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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

So, really, what's in a name anyway?

Thursday, November 26, 2009
Oh you know, only everything.

I don't know why I am finding this so challenging, or why I am letting it stress me out...but we just cannot find a name that we both love the same way. My dear husband has his picks, and I have mine, and never the two shall meet. We've settled on 1 name so far, but the fear is that we really are settling on it, so while it remains on this ever growing list, the shine has worn off. It's just not as sparkly as it was last week. Sigh.

I want something beautiful, interesting and fitting of our first child. My names tend to be a little more off the charts. And while I'm not into making names up like Rainshine Moonwalk, or completely massacring the spelling, like Jaxxsoun, just so it's unique, I am also not prepared for my daughter Sarah and her 3 BFF's Sara, Sera and Sarra to be playing in my house. It needs to be as unique as I know this little one is going to be. It needs to speak to me, and to her, and I guess since we're married and all, to my husband.

Husband on the other hand, has a slightly different view. We've discovered that 98% of the names he likes sit comfortably within the Top 50. Not so close to the Top 10 that we know any yet, but close enough to the Top that our daughter surely would have a few friends with the same name. And really, it's not that bad, and it could be worse. He likes popular names, he just does. And so what, I suppose you could say SO WHAT?

And you know, I don't really KNOW what. I just know that's not what I want. And so we're stumped. It's not that we hate every name the other likes, but we just aren't loving or feeling the other person's top picks. And I'm really in love with some, and I'm not truly sure if he feels the same about his. And so, I obsess and he gets hounded with list after list of potential names. And we, we get no closer to picking anything.

What's worse, We're not even trying to pick THE name, we're just trying to pick a FEW names, that we both agree on, that we can take into the delivery room with us, so she doesn't leave the hospital simply named Baby Girl X. Or worse, named something we picked during an oxytocit/exhaustion cocktail high, like Roxanol or Kadian, which are brand names for morphine.

I should probably let it go. But for some reason I feel like this is some huge, overwhelming responsibility on my part. Her name will help define her, and as much as I want to believe that the person makes the name, I just don't think that's true. I strongly feel my life and path would have been markedly different had my name been something else, something less unique, something boring that I didn't have to explain time and time again. If I hadn't spelled my name 1000000 times, and had to endure a number of ongoing jokes about it, I would be someone else. If I was just another Katie or Christine, things would have been different. And so I stress.

And I suppose this is the root of me and husbands issue. He's got a name like everyone else. A Matt or Paul or Joe kind of name. The kind the everyone's heard and no one's ever commented on. And this is where he stands in this name thing. Well not exactly there, but he isn't deviating far.

We'll find some middle ground, but for some reason, right now, at 23 weeks, it's torturing me. And I just need to let it go.

Maybe I'll go and find some ice cream or something.........

The only thing I hate more than blowdrying and flossing? Doing my kegels!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
You might be tempted to wonder how I could combine blow drying, flossing and kegel exercises into 1 blog post, but don't. This is the mind of a pregnant lady and there is no rhyme, reason or rational. And in fact, I'm sure that by the end of this post, you'll know why I'm targeting all 3 at once.

Let me start with the least offensive, and most necessary evil on my list - flossing. The thing is, us humans are hardly confused as to why our dentists continue to beat us over the head for not doing this enough. We understand the importance of it, but we hate it so much we'll actually risk losing teeth over it. Teeth people, you need those (unless you're my dog but that's another story) to eat, and not look like a freak. You also need them to ensure you don't whistle and spit while you talk, and to help keep your tongue in your mouth..... or so the vet told me about my dog.

Anyway, it's not that it's hard or painful, and it's not even that it's that time consuming, it just sucks. It adds another step to your daily routine, and frankly you don't see the immediate benefits. The only thing that ever prompts me to floss on a regular basis, is the idea of having to listen to my Hygienist AGAIN detail how and why I should floss. So quite frankly, I'm good at it for approximately 4 months per year - 1 month before each cleaning, and 1 month after when I'm all jacked up on fluoride and free toothbrushes, and I truly believe I have the power to have a positive impact on my smile for my senior years. Then I start to realize I don't even  know if I CARE about my seniors smile. Even though I'll be getting cheap McDonald's soft server and eating the $8.99 early bird lobster special at 4pm, so I'll have a lot to smile about, am I really going to care if those smiles are full of teeth? I suspect not.

