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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...

Birth Stories: Starting with Baby Rabies

Friday, January 29, 2010
In an attempt to get my vajay to unclamp itself and allow my darling daughter to exit without a spaghetti head (as an aside, the hubs has often said, since long before we were even married let alone pregnant, that we were going to have spaghetti children...I'll let that gem sit with you while you continue to read...or while you quickly run to the "unfollow" button and close this browser), I have decided to collect, read and record birth stories. 

The fact of the matter is, most of the labour stuff I know is coming from you people anyways. From women (and 1 man so far) who I know only since starting to blog, whose lives I've learned about 140 characters at a time, and in some cases, whose real names I don't actually know. This is not to say I don't have friends with children, I do. But for some reason, sitting down and trying to talk to them about their experiences rarely gets us anywhere. 

There are a lot of reasons for this. Often, they don't want to talk so intimately about the time they pooped on their husbands. We get easily distracted. I feel awkward asking them to detail the exit of their children from their bodies. And their kids are here, and are a lot of fun, so I'd rather play with those babes than discuss their arrivals. Also, of the people I know who have had babies, some have had medical interventions based on necessity, some have had early arrivals and some have spent the majority of their labour in a car, praying to make it to the hospital. And my goal here is to surround myself with as many natural, positive birth stories as possible, so I can, as mentioned above, convince my vajay it should unclamp. And finally, most if not all my mama friends don't remember their labour in the amount of detail I feel like I need. They never wrote it down, and it's been 4 years, or 1 year or 10 months or even 6 months, and they just can't recall. 

So I put the word out to the Twitter world, and got a little help from my friends. Before I knew it, I had offers for birth stories coming from people I'd never spoken to. I had offers for natural birth stories, planned and emergency c-sections, hypnobirths and water births and almost every kind of birth I can imagine (I also learned about something called a Lotus Birth from Mandy at Harpers Happenings, and well, ick). . So I decided, I'm going to read and post them all (or as many as I can before I go into labour, because birth stories will end with the arrival of my daughter). I feel like everyones story can contribute equally well to my experience. And at the end of the day, I have no idea what kind of experience I am going to have just yet, so I might as well be open minded and get prepared.

I start my "birth story recap to get my vajay ready" reporting business with Jill from Baby Rabies. I start here for 2 reasons. 1 being that she is single handedly responsible for about 75% of the stories I received. She has a HUGE following (and for good reason, she's downright hysterical) and she put it out on her twitter and in they came (when Jill tells you to do something, you do it). The second reason is that anyone who has the guts to put the word "Baby" and the word "Rabies" in the same sentence, let alone build their internet persona around it, is a person I want to be best friends with. 

Jill's story is perfect. She thinks it's long winded, but as you can tell from my ever loquacious nature, you can never use too many words for me. In her usual style, she combines the right amount of hilarious anecdotes ("These are definitely NOT Braxton Hicks. I’m now noticing my mucus plug. Yay! My vagina finally sneezed!"), and hopefulness ("The car is packed by 6:30. I’m imagining we will be in it by the time lunch rolls around"). Her incremental reporting, her brutal honesty and her unintentional words of advice ( “How can I do this again?” but I stop that train as soon as possible and promise myself to only think about each contraction as they come. That frame of mind helps immensely.") give me a lot of hope for my ability to do this. 

One of the things I love about Jill and her story, is that it really resonates with me. Because I know that even if I DO manage to get through this without any drugs, and come out the other end alive and with working lady parts, I won't do it quietly. I'm not going to be one of those women who avoids using the word "fuk", who doesn't tell her husband he's a bastard for doing this to her, and who doesn't shoot bodily fluids at her midwife. No, like Jill I will do all those things. I will worry that the women in the other rooms are getting scared because I'm screaming my bloody head off. Like Jill, I'm going to yell "NO" emphatically when they ask me if I want to see the head emerge with a mirror. 

If you've come this far, then good for you. I should probably apologize to Jill for posting her story first, and prefacing it with a novel of my own opinions. But that's the point. To take these stories to heart, and get out of them what I will. To gain an ounce of strength and power, when the pain I feel is getting to be too much and I'm screaming for an epidural. To take something from every story, to remember as I experience that "ring of fire" everyone talks so much about. 

So before I talk anymore, here is the link to Jill's story. Go there, read it. Then spend the next several days pouring through the rest of her posts, and learn to love her like I do, and like so many other mommy bloggers out there do. It's one of the few things you can read on the internet, which isn't a waste of your time. 

**Because I can't ever just shut up, I have to add, in Twitter-chatting about this post with Miss Baby Rabies herself (and OMyFamily) I got even MORE gems of wisdom out of Jill, and there are seriously things I will take with me into that delivery room and beyond. So here, I share some more:

babyrabies @Babe_Chilla When I ran my marathon I saw an awesome sign that said "Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever." Use that for inspiration :)

OMyFamily @babyrabies @babe_chilla My favorite motivational phrase was "You can do ANYTHING for 5 minutes." It's SO true. One contraction at a time.

babyrabies @OMyFamily @babe_chilla Yes! That's the way you have to think of it - small increments of hell followed by relief :)

OMyFamily Amen. RT @babyrabies: @Babe_Chilla I have to admit, I owe a lot to wanting to prove people wrong.

Belly Shot Preview

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I've just seen a few on Facebook from my photographer. I loooooooove this one:

Almost 32 weeks and a little freak out....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Well this is the end of week 31. Tomorrow I'll wake up, 32 weeks pregnant, 2 lbs. heavier and that much closer to meeting our daughter. That seems scary to me. To say things like "8 weeks to go" or "56 days", or to realize that my baby shower is coming up soon all makes this very real. Not that it hasn't been real, but I'm rapidly running out of time and all I can think is "have I done enough?"...to which the answer is always an emphatic NO!

I have not saved enough money, and this is stressing me out. The hubs and I are equal in our income, and we have a nice little system set out where we pay the bills together, and enjoy liberty with our spending money. I don't complain about the 4th video game he's bought this month, and he does not complain about my 68th pair of shoes. I shop for food out of convenience sometimes, which only means it's more expensive, and I am ALL too familiar with the old take out regime.But I'm about to go to 45% of my income for an ENTIRE year, and add another life to care for. EEECK! The power is going to shift, and I'm not sure I like it.

Now, it's not like the hubs is going to hoard his money and laugh manically at me as I shuffle around in my holey shoes. Obviously we're going to be working it out, but my issue is that I'm not going to be contributing my equal share, and that makes me feel, awkward. I am sure we'll find a balance, and I know it won't be held against me in any fashion. I've just worked for 15 years, and always taken care of myself. I'm an independent, self sufficient lady who has trouble asking for help for even the simplest things - what's it going to be like to have someone else caring for me? I've never relied on anyone else for much, and while I've had help from the parentals along my life path, I've otherwise been sufficient.

Whoa this baby business is changing more than just my silhouette! Tone down the seriousness would you?  Who knew all these things would come to play when we decided to have a family."When we decided" makes it sound like we sat down, weighed the pro's and con's and developed a plan. Instead it's more like, we got married and that somehow kicked my clock into gear (previously, I thought I had been born devoid of a clock) and we threw caution to the wind (and birth control pills out the window) to see what would happen. I'd like to tell you all that I was patient and completely zen throughout the following 14 months but, it's a lie. I temped, I charted, I checked my "fertile signs" (I'm leaving it at that...those of you who KNOW what EWCM is get it, and those who don't, probably don't need to). I slyly seduced the hubs when it suited the timing, and impatiently suffered the excruciating 2WW to see if I got a visit from good old AF. And FINALLY one time, she didn't show up...and finally, when I peed on that $16 STICK I saw 2 lines.......

And 32 weeks later (well 27 I guess) here we are. And I'm getting a little sweaty thinking about all the things I know I don't know. Well, if I knew that I guess I'd know them, so I am thinking about all the things I can imagine I don't know, and am going to have to learn. I really hope this whole mommy thing as intuitive as people keep saying, because I was sure not a good puppy mommy at the beginning (it's the only frame of reference ok?). And nothing else has ever come that natural to me either. I'm not a natural anything. I'm not good at singing or playing instruments, I'm not good at drawing or doing art. I'm not very crafty and aside from a little bit of a flare for cooking I'm pretty much useless. I'm not patient enough to be a good baker. I can't play sports. I can barely walk without falling over and my house is never all put together and sparkling clean. Nope, not this girl.

