Lots to Think About

I got a call Wednesday. One of the women who are covering me while I’m on Mat Leave (the Marketing Manager) was a bit frantic, letting me know that the department was falling behind. Did I want to do some freelance work now?

Did I?

Excellent question. Everyone likes money. Well, maybe not everyone, but I think I’m fairly safe saying everyone because there’s enough of us in the world who live on and with money.

I am short on said money at the moment as I haven’t gotten a paycheque since I went off work the end of January and my benefits were just approved (possibly incorrectly) on Tuesday. But right there is the other issue. I don’t want to mess up my benefits, so I can’t accept money until this summer when I plan to work from home in a part-time capacity.

Still, I want to help. And I want to show how well I can work from home, because maybe I’ll be able to do that (at least part of the time) instead of having Clo in daycare 5 days a week. I’m looking into the possibility of doing the work now, but not applying the hours/getting paid until summer. We’ll see.

Speaking of daycare…Man, that is expensive. Most of the government certified centers I’ve seen with good ratings are about $100/day. In a four week month, you’re talking $2,000. That is bonkers to me. And, yes, I’m aware of the Child Care Subsidy that Toronto offers. But still.  Best case, we’ll still have to pay over $1,000/month.

There are other options, of course. In-home daycares (some are licensed), nannies, nanny share programs. But I’m not going to lie, all of those options make me a little uncomfortable. I realize Chloé will be a lot older and less breakable in eleven months, but she’s still going to be my baby. I want her taken care of and nurtured both mentally and physically. And I’m already starting to wonder if anyone can do that better than me.

I guess I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but with rumors of 2-year waiting lists all over the city, thinking about it now isn’t THAT crazy. We’ll see how I feel as the time draws closer.

Next week we have quite a few adventures planed. I’m getting retested for diabetes, so fingers crossed on that front. I’m also having my last appointment with the midwives. Unfortunately both of mine are on vacation, so I’ll finish up with another. I’m a bit emotional about “leaving” the midwives. I don’t know if anyone can ever have the bond with me and MFH that they did. If we ever decide to do this again, we’ll take the midwife track again. Even if I have the same problems with GD and PIH, I’d rather do it under their guidance.

Finally, we’ll be going in to my office to meet and greet. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone, not to mention picking up the stuff I left behind in my office. Clo’s been a fairly good traveler and visitor so far, and I’m hoping she keeps it up this time.

Apparently the time around 6-weeks is rife with physical and emotional growth for babies. They are more aware of their surroundings and, as such, become overstimulated by their surroundings. Literally there is too much to see and do. So they get fussy. Clo seems to be coming out of the worst of it now, but for a bit there we were referring to her as “the pot of fuss” and “Madame Fussypants.” I’ll get into it in length at another time, but the only thing that seems(ed) to work for her was holding her while bouncing on a medicine ball. I spend around 5 hours on it in an average 24 hour period. Let me tell you, my behind looks fabulous. 😉

I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts. My days and nights sort of blend together, and my understanding of times and dates have drastically declined. I was convinced this week was the week of the 23rd until Tuesday at about 3pm. I find myself desperate for the weekends in a way I haven’t been for some time. Enjoying my job so much means I actually didn’t count Saturday and Sunday as so much better than the rest of the week. But I feel quite differently now. I miss MFH during the work week. I feel like I hardly see him before it’s time to work on getting Chloé to bed. I suppose, like everything else, this will get better as Chloé gets older. For right now, though, I’m just always wishing for the weekend.

That seems like enough rambling for now, so I’ll leave off. Until next time, good luck and happy sleeps!

Chloé at 6 weeks and 2 days

Chloé at 6 weeks and 2 days

 

 

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Breastfeeding Sucks (aka Adventures in Jaundice)

I doubt it would surprise anyone that I planned to breastfeed 100% of the time. I wanted a pump so that at some point we could bottle feed breast milk (and I could leave the house for more than an hour at a time), but that was about the extent of my deviation from the standard plan.

Chloé was a champion feeder from the start. She opened her mouth super wide, latched well, and has a completely unencumbered tongue. Everyone from M2 to the TEGH nurses all commented on how well we both were doing with breastfeeding. By the time we got home, I felt like I was a true novice, but that I was well on my way to being comfortable with breastfeeding.

Then day 3 happened.

At about 2 am Chloé started refusing the breast. She was upset, crying at me. I kept trying to feed her and she kept refusing. This went on until 10 am. I noticed her lips were dry and chapped looking, and she was exhausted.

M2 came over and quickly determined two things: 1. Chloé had lost more than 10% of her body weight; and 2. Chloé was Jaundice. My milk hadn’t come in, and Chloé wasn’t getting enough in the way of food. Thankfully I had formula in the house from random samples I’d received. (And here I’m going to jump on a soap box for a second. To all you mothers who condemn women for even thinking about keeping formula in the house, my baby was literally starving. We didn’t have a car at the time, so we couldn’t just “drive out and get some” when we actually needed it. Having in the house did not “tempt” me to use it, it just meant it was there when my healthcare provider determined it was necessary to use. Okay, done, moving on…)

We learned how to cup feed and how to use the tube feeding to supplement with formula. It was stressful. Made more so by the need to go and get the level of Chloé’s jaundice tested. And all of that was made worse by the dreaded day 3 hormone drop. Anytime anyone said anything nice to me, I burst into tears. Literally had a wet face from about 2pm that day until about 6pm that night.

While we waited for her results, I went to TEGH’s breastfeeding clinic. I was shown a different way of expressing and sure enough, my milk had come in. Chloé feed well while there. Further, her jaundice blood work came back low enough that she didn’t need UV treatment, but they wanted us back in the morning to test again. I was told to continue supplementing to help pull her weight back up, and we were sent home.

Because Chloé is no dummy, she became super annoyed with breastfeeding. The cup and/or tube was faster and got food to her without any delay. My letdown of milk just wasn’t quick enough and she got impatient fast. Because I was terrified of starving her, I allowed her to eat her preferred way without pressing the breast issue.

The next day I went to the clinic again while waiting for her jaundice results. We talked about other methods of getting her feeding better, and they recommended I rent a pump until I got my own. Both to keep up and increase my supply, and to try and encourage a faster letdown. The lactation nurse also encouraged MFH to finger feed the extra supplement while I pumped after feeding. We found out that her jaundice was clearing, and her weight was up almost 2 oz since the day before.

The finger feeding caused more issues. Chloé loved to finger feed. She loved it so much she would cry if we tried anything else. I was pumping enough to feed her exclusively with breast milk, but she was barely feeding at all at the breast.