And really, my grandparent's wear dentures and I've got to say, there are appealing parts of that scenario. Regardless, I hate flossing and I only do it periodically out of bare necessity. And now that I am pregnant, with all this excess blood volume and puffy bleedy gums, I'm even less interested. Why floss when I could use those precious moments for sleeping...or better yet eating? And that's my rant on flossing. If I could pay someone to do it for me, I might consider taking it back up.

This of course brings me to my next problem, the loathsome task of blow drying. Now some of you are saying "oh it's not that bad" while others are thinking "well if you hate it so much, why do it?". And to you I answer this: It IS THAT bad, but I'll get into that in a second. But why do I do it? Because I don't enjoy looking like a poorly washed poodle or an overzealous Q-Tip, and the only way for my head to look any form of put together is for me to engage in excessive heat styling. This requires the blow dryer AND the straight iron, but I heart my straight iron and wouldn't DARE ridicule her publicly. She might retaliate and break, and then I'd have to lose my shit.

My hair is curly, or at least it thinks it might want to be. It's not curly in that "wow that girl has got gorgeous curls" way, nor in that "hot I just came in from surfing" sort of way. No, it's curly in that "it's kind of big on this side, with a front load of frizz and a whole lotta wrong". So I must tame it. At least in part. On ugly stupid Sundays, I can get away with just a crown and bang dry, but on a daily basis, it requires an entire blowout. This process takes me on average 25 mins. 25 hot, sweaty and unbearably obnoxious minutes, where I stand in the humid bathroom, and blow hot air at my head with a gun shaped device. Having just got out of the shower, I generally find the profuse sweating which accompanies the blow drying down right offensive. Add to that the fact that my goddamn bangs will never ever EVER do the same thing twice in a row, and it's a recipe for a pregnant lady meltdown. I've only cried during blow drying once since I got pregnant, but I've thought about it a lot. That, and the irony of the fact that the gun shaped device I'm holding up to my head, is making my want to hold a gun to my head.

And I'm pregnant, so I'm hot. I'm hot, and not so much nimble anymore. Maneuvering around between the shower and the sink, praying for a bit of bounce or shine, and cursing the Pantene Pro-V girls is not a great way to start the day. But prancing around with stringy, limp curls with a side of "was she electrocuted?" is also not a great way to spend the day, so I chalk it up to the lesser of 2 evils. And that is why it is THAT bad.

Which brings me to my kegels (if for some reason you don't know what these are, you're probably a man and may want to stop reading). The reason I started thinking about the three of these things together in the first place was, I started trying to do my kegels, while blow drying, after flossing. My theory was, if I am going to be in hell ANYWAY, I might as well get it all out of the way at once. Like a bandaid, rip.

The flossing thing, well I gave that up before I started, but the kegel/blow dry combo I'm still working on. It doesn't make blow drying any less trying, but it kills two squawking birds with one stone.  And of all of these evils, I think kegels might top the list in terms of necessity. I can live without teeth, I can live with a poodle-do, but what I can't live with is peeing in my pants with every sneeze or laugh from here on out.

That's right ladies and gents, having a baby spring forth from your body, existing out your vagine doesn't only hurt like hell (ok I ASSUME this one), but it wreaks havoc on your internal workings. One of those workings holds your pee. And I for one am quite happy with the amount of control I've got over my pee, and am not prepared to give that up just yet.

Actually, that's a lie, even at this stage in the pregnancy, sometimes I fear the worst, so it ain't going to get any better. I'd love to sneeze, laugh and even walk to the bathroom on particularly urgent days without leakage, but with a human on my bladder, that's not always the case. And what I don't want is to end up wearing Depends at the tender age of 30. That's right, I'll forgo my teeth but not my big girl panties. So I do my kegels.

I sit, and concentrate, and clench in and out, and do them. I do as many as I can before I have to stop, I take a rest, and do some more. I curse each one, but then silently thank it for keeping the pee on the inside, until I tell it to come out. Holding my pee is no longer something I'm going to take for granted.

And I've talked with enough of my mommy friends to know that the pee issue, is not the only one. Men fart in yoga because they are men and men are gross. Postpartum women fart in yoga and it's not a result of last nights broccoli if you know what I mean (and if you don't, then you're better off not thinking too much about this one).

And so, I kegel. I hate them, they suck. But Imma gonna do em. Every day. Until I once again control my pee.

Blogging about falling down wins me an award!

