Sunday 21 September 2014

I think it might be "Oh !@#$" time

That was my thought as I woke up this morning.

Okay, to clarify:

Some people who are expecting babies have showers where there are cupcakes and balloons and it's all cute and they get gifts and stuff. So I'm told. I've never actually been to one.

Some people start "nesting" while pregnant (I think second trimester is considered an appropriate time for that?) and then by third trimester they have cute nurseries and piles of baby stuff and that kind of thing.

Then there's us.

I don't do cute.  I have no idea how to throw a baby shower, no motivation to figure out how and apparently this apathy/avoidance subliminally communicated itself to anyone in my immediate circle of family or friends who might have thrown one, because nobody has. I don't actually care; I think I'd  rather have some kind of welcome event after baby is born. Occasionally, though, the thought has crossed my mind: "How did that (not) happen?" As it has for a few other things we've procrastinated.

Answer: A lot of the time, my notion of preparing for baby is to cuddle my tummy, thinking how miraculous it is when baby kicks, wriggles and is alive.

I've told people humourously when they ask about preparations that well, we're painting the room, we're considering this or that product, and a couple of weeks before baby is due to arrive, we'll have an "Oh !@#$ weekend" and buy everything at once.

I just counted the weekends before full term (38 weeks) and we have like, 2 weekends (not including this one) to go "Oh !@#$" and do things.

Okay, we actually may be not quite as disorganized as I'm making it sound. Lots of good things are happening!

We have started prenatal class #1 (Birth and Babies) and start prenatal class #2 (Birthing From Within) next week. (See the Birth/Parenting resources page for more info.)

We have a bassinet in the house and a glider on order.

The room is painted and looks awesome.

My FIL has been helping us with neglected jobs around the house the past few weeks (so helpful!). Stepmother-in-law is also very excited.

My parents have been overseas on holiday for a few weeks but they will do anything to help us when they are back; I know this.

My MIL is across the continent, but will also do anything she can.

The family is there and ready; I don't want to make it sound like they don't care about us. I think they have been waiting for us to give them cues about what we need. Which is actually very considerate and kind.

Although there are a lot of big items we haven't yet purchased, I think we know what we want in most cases and it shouldn't be too hard to get it.

I have a registry with about 10 smaller things on it, although I don't know yet what I will do with it exactly.

I booked my last day of work (October 10th).

But. I think my biggest accomplishment has been my attitude. Despite this being "Oh !@#$" time, I actually feel very good about baby and the birth. I am hopeful that we can have as normal and natural a birth as possible, which is important to me because of the anxiety/fear/dread that accompanied the beginning of this pregnancy. A calm, hopeful attitude is much more important than a fully decorated nursery or a baby shower.

I've also put in a call to a photographer to schedule a maternity photo shoot. I waffled on this for a long time. How important is it, do we want the expense, etc. But all along I've had the thought that this could be my only pregnancy, and it would be nice to have some professional photos as memories. I've pushed that thought away a lot of the time because the priority has always been, baby gets here healthy and well.  Anything else felt like an indulgence. Finally I thought, might as well do it (last minute of course). If things don't work out with the studio, I'll see if my brother, who is a talented amateur photographer and took our wedding photographs, can do something with us.

Finally, it's a beautiful fall day (autumn comes early in this climate) and the trees have started turning colour in earnest the past couple of days. Fall colours don't last long so we will make some time to go for a walk.

35+ weeks and autumn colours.

Blessings to all.

Thursday 18 September 2014


I had no ideas for MicroBlog Monday, but today I made these:

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. Recipe Here!

They were the perfect cookies to make with one leftover browning banana, the remnants of a bag of chocolate chips, and a couple cups of oatmeal to make it all healthy-ish. Does anyone else ever crave milk and cookies for dinner?

We have eaten/will eat about a dozen of these cookies and the rest will hopefully be sufficiently enticing to bribe someone at work into doing me a favour LOL.

have a beautiful Friday!

Saturday 13 September 2014

When the bough breaks

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

My co-teacher at work calls this "a horrifying lullaby" and I have to agree....Who came up with this and WHY??

My day yesterday was a little too much like this lullaby.  First of all, there are a lot of broken boughs around the city after last week's snowstorms.  Since trees had not yet dropped their leaves, many suffered broken branches and in a few cases whole trees came down. There are fallen branches blocking sidewalks in many areas, and people have had tree branches fall on homes and cars. Apart from the property damage and inconvenience, it's sad that so many trees have been broken. And it does make walking a bit more dangerous.

However, my mishap occurred while crossing a road that was not blocked. I was walking to work. My right ankle rolled, I staggered forward a few steps, and when I was unable to regain my balance I went down. Aie! It wasn't too bad of a fall as I was able to break the impact with my arms and my knees. I don't exactly remember doing so, but I have scrapes on my palms, big bruises and scrapes on my knees and today my arm muscles hurt like hell, so I know I used them to break my fall. I landed on my left side. There was no direct impact on my belly as far as I can tell. However, I did call my doctor and they said "if you are worried come in." Of course I took a cab directly there. Baby had good heart rate, was moving around a lot and I had no pain or unusual discharge or symptoms. The doctor said "she doesn't seem fazed by what happened at all." Well, that was good; I was quite a bit more shaken up.

