Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting Sick While P/G Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be (31w 3 d)

I was right... that cold manifested itself in spades, lemme tell ya! It started off as just a cold, then moved to my sinuses where it embedded itself nicely, and then proceeded to wreak havoc on my eyes as pinkeye. Nice huh? Usually for a sinus infection I'd grab the Nasonex. But as I'm expecting, no can do. Similarly for the pinkeye. I had to resort to saline rinses for my sinuses, over-the-counter polysporin antibiotic drops for the pinkeye and zinc/echinacea and the occasional Halls for the cold. All washed down with oodles and oodles of orange juice. Oh it's been a fun week in our house! I left work last Wednesday afternoon and I never went out of the house til I got in the car on Tuesday this week to go back to work. Thrilling indeed.

On Wednesday, I had a bit of a scare. On my way to work, I'm driving along in rush hour traffic on a four-lane major road when I see the car in front of me swerve to go around this rather large grey lump in the middle of the road. I swerve too, slowing down to see what it is. Imagine my shock and dismay to see a turtle (tortoise? I don't purport to know the difference) upside down, flailing legs trying to turn over! I couldn't believe it. Mind you, there is a major river just a little bit away from that road, so frequently you get ducks, or other animal life crossing the road to get to the river. I had just been thinking that I hadn't seen any ducks this year when this turtle is virtually right in front of me!

Keeping an eye on the cars behind me, I slowed down, pulled to the side a few hundred feet down the road, and carefully got out of my car to go back to save this poor thing. By the time I got there, the turtle was right side up and none too happy. I'd venture to say it was a good foot or foot and a half across, and it was clearly in pain. Legs, tail and head seemed fine, but the top of the shell was badly, badly broken. There was mucus and blood in the open wound and I almost cried, seeing this poor animal in such distress. I think it might have been a snapping turtle (lots of those around here and plenty in the river of that size) but I did manage to position myself behind it, gently lifted it a foot or two up in the air and carried it to the grass on the side of the road. There was a driver who kindly stopped to let me do this, and he held up traffic behind him so I could get this poor animal to safety. Then I hopped over the barrier and picked up the turtle again, and put it in the shade of the overpass above the road as the day promised to be hellishly hot.

I went back to my car, wiped the blood from my hands with a tissue and carried on to work. Upon arrival at the office, I searched the Net looking for a number for injured wildlife rescue in my city and I called to report it. They hoped to go find the turtle and take it to a sanctuary where it could possibly be rehabilitated. All day on Wednesday, I worried and wondered about that animal, but you know, I couldn't call them back to find out if they'd located it. If they did, superb. If they didn't... I can't change that outcome. I did the absolute best I could. If I hadn't stopped, that animal would have died within 5 or 10 minutes of my passing by. I truly believe that. Hopefully it has a chance. But my heart can't bear to know for certain if it doesn't.

Anyway, that start to the day on Wednesday left me stressing a bit and Petit wouldn't cooperate at al. I barely felt the baby all day so Wednesday evening, I insisted that we find the doppler and listen for awhile. All was good and I knew I could relax. Whew.

Today, I had an OB appointment. At 31 weeks 3 days, here's the latest:
  • Petit is growing like a weed. I'm measuring 36 weeks but that's normal for me; I'm usually 5-7 weeks ahead in measurement, given that I carry extra pounds.
  • Petit's heartbeat is in the 140s and going strong.
  • I have a little protein in my urine, and they attributed that to the infections I'm semi-still battling this week.
  • My blood pressure is 138/78; perfectly normal for me.
  • I picked up the OB admission papers for the hospital; I need to drop them off sometime in the next week or two.
  • I was urged to get my butt to L&D next time I'm concerned at all about Petit's movements. The nurse told me that is the third most frequent reason for patients to show up at L&D... number 1 being active labour, number 2 being water breaking. But they know how much hearing Petit on the monitor would reassure so I was encouraged to go ahead next time there's any doubt in my mind. I'm glad she reassured me that way.

My next appointment is in two weeks when we get a measurement ultrasound and another appointment with my regular OB.

Dawn... and to all of the rest of you who've already travelled this path:
I'm getting things together to pack a bag or two for the hospital. What did you pack that you didn't need? And what did you wish you had with you but didn't pack? Fill me in. Help me out folks. I'm a total newb at this and I'm still in total disbelief that we've made it this far.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Many Blessings (30 wks)

So to keep you updated, here's what's going on in the world of this quest:

We bought the rocking chair and matching ottoman, got it set up in the living room (where it will be well used in the wee hours of the morning I'm sure!), and after hubby and I had tried it out for a bit, the cats immediately claimed it. They look so cute and cozy in it, I have to take a photo to show you. Honestly! But they're going to have to learn that the chair is mine and when I want it, I will get it. Them's the breaks.

