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!!

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.

 

There’s This Thing Called Motivation?

So let me set the scene of my life the past few months. On any typical day I work between six and eight and a half hours. In the mornings I wake up using my FitBit (if there is anyone out there still waking up to the angry blaring of an alarm, I strongly suggest a change). I trudge through my closet into our en-suite bathroom where I slowly start to try and make myself look more like a person and less like a hair ball that crawled out from under a rock.

Still half asleep, I shrug at what I’ve managed to accomplish as far as washing my face and putting concealer on the dark spots under my eyes and raking my fingers through my hair before I brush my teeth and head back into the closet to wiggle into WHATEVER IS FITTING ME at this stage of my pregnancy. Most days it’s yoga Capri pants and a t-shirt as I have to be mobile enough to keep up with five-year olds.

Then it’s on to the kitchen for a quick breakfast before I’m out the door.

My workday moves oddly both slowly and quickly as I count down the moments until 6:30 when I can leave and race home. (Haha, just kidding. I don’t race anymore. It’s a slow walk at best.)

Hopefully I am home by 7:00, a walk that pre-pregnancy took me ten minutes but now takes me an eternity from work to my apartment. I take my main monster out for a quick walk so he can do his business.

Now, once we come back into the apartment, I have Toblerone’s halter and my pants off somehow at the same time, throw my pants over the back of my chair in the living room and immediately go to the fridge. Lately I have been good. I’ll make myself something like a bacon and egg sandwich with some milk or a grilled cheese and tomato soup before I head to the couch to eat it.

Once the food is gone, I lay on the couch in the exact same spot I always do and do not move for hours. Every adjustment I make is with a dramatic groan as I binge-watch things in Netflix, or re-watch things so I don’t have to pay attention.

Half of the time I don’t even bother getting off the couch to make dinner for my poor husband who works long hours at a physically demanding job and usually doesn’t come home until around 10:30-11:00pm.

Last night as I laid there in my couch groove, I had a memory of this thing called motivation. I vaguely recall it surging through my body, helping me power single-handedly through tasks. I had a long-standing Platinum Membership Card with motivation at one point in my life.

Yet, when I got pregnant, that card got revoked. Or maybe it expired and I never bothered to renew it… you know, without the motivation and all that Jazz.

If I took photos of my apartment right now, some of you would gasp! Hell, there are days when I feel a gasp coming on but can’t be bothered. I’m too tired for gasping!

It’s a depressing realization. Comparing the person you were, the tasks you accomplished every day, the routines and social encounters you kept up before to the lazy solitude you live in now.

I think what makes is most depressing is feeling like you honestly don’t even have the energy to do something about it. All you can do is cuddle a little lower in your couch canyon, call your dog over to cuddle and wrap your knit blanket around yourself as you wallow in it all.

At 28 weeks, I don’t think there is a single moment in the day when I am not exhausted. Add in the fact that my calves cramp every hour and a half when I sleep causing me to jolt away and massage them for five minutes, means I am getting even less sleep than the insomniac I was before I got pregnant. I can count the friends I keep in contact with on one hand… using only two fingers.

Pregnancy has become this overbearing beast that has taken over my whole life and I keep waiting for the motivation to do something about it.

In my head it all seems very simple. I have a plan. I need to start doing yoga to broaden my social activity and hopefully get me to a point where I am feeling good again. I need to throw away all the Knick-knacks that are cluttering up my apartment and make the space more functional for when a baby comes along. I need to start folding my clothes instead of piling them onto the mountain of clothes I keep on the bed in my spare room… a room where I was supposed to make a space for the baby but haven’t yet. I need to make a space for the baby.

All the things I need to do are there, but without that membership card to motivation, I can pretty much promise you they aren’t going to get done.

The fatigue and many aches and pains that go along with pregnancy make it hard to do anything else but just exist through the day. I wish there had been somewhere that would have told me that. All the articles I had read about pregnancy said it was okay to slow down and take a nap if you needed one, but they didn’t tell me slow would be my only setting and I would often wake from a nap feeling like I needed another nap.

