Nothing Like A Kick In The Ribs

If the calculations regarding my pregnancy are accurate, I have about 44 days left until I evict this baby from inside my womb and give my little kiwi a new place in my arms. I am anxious, I am excited, I am wracking my brain trying to figure out if I have everything I need to get us through at least the first couple months without us going completely insane and feeling overwhelmed.

I look at all these other mommies preparing and can’t help but think I am falling behind. I don’t have a huge stock-pile of onesies, I don’t have enough diapers hidden away to get me through the year. I haven’t bought a lot of the “essentials” thinking I will get it after next weekend. Next weekend is my baby shower and I figure I can take stock of everything I get from all my friends and family and go from there.

Yet, that doesn’t bring any sense of relief. My mind is still telling me I am waiting too long to prepare and that before I know it, I will be overwhelmed, under-prepared and wishing I had taking a huge jump forward on this whole mommy thing.

After going to the hospital last week, and seeing a lot of women, not even as far along as I am giving birth, I find myself thinking that at this point it is just the luck of the draw. This baby will come whenever it wants and whether or not I am prepared. That is a terrifying thought.

In the past few weeks, I have noticed a rise in movement. In the beginning, Kiwi would be still in the mornings. Movement would start up around 4:00pm-5:00pm and then die down again until around 10:30pm and then it would be a party in my uterus until around 2:00am (which has my husband convinced we will have more sleepless nights than restful ones). Lately though, it is around the clock. All the kicks are big and dramatic, I can see Kiwi squirming around in there, transforming the whole shape of my stomach. Not to mention, the space in my ribs seems to be a popular hang-out spot.

Insert dramatic crying face here.

Those kicks and punches to the ribs are disorienting, to say the least. They feel crippling at times. Each strategically placed kick has me writing another line on the eviction notice for this little Kiwi.

I keep joking with myself, telling myself that since baby is all nestled in there and unable to give me a kick in the butt to start getting moving, start preparing for the new addition to our family, I am getting a swift kick in the ribs. Repeatedly… for hours… until I am near tears and asking myself why I wanted to go through pregnancy in the first place.

Alright baby, I hear you.

Checklist: Pack the hospital bag, finish up the nursery space for our little one, actually buy a box of diapers and wipes… oh you know, act like I actually have a baby on the way in a month and a week.

Okay, I get it.

Now, stop kicking the crap out of my ribs!!

TDAP Vaccination While Pregnant

The vaccination debate has been one that has been going on for years, and one that people have debated until they are blue in the face. Don’t worry, I am not here to tell you my stance on vaccinations and try to convince anyone to come and join me on whatever side I stand on.

What I will say is that we have to stop mommy-shaming. Each and every mom does the best she can with all the information she has. You may not agree with her choices, but at the end of the day, that’s what they are… her choices!

I do think as potential parents, it is our job to ask those questions, even if it starts a heated debate, even if it gets a few eyebrows raised at you. We need all the knowledge we can get to make educated decisions. It’s our job raising little people to learn all we can, gather all the information so that when we do make a decision we can feel in our hearts that it was the right one.

At my last OBGYN visit, I was told that it was being recommended that pregnant women between 24-32 weeks should get the TDAP vaccination. Of course, I took the information and asked questions as to why this was being recommended. I have gotten all of my vaccinations up until this point, so getting another vaccination for myself wasn’t really a big deal.

However, pregnant now, I am always overly-cautious on how everything I put into my body will affect the little Kiwi growing inside me.

Of course I went to researching. The TDAP vaccination is something I have had in the past. It is something that I have been kept up to date on, however the CDC (Center for Disease Control and prevention) suggests pregnant women get the vaccination during every pregnancy in their third trimester regardless of when they last got the shot. Their reasoning is that Whooping Cough is extremely dangerous for newborns and young infants and when we as mothers get the shot, it increases your babies antibodies against Whooping Cough.

Now personally, I have never had to even think about Whooping Cough up until this point in my life. I think I may have thought about it once when there was a rise in the dog population and I had to get my dog the shot before boarding him at a kennel, but outside of that, it was the furthest thing in my mind.

However, half the children under the age of one who get Whooping Cough will end up in the hospital. Those odds seemed very scary to me. It can lead to pneumonia, and breathing problems. I researched the statistics around the death of babies who were too young to get the vaccine and decided that for my peace and mind and the wellbeing of my baby (as almost all of the side effects from the shot were ones that would affect me and not my baby) to go ahead and get the shot.

I got the shot Monday evening. I went home with a sore arm but no other complaints. The typical side effects were pain and swelling where the shot was given, headaches and a general fatigue (hey, I’ve been pregnant for seven months. I’ve been living my life in fatigue).