M2 came to check on us and we discussed the problem. She gave us time to get through the night doing what we were doing, but then set up a game plan to get her back to breastfeeding. We made a contingency plan to go to bottle feeding breast milk as a worst case scenario. To be honest, over the next 24 hours I was fairly certain that was how things were going to go.

But, armed with a night of relative ease, I spent the day fighting my daughter. The tube got put away. No more finger feeding. She got the option of breastfeeding or the cup. Neither were her preference. There was a lot of crying, from both of us. Then, almost like magic, she got tired of fighting me and fed like we’d never had any hiccups at all.

Even though things were going well, I was panicked that I wasn’t making enough food and her body weight would go back to being too low. It’s such a devastating feeling, to literally feel like you’re failing as a mother. It made me so sympathetic to every woman who’s ever decided–whether personal preference or because she had no choice–to feed formula or bottle feed breast milk rather than breastfeed.

Thankfully, though, at our next home visit M2 determined that Chloé was almost back to her birth weight. We celebrated the success and talked about the book she wants to write (called Breastfeeding Sucks). It would basically be about all the A-type moms who come to find out that breastfeeding is a lot harder then they were expecting, for any number of reasons.

As my preggo friend AB texted so eloquently, “Breastfeeding is hard!”

And even though it wasn’t actually hard for Chloé and me, it certainly wasn’t smooth sailing. I thought I might be done with it entirely several times. And while I am glad that we worked things out in the end, I have zero doubt in my mind that I would have happily gone to exclusively pumping and bottle feeding had it not. And I’m super glad that I had formula in my house when I needed it.

Happy Chloé

My happy, well-fed baby.

Made in Toronto – The Birth Story

*As this is a birth story and I’m notsogood at withholding details, here’s your first and last warning that you may read a bit more about pain and body fluids than you’d prefer. Also it’s super long. Read on at your own risk.*

We left off with my water breaking, but I’m going to back us up a bit, just for context.

The Friday before I went into labor, I felt really off. Nothing I could put my finger on, just not really great. It was my grandmother’s birthday and everyone wanted me to go by to see her. I was waffling, but MFH really encouraged me to go. So I went, and my mother was there. She’d flown up from Houston for my grandmother’s birthday and my baby shower, keeping it a secret from me and my grandparents.

Suddenly, I was convinced that I was going to go into labor that night. I barely slept and every twinge had my pulse and blood pressure up. I didn’t want to ruin the shower for everyone, especially now that Mom was in town. I truly believe that I willed myself out of labor. I also willed myself out of some much needed rest.

Anywhoddle, the shower was amazingly lovely, and having Mom around made everything that much better. It’s odd to think that, had she not come up, she wouldn’t have felt Spawn move behind the belly. She flew back home Sunday.

And so it began…

At 3:54am on Monday, Feb 10th, I woke up to a pop-pop-pop-gush. Despite my constant eye-rolling at Hollywood’s portrayal of the Preggo’s water breaking before labor starts (something that happens less then 10% of the time in “real life”), that’s exactly what happened to me. I was 38 weeks and 1 day.

I quickly and quietly got myself into the bathroom without leaking on the bed or the floor. (Thanks to years of super heavy periods, I’m quite skilled at walking without moving my thighs.) I was so thankful for my decision to purchase Depends. Seriously, running around at that hour trying to locate a sizable pare of underpants and equip it with an assortment of pads to control the leaking was not something I could manage. Also, later on the nurses were so impressed/thankful I had some with me. Their words? “Oh, Depends are the BEST. We should seriously give them out to everyone, but they’re too expensive for the hospital.”

So I called M1, hanging out in my T-shirt and Depends. Because my fluid was clear, I was GBS negative, I wasn’t having any contractions, and it was four in the morning, we decided to to try to sleep and catch up around 9:30. Of course, as soon as I laid down, contractions started. They weren’t very long or close together, but it was enough to keep me from drifting off. Then by around 6, they’d picked up.

I chose to let MFH sleep in through all of this until his alarm for work would go off. I didn’t see any real point in having both of us walking around bleary eyed. Plus, it just seemed silly to have him up watching me walk around.

I started timing my contractions and was surprised to find that they were consistently 3-4 minutes apart. What wasn’t consistent was the pain level or duration of the contractions. I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant. Nor was I positive that it was okay that my (constantly leaking) amniotic fluid had turned pink.

MFH got up and I told him he wouldn’t be going to work. We sorted out last minute details, he took a shower and got dressed, and he got set up to time my contractions for me. I felt them as period cramps. Sometimes they were minorly annoying, but other times they reminded me of the old days when I used to pass out from the pain. I never really felt the hard-core tightening of the top of my uterus. I think that part of my core is just too numb from years of over use. :p

I noticed right away that my contractions were much more manageable while I was on my feet. Particularly, I felt like they were much easier while walking around. (Honestly, I think running would have been awesome, but not sure I would have been able to manage that throughout the whole labor.) I looked at MFH and made a rather unexpected declaration, “If they make me stayed in bed, hooked up to the machines, I’m getting an epidural.” MFH didn’t bat an eyelash and nodded, “That’s fair.”

By the time 9:30 came around, M1 agreed it would be worth it to go to the hospital and check on my status.

We met up at 10:30 in triage. I was super bummed to only be 1 cm dilated, but happier that I was almost entirely effaced. They wanted me on an IV, and ordered blood work to confirm that my hypertension hadn’t creeped into pre-eclampsia. A debate went on to determine if I was officially in the care of a midwife or OB. OB won out, but only because of compensation…which…kinda pissed both MFH and I off. Regardless, M1 assured me she wasn’t going anywhere.

When the OB on call came to talk to me, she told me I would be put on Pitocin (Oxytocin). Obviously, this was super bad news for me. I knew Pitocin was used to speed up labor, and I was on a clock due to the broken waters, but it still sucked to hear that. The OB also strongly wanted me on an epidural, because it would instantly lower my blood pressure. At this point, I knew I was going to be attached to the monitors, so I agreed, but I asked to wait. I did worry that the double-punch of Pitocin-Epidural would lead me into the direction of a c-section, but I didn’t exactly see how to avoid it. I said from the beginning; constant monitoring = epidural.

I was super surprised that M1 was all for the epidural. Her words, “In a normal pregnancy, you don’t need interventions. This isn’t normal, so things like an epidural make sense.” Awesome. No judgment.

My nurse, J, was young, super cute, and exceedingly funny.  She let me stand by the monitors rather than sit or lay in bed. I wanted to kiss her. We decided together to time the epidural for in between a few scheduled sections. In the meantime, I chatted and passed the time with M1, J, MFH and my MIL and SIL S.

