoes anymore, the random itchy spots, the constant tiredness just to know that she's continuing to grow and get ready for the world outside in a place of safety. And while I still smile when she stretches one of her long legs into my side (often the exact same spot) it's now starting to hurt more! One night in bed she was pushing out. Neil leaned over and pushed her back in. I think it confused her... she stopped pushing for a few seconds... then pushed back harder. I just hope that she isn't as stubborn as I am. And if she takes Neil's stubborness and my stubborness together? We're in a LOT of trouble!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 29

Yesterday I went to the doctor. Both me and Sprout continue to do so well. The doctor even said that we're a low-risk pregnancy. Which is a wonderful thing to hear, since I started in a higher risk group based on my age alone. I had concerns about the mom care docs - the group of GPs that also do some OB work. I was scared to meet the other ones, since I was comfortable with the one I had. Well, the doctor I saw yesterday? I wanted to hug her by the end of the visit! She was awesome! She spent a long time with me, just chatting and answering my questions. She was friendly and open. She used to work in a smaller town, where there were no OBs, and has delivered over 4000 babies. Hell, she even subbed in for an OB when he needed to take some time off. We're on to the bi-monthly visits now. In 2 weeks I am back for more cup peeing, more measuring and more weighing. Weighing... ugh.

I was SO happy to see that I had only gained 12lbs from the day after I peed on the stick to about a week ago. But then I measure myself in the morning, before food etc. Yesterday afternoon? The grand total was 20lbs. Which sounds SO much more. But I am still in the normal weight game range-ish and I am feeling well and looking well. So, I have to stop sweating the numbers! Although I do have a magical number that I do not want to go over. So far, I am under that by a fair bit.

Yesterday I also bought our first diapers! We made the choice to try gDiapers to start, available at London Drugs. It's a nice blend of environmentally friendly and the convenience of disposable. The inserts, the only part you throw away, can be flushed or composted. They are completely biodegradable. And the outer shell can be washed in the machine when it gets soiled. I spent a lot of time reading and looking into diapers. I didn't want to leave a huge footprint from Sprout's bodily functions, and so cloth was the way to go. Right? Well, the more I looked into cloth, the more concerns I had. The amount of washing it takes for them to be properly cleaned is a lot. A hot wash, cold wash then extra rinse. Studies have shown that the amount of energy used to make the disposables and to make and clean the cloth diapers is about equivalent. If you take into account the landfill, then cloth wins. But the footprint I was leaving was still large. And then I found gDiapers. The cloth pants still may need to be washed, but only once. The inserts can be flushed and treated that way (although our old toilet pipes may not be able to handle the additional strain - we'll see. If not? Placed in a biodegradable kitchen bag and then tossed). And while there is still a footprint, it feels less. That makes me feel better. And OMG they are so cute too! Now here's hoping Sprout is cooperative and her skin likes the gDiapers. After that huge ramble... I bought 4 cloth pants and 2 bags of inserts (on sale right now at London Drugs) as a start. We have pink, orange, brown and cream!

And a NEW VEGGIE!

That thing? It's a squash. It will carry us through weeks 29-32. Right now Sprout is just continuing to grow and everything is just ripening. She's getting fatter and fatter. This month she's get to between 15 and 17 inches, 2.5 to almost 4 pounds. With her increasing size, her kicks are really being felt! Yesterday at the doc's she was head down. Today she's feeling more head up. I think she's still flip-flopping back and forth. But soon my little one will be head down all the way (we hope) and getting ready for her grand entrance!

I am still doing really well. Some tiredness, some swelling, some aches. This morning I couldn't last another minute in bed and was up by 8am because my ribs on the right side were just aching! And I had a pretty restless sleep, but I am still feeling good this morning. One thing that I truly love is the feeling of Sprout's kicks. When she kicks me really hard, where I can see my stomach move, it always makes me giggle! I am tickle-me-Elmo in reverse! It's just such a wonderful feeling, that she's moving around in there. And we're also moving to the point where I am beginning to feel like Sprout is someone separate from me. This sounds a little strange, and I may not be able to clearly express it, but to date Sprout has been a part of me. Inside me, moving with me, a part of me. Like a new organ. Now she's starting to feel and act like another person, another being. Yes, she's still inside me and her world is controlled by my body. But she is still her own person now. For example, I was sitting on the glider chair the other day, testing it out and watching TV. I was rocking away and the chair stopped moving. Then I felt a few kicks... and I started rocking again. And she calmed. After a few minutes I let the rocking stop and then? More kicks! Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe I am reading more into it, but she liked the rocking and let me know she wanted it to keep happening. She's her own person, with her own reactions and her own likes. It's such a miraculous feeling, to know she's inside me and yet something that is not a part of me.

Well, a fun day ahead of grocery shopping and then a 3yr old's birthday! Tomorrow morning I'm going to set the breadmaker to have a warm loaf of bread ready for when we wake. I could really get used to fresh bread!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We have reached a few milestones!

First, another bump pic!



















Reminder to self, next time you take a picture? BRUSH YOUR HAIR! But bigger still and so much growing left to do.

The second milestone is that the nursery renos are done! Neil has been amazing the last few days finishing it all up and it looks awesome. The change table has been around for a few weeks. The glider came last night and the crib came tonight. And I have the pleasure of putting it all together! One of my secret (sick) loves? Putting furniture together. There are times I'll go to IKEA just to buy something to assemble. I wish I were joking.

We got the glider and crib through costco.ca and I have to say, shipping was free and FAST and the products are really great. Despite the fact that there are three brands in the room, the colour of the wood and the styles are really quite similar. One last purchase, a dresser to put all her stuff in and we're done. And there is one at IKEA I have been looking at. More assembling!







































As you can see, the room is small. We have a glider, then the change table then the dresser will be near the change table. Across is the crib. Mattress is coming on Nov 28th. My mom is making the crib bedding and also (once I talk her into it) the curtains. The colour doesn't come out well. It's blue-green, not grey as the pictures suggest. We need a bit of art/wall decoration. And I want to put in a closet organizer, to maximize the minimal space. But I think it looks gorgeous and I am so excited to see the room that our little girl will be sleeping in come together.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We registered - and it was fun and tiring

We registered today at Toys R Us/Babies R Us. It was loads of fun to wander around and point at stuff with the scanner. And, of course, I made a list of the things we need and the brands we prefer. And we managed to check most everything off the list there. There were a few things, like the dust ruffle and the nursing cover that I wasn't over the moon about. And there were also a few spur-of-the-moment scans too. Like the duck shaped humidifier. But, seriously DUCK shaped!!! I have to say, though, it was tiring. My body just gives out way sooner than it used to. Plus, I need more supportive shoes. Damn, I sound like a grandma... But for the most part, a very successful adventure!