If I read all of this somewhere would it have put a pause on my plans to have a baby?

No.

What it would have done was given me a more realistic idea of what would happen to me during this pregnancy and maybe kept me from sobbing on the couch and wiping my nose on my dog’s ears while watching episode after episode of Queer Eye (Oh my god, I love it!).

In all the movies and shows I watched with pregnant women, it was one bad day and they seemed to bounce back. Just random emotional outbursts. It wasn’t this constant wave.

So what am I going to do about it?

I am going to buck up! I am going to grit my teeth and power through! I am going to do all the things I know need to be done and hopefully get my groove back… next week maybe.

Today I am going to power through my day and go back to that spot on the couch.

Fake It ’til You Make It

We’ve all heard the familiar saying “You’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it!” and that saying is one that can be applied to countless things in life. Whether it is a new job where you are just trying to find your way, spreading your wings and moving out on your own, being in a new relationship, and yes, it even applies to being pregnant.
With pregnancy being such a common thing, it blows my mind how much stuff is only discussed in whispers between close friends and family member, or going undiscussed all together.
Technology is at our fingertips at any given moment. I can’t tell you how many times in my life since getting a smart phone I have had a thought, opened up Google and searched for answers. It’s almost impossible to be out of touch, any question you mind can muster, there is an answer to be found somewhere on the Internet… that is unless it is an embarrassing pregnancy question.
I’ve had to search things like Is it normal to spend over an hour trying to have a bowel movement in your second trimester? Where do you typically gain weight during pregnancy? Is it normal to have a fanny-pack of excess fat below your belly and above your vagina during pregnancy?
If we are being completely honest, and those of you who have been nice enough to keep up with this new blog know, I pretty much always am, I don’t consider myself an overly intelligent person, yet, I also don’t consider myself stupid. With that being said, since I have gotten pregnant, my body is no longer my own. Every day I wake up and I feel less and less like the person I’ve known and looked at in the mirror for twenty-seven years and more like a stranger.
And every day, I have a never-ending list of more and more questions without answers.
It’s 2018 and there are literally blogs about everything. The blogs about parenting and pregnancy alone are countless! Yet, it seems like everything in this regard seems to be perfectly polished, wrapped up in a little bow, and sugar coated. The articles are decorated with Instagram-worthy photos that have you smiling, all while refusing to hit the nail directly on the head.
Why?
I don’t need to read that pregnancy is difficult, I am living it, I know. What I need are open and honest articles with real and yes, descriptive accounts on the ups and downs of pregnancy. Why? Because I am not a veteran at this, I have not weathered the storm that pregnancy can sometimes be before, and I am sure there are thousands of women just like me, trying to figure this all out and just looking to read one relatable article without all that… fluff.
It’s why I’ve turned away from blogs and parenting websites and gone down the rabbit hole of forums and communities on pregnancy apps. Because although there are a lot of uninformed people asking questions all of us learned the answers to in grade eight health class, it’s open, it’s honest and it leaves nothing to the imagination.
Ladies, Gents, if you are here I am assuming you are going to be parents or are parents already. You are or are about to be elbow deep in baby poop, leaking breast milk, you are going to have throw up, boogers, and other bodily fluids all over you. I doubt you are going to shy away from the all to real details of pregnancy. So isn’t it time we stopped whispering about it and started talking about it openly and honestly?
Isn’t it time you talked to your friend in her first trimester about adding some Restoralax to her every day routine so she doesn’t end up sitting on the toilet for over an hour, sweating and crying? Isn’t it time we told them about the hemmroids that have completely taken over your life and to be honest, aren’t as big a deal as all the commercials make them out to be? Isn’t it time we talked about those weird jiggly bits that have you raising a brow? The fact that your underwear is always slightly damp now? Or that there are days when you are so sad you can’t stop crying and you don’t even understand why? Isn’t it time we all admit that we are tired of faking it until we make it?
Christ, I am.
At this point, I have no idea what is going on or what I am doing day to day. Every day is a new, sloppy, emotional adventure that I am reluctant to start.
I never know if what I am feeling is normal and when I look into it I am given the general “Pregnancy is a rollercoaster” answer that has me pursing my lips and furrowing my brow.
Yes, I know it’s a roller coaster. I bought the ticket, I waited in line. But aren’t you supposed to tell me to keep my arms and legs in the cart at all times? Isn’t someone supposed to come by and check the restraints to make sure I am not going to fly off when this things starts doing to loops at high speed?
My husband and I are two blind people running around in the dark banging into walls, convinced eventually we will find the way out. Both murmuring over our shoulders “The door is here somewhere. I saw it earlier.” We didn’t see a door, we don’t even know how we got into the room.
Fake it until you make it.
Nope. I’m too moody for that moving into my third trimester. I think instead I will sit on the ground and cry until someone comes along and tells me what to do.
Hey, it works for kids, doesn’t it?