So you can imagine my fears about being a mom. Because really, why would THAT come naturally when nothing else does? One can hope. Maybe this is my calling. Maybe, I'll be so good at it that I'll go all Michelle Duggar on you (see, no pregnancy and/or mommy blog can be complete, without the Michelle Duggar reference, so I'm now officially in the club) and pop out a few dozen. No, that'll never happen, I'm too selfish for that many children. But maybe I'll surprise myself. Or maybe, I really will be the naked panicked woman, crying and swinging from the street lamps, wondering where my youth went.

On to my point, what's happened in pregnancy week 31, that's new and exciting:

1 - Night sweats. Last week I noticed the peri-menopausal state of my body temperatures, and this week has been no better. My temps have continued to increase and I'm now waking up soaked, on a nightly basis. I think it's training for all the laundry I'm going to have to do with baby, washing these pajama's so often.

2 - My friends Braxton and Hicks. They aren't new, but the frequency of their visits is. And to tell you the truth, I think they are both assholes.

3 - Pressure in my head. I think this is a combination of increased blood volume, and the internal human compressing some of my vital organs. I'll be checking with the midwife on that one tomorrow.

4 - Waking up screaming in pain. This has happened 3 times this week. Only once did I actually scream, and feared the hubs would wake up and fly out of bed in a panic. The other two times have been mild whimpering that I've kept to myself. The first time came after I rolled over, and pulled something in my abdomen. It felt like I tore a muscle clean in half, and I thought for sure I was never going to stand up again. The other 2 times have related to this burning pain in my left hip, that is the result of who knows what. I stretch and move and pull until it goes away. It hurts. And as an aside, my ass is still broken.

5 - Two Words. SAUSAGE. FINGERS. This is NOT funny. Thursday I was fine, but Friday I could not get my wedding rings off, and after 5 soapy panicked minutes, where visions of having my rings cut off flashed before my eyes, my sausage fingers were finally free. I've tried a few times over the last few days, and depending on when it is, I can get them off and on. But now I'm afraid of them. So I will probably go the next 6-10 weeks, with the naked fingers of an unwed mother. I've got a jade ring the hubs bought me once long ago, for $5 at a farmers market, and it fits. So for now, it'll have to do.

6 - It's a FOOT? Like seriously, I think I can discern a baby foot above my belly button. It feels about the right size, the right shape, and in the right area of my belly. I know she's head down, because I can feel her hiccuping into my vagina, and knocking on my cervix....

7 - Yes, she's knocking on my cervix. I think it's like the bladder, it's there so why not play with it? She keeps knocking, but I am not answering and she is not coming out. Consider this your first grounding young lady. You're going to stay in your room for another 6-10 more weeks, and I don't care how small it gets in there.

8 - Breathlessness. Some how, I've become a 450 lbs. smoker walking up a San Fransisco hill at all times. Talking takes a lot more energy than is appropriate. My maternity leave replacement must think I'm crazy, lazy or just completely out of control because every question she has results in me huffing and puffing like I've just run a marathon. And I talk A LOT. My face is red all the time, and whether I'm partaking in mild conversation or walking to my car, I'm elevating my heart rate. Let's hope I'm burning the other 500 calories I'm taking in, above the 300 recommended....

Anyway, those are the major pregnancy things for week 31. She continues to move and roll and stretch herself out. She's sticking feet in ribs and using my bladder as a stress ball. I love her a little more every minute that goes by, and I am starting to envision myself actually holding her in my arms, instead of in my body.

I wouldn't say I'm ready, but then, does anyone ever (remind me of this in 5 or so weeks, when I'm waddling around, crying about my cankles and wondering where my neck has gone)? But I'm in the home stretch, and things are getting a little more exciting around here! Not to mention the nursery has now been painted!

The Cloth Diaper Edition

Thursday, January 21, 2010
The hubs and I are considering cloth diapering. I'd like to go on about all the statistics that relate to how that will positively impact the earth, but I don't know them. I know they exist, and I know they are important, but what's good enough for me is knowing that I will not be contributing (at least on a massive scale) to the diapers plaguing our landfills. I did learn the other day that on average, you'll use 7200 cloth diapers in your child's life time. And I don't need math to tell me that's an awful lot of fecal filled plastic sacks to add to an already epic waste management problem.

I also don't need to do the math to understand what that will cost us. A fuk lot. Math doesn't give you ballparks like that, but who needs them. For those of you who are into math and junk, I did a rough calculation and we're looking at about $2000. This is assuming your kid is an average crapper, that you don't have more than 1 child, and that you are shopping around for discount diapers. Converesly, you can get cloth ones for around $500, with all sorts of selling your old ones, buying used ones, borrowing from people or looking for sales.

Not to mention, when I think about buying the "cheapest disposable diaper" I envision myself, my hubs and my daughter covered in crap. Literally. I mean, I'm no expert, but I've had the lovely experience of lifting up a baby and finding urine, or worse turds, on my leg or arm. And as it turns out, I'm having a baby which means I will be covered in both those things (and more, because we all know no matter what kind of diaper you have, it does not protect against projectile breast milk in reverse) often as it stands. So to limit the leakage, I doubt I'd be bargain basement diaper shopping. No, I'd totally coupon clip my way to saving on the ones that are the best defense, but I suspect those ones start at a heftier price.

And then of course, there is the fact that this is my child and her BRAND NEW skin I'm swaddling up in plastic and whatever else they make a diaper out of (I don't know, but I'm somehow sure it didn't start out that fluffy white colour). One of the best things I read when researching cloth diapers was "I don't wear plastic panties, why should my kids?". And I think maybe, that's true. I mean sure, I've never TRIED plastic panties, at least, not in my adult years (oh come on, we ALL had those little training pants), but I assume they aren't as comfortable and breathable as Pampers would have you think. And frankly, I half expect to find out diapers aren't BPA free sometime soon, or that they are laced with some other sort of life sucking chemical. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because last time I checked, everything we do is being put on the "this is going to kill you dead" list.

For these reasons, and the simple fact that this WHOLE thing is so new and foreign to me, so I figure why the hell not try it out, we're looking into cloth diapering. No promises though. If I find out they are, in fact, the worst things ever in life, I will consider going back to disposables. And I am SO not against disposables on certain occasions. Like when you've got a baby sitter coming by or, you know, you haven't done laundry because it was laundry or sleeping and sleeping of course wins (yup, naps already win over my daughters butt. Mother of the year award coming my way!). My approach to this whole pregnancy/delivery/motherhood thing is attempted flexibility. Talk to me in 5 months and ask me how that's going, ok? I'll probably be the crazy naked lady hanging upside down from the street lamp, crying about my youth and when things were easy. But maybe not.

So anyway, we went to Cloth Diapers 101, put on by New & Green Baby Co.I thought the 101 was indicative of the level of diapering knowledge we were going to cover, you know, the basics. And it sort of was. But mostly I think the 101 refers to how many types of cloth diapers (and I'm talking types here, not brands. That would be Cloth Diapers 5698) we would be covering in the evening. And that is in no was a negative towards New & Green. I don't think they were trying to overwhelm us, in fact I know they weren't. They were just doing their diaper due diligence. And they did a fine job.

We did the whole gamut of diapers. We talked about All-in-Ones, Prefolds, Pockets, One Size, Fitted, and G Diapers. We saw how to stuff extra material in for increased leakage protection, and felt the difference between hemp, cotton, bamboo and synthetic materials. We touched diapers to our cheeks (not THOSE cheeks geeze) to see how soft they really were, and we snapped, unsnapped and velcroed up and down like nobody's business. We also sweat a lot, but that's really got nothing to do with diapers and everything to do with  stuffing a bunch of pregnant ladies in an over heated community centre meeting room.

We looked at bumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz and AMP, we looked at plastic covers and wool covers, and learned what a Snappi is. We sat, and after an hour and a half, had a pretty good grasp on what this whole diapering thing was about. I think. I mean, how will we really KNOW until she's here and I'm up to my elbows in diaper changes. We won't.

The fact is, after the class I was less intimidated by all the things out there and more excited to get started. Visa in hand I was ready to buy, but I refrained. We haven't settled on a type yet, or really even made a plan. But at least NOW I feel as though we've got something to go on. We're far too good at making decisions based on assumptions, and since we're becoming adults now (sure whatever) I figure it's high time we thought things through a little better (a little better then "hey let's buy a 100 year old house with lots of wood in a SUPER rainy climate" or "this fridge will fit in there, NOOOOO problem).

As an added bonus, my BFF has always used cloth diapers, and her daughter is almost 1. And that means, she's got a nice set of infant sized all-in-ones she is just DYING to lend us (that, her Ergo, her Peg Perago car seat and I am SURE other things are coming...we are SOOOOO lucky). So it means we can try it out on her pretty much right away (the baby, not my BFF) and see how we like it.

