Ramblings

I’m in that situation again where I’ve so much to cover and it’s just getting worse the longer I wait to write.
So, I’m going to try and skim over as much as I can and go on normally from there…

Easter was good. Saw both families. Clo was pretty good, but she wasn’t able to deal with all the people all day long. By the time we got home, she was super done and just wanted everyone to shut up and snuggle her.

We moved Chloé into her crib the weekend after Easter. It was not entirely without issue, although the issues were entirely my own. Even with the monitor, and her being literally next door to us, I was worried. I worried I wouldn’t hear her. I worried she’d not sleep as well in her crib as she had in her bassinet. I worried myself out of some really good sleep, since Clo stayed down for her typical 8-10 hours. We’ve had a few hiccups here and there, but in general she’s asleep in her crib by 9:30 and she’s up between 5 and 7.

LC visited from DC. It was awesome. She knows me so well, and my life and my family, that I talk about things and she just gets it all. It sucks that I don’t get to see her more, but I am so thankful for the time we get together. It was also kind of hilarious to see her with Chloé. LC is basically my polar opposite physically, and I think Clo really enjoyed the variety. The day after LC left, she sort of kept looking around me as if thinking, “Mom, where’s the tall blonde lady? She was fun, bring her back.” MFH always says this, but that doesn’t make it any less true: “Out of all the people we know [LC and her hubby], are the ones I wish could live closer.”

I’m no longer diabetic, so hooray for that. I knew it was 90-someodd percent likely that I would be free of it, but it was still nice to get the official outcome. I’m likely to get it again, if I’m ever pregnant again.

Clo can hear. I mean, I knew that, but Health Canada apparently likes to know as well. So officially, per Health Canada, she can hear.

I have New Mom Wrist. It’s annoying and actually hurts me periodically. I left it for a long time, because I kept thinking it would go away on its own. Now that I’ve been diagnosed, I’m trying to be super conscientious of how I’m holding Chloé. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I’m more concerned with just making her happy.

I can’t really wrap my head around being a Mom this Mother’s Day. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on it after the fact…

Wearing her curls this time 'round.

Wearing her curls this time ’round.

 

2014 – Year of the Spawn

2014-Year-of-the-Spawn

I spent New Years Eve sick. I had to get woken up out of a half sleep at midnight in order to receive my first kiss of 2014.

I’m still recovering from the cold, but I’m fine to work and move around and basically not be in bed all day. Just really snotty and kind of gross.

My last midwife appointment of 2013 was interesting. M2 was on vaycay, so I had a duplicate appointment with M1. (Usually I alternate between the two of them.) M1, however, was attending a birth, rather than attending to me. I, of course, am fully on board with this. When I go into labor I want to take priority over someone just getting a checkup. Anyways, I met with a whole new midwife who was very apologetic and nice. It was a quick appointment, but she felt around for awhile to confirm that 1. Spawn is currently Goldilocks size-wise (not too big, not too small) and 2. Spawn is head-down and in launch position. (She gave it about a 95% confidence level.)

I sort of assumed something of the like was going on, as the shape and location of my belly has changed rather drastically. Even MFH noticed that the largest part of the bump has moved lower and more outward, rather than high up and tucked into my boobs. Most of the time Spawn’s (assumed) butt and feet hang out on my right side, but occasionally I get a perfect alignment. While it’s entirely possible that Spawn will spin again, it’s also possible that head down is the set position until birth. I’m going to stay hopeful and think that a breach is unlikely.

The movement can be uncomfortable, but It doesn’t stop me from sleeping ever. Spawn’s hiccups also never seem to last all that long, never getting to the annoyance point of an eye-twitch that won’t go away. (Or my own never-ending hiccups, for that matter.)

I do, however, find I am learning new methods to peeing. I can’t just go to the bathroom now. I have to concentrate, shift my weight around, and occasionally stand up and sit back down in order to really empty my bladder. Spawn’s weight on it seems to alternatively make me need to pee more, and also have more of an issue actually emptying it, so that I have to go again minutes after the last time. This isn’t so terrible at home, but makes commuting a bit awkward. It also means that I’m up between 2 and 5 times every night. Still compensating for the interrupted sleep by trying to just be in bed longer. So far that seems to be working out okay.