Finally, my equilibrium does something for me OTHER than cause me bruises. The Mommyologist  sent me an award today, this cute little lemonade stand!! And honoured me with a link on her blog page. Awesome! So fun!

I heart lemonade, and presents, and drinks at the end of the day. So to all the other mommy's and mommy's to be out there, I share with you my fun gift! 

Thanks Mommyologist!

Dear equilibrium...you, me and gravity need to have a serious talk....

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Alright, I was not deluded enough to believe that adding an additional 20odd pounds to the front of my body over the course of 40 short weeks wouldn't have side effects. In fact I was quite sure that at some point, the whole balance thing would become a problem. Balance and I have never been friends, so I didn't think we were about to start having slumber parties. However I did believe it would take longer for balance to mess with my baby.

Of course, my first experience with this issue happened at only around 17 weeks, when I fell from grace with the loudest thud yet, and sprained my ankle. But that is old news, and something I got over. I've never been graceful, so what did I expect? Well I expected to be able to put my shoes on, I'll tell you that.

Throughout my entire life, I've been prone to fall down. When I was younger, I fell so many times that I permanently killed the pigment in my knee, and still have a scar. My legs moved so much faster than my feet or body, that I knocked not one but BOTH of my two front teeth out, on separate occasions. Once was a bloody mess at the ferry terminal where I ran to meet my dad and fell flat on my face. A normal kid puts her hands out and at least TRIES not to mangle her face. I did not. People say "well at least you didn't break your wrists". Sure I didn't, just my tooth. 

The second time was a slow and simple walk on the pier with my grandparents, where I tripped on my own feet and flew forward, landing again flat on my face. Only this time, I added a new level, and sunk my tooth into the wood of the pier (I should say teeth, I'm pretty sure I didn't yet have a replacement tooth for the one lost at the ferry). I stood up and left my tooth behind. It's a wonder I'm not hideously scarred on my face. 

But I digress. 

The point is, I've spent my entire life falling down. And to be honest, I come by it honestly because my mother and sister aren't a whole lot better at staying upright. 

I've often blamed the fact that I stand 5' 11" with only size 7.5 feet, but I'm not sure that's the issue. When I was a teenager, all tall and thin, with knobby knees and gangly limbs, I simply assumed the falling was just another part of the torture which is your teens, but then I never grew out of it. At the end of the day, I think me and my equilibrium have just had issues my entire life, which we've never managed to settled. I'm the girl who trips on the sidewalk when there is nothing there, the one who has rolled her right ankle not 1 but 4 major times in her life, and the person who can be knocked over with the slightest of nudges. Did I mention I've had crutches only once in my life, and the first thing I did was fall flat on my face in the hospital parking lot and need further medical attention? 

Fast forward to my Relaxin hormone filled pregnant body, and cleary we have a problem. 

So back to my point. At 22 weeks along, I've started noticing an alarming new trend in my daily routine - I fall down. I fall down doing the simple things even I'd learned to take for granted. From crouching down to pick something off the floor, to leaning over in an attempt to pull my shoe on without bending at the waist, I fall over. 

The good news is, these aren't the loud, painful, disastrous falls of my past, but little gentle thumps to the ground. The bad news is, I fear this is only the beginning. I did not realize the getting pregnant meant losing your ability to perform the most basic tasks - and so early. I can't image convincing my husband that he is now responsible for the on's and off's of my shoes. Not to mention we're not always together. Additionally, there are sometimes just things on the floor which I need to pick up. Socks, dog toys, my sanity, and if I can't bend down to get them without joining them on the floor, what's the point? I'm going to need to get one of those things people use to pick up garbage so I can stay upright. 

All I can say is that I hope I regain my sense of balance, and even gain a little extra after Baby Girl get's here. Because honestly, my arms are not safe for a small, fragile and dependent person. I'm sure I've dropped the dog on a number of occasions, but at least he's built like 12 lbs. of bricks. 

What I REALLY hope, is that this Baby Girl gets my nose and ears, but her fathers ability to walk and stand up. Unfortunately, this klutzy thing seems a pretty dominant trait for the women in my family, so it's already not looking good. 

Not to mention hat her most prominent in utero memory is going to be a strange falling sensation, culminating with a loud thud and her mama yelling FAWK!

Catastrophic Underwear Affair

Saturday, November 21, 2009
So this was something I didn't expect, but pregnancy makes your ass and hips grow, which also means, your underwear gets smaller. I tried to convince myself that all my old underwear just miraculously shrunk, but, I think it's more likely that ye olde arse is getting bigger.