EDIT: Well, we were successful. The Toy R Us registry? FAIL! There is an issue with the SKU numbers. You can't differentiate different colours in the same product. Anyone who reads this and possibly will buy a gift (damn, THAT sounds greedy) colours to choose are PINK and GREEN. NOT BLUE AND YELLOW!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 28

Week 28... 12 weeks to go. Week 30 is on the horizon. AND WE AREN'T READY YET! Which is ok, we will be. I see the light at the end of the tunnel! *grin*

We are on the last week of the eggplant (a new fruit next week). Sprout's little eyes can now respond to light and dark and she's blinking. She's quite active, I can feel her moving or shuffling. But she's not a huge kicker, very few times have I jumped in shock. But from the ultrasounds, it looks like there is a lot of room in there and she likes to curl up in a ball. Once the tech commented I must have felt that large kick - and nope. Sprout is also getting chubbier and chubbier! Now we're in the fattening stage - just letting her fully develop in the safety of inside me.

Me? I think I am starting to swell. My fingers are puffier and my shoes are smaller. But the good thing is that my wedding rings now almost fit (I sized them too large, accidentally). And I am more tired again. Thursday night I completely crashed. I was useless. But Neil was the sweetest man ever, and made dinner, cleaned up, checked on me in the bath and brought me water and oranges THEN he had the bed turned down, waiting for me to get into it. I was in bed by 930 and slept the night away. I still woke up tired... but after another marathon sleep last night (11 hours with minimal waking) I feel somewhat human today. Thankfully! Because we're having friends over this afternoon. Considering I am so tired now and I am still sleeping somewhat well... I can't even imagine the sleep deprivation coming in 12 weeks. Not getting long stretches of sleep, having a human completely reliant on me for everything, always... This is why, I think, it's important to sleep as much as I can now. Plus, I will not be afraid to ask for help from my parents and Neil. I have to desire to wear myself out trying to be everything.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One failure, one pass, and one little pretzel girl

I mentioned awhile back that I was going for a diabetes screen. Well, the screen? I failed it. Not by a huge amount - I was just in the borderline range (normal is up to 7.8 and I was 9.8 - a diagnosis in non-preggos is 11.1). FAILURE!

I had to go back yesterday and do the full-meal test. Which meant no meals... I had to fast for 10 hours then do a 2 hour test. It's mean to make a pregnant woman fast that long. I didn't feel normal again until this morning. AND I had to get three (omg THREE) needles. A baseline, after 1 hour and then after 2 hours. Well, I got the news this afternoon - I passed! No worries about diabetes here (thankfully). But it was a bit of a wake-up call. There is so much diabetes in the family, I really should be smarter about my diet. And actually, we are being really good about our meals.

Today we ordered the crib and the glider. Then we'll see it all together and all the different shades of brown. The change table is from The Bay. The matching crib to the change table is just stupid expensive (and we're smartly cheap) so we're going with a Graco crib. And then the glider is ANOTHER brand with another shade of "espresso". But once we have it all we'll figure out the best placement and how big of a dresser we can fit in, if we even can. It really is such a small room. Tomorrow night we'll paint the casings/baseboards and then the day after DAP and then... and THEN? We're even closer to being ready.

And Neil gave the go-ahead for us to register for baby stuff this weekend! I am SO EXCITED! We never had the chance to register for gifts for the wedding (officially) and I have always wanted to walk around and indiscriminatly point the pointer at things. Although, in the TRUE geek style of me, I made a list of the things and sometimes even the brands of stuff I want to register for. The thing that I am least certain about are the bottles. Neil and I will go with BPA-free plastic. And Dr. Brown's is supposed to be amazing. But the plastic bottles from them have high chemical leach, apparently. We're looking at Born Free. Does anyone out there have an opinion?

And lastly, we went to see the little one again tonight. She was marginally more cooperative - she put her hands and/or feet down for about 5 minutes. Before putting them back up in her face...

But a few great shots!

One of her with her eyes open, her little mouth puckered up in a kiss. And that thing beside her head? Her leg. Of course.


















Here are two pictures of her yawning




































And what most of the pics looks like.
Feet/legs in her face.


















But if you were stuck in the same room for 9 months, wouldn't you do what you could to amuse yourself?

*formatting around the pics is weird. But I am too tired to fix it. I am lazy...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dropped

Today is the day I think Sprout dropped. There is new pressure in my pelvic bone. I can feel her moving in different ways. And a co-worker even said she thinks I am carrying lower. Which makes moving even more of a challenge. And sitting is not comfortable.

Yes, I know it'll only get harder! But I have to say I am excited about this next stage - we're even closer to meeting our little girl.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

week 27

Yesterday we reached week 27! 13 weeks to go... or so. Wow. Only 13 weeks.

Yesterday my mom and I bought a bunch of material for the receiving blankets she's sewing for me and the quilts she's making. I LOVE main pattern we chose, it's a subtle teal with cherries and cream leaves. Quite vintage and subdued. Of course my mom thinks it's not right for a baby, and prefers and something more colourful. But both Neil and I love it. And we got LOADS of fleece for receiving blankets too. And today we worked on the nursery more. Neil wants to re-cut 2 baseboards and then install the door casings on the outside of the door. Then we have to wood fill the remaining holes, sand the already wood-filled baseboards and casing, paint it up, and then dap it all! And THEN we're done! Done the renos... then comes the crib and mattress purchase, chair and ottoman, dresser/organizer for the closet. THEN we can put in the rug and start hanging things on the wall (which we need to buy) and wash all the clothes and put everything away... Then we can figure out what more we need. OK, I need a nap just thinking about all that!

Sprout may also have a name. I had a dream, earlier this week, where I was talking about Sprout, telling a story about her when she was 5 or 6 years old. I was saying "And then ____ went to play with..." (or something along those lines) and in my dream I stopped and said "Wow, so that's her name!". And since then, in my head she's just had that name. I want to meet her, before we make the final decision. But Neil is OK with the name. Although he's asked for carte blanche naming of the second child, if we have one. I dunno about that... *grin*

Sprout is about 2 lbs and 14.5 inches. And dancing around in my belly! She is still head up but (hopefully) soon will make the switch to the birthing position. Her little lungs are now capable of breathing on her own. Well, with a lot of intensive help from the doctors. But she could do it if she had to. I just hope she continues to stay inside and get larger and larger.

I am also doing well. More hormonal, for sure. More tired, it's harder to move. The only symptom I am not having that I SO wish I would is the "baby furnace". I am still always cold. In fact, right now I am thinking of crawling into bed to warm up. Although if I do, then I'd sleep, then I'd be up in the night... Well, after this "riveting" glimpse into my slowed thought process I should sign off and get something done. This has NOT been an example of great writing. I'll do better next time (as long as I am awake then).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 26 and 5 days

It's been about 4 weeks since the last picture. First, time is flying! Second, I am growing... I still have just over 13 weeks to go. I am gonna be a whale.






Most DEFINITELY a girl!

Today we went for our appointment at UC Baby, to get one more peak at Sprout! This time it was me, Neil, Baba and Gido all together to see the little one. The room was spacious, many places to sit, a huge TV for everyone to watch on. Very professional, very comfortable.