The anesthesiologist came in to see me, and we chatted about procedure and risks. I can’t remember how it got started, but we started sharing OMG pregnancy tales. I told him and J about the ultrasound tech who told me that a woman had come in at 32 weeks, measuring large. Turns out, she was having twins. Surprise! The anesthesiologist then told a story about his friends who had 3 boys. They decided to try one more time for a girl. Bam! Triplet boys.

The process of the epidural itself was not my favorite. I didn’t have a problem with the staying bent over, but I did not care for the numbing agent he used before applying the needle. It felt like my back bubbled up like it was burnt. The vague screwing sensation of the epidural needle wasn’t particularly awesome either, still that was over soon enough. The catheter was threaded into the needle and into my back, and then the meds began. I was happy to still be able to feel my pelvic floor…something that perhaps I would come to regret later on, but at the time it was encouraging to me.

While in bed, I got visited by a bunch of people. OB-R came by after her surgery, and she seemed genuinely happy to have me go into labor spontaneously. Also, the midwife who taught our prenatal class came by to say hi. Perhaps the most humorous moment occurred when my hypertension specialist, who I’d been scheduled to meet for the first time swung by with her students.

I’d literally just been checked (can’t remember if I was 3 or 5 at that point, but everyone was happy with the progression) and they were getting ready to put in a catheter. So I’m all bottoms up to the world when hypertension doc came by. Despite the calls to halt by M1 and J, she just kept coming. So, M1 and J quickly covered me and the doc with her duckling row of students surrounded me.

M1 and J were so indignant on my behalf, I couldn’t help but find it funny. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was a bit of a Monty Python sketch. Still, that sort of stuff is always funnier when you’re surrounded by friends, right?

I had a new nurse, E, come in for the night shift, and she switched off all the lights and ordered MFH and I to rest. M1 went home, promising that M2 would come in for the birth. MFH and I slept off and on for awhile. Eventually I progressed to nine-and-a-bit. (Her words.) Spawn was still super high, though, so everyone agreed that I could sit up for a bit, to encourage Spawn to move down. This seemed to help, and got me to the rest of 10 cm rather fast.

M2 showed up and we talked about pushing. I was warned that pushing would likely be 2 to 3 hours. The night nurse went on break, and a wonderful older Chinese nurse, D, came in to cover.

Everyone kept telling me to let them know when I felt like pushing. I don’t know that I ever did. Mostly it was just a lot of pressure all around my pelvic girdle and coccyx. By this time, the epidural had more or less warn off, and I could really feel the aching in my lady muscles. I was encouraged to push without it, so I didn’t bother with a top up.

Pushing was a process. I would wait for a contraction, and then roll my back, put my chin to my chest, and used every core muscle I possessed to push. D counted to 9, I got to take a breath, and then we’d start again. They tried to get 2 or 3 pushes out of every contraction.

Let me tell you, it will be a very, very long time before I can hear counting and not think of labor. Seriously, it’s a very odd muscle memory. Looking forward to getting over that one…

I could feel the process of Spawn moving down. Mostly it was just feeling uncomfortable/full further and further into my pelvis. It wasn’t pain, not really, but M2 kept checking different areas inside me while all of this was going on. She hit one area and I lost it. Irrationally, I felt like her finger there was preventing me from getting this baby out. I started crying and lost about 3 or 4 contractions. Everyone talked me down off that ledge. (MFH later said that he didn’t even notice my “breakdown,” but to me it felt like it went on for a long time.)

M2 told me that all I had to do was get Spawn past that point of pain and it wouldn’t hurt any more. So that was my focus. Pushing past the pain. It worked, mostly, although the resting in between I got to feel the phenomenon of my body stretching open to allow Spawn’s head to move down. Spawn’s head actually was a little cocked to the side and had to be repositioned. M2 thought that might be why Spawn stayed so high for so long.

During all of this, I had a very strong thought of my mother. I felt like something had clicked or changed in me. I experienced what she had with me and my brother. And what my grandmother experienced with her children. I never quite got to the all mothers who gave birth everywhere point, but I definitely felt an innate kinship with all of motherhood.

I also felt such a massive amount of thanks for MFH. He was so excited and supportive throughout the whole thing. He just kept saying, “You’re doing so good.” He helped hold my shoulders up, and occasionally grabbed a leg. He’s never let me down, but this was a pinnacle of awesome. But I digress…

Finally, Spawn was through my pelvis and ready to come out. They called in the OB on call to help with the last bit. I felt Spawn stretching me, and everyone commented on the amount of hair on Spawn’s head.

M2 quickly started breathing, “He-he-heee,” at me. I remembered our prenatal class midwife saying that there was this point in labor, when you could really save yourself from tearing if you could just sort of hold the position and not push through. I realized that that was where I was, so I mirrored M2’s breathing and tried to not push, but not let Spawn fall back either.

And then shit got real. They dropped the bed down and M2 and the OB started shouting at one another. Apparently Spawn literally started twirling on the way out, so the two ladies were trying to figure out who was going to grab what and when. Having two sets of hands inside me while pushing out a baby was my second Monty Python moment of the birth. I was so confused as to what exactly was going on, I’m not even sure I actually did any help pushing. I remember thinking, “Uh…what on earth is going on?” And because no one was directing me otherwise, I gave a little push and then had a wet, purple newborn put on my chest.

Almost immediately Spawn picked up her head and looked at me. I’ve been told excessively in the last week and a bit that she is unusually strong, and while she doesn’t have great control of her neck, she can move her head more than I expected a newborn to be able to. I think there was a bit of a concern and they were about to take her away, but then she started screaming and everyone calmed down. MFH cut the cord and discovered that he now had a daughter.

I have no real sense of time, but eventually they took her away to clean her up and deal with me. I had to actually push again to deliver the placenta, something that annoyed me purely because I’d been told you don’t even notice it. M2 joked that it’s a lot easier when there are no bones. I eyed M2 and asked how bad it was. (The it, of course, being the status of my lady-bits.) I managed to get by without a perennial tear, so the hold-and-wait routine seemed to work. I did have a small laceration near my urethra, probably from M2 and the OB having to catch a spiraling baby, but that was handled without much fanfare.

Then I got my baby back. Despite her alien shaped head and vaguely purple appearance, she was perfect. The OB said she had great features. Maybe she says that about all babies, but I took it to mean Spawn was extra special.