Tuesday came along and all was well. I did wake up feeling a little bit off, not quite myself. I felt like I was on the brink of a cold or something, sore muscles, really dragging in all my movements. Aside from that, I was alright. I got dressed, went to work and everything seemed completely normal.

Until around 10:00am.

I had this cramp while walking that almost brought me to my knees. I stood still and just breathed through it. The cramp lasted about ten minutes and then I seemed fine so I continued on my way. Then the cramp came again. I wasn’t sure what to think, I was sweating behind my ears, my breath was short and forced. Something just wasn’t right.

Rushing into a coffee shop, I went into the bathroom to splash some water on my face. It was over 30 degrees that day and I thought that this late in pregnancy the heat was really getting to me, so it could just be that. I ended up having terrible diarrhea and left the coffee shop feeling a little bit better. Maybe it was just gas cramps and the heat working together.

Anyway, after three more episodes like this through the day, I called my doctor to ask if this was normal and if it could somehow be related to taking the shot. She suggested I go into the hospital to get checked out.

After three hours in the hospital with them monitoring baby Kiwi to make sure all was well, the doctor told me baby was doing extremely well and the diarrhea was a side effect of the shot. Rare, but still a possible side effect. As it seemed to be the only side effect I was experiencing, he told me to be sure to keep hydrated and keep away from dairy.

I wish I had known it could have been a side effect. Going from being extremely constipated to having uncontrollable diarrhea pretty much overnight is pretty disconcerting when you are pregnant. All in all, I just wanted to make sure that baby was okay.

Happy all was okay (well, all things considered) I went home realizing how little I am prepared for the arrival of my Kiwi after hearing a woman in the neighbouring room going into labour at 31 weeks.

I really need to step my game up.

I hope this may help another mommy to be that has this type of reaction to the shot, and it makes their day a little less stressful to know that other people are going through it. I am not a doctor and would of course always reccomend calling your doctor for the safety of yourself and your baby, but sometimes having that peace of mind going into the hospital really helps.

Anyway, until next time.

I’ll keep on pretending my way through this.

Taking Time For Yourself

After hitting about my fifth month, the routine I seem to follow when I am off is sleeping in as long as I can, eating as much as I can, and living on my couch. I work long hours, the hours I work are physical and require a lot of walking and being out in the heat and sun, so by the end of the week, exhaustion is just a word that doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling come Saturday morning… okay, okay afternoon.

Falling into this kind of routine may lead you to believe you are giving yourself the rest you need, and physically, maybe you are. But I have started to see a change in my mood lately. There has been a slow decline and now I am at the point where I literally don’t know what to do with myself.

My husband was the one who looked over at me one day and said; “You should do something for yourself. Go to a spa, get your feet done.” At the time, I was in the middle of my lazy routine. My feet were up, my socks and shorts were on the floor and I was watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine in my underwear. I let out a groan to let him know that I had heard him, but just continued on with my day.

Lately though the thought has been banging around in my head. As my stomach grows and less and less of my clothes fit (I still haven’t taken the jump into maternity clothes yet, and at this point of my pregnancy I don’t think I will) I have been taking less effort with my overall appearance. Now, a week or so of this isn’t much of a big deal, but months of this has me feeling rather “Blah”.

My sister is the kind of person whose appearance is always exactly what she wants it to be. She has this confidence that I wouldn’t even know what to do with. Whatever she wants to wear, she wears, whatever she wants to do, she does. It’s admirable. Her hair is always dyed some unique colour, she is amazing at make-up, so she always looks like she is ready to go out somewhere or have her picture taken.

She tends to get things like her nails done regularly. I am more of a low maintenance person in regards to my appearance, but have recently decided that it was worth trying just to see how routine beauty maintenance could make you feel in the long run.

Personally, I don’t think it’s for me. I think I am more the kind of person that would enjoy having a few hours to read a book, or do some writing. I would like an hour to just go kayaking or SUP boarding. I would love to spend the day in the lake with my dog, letting him swim around with no schedule.

Whatever makes you happy, I think it’s super important to start a routine of it during your pregnancy. After the baby comes, you may not get that time to yourself. If possible after pregnancy, it would be good to at least get a weekly thing scheduled on your calendar where you and the baby, and if possible, your partner could go out, get out of the house and do something together.

Through my whole pregnancy I have been telling myself I am going to do a prenatal yoga class. I have found a place that seems great because it has classes for when you are pregnancy, it has classes for after you deliver where you can bring you baby with you and they teach you baby massages and stretches and stuff like that. I think it would be a good thing to get you out of the house for an hour or so, give you a chance to socialize in a time where you may feel a little isolated.

I am going to toy with a few ideas today, and hopefully I will have an update for you guys in a few days.

Until next time…

Staying Fit While Pregnant; Is It Possible?