Little Women

As the hot weather comes around, one of my own personal issues bubbles up to the surface. Now, with my hormones on a never-ending roller coaster, I find the issue that used to just have me exhaling dramatically and rolling my eyes now has my eye twitching, and me biting the inside of my cheek.

So what is this issue?

Age appropriate clothing styles for kids.

Look, with Instagram one of the most popular apps and sites, a lot of people care more about what they look like, they love to be wearing the most stylish clothes, and sporting the most adorable accessories, and I have noticed, that some of these accessories are their own children.

I see it every day, even though I am not on Instagram. I see the photos where the mom wearing her ripped jeans and cropped off the shoulder top with her hair in dramatic ringlets is standing side by side with her toddler, wearing a matching outfit whose hair has been just as carefully styled.

I do get it. I can see myself wanting to match with my own child, or having the whole family in matching colours and outfits. It’s adorable! I can hardly wait, however, there are some styles that I personally don’t find appropriate for my three-year old.

When I was a child, there were a lot of restrictions on what my sister and I could wear. My mother was no a religious person, the restrictions she put into place weren’t due to the church, or our chastity. It was merely because we were children, and my mother wanted us to dress as such.

We weren’t allowed to wear shirts with spaghetti straps, we weren’t allowed to wear skirt (although in the 90s, skorts were all the rage), and our shorts were the safari type, not the short kind that tend to be popular today. Our swimsuits were one piece with thick straps, our fingernails were without polish until we reached our teens… you know, we looked and acted like kids.

We got messy, we rolled around in the grass, we lived with a free-ness that came with not worrying about our hair or clothes.

If I have a daughter, I feel like I will raise her similarly to how my mother raised us.

Lately, I have seen such unbelievable fashion trends for toddlers. Crop tops, ripped jeans, even wedges. Every day I see something that has me stopping and rolling my eyes in disbelief.

In all seems to be pretty one-sided. Fashion for little boys, although limited seems to almost always be appropriate. I guess it is hard to dress them in styles that are for an older age group, without dressing them like little men which… come on, it’s cute! I guess the most I have seen is over the top hairstyles for boys, too much product, that kind of thing, which again, can be reigned in a bit.

Maybe what bothers me most about little girl’s fashion is when it is over sexualized. There is no reason for me to see your child’s belly and for her bottom to be hanging out of the bottom of her shorts. On top of that, in the summer, that is so much of their sensitive skin to be exposed.

Even just today at the park there were little girls in spandex shorts that barely covered their underwear, spaghetti strap tank tops, and they had rolled their tank tops up so they looked like little sports bras. Did I mention these kids were five?

It irked me. Maybe this is just personal opinion and other people out there see nothing wrong with it, but there is just something about seeing a five year old dressed up as though they are in their late teens, early twenties that makes me shudder.

Don’t worry, I am not approaching parents and kicking up a stink. Mostly, I pretend I don’t notice, that I don’t think it’s inappropriate and that I am not judging them.

Back to pretending, as usual.

