What I Have Learned From My Third Trimester OBGYN Appointments

The third trimester is when things really start to feel real for most mommies-to-be. At least, that is when things started to feel more real to me. As a first time mom, I found some solace in mommy forums, the online community for the pregnancy app I have been using on my phone to track my symptoms, and of course my sister and best friend who have both been through it.

In the third trimester, your doctors appointments go from being every four weeks, to every two weeks, right down to every week. Once you hit the once a week mark, you think to yourself that there is going to be this constant flow of new information. This is the time you are going to learn about going into labour, what all these new and at times unbearable symptoms mean, and just how close you are to holding your baby in your arms.

The routine of your doctor’s appointment I think really depends on a few things. Of course a lot of what goes on in that room is based specifically on your doctor and how they like to do things, but it can also differ based on region and where you are in the world. One of the big factors is your health through your pregnancy so far and whether or not you are considered a ‘High-Risk’ or a ‘Low-Risk’ pregnancy.

What I have learned so far is that being in the lower risk means there will be a lot less tests, a little bit less information being given to you, and less of a chance to actually see how your baby is doing in there throughout your pregnancy. A lot of doctors will just smile at you and tell you everything is good without giving you any specifics because the truth of the matter is they see pregnancies like yours every day and they don’t realize how frustrating and annoying it is to not know certain things, especially as a first time mom.

You will get three ultrasounds in a low risk pregnancy here in Ontario, Canada. One in your first trimester just to be sure all is good. Here they will check to be sure it’s a healthy, viable pregnancy and not ectopic. You will get an abnormality scan somewhere around 20 weeks pregnant. Here they will do all the measurements, and let you know if there is something developmentally wrong (physically) with your baby. And for some (not everyone, and this is dependant on doctor) you may get a third ultrasound in your third trimester to check growth, however this is not standard and you will have to ask about it.

Since I got pregnant, I have gone for blood work about five times. I am anemic so they have wanted to keep an eye on my iron levels, and then there are of course all the other fun things they want to check out while you are pregnant. I will say, that before getting pregnant I didn’t know a lot about myself, like my blood type and all these other things, so I guess it is good I finally know that now.

Then of course there are other types of test you take, you take the glucose test, which is absolutely gross and I didn’t care for. If you pass, you don’t have to do it again, but if your levels are bordering, they will make you do it twice more. There is a stress-test as well, but this is something they tend to do with the ‘High-Risk’ pregnancies. I didn’t have to do a stress test as my blood pressure was pretty much always good and I had no symptoms that made them believe I needed one.

As a healthy pregnant woman, I felt like a lot of my appointments were going into the room, getting my blood pressure taken, having my fundal height measured, which is just measuring your stomach to see how your baby’s growth is coming along. (Your fundal height measurement through pregnancy should be the same amount of cms as your weeks pregnant or one cm more.) Then we would listen to baby’s heart to make sure all was good, she would ask me if I had any questions and off I went.

As a first time mom, I have to say that especially in my third trimester when I am hauling my butt to appointments every week, everything is swollen, I am miserable and struggling to squeeze into clothes that no longer fit as the end draws near, I left most of my appointments frustrated.

Why?

Well, because from what I could tell a lot of other mommies were getting internal exams done from about 36 weeks and I am strolling into my 39 week appointment practically begging for her to look under the hood.

I think if you haven’t done this before, and you don’t know what to expect from your upcoming labour, what you want more than anything is information and someone to tell you how you are doing. Knowing that you are dilated, or not dilated helps you mentally prepare for what is coming. It also takes some of the edge off of thinking that this could happen at any moment.

This close to the end, I think it would just help to know that the end is actually near. Having her just smile at me and say it could be any time now is not really comforting. I know the math, I know how long this is supposed to take. What I don’t know is whether I am actually close to delivering or not. What I don’t know is if my body has already started to prepare or if I am going to have to buckle in and wait it out for another couple of weeks (God, I hope not!)

If you are like me, and have had no issues through your pregnancy, at this point you are probably pulling your hair out. I haven’t seen my baby since my ultrasound at 20 weeks. Sure, I hear her heartbeat every week and feel her squirming around in there, but in the back of your mind there are still this laundry list of worries that you feel can’t be addressed until baby is here and that is super stressful. Add that to the constant discomfort, and you are a ticking time-bomb that is better off staying inside, watching Disney movies and eating bowls of cereal from that spot on the couch that now has your ass-groove permanently dented into it.