Before I got pregnant I was extremely thin. I had little to no chest, I had a very small waist, thick thighs and a butt that I got all from genetics. Needless to say, with my body type, it wasn’t hard for me to keep in shape.

I used to love to run, it was a bonding experience with my dog who has an infinite amount of energy, and it was a good way to tire me out before bed as I had awful insomnia. After an accident, I stopped running and people in my life wondered how it would impact my shape. Would I suddenly gain a bunch of weight without running 10 kilometers in a day (5 in the mornings and 5 at night before bed).

In short, nothing really changed besides me overall stamina. Without that constant energy, my body got lazy and doing overactive things robbed me of my breath but my body remained pretty much the same. I was actually hoping I would gain more weight as my BMI has always been low and I was always 10-15 pounds under where I wanted to be, especially for my height which is almost 5″8.

When I got pregnant, especially in my first trimester, I got really lazy. I was plagued with exhaustion and spent every spare moment of my time in a mini coma. However, I also couldn’t keep any food down. So my weight in my first trimester actually dropped.

Once the nausea seemed to subside at about 14 weeks, I started eating everything I could get my hands on. My doctor had told me that she wanted me to gain 40-45 pounds because of where my weight was before my pregnancy. The very thought made my brow furrow.

I had always struggled to gain weight, and now she was telling me she not only wanted me to gain the average 35 but she wanted me to exceed that by ten more pounds. Could I even do that?

How I laugh at the thought now. Before I got pregnant I was 110 pounds. Now at 7 months, I weigh 147 pounds. Sure, I haven’t quite hit the 40 pound mark my doctor has wanted, but I still have almost two months to gain.

I think what is important for pregnant women to come to terms with during their pregnancy is that the extra weight doesn’t mean you are not fit or that you are unhealthy. Sure I have gained 37 pounds, but that was what was needed to ensure my baby gets everything it needs, and I walk at least two-four hours every single day.

Gaining weight during pregnancy is not only normal, but it is necessary and it is all just a number. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told by people who ask me how far along I am that I am too small for seven months. Yet when I tell them how much weight I have gained so far, they tell me that I shouldn’t gain much more because I am already at the top of where I should be.

It’s just a number and I can’t tell you how many pregnant women I see and talk to who seem defeated by that number. It makes me really sad.

Staying “fit” during pregnancy doesn’t really take too much. All you really need to do is make sure you are walking enough. This is also helpful with bloat and swelling. In this insane heat, I thought for sure that walking as much as I do would make my feet swell and be extremely painful. I’ve actually noticed that days I walk more and drink more water they seem to look less swollen. They are still somewhat sore at the end of the day, at this point in pregnancy everything is.

Stretching is also important. I am always so stiff. Stretching your calves and legs seems to have been the most important thing. I started stretching when I would get these painful spasms in my calves that would wake me up about a dozen times a night.

Stretching out your back is also helpful because all that extra weight in the front because of your belly will through your back completely out of whack.

Honestly, just the walking and the stretching is enough to keep you fit through your pregnancy. I am outdoors and walk a lot during the day for my work as well, which helps. I think if you have a job where you are immobile most of the time you should make a point of getting up and moving around as much as you can.

Again, these are things that I have noticed in my personal experience. Everyone is different and you may need to do a little bit more but I don’t think you can do any less.

Until next time…

After Pregnancy Woes

If all goes well with the remaining time of my pregnancy and I deliver on time, I will have my precious little Kiwi in my arms in 58 days. That is in less than two months time.

Knowing that fills me with an excitement I don’t quite know what to do with. I have butterflies, I am antsy, I just keep thinking that I am so close to the finish line and can’t wait to reap the rewards of this pregnancy. I keep picturing what our baby will be like, marvelling in the moments when I get to touch our baby’s little hands and feet, and inhale that sweet new baby smell.

I am over the moon excited.

However, that in no way means that I am ready. In the past couple weeks, I have been on a hunt for my car seat, something you need in order to take your baby home from the hospital.

I had found a second-hand Bugaboo Frog stroller and bought it for $100. It was barely used as the couple who had purchased it got a Chameleon a few months in and used that one through the duration of their babies use of strollers. What I like about the Bugaboo is that it is convertible. You can use the frame with a car seat, the bassinet, or the seat. The handles go both ways so you can have the baby facing you or facing away, and all the replacement pieces were relatively cheap. This was important to me because in Toronto, with how much salt is used in the winter and the changes in the weather, tires get worn and I don’t want to have to replace my whole stroller. Having a baby is expensive enough with having to replace things you’ve already bought.