 

Changing Bodies

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Pre-pregnancy, I was thin. My mother once made a joke about my body type when I was in my teens. She told me that I was a carpenter’s dream because I was flat as a board and never been nailed. Yes, this is the kind of relationship I had with my mother, saying things like this to me was the norm and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bringing it up here seems appropriate because it makes me realize that even my own mother was just pretending to parent. She did what she thought was best, as I will most likely do.

The above picture is technically not pre-pregnancy. I took those photos at 5 weeks pregnant. Not much about my body had changed at that point. Believe it or not, my boobs were bigger than before I got pregnant (yes, I know) and I noticed my waistline was becoming a little more wide.

Before I got pregnant there weren’t too many things going on with my body that had me pausing and going “hmm”. My weight was constant, lower than I wanted it to be due to an over-active thyroid, but it was pretty constant. The biggest issue I had was acne, which was controlled by my birth-control. However, when I became stressed or over-tired, my birth control couldn’t keep a few blemishes from popping up here and there.

For the most part, I knew my own body.

Enter pregnancy.

From the very start of my pregnancy I have noticed changes. First there was the tense, bloated tummy that I felt like I couldn’t even put weight on. Then there was the constant erupting of gas. The sensitive nipples, the swelling boobs. And this was all just in the first month of pregnancy.

As I dove deeper into the waters of pregnancy, I realized that was only the tip of the iceberg.

My nipples became these massive angry beasts. Darker with areolas doubled, almost tripled in size. I got this dark racing strip down my belly. I am not 100% sure what this is for, but I think it is like a landing strip to show the doctor where the new arrival will be coming in a few more months. Worse, I noticed thick, black hairs down that line…

*sigh*

With all the hair growth, the swelling, the soreness… I thought, alright. I am pregnant. I am making a baby over here people, leave me alone. I was coming around, shrugging off all the changes.

Until the other night.

I had spent the day out with a girlfriend wearing yoga tights that may have been a tad snug in the waistband. As soon as I got home that night I stripped them off to hop in the shower.

Ever since I got pregnant, I have this habit of pausing in front of the mirror before I hop in the shower to see just how much my body is changing. It was then, my eyes dropped just under my belly and my brow furrowed.

Below my growing belly was a fanny pack. A jiggly bit below my bikini line. Reaching down, I touched and poked at it. What the hell was this? Was it swollen from wearing tights all day? I mean, the waistband would have been pushing down where my abdomen still looked thin under my belly and then this new juicy bit… it just felt full.

Letting out a defeated sigh, I got in the shower thinking it was probably just swollen and would return to normal.

Of all the nights, my husband decided to hop into the shower with me that night. He started to chat about his day and soap my belly when he paused and poked at the same fanny pack I had been poking at earlier.

No comment.

Now before people reading this judge him, this is just the kind of relationship my husband and I have. We approach everything with a light-hearted attitude. We laugh over the things we can’t change, we joke constantly.

Before he said anything, I threw my head back, covered my face with my hands and moaned dramatically. “I know! What the fuck is that?” I wailed.

My husband, being the same man I fell in love with just continued to shower. “More of you to love?” He said.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I looked at him. We then went into a full conversation on how it was jiggly and odd but something neither of us could change so why fuss over it.

Getting out of the shower, it was still there but I felt better.

As women we go through so much when we get pregnant. So much of it is physical, but a huge chunk of it is emotional.  We are so sensitive. Our bodies become these baby making factories working around the clock, pumping and trying to process all these hormones, trying to figure out where everything will move to, grow, and make our little bundles of joy.

I have and always will be an insanely dramatic person. Not in the way that would make you shudder or anything like that, but I am loud, I am not opposed to doing something in public that I know will make a fool of myself if it is something I want to do or something that will make someone else happy. I am outspoken, and stubborn, and when it comes to my husband, I am the throw myself on the floor and moan until he acknowledges me type of person.

With pregnancy, a lot of this drama has taken an emotional turn. Where I used to laugh at myself, I find myself getting teary eyed. When I used to shrug things off, I am obsessing for hours, even days. With every change to my body, I find I am thrown into an emotional battle with myself.