At 39 weeks with just one week to go (fingers crossed) I am hoping at this point that I don’t make it to my doctor’s appointment on Monday and the next time I am seeing a doctor it will be the one with their head between my legs telling me to PUSH!

Here’s hoping!

38 Weeks

Alright people, as much as I would love to say the finish line is in view, I don’t know if I can see it quite yet. The discomfort and misery are currently clouding my vision but I do have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon where I am hoping the doctor is going to check “under the hood”, pull back with a look of surprise and tell me the baby is coming.

Wishful thinking? Yeah, probably. But hey, don’t rain on my parade. It could happen.

This past week has been a constant search of symptoms. As a first-time-mom everything that pops up is new and has you wondering ‘Oh my gosh, could this be labour?‘ My body has changed so much already, it’s hard to even remember who I was before getting pregnant.

I can vaguely recall being able to do things, like stand up without someone giving me a push, sleep without some little prisoner inside my ribs rattling a tin cup against them and screaming FREEDOM all hours of the night, walking up slight hills without getting out of breath, you know… things like that. The simple things we all take for granted when we are young and wearing rose-coloured glasses.

Here are some new symptoms that have popped up in the last week.

I lost my mucus plug, or at least a part of it. 

I will spare you the gross, graphic image. But for women who are going through this the first time and wondering what it looks like, I will happily describe it for you. It is a clear/cloudy jelly type thing. Now, if you are like me and you tend to stumble into the bathroom in the dark at night, you could miss losing a part or the whole of it. It does make a bit of noise when it falls into the toilet, which I would have completely missed as I lost part of it in the night and the sound of it hitting the water had me turning the light on to inspect.

No, it wasn’t baby… as much as I wished that could be the end of it.

Now, something important to note is that losing your mucus plug does not necessarily mean baby is as close as you think. I was under the impression that was it, that jelly blob was holding baby in there like the plug in the bathtub and now that it was out things would be under way.

Sorry ladies, I lost a significant amount about a week ago and so far… no baby or signs of labour.

Apparently, you can lose parts of your mucus plug and it will grow back.

Ugh!

I feel like I have a cold or maybe the early signs of a flu coming on. 

One morning last week I woke up and my head felt like it was stuck in the clouds. I was crazy congested, had a slight cough and my body felt like it had been through the ringer (more so than the usual pregnancy body aches and fatigue).

Now, I have thoroughly researched this and spoken to a lot of women who are on their second or third child and this is apparently something that happens when you are close to the end of your pregnancy. Yet another odd symptom most first-time-moms would have never heard of.

So many mommies have told me they woke up feeling under the weather and cursing their luck at getting sick so close to the end of their pregnancy and a few days or so later, labour started.

Fingers crossed that this is what is happening here, because I have to say, feeling like you are having hot flashes, all those muscle aches and pains, and this new build up of phlegm is not helping me with my constant search for a pregnancy glow.

My vagina suddenly feels like it’s one of the drums from Drumline and is constantly being played.

Do you want to know what’s super uncomfortable? The feeling of someone pounding on your vagina…. from the inside.

Certain movements I make seem to send my baby into a frenzy and she takes it out on me by headbutting the crap out of my nether regions. It is probably one of the most uncomfortable things I have experienced thus far and happens just about as often as she kicks and moves at this point.

Nausea is back and with a vengeance!

I thought I was over this hurdle. I thought the nausea that had all but crippled me at the beginning of my pregnancy and stayed with me through the first trimester was a thing of the past.

Nope. Boy, was I wrong.

The past few days have been a struggle to keep absolutely anything down. My appetite has all but disappeared and I find myself forcing myself to eat little meals and snack because I know I have to. Yet, every morsel that passes my lips is torturous and usually about ten or so minutes later threatens to come up.

So is fatigue.

I am just as tired as I was in the first trimester as well. Every little task seems to be enough to make my eyes start burning, my feet swell, and have me begging for the couch or my bed.

What’s worse, is my sleep at night is all but impossible. This baby seems to be trying to plan her escape at night, and she won’t rest until she is out. I can feel her kicking, moving, swirling, flipping, everything and anything is going on in my uterus at night which usually has me lying with my eyes wide open, trying to push her down to the exit.

I am not trying to keep her in there, if she wants to leave, by all means, I will draw her a map.

Please… get out!

I have a season pass to an emotional rollercoaster that is far more intense than at any other point in my pregnancy.