So what to do. I don't want to go all jumbo granny panty and lose what little sex appeal I have left, but having a perma-wedgie is hardly an option either. So obviously something had to be done. So where does one go for sexy, but better fitting underwear? WalMart.

This was a mistake of epic proportions. 

I can easily be dazzled by cute patterns and bright colours, so add that to my need to get in and out of WalMart as quickly as humanly possible, and a poor decision was inevitable. Something about WalMart, with it's rows of cheap plastic goods, low priced jumbo everything and crowds of bargain hunters who have forgotten that in fact, they are not the only person on earth, and I just get itchy. My throat closes up, and even though I know I'm saving $0.03 on that box of 5000 Q-Tips, I most times can't be bothered to put myself through it. But on this particular day, husband also needed underpants and undershirts, and those are best bought at some sort of  "Mart". 

So there I stood, row upon row of underpants designed for suburban housewives who haven't seen the inside of a Victoria Secret ever in life, confused. Bikini, low cut, boy cut, hipster...all the normal words I associate with panties, not the normal look. Never have I bought a pack of 12 pairs of underwear, without the actual ability to look at them or touch them. I mean, these are going to be jammed up against my delicate lady parts, shouldn't I be able to assess the feel of the material? Apparently not. 

So I pick 2 sets, up one size from my norm - 1 in hipster and 1 in bikini, in the cutest patters available, and off I go. 

Home, I'm eager to unwedge my cute silky, but too small, panties from my ass crack I tear into the bags and promptly throw the lot into the washer (they may have been in plastic, but they did still come from WalMart) and wait. And there I have it, 2 dozen pairs of underpants that will hopefully not spend most of their time residing in my butt crack.

Sigh. But when I put them on the next day, I realize I've made a horrible mistake. Well, not with the hipsters, they are actually ok, sit low, cover my bum, look cute enough and don't feel like sandpaper. I wish I could say the same for the bikini option. 

I don't know what part of "bikini" Fruit of the Loom failed to understand, but what I got was hardly something akin to a bikini brief. The tops came up my back and front, covering half of both my belly button and my tattoo. Now, I don't own ANY pants that come within 2 inches of my belly button so why the HELL would I want underwear that did that? Wide at the bottom, these underpants surely won't give me the dreaded wedgie, because how could they, they are wrapped around my thighs? What a mess. 

So I cried. I cried for a moment, realizing that I was in fact a pregnant lady, and I did in fact need to consider larger, less sexy underpants And then I realized, no matter how pregnant I get, I never ever need to don underwear that my grandmother wouldn't be caught dead in. So I packed the lot into the back of my underwear drawer, (hiding them from the others as I don't want them to get fearful of what they might become), and accepted that they were a waste of a hard earned $8.99. And there they will stay, until after the baby is born and  I need cheap ugly underpants to ruin in the hospital. That, or until was have a natural disaster and the Red Cross needs something to fashion a giant tent out of. 

The new, the old, the never ending incidents.....

Friday, November 20, 2009
It's Friday again. It's Friday and my original evening plans fell through which means I have a glorious night of Wendy's drive-thru and TV shows I would otherwise not watch, due to the presence of my husband. He's out tonight. Out at a thing called Hopscotch, which is a Scotch festival. I anticipate one of those evenings where I wake up, alone, around 4:44am, carefully walk down the stairs (as to avoid another fall), and find him asleep with the Xbox remote in his hand, glasses on his face, and the dog sleeping in one of his body crevices. I cherish those moments, in my groggy state. Something about my boys snuggling gives my heart warm fuzzy's. Warm fuzzy's until I realize I need to pee so bad it hurts.

Anyways, the last week has been a week like any other - a little bit totally normal, a lot of new things and of course, some unfortunate incidents. I don't know if  we have ever gotten through an entire week without some sort of incident since we met, but I suppose that which doesn't kill you (or force you to kill each other) only makes you stronger. More on this weeks incidents later. For now, I want to talk about the same.

It's nice to have the sameness. I am learning to appreciate the sameness, because I know it will soon come to an abrupt end, and the same will never be the same again. As the weeks pass by, marked every Wednesday by a new and exciting fruit, this whole baby thing becomes increasingly more apparent. More real. So for now I'm going to enjoy the things which are the same. Because when this chapter of our life together is over, I know I'll miss it. Long for it even, on certain days.