Oh. I guess I should properly introduce Spawn, now that she’s officially a person on the outside…

We called her Chloé. Linda Anne after MFH and my mothers. So, without further ado…

Chloé Linda Anne

 

Wild

The past couple days have been so crazy and all over the place. I’m really still not quite sure which way’s up, and feel like I need a day or two to just rest and recover.

Saturday, MFH and I had Christmas with my father and MBJ. It was a lovely day, but as always when my father is involved, it was a bit chaotic as well. (He’s literally the only person I know who can leave shoes behind at someone else’s house and not realize it until you tell him.)

Sunday, MFH and I had planned on cooking meals for freezing (and eating postpartum), but MFH was in the mood for more, so he invited some friends over to tryout some new boardgames. The night went overlong, and we both got to bed far later than we should have.

I’d noticed a bit of swelling in my feet on Sunday, with the right being noticeably more than the left. I let my GD team know about it, and they looked me over with a sympathetic, “This is 9 months pregnant swelling. Nothing to worry about.” My handling of GD was also nothing to worry about, apparently. I’ve basically been released, with the caveat that I need to get retested three months postpartum to confirm I am free of diabetes then. One thing of note was that my blood pressure was “elevated.” As my appointment with my midwife was the next day, my endocrinologist just told me to mention it.

So yesterday I had my midwife appointment and my blood pressure was still elevated. I’d invited Dad to the appointment so he could hear the heartbeat, but looking back it wasn’t the greatest situation for him to be involved with. Much like Stan Smith, my father is not his best in crisis mode. He’s high-strung at the best of times, so having M1 suggest I go to the hospital for a NST and toxicity bloodwork was a bit like pressing the “launch nukes” button for him.

Luckily (for me), Dad had to be dropped off to get his car and come back to the hospital. So instead of him sitting there, vibrating with panic next to me, I got to hang out with M2 (and later M1) in a calm corner of the hospital. I was trying to explain to various parties yesterday why I was never scared. Even when M2 mentioned that, “Worse case, you’ll be breastfeeding in 3 hours,” I was fine. I realized then that I trust my midwives 100%. In the face of my literal worst case scenario (barring a stillbirth), I felt completely calm. C-section? Welp, if you say I have to have one, then I know I have to have one. It was a really wonderful feeling of calm and control even in the face of a possible emergency.

In the end, we’re all fine. Spawn’s NST was “perfect” (seriously, I’m starting to wonder about this kid). My bloodwork was mostly normal. The one number that was slightly elevated was so close to normal that the on-call OB theorized it could literally just be my normal.

Still, the initial problem of the elevated blood pressure remains a concern. As M2 said, “this type of thing generally doesn’t get better until you deliver the placenta.” M1 bandied about various options, all of which involve more monitoring, but nothing was decided. I was tired and everyone was happy to release me to go sleep in my own bed.

Today, hopefully, I find out the game plan. I may be transferred fully back into OB-R’s care. I find that a bit hysterical after I just got completely put back into the care of my midwives, but I’m less concerned about then I expected to be. (Again, my trust in my midwives is without compare.) Alternatives to that would be twice a week appointments or weekly blood and NSTs.

When I got home one of my preggo friends, AB, messaged me about getting together one last time before we all gave birth. I responded with info about my day, and how I wanted to hear from the midwives before I made any plans. She called me shortly after and shared her own “change of plans” story. AB’s baby is small, breach, and her amniotic fluid is low. So, even though she was due a few days after me, she’s now got a c-section scheduled for the 12th.

We basically just yammered about our petty disappointments lessening with the realization that these little guys (or girls) are going to be here sooner rather than later. Funny how that works.

I was so pleased she called me to share her own story. We really barely know one another, but it was surprising how much the conversation really showcased how important it is to have someone in the same situation in your life. (It doesn’t hurt that she’s a really fun girl that I genuinely like. Also–and this one is mostly for LC–she says “I KNOW!” like AP-Stats class. :p)

There are two major things that came out of this whole experience. First of all, as I mentioned when I started, I’m exhausted. I need a break. Seriously considering taking tomorrow off work if I don’t end up having appointments or what not on Friday. If that doesn’t help, I may have to reconsider this whole work until the very last second idea of mine. If I’m going to twice a week appointments or weekly appointments plus hospital visits for tests, that only leaves me with three full work days a week. Since the midwives, hospital, and OB-R’s office are all within walking distance of my house and more like 40 mins from work, I’m wondering if a work-from home situation just makes more sense for everyone. Still, not going to talk to the owners until I actually know what the game plan is.

And the other issue? Being at the hospital with my midwives yesterday really hammered home to me that there is nothing “bad” about birthing at the hospital. The choice will be taken away from me entirely if I am completely transferred into the care of OB-R.  So, before that even becomes a possibility, I decided to chose the hospital over the birth centre.

It’s not what I thought I wanted, but as a wise man once said, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well you just might find…You get what you need.”

35 Week Musings

First and foremost, I have to share the (I feel) good news.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will no longer be seeing OB-R. She was super impressed with the responses of my GD team, and feels like there’s no point in me doubling up on care at this level of progress. She did, however, tell me I can’t have a homebirth. This is amusing to me, mostly because M1 flatly stated that I could still have a homebirth if that was my choice.

OB-R had a student midwife in who did my basic exam. There was a bit of an odd moment when the student measured my fundal height at 3 cm higher than I was last week. The student “double-checked” and I clocked in only 1 cm higher the second and third time. It’s crazy how that little bit of abnormality can make you instantly worried. Still, it was fine in the end.

Spawn’s head has at least partially engaged, which I’d suspected due to all the new weight on my pelvis. I don’t know that this actually means anything regarding the birth or the likelihood of it happening earlier or later than my due date. Still, my instincts that this one may make an appearance before the EDD are at least possible.

The best part of the whole appointment (besides being released from OB-R’s care) was the fact that my brother (MBJ) was able to hear Spawn’s heartbeat. MBJ has just moved up to Toronto from Houston, and he hasn’t had the opportunity to be much involved with me and this pregnancy besides finding out the gender. Spawn gave him a few good kicks on the weekend, but I think the heartbeat was really cool for him to hear.

So, to sum up, at this point I’m back to seeing only my midwives and my GD team. I have one more appointment with the GD team and then I will likely be released from their care as well. Things it will be like it was before, with my midwives handling all my care. The only difference being I’m self-checking my blood sugar 3-4 times a day.

I gotta say, I’m looking forward to it being just me and the Midwives again. As weird as it sounds, they know me. They know my past and my present and they’re doing as much as they can for my future. How could that not be comforting?