Another great thing about the Bugaboo line is you can buy pretty much any car seat and they will sell an adapter so that seat can fit on. Now, my problem with my search has been that not a lot of stores have a large selection of infant car seats on display for you to actually look at and see. Why is this a big deal? Well, because if I end up ordering one through the store and online and I don’t like it, that means I can’t go into the store and just pick up another one and go. I would need to wait for the replacement.

It isn’t a huge deal, but I find things like this tend to pick away at me in a way that things didn’t before. I find myself hypersensitive to everything. Something like a store discounting my crib and me having to look elsewhere for other options, or not being able to physically see the car seat in the colour and options I want seemed to send me down the rabbit hole of emotions. Once I start falling, I find it impossible to figure out which way is up, to see how far I’ve fallen or even think of finding my way out.

This worries me because I find myself stressing about how I will cope when I do have my baby. Will this whirlwind of emotions calm once pregnancy is over, or will they intensify? I already find myself feeling overwhelmed in my pregnancy and all I have to do is be pregnant. How overwhelmed will I feel when I have not only myself to care for, but another person?

I am a mentally strong person. I don’t let things burrow under my skin, I don’t over think things I know I can’t change, I don’t wallow in mistakes. I can brush things off that other people tend to carry with them, and the opinions of others has never been enough to darken any of my clouds overhead.

A few years ago I was hit by a car while crossing the street and I felt a change in who I was mentally as much as physically. Suddenly there was a little more weight on my shoulders. I would play and re-play scenarios in my head… for the first time in my life I felt myself dealing with things like anxiety and depression. It was odd, it was like I was slowly drowning, losing the breath of who I was.

It was a lot for me to process.

It was scary, changing so drastically over such a short amount of time. I had been shaken, down to my very core and I guess in the process, all these cracks seemed to form in my psyche. Those cracks allowed things to creep in that hadn’t been able to before.

Three years have passed since my accident, and for the most part I have done my best to repair those cracks. As my pregnancy comes closer and closer to the end and I get closer and closer to my delivery, I can’t help but worry about the state of those cracks.

Most people are worried about more superficial things. Will those stretch marks fade? Will I be able to lose all the weight I have gained during my pregnancy? Will my acne calm? Will my hair go back to its thickness, or regain it’s luster?  Those thoughts are ones that don’t cloud my mind too much. To be honest, I don’t much care about those things. I am more worried about if I will return to the person I was before my pregnancy. If I will regain the creativity that I seem to have lost since my mind became so fogged and fatigued. I wonder if I will regain some of my ambition, if I will continue my writing, if I will finally be successful at it. I wonder if I will get back the smile I had, the one that stretched across my face and made me forget that my teeth aren’t as straight as I want them to be, or that I always seem to laugh a little too loud.

I wonder if the silliness that seemed to course through my veins will replace the sudden short fuse, the temper that always seemed to be burning in my belly, the darkness that seems to require more and more light to navigate through.

I wonder if I will see myself again, or if the woman I was before will become more of a distant memory. My hope is that I will see her again, that we will somehow evolve, fix the remaining cracks together and that I will overcome whatever hurdles the hormones in my pregnancy seemed to have put up.

Pregnancy is weird. The transformation we go through, at least the one everyone always talked about was physical. I wasn’t prepared for the mental transformation, or the emotional one. I wasn’t prepared to completely lose myself in it all.

If there is one thing I hope anyone who reads my blog learns, is that it’s okay to feel this way, but it’s important to talk about those changes. To lean on others for support when the weight of it all seems to heavy. It’s okay to say you’re overwhelmed and you need a break.

Man, do I need a break.

Hopefully the break I so desperately need comes when I get to see my little bundle of joy. I will be sure to keep you all posted.

Until then, you know me… I’ll just be here. Pretending I know what I’m doing.

Pets, Pregnancy, and Babies

Eight years ago we adopted a Cocker Spaniel/ Dachshund mix to keep my old Pomeranian company. He was a lot of work. He had a fear of men and would scream when you put him on the leash, he would cry and pee whenever there were any loud noises.

Now, he is definitely better, however he still has his issues. With my old Pom gone, he pretty much has the run of the house and he is, I will admit to this, spoiled rotten.

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With a baby on the way, we have wondered how he is going to react to having to split some of our attention with a new baby. He has never been very good at sharing and can sometimes be territorial when it comes to our apartment and my husband and I. Although I am not the kind of person that would even think to re-home our Toblerone after eight years, I do think I am going to approach the expanding of our family with caution.

At about five or so months pregnant, Tobes definitely noticed a difference in me and he became over clingy. He would lie with me whenever I was on the couch and always wanted to be right on top of me, his head very close to my belly.

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He reacts to every movement and ripple going on in there, and he always seems really alert, like he is listening. Now, at seven months, he seems a lot more accustomed to all the movements and tends to like to sleep with his head on my belly. I don’t know how he manages it, as the baby is always kicking and punching away at his head, but he stays put.