Another symptom I’m having is a bit more weird. I am having an extremely difficult time dealing with the smell of smokers. Even right now, as plugged up as I am, I can smell them from feet away. It makes me instantly nauseous and I have to move away from them. I’ve given up multiple seats on my commute now because of this. Not sure what the deal is, or why it’s suddenly ramped up into so much of a problem for me, but there you are.

Oh, also, in the interest of full disclosure, I had a very bizarre dream. Basically one of boobs started spraying milk. But…like a firehose. It was almost a weapon. So odd.

Nursery is really starting to pull together. I’ve worked on some fussier parts over the last week and a bit, and I hope to finish up the last of the big projects this weekend. Still, I won’t have the finished reveal until later this month/early next.

Part of it is the shower, and just not knowing if I’ll be getting the finishing touches there. I think a few people have come out of Christmas realizing that I’m having a baby in about a month and a half. I’m starting to get asked when and where it’s going to be, and I have no idea. I’m actually fine with not having one, but I just need to be aware of the details. There’s a ton of stuff that I can manage without. But if I’m not going to have a shower I need to start buying a few things. (Mattress, change pad, diaper pail, ect.) I know MFH was hoping to do a beer and diaper party as well…so maybe we’ll just do that?

Whatever happens, the fact that we’re on the other side of New Years means we don’t have long to wait now to see our Spawn on the outside. I feel more excited daily. Still balanced well between “GET OUT NOW!” and “No-no-no, too fast.” Every time I get those weird pausing vibrations I assume are Braxton Hicks, I think about how my body is gearing up to the big day.

Which is probably why my New Year’s resolutions are so simple this year:
1. Stay off insulin so that my midwives keep my primary care
2. Have a baby
3. Everyone lives

Yep, I’m good with that.

Happy 2014 to you all!

Holiday Cheermeister

Normally, I’m a pretty holiday-friendly person. I’ve never groaned at seeing Christmas or Chanukah themed items in stores as early as October. Even really terrible fake-bearded Santas make me smile. I go nuts for reindeer.

This year, though was super different. I felt the holidays coming sooner and harder than I ever remember feeling in my adult life. I looked back at my old posts and saw that I first commented on how much I was looking forward to the holidays in mid-September. That gives you a fairly good idea of how much my Christmas spirit was amped up early.

The Grinch

[© Universal Pictures]

Neither my GD diagnosis nor Toronto’s insane ice storm were able to down my excitement. Yes, we lost power, but MFH and I were with MFH’s family just outside of Barrie for it, so we really didn’t have to deal with it. (Although you know what’s super fun? Finding ice chips in your toothpaste a day after the power’s come back on. I don’t know that it’s a first-world problem, but man it was bizarre.) Our Christmas plans didn’t really change, even as the locations of each event got drastically altered.

On the 23rd I met my diabetes team. I have a Diabetes Specialist RN, my dietitian (that I’ve mentioned before), and now my diabetes doctor. Three women all working together to help me and baby stay healthy. I’d lost 2 and a half pounds since my visit last week, so everyone listened a lot closer to my concerns about low-carb eating and weight loss. I was told to eat more in between meals, and to add a complex starch to every meal. All my actual numbers were good, with the exception of my early morning fast. I assumed because I was in the fives I was okay, but they want me below 5.2 mmo/L if I’m not going to get on insulin at bedtime. (Basically my body isn’t getting that I don’t need to eat when I’m sleeping. It’s freaking out, thinking I’m starving, and making too much sugar.)

My three caregivers asked if I’m wanting to stay off insulin in order to keep my primary care with my midwives. When I said yes, they all said the same thing, “Okay, let’s do everything we can to correct this with food and keep you off insulin.” After four days of following their advice (eating more all day, eating right before bed, etc.) I managed a 5.1 mmo/L this morning. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see that number on my reader. I was thisclose to jumping on my poor sleeping husband and screaming incoherently at him.

Spawn’s totally down with all the extra food. The movement has really become strong. Whether kicks, stretches or rolling over, you can now pretty much see all movement from the outside. Sometimes I find it quite uncomfortable. Especially as now it’s typical to feel it in two or three places at once. MFH and I were seriously considering the possibility of us having an extremely active child yesterday. Maybe Spawn’s just claustrophobic?

As always Christmas was full of family, friends, and far too much in the way of generosity. Even Spawn cleaned up; gaining clothing, Canadian Olympic mittens, a few receiving blankets, a book, and an unbelievable rocking horse that whinnies and moves (and that I spent far too much time cuddling considering I’m a full-grown adult.).