So far in my pregnancy, I haven’t been the crying mess that most women seem to be depicted as in the movies. Instead I have been more cranky than usual. My moods tend to lean more towards being mean, angry, and having a shortage of patience.

My thoughts have been dark this pregnancy, if I am being completely honest. I find myself wallowing, dancing very close to depression that I can’t quite pinpoint to any reasoning.

Lately though, I have been more the weepy woman. I can have a single thought that makes my eyes glass over and my throat close up.

The past three days my husband has been off from work so we spent a lot of time together which really helped with my mood, but now today that he is back at work and I am alone again, I can feel myself being strapped into this rollercoaster of emotion, unsure what condition I am going to be in when the ride stops.

Anyway, I am off to the doctor. My Uber will be here any minute and I will be on my way.

I will keep you updated on what is going on (I know I have been slacking lately, and hope to get more on track).

Until then, keep pretending.

Prenatal Classes

In all the television shows you watch, all the movies where there is a couple going through pregnancy, or even just the mom doing it on her own, there is always a scene where the woman with a huge belly waddles in to a prenatal class. Judging by the size of her belly, one could guess she was around seven or eight months pregnant, nearing the end and coming in to get all the information she can before baby arrives.

In my area, at least, you would be wrong.

I attempted to sign up for prenatal classes the other day. Late, of course because of my husband’s busy work schedule and us wanting to do it together. I was told that I was too far along for the classes and if I wanted, I could do them at home online.

What?

I am too pregnant to learn about delivering and caring for my baby? How could that be?

It was a little frustrating. I mean with my due date being less than a month away, I would guess that now is the best time to take in all that information and I would be able to take all that information with me into my delivery.

There needs to be at least twenty-five days from the end of the class to my due date, that is what I was told. But why?

It is a one day class that takes about six hours to complete. I would understand if it were scheduled weekly, something I needed to attend all the way through to the end for months, but it is one day. The baby is in there today, and will most likely be there by the end of the class, so why the timeline?

In all honesty, I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed as the day draws nearer. As a first time mom, everything I am going through is something that makes my brow furrow and has me questioning what is normal and if everything is okay. Going to these classes would have just been a last piece of mind effort.

I guess my hubby and I are going to fall back on YouTube videos and hope they can provide us with all the information we need.

Isn’t that what people are doing now a days?

 

37 Weeks Doctor’s Appointment

I am so close at this point, I can practically see the finish line. My appointments are every week, and every week I keep waiting for them to tell me; “You are in labour now!” and get this baby out of here.

Every inch of me is uncomfortable and the word misery has taken on a whole new meaning. If I had thought I was miserable before, the fact that comfort is nothing but a distant memory, everything is swollen, and the pressure bearing down on my pelvic bone is enough to make me think it is about to snap at any moment, makes every waking moment of my day unbearable.

I have turned to the pregnancy forums to get some idea of when I can expect my little one. Really, it is a luck of the draw. Some women go months early, others right on the dot, I am hoping she pops her head out tomorrow because I am ready and willing. At this point, I have accepted that whatever isn’t done, won’t be before she gets here because getting myself to do anything is near impossible.

I am waiting for this ‘nesting’ phase to kick in, but my discomfort may be overriding it. I do little things, but soon my swollen feet start to throb and the little kickboxer starts using my ribs as a punching bag and I throw in the towel.

So far, all my appointments have pretty much been routine. I check in, get weighed, then get moved into the room. They ask me about new symptoms. Then I am laid out so my stomach can be measured, they check my blood pressure, and then they let me listen to baby’s heart. After all this is done, the doctor answers any of my questions and off I go.

At 37 weeks, three weeks away from my due date, I thought there would be a change. I thought they would start looking under the hood, giving me a better idea of when I can expect my baby and getting me better prepared for everything that was about to happen to me.

The hood remained latched, no one is checking under there and reading that other women have been checked at 36 weeks is making me a little nervous.

I asked my doctor today and she said she wouldn’t be checking under the hood for dilation until 39 weeks…

These days, that seems forever away.

Well, I am no doctor, so I guess I will just keep trudging around, jumping every now and them hoping she will just fall out. (Kidding… well, kind of.)

Age Appropriate Birthday Parties For Kids

At 36 weeks and 4 days I begrudgingly got out of bed and staggered, eyes still shut, towards the bathroom. I had slept in longer than I had anticipated because these days, I usually do. All that was on my schedule for the day was my two-year-old nephew’s birthday party.