There has also be a shift between the three of us. Before I got pregnant, my husband was definitely Tobe’s favourite. He would sit by the door and wait for him to come home about thirty minutes before he was due to walk in, he would follow him from room to room, lie on his side of the bed, always sit with him on the couch. Now, all that attention that he had given to my husband is attention he is giving to me. It’s adorable, but I wonder if he will go back to my husband once the baby is born, or become jealous of how much attention I will be giving to my new babe.

A third option also comes into mind, which is that all the attention that was once my husband’s or mine will become the baby’s.

We got Toblerone in May and my nephew had been born in February. In the beginning, my husband (then my boyfriend) and I watched my nephew a lot as my sister had some health problems after her pregnancy. We were nervous because he had a lot of issues, but Tobes saw my nephew as his baby. He was so attached to him, sleeping wherever he was, crying when he couldn’t be right next to him, it was adorable, the little bond they had. Even to this day, eight years later when my nephew comes to stay with us, Tobes is attached to him at the hip.

Needless to say, the thought of how everything will go has added to my anxiety. I keep hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I have gotten a crate that we plan to keep him in while my husband’s parents come to stay with us, as he is not great with visitors, and we are planning to train him around the baby, never left unattended of course. It is a lot, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine just finding him a new home which I am finding a lot of people do when they have a baby.

That to me is heartbreaking.

We are parents to our pets, we are their everything for years and years and I do understand that having a baby is a big step in anyone’s life. But how can you justify getting rid of your dog who you have had for so long, who you have treated like your baby up until now? To me, that is a little lazy. You just can’t be bothered.

Life is hard, and if you aren’t prepared to battle through the rough spots, then don’t invite other people into your life. Don’t get a pet if you aren’t in it for the long haul, don’t get into a relationship if you aren’t willing to do the work.

I was reading a post the other day about a woman who had her dog for just as long as I have. Completely friendly dog, had never showed any sign of aggression. It was a larger dog, it look like a boxer mix, and she had stated her dog was a bit hyper and she was worried about how her old friend and her new baby would co-exist.

Long story short, she got rid of her dog before her baby had even arrived. Without even giving her old friend a chance, without even testing the waters, she sent her dog of seven years to live with someone else because she couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to make her growing family work.

To me, it seemed so selfish.

My dog has been aggressive, my dog has behavioural issues, and that is why I don’t plan to put my baby right in his face, that’s why I am planning to keep them separate, maybe give him a blanket my baby has slept with for a while and let him sleep with it to get him used to a new scent and a new person. If worst comes to worst, we will keep them separate. It’s really not that difficult.

When it comes down to it, pets can learn just like children can.

I don’t know, I guess it is a bit of a rant because I didn’t understand how you could so easily throw away someone who has been part of your life for so many years.

Maybe that is just me.

Anyway, there is a lot you can do to train your pets for a new baby. It’s the same as anything else. Your pets know what they are not allowed to do, where they are not allowed to go. How do they know this? Because you have put in the time and effort to teach them. Why does having a baby suddenly mean you aren’t teaching them anymore?

My husband would be beside himself if I even brought up getting rid of Toblerone. They are best friends and to even think about how giving him up would effect my husband causing my stomach to tie up in knots. I would never even consider doing that to either of them.

Anyway, we don’t know what is going to happen, but approaching it with caution, we can definitely figure it out.

Your pets are your babies too… I hope you all remember that when you move through life on your journey, get married and have babies. I know I sure will.

Expecting The Unexpected

Pregnancy isn’t anything new. Women have been pregnant for thousands and thousands of years. In all that time, people have collected all this data that is supposed to help the pregnant woman know what to expect while they are expecting their beautiful babies.

There are countless books written, blogs, interviews and studies. At this point, it would be safe to say that almost all the information about pregnancy should be out there and readily available. Yet, even with all this information, there were still things that crept up on me and took me by surprise.

Women saying they ‘just knew’ they were pregnant is pretty accurate for some. 

When I had first heard this, I mentally rolled my eyes and thought ‘Okay’. However, when I did get pregnant I felt somehow different almost right away. I had this pressure in the pit of my stomach, and was more tired than I had ever been in my whole life. This was after just a week or so of conceiving. Some will say ‘That’s way too early, it had to all be in your head’. Hey, I’ve lived through it and I think we all know our bodies enough to be able to say when we can feel something different.

The amount of vaginal discharge is unreal and starts as soon as a few weeks after conception. 

This was probably one of my earliest symptoms. There were times in the day where I would get this rush of fluid that pretty much soaked through the crotch of my underwear and I would think to myself ‘What the hell? Did I just pee myself?‘.