Speaking of…I’m going to talk more with M1 about the Birth Centre vs Hospital thing and see what her feedback is. I feel like I’m about 70% confident on my decision there, but I do want the feedback first. Then, I think a good chat with MFH will solidify the deal.

I’m getting to the point in this pregnancy that I can actually feel Spawn’s body from the outside. I occasionally find myself idly running my hand up and down Spawn’s back, thinking about what that will be like when there isn’t a layer of flesh between us. I’m not sure that I’m quite to the “get this thing out of me” point, but I’m starting to really look forward to life after birth. I can see how late-pregnancy symptoms will only get worse, and how at some point I will reach DEFCON 1 (‘cept for baby, not nuclear war).

Every day I cross more off my to-do lists, and feel more and more prepared. Of course, the thing about being a new parent is anything could happen. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not as prepared as I can be. It doesn’t innately mean I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.

A huge help in this department has come from work. We’ve hired my covers for Matt Leave. (I’m not going to lie, it’s flattering that they needed to find two people to replace me while I’m gone.) I’m still hoping I can come back in a work-from-home capacity this summer, but that’s all going to be played by ear. (See the paragraph prior regarding “anything could happen.”)

And in keeping with that “anything could happen” aspect, I packed my labor bag last night.  Part of it was a comment by a fellow blogger, who went in for a regular weekly checkup and ended up in the hospital. (Her attitude towards all the changes and interventions to her birth plan really inspired me to truly be zen about whatever happens. You can read her awesome birth story here.) Another part of it is just feeling like things are changing/moving towards labor as it is. Now, I haven’t packed the full-on “hospital bag,” but rather the things I’ll specifically want at labor. Worse case scenario, it’s ready even if I don’t have a change of clothes for the hospital stay…

All in all the pieces seem to be falling into place. Even though I’m feeling more and more heavy, and tired of feeling like I can’t go or do anything for longer than 20 minutes without having to pee, I really am pretty happy. Spawn is healthy, I’m strong, MFH is awesome and supportive. It seems petty to complain about some weight in my hips with the wealth of gifts around me.

We’re nearing the end–or rather, the start of a new beginning, Folks. All I can do is take it one day at a time…

Weighing My Options

I met up with M2 Wednesday, as well as the Student Midwife I shall call M3 for simplicity. M2 and I realized that we hadn’t seen each other for a loooong time. It was all the way back when I took my first GD screening test.

Anyways, we caught up and chatted a bunch after M3 checked me out. I was told my iron levels, blood pressure, and fundal height were all “really good.” It’s amazing how not being anorexic means I’m also not anemic. Shocking, that. 😛

I was also told–although I knew this one already–that Spawn is head down, back to my belly, hanging out on my right side. While there’s still a few weeks left for Spawn to change that up, it’s nice to think that (besides the right-side preference) Spawn’s in the preferred launch position.

About that, though…

Even though Spawn’s been head-down for a few weeks now, it wasn’t until the end of last week that I really noticed a change in the way I felt. Namely, like an approximately five pound bowling ball is hanging out in my pelvis. The feeling is so odd…almost like the pressure you feel when you need to pee, but radiating from pubic bone to hips and around my back all at once. I feel this bizarre need to hold up the bottom of my belly somehow. (Tried a support belt. Worked ok for walking around, but notsomuch for sitting.)

It’s really the first actual pregnancy symptom I’ve had (tiredness, boob pain, and GD notwithstanding). I remember women talking about having this feeling early on, and I feel terrible for them, wondering what it’s like now that there’s actual weight on their babies.

In theory, Spawn still has another 3 pounds or so to go before birth, so I feel like this weird pressure is just going to get worse. Hooray. :/

Something else we talked about was the Birth Centre vs. Hospital thing. As I’ve mentioned several times, the Birth Centre is my ideal. (Oh, and their website is finally up and running!) I can basically have my low-intervention, vaguely crunchy labor in beautiful surroundings and well rehearsed transfers to hospital for medical necessity.

But here’s the thing…

The Birthing Centre, as I’ve mentioned, has only three rooms. These three are shared with every midwifery in Toronto. Best case scenario, I go into labor, work my way into active labor, my midwife calls, they have a room, and we go. Awesome.

But I’m starting to wonder how I’m going to feel if I’m at home, working through active labor with MFH and my midwife and she calls and there is no room for me….and I completely lose my shit. Do I really want to take that chance?

The other point, and one that I am taking into consideration, is that M2 flat out said that the quality of care she can provide me is now better at the hospital then the Birth Centre/Home. Part of this is the GD, part of it is monitoring Spawn and making sure all’s good there. Now M1 was pretty adamant about there being no real difference. But when I went over the why of my hospital hesitation, M2 did bring up a really good point. I live 5 minutes away from TEGH. I can literally labor at home til the last moment and still get there in time.

One thing that both LC and Mom said, was that I could go into the whole thing with the idea in mind that I’m going to the hospital. Still have my midwife call about the centre, and if I get in it’s a happy surprise. I like it, I’m just not 100% confident that I can get my brain to think about it that way.

So, do I just throw in the towel on the Birth Centre all together? Or do I hold out and try to get a spot on the day? I can’t decide if just making the darn decision will take a load off my mind or if that’s just an excuse I’m giving myself.

We shall see…

In true Ms.I fashion, I have created a spreadsheet (well, several) for Spawn and Labor. One of the sheets is for my birth bag. I have everything I plan to bring on there…organized by if I have it already, have bought it and am waiting for it to come in, or need to get it. You’d think it would be enough to just put everything into a darn bag, but no, it is not. Not for me, at least. Part of it is that it’s difficult to actually pack stuff I’m currently using. Some of it is also just difficult to pack. I’m not going to be able to pack my snack bags of fruits and veggies until the day. But, it’s still good to know that I want to bring it.

Lists: an obsessive compulsive’s best friend. 🙂

33 Week Musings

So this week has been quite eventful already.

Monday I met with OB-R and my GD team again. Best news ever: No insulin for me! I’m also only being seen once more, right about 36 weeks. It’s such a relief to have this managed and, while things could change, I’m doing my best to think that they won’t.

The OB-R is still holding onto me for the moment. I’m really hoping after my next appointment, I’ll be done with her. Look, it’s not like she’s evil or anything. (She’s actually really quite lovely.) I just really don’t get why I’m going there. I wait 30-45 mins in the waiting room, get weighed/measured, she confirms everything my midwife has already told me (baby head-down, weight and fundal height normal), and I leave within ten minutes. That’s an hour out of my day for me to get nothing above what I’m already getting from my midwives. If I was on insulin or was drastically measuring off, then yes, I’d understand. I just find the whole thing really a waste of everyone’s time.