Last Saturday, my girlfriend Maxine hosted a surprise baby shower for me so my good friends here in the capital region could fête Petit as well! I was so stunned to walk in her house and see 12 or 13 of my best friends gathered, all in my honour! Bless her heart for having taken the time to do that. I never expected that at all and I was moved beyond belief! I even had one girlfriend drive down from Montreal with her 4-month old to attend! There were friends from university, friends from my old workplace, neighbours, even my MIL and SIL attended and brought my stepdaughter! We received some lovely gifts too, ranging from blankets and clothing to books, bathtowels, and a number of practical items like a pacifier/thermometer! I spent a lovely afternoon chatting with my friends and I was touched to see them all there for the express purpose of celebrating this baby with me. I know many of you read this blog and once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and generosity. I am honoured to call you all my friends.

Sunday, we celebrated Lil K's 12th birthday! My friend K (you remember her? She was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery last year) and her daughter invited us and hubby's kids to go out for a movie and then for dinner together. I can't believe Lil K is 12!! When I met them, she was a one-year old infant. Eleven years have flown by and I can't fathom that she's a young woman. Eeesh. Makin me feel old again...

I've spent much of this week washing Petit's clothing and bedding, getting things ready. We've moved around some pieces of furniture in our bedroom to make room for the pack and play (aka playpen) that Petit will be sleeping in for a few months. I'm trying to organize the change table so that all the items we need are within arm's reach, but it's hard to do that sort of thing when you've never done it before, yanno? I'm trying to figure out what to put in a bag for the hospital (yeah, I have a list, but I have to GET things in order to put them in the bag), and just trying to get final things in place. We have things like the diaper bag I wanted (Baby Sherpa knapsack) and the stroller/car seat combo. We've yet to get the monitor for the baby's room though. I vowed that I would get most of it done by the time I hit 30 weeks so that I could finally put my feet up, slow down and just enjoy the last 10 weeks or so. I'm getting there. Fine, so it might be 32 weeks before the last-minute stuff is done, but it's coming together. Really it is!

My sister just shipped me an order of cloth diapers that I'd picked up online as well. I purchased a bunch of BumGenius 3.0 diapers on sale last week and I can't wait to get them! Along with that, I got a few prefolds and covers, but I know I need to get lots more of those. Still working on that too.

And to top it all off this week, I'm coming down with a cold. I knew it was too good to last. I've been so healthy during this pregnancy, I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop! But yesterday, I sneezed and thought to myself, "Uh oh... that wasn't just a sneeze. That was a 'cold' sneeze." And lo and behold, the stuffy nose and sore throat have followed suit. Ugh. I expect I'll be curling up with some OJ and a blanket tomorrow rather than celebrating National Public Service week with my colleagues. Here's hoping the sniffles don't last long.

Thirty weeks.

THIRTY. Did you read that?!




I'm still amazed. Every day I touch my growing tummy and feel this baby.
Every day I hope that things continue to go well.
Every day I keep my fingers crossed that there are no complications and that soon we'll get to welcome Petit into our lives.
I wonder what he/she looks like.
I wonder about what sort of temperment Petit will have.
I wonder if he'll have my interests or my husband's. Or neither!
So many things to wonder about, it's no surprise I can't sleep at night!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shower and OB Update (29 wks 2 days)

Today at the office, my colleagues held a lovely potluck/shower for me. It was held in the atrium, underneath the palm trees and about 30 people attended. It was wonderful! The food was spectacular and the company was superb. The organizer took up a collection and presented me with a bundle of cash to go towards the rocking chair that I hope to buy. In fact, I'm looking at picking that up tomorrow. It'll be a lovely addition to our living room. I am so grateful to have such good people supporting me at work, through all of this, both the good and the bad. They've been there and listened to my fears, cried through my disappointments, held their breath alongside me and now, rejoiced in our success. I am blessed to have them in my life and I made sure I let them know that today. Hubby and I are very appreciative.

After the shower, I hightailed it out of the office for a 2:40 p.m. appointment at the OB's office. Here's the scoop:

Petit's heartrate (on the doppler) was in the 150s and going strong.
My blood pressure was 132/80, quite normal for me.
I've gained two pounds, so over the pregnancy, I'm up 0.5 lbs.