Any change that seems dramatic is enough to make you question what’s normal. What I am learning about being a woman is there is no such thing as normal. Charles Addams said it best when he said; ‘What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.’ Every woman is different in countless ways, so it’s so hard to compare.

As far as discharge goes, as long as it’s consistent, not an odd colour, and doesn’t have an odour, I think it is pretty safe to say all is normal. Itching and discomfort is also another telltale sign that something is amiss. Basically, the volume would likely have changed during pregnancy, but that should be the only change in your discharge.

Going poo will become as uncomfortable as getting teeth pulled without anesthesia. 

If you are like me and constipation hits you like a ton of bricks, you can find yourself actually dreading the feeling of having to go to the bathroom. It will take long, it will be extremely uncomfortable, and you may get a hemmroid or two to reward you for your efforts. I wish this was something that was discussed during my first doctors appointment. It would have been helpful to know just how backed up I could potentially get and what would have been safe to take as opposed to waiting until it was already an issue.

Restoralax seemed to be the most helpful but you have to add it to your diet and it is not an instant fix. I did some at breakfast mixed in with milk every three days during my late second trimester and just continued with that routine.

During your first pregnancy, it will take a while for you to ‘pop’.

I kept waiting for my little baby bump to make its appearance. It wasn’t until my second trimester, around 24-26 weeks where my belly seemed more like a pregnancy belly and less like I had one or two beers too many on the weekend. Bloat is very common during the first and second trimester and it can be really discouraging.

One day you wake up and think to yourself that you see that baby finally showing, and then later that day it’s gone. Just like that. I can’t tell you how many mornings I would wake up and rub my stomach thinking ‘Oh my gosh, this is it!’ only to have it disappear after an hour of passing constant gas or going to the bathroom.

Once you finally do pop, you will be surprised how a small bump can limit your movements. 

Getting out of the car, putting on my shoes, getting up from slumping on the couch. These were all things I had done without even thinking about it, yet suddenly they seemed like tasks I had to set my mind to. Even just a small bump seemed to make everything a struggle and as time passed and that bump grew into more of a full belly. Nothing got easier. Everything seemed to require 100% effort and took my breath away.

The emotional rollercoaster they describe pregnancy as is pretty accurate, but it may not hit you the way you thought. 

This circles back to every woman being different, but when I used to watch movies about pregnancy or shows, it always seemed like women became these teary, weepy things. Their heartstrings were constantly getting pulled by the smallest sentiment.

Before pregnancy, I was an inwardly emotional person. I never cried in public or in front of people. I didn’t get emotional when I discussed things with people, I kept most of my inner feelings to myself. In nine years of being with my husband, he has seen me cry about four times. My husband had wondered if I would become this mess of tears when I got pregnant. Although I did feel a huge shift in my emotional compass when I got pregnant, I didn’t become weepy or over sentimental. I became more ‘blah’. I had more days where I felt overwhelmed and as though I was drowning in everything.

I think this is important to say because I have never really seen this depicted on my type of platform. I have seen the glowing pregnant women, I have seen the beaming and happy pregnant women, I have seen the teary-eyed pregnant women, but I haven’t seen ones battling with themselves. I haven’t seen ones full to the brim with anxiety or feeling like they were teetering on the line of depression. All of this makes me extremely nervous, because I am afraid of what will become of my emotional state once the baby is here. I will probably touch base on this a bit more in another blog post.

Those are a few of the things I wish I had been privy to before I got pregnant. I would have been a little more prepared and wouldn’t have felt like I was on an island all alone.

Hopefully this helped someone. Hopefully there was another woman out there, first time mom, battling her way through pregnancy that read this and gave a sigh of relief after reading it.

Until next time, I’ll keep on pretending I know what I am talking about.

 

Excitement vs. Anxiousness

September 20th is closer than it seems and as the days pass, it only draws more and more near.

It’s been difficult to describe all the emotions I find myself going through on a daily basis. The most prominent thing I have been feeling lately is tired. I have been tired all day, every day and haven’t really been sleeping through the night so everything catches up with me during the day. But when I waft through all the fatigue and look at everything else going on in there, I think excitement and anxiousness are two of the ones that are always shouting at me.

On one hand I am of course excited to meet my little kiwi in 58 days ( so long as this baby comes out when it is supposed to, that is). I can’t wait to see what our baby looks like, to look into it’s sweet little face and hold that little wonder in my arms. I already feel like this pregnancy has been too long and I can’t wait to cross the finish line and get my prize.

However, anxiety does surround me in some ways. I am anxious. In so many ways it’s hard to know if I have grown up enough. I want to be the very best parent I can be, and I fear if I will be able to hold up to the high standard I have set for myself.