So for now, I enjoy that every Thursday night I go to O's house, which I've been doing for about 5 years or more. And even that has changed as we've grown. She's moved, I've moved. The TV shows have changed (but let's face it, are the same) and we've gone from cheap wine and cigarettes, to less cheap wine and cigarettes, to a year and a half of sobriety. It's not because we gave up on wine and menthols, it's because we went from her being pregnant, to me following shortly after her daughter was born. So sober we are, but we're counting the days until the wine come back (but we're not bringing back the cigarettes).

I enjoy the nights on the couch with my husband, complaining about the lack of entertaining TV, eating our dinner at the coffee table (despite it now being on another floor than the kitchen) and completely vegging out. Whether we're watching one of the few BluRay's available to rent, or some made for TV movie, we're together, alone, and we're enjoying it. The time is drawing near where, we may never be alone again. And we certainly won't be having nights like this, where we come home from work together, make dinner and waste several hours on the couch. It just won't happen.

And again, I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm doing the opposite (rejoicing?). I'm truly learning to enjoy the life we've built, so that I can prepare for it to all change. The closer it get's, the better prepared I am for a major life change. Profound hey? Hardly, I bet there is some hormone in my body doing this.But I'll take them. I have to admit this week feels a bit clearer. I'm more excited at the thought of baby, she seems more real to me now, and I'm getting ready to enjoy mommyness. I know it'll be hard, but for some reason I think I can do it. But that's this week, check in with me at Week 37, when labour is pending and I'm in full on panic.

Now for the new things this week. Our daughter (I'm finally getting use to saying this!) has taken to staying up all night and practicing her tap routine. And not that I don't enjoy her eagerness, it just sometimes wakes me up. But even that I enjoy. I love waking up to the feeling of her, tap dancing on one of my vital organs, because any reminder that she's alive and well in there is certainly welcome. Even if it means my spleen will never be the same.

She's also trying to get me fat. I have been the most hungry person on the planet this week, and there is just nothing I can do to satisfy it. I'm hungry from breakfast until snack time, and then until lunch. After lunch I'm hungry again, and snack, until I stuff myself with a dinner which cannot satisfy my hunger. I've had cereal at midnight, then tried to immediately go to bed, so I could sleep without being hungry. But then I just dream in bagels and lasagna. Mmmmmm lasagna....anyway.....

We've also finally booked a meeting with our first doula. I've been having a hell of a time finding one. I had a few referrals but wasn't getting any calls back. And frankly sister, if you can't answer my inquiry about your services, I'm not trusting you to help deliver our first child.However, at the appointment with the midwife this week, they offered up some suggestions. I found one I loved, but she was booked. But she referred me to someone else, so here's to hoping.

How does one go about interviewing a doula exactly anyway? I mean, this person is going to see me, buck naked, bodily fluids leaking from various orifices, moaning like cattle and praying to a god I don't believe in that the pain ends soon. Talk about pressure. The relationship between a doula (or midwife) and their client goes from new to ragingly intimate in a short period of time. I wonder how we'll all look each other in the face after?

In other news, the belly is definitely growing. It seems to get bigger by the day this week and I'm starting to feel like someone might actually guess I was pregnant. The one downside (the only I can think of, except the inability to wear flipflops without looking insane) to being pregnant in the winter is, it just looks like you've already been overindulging in the Christmas spirit. Layering up with a sweater and a jacket does not accentuate the belly in the right way. It just screams "this chicks almost 30 and now has a beer gut". The irony of it all, I get a beer gut when I have not had any beer in 5 months time.

And finally, husband and I found our nursery set for much less than we'd see it originally, and quickly jumped at the chance to purchase it. That and the stroller, but these topics are for a later thread.

That's probably it for news. So now we're onto the weekly incident.

To recap, LAST weeks incident came in the form of my 5 year old Boston Terrier Tuker, and his ability to cry me out of $500 worth of emergency doggy leg Xrays. $500 xrays on a leg which, is apparently completely fine. But that was last week. The week before, it was a "routine oil change" which turned into a timing belt and $1100 other things we had to do to maintain our 9 year old car. We only have one, and we have no money, so we best be good to it.

This week it was the house. If it's not the dog or the car getting us, it's the house. We did the roof in the summer, that was expected. Then a few weeks (and $5000) ago, we had to replace our furnace. Last night, the call from the tenant (because it's ALWAYS the poor tenant who notices these things) was "so um, the hot water tank is leaking". The effing what is effing WHAT? The HOT WATER TANK is LEAKING. Goddamnit!