I think my family is laughing at me, with my hopes for natural child birth, my attempt at cloth diapering and my plan to make my own baby food. And not because they think any of that is stupid. Just because it doesn't seem like a me thing to do. Not that I make a habit of raping the earth, poisoning small creatures or being careless with my things. But because at the core of it all, I'm still a city girl with a couple tattoos, who enjoys the simplicity of having things done for me. If I could afford it, I'd have a house cleaner, and a gardener. There I said it, and I'm not ashamed. When given the option to go the easy way, I'll generally take that path. And natural child birth, cloth diapers and homemade baby food scream complicated. But for some reason, this seems like the way to go.

I know I'm in for a lot of hard work ahead. I'm thinking I'm in for an unfathomable amount of confusion and stress, exacerbated by a lack of sleep and the dependence of a whole new life. It's going to be bumpy and surely I'll falter and fall. I can't even begin to image what life will be like, because I have no experience, no frame of reference and no knowledge of my daughters personality. She could sleep like an angle but never want to eat, like my niece. She could be colicky and refuse to nap. She could be a HUGE combination of traits, and until I know what those are, I can hardly plan a course of action.

I can however prepare myself for the kind of family life I want to have. I can arm myself with knowledge and do what I think is best for us. The rest will just have to fall into place, however that shall be.

Apparently the proximity I'm getting to her arrival is increasing my loquacious nature......

My 30th Week of Pregnancy...sweat and tears....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Well with 31 weeks a mere hour and 40 mins away, I thought what a better time to start posting about the last week in pregnancy. Up until now, mostly, this preggoness has been uneventful. And that's GOOD, the last thing you want are events in your pregnancy. Those never end well (unless it's one of those orgasmic dream type events but that's not where I'm going with this).

The best case scenario has so far been my life .No morning sickness, no extreme fatigue, no high blood pressure and no proteins in my urine (I swear the midwives have me do that JUST to satisfy this never ending urge I still have to pee on sticks). I don't have gestational diabetes, I can still see my toes, and so far I've had no nasty exit  or non-exit, issues if you know what I mean (and if you don't, you've clearly never been pregnant and you probably don't need to know the details yet). But this week, things are changing. None of the above have happened, I have not regressed to morning sickness, and my toes are still all there, but I DO suddenly notice that I am 7something months pregnant (who the hell KNOWS how pregnant they are, with all the weeks and days and that 2 week "you're not pregnant but we count you as pregnant even though you haven't even had SEX yet" part of pregnancy that fuk's everything mathy up...not to mention that this whole thing is in fact 10 months long, and not 9...thanks to whatever male OBGYN genius who tried to pull the wool over our eyes on that one).

So anyway, let's see, what's new this week:

1 - My sore ass. We already know all about that, but it's still new. I hadn't really noticed anything ass related until now, but this last week, my tail bone is aching and my sciatic nerve is wound up tighter than the buns you see on ballet dancers (and I'm so not talking about THEIR asses). I learned today from my chiropractor that this is a result of my widening ass (oh yippee), which is due to my daughters growth (good girl). And this is causing the sexy preggo-waddle (finally, this is definitely been on the "can't wait" list pfft) which makes my legs turn out, which tightens the sciatic nerve. Phew. That's my medical lesson for the day, so you can skip your daily dose of WebMD. All this ends in her telling me that the solution is a combination of stretches (check, I can stretch), regular visits to her (already done thanks), massages of the area (any excuse to get the hubs to massage sounds good to me) ANNNNNNNND lunges and squats...FTW? Lunges and SQUATS? Hello I know my ass is getting bigger but is this really necessary? Apparently it is, because it will strengthen my legs, which will stop said above issues. This baby better be cute because I do NOT squat or lunge for just anyone.

This week, I also learned how fun it was to type the word "ass".

2 - Hot flashes. Another lovely symptom this week. Many of my previous pregnant lady friends have told me about this. All of them in fact. Most of them have experienced the increased body temperature throughout their entire pregnancy, and many of them were jealous that I got to experience most of my journey in the winter. 2 issues with that. 1, it's Vancouver and winter we do not have (go Summer Olympics..err wait). It's 11 degrees out right now, at 10:45pm (that's 52 for my friends south of the border). Now this is unseasonably high, but that's beside the point because it's affecting ME and I said so. And 2, it does not freaking matter because the stores and offices still think it's freezing outside so they jack their heat anyway.

I wake up wet, with crunchy hair and a pool between my breasts. I walk the 2 blocks to work, tearing off my jacket before I've even locked the car, and wishing I could sit naked at my desk and have it be appropriate. I feel menopausal...well I mean, I feel like my mother looks when she has a hot flash. Maybe I should try sticking my head in the freezer...too bad it's on the bottom of the fridge and getting down on all 4's is probably just going to make me HOTTER. Being hot is new for me in general, and this is not one of those signs I even understand? Bigger ass sure, but more sweaty? Why?

3 - Tears. I've cried a total of 7 times already this week, which is 1 time per day if you're counting. Granted I did skip a day, but I made up for it by crying twice the next. And sometimes, it's about absolutely nothing at ALL. I cried uncontrollably for a good 10 minutes when I came home to the dogs bodily fluid trifecta (vomit, pee AND poo...he's having some anxiety issues which is it's OWN post) for the 5th time this week. Frustrating as fuk for very sure, but cry worthy, I think not. The other times have been about things that, well, I suppose could be cry worthy, but really, there were an unnecessary amount of tears involved.

4 - Frustration. Remember back up at the top of this post, where I said I'd had it pretty easy so far? Well the goddess of pregnancy karma has listened to me go on and on and on about how much I enjoy being pregnant and has delivered me her own special gift. And that's the gift of everything I thought was supposed to happen before now, happening now. I don't know how many things I've thrown at the wall this week, but even 1 is too many. At least I only threw the dog one time (no I DIDN'T geeze....but it crossed my mind as I was on hands and knees, scrubbing pee out of my grout). This frustration is usually what leads to the crying as mentioned above.

5 - Alien belly. I've totally seen her move before, and I love every minute of it. But this week I'm totally channeling Sigorne Weaver, and I keep expecting my offspring to tear out of my gut and onto the table. She's a busy bee in there, pushing and stretching and making it her personal mission to see to it my belly button never feels, nor looks, the same again. That thin little layer of skin between her and the outside world must look like a light at the end of the tunnel for her. And I sing a lot in the car, badly, so she's probably trying to plot her way out of there stat. And currently, it seems she considers the belly button her best bet. This is one of the best things to happen this week. I enjoy her moving around SO much, even when it's technically bedtime (I sense foreshadowing). Her favourite time to party is 4am, and her favourite guests are my bladder and my rib cage. At least she's making friends.

6 - Is it a bum? Is it a head? Is it a cheek? Who knows. But this week has marked a very clear progression towards discerning body parts through my belly. It started happening a few weeks back, but it was few and far between and there was NO way to know if I was touching a foot or a face. But NOW, I can definitely feel some rounded bits, and while I'm not sure if this is her bum or her head (never tell her this), I do know it's something more significant than an elbow. This is fun. It's fun because I am connecting with my daughter AND because I'm freaking out my husband. Double bonus.

That's it for brand new occurrences over the last 7 days. A lot of things remain the same - my lack of balance, the dance party on my bladder and my incessant hunger for all things apple and pancakes (oooooh I should TOTALLY make apple pancakes).

Stay tuned for next week, when we're SURE to cover more exciting pregnancy progressions....I bet you can't wait!

How YouTube helped solidify my choice to go for a natural childbirth!

Saturday, January 16, 2010
Well I've been watching the home birth videos on YouTube all morning, and I have to say, I'm less traumatized than I thought. I'm also shocked by the sheer volume of videos on there, and the selfless women who put themselves out there, so I have something to do in the early parts of a Saturday morning. It would never have occurred to me to look on YouTube for birthing videos, but who was I kidding? You can find anything on there, and I mean ANYTHING. Want to knit a suit for your cat? There's a video of someone doing that. Need to learn to play Baby Got Back on the acoustic guitar? There's a video for that too. Like the App store for your life and not your iPhone, if you need it the YouTube's got it. And sometimes it's disturbing, what people will do or post (I don't want to watch some girl demonstrate putting her clit ring in, I just don't...but I bet her mama's proud). I don't spend a lot of time on YouTube, but this is one instance where, it's helped me. So I'll put a check in the pro-YouTube column for this one.

Back to my point (why am I ALWAYS getting back to my point? Oh ya, because I write like I talk, too freaking much). I hesitated doing this for the last few weeks. I was afraid that watching other women go through labour and delivery would somehow scare me off the path towards natural child birth. I was afraid that I would see something graphic and frightening, that caused my cervix to fuse itself shut and demand I rethink this whole baby thing. I was worried that it would shake out the little bit of courage I've managed to muster thus far, and send me back to a puddle of self-doubt. I was worried that it would cause me to regress to the tender age of anytime before now, when I thought the best possible scenario was to be highly medicated, so you didn't even know what happened.