Sighing dramatically, I tried to find an outfit that would allow me to walk around all day without my feet turning into roasted honey hams, and something that could be worn in the heat but would protect my thighs from chaffing. Getting dressed these days is a battle that I am constantly losing and it really rains on the start of my day.

With the bags under my eyes covered, and my hair pretty much all in place, I opened my weather app to check out the forecast. The birthday party was 100% outside and I wanted to know what I was in for.

Rain. Scattered thunderstorms.

Immediately, I took off the comfortable orthopedic flats I had on and put on some sneakers, put on some yoga tights and a comfortable t-shirt that could be worn under my light rain jacket.

It was going to be a rainy day, and it was also going to be crazy humid and hot. Suddenly, I found myself wishing I didn’t have to go. I am a pregnant woman who will have nothing to do at Toronto Island’s Centreville which is a small amusement park for kids. Of course I want to see my nephew, but the party is actually a week and a half before his actual birthday. I would much rather see him on the day, get some one on one time with him and not be out in the rain.

Mentally I battled with myself about going and told myself to just go.

Which meant I had to drive downtown to my mother’s where I could park for free (parking downtown is atrocious), then we had to Uber to the Ferry Dock, take the Ferry across to the Island. Walk through the island to the amusement park area and find where they had set up the party tent.

It rained on my drive to my mom’s which was already a bad sign. Rained a bit in the Uber and then it seemed to die down. The wait for the ferry was short and dry but once we got on, it again started to spit. Right away I could feel that wet chill in the air and was happy to have worn my rain jacket, but kicking myself on my decision to go. This close to delivering, I was nervous that I would get sick. I am already fighting off constant discomfort and misery.

We got to the party tend which was only big enough to cover two of the four picnic tables and it started to pour. It rained for about fifteen minutes, big, heavy raindrops. This happened four times before I finally said my goodbyes and left.

On the ferry ride home with my younger brother, who is 18, we wondered about the choices of a lot of parents. My nephew was 2. Although a lot of his guests were between the ages of 6-10 (aside from the adults, and there was only one other guest there his age), having a party at a place where he couldn’t even go on any of the rides didn’t really make sense.

He was completely happy with an umbrella, running around the grass and chasing the birds. They had spent a great deal of money on a venue that made absolutely no sense for a 2 year old.

It got me thinking about all the other parties that didn’t make sense for the kids and the guestlists. When children are that young, the simplest things make them happy. When I was a kid, we had parties at my house. Friends came over and had food and cake and they left after a few hours. We never really went anywhere for our birthdays.

My husband was raised pretty much the same way.

Although I am not against taking your children somewhere for their birthdays, I don’t understand bringing them somewhere they can’t even really enjoy. Who is the party for at that point?

Most of the older kids had run off, they were going on rides and keeping busy. The parents seemed to hang out together with the four children who were under the age of two. Other parents stood around smoking and keeping themselves busy.

The birthday boy was being chased by myself, my sister, and my mom to keep him away from the little pond where they had swan paddle boats that was about twenty feet in front of us, and the train track for the train ride that was ten feet behind us. Although him being chased was the time of his life, we could have done that anywhere, and we could have done that inside somewhere, dry where most of these kids wouldn’t be complaining about cold side effects today.

When your child is under the age of five and you plan these types of parties, who are they for?

I had suggested an indoor playground where there had been a party room and everything from a ball pit for the younger kids, climbing structures, trampolines, everything to keep all the kids busy. Plus, it works for any weather. The party room is a place all the parents could hang out without being in the way and always knowing exactly where their kids were.

Waking up today, with a cold, I wished they had thought about a party that made more sense for a 2-year-old and the weather.

I hope I am more logical when my baby girl arrives.

Who knows, maybe I am just pretending to know what I am talking about now, and will be just as silly later.

Baby Shower/ Gender Reveal

When I had found out I was pregnant, I waited until I was five months before telling family, friends, and my work. I was paranoid, I didn’t want to share that information with anyone on the odd chance that I would be jinxing myself and it would all go away. Plus, it was nice to have a little secret just between my husband and I. It was this little thing we shared, just the two of us, something we smiled about, and talked about constantly… It was wonderful.

After we let everyone know we were pregnant, the most common two questions we go were; ‘How far along are you?’ and ‘Do you know what it is yet?’.

It brought up another question for the two of us. When we did find out the sex of the baby, were we going to tell people?