She is definitely a girl! We had multiple confirmations. She spent much of the visit with her legs in front of her face. You could see her legs bending and straightening. Even one hand behind her knee, holding her leg to her face. And it isn't that she was out of space. There was a lot of room around her, you could see the amniotic fluid! She was just happy to have her legs and sometimes hand there. But with her legs in the air, her little girl parts were open for the world to see. So Sprout is a girl, for certain. Sprout also already has hair - likely blonde since it was so fine. She has loooooong legs, just like her dad. She looks good, healthy and is putting on a bit of chub. She will not be a small baby, definitely not low birth weight. The tech said over 7lbs, for certain. Although since she spent the entire visit with her legs in front of her face, we didn't get much of a look at her face. From what we did see, she does have slightly chubby cheeks already, a little button nose (not her Gido's thank goodness!) and full lips. She's also in a breech position right now - head up and butt down. But that can easily change - it's still early.

Since the video wasn't possible, since she was not cooperating and we couldn't see her face, UC baby has re-booked the visit, so we can try for a video. That professionalism impressed me. We paid for the visit today, but will go back and just pay for the video next time. So next Wednesday at 815pm, we head back. We did get two slightly blurry photos of her face, blurry since the tech had to go through legs and hands to get to her face...

Again, it's just amazing to get to see my little pretzel girl, inside me. At one point her eyes were open. She is there, she is doing well and she's growing and getting bigger! Next Wednesday, if she cooperates, there will be more pictures to post. I am already so in love with this little one, so amazed at the fact that she exists.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GDS screen

Well, today was the infamous disgusting orange drink test. I had to fast 3 hours, then drink an orange drink, wait an hour, then get a blood test, assessing my body's ability to process sugar. EVERYONE said the drink was disgusting - way too sweet. Well, maybe they changed it because to me? Tasted like orange pop. Not sweet at all. Or does it mean I am broken?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hormones?

Yesterday Neil and I ventured into IKEA, on a WEEKEND, to look at a dresser or bookshelf for Sprouts room. Yes, we are that crazy! But in IKEA I wept no less than three times. Once over this small pink toy

BARNSLIG FLODHĂ„ST Soft toy

I think the hormones are kicking in... poor Neil!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weeks 25 and 26

Here's that "efficiency" again (aka laziness), with weeks 25 and 26 in one bundle. Although I have an excuse... last Saturday Neil and I were out buying a new vehicle! I am now the proud owner of a 2001 silver Honda CR-V. Compared to my last car, this car is FILLED with extras.

My last car, which was bought new, was a 1998 Pontiac Firefly. I went to the dealership to pick up the new vehicle, excited about my first new car. Well, the car didn't have a radio yet. Or floor mats. But I was still able to drive it home! The dealer, who was a friend of the family, sat me in the front seat to give my a tour of the car. He leaned in, took a deep breath, pointed to the hazard lights button on the steering column... and wished me a safe journey home! No power windows, power doors, power STEERING even. It was a standard with nary a bell or whistle. But Berry (named for the red colour and the fact it looked like a strawberry cut in half) got me
through the last 11 years of winters and road trips and rain and sun. It was parked outside for much of it's life and only froze up once (when there were block heater issues). It has needed very few repairs in the last 11 years (tires, muffler, starter, timing belt, CV boots, catalytic converter and brakes). The last 6 months were hard on Berry, the slow oil leak I never got around to fixing was hard on the engine. It squealed like a dying pig when not driving. It was clunk-crunch when turning. It was covered in coke, from a can exploding last winter that I never got around to cleaning. But I loved that car, and may have wept a hormonal-pregnancy tear when I had to say goodbye.

When the people came to pick Berry up, there was another car on the trailer, being picked up too. Another red little hatchback. Neil told me that Berry would be ok, since he had a friend just like him on the trailer to keep him company! Yes, my sweet husband knows me and crazy well enough to know that story would make me feel better about saying goodbye. Neil told the tower the car's history and issues. The tower reassured us that this could all be fixed and someone, somewhere, will have the opportunity for mobility in little Berry, that wouldn't have had that chance before. The Kidney Foundation has a car to work on and sell, and I know that Berry will be loved again.

But now, I have to say as hard as it was to say goodbye, I am developing a deep attachment to my new vehicle. It has so many extras! ABS and real time AWD for winter safety. A centre console that actually lights up (in Berry you just had to know where the stuff was). There is a fancy glowing light around the ignition, making starting easier at night. Power locks and windows. I can even change the side mirrors from the inside. It has keyless entry which is glorious. It has an alarm. It has a REMOTE CAR STARTER! The car starter is from the dawn of time. But it WORKS! The size is considerably larger than my old car, which has taken some getting used to. But I have more comfort about where the front of the car is. And the sides. The back? Well, I am being cautious because I have NO clue where it ends. But most importantly, it fits Sprout's car seat, something Berry could not do.

In other news this week, I have my gestational diabetes screen on Wednesday. And then on Thursday at lunch we are going to UC Baby for a totally medically-unnecessary ultrasound, just to better see her face and once again confirm that we are having a girl. Because we're both doing so well, the doctor thinks there will be no more ultrasounds prescribed by her. But I just had to see my little one once more, while inside.

Also, the nursery is coming closer to being done. We have started the final push to the baseboards being in, and next week we'll strong-arm my uncle to help us hang the door and replace the jamb. Then comes the furniture! I am eager to see the crib put together and in the room. The glider gets ordered this week. And I think we have picked out the change table. None of these things even come close to matching in colour or style. Nor will there be the crib bedding set, with matching valences and wall hangings and lamps. But thankfully neither Neil or I are the kind of people that are picky about that kind of thing. We want decent quality pieces that are functional. But wow, we still need a few more pieces before we can start to say we're getting there.


And back to the real star of this blog - Sprout! Our little girl (aka eggplant) continues to do well. She's growing bigger and bigger (making me bigger and bigger). She's about 2 lbs now, which is no where NEAR the 15 or so I have gained since this all started. And she's starting the rotation, to head down and ready for birth. Although she isn't necessarily staying in that direction for good. But at times I feel distinct poking around my intestines. Other times, my stomach. Sometimes somewhere between the two. But she is a little dancer, and moving quite a bit. And this week, week 26 or so, Sprout can SEE. Sprout's eyes will open and she'll be able to look around, see my insides, see her hands. Her head can also nod up and down. There are little hairs starting to grow on her tiny head. Our guess is that she'll be blonde, since both Neil and I were.