Every day I put on my smile and pretend I am still the same person I was before I got pregnant. I am not sure why. It’s like I only allow myself to be uncomfortable and 100% pregnant when I am inside my own home with my husband. I think it’s important to find some outlet, someone to talk to about all the weird things that throw us through loops during this time so we don’t completely drive ourselves crazy.

Maybe then we can all stop pretending we know what we are doing or that we are fine, and will get that much closer to actually being okay.

3D Ultrasound

I typically think of myself as someone with a good amount of self-esteem. I can reason myself out of eating the whole tub of ice cream. I can save half a chocolate bar until later, I can talk myself out of the conveniently placed burger shop located across the street from my apartment that I have to pass on the way home from work every day.

However, after getting so amped up about finding out if my little bundle of joy was a baby girl or a baby boy before my last ultrasound, leaving without knowing that left me feeling antsy.

I kept thinking about the boy name and the girl name I had settled on without any help from my husband who suggested the name Dracula, Draxle, and of course Kyle Jr. (Kylie if it was a girl) he lost all naming privileges. I had decided on two and was pretty much set in stone, but while rubbing my growing bump while watching TV or walking down the street, I didn’t know which to call my bump by.

We had the intention of finding out the sex of our baby and then keeping it to ourselves until the birth. Not finding out sure made it easier to keep the secret. There was really no secret to keep. However, I did think knowing what we were having just between the two of us was kind of a bonding opportunity. A secret only we knew, one we would both hold onto.

Not knowing was really getting to me. My mom reassured me by telling me she didn’t find out the sex of my three younger brother’s until they were born. My mother in law told me she didn’t find out the sex for any of her three sons either. Well… that just wasn’t going to work for me. I needed to know.

I had already started to get things together for my hospital bag, and on the list of things to bring, it said to bring three complete outfits. Now, this sounds like an easy task until you walk into the baby stores and realize it’s split right down the middle based on gender and age. There is no middle ground. A limited amount of gender neutral gear.

How in the hell do women go without knowing?

At twenty weeks, I was obsessing over baby gear. I wanted to look up all the strollers, I wanted to decide whether I would do the bassinet, or whether I would skip it all together and find something else more practical that could be used for a longer amount of time. I wanted to decide on colours for the nursery. All of which would be easier if I knew if it were a boy or a girl.

Popping onto the pregnancy forums, I reached out to all the ladies in the Toronto area and asked for suggestions for a 3D ultrasound place that would guarantee us the sex of the baby would be revealed.

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This place was AMAZING!

I got to see my beautiful baby for thirty minutes on a big screen TV all while the tech explained to me what was what. I’ll have to admit, I have never been a fan of the 3D ultrasound. My husband and I always felt like the colour and the mushy look of the baby always made them look like Pumkinhead. When it is your baby though, it’s something completely different.

We saw how active our baby was. How they were using my placenta for a pillow and would give us a glare and move away as the tech pressed down where they were trying to sleep.

At twenty weeks, your baby doesn’t have a lot of fat. The tech was great and she explained all of these things to us while being sure to take lots of photos that were put on a jump drive for us to take home so we could print out any we liked. On the jump drive was also a video that was everything we had seen on the screen during our whole visit!

They gave us a printout of our choice when we left as well as a teddy bear that played the heartbeat of our baby!

Honestly, I would say it was worth the visit just for the memories. It would be so cute to show them later. At this point, I like to collect all I could because you never know what your kid will want from you later. I have an ultrasound of myself as a baby and was hoping to frame it side by side in the nursery along with my husband’s and our baby but my mother in law never got one.

I was disappointed to hear that. I really thought it would have been cute to compare all three and keep them framed in our baby’s room.

And when all was said and done, we knew what we were having!

So, boy or girl?

Sorry guys, it’s still a secret!