My husband’s mom had suggested to us that we just wait, finding out in the delivery room would be fun. This was an absolute no go for me. I wanted to know, not just because it was impossible to buy gender neutral stuff for the baby, but also because it was driving me crazy referring to my baby as an it. I needed to build a bond, and not knowing just didn’t feel right.

Finding out the sex wasn’t even a question for my husband and I, but sharing the sex with others was. Those first five months, although difficult in some instances, was great for us and our relationship. It was like once we were together, just the two of us, there was this big wonderful secret that flourished more and more every day. We both loved that feeling, even biting the inside of our cheeks to keep from spilling the beans.

Thinking about that feeling made me decide that I wanted to keep the sex of our baby to ourselves. I wanted to reveal it once the baby was born along with the name we’d chosen and it would be something just for us.

Well, as time went on and we found out the sex it became a little harder to keep it a secret. Everyone wanted to know, and we had to be so careful not to accidentally let it slip. I started to use he and her constantly and interchangeably when talking about my baby in hopes of confusing people and throwing them off.

Finally, we faltered. We both decided we would reveal the sex of the baby at the baby shower, since we were having the baby shower middle of August, a mere month before baby was expected to arrive.

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The theme was Unicorn and I have to say, between the sweets, all the great foods, and the fun games that almost everyone took part in, it was a great time.

The fun really started to jump off for my husband and I when we had to blow up the huge gender reveal balloon and we realized the helium tanks were empty. It took my husband about twenty minutes to blow it up, he was beet red, I was laughing hysterically as he gagged and swayed on his feet light-headed.

We had one huge gender reveal balloon and one twist off popper to reveal the gender of our baby. The balloon was impossible to blow up but we managed and the popper didn’t work and almost took my husband’s eyes out. All in all, it was a successful gender reveal.

So what are we having?

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Please visit our twitter page to see the gender reveal video.

 

Putting Baby In A Corner

Pregnancy happens regardless of your circumstances. You may have gotten pregnant with no warning and are living in a small bachelor, you may have planned it but gotten pregnant before you moved into your forever home, and maybe you’ve been trying for years and have already been living in your dream home for years.

Regardless of your circumstances, baby is coming and you are going to have to make a space for him or her. My husband and I live in a pretty spacious apartment. It is our last stop before we bite the bullet and buy a home.

Two bedrooms, plus a den, one and a half baths; it’s definitely enough room to raise our little bundle of joy in. The main reason we moved out of our tiny one bedroom apartment and into this spacious two bedroom almost five years ago was because my husband’s family lives mostly on the East Coast with his brother living to the West. Although my immediate family is all here in the city with us, he loved the idea of them being able to come and visit and stay with us.

This was something we considered when I got pregnant. If we turned the second room into the baby’s room right away, it would eliminate a place to stay for his parents when the baby arrived. Plus, I know myself and I know that I had no intention of putting the baby in the nursery before the age of 6 months anyhow. I wouldn’t be able to sleep with them so far and would end up sneaking in there for peace of mind.

So it was decided, a co-sleeping nursery. This way the room was still usable by family while baby was sleeping in the master bedroom with us and then when baby was old enough, we would still have a place for them in the other room.

We also considered work schedules. Although I would be taking a year off to be home with our baby, my husband would be going back to work less than a month after baby is born. A co-sleeper nursery meant that when he returned to work, I could move into the second room with the baby.

Everything just made sense.

Now, on to the second room. Unfortunately because of our busy schedules, my husband and I have both been guilty of using the second room as a storage room. We would pile things in there with the promise of getting to it later, and later never really came. We had no rush. Before guests would come and stay with us, we would spend the day reorganizing and shoving all those piles here and there only to move things back when guests left. The room was a sore spot for the both of us, that neither had the time or energy to sort out.

After our baby shower, the accumulated mess in there was unbearable and baby was on the way!

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Yikes!

The decision was to make a space for the baby in the closet, which meant removing the ugly faux wood sliding doors to make more space for her and open up the room a little bit.

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For other people who are renting and have these doors over their closets, they are actually pretty easy to move. You can pop them off the top track pretty easily, but you will have to unscrew the track in the floor and completely remove it in order to get the doors out. Most rental places won’t care you’ve done this so long as you put them back before you move out. (Also these doors are a complete headache and never stay on the track anyway so getting rid of them was something I was ready to do.)

The room is actually larger than it appears in the first picture. I had a better photo before, but with all the technical difficulties I had experienced, I lost the photos I had taken with the doors still on the closet.