It’s hard to know if you are mature enough to be a parent. I think this day and age, people never really grow up the way they used to. We don’t move out and get married in our teens, we don’t send our husbands off to the factory while we learn the arts of maintaining a household and birthing babies. We aren’t left alone to grow despite ourselves.

Now, our parents help us with everything. There are still questions I call my mother with, still basic things that as an adult I don’t know how to do. I still indulge in things I enjoy constantly, like video gaming, and other things like that. I still act like a big kid when around people I am completely comfortable with. And in two months time I will be responsible for this little life.

If that’s not enough to cause anxiety, I don’t know what is.

So far all I have been doing in these past few weeks is working my butt off to create a little nest egg should my maternity leave moths flying out of my wallet, sleeping, and attempting to get all the things around my apartment done before my little bundle of joy finally arrives.

It has left me for little time for much else. I see all these women posting about how their nurseries are complete and they look like something out of a magazine. How much they have stocked up for their babies. Outfits, diapers, creams, literally everything you can even imagine. I have only bought the outfits I would need to take my baby home from the hospital, I haven’t purchased any diapers as of yet, which is really something I need to get on top of. I finally got around to making a baby registry for my shower, which has maybe 20 things max on it as I had no idea what to even put on there.

All of this has me feeling quite behind and worrying that maybe I am not ready for my little kiwi as of yet.

Sure, I have the basics. Stroller, crib, changing table. I went out yesterday to look for a car seat but didn’t end up getting one. This is something I need to get sooner rather than later.

All the little things seems to be digging their way under my skin and it is pushing all my excitement to the side and making anxiety this large monster that is causing havoc in my life.

With a deep breath, I am going to pretend it isn’t getting to me as much as it is. How hard can all of that be? Wish me luck world, I am off to look for my car seat!!

7 Months Pregnant

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Being pregnant is weird.

From the beginning of humanity, women have been pregnant. They have gotten pregnant and had children. Women have had children in the wilderness, unaided. They have had children while battles ensued around them, they have had children while in a lifeboat drifting away from a ship on fire.

Through the ages, childbirth seems to be the one constant.

As far as science has been able to trace us back, mankind is about 6,000 years old. That means that for at least that long, we have been pro-creating, women taking the brunt of the workload.

Yet, calculating your pregnancy still isn’t a very precise thing. We are all still a little bit fuzzy on exactly how pregnant we are, we estimate pregnancy to be 9 months long but we can be pregnant for as long as 45 weeks. Even when using apps and calendars to keep track of our ovulation, knowing that window, it isn’t used to calculate when we conceived. Our last period is.

How are we still not more precise at this point?

Anyhow, based on my estimated due date which is September 20th, 2018, I am 7 months pregnant at this point.

What is new at 7 months?

Sleep seems to be a thing of the past. I come home from work between 7:00pm- 7:15pm, strip down to my underwear and change into a loose-fitting top and migrate either towards the couch, towards my computer chair, or towards my bedroom. Why? Because I am exhausted and all I want to do is get off my feet.

From the time I get home from work, I am in a zombie state. Just sluggish, barely awake, drifting in and out of sleep. I think it must be a combination of being 7 months pregnant, having gained about 30 pounds, and it being the middle of the summer, most of which we have been experiencing a heat wave.

Most days, I am insanely uncomfortable. My clothes don’t quite fit. They are hiking up in places I wish they wouldn’t or too tight in odd places. In the heat my feet are swelling, so getting off them is a real treat at the end of the day.

If there was one thing I would probably say at this point of my pregnancy, it’s that being pregnant in the winter is probably more comfortable overall and easier in terms of oversized sweaters and track pants being completely appropriate.

In the summer when all you want to do is wear less, I have found it almost impossible to find the right clothes to make it all bearable. Not a lot of brands that carry maternity lines have those lines available to you in store and you really don’t want to order a bunch of pregnancy clothes, especially if this is your first time around and you have no idea how the sizing works, only to have to haul them all in to return them.

All of the weight I have gained seems to be in my stomach and in my breasts. Which means that for the most part, my regular clothes still fit, they are just uncomfortable. So a lot of the maternity clothes I have tried on, don’t quite fit the way I imagined they would.

What I would really love is the 90s pregnancy fashion. Some bicycle length fitted shorts in bright, bold colours and prints. Those oversized shirts that seemed to fit the shoulders and chest perfectly but moo-mooed out over your tummy making it completely comfortable. Those were also usually in some funky prints and colours. When I look at photos of my mom when she was pregnant, she just looked so comfortable. They didn’t have to be fashion forward styles, nothing chic that you would see on the runway. Just plain and simple comfort.