Rocking Horse

Spawn’s First Pony

I felt everyone’s excitement for Spawn, and compassion for me dealing with the GD and still up in the air about my care. I’ve always felt like family, even with MFH’s extended family, but this Christmas everything deepened. I felt how this new tiny human was going to take on the traditions of mine and MFH’s family, not just the traditions we make as a new family of three.

People can talk all they want about how hard it is to raise children or, alternatively, how easy it is to do it alone, but I cannot imagine doing our thing any other way. Spawn has a village of grandparents, great-grandparents, first and great aunts and uncles, and a ton of second cousins excitedly waiting for the birth day. We are not alone in this. It may not be easy, but having the wealth of love certainly isn’t a downfall.

And that’s the most important part of all of this for me, I think. I have so many people helping me with my health and my happiness. I think without a single gift I would have felt just as blessed this Christmas. I love my family, both those I was born with and those I married in to. Spawn is going to be so lucky to have all of these people to call family from birth.

Maybe some part of me knew this was coming, and that was why I was so looking forward to Christmas 2013. And with years ahead of me with Spawn learning about Christmas and what it actually means (both to the world and to our friends and families), I really don’t see an end in sight.

I may drive people crazy being the Holiday Cheermeister, but I’m okay with that. I’ll calm down and stop singing The FairyTale of New York everywhere I go soon.

Until then…

Sing it with me?

5 Years Ago

Five years ago today my best friend in Toronto (at the time), MGFM, called me and begged me to go with him to a clinic. My Mom was in town, up for Christmas from Houston. Normally I wouldn’t have just gone out and left her with my grandparents. (Not that she wasn’t fine there, just that…you know, it’s Christmas and my Mom was up from another country.) There was something in MGFM’s voice that clued me into something being really, really not right.

The whole story didn’t come out until I was in the car with him.

He’d gotten a message from someone he’d slept with, saying he needed to go get tested for HIV. MGFM and I were positive in the car over to the next town, where they had a quick-acting screening test in a centre that was open two days before xmas. I honestly can’t tell you what I thought was going to happen. I can’t remember after the rest of the insanity that day. What I can say is I’d honestly thought that MGFM wasn’t careful enough. He had a stable of boyfriends…or just boys…who constantly rotated through his affections. He was young, only 19 and about the same age as my brother. I worried like a sister or mother might.

I wasn’t allowed to go with him while he took the test. I actually remember thinking that the woman there (not sure if she was a nurse or what) was quite rude to me. I remembered wondering if she thought I was somehow responsible for him needing to get tested.

I waited.

Another lady came back out, this one much less grumpy. She came over to me and asked quietly if I was with MGFM. When I told her I was, she asked me if I minded coming back with her. I had a split second of wondering if they’d bother to bring me back if everything was fine. Then a door opened and I saw MGFM crying across from the rude lady, a small square of plastic in front of him. He didn’t acknowledge me, so I stayed at the door and waited.

MGFM asked the rude lady if he could take the test again. She said he could, but nothing would change. She got up to get all the required materials and added to me (with much more compassion), “You can go to him.”

I stood next to MGFM, one arm on his shoulder as he took the screening test again. I watched the reaction in the plastic square turn blue. I would later find out that the test wasn’t specifically for HIV. It was sort of an immune system test. If it was positive, that didn’t mean you had HIV, but it did mean something very serious was attacking your body. Still, given the fact that he’d had a former partner call…it just didn’t seem like it could be anything else.

Immediately he was referred to specialized doctors and Health Canada. His blood had to be taken for the actual HIV test. (As well as a plethora of other blood tests that go along with the treatment of same.) He was told to contact everyone he’d slept with since sleeping with the partner who contacted him. I remember wondering how he would manage to contact them all.

I called my Mom and said I’d be later than expected. MGFM had a weird sense of determination matched up with this wild feeling of spinning out of control. I just don’t think he could figure out what to do and having me there made him feel like one thing in his world was remaining constant.

One of the worst moments of my life was being there when he told his mother.

He’d called her home from work, vaguely saying something about news and needing her home. I think she thought he was going to tell her he was moving out of the house with me. I didn’t want to be there, and when he dragged out the telling for too long (in my mind) I lost my calm and told him to just tell her already.