It’s also got me wondering if this is why a lot of women hate pregnancy. If you’re getting only ten minutes of support every few weeks, is that going to put a negative slant on how you feel about yourself? I feel like it probably would for me. Having my midwives greet me like a friend and talk to me about my life and how I look great, etc is part of what makes it easy to be happy in all of this. I’m never feeling like a number that needs to get in and out of the door.

Well, we’ll just see how it all goes.

Wednesday at our prenatal class, we discussed interventions. It was a super helpful class, because we went over the good, bad, and everything in between of various interventions. The overall idea was/is that if you know the cost/benefit now, you have a better idea of what you are or aren’t okay with. As opposed to having to figure it out while dealing with quickly spaced contractions.

I will say that seeing all the accoutrements that go along with an epidural (catheter, anyone?) made me even less inclined to get one. Seeing that needle certainly didn’t help, but it was more the “if you get an epidural then you also have to get/have this, this, and this,” that concerned me. All that stuff definitely has a place in my mind (hello clinical exhaustion!), I would just like to avoid it if at all possible.

Every class seems to be more and more helpful to both MFH and myself. It initiates conversations and clarifies our positions/preferences. Also, as I’ve said in the past, it’s just nice to get together with a bunch of others that are all basically going through it all with us.

Yesterday we took the hospital tour. It was maybe not as helpful/informative as I would have hoped for. MFH said he was happy we went, if only for the purely simple reason of knowing the basics where and what stuff is. Again, the idea being that perhaps the throes of labor is not the moment to try and figure out you’d really rather have a private postpartum room. (I would like to say that it’s awesome that our government covers 100% of your labor and hospital stay. For someone who doesn’t have health insurance through work or simply can’t afford anything else simply having a bed surrounded by professional caregivers is amazing. For me and MFH, who both have insurance through work, sharing that bed with three others in the same room is a last resort.)

The laboring rooms themselves were nicer than I expected. You can totally tell the designers were like, “Okay how do we make this look less like scene out of ER and more like a hotel room?” Everything super “medical” is hidden behind cabinetry. It still may not be my number one choice of locations, but touring the area at least helped me to completely make peace with the idea of birthing there. That alone I realize was worth the effort of going in for the tour. 

All of my weekly preggo emails have advised me that I’m probably starting to feel much less movement nowadays because Spawn is bigger and there’s less room to maneuver. Spawn clearly thinks this is hilarious, and spends much of the day showing off how easy it is to kick or punch through that lack of space to give yourself more room. I seriously have moments where I’m shocked that I have no bruising. Not necessarily because it hurts (although I’d be lying if I said it was totally comfortable), but more because it’s such a strong, powerful feeling. MFH has gotten in the habit of muttering, “Simmer down Spawn,” when the particularly strong movements cross from my belly onto him.

Last night Spawn decided to do some full-on restructuring of my stomach. When I looked down my whole belly skewed completely to the right side. I didn’t quite look non-preggo on the left side, but it was drastic enough that I was disconcerted. I kept rubbing the right-side popup asking what the heck Spawn was up to. Oddly enough, Spawn declined to answer. 😛

The only other thing I want to get out before wrapping up, is to once again say how lucky/blessed I am.

When I talked to CR about the probability of me just not having a shower, she immediately offered to throw one if I needed one. I declined, saying that I was talking to her about it more because I was trying to figure out what I still needed to buy (and that several people had started to ask me when it was going to be…). She then proceeded to buy Spawn’s mattress and Pack ‘n’ Play for us. As weird as it may sound, having that mattress in place makes me feel like we have an actual place to put Spawn down for sleeping, as opposed to just having an oddly shaped piece of furniture in our second bedroom.

And then this week my MIL and her sisters got together and told me that they were going to have a shower for me. It was completely unexpected. Not that it was something out of character for them or anything, but simply because with the holidays and just the general business with life and birthdays and what not, this time of year isn’t super convenient for anyone. It feels almost like a surprise party, and I’m so excited to get the two sides of my family together so we can all figure out how to make the world a better place for when Spawn comes into it.

MFH commented to me last night before drifting off to sleep that this whole thing has gone by surprisingly quickly. I agreed, and added that I think life tends to move at a clip when you’re happy. With only a few weeks left, I don’t see any slowdown in sight. And honestly, I’m perfectly, 100% okay with that. Happily along we go…

Officially GD

So my official diagnosis came through for Gestational Diabetes.

I now add an OB to my stable of healthcare providers.

Tuesday I have to attend a 2-hour clinic at the hospital for preggos with GD. (Apparently there are so many of us that having individual appointments isn’t reasonably feasible.) That’s a comfort, in a way. I’m not in this alone.

And, as much as it sucks to have this come up at the end of a “perfect” pregnancy, I’m really rather glad I decided to get tested. My uterus is growing perfectly on schedule and my weight is fine. I had no other symptoms then my blood sugar levels were crazy. It is entirely possible that come D-day, I could have a twelve pound Spawn on my hands.

I’m already following the diabetes standard of eating. It’s really rather familiar to me. Low-carb, high protein was a mantra of mine for at least ten years. It’s part of the reason my meet with my new OB didn’t go so great. She had this assumption that because I’m not “thin” I don’t know how to eat thin. I thought about getting into my history, but I just was too annoyed to bother. I really wasn’t very nice…not that I was an asshat or anything, just not my usual positive self. I actually was thinking today of writing her a little apology letter. Afterall, things might get bad enough that she ends up being the person who delivers me and I’d rather her not think of me as her “problem” patient.

Oh. That’s the other thing. When M1 told me I’d been officially diagnosed, I had a mini-breakdown. I interrupted her to ask what would have to happen for me to lose them. M1 explained that, while my primary care will transfer to my OB if I have to go on insulin, I’ll still have my midwives present at my birth.

I was so relieved I started crying. And not normal crying either. After the initial relief, it just kept going. It was like my eyes sprung a leak. It really had little to do with the rest of me. Almost like a nosebleed. Very unsettling.

So for now, I’ll continue seeing my midwives on our regular schedule. I’ll fold in extra appointments with the OB. (Shall I just call her OB-R for now? Yeah, let’s do that.) I may have to see a diabetes specialist as well. A lot depends on how well my sugar levels stabilized with diet.

I will say that being on a diet that so closely resembles how I kept myself in “acting weight” for so many years doesn’t sit super comfortably. I’m not a big sugar eater to begin with, but I do love breads and pastas. When I don’t eat them, I tend to drop weight very quickly. Now just doesn’t seem like the time for that.