I ended up going home and not going in to work, in large part because the ankle I rolled started to hurt quite a bit after the initial shock and adrenaline wore off. I didn't want to rise injuring it further, or heaven forbid, rolling it and falling again. If I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't worry, but if I wasn't pregnant I probably wouldn't have fallen in the first place.

Since I walk a lot, this experience has been quite upsetting to me, though since there was no harm done I'm doing my best to let it go. But it has made me think. My ankles roll quite easily for whatever reason. This is true even when not pregnant. When I take ballet and stepdance classes, it really helps with the problem because the exercise strengthens them. But I haven't taken those classes in months. Also, I feel bad about this because I do feel like it was probably preventable. I had noticed that I was rolling my ankles more when I wore shoes that have a heel. Now, I almost never wear "high heels" and certainly I have never worn them since becoming pregnant.  But several of my regular shoes have heels of about 2 inches on a comfortable, full support shoe. I put away all my heeled shoes when I realized that they were causing me problems, buuuuuuuut.....when the weather suddenly got cold I took out my boots with heels. I thought that boots would be OK because they have more support than shoes. Well, I was wrong.

These are the boots I was wearing when I fell. Usually I can live in these boots. They are ridiculously comfortable, practical and they look awesome. I have the same footbed in a different style because I like them so much. But I wish I had realized that even the small heel could make me roll my ankle. I feel like my vanity / desire to wear my awesome boots won out over what I knew about safety.

If you are pregnant and have a tendency to roll your ankles, DON'T WEAR HEELS! Any heels! I will just put that out there. It freaks me out when I see pregnant people wearing heels (some far higher and less practical than mine) but I suppose not everybody has my foot issues and perhaps they can do it safely. I will not be wearing any heeled shoes or boots until I am able to go back to my dance classes. I assume my sense of balance should improve after baby is born, of course, but then I thought....what if I'm carrying baby and fall?! that could be much worse even than falling while pregnant.

In other news, today I've been distracting myself by researching more baby stuff online.  Mr. Turtle is quite tired after his week and hasn't been up to hitting any stores so far, but I'm busy learning about things from home. I have added a few things to the page on baby items.  I even started a baby registry though I don't know if I will share it with anyone as currently there are no plans for a shower or similar event. Most notably I finally found a traditional stroller that seems to have all the features I want. It comes with a big price tag, but we could save on not having to buy a bunch of add-ons. Also, it's not a travel system. I really don't want a travel system.  I haven't make any decisions on a baby carrier yet, but there is a store in my city that specializes in babywearing / cloth diapering, so we plan to visit soon to learn more about those options.

(I've only spent a little bit of time looking at new boots.)

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Baby, it's cold outside

This is me on Sunday, September 7th, at almost 34 weeks. It is 26 C outside (79 F)

24 hours later, our city looked like this. I kid you not. 

But who cares? Because inside everything is good. I mean indoors and, well, inside.

This is the Ember's photo from my U/S at 34 weeks. This is the first photo where she has her head turned to the front so you can see nostrils, eyes, and I think a little mouth. I melt.

The U/S was requisitioned to monitor the fibroid near the cervix. The peek inside still shows that the fibroid is not blocking the birth canal, yay. Baby looked great as well. She had a heartbeat of 140 and did some practice breathing, although we had to wait a few minutes for her to get around to it. She was pretty mellow today although that has not been the case lately. Ember does not usually kick or move very violently but a few times the past few days I've felt as if she is trying to kick and punch her way out. When she rolls to point outwards I also get a lot of belly ripples. The doctor estimated her weight at 4.3 pounds and said she should be a bit over 7 pounds at birth if she continues this rate of growth (more snacks now, please!).

I have been back at work for a couple of weeks and doing well so far.  I have been responsible about eating well throughout the day so that is probably helping. I'm still waffling on how long I should stay at work.

It occurred to me the other day that I think I've actually gotten used to being pregnant. It happened so slowly I didn't quite notice how, but I no longer (usually) feel like my body is some sort of dangerous anomaly that needs to be constantly monitored for unexpected behaviour. In fact, when I try to imagine not being pregnant it seems more strange.  And particularly when I feel Ember wriggling about, I really do love it.  I've never really gotten over my fears and anxieties, but they've faded into the background since we have been hearing nothing but good news. I just hope it stays that way.

What we've been up to:

  • Mr. Turtle has made lots of progress painting the baby's room. We chose a bright orange-melon colour, and figure we'll contrast that with dark furniture (sort of the opposite of my original plan). The furniture has yet to materialize, but once the painting is done we'll have motivation to move on that.
  • I ordered my first baby item (!!): the Halo bassinest. Of course I procrastinated until it was backordered, but it should still be here in time.
  • We start the first "baby class" this Thursday.
Thinking of everyone wherever you are on your journey.