I wasn’t trying to be a dick, I was just watching his mom rock while sitting on his bed, clearly going a bit crazy herself wondering what was up…how bad it was. I wanted her to stop thinking the worst. It never occurred to me that the truth was probably the worst.

MGFM finally managed, “Mom, I’m sick. Really sick.” She made this noise that still hurts my heart thinking of it five years later. Then she started sobbing and saying no, no. Over and over. I was a spectator to her pain, and I hated it.

In the following year, I went to appointment after appointment with MGFM. I was there for him, to listen and not judge. But something was changing in our relationship. Finally, one day I gave him shit for not going to his appointments unless I accompanied him. I asked him what, exactly, he was going to do if I got hit by a car and died? Would he not ever go again?

You see, besides his family, I was the only person who knew what had happened. At first I think that helped him. He had a solid person to hang onto. But then he came to realize that I could never un-know. Every time he dated someone I wondered at the back of my mind if he’d told them. I was less fun to be around. I become more of a mother figure than anything else. (Also partly because I was just getting older and less inclined to do the club ’til 6am thing.) Eventually, he just stopped returning my calls.

I still think of MGFM often. He was this burst of bright energy when I first moved to TO and didn’t really know anyone outside of family. I miss that energy and I hope he’s still got it.

Every December 23rd since then I think about the day we found out. I think about the many people all over the world who found out this year. I think about pain and sacrifice. I think about a mother’s breaking heart.

I’m religious, so the parallels to Christmas for me are a bit on the nose. I try to feel it all honestly, so that the celebration of Christmas has more weight when it arrives two days later. I also try not to let it devastated me in the same way it did that year. I was shell-shocked that Christmas, and barely remember it.

And that’s why despite the dedicated “awareness” times, December 23rd is my day. It’s my day to remember. My day to hope. Most of all, it’s my day to acknowledge that sometimes people come into your lives for a purpose, and once that purpose is fulfilled, they leave you. (Or you leave them.)

Spawn will likely never know MGFM. It’s possible he’ll come back into my life at some point, but really that seems unlikely. Still, Spawn will know about MGFM. I will tell his story, and my part in it. And maybe it will come out as a warning, but I also hope it comes out as a simple tale of how things happen to people you love. And how sometimes you just have to be there for them until they don’t need you any more.

HIV-Ribbon

Moving On Up

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife moving sucks.” Sorry Jane, but it’s far more true and relevant to the world today.

So MFH and I moved on the 1st. It was a ridiculously long day, even with the help of my MIL, SIL S, and our hired movers. It was literally the first time in this whole process that I’ve felt very poorly pregnant. By the end of the night my hips and heels hurt so badly, I was waddling like an extremely overweight penguin.

The heel pain turned into mega swollen feet, and after two full days of pain I turned to my old dancer’s remedy. Salt, baby oil, and the hottest water I could stand. I went to bed looking like I wore bright red socks, but I woke up feeling (and looking) normal again.

Feet

A couple of things made the move worse than it should have been, but only one of them is my own fault. I barely ate or drank anything until we settled into the new place. So dumb, I know, but it was just one of those things. I was running around like crazy trying to bag up last minute things, and it was all I could do to throw a few goldfish in my mouth now and then. Several good, healthy meals and gallons of water later and I’m just starting to feel normal now.

The longer lasting issue is the transfer of our phone/internet services. Shockingly, the tech showed up (at 9:30pm!) to hook everything up. Unfortunately, because stupid Bell garbage face owns all the lines, even though we’re not with them they control our access. For reasons that still haven’t been adequately answered, they denied us access and we couldn’t actually use the services. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to have an internet connection, but without internet access? It’s like owning money you can’t spend. 😦

Anyways, they finally agreed to grant us access today, although I’ll have to wait until after work, my midwife appointment, and my dental cleaning before finding out if that promise was actually kept. Le sigh.

Not having internet meant no watching Netflix or ordering the new furniture for the new place. We’d go to check a conversion on a measurement or even just to make sure the TTC was running ok, before realizing that we’d have to use our cell phones for the tasks. I totally get that this is a first world problem. The thing is, we live in the first world. Obviously I wouldn’t be complaining if we were moving/living outside of this privilege.