How am I doing? It's getting harder and harder to move around. My back is a little more achy. I am slower in moving now, going from sitting to standing takes efforts. But, again, I am still considering myself so lucky this pregnancy. But I am now transitioning into the third trimester, the hardest one, I hear. I have started to have some cramping in my feet and legs. Although a friend gave me powdered magnesium citrate, that I take with juice, that has helped immensely with the cramping. If I miss a night, the next day is always more crampy. But, again, Neil is doing well, I am doing well and Sprout is doing well. And there will be more to post this week, after the testing and the ultrasound!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another doctor's appointment

Had another visit with the doc yesterday and things look like they are moving along well. I gained another 2kg this month. Blargh. Although in my partial defence, the other visits were in the morning and this one was in the afternoon. In reality, it was a sign I maybe have been eating a little too much unhealthy food of late. I developed a love for fudge and for cake. Both? Ba-a-a-a-a-d. I also measured a little big in the belly, at 26 inches. "They" say that you should be one inch for every week along you are and I am 24 weeks now. Although the doctor was not at all concerned. My uterus is as big as it should be, the babe's heartbeat was 140 bpm, and I got my flu shot. Although my blood pressure may have been high, since the nurse laid the seemingly endless needle on a tray in the room. And I got to stare at said needle while waiting. Needles? They are icky.

I have been booked for a gestational diabetes screen, happening on October 28. I have to fast 3 hours and then at the lab I have to drink something sweet and get my sugar tested 1 hour later. Must remember reading material that day. Because of the history of diabetes in my family, it'll be good to get this test done. And I just continue to hope that the pregnancy continues smoothly, and that there are no signs of my body not treating sugars properly. And the next follow-up is Nov 13th, with the doc.

My doctor is part of a group, mom care docs, who all apparently share patients and whoever is on call that week will deliver the baby. I have choosen to only see the one doctor, instead of rotating, just because I believe in the importance of a good patient/doctor relationship and I want to be sure that I am comfortable with whoever I need to talk to. Although for the next visit I have ended up seeing someone esle. The nurse assures me they are "wonderful" but I don't know that. I know that the role of the doctor in labour is to come in for the last bit and do the removal. I am pretty sure at that point I will not care who is between my legs, just as long as they are there to get this baby out! But for the visits before? It's just different. We'll see how the next visit goes.

There are toss-ups between using this group of docs and a regular ole OB. One thing, my visits are never more than 10 minutes late. I have heard stories from other friends who have waited hours for their appointments with their OB. I am not that patient, that is certain. But with this group, I now don't know who I'll be seeing. Will they get my sometimes inappropriate sense of humour? Will they be on the harsh side with me? (if I get babied, I panic and think there must be something wrong with me). Will I feel comfortable with them?

I also signed up for a study at the UofA, looking at nutrition in the mother and a child's outcomes. While I know the importance of this kind of research and I know that by helping I am improving science. I also remember the joys of clinical research from my graduate degree. But there is this little part of me that will have evidence that I somehow messed up in carrying Sprout, if anything goes wrong. That they can point to a chart and say "THAT much fudge is to blame!" But I go back for one more visit in December and then Sprout and I will go together in the new year. They will follow Sprout for 3 years, doing a bunch of testing throughout. Although maybe this will get me to eat better. Is that the desired outcome of the study, that eating patterns will change becasue of the study? Of course not. But it's some incentive for me.

This blog has been all about the happy parts of pregnancy. And there has been a lot of non-complaining about any effects on me. Well, time to rectify this. Presenting...

The uglier parts to this baby-growing session (act 1).

First is the worst! Bleeding gums. Crazy amounts of bleeding from the gums. I am not a huge fan of tooth-brushing, I find the frothy toothbrush soap repulsive. But since Sprout? I hate brushing. I have to, otherwise the bleeding is worse, but everytime my upper gums bleed. I have just added flossing daily, in hopes it'll help. It has helped. Helped the bleeding. Last night there was a river of blood dripping down my hand into the sink, from flossing. This? This will not be missed!

Aching ribs. My ribs are running out of room, and the muscle/cartilage/magic stuff between my ribs hurts. If I sit up perfectly straight with a slight backwards recline, it helps. But there is no way my posture can be that good all the time. And sleeping, whatever side I am sleeping on (because there is no tummy or back sleeping possible or allowed, respectively) that part of my ribs aches. I can deal with this better than the bleeding though.

Sleeping. I have always been a heavy sleeper. It takes me a bit to fall asleep but once the sandman has come I am out for the count. Now? You guessed it... not so much. Falling asleep is normal, but staying asleep is a challenge. I have to wake up to turn over/move now. When Neil is louder or moves, that will wake me too. My dreams are more vivid and that will sometimes wake me. Plus, even when Neil is quiet, I am comfy, dreams are not crazy I can still just wake up and be alert. This one will only get worse after Sprouticus is born, newborns aren't good for sleeping. But the day that sleep returns will be a glorious one!

Tiredness. From the above not sleeping. 'Nuff said.

Getting winded. Going up one flight of stairs winds me. I have to stop and catch my breath. Again, I am told this is expected, due to the changes in my lungs. But it's just a tad embarassing and annoying.

This last one may be TMI. But I have never been shy about sharing. Incontinence. Yup, my bladder is acting like a 75-yer old's! Most of the time I am just fine but when a sneeze comes up unexpected? Or when I have to strain too hard to move my ever growing torso? Dribbles. I am working on Kegals (when I remember) to rectify this. But years of yoga has taught me to clench my pelvic floor muscles, which is different than my Kegal exercise muscles and then I get confused and then I get lazy. Well, maybe forgetful is the biggest culprit.

I am always sure I have nothing to write. Then I start... and a novel emerges. Although I have noticed too many of my titles have exclamation points. In fact, there are just too! many! exclamation points! Period. (!) Must stop that nasty habit.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

24 weeks today!

It's hard to believe... 24 weeks. 6 months, essentially.

I am getting into the harder and harder to be comfortable stage. Moving is awkward, sleeping is light, part of my body feel squished. But still? It's an amazing journey. Although in about 4 months, I think I'll be glad to have Sprout out in the real world!

There was this little worry-wart part of me that was scared to set up the nursery, "just in case". In case something went wrong... I was talking to a great friend and another mother about my fears (which she reassures me are normal). But she told me that at 24 weeks, if Sprout has to come out that while she'll likely be in hospital for awhile, she could make it in the real world. I think she's comfy enough inside for now (and ideally for 16 more weeks) but to know that she COULD survive... it brings some relief to me. And now it's time to put the nursery together!

Yesterday the crib came. It's still in the box, but it's here. Tomorrow we paint baseboards and the trimmings, for the nursery. Maybe even put some up? Maybe... then once that is done the crib can go up. At the end of the month mom and dad are buying the glider chair and ottoman. Then just the change table and the dresser to go!

Today we went to see that dear friend mentioned above. I had the chance to see her adorable 20 month old and I also came home with a high chair and more clothes! Seriously, Sprout is going to be the best dressed little girl. Or a cross-dressing boy because the little floral shorts? Must be worn!

Well, on the last week of this fruit. We are a papaya from weeks 21-24.


I still don't feel Sprout move all the time, just occasionally. Mostly when I lay down or sit at the computer. But pasta or orange juice? Sets her into fits of dancing (what I call her moving around).