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I always wanted a more gender neutral nursery. I was a kid who didn’t love pink and the idea of surrounding my baby in pink makes my head spin. I kept the room the original teal and cream it was, and painted the inside of the closet. We also added a tapestry to the bottom portion of the closet to make it seem a little bit more baby friendly. I put some photos of my husband and I as babies above. These were frames we had bought years ago and never hung up because we had no idea where to hang them. Finally! They are up!

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Now I have to go on about the crib, changing table/dresser, and bookshelf that I bought from IKEA. I didn’t love the idea of the white crib sets and I found it hard to find something between the white and the dark woods that wasn’t grey, especially because I wanted to pick it up in store and not order it online.

The three pieces of furniture cost me less than $400 CAD. We also bought the carpet from IKEA for $40 CAD.

The main reason I didn’t want white was because the rest of the furniture in the room is dark/chocolate brown. I felt like that colour was too dark for the baby’s half of the room, but the white was too much of a contrast.

I still want something to hang from the ceiling to hide where the sliding doors had once been, and I would like to do something to make the bar seem less like a hanging bar for clothes. I may just remove it all together.

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The other half of the room still needs some major organizing, but I think we are well on our way. Every day I do a little bit more in between bouts of fatigue.

Anyway, I think this post is important because for a lot of parents, especially first time parents the baby stays with them in their room for some amount of time in the first year. Even if you had a one bedroom apartment, this is totally something you could do to maximize the space in your bedroom.

As for all the things you once stored in your closet, you could get drawers for under you bed to help take on some of that storage, most queen sized beds can have three drawers on each side, and if you are like me and like to buy most of your furniture at IKEA, their MALM line has drawers that fit perfectly under most of their bedframes.

Not everyone is in a living situation where their baby will get their own room right away. Other’s like me, are too paranoid to have their babies sleep so far from them when they are new. Whatever your reason, having a co-sleeping room with your baby is definitely a possibility.

I will slowly try to get that room in tip-top shape and hopefully have it done before baby arrives. If I do manage it, I will be sure to post the finished product.

Until then, I am off to pretending this pregnancy isn’t making me completely miserable.

 

My Life and Kids

Since I was little, I have always had this responsibility for children. My mom was hard-working, she was one of those independent women who wanted to do it all herself, if not only to prove to herself that she could, to prove to the world that it could be done and to show her children that effort and hard work was always rewarded.

There were five of us, and she did it all on her own.

What that meant was as soon as my brother came along, my sister and I had this unspoken responsibility for him. We were his protectors, his surrogate mothers, his sisters, his friend, whatever our mother needed us to be. He was four years behind me, and my sister had a bit of a mean streak to her, so we stuck together as much as we could.

As time progressed, my brother and I grew apart, my sister grew up and we got two more brothers. The age difference between my brothers and I are four years, eight years, and ten years. So by the time my second brother came along, I was more willing to step into a maternal role for him. Babies to me at that age were cute, and I was more than willing to lend a hand.

I could say that when my teenage years came around I became rebellious, I didn’t want to babysit because I would rather be out with my friends and there was always something else I would rather be doing… but that would be a lie. I was a bit of a homebody. I liked making little hiding places for myself around our house, curling up in there with a dull light and reading a book. I was the go to when it came to someone to watch my siblings because my sister was more the rebellious type, she had an attitude and to be quite frank, my brothers were terrified of her.

When I was ten we moved into our first townhouse. We had only lived in apartments up until that point and the prospect of having a back yard and my own room that I didn’t have to share with my sister… who at times I could have sworn was possessed by a demon, seemed like some type of dream coming true. What also seemed like it would be something new and fun was that we lived a mere few blocks away from my mom’s sister, my aunt and her four kids.

It was fun. It was back in the time when children weren’t really supervised. We went outside as soon as we came home from school and stayed out until the streetlights came on. We roamed the neighbourhoods without fear, crossing streets, and climbing fences and no one could care less. We were being kids.

It was also a time when it was completely acceptable for a ten or eleven year old to watch your five or six-year-old. What this meant is that I was responsible for a whole brood of children while my mother, aunt and uncle were at work.

Most would think that once I got older, got my own job and a taste of freedom, I would put as much distance between kids and myself as I possibly could. I was finally in my teens, I had a handful of friends and was no longer a hermit. Somehow, pushing kids out of my mind and out of my way never really felt right. I went from babysitter, to volunteering at the local recreational centre, to being a camp counsellor, to working at a tourist attraction that was a mix of families and drunk university students. One way or another, no matter where I turned, kids were there.