Amazingly, we made it to a big birthday bash for my SIL E’s beau’s birthday Saturday night. The combo of pain/exhaustion from the move, and not partaking of caffeine or alcohol meant that by eleven I was done and ready for bed. Still it was so fun to see everyone and just have a nice night out.

Sunday I hit 24 weeks, and the start of viability. As much as I want Spawn to stay put for another 16 weeks or so, it’s very comforting to think that should the worst happen, there is a chance of survival.

By Sunday night we had all of our boxes save the books unpacked. (This sounds impressive, but there are 60 boxes of books. I will share photos once our four additional bookcases are in place and the books are all put away.) The coolest part for both MFH and I was that every time we unpacked a box, we had more room and not less. In all our prior residences, the more we unpacked the more crammed in everything became. There was something so wonderful about seeing the space around us. Everything isn’t perfectly in place, but we’re waiting on our aforementioned ordered products to really settle in. More got done this weekend then I was expecting to, that’s for sure.

Which leads me to Monday, and MFH and my 2nd wedding anniversary. We had a very quiet day. Mostly snuggled on the couch and hung pictures/curtains. Spawn got in on the action by rapidfire kicking through me to MFH. Not sure if that was excitement or objection to the cuddling, but MFH and I were generally amused.

Spawn’s movement in general has dramatically increased. (Or at least my being able to feel it has increased.) As soon as I tuck in for the night, Spawn starts with the gymnastics. For the first time last night, I felt a push on both sides of my belly at the same time. I assume it was a full out stretch, but man did it feel bizarre. My mother had weeks of hiccuping fetuses with both myself and my brother, and she’s gleefully waiting for me to experience the same thing. Considering most of Spawn’s movements already feel like weird large muscle twitches, I can’t even imagine hiccups. I wonder if they’ll bother me as much as my own hiccups?

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see…

 

Thankful

I don’t think I’ve ever been shy about talking about how lucky/blessed I am. Having said that, I try to watch how I talk about it. I never want to alienate people away from me, and I know how “everything is always perfect for me, always” can be so off putting. (Not that everything is actually always perfect. Just that most of the time I really have zero to complain about.)

But this time, all bets are off…

Yesterday, Canadian’s across the country celebrated a day of Thanks. As weird as it is for me to have Thanksgiving in October (and no real talks of pilgrims and indians), after eight years celebrating it here I’ve sort of figured it out. Of course, having more than one family to visit and eat with has been an almost exclusively Canadian experience for me. Certainly I would stop by friends’ houses (or they would stop by mine) growing up, but it was never to share Thanksgiving with them. More just to see friends when I was off school.

With MFH, we try to visit his family/mother’s side and my family/mother’s side. It’s always a bit crazy and complicated because there tends to be hour(s) of driving from one venue to another. Still, we do our best because we really do want to see everyone.

I’m thankful most of the time. I really am. It was funny how this year, there was a whole other layer of thankful though. Spawn isn’t just something for MFH and me to be thankful for and celebrate. Spawn is something that both our families celebrate as well.

My families shared (completely not scary) stories of birth and the early days after labor. They shared with me their excitement for having Spawn become a part of our greater family dynamic. For those that know, they shared with me their excitement for Spawn’s gender. (Excitement that would have been just as much, I feel, had it been the other as well.) My tummy was rubbed more this past weekend than it had been thus far in my pregnancy. And, perhaps weirdest of all, I was totally okay with that.

Possibly the biggest excitement for me this weekend was a particularly active Spawn on Friday night. Whether settling in for the night or just happily somersaulting, Spawn was doing a lot of spinning close to the front of my stomach. I grabbed MFH’s hand and pushed him into my belly. At first he just shook his head, but then his eyes flashed and he smiled. He felt Spawn. It was just a little bit, but still. I moved his hand again, and he caught one more flip before Spawn settled.

It was just one more thing to be thankful for in a very long, very drawn out list. I’m thankful for my family, my friends, for all those far and near. I’m thankful that I have been lucky/blessed enough to have a healthy baby happily growing inside me.

I’m thankful that I always have enough to eat, and that I’m at a point in my personal journey where I don’t hate myself for eating. I’m so thankful that I have a roof over my head and a place to sleep with the only person I ever want to wake up next to.

I’m thankful that I have met (whether online or in person) a plethora of women (and men!) who are so generous with their wisdom and experiences. I’m thankful every day when I look at my Stats and realize that another person, from another corner of the world, has somehow found my ramblings…and I’m even more thankful when I watch them return again and again to read along with me.