Down my husband goes (because these things ONLY occur when he's home alone) to assess. Yup. It's leaking alright. We 911 call our plumber friend and wake him up. He tells husband what to do, and husbanc complies. We're left with no hot water in an instant. No prep time, no time for a shower. Just OFF. Fawk. Too bad it was all for not. Because the hot water shut off was broken, and the damn thing leaked all night anyway. It leaked all night so I COULD have just showered but no. Instead I interviewed a girl for my maternity leave, smelling like yesterday. Good thing I don't drink right now.

Another quick job by our new best friends at Reid Brothers plumbing, and by 5pm today, we've got a new bad ass water tank, with 15 extra gallons. Hopefully this will reduce the amount of obscenity filled, cold shower mornings for me. For $1800 it better. Now I'll just swear about the bank account, but I'll do it from the warmth of the shower.

So our baby booty is painfully depleted, and we're reeling from all the stuff that's gone on. We're warm and soon to be clean, but reeling none the less. Damn houses, who ever said they were such a great ideal. I think the renters have it better.

But it's our home. The home we bought to start a family, and start it we did. I think we lived here all of 24 days before they count me as pregnant (even though that was 2 weeks before I even OVULATED), so we clearly didn't waste anytime. Shocked the shit out of my husband but, I think he's getting used to the idea now.

And hey, unless they let me stay pregnant until 43 weeks, our daughter will be born before my 30th birthday. So as far as I'm concerned, we couldn't have timed it any better :)

Moving, shaking, and busting out of my pants…..did I mention it’s a GIRL?

Friday, November 13, 2009
As the pregnancy progresses, my brain power regresses and, I have to admit I’ve slacked on the blog a little (which is sad since I’ve just started it). The result? A power packed post, full of everything worth mentioning over the last 3 weeks. So sue me, I’m long winded.

Anyway, it’s official, maternity pants are the shit. I no longer even try to go for the jeans without the elastic waist band because let’s face it; they weren’t that comfortable when I was still a perfect size 27. And if I knew you could find stylish, sexy butt jeans that had swapped their buttons and zippers for soft stretchy lycra, I’d of made the switch sooner. In fact, I don’t even promise to go back to normal pants after the baby. Frankly, undoing buttons is a time waster, and I suspect post baby, I won’t have the luxury of wasting any moments. I’ve become obsessed with buying maternity jeans and 4 pairs in, I still feel like I could use more. I should give it up, really, but I was a shopper and a fashionista-wanna-be long before I was knocked up, and some habits are hard to break.

Regardless, the joys of expanding waist bands are becoming increasingly apparent, and with the pending holiday season, I can’t see them getting any less joyous.

I have to admit, 21 weeks and 2 days (because us pregnant ladies count everything by the DAY) into this pregnancy, and I haven’t seen too much change in my body. I know somewhere, there is a pregnancy god, preparing to strike me down for playing with fire, but I swear I’m not being cocky. I just honestly didn’t know what to expect, and anticipated blowing up like a balloon before the pee dried on my stick. I mean, isn’t that the thing, you get pregnant and you get fat? Not that I want to get fat, I just want to be prepared for when it starts to happen. So far, I’ve got a little protruding belly, which is bigger in the night than in the day, and wonderfully C-sized breasts. I have to giggle at the belly changes from morning to night, it’s crazy. Surprisingly, you have to feed the baby too.

Now onto the baby, as you can see from the headline, it’s a girl! Shocked the hell out of me when the midwife told me that. I was SO sure this bean was a boy; I’d already picked out a name. And of course, living in BC where sick and twisted people do horrible things, there are rules here about finding out the sex before 20-24 weeks. So even though I laid pants down on the table, and had the technician write in the report what Baby Barker was, I wasn’t able to find out until I called my midwife. She was not going to tell me, even though I was a short 34 hours away from being at the chosen 20 weeks.

I thought I saw the telltale 3 lines, but my husband did not, so we left no closer to knowing. And the thing is, I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t find out until delivery, and I know that back in the day this wasn’t even an option. But it is an option now and damnit I wanted to KNOW. And the fact that some stranger KNEW and wouldn’t tell me was irking me. It was written down for all medical professionals to review, but not the mama.