I think about the fact that soon there will be a new person in our family. Someone who will develop likes and dislikes. Will she dislike eggs like both Neil and I did as children? What will her favorite colour be? Will she be a reader like we were? More of a tomboy, like neither of us ever were? Even something as simple as whether she will have blue/grey eyes like Neil or hazel like me. Maybe brown, from my dad? I just can't wait to meet this little one, get to know her and learn about her as she gets to know us and learn about the world. But this little one is so loved already.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 23! And a mini-vacation

We are now at week 23 of the baby-making journey!

Sprout is already a little dancer. I can feel her moving and wiggling all through the day, sometimes I can even get the sharp kick that makes me jump. But now? Now Sprout can hear and react to the sounds around me. My alarm, Sherman barking, Neil snoring (just kidding, his snores are quiet) are all things that start her kicking or wiggling. She does respond to pressure, if I place my hand on my belly she'll often move towards it, and wiggle in that spot.

I keep reading the pregnancy books and websites. They talk about sleeping being harder, swelling, mood swings, irritability. And I have to say, I am not (yet) experiencing those things. I don't want to jinx myself, but swelling is minimal, sleeping no worse than it has been for weeks and weeks already (namely, sleeping lighter and having to wake up to roll over). Mood swings and irritability? Pretty non-existant. And this is the one I was SURE I'd be saddled with. But I've been remarkably calm and level, to date.

On the ride home from a glorious weekend in Jasper, Neil and I spoke about the fact we need to stop with the swearing. Yes, we have a year until we have to worry, but this could be a harder habit to totally break. And while we're not exactly the most constant of swearers, we do use a few quite often. My favorite is "damn". So we went through the list of words we're going to try to avoid. There are the "big ones" (shit, fuck etc etc). Those are easily off the table. We talked about damn... but is that a word you want your 2 year old parroting? So, no more. I'll miss you, damn. And we thought words like gay and retard and stupid are just not appropriate. So that leave us with...

Nothing.

WHAT TO PARENTS SWEAR WITH? Neil threw frack on the table but we're geeks enough without the BSG reference. My solution was a loud, primal "BLARGHLE". That, too, was discounted. So... any ideas? Any suggestions? Please?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pictures - with disclaimers

I'll start with disclaimers. I am apparently negligent in my mirror washing, so the splashes of who knows what on the mirror will be cleaned before any other pics are posted. However, I have completely run out of care today, and I just want to get these up. And also, it's 1030pm on a school night. I should be in bed already. And... well. It's pictures and I hate pictures! Oh, and the door with no casing behind me? On the list of things to get done this winter. Enough excuses... THE BUMP PICTURES!

Week 22 plus 3 days



Head on, I am thicker through the waist but then from the side? I am HUGE. I am only HALF WAY done! And I may have kind of been sucking my my stomach, from some strange habit when a camera comes out... Women are weird.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 21 +7 days (or 22 weeks)

Let me start by saying, I had so much more written. Some of it verging on amusing. Then somehow something old published and I lost everything else, leaving incomplete garbage online. Then I got frustrated and figured I'd write later. Well, it's later!

EDIT: And today (once I do my hair) I"ll be posting a bump picture, just to show how much I am carrying all the way out. *grin*

****

Well, I started this when I was at 21 weeks. Now? Now I am days past that! In fact, make that 7 days passed that... which actually makes this week 21 AND 22, all in one. Efficient, huh? Or... maybe not. Life gets busy, I get lazy (savouring my last few lazy days) and the blog goes unloved. Although much of life is revolving around the main attraction of this blog, Sprout.

We did some car seat/stroller shopping last weekend. We picked out the car seat/stroller combo we're going to go for, initially. It's pretty large (they all seem to be) but folds down small and takes one hand to collapse. That part will be nice. And the colour are not hideous (just kinda meh). Brown and green plaids. We picked it up last Wednesday. Our first major Sprout purchase... We also ordered the samples for the rug in Sprouts room (FLOR rug-tiles, just in case there is staining). We're going to be stalking kijiji etc for a used crib or watching for sales at stores. We need the crib and mattress, the glider chair, change table and maybe a dresser/bookshelf. And then ALL the little things!

Although we're not planning a shower until January (first or second week, mark it in your calendars!) we got our FIRST GIFT! Elaine and Chris sent us some absolutely adorable clothes (onsies and jeans and a little blouse). I stood in the kitchen staring for awhile, just touching the clothes. Our person, our DAUGHTER will be wearing those clothes one day soon. And just to know that a friend was thinking of the three of us, and sent such a gorgeous gift. Well, I may have gotten a bit teary and a LOT thankful for the wonderful people in my life. Damn, I am a lucky woman. And thank you Elaine!

Today we went to our first baby-swap-meet. No, we don't swap out embryos. It was a huge garage sale in a hall, where we could look at cute (although sometimes stained) baby/kid clothes. We got a huge bag of stuff for Sprout and a toy or two. But if Sprout isn't a girl? I hope he likes pink...

We also looked at a car. It's a little scary, making a car purchase and hoping it's the right choice. But we like the vehicle, it'll work well for a kid and a car seat (we think) and the price is reasonable. Still have to take it to the mechanic for an inspection (more money to spend!) but then Neil can see if the car seat fits in the back seat. They current owners say it does, I am cautious and want to check. And it's a fabulous shade of burnt orange. On the edge of tacky... but not quite!

I know we're getting into the later stages of the pregnancy because the fruits/veggies stop being weekly and are every few weeks. I think the author (from "The Bump" - citing is good!) was just running out of food, personally.
She is getting longer, heavier. She has little eyelashes and eyebrows and fingernails. She working on her sleep cycle, sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day. Other times? She's moving around like a little jumping bean! At a movie last week, she was being active. I took Neil's hand and placed it on my belly, and held it there hoping he could feel her. Well, she was either very amused or not amused... she kicked his hand. In fact, it was so hard that I actually jumped from the surprise. He wasn't sure he felt it, but soon it will be unmistakable.

She's filling out more and getting more and more ready to come out and play. Meanwhile, I am getting larger and larger as she grows. I am HUGE already. Head on, I look pretty normal (my waist just a bit bigger). From the side? WATCH OUT! I read about the fact there is supposed to be a "small roundness" to the abdomen. Well, I am a beach ball. A beach ball that keeps running into walls and people and counters and... You get the picture. So far I haven't taken anyone out. So far...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 20 (plus 4 days)

We have a revised due date, moved to January 30, 2010. Which makes perfect sense, if you look at the day I thought I got pregnant, which was May 9th. Why do I believe it was THAT day? On May 12 we (me, Neil, mom and dad) were driving out to my uncle's funeral, about 1 hour out of town. As we were driving I began to get sleepy and put my head back to rest. I must have dozed off slightly because I woke up abruptly with the thought that I was pregnant. I mean, the idea entered my head and I was CONVINCED of it. To the point that I almost blurted out to my parents and Neil "Hey, guess what? I am pregnant!". I fully woke up and realized I must have been dreaming, because I was not pregnant! That would be silly. Well, according to the ultrasound, I was was pregnant that day. Just barely pregnant.