I’m thankful for those who think like I do, and just as thankful for those who don’t. I am angered, challenged, and sometimes even taught by those differing opinions.

Most of all, I am so thankful for our wonderful mixture of imperfections and perfections. For the ability to learn, grow, sympathize, and defend. For the blazing support that can span countries and languages to wrap up someone who needs just the simple comfort of a hug.

So thank you. For reading, commenting, emailing, or just stopping by. I truly hope that I have given you even a sliver of the kindness you have given me.

 

 

 

 

How Did I Get Here?

It may just be me, but I find quite often that I don’t consciously acknowledge something until either  1. I end up talking/eChatting to someone about it or 2. I dream about it.

Something came up today that I hadn’t really thought about. At least, I wasn’t aware of thinking about it. But then I was eChatting with LC and it smacked me up against the side of the head: I’m nearly halfway through this pregnancy.

Getting my altered due date (guess date) means that I went from turning on Thursday to turning on Sunday. So, instead of hitting 17 weeks this Thursday, I hit it yesterday. It means that I have less than a month until I’m 20 weeks, which unless I go over the 40-week mark, I’ll be halfway done.

I’m having a really (stupidly) hard time processing that. How can I be halfway through this? Didn’t I just start actively being pregnant a few weeks ago?

I’m thinking that this pregnancy has been quite sneaky. Because I don’t really have symptoms, I more or less forget about being pregnant most of the time. I go to work and play with my dog and love MFH…and it all seems pretty standard.

In a way, it reminds me a bit of getting married. Like there was SO MUCH TIME and then, suddenly, there was no time. I suppose having a life where things fly by is not the most terrible thing in the world. After all, time flies when you’re having fun is an excessively correct idiom for me personally. But sometimes I stop to catch my breath and think, how the eff are we here already?!

But I’m pretty excited to be here already. I mean, I’ve got the anatomy scan on Sept 30th. And once I hit 20 weeks, I’m so close to viability it’s mind boggling. (Obviously, my preference is to go full term, but the idea that there is a chance – from 26 weeks on even a really good chance – of survival is so comforting.)

The second half of my pregnancy is all happening during some of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving (both Canadian and American), Christmas, and New Years will be celebrated with the Spawn in tow. (Although I guess that’s true for the next 20+ years as well…)

It will also be the last time MFH and I celebrate these holidays as a childless couple. I plan to enjoy them with my non-alcoholic mulled cider, husband, family and friends. Because everything is going to change. And I’m weirdly okay with that. But it is nice to think of doing it for just us, one last time.

On that same vein something else came to me this weekend, while driving up to see my in-laws. I told MFH how excited I was for the holidays this year. I realized, through our talk, that it was the first time since probably high school that I was really, crazy, over-the-moon looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years.

I’m excited for the snow and buying presents for my loved ones. I’m excited to sing carols and eat so much delicious food. I’m excited to set up the nursery and count down to 2014. It’s all good, and I’m looking so forward to all of it.

Through talking about it, I think I hit upon the reason why. I am finally in a job that I LOVE, with a man that I LOVE, in a city I LOVE, with every luxury a person of my age and social status could possibly desire. PLUS I have a Spawn on the way. I am more than content, I am overjoyed.

Of course there are bills and dreams and things that I would like to be different. (Unfortunately I don’t have three-quarters of a million to spend on a house in TO, at the moment.) But you know what? I’m pretty damn lucky, and I have very, very little to be unhappy about.

And maybe that’s the key to enjoying the holidays. Maybe you have to sort of let go of the bad and hold on to the realization of how free you actually are. It’s a little bit like being a kid again. I think that’s how I feel.

One last set of holidays feeling like a little kid, before I have a little kid of my own to celebrate with.

I feel like I was watching this last time I was this excited for the Holidays. [GIF via kuki4982 of DA]

Vacation From My Vacation

I’m happily back in Toronto after my week away at the cottage. It was a beautiful place, and it was lovely to see my father and brother.

But…

Everyone besides MFH and myself were the worst combination of locus and mess makers. I’d wake up in the morning and there’d be half-eaten food and trash everywhere. It took MFH and me a good hour every morning to clean the main living area. That gets old fast and certainly makes for a less than relaxing vacation. We’ve both decided we probably won’t stay the whole week next year. (It’s one thing to clean up after 3 grown men in general; doing it with a six month old seems like a whole other ordeal all together.)