My friend O would tell me to be patient, tell me that the baby would be the same sex Tuesday as it was on Thursday, and that I should just wait to find out in a few days. I don’t know if she has forgotten the last 7 years of our friendship or is holding out hopeful that motherhood will change me, but I am far from being a patient person.

So I called the next day. I called under the guise that I was looking for my triple screen results, when in fact I knew they were all fine since they were taking so long to come back. I was just hoping to not bug the Clinic Coordinator with my call so fast, so I figured this was a good way to get around that. To my surprise, the midwife had the results. I was surprised because the technician at the hospital said they wouldn’t have the results until Thursday, and it was only Tuesday. However the midwife had told me they would know on the Tuesday, so I held out hope that she was right. I suspect telling me to wait until Thursday was both the technician’s punishment for my shaken baby remark (more on that later), and because she knew that on Tuesday, I would only be 19 weeks and 6 days, and not 20 weeks. And no way should I know 1 day in advance, in case I made a rash decision to abort the fetus and try again for something better. You know, cause this whole getting pregnant and holding your breath for 12 weeks, praying every time you pee that your wipe will be clean, is fun and easy stuff.

Anyway, I called, and Penny the Clinic Coordinator said “oh I just got your results, hold on” and came back to tell me. She said “it’s a little Girl” and I heard boy and thought for a split second, d’uh. Then I had to ask her, what was that? And she said “It’s a GIRL” and I said “aww thank-you” and hung up. I then tortured my mom and sister a little by telling them I knew, but my husband didn’t yet, so I couldn’t tell them. I finally got a hold of him and he was ecstatic. He’s wanted a girl this whole time.

He was ecstatic and a rush of guilt covered over me like a cheap itchy blanket. Not guilt because I was disappointed or something, just guilt that I was so sure it was a boy, and it wasn’t. I don’t even know how to explain this feeling. My friend Jill put it best, she said that when they found out they were having a girl, after expecting a boy, they were so excited about the girl, but a little sad not to be having a boy. It’s weird. Very weird. I’m not at all unhappy about having a girl; I think it will be awesome. It’s supposed to be every mothers dream right? So how dare I falter if even for a moment? I had just imagined a little boy in my mind so many times; I’d even caught myself calling my belly “my little man”. So not now only was I surprised by the gender of my little one, I had also already given her a complex. HER I’d given HER a complex.

It took a few days to really wrap my head around the girl thing. I’m excited, I am. But I was also sure I was going to save the human race with my lone male offspring, since everyone I know (save two high school friends) has had baby girls. And so, here I am, with my little girl belly and my itchy guilt blanket, hoping this is not the first of many mothering disappointments to come. That is, me being a disappointing mother.

Back to my shaken baby comment. This is a good story. I was laying on the table, pants around my knees, belly lubed up like a Christmas turkey basting in butter, and the technician was having a hard time getting Baby Girls brain shot. She assured me nothing was wrong, but that the doctor would want to see the brain from a very specific angle and she couldn’t get it. I was asked to pee (OH THANK YOU BABY FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO PEE TWICE DURING AN ULTRASOUND!!!!!!) and to shake my butt and skip my way there and back. I was then asked to continue jumping around like an idiot in the room, until the tech came back, to see if I couldn’t force baby to try a new position. So there I stood, hopping around, listening to my husband self diagnose the baby because the photo he saw of her brain was not the same as the one on the wall, and waiting on the technician. When she came back she said “shake that baby into position yet?” and I said “I guess this is the only time it will be ok for me to shake my baby, hey?” and I smiled. Apparently, this kind of joke is never appropriate, regardless of the preceding circumstances. Who knew? Mothering fail #1 (the gender thing is Mother fail #2, as it occurred AFTER this incident).

Oh well. She finished the exam, wrote down the gender and sent us on our way. We still haven’t yet seen the midwife but, I’m assuming since we’ve also had no emergency “your baby is actually a Boston Terrier” (because believe me, I’ve had that dream and birthing Tuker is no joy) phone calls, everything is going along well in there. Which is good, because being pregnant is like sitting on the edge of your seat for 10 (nope not 9) months, optimistic but prepared.

So for now, we continue to count the days, the weeks, the months until her arrival, and try not to kill each other creating the perfect, yet highly underutilized nursery in our computer room. And I should mention Baby Girl has been having a party in my womb for about 3 straight weeks now. And while I appreciate her ability to shake her booty like her mama, adhering to her father’s sleep pattern of staying up till 3am and sleeping past noon is going to have to stop.

But that is probably better saved for a post-birth post :)