Next appointment is set for June 26 when I get to meet another of the OBs in the office. I've made a point of asking to meet all the docs who work at my OB's clinic because when delivery time comes, any one of them might be on call and I want to know what they look like before they just show up to catch Petit during birth!! Anyway, the next OB that I am meeting is also an RE who operates out of the Ottawa Fertility Centre. Now, while I hear some good things about him, I've also heard that he's of the mind that "weight loss = pregnancy" so I may have a bone to pick with him. I'm reserving judgement. We'll see what he has to say.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Amazing Weekend Away + Sentimental Story

To echo V's and Pam's sentiments about our spectacular time in Toronto last weekend, it was, well... spectacular. As you travel through life, you meet so many people. Some simply rub you the wrong way and you go on about your business. Some rub you the wrong way and you either try to smile and make nice, or you agree to disagree and keep your distance. Some people are good people and you get on well enough, but you don't have much in common so you chat now and then or you send a Christmas card or whatnot. And then there are some others... those with whom you click and you get along fabulously. Pam and V are those people. Each time we get together, we sorta pick up where we left off; there's no end to the things we could talk about! There's a general consensus (and yeah, I'm stealing your line V!) that, "The first three times, you're guests. After that, you're on your own." You just feel comfortable with them, you know? Anyway, our weekend in Toronto was nothing short of wonderful, just like our kind hosts. And I am so glad to have been able to meet Patti, her husband and baby Jack, as well as Aurelia while we were there. I thoroughly enjoyed indulging with good friends, good food, and good conversation. My thanks and appreciation goes out to all of you for making our weekend something wonderful!

And to Pam and Patti: you both are too sweet. On Saturday evening, after dinner was done, these wonderful ladies presented me with two knit blankets for Petit. The one Patti made is brown with some green throughout and Pam's was a cream colour. I gotta upload the pics. But nevertheless, thank you both so much for doing that! It wasn't necessary of course, but I will proudly use the blankets and tell Petit of the wonderful bloggers and friends out there who are amazing, considerate people. Bless you both.

Now on to the sentimental story...
While I was in Toronto, we got to talking about fertility (duh!), children, stepchildren and all that sort of thing. I mentioned that I really needed to blog about the birthday card that my two stepchildren gave me a couple of weeks ago for my 39th birthday. It made me smile and brought a tear to my eye.


The Un-Wicked Stepmother

Once upon a time,
there was a stepmom
who didn't live up to her name.
She was nice and generous
and never once asked anyone
to sweep coal.
Word about this lovely stepmom
spread through the village,
and everyone gathered in disbelief.
"Look at her!" someone said,
"She's positively warm and wonderful!"
"Unbelieveable!" said another.
"Very rare, indeed!"
The stepmom just laughed
and went on being
her great, wise, lovable self--
helping her family
live happily ever after.

Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Stepmom.
Love, N & J

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Last Vacation on the Horizon! (28 weeks 2 days)

I'm taking tomorrow off and hubby and I are heading down to "The Big City" (aka Toronto) to see some friends. In particular, we're staying with Pam and V and with luck, we'll get to hook up with Patti, Mark and Jack, Aurelia, possibly MyReality and who knows all else?! We're really looking forward to it. It's my last holiday until after Petit arrives in late August, so I'm hoping to make the most of it. Pam and V? I hope you're ready for us!!

While we're there, I'm going to hook up with an old friend of mine from high school. She got married much earlier than I did and moved off the island to the mainland quite some time ago. Her children are now pre-teen I believe and she and her husband live very close to Pam and V. She and I keep in touch by e-mail and the like and if all goes well, we'll be able to see her on Saturday for a little bit.

Hubby is keeping himself busy at home. He's getting a variety of estimates to have our deck replaced and we're booking someone to come do an energy audit on our home so that we can take advantage of some of the tax credits available to homeowners who upgrade to make their home more energy efficient. We're looking at getting a new front door and a new furnace this summer, so both of those will qualify and the new deck will have some financial perks as well. One thing at a time, right?

I'm finding that lately, things are becoming more difficult. I've officially entered the third trimester (holy hell; you've gotta be sh*tting me?!) and I'm getting things organized. But doing so has become rather challenging. For example, I was adamant that I wanted to plant some flowers out in the garden so I picked up some annuals a little bit ago. Have I planted them? Nope. You see, I realized that I need to weed the garden first and that entails a whole lotta time either bent over or on my hands and knees, near our cedar hedge, which is filled with mosquitos. Joy. Now, mosquitos LOVE me at the best of times. I was once out with some girlfriends for drinks on the patio of a local bar. About 30 mins later, I said, "I need to go inside guys. I'm getting eaten alive" and I pointed to the plethora of bites I'd received. (My skin usually develops welts after a mosquito bite, sometimes for days on end.) My girlfriends were shocked; not one of them had been touched. No, of course they weren't! Because I was greedy enough to keep all the mosquitos to myself! Either I have sweet blood or my pheremones attract them or something! Whatever it is, I'm a mosquito magnet. Hubby jokes that as long as I go outside with him, mosquitos never touch him. *sigh*

Anyway, so first I'd have to deal with the mosquitos and I'm not keen on using DEET this year (though I know in small amounts it's still safe). And then the whole bending over bit. Dear God. You're kidding. A joke, right?! Seriously. I dropped my keys this morning in the front porch and for a moment just looked down and sighed. It's getting more and more difficult to bend over, to pick things up off the floor, to manoeuvre things, etc. So I have the annuals, but they're not yet in the ground. I'll get there. Slowly but surely.

