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.


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.
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.