Because before I was ever the pregnant one, I didn't understand why you'd ever even START to consider a natural child birth. WHY would you do that to yourself when there are perfectly good drugs out there to be had? I'm a fan of getting a buzz (or let's just be honest, getting full on drunk) and I'm a fan of partaking in the BC bud that is in rampant supply around here, so why would I not hop on the drug train? I've sedated myself to get over one particularly bad break-up, I've sedated myself to handle the stress of a bad job, and I've sedated myself when things just got too hard to face. When the going get's tough, I tend to get all Ramones on life, and "I wanna be sedated". So why would labour be any different?

And let's get really honest here. I don't have ANY idea where this notion of natural birth came from in me. It's as unexpected to me as it is to those around me. ME, LABOUR? UNMEDICATED? You cannot be serious. Most people are still getting over the shock of me having a baby, let alone being able to handle the thought I want to do it all granola. But something has been telling me it's the right way to go. It's the approach I am meant to take. It's the way this baby wants to come into the world.

My hubs will tell you he doesn't believe in some sort of cosmic connection between a mother and her unborn baby, and I don't totally disagree. I mean, we both realize I'm bonding with this baby every moment she lives inside my body, and that her presence has had a profound effect on my life. But she's has an effect on his as well, and he's the one sitting on the outside. What he's getting at is the thought that her and I can actually communicate with each other in the way that us post-birth humans can. And he's right. My daughter did not send me a message, tell me she wants to go it au naturale and sway my thoughts. But something about being pregnant has lead me down that path, so I'm going to giver her some credit for it.

So how did YouTube help me start to believe this really is the path for me? Well, it showed me regular, everyday women, labouring and delivering with no medical intervention, and surviving through it. Not just cosmically connected hippy couples, channeling the power of the moon goddess while making plans to eat the placenta with a side of couscous. Just regular, everyday women, who wanted to try something against the norm in today's society.

There was the one woman who sang through all her contractions, and you could barely tell she was in pain (don't worry world, this is not a technique I will employ. We all know that me and singing are an ugly and lethal combination. Although, my daughter would probably opt for a quick entry into the world, if it meant stopping me). There was the other woman who, although in clear pain you could read on her face and in her body language, managed to smile between contractions. And not the fake "my crazy husband is taping me so I better put on a show" way, but in a way that indicated she was coping like a champ. There was the couple who joked and laughed the entire time, and went from 3-9 cm's without anyone noticing. And there were countless other women, who were just normal people, coping in various ways and making it through without any major catastrophes.

Of course there is pain, and you can see it. There is discomfort, and there are moments when they claim they cannot do it anymore. There a husbands with compassion and helplessness on their faces, and midwives and doula's standing strong, encouraging both partners equally throughout the process. But what there isn't is the sheer terror and fear you learn to expect from watching shows on TLC. There isn't a lot of screaming and profanities (not that it's silent in any way, it's just more productive noise). There aren't any doctors, with their hands up your vag, telling you you aren't progressing fast enough and making you feel like a failure. There were no beeping noises, fluorescent lights and gaudy hospital gowns to suck you so far out of your element you don't know who you are. There is none of that.

There are just strong, powerful women with the support of other strong powerful women, and empowered husbands with an understood purpose, bringing a life into the world. And they all did it, without any trouble.

Now a few things. I realize I hand selected the happy, non-complicated home births to watch, and there are a lot of things that can go awry and derail a plan. But I'm trying to empower myself, not scare myself, and that was a conscious choice. I also know that we will go to the hospital to deliver, even if we're labouring at home. At least at the Women's Hospital they have a hands off approach to women delivering with midwives, and only if we NEED assistance from a nurse or OBGYN, will we get it. So none of these sweet home births will be the same as ours. But the hospital videos are all medical ones, with epidural and pitocin drips, and that's not what we're going for either (this is a plea for more Canadian home labour/hospital delivery moms to post videos! Even if I'm too modest to do it). So I'm sticking with the home births. And they don't look that bad. They don't look easy, but I'm less frightened than I thought.

And that's how YouTube gave me just a little more confidence in my decision to go for a natural childbirth.

Bump Watch 2010...

Thursday, January 14, 2010
Ok technically, the bump watch started in 2009, but Bump Watch 2009-2010 just didn't have the same ring to it. I've been taking belly shots for the last 25 weeks and I have to say, things have changed. I'll spare you 25 photos, but I'll give you a brief look at the bump...and at what was once a nice flat tummy and is now a super lovely round and bumpy! I heart it. It contains my daughter. I'm sure it'll never go back to the summer of 09, but that's cool. I'll have something much better in the summer of 2010 (ugh I just can't get my head wrapped around calling it 0-10):

First Shot - Week 5:

We can skip Weeks 6-10, since there wasn't much a happening. But here we are, Week 11:

Somewhere around week 19, there appeared a bigger bloat:

And then from 19-22, she went bananas!:

And at Week 26, someone else actually NOTICED it was a baby (and not just a food baby!):

And here we are, at 30 weeks my friends! 10 more weeks of growing to go, OH MY!

If you look close, you can see the jumbo belly button...the one you could land planes on!

I think my ass is broken...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
No, not literally, it just feels that way. And no, this is not yet ANOTHER one of those posts where I delight you with a long story about falling down or otherwise hurting myself. It's not even one where I talk about the lack of exiting occurring from that region as a result of being pregnant, no, no it's not. It's a post where I talk about my first annoying pregnancy symptom. And that symptom is my broken ass.

I sit for a living. Well, that's not exactly true. No one is paying me for all the sitting, despite being insanely good at it, but what they are paying me for requires me to be in front of my computer all day. And that requires sitting. Over the last few weeks, I've noticed a mild amount of butt discomfort at various times. I assumed it was pregnancy related, but it was hardly bothersome so whateves. Well today, that's changed.

My tail bone is officially throbbing. And I mean, I've fallen on my ass WAY more times than I wish to remind it, so it's not a total shock nor is it a new feeling. I know what it means to damage your tail bone. What's different this time is the lack of falling. Sure when I slipped down the steps, landed square on my ass and ruined my jeans it sucked, but at least I knew why my ass hurt. Or when I thought roller blading would be a fun pass time (it's not) and almost killed myself and 2 ladies with strollers on the sea wall, and used my ass to stop myself, I knew then too. Or maybe the time I went snowboarding when it wasn't snowy (and I am a TERRIBLE snowboarder) and again, used my ass to stop...are you sensing a pattern here? I am a klutz, without an ounce of athleticism nor balance in my body. So a stranger to the pavement my butt is not. But today, even before lunch time, with my throbbing tail bone I couldn't help but wonder, have I started to sleep fall down? Cause I assume that is coming sometime in my life, but I thought it would at least wait until my dementia years.

But no, the hubs assured me I didn't get out of bed last night and use my ass to walk down the stairs, so it has to be pregnancy related. I assume with an extra 15 lbs. weighing heavily on it, and a life predominantly spent sitting on it, she was bound to break. That, or my ass is protesting the thought of pooping during labour, which is something both me and my ass have just started trying to come to grips with (and don't even get me started on the peeing).

So I sit her with my throbbing butt bone (notice I'm still sitting on it, cause not sitting on it, well, that would be like letting it win or something) and blame the pregnancy books and baby centre. In all the things they've told me, all the scare tactics and ass references, not one has related to a throbbing tail bone.

They've told me my ass would get bigger (it hasn't) or that I would get constipated (I haven't). They told me to expect hemorrhoids (I've got none) and to be aware of pregnancy farts (don't got those either). They told me all those things, but never once did they tell me about my tail bone pain. And so I blame them. I blame them for coming up with, at last count, 67,983 things to expect when I'm expecting and never once discussing the feeling of a broken ass.

I can't complain much, and world you can consider this my superstitious knock on wood that none of those things I've thus far avoided come flooding over me in these last 10 weeks. But regardless, my butt throbs and, short of creating some sort of hunch back, leaning over my desk to stand up and type all day, I've yet to come up with a solution. I could try the yoga ball in my office, but I see 2 problems with this. 1, these balls are used in labour and, I don't want to give my body any crazy ideas like this child is ready to come into the world (she's not ready and I am SO not ready). And 2, that I am a klutzy, unbalanced moron (see above) and the result will SURELY be that of me sliding forward and knocking my teeth out on the desk. And I anticipate labour being ugly as it is, with my sweaty frizz hair and a face which I'm sure will be even uglier than my cry face. I certainly don't need to add toothlessness to that situation.