On the symptom front... it's hard to bend over, my lower back and hips ache to high heaven and I could sleep for 15 hours a day, I'm sure! I've got some rib pain here and there, but nothing too drastic. Usually I give it a rub and either it disappears or Petit moves the offending body part! I don't have much swelling yet, unless I don't get enough rest, and then I get cankles something fierce! For the last week or so, I've been eating much smaller meals and sort of grazing through the day because my stomach can't hold that much anymore and I'm more prone to indigestion. Thank heavens for Tums with Calcium! I am up at least once per night because I have to go to the bathroom and sometimes the baby keeps me awake after that... so getting up at 5 a.m. is virtually impossible at the moment. I've yet to invest in a nursing bra but I can tell 'the girls' are starting to get strained in my regular bras; some of which I had to give up wearing months ago. (Ah, the lovely pink lace has been set aside for the moment!) And it's official; I can no longer see my toes unless I bend a little at the waist. I'm still taking the colace (and consuming TONS of water and the occasional prune) to keep myself regular and to try to avoid getting hemorrhoids. Please God I won't have that to deal with.

I'm in the middle of washing the clothing, bedding, blankets, etc. that we do have for the baby. One load at a time, it's getting done and hung up in the closet again. I still need to do some things like look at cloth diapers and figure out what ones to get, because right now, all I have is one package of disposables that a friend gave to me. So I gotta get on that. I hear good things about FuzziBunz and BumGenius 3.0. If you cloth diaper and have tips/tricks, feel free to leave me a comment about your preferences and why. I'd love to hear about it!

I know of two or three other women who were also due in August who have had premature labours and their babies have arrived. All safely, but all are in NICUs and being taken care of for the moment of course. But this made me think: what if that were me? Maybe I should think about putting down a waterproof cover on my mattress now just in case. Maybe I ought to figure out what to pack for the hospital, just in case. Maybe I ought to buy that nursing bra, just in case. Maybe I need to just think ahead a little more, you know? And then again, I've "thought ahead" for so much of this pregnancy (and envisaged the absolute worst), maybe I need to stop thinking altogether!!

At the office, I have been asked numerous times about when I intend to take my maternity leave. Living in Canada, I get a year off and for that I am grateful. And being a government employee, my salary is "topped up" (I receive almost all of my salary for the entire year as opposed to the 55% that Employment Insurance pays out). So I am thankful for that as well. But that means that I want to push my departure date as late as possible so that I can still be off work for Petit's first birthday. If I'm due on a Tuesday, I'm hoping to work til at least the Friday prior. But I can only hope right? Things change and I will listen to my doctor on this one. If he sees need for me to take my leave early, then I will and we'll manage. I might take my leave a couple of weeks early and use some of my saved vacation. That might make things easier. My mom and my aunt expect to come in August before I go into labour, so they can be here and help us out. That will give me some time to spend with them too.

On Tuesday evening, hubby and I went to the hospital to attend the orientation for the Labour and Delivery as well as the Maternity wards. All very interesting. I went with a list of questions and by the time the 2-hour presentation was done, I had each of my questions answered to my satisfaction. So my nerves are somewhat appeased... for the moment anyway. I know that some hospitals still give tours of the L&D ward but the hospitals here cut that out a few years ago. With the various pandemics going around (SARS, H1N1) and the stress that tours inflicted on new mothers and babies, now you don't get to see the ward itself. You get a slideshow with pictures of the wards, facilities and equipment and essentially, they can give the presentation to 140 people at once, rather than a 20-person tour of the ward which was less effective. It's good enough for me for now. Again, one day at a time. And now I have the direct number to L&D in case I need to call and ask questions or whatever.

Last night, hubby and I broke out the doppler to listen to Petit again. We do that once every 10 or 12 days, just to reassure me. And we heard kicks and thumps as the baby moved around. We recorded it for posterity. We also recorded my heartbeat so we can play it for Petit; the theory is that the sound of mom's heartbeat will reassure a fussy baby and help to soothe him/her. So it might come in handy; we'll have it if we need it anyway.

We're getting there.

And yet, I still think about so many of you and I know you were further along than I was. And I think, "Where would so-and-so be with her pregnancy now... if...?" God knows I wish it could be different. We all deserve joy and happiness on this road, no matter the path we had to take to get here and no matter what the path to that joy. We all DESERVE it. I firmly believe that. No matter how you reach your joy, I'm pulling for you.