2nd Trimester Ultrasound

My ultrasound was scheduled for 10:30am and unlike my first ultrasound, it was at a hospital instead of at a private ultrasound facility. Now, in all honesty, I did prefer the first place. Everyone was there for a specific reason, you got called in right around your appointment time. Sure, the tech was a little cold and quiet, and they wouldn’t provide me with any information, but everything moved pretty quickly and my doctor got the results in just a few days for us to discuss.

For this ultrasound, I had to arrive with a full bladder. The paperwork I was given told me to drink four full glasses of water an hour before my appointment. I could only manage to drink two before my stomach was bloated and I was doing kegels to keep from peeing my pants.

We walk into the hospital where we check in and then are brought to a second area where we needed to take a number so we could register. This was painfully slow. People were being seen based on the number they had taken, which meant that people who had come in through the urgent care centre had taken numbers before me and would take priority to my appointment time.

Logically, I understand this. However, with a full bladder and needing to get to work for noon, logic wasn’t really playing a part in my patience.

An HOUR later, my number got called and I finally got a chance to get up and register. Once registered, I was told to follow the red arrows down the hall to the ultrasound area. We put my folder in a little slot in the wall and waiting for them to call my name.

Another thirty minutes passed.

*Insert exasperated face here*

By the time they said my name, I was ready to pass out from relief. My stomach was throbbing, my bladder was screaming and the first thing I said to the tech when I laid down on the table was “Fair warning, I am going to pee my pants at any moment.”

Looking at the appointment time on my paperwork, she shook her head and told me she would take all the measurements she needed to take as quickly as possible and then she would let me go to the bathroom before she finished.

Thank goodness!!

When my bladder was finally empty and I could breathe again, I was feeling a lot more excited about the ultrasound. My tech was great, she explained what she was doing and what she would be looking for, and I told her I wanted to know the gender of the baby.

At 18 weeks, she told me she was looking to be sure the baby was growing normally, making sure she could see all ten fingers and toes, measuring the spine, the neck, the skull, the heart and all the other important parts while being sure there are no abnormalities.

Her talking to me through the ultrasound put me at ease. During my first ultrasound the silence was deafening and it made butterflies flutter nervously in my belly.

She did tell me a few things, like my baby had a nice, strong heart. I doubt she would have told me if there was anything wrong. However, what she did tell me was reassuring.

The whole process took between 45 minutes to an hour for her to get all the measurements she needed, with an additional 20 minutes spent with her trying to see the gender of the baby.

From my first ultrasound, I was told my baby was very active. It made it difficult for the tech to get her measurements, and it made it difficult for her to take the pictures she needed, but it made it especially difficult to see the gender.

Legs crossed, wiggling its little butt away whenever we got close, my baby was sure to play coy and not give me the satisfaction of finding out its gender.

Did I need to know? I had written a blog post not too long ago stating the gender of your baby didn’t matter. Our babies could be who they wanted to be, love who they wanted to love. So long as they grew up to be good people, did it matter what they had between their legs? My thoughts were no, but realistically, I did want to know.

The main reason was because I felt like calling my baby “it” for the whole duration of my pregnancy gave me flashbacks of Pennywise the clown and was taking a little bit of the joy away from it all.

I did leave my ultrasound without knowing anything for sure, but my husband and I both got into the car and pretended we were okay with it.

2nd Trimester

Most of the time, people break down your pregnancy in weeks or in trimesters. I noticed, people rarely mention pregnancy in months? Why is this? It’s like people who tell you the age of the baby/toddler in weeks when they are like two years old.

“How old is your baby?”

“Twenty-six months.”

*Does some quick mental math* “So, like… two?”

This has always been something that has driven me completely bonkers mostly because I can’t find any reason for it. Why can’t you just tell me your baby is two years old? Why can’t you just tell someone you are five months pregnant? All this math! *Insert groaning face*

The first trimester is between 0-13 weeks pregnant or the first three months of your pregnancy. The second trimester is 14-27 weeks pregnant or from the second half of your third month moving through to the beginning of your sixth month of pregnancy. The third trimester is between 28-42 weeks or from the second half of your sixth month through your ninth month.