So, I will either go out and buy a hemorrhoid pillow, and carry it around like on old lady (or someone whose just given birth because I've seen this happen before. But again with the not wanting to mislead my body), or I'll just suffer and whine about it.

I think I'll opt for option 2, seeing as I've been ridiculously lucky throughout this pregnancy and have had almost NO sympathy inducing moments to speak of. Sad as it may seem, I may milk this broken ass feeling to get some preggo sympathy. That and hope it simply goes away.

And for the record, this topic falls into WTH Wednesday.....

Misadventures in babysitting.....

Monday, January 11, 2010
So I am at my BFF's, and after watching her dear little 10 month old daughter for about an hour and 30 mins, and putting her to bed, I felt the need to talk about how useless I've just realized I am. First of all, I don't know how to entertain a 10 month old for longer than 30 seconds. But, that isn't exactly my biggest problem. My biggest problem is something that should be beyond simple, and that's changing the poor girl!

Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to change a 10 months old's clothes and diapers? Of course you do, you people aren't daft, but me, apparently I've got a LOT to learn.

She's just a baby. A cute, pudgy darling little baby, with a great big smile and thighs you just want to bite. You wouldn't think a 10 month old could shake my confidence to the core with a simple diaper and PJ change, but she did it. And she certainly didn't mean to. I brought her to her room and laid her on her change table. And then I looked at her and thought, ok now you just need to pull the t-shirt over her head. After what probably seemed to her like 300 hours of me trying to figure out if the button on the back of the shirt needed to come undone (it didn't. It's false. You know, decorative, cause that's not at all confusing) I finally pulled it over her head. Step 1 complete, and she's unscathed. Annoyed, but unscathed.

Next I have to remove her pants. Simple, right? Sure it is, if you're not a spazz but me, I had issues. I pulled and tried to get them off, one side down the other side still firmly under her butt. She's squirming and I'm trying to simultaneously hold her down so she doesn't squirm off the change table onto the floor, while lifting her butt. I am sure she looked at me and I saw her roll her eyes. She's a smart monkey, it wouldn't surprise me. But ok, pants off. Victory is mine! But she's wearing a onesie...oh dear not a onesie.

Unsnap the crotch, check. Did I mention she's got bitable thighs? Ya so she chooses NOW to faux-thigh master, clenching her thighs of steel together stronger than I could pull even if I wanted to (which I don't, I'm too afraid to hurt her). We struggle, she squirms, I feel stupider by the minute, I mean HONESTLY, her mother does this 5 times per day. Finally unsnapped, I've got to now pull said onesie over her head AND free her arms from it's long sleeves. I need a manual. Which do I do first? Arms? Head? No matter what I do, it's not going to end well. I am sure she could do this on her own by now, but poor kid, she's stuck with me.

Finally, I FINALLY free her from her clothes. Now we're down to the diaper. I can do this She's mad at me, but it's ok. I know I can soon soothe her with a bottle and a book, and really, she's not been hurt, just suffered the stupidity of her aunt. I'm sure that's why she is mad. She can't believe that I could have this much trouble. And I know she was secretly sending baby messages through my womb to her soon to be BFF, telling her to STAY IN THERE, cause this woman is hopeless and she's at least naked in utero.

Removing the diaper was fairly uneventful. By now she's been on the table for what seems to both of us like an eternity, and she's done. She's flipping and squirming and yelling at me. And now, I have to put the clothes back on. I HAVE TO PUT THEM BACK ON. I think I should buy her something pretty for enduring the epic bedtime change with me. Honestly. And I guess since normally, her dad bathes her in the middle of the process, by virtue of me skipping that (I'm honestly petrified of putting her in the water...I'm just not comfortable with bathing a baby so I got a free pass), it was extra torture.

As she lay there, I realize the PJ's are all snaps, which is awesome since it means no pulling anything over her head or feeding her appendages through any holes. What's not awesome is, she's on the table, and I've got to get this thing under her. Why don't I have 3 arms? I need 3 arms, how is any of this possible without 3 arms? Why weren't we born with 3 arms?

I scoop her up, fling the PJs down and put her on top. And now, well now it's me against 37 snaps and a squirmy babe.

I won't even go into detail about how many times I mis-snapped them but, by this time she's given up on getting to bed and has started to just yell and suck her blanket, I am sure she assumed she'd be sleeping on that change table, since I was clearly going to take an eternity to do up a few snaps. She gave up, and mental noted to herself to talk to her mother when she learns words, and tell her mama not to leave her with this crazy lady who doesn't know how a shirt works. Finally, we are done. I should have started her bedtime routine much earlier because I am sure that in the entire course of time, it's never taken anyone that long to get a baby ready for bed.

When it's bottle and story time and the rest of the night goes fairly smoothly. I guess one thing we can say is that, if you want a baby to just roll over and go to sleep, give them a reason to want to get as far away from you as possible. Just call me, I have a knack.

This does not bode well for my baby girl. And this is not the first time this has happened. I had a very similar experience with my niece when she was new, only my sister couldn't take it and jumped in 30 seconds into the disastrous scene I was making. I am hoping this is again, one of those things that you learn when you have your own child.

I seem to be hoping for a lot of that these days. Like as if, shortly after cutting the cord your body is filled with all this maternal instinct and motherly know how. As if I will suddenly stop being a spazz, a klutz and a moron, and clearly and calmly know exactly how to approach these situations. As if becoming a mom is so easy.

Every time I watch someone else's child, I leave that experience envious of my friends. They are all so with it. They KNOW what they are doing, their kids are behaving, entertained, clothed and fed, and none of them seem to have arms out of the socket in order to accomplish that. And me, I'm a mess.

So dear baby, I hope that there really is some sort of "on" button the midwives will push for me, that will suddenly have me knowing what to do with you, and not floundering around like an idiot. Because although there was no harm to my little friend today, she was only exposed to me for 1.5 hours. And you my darling, well you've got your entire LIFE to deal with this.....

Only on the hospital tour did I realize, I'm having a baby!

Sunday, January 10, 2010
Ok so it's been a week since I've been on here, and my last post was full of whiny nonsense. So I promise not to  do that again for at least another week...who wants to read my whining, really? I've had some ideas for posting over the last few days, but a series of incidents have left me unable to oblige. Some of these things are personal and also, not that interesting so I won't make you endure hearing about things I don't think deserve my time. Most of these things are work and socializing related. The work part makes me angry, how dare it get in my way. The social part? Well that's ok. I have some great friends and spending time with them is something I not only crave, but truly enjoy.

As usual, I am making no sense and have no point.

On to what I did want to talk about, and that's the hospital tour I went on yesterday. Now, I know this tour is hardly a baby delivering necessity, and I really hadn't planned on having one at all. However, my doula is a relatively new doula, and having not delivered at that hospital before, her mentor (also know as her backup doula) wanted to give her the doulas eye view of how it works. And since I wanted to meet the backup doula, and help my doula out, I decided to go and be her first client tour. Plus, this woman is about to get quite intimate with all my lady parts, and watch me do things I can't yet imagine so, any extra time with her is considered a benefit. So ya, I get that you can have a baby without touring the hospital, but I thought, what the heck?

Now, the first thing we did was enter through admissions, view the assessment rooms, meet some nurses blah blah blah. I think this would be interesting and informative for MOST people, however, just a short 16 months ago, my mother and I camped out in that very area of that very hospital for oh, somewhere around 27 hours. You see, my niece came early, but not TOO early. Early enough that my sister was "high risk" and they would not let us into the regular delivery rooms, but not early enough that they would stop her labour. Early enough that they wouldn't let her get up and walk around in case she encouraged labour, and early enough that after 38 hours they were unwilling to give her anything to help her along. So we sat, and we waited, in the assessment area, for 27+ hours. Until they moved her into the high risk delivery area, because they were finally convinced she was in labour. Apparently she doesn't do labour like most, so they weren't sure....we didn't realize there was a preferred protocol, but that's another story.

And you might wonder why my mother and I found it necessary to stay there for the entire time, but that's probably because you don't really know me. That's just how my family works, well my mom, sister and I anyway. No way was I letting my baby sister sit there alone, scared or bored for one moment, and neither was my mother. That is not how we operate. So we hung out, let her husband have some much needed time off (to go home and feed the dog, take care of his diabetes, have a mental break so when the real work came he'd be ready). We played cards, ate crappy $12 sandwiches and learned how to watch the monitors and unhook them so my sister could pee. We sat on the concrete floor (ok I let my mama have the labour ball, and I sat on the floor) and I'm pretty sure my ass still has a flat spot. But we stayed, as long as we could (with a 1 nights break to gorge on pizza and get 3 hours sleep) and we waited. Waited until it was actual go time, then opted out of that part. That's not something she wanted us there for, and I thank her. I think labour is one thing, but delivery is something else. And it should be personal, and private.