But…

In the middle of the week, we drove back into Toronto for a series of appointments. The first was meeting my other midwife, M2. (I’d like to take this moment to explain the M1/M2 thing. My midwives and I all share the same base variant of a name. M2 and I actually have the exact same name. It’s confusing, and a little hilarious. So M1/M2 isn’t me being an ass by not giving them their own distinctions…it’s actually the easiest way to keep them separate and confidential.)

M1 was super zen and really helped chill me out. M2 was more excited and really solid energy-wise. I still left there feeling happy about the status of the Spawn, but it was more empowerment than calm. The two of them have never worked together as a team, but I feel like the combination is perfect for me.

M2 spent most of the appointment asking me questions about my history and health. We had a long talk about my past with eating disorders, and a little clarification on my OCD. After that she had me lie down and got out the doppler.

I’d heard so many women describe the sound of the heartbeat as “galloping.” I don’t know if it’s because I’ve done so much actual galloping in my life, but it didn’t sound like that at all to me. It was a rhythmic, wet whooshing nose, a bit like mixing cake batter by hand. It was also a lot slower than a gallop. (But still fast at 144 beats per minute.)

It was such a great moment for me. It was the first actual proof of life I’ve had in this pregnancy, and without the expected morning sickness and what not, I found that I really, really needed it. In the brief moments before M2 found it, I was panicking that there was no heartbeat, and this would be the end. Luckily, just as I started to worry, the whooshing started. I couldn’t stop laughing.

MFH and I had a bit of a break after, but I had to drink something like 6 cups of water before my ultrasound, so I got to work on that. I wish I could  properly define the agony that holding all that water was like. Alas, I cannot. I can tell you that at one point I started sweating from needing to pee so badly. That was a neat trick. It occurred to me that the six cups was probably a general average and not a good idea for someone of my stature. Sure enough, when I finally got called in for my appointment, the Ultrasound Technician was like, “Nope, you’re too full. Go pee.”

I could have kissed her.

So, after peeing for what felt like fifteen minutes, I went back in and got to see the Spawn. I didn’t cry, but it was a really moving thing to see the actual little baby inside me. After she took all the required measurements, the Tech went out into the waiting room and got MFH. With MFH in the room, she took the time to show us all the parts. She was a bit offended that the Spawn had his/her face turned away from the Ultrasound wand, and kept trying to get the Spawn to face us. She asked me to cough, and every time I did, the Spawn did this:

It was HILARIOUS.

After that high, we went off so I could get my blood and urine workup. Again, the blood taking was quite easy. I didn’t even bruise. It will be awhile before I get the results, but I’m fairly unconcerned. Any information we get back is simply information to arm ourselves with, and I intend on treating it as such.

With M1 and M2 on our side, it’s hard to imagine something we couldn’t handle together.

Week 10 Musings

Going to preface this with a quick TMI warning. Read on at your own risk…

I was feeling really odd this week. I literally kept shrugging it off and thinking, “ah, I must finally feel pregnant. This kinda sucks.”

That was until I had a very bloody trip to the bathroom. (Just to be clear, I never had a moment of thinking it was a miscarriage. The blood was very obviously not coming from that area at all…)

Went to the walk-in clinic directly across the street from my office on my lunch. After the doc questioned my decision to use a midwife (doc was a much older male, btw), he went on to check me out. You know what is never pleasant? People putting things in places you’ve never actually seen. But, I digress.

Doc’s instincts were that I had an infection (like e coli), but the idea of me having colitis was also bandied about.

I was put on liquids for 24 hours (and let me tell you the Spawn LOVED those 24 hours). If problems persisted, I would have to “get scoped.” Mmm, doesn’t that sound pleasant?  Luckily my broth, juice, and jello worked and it eventually cleared everything up.

Angry Kumquat

One of my preggo sites informed me that the Spawn is the size of a Kumquat. They forgot to mention how angry Spawn is….

I’m back to feeling basically normal and not really pregnant…

Except.