I didn't have much for symptoms that first month, I didn't have any reason to believe that I was pregnant. I think my irregular cycle wasn't even really late when I peed on the stick. The reason I bought the test was only because I had that feeling, that one day. It was just too certain to ignore.

I believed almost fully that I would see "not pregnant" flash on the digital screen. My first cogent thought was "where's the NOT? WHERE IS THE NOT??!" Then I ran down the stairs, mouth gaping open, waving my stick in the air to tell the new Dad. Then, being the geeks we are, we went to a bookstore. To buy a book, to do some research. Step 2 was tell my parents. Step 3 was to buy preggo vitamins. I'll document my parent's reactions later.

And about 16 weeks after that fateful pee, here we are! Half way through this part of the journey and we are both doing really well.

20 weeks (plus 4 days). A CANTALOUPE. A freaking canatloupe... that is a HUGE fruit

One reason for the huge jump in size? We're now measuring Sprout from head to toes, not head to rump like before. And now Sprout is pretty proportionate to how she'll be at birth. Just a LOT smaller. She's swallowing amniotic fluid for practice (and thus tasting the foods I eat too) and starting to work out her digestive system. Her bones are starting to ossify, she's just plugging along on the whole growing into a person that can live outside my body.

We have booked the prenatal class (in December and January) although we're on a waitlist for an earlier one (if there is a cancellation). I'll be in a class on my 35th birthday... what a way to celebrate! We have also started researching everything we're going to need in a more serious way. Such as car seats and and I ordered my first baby item - a swaddling blanket! And now just 9000 more items to get... But we're heading to a baby garage sale next weekend and hope to stock up on a few more things then.

Well, I guess I'll update on Saturday, when I am 21 weeks. This week FLEW by *wink*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We are married!

And the strangest thing about being married? It feels no different than before *grin*.

But the day was wonderful, there was only one thing that went wrong (the restaurant gave away our reserved room, because of a mis-communication) but we ended up still eating there, just in the main dining room, and annoying everyone around us with our loud chatting and laughing. It was small, low key, completely informal and I think the right kind of wedding for guy marrying a gal 19 weeks knocked up. We're talking about having a full-blown all family and friends party next September, to celebrate one year of marriage and Sprout. But there just wasn't the time or the money to get something put together for this year.

There are so many memories I want to capture, but I am not sure this blog is the right place to do it. But, either way, we are now the Birch family!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Week 19 and WEDDING DAY!

Today, Neil and I are getting married. I woke up single, and will be going to bed a Mrs. And I am so excited! We think we have everything ready to go. The location, the officiant, the dress (which still barely fits), the suit, the flowers, the favours, the reception site, the liquor for drinks at our place... we think we have it all! Although I am not sure where in the pyramid we'll have the ceremony. Nor am I sure how we'll start dad walking me down the "aisle". But otherwise I think we have it covered. Now just to remember the rings and license.

This morning Neil went and got me a Transcend latte, to give me that little boost of caffeine to make it through the day. Well, at least through the hair apointment. Why do I need this boost? Well, I have a cold. Or swine flu... the swab results aren't back yet.

Last weekend Neil and I went to a conference in Seattle, PAX, and upon returning we found out there was a confirmed case of swine flu at the conference. And with me being pregnant, and at a higher risk of complications from swine flu, as soon as we found out we called my OB and she brought us in immediately and swabbed me (a very long and skinny swab, through the NOSE to the back of the throat, which tickled like CRAZY!) and started me on Tamiflu, as a precaution. She said if I was any sicker, that I may have had to have been hospitalized... luckily I am getting better, feeling ok now and thus just have the medication. And have warned the guests about the slim chance that I have swine flu. Otherwise the adults will be there. While I am feeling better, my nose is RED and SWOLLEN and PEELING, which is a very attractive look, for a wedding. But it's just the way things go for us.

Oh! Another "Birch-ism", once we returned home, I was putting things away in the shower and moving the curtains must have disturbed the wasp sleeping there. Who proceeded to sting me THREE times on the left Achilles Heel, right where the back of my shoes would go. We're hoping I will be able to wear the shoes I bought... I don't want to know if I can't. Yet.

Time has elapsed, my hair is done (it looks beautiful!) and the shoes were tried on and can be worn! WOO HOO! But I have to also say, my fabulous hairdresser bought a vase of flowers and daisies for me, as a wedding gift. What a wonderful gesture!! The wedding favours are in bags, with matching tissue paper on top. The menus are printed out and on cardboard, for easier reading. The alcohol is sitting on the dining room table, maybe it should be in the kitchen? Near the ice? Just waiting to be able to put on my makeup and then the dress...

Well, maybe I should take a break from the wedding play-by-play and mention someone important - Sprout! Our little girl is now 19 weeks along (almost half way done!) On the way back home, we ran into my dad's accupuncturist at the airport, Dr Ng, who also confirmed Sprout is a girl (my pulse is stronger on the right side, this means I am havig a girl). It's strange, I am more confident about the gender with his prediction than I was with the ultrasound. But I am now sure, we're having a little girl! Yesterday Dr. Loiselle listened to Sprout's heartbeat again, a solid 150 BPM, and she seems to be just fine (no effects from the cold) and the ultrasound came back with everything looking a-ok! It's so reassuring to hear the woosh-woosh of her heartbeat, it makes me know she's ok. And I am feeling some movement. Not a lot, not very hard but I can feel her kicking and punching and that always brings a smile to my face. When I say she's moving Neil tries to feel it, he reaches out and touches my belly. But it's just too soon to feel it from the outside. But when he can... it's really an amazing feeling to have physical proof of the existence of your child!

Week 19 is MANGO! Our little girl is about the size of a mango. And growing larger all the time

And I know this next statement is going to sound wrong, but I think I am losing weight with this pregnancy. I weighed myself the morning after we found out. Since that day, June 2 2009 when I was just 5 weeks along, I have only gained 9 pounds. I am a LOT larger in the belly area, but I think the rest of me is shrinking. This is NOT a bad thing, since I really was overweight to start, but it really proves to me eating often (seemingly all the time) but small amounts and trying to eat more fruits and veggies actually WORKS for losing weight!! Although the one complaint? The pregnancy clothes I bought to get me through? Are starting to be too big...

OK, the hour of marriage approaches and I should double check the house and start on the make-up. I bought fake eyelashes for the first time... wish me luck so that I don't glue my eyes shut! Oh c'mon... you know that is something I would do!

More after we're man and wife (and Sprout)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We're having a GIRL! Probably...



