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


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


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...


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?!