Trimester   | Months Pregnant   | Weeks Pregnant

1st                 |  0 Months                   |  0- 4 Weeks

|  1 Month                     |  5- 8 Weeks

|  2 Months                   |  9- 12 Weeks

|  3 Months                   |  13 Weeks

2nd               |  3 Months                   |  14- 17 Weeks

|  4 Months                    |  18- 21 Weeks

|  5 Months                    |  22- 25 Weeks

| 6 Months                     |  26- 27 Weeks

3rd               |  6 Months                    |  28- 30 Weeks

|  7 Months                    |  31- 34 Weeks

|  8 Months                    |  35- 38 Weeks

|  9 Months                    |  39- 42 Weeks

You know me, leading with honesty. The first trimester of my pregnancy was complete agony. I slept more than I was awake, when I was awake, I was throwing up, frowning over my new crop of pimples that had popped up overnight, or in a whirlwind of emotions that seemed as though it would never cease.

I woke up every day literally counting how many hours it would be before I was right back where I was, in my bed with the blinds closed and the curtains drawn erasing all signs of light from the room.

My diet in the beginning consisted mainly of soda crackers, dry toast, Gatorade, Powerade, and apple juice. There would be days when I would wake up and have a hankering for something specific, like sausage pasta or grilled cheese. I would rejoice in inhaling without gagging and eat it slowly, savouring the first meal I had in weeks. Sure enough, an hour would pass and I would be hunched over the toilet once again.

I turned to the blogs and forums, hoping some women further along in their pregnancy would shed some light on what was to come for me. I wanted the tiniest glimmer of hope, and by god, I searched for it. Most women said the nausea and the extreme fatigue would fade away by the 12th or 13th week.

Opening the same app I had used once to countdown to my vacations and my wedding day, I put in the date I would be 13 weeks pregnant knowing better than to bet on the shorter amount of time. As the days slowly dragged on, I rode it out.

I parted my hair far on the side to pull it over my crater forehead, I sucked on mint leaves and drank ginger teas. I smiled through the lurching in my belly, farting my way through the day hoping I could go poo because it had been over a week and my stomach was in agony. In the back of my mind I thought to myself; ‘Your time is coming!’ 

My brother’s girlfriend who has a son who is going to be two years old in September reminded me that everyone is different and her agony lasted not only the first trimester, but her WHOLE PREGNANCY!

I remember the sassy moment, when I shook my head, snapped my fingers and went “Hell Naw!” I had weathered the storm, I was almost through it… I would not stand in the eye and realize I still had more storm to weather through. I was done!

Luckily, I came out of my first trimester and felt like a completely different woman. Suffer no delusions. I didn’t wake up on the first day of my second trimester with a clear face, an easy stomach and an abundance of energy. My acne was still there, there just weren’t;any new ones that morning, I still threw up in the morning but my stomach settled after that and although I was still tired, I didn’t feel like every blink I took was one where I could easily slip into a coma.

Over time my acne faded slightly, not completely. I threw up only once in a blue moon instead of every day or every morning. The second trimester was looking a lot brighter than the first.

Thank whatever deity you want.

My baby bump still hadn’t made an appearance and that had me feeling a little blue. My clothes seemed to be getting tighter anyhow. My thighs and my butt were practically bursting the seat of my pants, yet at 15, even 16 weeks (depending on my bowel movements) my stomach was pretty much flat!

My second ultrasound was scheduled for my second trimester at the 18th week. I was excited to know I may get to find out the gender of my baby at this appointment! I was biting my lip in anticipation!

Bring it on! What’s mama having?

Boy or girl didn’t really matter too much, but my husband and I had a running bet on what it was and by the hair on the Grinch’s fingers, I wanted to win!

So I guess for now, I am going to pretend to be an adult and keep my cool until I get to this ultrasound and find out what we are having. Gladiator or Gladiator. Knight or Knight. Doctor or Doctor… come on guys, my kid can be whatever the hell it wants no matter what the gender.