Today was THE ultrasound. Never mind the analysis for any potential problems or measuring the baby. We wanted to know the GENDER! And we are thinking it's a girl! Well, the tech (who was a tad harsh and militant) said she couldn't see any boy parts, which makes her think it is a girl but she can't be certain. Neil has said so all along and it looks like he was right. Well, at least for now we're running with Sprout being female, and thus pink and purple stuffs. And no yellow! This is going to sound so superficial but for some reason I have developed a huge distaste (akin to hate) for the colour yellow. And generally if a person does not know the gender, they get yellow things. Yellow. BAH!

BTW, I am getting really good at peeing just a portion of my bladder out, for these ultrasounds, in case you were wondering. Which I am sure you were not...

But the doctor looked at the images and didn't raise any concerns with the tech or come talk to us about anything. We see my doctor on September 16th (at 20 weeks) and then I can get the full report.

And we're at 18 weeks now. Almost half way there! This week's veggie is a sweet potato. This pic for the sweet potato is ANYTHING but sweet. It's frankly hairy and scary. But our little (likely) girl will hopefully not be that way.








Otherwise there is the same old "I feel really good for the most part" song and dance. There was a day and a half where I felt pretty icky, but that passed. And I get tired much more easily and move more slowly. And I continue to grow outwards. But I feel good! And Neil is so excited about having a daughter.

We're heading for Seattle tomorrow bright and early. And luckily mom and dad will be at the house, to babysit the dogs. So we'll be having fun with our little girl and the folks care for our existing boys. Then next Wednesday we're getting hitched! On Sprout's 19th week. Well, it's all been a bit backwards. We planned the "honeymoon" in March, got pregnant in May, decided to get married in July, having the honeymoon Sept 3-7th, the wedding Sept 9th and the babe Feb 3rd. But you know, this wrong order? It somehow fits for us, the Birch family.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Week 17 plus 1

I am now 17 weeks pregnant. Sprout is 15 weeks along. There are many things I learned this journey, 2 of the weirdest are that you are considered pregnant for 2 weeks before conception and that gestation is really 10 months long. Although there is one more that is weird, but in a less "let's lie about time" way... this is the one and only time a person can have 2 souls inside them.

17 weeks. Sprout now has finger nails and toe nails and has their very own fingerprints! And is an onion. An onion? There must be a nicer fruit/veggie than that...


Well, this is also the wedding version of this blog! We're T minus 13 days until Neil and I get married. And it's only today that Neil finally realized that the wedding has so little to do with the desires bride and groom and so much more to do with the family and friends. I learned that long ago as I watched so many friends go through a wedding. We have the locations (Muttart for ceremony, drinks at our place after the ceremony and Characters for dinner), the dress (at the tailor - a simple shift dress), Neil's suit (an exisiting one, at the tailor being hemmed - yes, the pants were actually too long!), the rings, the officiant, the license, the flowers (silk ones), the manicure appointments, the hair stylist, and the guests have been invited. What was supposed to be 4 (me, Neil, my mom and dad) is now 16. Oh well, close enough! And thankfully the largest cold sore ever seen came to me 2 weeks before the wedding, instead of 2 days. Wow, this is a nasty one! But I am just looking forward to the date coming, to getting married to the man I love and starting the 5 months of being a married couple, before we become a family of three.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another week down!

We're moving closer and closer to the half way mark! 16 weeks already. And... AVOCADO! Although The Bump must buy bigger avocados than I do. Mine tend to be smaller than a navel orange (last week). Now I am craving avocado...



Sprout is moving onto 5 inches long. And I may feel the kicking soon! Unless I did and it wasn't gas... I wish I knew. The most fun new development? Sprout can hear. This is when those "perfect" parents buy special earphones to place on mom's belly so that they can play the alphabet and classical music to the baby to give them a head start in school. I figure that we aren't going to start that level of pressure soon, but maybe I'll have to give up my recently developed love for really bad pop music. Although I still call it a pregancy symptom because there is no way that I could enjoy Lady Gaga that much without crazy hormones! I am a better person that that (I hope).

I have to admit, Sprout is NOT helping me create anything good to blog about. The most "interesting" thing is my fears that because this is SUCH a good pregnancy that something must have to go wrong. Yup. I am the optimist! But other than being tired at about 3pm and going to bed earlier, not sleeping as well... and the growing belly (omg I am getting large!) I am feeling pretty much "normal"*!

I went for a check-up with the doctor today. She's really starting to loosen up with me, not as clinical, which is good. Although I have to admit, she has some of the largest biceps I have EVER seen on a woman. And this morning she must have just worked out because she was pumped and veiny. I would not be surprised if she isn't a body builder, they are just that massive. It's reassuring, though, that if they building should set on fire she could easily pick a very pregnant me up and tear a brick building apart to get to safety.

I got to see the report for the Nuchal Scan. For my age**, the risk is 1 in 415 to have a child with Down Syndrome. Sprout came in at 1 in 1000+. For Trisomy 13 is was 1 in 10,000+, for Trisomy 18 it was in in over 200,000+. While this is not a diagnostic test, the chances are in our favour that Sprout will have none of these chromosomal disorders. We're still not sure if they'll have my dad's nose... *grin*

And I stepped on the scale this morning. It's a little overwhelming to see my weight going up. I know it's for the best reason ever, but I have been too well trained by society not to get anxious at weight gain, no matter the reason. But the doctor didn't seem concerned. And my blood pressure is still on the lower side (108/51). So the moral of the story is: I am doing good, the pregnancy is good, Sprout is good. It's all good!


*I put normal in quotation marks just because normal for me is still somewhat strange to most people. I don't want to mislead here.

** I am old for having a child. Which is weird because I do not feel old enough to be doing this... I AM NOT MATURE ENOUGH YET

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

15 weeks!

We are officially at 15 weeks. Already... And there is still so much left to DO!

And a NEW fruit! Navel orange. No other kind will do, apparently.

If this wasn't my first, I could be feeling movement since I'd know what to feel for. However, I have no CLUE what baby movements feel like and so I am likely missing it. I could possibly be feeling something. When I sit still, and just relax and focus on my baby-area I can sometimes feel flutters, like little bubbles. Chances are, however, that those ARE little bubbles. Gas bubbles...

This pregnancy continues to be easy and relaxing. Although I am sure I am jinxing myself somehow. My mom was apparently great until the 4th month, then heartburn started and took over her life. I hope in this respect I am not like her.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In related news...

It's official. I am shedding my single-ness and becoming a a married girl! While this has been a long time coming, we are now officially getting married and I could not be happier.

We are planning the big day to be Wednesday September 9th, 2009 (09.09.09 - easy to remember!). It will be a very small and casual day. Nothing fancy (no big dress, flowers, attendants) just a simple ceremony that will confirm our commitment to one another.

While the picture is blurry, the ring is gorgeous and perfect for me. Pictures of the big day will also be posted here.