While I realize that there are probably a lot of preggos out there that would love to stop expanding, I’ve been really quite content with the belly. I don’t feel fat. I feel like I’m nearly finished with growing a person. It’s certainly helped along by the positive reactions of MFH and our friends, but at the heart of it all is just how I feel about myself. I am really super happy with my body. It’s looking after me and Spawn. It’s taken us to this point without issues.

Now I just want to show it the same courtesy. I keep reminding myself that I’m eating the way I am now to keep Spawn from getting too much blood sugar, not because I’m trying to drop weight for a part or event. It’s amazing the mental scars that hang around even after you’re over the heartache they initially caused.

I’ll update as things progress.

In other news, MFH and I attended our first prenatal class at our midwifery clinic. We were there with seven other couples who are all patients there as well, and one of the girls I’d already met through my various preggo meetups. Most of the information seemed very familiar to me after all of my reading/research. Still, hearing personal experiences always helps, and I like both midwives teaching the classes.

It also came up in class that a lot of the moms-to-be felt fairly prepared, but they wanted their dads-to-be to feel as covered. MFH agreed that the first part (on pregnancy) held little in the way of news, because I try to explain things as I experience them. The second part (on labor) was more helpful to him. Even just the logistics of how to know when to go to the hospital (my midwife will likely be with me/us at the house when we make that decision) had not occurred to him.

He also brought up the point that I feel really super strongly about and have mentioned on here before. It is important to talk to people going through the exact same things at basically the same time as we are. All the couples are first-timers, and the husbands got the opportunity to realize that their anxieties were completely normal…because six other dudes felt the same way about things. Of course it helps to talk to anyone who has experience with having a child, but it’s not quite the same thing talking to a veteran on the other side as it is to trade stories with people who are with you in the trenches.

Which brings me to another sort of interesting topic…

Everyone (with the exception of one husband) in our prenatal class is white. All of us are gainfully employed and appear to be middle to upper-middle class. MFH and I might be the only ones not living in an actual house. When I think of people who are interested in midwifery, I generally think of a more cultural mix of people.

On the other side of that was the waiting room of OB-R’s. I was the only person without a child. I was the only woman wearing pants, and one of the few not wearing a burqa, niqāb, or ḥijāb. There was one other woman there who was unaccompanied by a man. All together with patients, kids, and husbands/accompanying men, there were about twenty people in the waiting room at any time. It was such a contrast to my midwifery, where it’s rare just to have someone in the waiting room, let alone have a ton of people waiting.

I’ve mentioned already that I was courteous, if not my normal sunny self to OB-R. Our appointment was very short. Having said that, she did ask me several times if I had any questions and I certainly didn’t feel rushed. Still, I could not wait to get away from her/there. I do hope we come to a better understanding in the near future, but that will be as much on me as it is her. (If not more.)

Besides the preggo stuff, I had my work Christmas party last night. MFH finally got to meet the people I jabber about all the time, and I was happy to show him off to all my coworkers. I was unaware that they awarded bonuses at this event, so was extremely surprised to be called up to great acclaim to receive one. (Super glad MFH and I didn’t cut out early as planned.) The whole night was rather pleasant.

I’ve got to say, though, I’m very much looking forward to this weekend. MFH and I have zero plans, and that’s the first time in ages for the both of us. I think the time together, bumming around with Piper will be great for the lot of us.

I may ruin things a bit, though, by working on refinishing my Deacon’s Bench. It’s the last piece of furniture we’d planned on using in Spawn’s room, and it needs a little TLC before it’s ready to hang out with the rest of the nursery. (The thing has been around since my birth. It’s hung on rather well and I don’t blame it for having a few bumps and bruises.)

One way or another, it will be nice to spend time together as a family. Christmas and New Year’s is around the corner, and Spawn is going to make a grand appearance soon after that. A bit of quiet time now seems to be exactly what the doctor (midwifes/ob) ordered.

 

 

The Planner (Counting Chickens)

I’m nothing if not a planner. This is no surprise to anyone who knows me personally (or anyone who’s followed along here from the beginning).

I always have a game plan for one thing or another. (Or several things, as the case may be.) Getting to University. Scheduling my University classes (I had all 4 years planned out before I graduated high school.). Getting an agent for acting. It was all done meticulously and with no shortage of planning. Most of the time, what I planned for happened. When it didn’t, or didn’t exactly to plan, that was still okay, because proper planning means you take alternate situations into account. That way a small thing goes wrong and you deal; the whole thing doesn’t implode.

For a few years my planning mechanism went faulty. (Let’s be honest here, a lot of things went faulty.) I look back on it as a time of learning about the darkness of life. I was more adrift then I’ve ever been (and hope to ever be). I was caught in this half-being. Not happy where I was, but also unsure about where to go or what to do to fix it.

I started planning again. Lo and behold, I set myself on a course that landed me in with new, positive friends, a change in career, and finding My Future Husband. I also found myself. I found my voice again. I remembered my own power to do and feel good. The darkness lifted.

It’s not that everything was perfect. I had several false starts and what have you, but days changed from mostly dark to mostly light. Just like I’d planned. 😛

Planning for Spawn worked out perfectly. Better than it should have, probably. I wish everyone who wanted a child had as easy of a road of it as I did making it happen. It doesn’t work that way, but I wish it did.

My pregnancy has been super easy as well. I’ve passed everything with flying colours. Until now.

My glucose screen came back high, so I had to go back and take the actual three-hour test. Because I’d planned for it, I wasn’t shocked. Doesn’t discount the fact that I was very disappointed.

I’m a bit resigned now that I will probably be diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. There are a wide range of possibilities if I am. Depending on the severity, I may only need to stop eating sugar/carbs. Not ideal this time of year, but completely and totally do-able. Of course, the other side involves a lot of intervention, medication, and the possibility of actually losing my midwives.

And while I completely understand that transferring me to an OB/GYN will only be done because the risks of birth to myself and my child will have drastically increased, logic cannot overcome the fact that I really don’t want to give up the women who have gotten me through this pregnancy thus far. All the planning in the world hasn’t prepared me for that sense of loss. I will have to man through it as/if it comes.

But on to a much brighter topic…

Until I started all my pre-pregnancy planning, I’d never heard of having a baby shower after the baby was born. I’d been to a slew of baby showers, starting at a fairly young age. None of them had a baby present, just a big-tummied lady.