All in all, it was a 38 hour hospital stint, but only 2.5 hours of active labour and a happy, healthy 6 week early baby girl.

So ya, to say I am familiar with that hospital is probably an understatement, but this time it's different. This time it's ME coming through those doors, panic stricken with a human trying to spring forth from my body and a dizzy husband running in circles. And this time, when I leave, I will not have a flat ass but I WILL have a small helpless life form who relies on me. So I figured a refresher can't hurt.

What I DIDN'T see before, were the actual birthing suits in the "you're having a pretty average labour" department upstairs. And of the 5 people I've known to have babies recently, 3 were born there but none were classic text book style, so I'm not sure anyone get into those rooms. And if they did, the rest of their labour was so complex that I've yet to ask them about their surroundings at the time. Instead I've just been forever grateful that all their daughters left that place in excellent condition...even if my friends left a little beat up. But hey, no one said labour was easy.

Back to the suites, they are quite luxe. With HUGE deep bathtubs, the kind that, if I had one in my house I might consider using, and showers, CD players, beds for me AND the hubs. If it wasn't for the beige colours and all the tubes and medicinal looking things around, it would almost feel like a sweet hotel room. There is a bassinet for the babe, and even a skylight. I could see being comfortable there. I mean, it's really not what I expected. I expected 4 walls, a bed and a toilet, and there is much more. And with the midwife and the doula, we can actually make it even BETTER, by adding some chosen music and turning down the lights.

Now, I said, I can see being comfortable there, and that's true. It's true in the "I anticipate this won't be the worst place ever" type way. And not in the, I can actually SEE myself there kind of way. I realized yesterday, I cannot see myself doing this at all.

I mean, she's got to come out. And I'd much prefer to deliver her as nature intended, rather than to have a c-section - chosen or emergency. But to actually envision ME in that room, her making her way out, is just unfathomable at this point. I assume (pray, hope, beg) that this will change, and that as things near I will be able to visualize it happening, so I can prepare myself. But for right now, I can't do it. Like I said, I've had many a friend do it. quite a few of which have done it in the last year or so, and they've all survived. And while they've given me infinite details about it, none of them have indicated it was not manageable or that they were in a great panic. And if they can do it (not to mention a bazillion other women over the course of the world), I must be able to.

I am not even that SCARED per se. I mean that's a lie, the anticipation is killing me and if I let myself think too much about the process itself, it causes a certain level of anxiety. But I am not scared that I will fail or that it will be too much, it's just such an unknown. And standing in that room yesterday, looking at the bed and listening to the doula go over all the things in the room, and what we can use them for, I realized that soon, like within 3 months soon, I'm going to actual have to be in there for real. And I about pooped my pants.

No, not literally, but we can add that to the list of things I've heard that can happen in labour, that are already freaking me out.

I just, it's becoming more real to me now. I am so much closer to delivery than I am to conception, so much closer to holding my daughter in my arms than in my womb, and so much closer to having to go through the entire labour process, than just through the pregnancy.

And I LOVE being pregnant. I know, I am still only just shy of being 7 months along and the last 4-6 weeks are supposed to be the hardest, but so far, it's been great. I love feeling her and knowing she's in there (and HATE when she get's all like her dad and lazes out for a day, causing me to poke at her incessantly until she hits me back). And I am a little sad about this ending. More so I'm excited to meet her, but there is this entire labour thing that stands in the way. And I just cannot visualize myself doing it.

The plan (loose, very loose, very very loose) plan is to try to do this naturally as well. And for the one person I know out there, who is reading this and thinking "well aren't you special, you think you're so tough" you can stuff it. This is not me sitting on my high horse (sorry to the rest of you peeps for my digression but you know, blogging gets you in hot water sometimes, mostly for no reason), this is me thinking why not give it a go. If it doesn't work, if it's worse than I can imagine, if the pain is unbearable and I want to be medicated, you better believe I'll do it. But after looking at the epidural information out there and learning about that, I've developed an unhealthy fear of epidurals. And I don't need anything else to be afraid of right now. I don't like the idea of a giant needle in my spine, and I don't like the idea of being paralyzed from the waist down, catheter in my pee hole, strapped to my bed. Everything I've read leads me away from using one, but hey this is now, and 4 contractions in I could be singing a WHOLE other tune...probably a loud one, riddled with the word fuk and noises best reserved for wildlife, but we'll see.

And I guess I shouldn't say I want it to be natural, because I think that's misleading. I don't want to go the epidural route if I can avoid it, but I suspect I'll be sucking down the laughing gas like it's oxygen. I mean, sure I'll avoid that TOO if I can, but let's not get crazy here and give it all up right away.

I still have a lot of learning to do. I have child birth classes to attend, DVDs to watch and my doula and midwives to talk to. I have to go through the plan with the hubs and make sure he's on board. I have to wrap my head around the physical power this is going to take, and start to really believe my body can do it. Because if I can't do that, I might as well give up right now.

But in all this thinking about it, the scary part is I STILL can't see myself doing it. And maybe this is one of those things, because I have absolutely no frame of reference, I can't envision. Maybe I won't ever be able to, and I'll just have to live it and experience it. Which is probably the case. Too bad I'm so A-Type that this in and of itself stresses me out. I want to plan, I want to prep, I want to know what I'm headed for. I want to imagine myself in labour, so I know what to expect. I want all these things but, I think I'm just going to have to suck it up. Because in all honesty, it might not be possible.

And maybe, just maybe, that's for the better...?

My K9 has no canines, and other whiny pregnant ladyness...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I have had one of those days that just makes you want to give up. You know, pack your shit, check yourself into somewhere with padded walls, and resign yourself to eating tasteless broth and applesauce for the rest of your life, taking comfort in that fact that at the very least, you will be strongly medicated until you die. But this is the easy way out, and if I was going to take the easy way with anything you think I would have started by now.

It's not that today was particularly catastrophic. In fact, compared to a lot of other days I have, this one was a piece of cake. But something about being almost 7 months pregnant, and slowly losing my ability to do it all no matter what, is wearing heavy on my last nerve. And my eyelids. I swear I'm aging by the minute, and it pisses me off, because quite frankly I was convinced for a long time that I would remain that fresh faced 20 year old forever. I've seen old people, lots of them, and thought to myself "I bet she was pretty", followed by "I'm never going to look like that". I always KNEW I would, but when you're still all shiny and new, with a vacant uterus that's never seen more than the odd cyst, and no concept of the graphic nature of child birth, these things are easy to say. And then you get pregnant, and well, it's all down hill from there.

No not REALLY. I am sure I am going to LOVE being a mother, and will wear proudly the battle scars from becoming one. But right now, today, I'm exhausted and cranky, not to mention hormonal, so I'm allowed to whine about the havoc that's being wreaked on my body. Even if it's not the reason I've had such a day from all hell.

First off, it's the Hubs birthday today. And this does not make my day suck. In fact, it should be a great day full of love and gift showering and all the things I want and expect on my birthday. However, I did not get my post-Christmas self together fast enough to do any of that, and took a selfish pass on the whole thing. We will go out for dinner here shortly, and we are getting together with close friends on Friday to celebrate. But gift I do not have. For several reasons, the least of which is the fact that I have $23.97 in my bank until Friday, and he does not need any flashlight key chains from the dollar store. The other reason being, he wants a new laptop and I've given him the green light to use some of the joint savings to cover some of that cost. So I figure in a roundabout way, I'm contributing. And the biggest and most important reason is, of course, the small child currently jamming her foot into some organ I didn't know I had. I'm giving him the gift of life, see, so what if it'll be 3 months later than his birthday? I started creating this gift a whopping 6.5 months ago, so there. A soon to be crying, pooping, helpless little girl who will turn his hair grey and probably grow up to be just as sassy to him as I am. And I don't think there is a better gift around.

The second suckatacular reason for today's whinefest (and the Hubs lack of a gift) is that, my dog had dental surgery today. I don't know if you saw my post about the Top 10 Things that make me happy but, he's #1. So today, I took him to the vet, where they sedated him heavily and removed, not 1, not 2 but 6 teeth from his tiny little head. That's right, my crazy little monkey is SO hard on his teeth, what with hanging from tree branches and carrying driftwood larger than his mother around, that he's cracked, broken or otherwise damaged his teeth to epic proportions. He is no longer a dog as far as I can tell, because my K9 has no more canine teeth left. Yup, they took all 4, and a molar, and 2 incisors just for fun. Oh joy. This has relieved me both of guilt free puppy mamahood, and approximately $1200. I took him in this morning, hugged his happy little face so close, gave him a big kiss and bawled. I bawled because one time I read of another Boston Terrier, who was over sedated and died on the operating table, and it's all I can think about. Damn internets. I bawled like a crazy person and the little dude at the front desk must have thought I was insane. Too bad my winter coat covers up the bump, or maybe I could have passed it off as that? The good news is, he's awake and well, so despite putting me in the poor house, he's perfectly fine and I am VERY relieved.