In pregnancy related news. I stepped on the scale this morning, and I am 2 pounds less than I was when I peed on the stick. Which is still healthy, since I was too heavy to start with. But despite the minimal change in numbers, the change in my body? Drastic and fantastic! I am looking more and more pregnant everyday. In fact, I had my first belly touch! While I didn't feel like my personal space was being invaded, I am ok with touch, I did feel bad that all she really touched was my belly fat. The babe is small and tucked mostly in my pelvis still. They are just pushing all the fat upwards and outwards!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Week 14 (plus one day)

We are now officially moving up fruit sizes and have come to rest on... LEMON.



Not the cutest nor sweetest fruit. But Sprout is sucking his thumb, wiggling his toes, breathing amniotic fuild which is cute and sweet! And Sprout is also officially peeing inside me. The last one is a little strange, but I think it's part of the conditioning I need to deal with the vast amounts of pee (and other such matter) that we'll be dealing with for the first few years of Sprout's life!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good news!

The doctor's office called today. Nuchal scan result are back and we're at low risk for chromosomal disorders! The test isn't 100% accurate (only an amino would be) but at the hospital the doctor said that is there was a greater that 1 in 300 risk the hospital would call and let me know. So it's less that 1 in 300!!

That took a measurable weight off my shoulders. I think there was a little part of me that was worried... I guess I'll always have that little bit of wonder until Sprout comes out and I can see him/her but we're both relieved.

My body is changing daily. I guess this is the time that it all starts to show but the rate of change amazes me. I can sometimes feel my insides moving and shifting to make room for Sprout. And non-preggo pants are just not a viable option right now. I just can't comfortably sit in them. It's just such a fun journey so far!

Almost at 14 weeks. Tomorrow. Wow... in 2 weeks we'll have the early range of when I'll be feeling kicks. We have the U/S for gender in just 6 weeks. Time is FLYING BY!

Friday, July 31, 2009

I wonder if this is their good side?


So, do they have my nose? Neil's? MY DAD'S??! (shudder)
The u/s was SO much more dynamic and clearer than these stills are. But my mom showed me a picture of her ultrasound and it was even blurrier. She gave me my baby book. I was exactly 7lbs. I was born at 6:16am. The rest? Not really filled in... but I am sure she had her arms full.

I keep forgetting I am pregnant. Other than the complete loss of my waist, I am doing obnoxiously great. It makes for little interesting to type in a blog.
Except today Sprout has decided to make all food taste horrible. I spit up my lunch wrap today, like a three year old would. It was just so unappealing. And then I tried some leftover food I had here. Also gross. So I am having water. Which tastes weird. That confirms it's just me. And I think I lost the taste of garlic again. My mom made more garlic toast (on sourdough bread). It tasted like... sourdough.

I just hope I am un-broken tomorrow at Heritage Days. I LOVE the food there and would be very unhappy if Sprout made the good-food taste disappear on me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Week 13

Week 13. One place calls this the last week of my first trimester, another says week 1 of the second trimester. I dunno... I just know we've made it this far!

We have a new fruit! A little PEACH! A peach with teeth forming and vocal cords starting.



Sprout continues to grow and develop and move around (I can't wait to feel it!). And things continue to be going well. Next doctor's appointment is August 19th in the morning. Until then, we just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Plus, get a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff done. We need to get the door casings in, and the baseboards before Sprout appears. Find furniture we like for Sprout, get it, put it together. Choose a baby seat. Stroller. Sling. Get bottles etc. Choose diapers (cloth? disposable?) Get cute little baby clothes. And all by February! And then when nesting kicks in our house may actually be CLEAN.

I have been watching baby shows on TV. The amazing one is Baby Story. I cry everytime I catch that show. It all looks so amazing... and labour looks like it HURTS. But to have the purple, slimey little person placed on my chest will be amazing. I also read Brooke Shields' book on post partum depression. It sounds so frightening and overwhelming. I am not sure if I have a propensity for depression, but I will definitley be asking friends and family to watch me closely after the birth, in case.

There is so much to learn, so much to know, so much to read. The other day it hit Neil, we will be the first to introduce chocolate to Sprout. Grass, sunshine, baths, cars... everything. We will be this childs' everything for a number of years. And all we can do is be honest with Sprout and ourselves, try to learn from mistakes and do our best to raise Spout to be a loving and respectful person.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We saw Sprout!

Today I had the Nuchal Scan done (the test for chromosomal disorders). The first part was an ultrasound, followed by a blood test. And it's official. There is a PERSON inside there! Only one person, thankfully.

It took about 45 minutes for the tech to get a perfect profile shot of Sprout. The doctor is measuring the thickness of the fluid at the nape of the baby's neck. And while Sprout was perfectly in profile, s/he was also nestled right up against the uterine wall, which made picture taking harder. But in the end, Sarah got the pic and the doctor had a chance to look it over. The doctor was wonderful, and came in to talk to Mr. & Mrs CH-rap-ko (hehe) and reassure us that the thickness of the fuild looks to be in the normal range. But the bloodtest may say something different. But for know, it looks good. We'll hear the definitive answer in 7-10 days.

But we saw him/her. Neil got to watch Sprout move and wave and shimmy and jump for the full 45 minutes, I got about 30 seconds after the pics were taken. But I saw Sprout. I saw him stretch, I saw his little tiny heart beating. I saw 2 arms and 2 legs. Neil saw more, like the brain. Which is nice, because when teenage years hit and Sprout does something stupid at least one of us has definitively SEEN a brain, even if they aren't using it *grin*

Again, 158 beat per minute. Making Neil even more certain about a girl. I am still unsure. There was a time I was confident it was a boy... but I am still waiting for the dream I hear women have, that they meet their child and get to find out the gender. Although so far they are looking healthy and that is what matters most to me.

We ordered copies of the ultrasound pictures, so soon we'll have the first baby shots of Sprout.

And we have told my family now! It's officially out there, we are PREGNANT.

Crazy...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Officially 12 weeks!

Well, I made it! Starting my 12th week. I have known about Sprout for 7 weeks now. Crazy.

We have (officially) a new fruit! Sprout is now plum sized. Most bits and pieces are in place, at least the start of them, and it's now a matter of maturing them until he's ready to come out. Sprout's digestive system is now working. Which means there is someone IN my body pooing. And last week Sprout started to taste... poor little fetus (we are no longer an embryo, I am now carrying a fetus).

We have made new baby-book purchases (I think I have enough now) and a baby-name wizard book. I am still overwhelmed at the thought of NAMING a human being. And so far Neil and I do NOT like each other's choices. Ones he has completely "taken off the table" (or term for veto) is Nella. I have loved that name since University. He says it sounds like "Vanilla" and is a name of a cookie. Or Willa which is so pretty and feminine. Although Willa Birch kinda sounds like Willow Birch, with an accent and that is entirely TOO flora-ish. So any plant life name (Lily, Rose, Fern) is out. As are food names (Olive). And animals sounds. Neil tried to throw Quack on the table. I think he was joking but in case... OFF THE TABLE! *grin* We MAY have a boys name. Neil likes is, I love it. Actually, there are three boys names we're ok with. Which means it'll be a girl. That is just our luck.

Anyone have ideas/names they are willing to share?