The first time I realized you could have a shower after the baby, was reading a blog of a Jewish mom. Now, I’m well aware that it doesn’t have to be a religious thing. Having said that, there is (apparently) a very strong feeling in the Jewish community that purchasing items of celebration before confirming there is an actual living baby to celebrate is major bad luck. There is literally the idea of not counting your chickens before they hatch…

Now that I’ve been pregnant for awhile, I’ve heard more and more stories of showers after birth. Besides the good luck/bad luck thing, I’ve also heard people express that showers are just so much better when there’s a baby to pass around and cuddle.

Sure that’s adorable…but it also really skeeves me out. Passing a one-month old around the room of 20 so-odd people who are eating and drinking? While I somehow try to divert my attention away from Spawn long enough to open presents and remember to show how grateful I am for them? Nightmares. Literally, everyone go wash your hands right now, please.

And here’s the other thing. Having a shower after a wedding makes more sense to me. For one, you’re sure the two are actually going through with the thing. For another, no couple is going to come home after the wedding and really miss the place setting they might have gotten before. [aside: I am VERY grateful for everything MFH and I received both at my showers and for the wedding itself. I need to be extremely clear on that point. However, I don’t think waiting until after the wedding for those generous gifts would have made a real difference in our lives.)

If you wait to buy baby things until after the baby, you could literally have to go and buy a mattress (or bassinet or something) just after birth so that the baby can actually be put down on occasion. Or blankets. Diapers. Does this not terrify anyone else?

Having a shower before means I can see what we still have to get before we have a Spawn to juggle. (Figuratively, of course. No juggling babies in my house.) I promise you, I am OCD enough that I will find a way to purchase all “useful” items long before February 23rd. My child may not have a single stitch of clothing that I have purchased at birth, but there will be sheets, swaddlers, and diapers at the ready. 😀

Maybe if I wasn’t such a planner, that would all be okay. There wouldn’t be this mad desire to ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS.

Yup, that's me. [Art by one of my faves, Alli Brosh. Seriously, if you haven't read Hyperbole and a Half, now's the time.]

                                                         Yup, that’s me.                                                  [Art by one of my faves, Alli Brosh. Seriously, if you haven’t read Hyperbole and a Half, now’s the time.]

As it is, I’ve had to willfully restrain myself from putting together nursery furniture before our huge Christmas party tomorrow. (Seriously, the day after? All that furniture will be together and in place. MFH is a saint to stay with me sometimes, guys.)

I’ve got a few other things in the works for the nursery, so don’t be surprised if you see more photos in the next week or so.

In the mean time, I hope your days are bright and your well-laid plans come to fruition.

Shit Just Got Real

Sorry about the title, I think I’m a bit over excited for the release of the cornetto trilogy. (If you have zero concept of what I’m talking about, don’t feel bad. I’m a nerd.)

So I preregistered for Toronto East General Hospital‘s Labor & Delivery yesterday. Even though ending up there is my backup choice, it’s not entirely out of the question.

After all, my first choice is the new (as yet still not operational) Toronto Birthing Centre. It only has 3 rooms, and those are split by every midwifery in the city. I have to advance to serious labor/transition before they’ll admit me…and I can only be admitted if the rooms aren’t occupied. The odds, in this case, are not in my favor.

I had my Gallbladder removed at the same hospital, so I’m familiar with it and I am comfortable there. I also find, and this really goes for any service-heavy industry, that as long as you act polite and generally positive people work their asses off for you.

The nurse at labor preregistration was no exception to this rule. She rolled her eyes at one of my forms that I had incorrectly filled out. “These are so stupid,” she told me, “No one files them out properly because the lines are all mixed up.” She took my OHIP card and my insurance cards and went to work filling out everything for me.

We chatted about the hospital being my back-up, and she told me that “A lot of people are doing home births now, so we end up being back-up for them as well.” I thought that was interesting. Home birth might be something I would be interested in doing in the future, but not for my first time, in our apartment with our dog. Just too much I don’t want to deal with. Still, it was surprising to me to hear a nurse literally on ground level talk about the prevalence of it.

I was amused by the sign posted on the desk: “If you’re in labor/bleeding, please advise a nurse immediately.” Perhaps because it was a Sunday afternoon and I was the only person there, but it seemed like something you wouldn’t have to work too hard to indicate. Like, if I had been in labor yesterday, I don’t think I’d have to say anything. 

I was also given a package of info for prenatal, natal, and postnatal care. One of the things she indicated was a 24/7 call number for labor nurses. Her words: “If you get a weird stitch and you’re just not sure if you should wake up your midwife at 3am, call us. We’ll let you know what to do.”

The whole event took me less than twenty minutes. Not too shabby.

But realizing that I’m at the point where I need to get into the Hospital’s database (ie far enough along that this “shit just got real”) was not the only “real” moment these past few days.

On Thursday I had a complete freak out and couldn’t stop crying for a good forty minutes. The initial tears came from a valid reaction. It was just the drawn out blubbering that made me feel as if I’d actually lost it. This was really the only moment this pregnancy that I’ve felt out of control of my emotions. I hated it.

Then Friday I noticed a couple of small red marks on my stomach. Some of it was allergies. I don’t know if it’s because I’m preggo or because the woman who lived in our place before us had a cat and that’s still lingering a bit, but my allergies have been taking themselves out on my skin rather than my sinuses. Anyways dealt with the ones that were allergy related. Then noticed that not all were moving or fading.

Well hello, stretch marks. I’ve been wondering when you were going to show up to the party.

I expected them to be higher, more vertical, and a hell of a lot bigger than they are. I would say I also expected more, but this shebang isn’t over yet. I’ve got one very fine, almost spider vein looking line on each side of my underbelly, that points in toward my belly button at about a 45* angle. They aren’t longer than two inches, and together with my belly button, remind me of the Eye of Providence. (Guys, Spawn’s an in-womb Freemason!)

The thing that is really starting to hit me, though, is that I have less then three months before my due date. Technically I’ll hit 3rd trimester this Sunday. That doesn’t discount the fact that I’m currently in my 7th month. I feel like time has flown by up to this point. Without even taking the Holidays into consideration, I can’t imagine that it’s going to slow down. Actually looking at the calendar, what with all our December events, New years, and all the craziness that goes along with it, I feel like this last trimester is going to move the fastest of them all.

With my birthday just days from Spawn’s due date, I’ve just now sort of clued in to the fact that I won’t be able to reasonably plan a birthday event this year. I’m a little sad about that, but I did make sure that I had a great big bash last year partly because I was fairly sure I’d be preggo for this one. I just don’t think it ever occured to me that I might actually get a baby as my birthday present.

Regardless, February is right around the corner. Shit just got real. 😛