I was never the type of person who dreamt about being a mother, despite always being surrounded by kids. My mother became a mom very early, and although she never really spoke about it, I could see her struggle. I could sense her desperation at times. She had my sister when she was only eighteen years old. I came along at twenty and so on.

My sister also go pregnant young. She had my nephew when she was twenty-two. It seemed like no matter where I turned, there were young mothers, especially growing up in the low-income “ghetto” that I did. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be one of those young moms, that I would try to figure my life out first. Mostly, because I didn’t want to do it alone.

Single parents have it hard. They are wonderful and they have a strength that few can understand unless they live through it. I have the utmost respect for them. That being said, I wanted something different for myself and for my family when I was ready for one. I didn’t want my kids to experience the heartbreak of seeing their parents break up, of promises to see a father that showed up once in a while and then never at all. I wanted that picture perfect family.

It may seem silly to some, but I didn’t want to follow in my mother’s footsteps… or even in my sisters. I lived through the struggle with both of them, I’ve heard about their regrets and didn’t want those regrets to become my own.

For a short amount of time, I did step away from kids. I moved out of my mom’s house. I became a hostess at a bar, a waitress for a time. I worked a bridal boutiques. I did whatever would make me the money I needed to try and sort my life out. I wanted the independance my mother had always strived for, I wanted to provide myself with things I felt guilty asking for as a kid.

Yet somehow, I ended up as a nanny.

Right back in the kids zone.

Now, as I am so close to becoming a mom I think about that a lot. About all the choices I made and how I always seemed happiest working with kids. There is just something about their innocents that almost rubs off on you, it lifts some of your worries and woes and leaves you a little bit lighter.

These days I find myself worrying about what is going to happen when the baby in my life is my own. When I can’t simply return it at the end of the day. I wonder if I will still have that patience I am known for, if I will still marvel in that innocence. Mostly I worry if I am as prepared for it as everyone else seems to think I am.

As someone who has always been surrounded with kids, I should be ready for this.

So why don’t I feel ready?

Is ready ever something anyone expecting to be a parent can be?

These are questions I am going to have more than enough time to try and find the answers to, questions I will learn the answers to sooner or later… ready or not.

Until then, I guess I will just keep on pretending.

 

Last Day Of Work

If I haven’t mentioned it so far on my blog, I have been a nanny for two great kids for the past two years. I came into their lives right before their fourth birthdays, and have spent long hours with them.

Working with kids is something special, I can’t even begin to describe it to you. It’s one of the few jobs out there that tests you in every way possible, while opening your eyes to this wonder that you don’t normally find working the more typical jobs.

Being a nanny is such a rewarding thing. You have these kids that completely depend on you, and if you do your job the right way, you can mold them into these wonderful little people. You can teach them things, you can help them overcome fears, open their eyes to new possibilities, and you get to be a part of these little lives.

It really is great.

When they were younger, they required a lot of my time and patience. In their first year of school, they were home more often than they went to school because their immune systems just weren’t ready. And the fact that they were twins and completely dependant on one another meant that if one was home from school, so was the other. What this meant was usually one would be sick for about a week, and then by the time they were healthy and ready to get back to school, the other one would have caught whatever kept the first home and the routine of being home would start all over again.

Care was constant, and I was worn and weary because I had thought there would be a lot more six-hour work days and a lot less ten-hour work days. Boy was I wrong.

Fast forward to this past Friday where I said my goodbyes to my little munchkins. It was an emotional day. One where the kids kept reminding me that this was the last one we would spend together. One where there were more hugs than I could count, all the silences were filled with them telling me how much they loved me and there were moments when their eyes misted over and they honestly didn’t know how to comprehend this big change that was happening to all of us.

I have been with them for two years. We have transitioned from tantrums and hitting, to discussing all our emotions, having all these deep thoughts and just honestly growing together. As much as I was swollen, miserable and wanting nothing more than to spend all my spare time lounging around my apartment and getting ready for the new addition to my family, my last day of work was bittersweet.

In a way I wished I was working back at the Bridal store where I used to be a consultant. Why? Because it was the daily grind. I had a long commute, I had an overbearing, micromanaging boss whose demands were unrealistic and mostly just barked at us to rub us the wrong way. Morale was down, we felt stifled and that was without all the emotional melt-downs from brides-to-be. As much as I loved my co-workers there, it was an easy job to walk away from. I left that place with my head held high and felt like I was breathing fresh air for the first time.