Suckfest # 3 (and I am listing these in the order in which they occurred, and not which suckniess sucked more than the other suckinesses), is that we had to resume the epic office move from hell today. Shortly before Christmas (Dec 21 to be exact) we tried to move from one too small office to another slightly less than too small office. Packed we were, ready to go on the preceeding Friday, only to get a phone call that the new office had flooded. FLOODED, with POO water. Everywhere. POO WATER. Ugh. The saving grace being that we had no possessions to be ruined, the kick you in the shins shitfest being, we also had no office, no server and no ability to get mail or function. We also happen to have  work for 57 people and 12 bodies to do it all, so no ability to simply throw our hands up and say "oh well it's the Holidays". So, we crammed an entire office into 1 room of this new office, and after 9 treacherous hours of moving crap, we were only part way done. You can imagine my joy when they told me we could move full in today, because that meant MORE office moving. Super duper. The entire thing has been fraught with insanity, from a lack of connections and phones (and if I cannot tweet from my desk about how annoying my movers smell, then how will I survive?) to the flood, to the bitchy other pregnant lady who works in the office next door, and is subletting this space to us. So ya, moving offices sucks. Period. The end.

So to top today off, I had to attend my grandmothers funeral. And while it may seem trite to put her at the end of this list of things that made today a tough one, it's simply because that was the last thing to happen today and because I have no bitching to do about her or her funeral. It did not ruin my day, and I do not resent having to go. I only resent not having more time, patience and energy to give her the me she deserved today. She died on Christmas day, after a short (well long if you count the fact this was her coming out of remission after 25 years) battle with lung cancer (thumbs up to the fuktards smoking outside at her wake, way to go geniuses). And because of the holidays, we have not buried her until now. My ragingly dysfunctional family (to give you some insight, she's my stepdad's step mother, and his two step brothers were there with their step children, so none of us are really technically related to anyone else), were out in fine form. And not even for one day, could they all suck it up, stop being so selfish and let her be buried in peace. We weren't always that close, grandma and I, but she took me in when I was 3 years old, her stepsons girlfriends daughter, and treated me like I was her own flesh and blood. And caring like that cannot go unrecognized. And today, she was laid to rest beside my grandfather, who passed 6 years ago. And I think, she's probably the happiest she's been in those 6 years to be with him again.

And that is the day I had today. I realize this is not exactly uplifting or too pregnancy specific, but I had to let it out somewhere. I promise to get back to my regularly scheduled insanity first thing tomorrow, when we hit 29 weeks and I try to see if I can put on my pre-preggo pants...you know, for shits and giggles :D I anticipate a lot of shits, and not so many giggles but, we shall see.

Pushing the Pretty Pushers

Monday, January 4, 2010
Ok, so awhile back I posted about these awesome things, Pretty Pushers, which I learned about on Dear Baby.

So I ordered 3 sets. Only 1 is for me, 2 are for friends. Though, that's not to say it didn't cross my mind to have a wardrobe change once or twice throughout the process. I mean, people tell me it might take like, 24+ hours, so why not keep myself fresh? But I decided against it. Both because I don't have the money for such things, and because I'm sure mid-labour I'll be lucky to be wearing any clothes, let alone changing (but I WILL be thinking about it...especially when photographs are involved!). So anyway. they came awhile ago, but since I've been sick, busy, moving offices and gestating a human, I haven't had a chance to post about them.

But here I am, posting them.

Now, my photography skills are more than lacking. The hubs bought me an awesome camera last year, and if I had the patience of even an 8 year old, I'd of figured out the tricks by now. But instead, I just go on "Auto" and let it tell me what it needs to do. I don't always agree, but who the hell am I to question my Canon?

Anyway, here is it, in not as much glory as it should be.

They arrived in a giant box, and inside that box there were 3 other awesome boxes. Exhibit A:

I bought a purple, a blue and a stripes, so I found the stripes one (and these boxes were nice and labeled so the other 2 are still completely in tact. I LOVE places that pay attention to the importance of packaging). And inside, I found my Pretty Pusher gift set. And again, loving the presentation!! Exhibit B:

And then I looked closer. You'll notice a lip gloss WITH mirror, some warming massage oil (hello back rub from the hubs, or the doula if he's passed out), and the refreshing lemon scented wipes.  Exhibit C:

And then I tore the box open as fast as I could  And then I carefully opened the beautiful package to find my Pretty Pusher inside. Notice the matching headband, because hello, who needs to worry about her bangs during labour? OR her headband not matching exactly. As if. Exhibit D:

So then it was time to try it on. Um, after 15 mins or so of me trying to figure out where my head goes (for your future reference, it goes through the head hole. You know, the one at the top with the halter? But see, there are all these ties and things and I confuse easily at the best of time, let alone when I'm excited!), I was in! These photos are horrible. They are of me, so strike 1, in poor lighting, so strike 2, in my sorry excuse for a full length mirror, strike 3. So don't hold it against the Pretty Pusher. The dress is what they are referring to, not the wearer HA. Exhibit E:

Openings for monitors and other medical type things that are used (and a giant belly button, where planes could land):

The back (and the hardest photo to get), which is low, so you can get your epidural in there (if you're having one) and not have to give up your fashionista style! Mind my bra, I'm one of those people with small tata's who is afraid to go braless, like it would matter:

And last but not least, my super svelte side profile:

So, that is that. So far my review is that this thing is AWESOME. It's nicer than I expected even. The material is thicker and softer than I expected for the price I paid, and the packaging and presentation were seriously above and beyond what I expected.

I highly recommend this as a gift for any fashionista in mommy training. I think they are a lot of fun. And while certainly not a labour necessity, they are one of those special little somethings that will help make the frantic insanity of delivery day that much more enjoyable. Pretty Pushers get a 10 from me....stay tuned for my post labour follow-up, when I test them out, in action!

Pretty Pushers website it here!

*as an aside, I bought and paid for all 3 sets of Pretty Pushers, at no special deal. This review was done solely for personal reasons, because when I love something I want to share it. I was in no way compensated for said warm fuzziness.

Happy 101 - I got an award!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010
I did I did I did!!!! The Mommyologist has to be like, one of the sweetest blogger ladies I've met so far! This is the second time she's bestowed upon me a lovely little award, and I could not appreciate it more. No really. When I saw her in my inbox this morning I was SO excited. And I hope she's well aware of just how much it means to me. Someone recognized me, for serious. And I couldn't be more overjoyed. It feels so special to know someone out there thinks highly enough of this little old blog to share awards. It makes me feel that there is a purpose to this, other than to hear myself talk (or I guess that's type?), and of course to keep me out of the loony bin.

So here it is, in all it's shiny glory:

So, here is the deal with this award, once received you are charged with the task of listing out 10 things that make you happy. It's easy peasy, and a GREAT way to start the New Year. It is also a great way for me to stay on track with my resolutions, which simply relate to me enjoying my life more.

So here it goes, and in no particular order. I'm not very orderly and if you asked me to rank these, I would shrivel up an die. So they are coming out of my head, in random spastic order, like everything else I post :D

1 - My dog. I know, a strange place to start, but of course he's laying here beside me on the couch, snoring and snuggling under the blanket and I cannot deny how much I love him. He's my fur baby and the first animal I've ever loved in such an unhealthy manner. I got him almost 6 years ago when he was just a brand new baby bean. His name is Tuker (like Tucker and NO I didn't spell it WRONG, I chose to spell it that way). He is a Boston Terrorist, I mean Terrier and he's 100% insane. He's a lot like me. He cannot focus, he gets separation anxiety and on occasion, I catch him sniffing his fingernails. He's my first bundle of joy, and no matter how totally crazy he is (and he IS completely bonkers) I love him more everyday. Even on the days where I come home to a giant pile of puppy puke and eaten up baseboards....I may get annoyed but deep down, I know it's only because he missed his mommy so much. I am SO glad he cannot talk because this dog knows more of my deep dark secrets than anyone should. He's always there for me, he loves me unconditionally and he never ever makes me feel bad about myself. Even when I forget to feed him. He's my monkey, my baby, my snugglebunny, my Tuker Tuxeedo:

2 - My niece. I know, seems weird that she follows the dog, but like I said, I am random. Also, she's younger than him and thus has been part of the love in my heart for a shorter period of time. She was born on September 14, 2008 an entire 6 weeks before she was due. She was fine, she just knew my mom and I could throw a kick ass party and she did not want to miss her baby shower. She is probably the cutest and most hilarious child ever to be born, and I'm totally not biased. She's so cuddly and so happy, and I just want to eat her up. If it was acceptable to squeeze a baby until their eyes popped, it would have been done several times already. She is the reason I got hard core on the baby train, and she really gassed up my biological clock. I hope my daughter is as happy and carefree as my Teegan Alexis, because this kid is truly amazing:

3 - My new house. Again, these are totally random, so while I do love the house less than my dog and my niece, I don't love it more than whatever follows (and I am totally doing this list on the fly so who knows what those will be anyway?). It's a 100 year old, 4 story house with a bit of a chip on it's shoulder. We had to put on a new roof a few short months after moving it. We also painted the flesh coloured walls a series of fun colours, and my main floor is now predominantly a rich, bright purple, a deep sexy grey and a bright grassy green. And I'm talking a lot of purple. The second floor is full or red, blue and teal, with some grey to calm it down. When I was younger my first apartment looked like Rainbow Bright threw up, but we've done it in a more sophisticated manner this time. Since moving in, we've also had to replace the furnace AND hot water tank, and have had to deal with being landlords for the first time. It's not perfect yet, and it may never be. But we're not perfect either, so what can you do? It is the home we're making, it's where my daughter will spend the first part of her life, and where we will become a family. One day I hope to be as with it as my mother or sister, and have a nice clean house all the time but, let's be realistic, it won't happen. I'll just continue to spot clean and make people think I've got it all together. Here she is, pre new shiny black roof:

4 - Friends. Nothing makes me happier than friends. I've got some from high school that I miss everyday. Even though we only live 40 mins apart, this life is so busy and we definitely do not see each other enough. However, 2 of them have children already and 2 are pregnant and due just after me, so 2010 promises to be a year I get to see them more. And then there is my BFF, who I met in university and who I could not live without. I'd of never married my husband, got pregnant or bought a house if I didn't know her. That might seem stupid but it's true. She's the support and love I've relied on in my formative adulty years, and without her sense of reason, our Thursday night dates (6 years strong) and her way of making me see things from a different perspective, I'd of never made it this far and remained as almost sane as I am. And then I've got some friends I just met last year (actually, we're coming up on our friend-a-versary very shortly here!!!) who've made a huge difference in my life. They are the type of people who you meet and who instantly treat you like they've known you your whole life. Without them, this last year would have been infinitely harder. Then there are a handful of others, who positively impact my life every day. I could go on for pages and pages about my friends but the bottom line is this, finally at almost 30 years old, I've managed to weed out the people who suck time and energy but don't provide anything in return, and surround myself with only the people who truly love and appreciate me. It's been a great year in friendship. A lot of them are missing from this photo, but we had a pajamarama in adult sized onsies this year (with FEET), and any excuse I can use to talk about it I'm all over:

5 - My mother. My mother is and will always be my best friend. At the age of something just slightly over 50, she has more fun than a lot of 30 somethings out there. She exercises more than a reasonable person should (seriously she's got like, 4 gym memberships), keeps an impeccable house, cooks like a maven and does it all with a smile. She makes me laugh more than anyone I've even known, and inspires me to just relax and enjoy life. I can tell her anything, and I want to tell her everything. I don't think we've had more than 2 fights, even in my formative years. She's been the best mother a person could hope for. She never judges you, she never second guesses you, and she'll drop any and everything in an instant if you need her. I can't wait to give her another granddaughter, to teach and love and hang out with. I hope my daughter can learn from her as much as I have. I love my mom and just thinking about her makes me smile, no matter what!

6 - Vacations with my hubs, those make me insanely happy. We love road trips, and seeing new places. And though he hates to fly and it creates an insane amount of pre-vacay anxiety, we've had some amazing times in the last 5 years. We've been twice to Hawaii, we've driven down the entire coast to San Fransisco, then flew back there just this last year. We've visited the island on numerous occasions, to just enjoy the simplicity of the cabin. Everything from day trips to full on, pack your bag vacations, taking time out of our lives to travel and spend time together truly makes me happy. Something about the vacation us is so refreshing. We don't stress, we don't argue and we don't worry about small things like leaky faucets or stupid jobs. We just laugh at our mishaps, and carry on our merry way. Vacations with my husband, be them for a day or 2 weeks, are one of the best things in life!!

7 - My little sister. Granted I tried to give her away to the milkman when she was first born (I'd gone 6 whole years as an only child, then spent 3 months with my mom, eating peanut buster parfaits and laying in the sun...then along she came and ruined it all...so sue me for sticking her outside on the door step and hoping the milk man would take her). We didn't always love each other as much as we do now. Well, that's a lie, When I was 13 and she was 7, she adored me but I thought she was annoying. Of course, the tables turned when I hit 21 and she was only 15 and she told me I was passed my prime. After working out all the silliness (and all in all, it was VERY minimal. We've always been great friends) she's one of the most important people to me. I never thought I wanted more than 1 child, but I cannot deny how wonderful and important my sister is to me, and I would hate to deny my daughter that same experience. My sister is so much like me and so different from me it's confusing. I love her, and I am so proud of the woman, wife and mother she has become. I look up to her, even if she is 6 years younger:

7 - The hubs. I can't do a top 10 things that make me happy without talking about the hubs. Now, he also infuriates me to no end and I spend many a moment shaking my head at him. But fundamentally the things that make me shake my head are the things that make me love him. We're so different it's hard to imagine we could be together. I'm so A-type, go go go and he's so B-type take it slow. It's good for me since I can talk anyone in circles, but bad for him since he gets almost no word in ever. He's patient with my insanity, and he takes care of me in silly little ways. He goofs off, he plays music, he makes video games and above anything else, he love me. He really, truly loves me more than I could even hope to be loved by anyone. It makes me happy to think someone could appreciate the bizarre insanity that is me, and still continue to love it. I'm not going to go on some sappy tangent of "he's my heart, my soul mate, my love" because that's not us. But he is all those things, just in a less sappy way :D

8 - The bump. She makes me happy. I know that in 3 short months, my bump will be a baby (well, I assume the bump will remain for awhile after that, but it will no longer contain my daughter). I love the way I feel her hiccups (even in strange places), I love to feel her move from the inside, and feel her move from the outside. I love that I can be connected to someone I've never seen or met, and be so in love with someone that's only been introduced to me through the wonders of medical technology. It get's a little bigger every day, and people are actually starting to notice her!! I love my bump, and I'll miss it when it's gone. Being pregnant has been a wonderful, exciting and amazing experience, something I never knew I'd enjoy so much. My bump, the Hubs calls her Sarah Jessica Barker, my BFF calls her Herm. I call her lots of things, but mostly I call her my heart:

9 - Ok, I'm done with the sappiness and onto some not too personal things that make me happy. So let's call number 9 shoes. And not just shoes, but shoes, sandals, boots, pumps, flats, whatever they are, they make me happy. One of the biggest challenges ever was finding the right ME shoe for our wedding. They make me smile, they make me feel sexy and fashionable, they are part of my everyday life. I heard somewhere that your feet can grow an entire size during pregnancy, and never go back. And THAT is so much more scary than the idea of a stretch mark. On last count I had close to 40 pairs, but if you include flipflops, and add the ones I bought since we moved, I'd guess we've crossed the 50 mark. But don't tell the hubs. The wedding shoes:

10 - hmn, last but not least, what can I choose? Somewhere between all things teal and aqua coloured, and things I can cram in my face. I love teal and blue, and anything that colour makes me happy. I am insanely obsessed with peacock feathers, and will buy anything made of them. But let's not make that #10. Let's make food and wine #10. And not just the physical consuming of said things, but the entire social aspect that relates to food. I love shopping for food, preparing food and consuming it. I love having parties, where I've put out a great spread and everyone enjoys eating and drinking. I take photos of food when the hubs and I go on vacation, or when we're at a birthday party. I almost enjoy prepping and serving food more than I enjoy eating it, but that's irrelevant. And I can't deny that I also love the wine and beer we can pair with food. I am no Coors Light girl. I drink fancy, fruity micro-brews, and taste test anything different that I can (thanks to the hubs). Obviously, the drinking has taken a back seat to my eating lately, but I love them both equally. So maybe it makes this 10 & 11, but I figure we'll call it all consumables, and leave it at that.

So there are 10 things that make me infinitely happy. Thank you to The Mommyologist, for giving me this award, and this opportunity to reflect on 10 things that make me happy!

Happy New Year!!!!