Can I just tell you all that I’m feeling like I’m about three days from showing? My body has gone from bloated, to lumpy, to…well, whatever it’s doing now. Which is more or less making me look like I have a weird weight distribution, especially when my bladder is full. Yet my clothes still fit. I’m so confused…

I can’t pull in my core muscles as well as I used to, and my pelvis is tipping forward more often than not. Years of Dance and Horseback Riding have me constantly correcting my alignment. In ballet, we called it putting your hips perpendicular to the floor.  In riding, the imagery was to have your tailbone touch the horse’s spine at a perfect 90* angle. Either way, I’m having to make a conscious effort to not stand with my back bowed and butt sticking out.

I just keep thinking that I’m only 10+ weeks pregnant. What am I going to do when I’m 30+ weeks? Hopefully, prenatal yoga and my own efforts will prevent me from becoming completely swaybacked.  I might actually breakdown and finally allow someone I don’t know to touch me long enough to get a massage.

We shall see…

In Ontario, we have a Civic Holiday on Monday. Besides that just generally being awesome, it also means that I’ll only have four work days before heading off to the cottage for a week. The combination of those two things is making me a little over excited.

The fact that my second midwife appointment and first Ultrasound will be taking place in the middle of cottage week is only added to the energy. Finally I’ll see the Spawn, even if it’s only in squiggly black and white.

Which also means that I’ll be telling work when I get back from the cottage week. (Assuming, of course, that the Spawn is okay.) I’m so mixed up about that, I can hardly figure out a coherent way to write about it.

On the one hand, I’m excited to share the news. Trying to be all secretive about all this is not my strong suit. I would much rather have let everyone know as soon as I told my family and close friends. Plus the people at my work are not jerks, and I’d like them to know.

But…

Ugh…I just started working here in June. It sucks so bad that I find a job I ADORE at the same time I get pregnant. Still, I wouldn’t want to take either of those things away. It’s just the thought of being gone for a year (Canada allows me 50 weeks of maternal/parental leave), when I won’t have actually been here for a year.

I know legally they can’t do anything, but that doesn’t really cover disappointment and bad feelings. Hopefully, I can avoid both.

All in all, I really can’t complain. My pregnancy has been easy-peasy so far, and I have finally come to a point where I’m thankful for that, rather than guilty I’m not puking every other minute like some. We’ll see what the last of the first trimester has in store for me…

Mother’s Day Musings

Mother’s Day has been weird for me for quite awhile now.

I left home young, and while I originally got back to see mom, from about 21 on I haven’t really been able to see her for her day.

Living in TO means I have the chance to see my Grandmother, which makes things about as good as they can be in this situation. Between MFH and I, we only have one grandma left. Saying she’s amazing is like saying the world is big. It’s true, but it certainly doesn’t really encompass half of the story.

I’m named after her. (My middle name is her first.) When I was acting, I ended up using my middle name as my last. (My agent thought my actual surname made me sound like a porn star. She was not wrong.) Hence, Ms. Isabella was born.

Anyways, Mother’s Day has felt off for several years. I miss my Mom most days, and Mother’s Day just makes that worse.

This year, though? This year was all sorts of crazy.

I had my plan to spawn in place last Mother’s Day, so you think that I would have had the same feelings then. I didn’t. This was the first Mother’s Day that I actually thought about what it would be like to be a mother myself. And man, it was…strange.

I’ve never once gotten cold feet, and that’s totally not what the strangeness was. It was more the realization that this plan I’ve had in place for over a year is all well and good, but I can’t actually force this thing to work. I’d really like to say this was my last Mother’s Day not being a mother. But who knows how the next few months are going to go?

So…I guess it’s sort of the opposite of cold feet. Not worrying that something’s going to happen, but worrying that something won’t.

And then I feel kinda stupid for worrying at all.

I need to find a balance between forcing this grand plan of mine, and just letting things happen. (I’d also like to get this job, get my sleep schedule back on track…and (really sorry for the TMI) would love to start my g-d period so that I am actually able to start trying to have a baby! *sigh* One step at a time.)

I’m making all this sound worse than it is though. There was a really great moment this Mother’s Day.

MFH and I got home and couched it while watching the Leafs play. MFH randomly asks me if I’m excited to be a Mom. I wait a couple of beats before answering, because it seems like the kind of question that deserves a serious consideration, right? Of course, I say yes. He nods and says, “Me too. I think you’re going to be a great mom.”

And Ms. I’s small heart grew three sizes that day…

3 size heart