So, I’m Pregnant- How To Tell Your Boss

When I first began trying to get pregnant, I wondered how the conversation with my bosses would go. I do not work in an office, I do not work for a big company where I could shrug my shoulders at the idea of taking time off, calling in sick, or revealing that I would be going on maternity leave for a year.

I work for this great couple with five year old twins as their nanny. I have worked for them for over two years and although there have been some long hours, some hair pulling breaking of habits and I have gone through every test against my patience that you ever could imagine, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

It is a Monday to Friday job, but there are some days when I am with the kids for over ten hours depending on whether or not they go to school (there were a lot of sick days early on).

At previous jobs, telling them I was pregnant would have been easy. I would have requested to have a word with them in private, gone into a superior’s office where I would have told them about my pregnancy and my intention to leave towards the end.

What do you do when there are no offices? When you get about fifteen minutes a day with your employers to talk to them before running out the door while dinner is being put on the table? I racked my brain trying to find the right time, trying to find the right words.

Firstly, I do strongly believe in waiting until you are out of your first trimester before telling your employer you are pregnant, unless your job may put you at risk during your pregnancy. I believe in this so strongly that I didn’t even tell my sister about my pregnancy until I was 15 weeks pregnant. I tell my sister absolutely everything.

We told our parents when I was 16 weeks pregnant and then we told my job after that.

In a normal job, I would have told my supervisor I needed to speak with them. Sent an email before hand to let them know I needed them to clear ten to fifteen minutes for a discussion. Then I would professionally tell them about my pregnancy and my plans moving forward. I do think at this time, it would be a good time to discuss doctor’s appointments if you work a typical 9-5 job. It would also be a good time to discuss modified duties if you typically lift a lot of do strenuous work.

My job is not particularly normal. I approached my boss in the kitchen about five minutes before I had to leave when he had just come in from work. I noted the kids were both out of ear shot and told him I needed to have a word with him and his wife. Now, we have a very open, honest relationship. So of course when I said this, right away his interest was piqued and he wanted to know everything, just them. It wasn’t how I had planned it. I had planned returning after the kids had gone to bed and speaking with both of them, but I told him right there, because it would have been awkward to do anything else.

In the days leading up to this, my nerves were shot. I played through the conversation over and over again in my head. I wondered if they would be disappointed. I know how much they depend on my and in a small way I felt as though I were letting them down. I wondered if they would be frustrated. Sure, I had given them ample time to find a replacement, but replacing a nanny is no easy task. When it boiled right now to it, the heaviest weight on my shoulders was the kids finding out I was leaving.

My social circle has gotten smaller and smaller over the years, and majority of my time is spent with these two kids who tell me everything, who look to me for lessons and guidance, who tell me their silly jokes, lean on me when they are tired or sad. In a way, I felt like they were mine. The realization that a day was coming where they suddenly wouldn’t be, was heartbreaking.

It would be someone else wiping away their tears, someone else giving them a stern look when they are being difficult, someone else rubbing boo-boos, and telling stories. How long would it be before they forgot all about me, just as they had their previous nanny?

Telling the people I worked for was a lot, but they took it well and have been nothing but supportive after. We didn’t tell the twins then. I felt it wasn’t my place to tell them, and their parents wanted to wait until later in the school year, when the excitement of summer clouded everything else they were being told.

Keeping such a big secret from two really important people in my life was such a task. It left me tired, had me biting my lip to keep from letting it slip, and it just made me feel heavy.

Every day I pretended everything was normal, wishing and hoping that this would be the weekend they found out.

Being an adult is hard. You have to pretend to know what you’re doing and when big things happen to you, you have to pretend they didn’t until the timing is right. There is this whole conduct of doing things, everyone seems to fall in line, like sheep but no one really knows who the shepherd is. We do it, because that’s what is done. Plain and simple.

Regardless of how you do it, how it all works out for you, I hope you keep sight of the horizon. Remember what is coming, what you are moving towards and keep at it. You are going to be a mom soon, and there really isn’t anything more important. In our own small way, we shape the world.

So could you at least pretend to know what you’re doing?