Had I still been working there while I was pregnant, I would have danced the jig out of that place, or any other place I have worked, to be completely honest.

But looking back over my shoulder at those two kids standing at the top of the stairs, getting a warm embrace from my bosses who have been these great and wonderful people who have shared in moments of my life just as much as I have shared in theirs, my heart-felt a little bit heavy.

It was like they were my little family, and suddenly I was saying goodbye to them so I could go and start my own.

Not every day was wonderful. As anyone with four or five year olds will tell you, there are days where they spend absolutely every last bit of your patience. Days where you bite the inside of your cheek and remind yourself to smile. But the other days, the ones where you are rolling around in the grass, pretending to be explorers as you walk through the forest, lying in bed beside them reading them stories or better yet, cuddled in the pillows of the fort we built on a rainy day. Those are days that I am going to miss so desperately.

Those are the kind of days that made me stop and hope that whoever comes into their lives next will be even half as much committed to those kids as I was. Who will be more like a big sister to them than a babysitter. Who will know how important it is to be hard on them when they need it, and to push them to understand things and not just shrug their shoulders and put them in time-outs when they are bad.

My last day was hard.

I never thought I would say that about a job.

And this past weekend has been almost surreal. In a way, I keep thinking that Monday is back to work. I am going to have to squeeze my every growing rump and belly into another pair of spandex cycling shorts (to keep my thighs from chafing in this heat) and throw on another “dress” that isn’t quite long enough as my stomach keeps growing and spend the entire day with them outside. Feeling my fitbit vibrate at about noon when I reach my 10,000 steps, trying to convince the kids that we can have just as much fun inside where it is air conditioned.

Monday is going to be an odd day for me.

I plan on keeping myself busy with all the things I haven’t done yet. I will finally pack my hospital bag (at 35 weeks and 5 days, I probably should have done this already), I will finish up the nursery and get everything ready for my baby’s arrival. Hopefully, the days will go by quickly and I will have my baby in my arms before I know it.

Until then, I guess I will just pretend I know what to do with myself.

 

 

Back to Blogging

For those of you who have been following my parenting blog, you have probably noticed that I have gone MIA in the past few weeks. Why? Well, first off because my computer decided quite suddenly that it no longer wanted to work and was going to go on a bit of a vacation.

As someone who considers herself somewhat tech savvy, this was especially infuriating. I had made the switch from Mac products to PC mostly for price point. After buying my first MacBook back in 2009 and being so in love with it, it slowly started to deteriorate over the past year and buying a new one with a baby on the way seemed impractical. Also, they seem to just be making the newer models smaller and smaller. What I loved about my original MacBook, you know, the one with the one rounded unibody was that it was  little heavy, it was durable. I liked the fact that I could write for hours and then just tuck it back behind my couch cushions and now worry about it getting damaged at all.

Now just picking up the newer laptops and holding them in my hand makes me wonder if I am responsible enough for those sleek, light models. I have a baby on the way, and even before that I am not the most agile person. Some tend to refer to me as a clutz, or clumsy. Smaller for me, is not better.

It’s why I own the largest iPhone. Because I have dropped three in the toilet… that’s right people. THREE! Getting a phone to big to fit in my back pocket seemed the only solution and it has been working out well so far.

So price point and overall durability had pushed me back to PC. All was well, I could do things for a lot less money like upgrade my RAM, graphics cards, I could play way more PC games, which is a pastime my husband and I like to do together. However, I forgot just how frustrating an issue with a PC could be. With my Mac I would just run a program that would fix everything for me and it was pretty much smooth sailing after that. With a PC you have to know all these codes, you have to know how to run and operate Powershell, you have to research all these little things and even then, you can be staring at a blank screen in frustration.

It has literally been something I have been trying to fix for weeks. With my work schedule, my fatigue and the fact that for whatever reason sitting at my desk tends to make my feet swell up twice their size, I haven’t been putting in the effort to really come up with a solution.

With Friday being my last day of work and me finally being on Maternity Leave, I figured today was the day. I was going to figure everything out, and luckily… I DID!

So I am back, ladies and gents. Back to documenting my journey with just a month left to go.

Buckle up, I have a feeling things are about to get a little more exciting!

Until next time, keep on pretending folks.