They don’t seem to make maternity clothes like that anymore. Everything needs to look cute, or classy or be stylish. I have to say, at this point of my pregnancy, I would wear a burlap sack with the bottom cut off if it were comfortable, I could care less.

At this point of pregnancy, all I can say I feel all the time is uncomfortable. All of my baby’s movements are big and dramatic. What used to be a flutter now moves all the skin in my stomach. I don’t know if it’s my little one’s feet, or butt, or elbows, but something is always in my ribs. Pretty consistent through the day, pounding away whenever possible. My stomach doesn’t quite feel heavy, but at times it feels like it is stretching which is of course, lovely. To make all of this a lot more exciting, there are at least ten times a day when I am sure I have peed myself, if only a little bit.

My calves are under CONSTANT attack! Through the night, I wake up about once an hour with both my calves as tight as they could be, cramps causing my eyes to water as I bite my lips trying to massage all the tension out which takes anywhere from one to five minutes.

That is me at 7 months.

Really, I know it sounds like I am complaining but this is honestly what it is to me right now. Most of the time I am miserable and I have no idea why and all I want to do is meet my little one and have them out of me and in my arms.

Two more months to go.

I can do this!

 

Can Your Baby Beat The Heat?

Toronto went through a heat wave that began Friday, June 29th, 2018 and didn’t let up until Friday, July 6th. The humidex had temperatures feeling as high as 45 degrees Celsius or 116 degrees Fahrenheit. With me being well into my sixth month of pregnancy, bordering the seventh, I wanted to stay indoors. I wanted the A/C blasting, I wanted to be strutting around my apartment in my underwear eating ice cream and waffles completely unaware of how hot it really was out there.

Unfortunately, I am an adult and have to do this annoying thing called ‘work’ which meant I had to venture outdoors. The kids I work with were also feeling heavy because of the heat which meant it was easy to convince them to stay inside with me on the Friday, however, I had already agreed to take my mother, my sister and my nephew to Niagara Falls over Canada Day weekend.

Ugh!

Now for anyone who has been to Niagara Falls, most people tend to spend their days outdoors enjoying all the attractions. There is everything from haunted houses, mini golf, 4D theatre experiences, arcades and of course the new go-kart track. Needless to say, convincing an eight-year old that I wanted to be inside somewhere where it was cool was like talking to a psychiatrist while in a straight-jacket.

I dressed for the weather, wearing as little as I possibly could. A thin cotton dress on both days with some comfortable, yet breathable shoes that I could walk in all day without feeling like I suddenly had hams for feet. Needless to say, even drinking litres of water and migrating into the arcade where the AC was blasting every so often, I still felt like I was melting right out of my skin, and my baby was kicking the crap out of my ribs letting me know how foolish I was being for trying to beat the heat.

I felt like I had been wandering the Sahara for weeks, hallucinating a praying for a sudden snow storm or something to ease the constant burn of the sun.

What completely blew my mind was the amount of new moms I saw out with babies that couldn’t have been more than a month old. Tiny, tiny babies out in the scorching heat while their parents walked around enjoying the attractions.

Call it pregnancy hormones, but seeing this made me completely livid.

It was boiling, unbearably so. I was already feeling like I was a toddler about to throw a tantrum if I went more than half an hour without an ice-cold drink and getting out of the sun, just imagine how these poor babes must have felt.

I am not a parent yet, sure, but I like to think I have a lot of common sense. I know that babies, much like our furry friends, can not sweat. Why is this a big deal? Well, because sweating is our body’s way of trying to cool itself off. What does not being able to sweat mean? Well, it means that you have no way of regulating your own temperature and are more likely to suffer a heat stroke.

After some research, I found out that most pediatricians suggest keeping your baby, especially a newborn inside if temperatures rise above 26 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidex put it well above that.

After seeing people cart their pets and newborns around in that heat, I wondered what in the world they were thinking. Could they not feel the heat? Do these people not care about the overall health and well-being of their pets and their beautiful babes?

When it comes to my dog and the weather, I do not take any chances. I press my hand to the cement and hold it there to be sure it’s not too hot for my dog’s paws. If it is, I carry him over to the grassy area in front of our building for him to do his business and then take him back in, saving a longer walk for exercise for later in the evening when it cools down.

With my baby, I would definitely not be taking them out for too long in the heat… no less someplace crowded with little places to hide from the weather like Niagara Falls.

I don’t like to think of myself as a judgmental person. Most times I shrug my shoulders, tell myself it’s their life and their decision and go on with my life. Two instances where I can absolutely not keep myself from being overly judgemental is when it comes to the health and safety of animals and children.

Get your s**t together people. If it is too hot for you, it is most definitely too hot for your infants and you pets.

There is no way for them to beat the heat, so it is up to you to pretend to be a responsible adult that knows what they are doing, and keep them indoors!