My Birth Story

From the moment I got pregnant and started checking the pregnancy forums the way most people check their Facebook pages, I have always read through the birth stories the new mommies posted.

Everyone’s story seemed to different from the others. Some woke to their water breaking, soaking the bed and letting them know the show was about to start. Other’s went into the hospital with bad contractions, their water not breaking on it’s own and needing to be broken by the doctor. There are the stories that make your jaw drop where things happen you didn’t think could. Like the sac that holds your water starts to fall out making you think the baby is coming out (not only can this happen but I saw a photo of the sac falling out), or people feeling really constipated and having their baby in the toilet.

If there is one thing I’ve learned reading through countless women’s stories, it’s that even after all this time, birthing babies is unpredictable. There are way too many variables. Our lifestyles, our bodies, our overall health and diets, genetics… so many things can factor into the way your baby comes into this world.

My pre-labour experience was a nightmare and ever single moment felt an hour-long. I was induced, experienced painful back labour, went into the whirlpool at the hospital in hopes of soothing some of my back pain (it did absolutely nothing). I was forced to wait longer than usual because of several different factors going on at my hospital. For one, they were short-staffed. Every time I turned around, one of the nurses was missing or being pulled out of the Labour Assessment Unit to assist somewhere else. All the nurses made a point of telling me something crazy was going on.

“It must be a full moon tonight!” Was a statement each and every nurse I came across seemed to make.

The Labour Assessment Unit was full, and it seemed like as soon as they managed to move someone along, two more women came in to take the last one’s place.

The Labour Suites were full! They were trying to move women from the assessment unit to the birthing suites when they could, but of the 12 birthing suites at my hospital, it seemed like they were overflowing with women giving birth.

Nurses were few and far between. When my water finally broke, I dilated pretty quickly.

From the moment I came into the hospital I was barely dilated. Contractions were close, about three minutes apart and building in intensity. Even after the Cervidil and the whirlpool, and several hours passing (I was induced at 12:30pm and went into the whirlpool at 10:00pm for two hours) I had only dilated to about three centimeters.

My water broke early in the morning on the 21st, at around 4:20am. From the time my water broke, to the time they put my IV in which was about 45 minutes later, I was almost fully dilated.

Now, I should mention that through all of this, I had horrible diarrhea. Being constantly hooked up to a doppler so they could monitor my daughter’s heart rate, while having to be unhooked because I was afraid I was going to crap all over the bed was more than a little annoying. Not to mention, after a few hours, when my contractions were at their worst, walking the short distance to the bathroom felt like walking a thousand miles.

Once in the birthing suite, they got the doctor in to explain to me the risks of the epidural right away. They asked me a bunch of questions, which to be honest, I didn’t hear. All I knew was I wanted it, and I wanted it about five hours ago. For those women who deliver naturally, my mother included… you are goddesses! I have no idea how you did it. I couldn’t do it again without an epidural if you held a gun to my head.

I went in knowing I wanted one. The amount of pain I was in before actual labour even started, I knew there was no way I would get through it.

At this point, I was absolutely exhausted. With the pain out of the way I started to drift in and out of sleep, only staying somewhat awake because the nurse kept asking me questions. She was trying to time it so that I wouldn’t start pushing until my contractions were really close because I wouldn’t be able to push for long. Because of my low fluids, my daughter’s heart rate kept dropping and they didn’t want to stress her out by having me push for too long.

I was told by the nurse that I would push for two hours and after that, they would assist me with a vacuum if they could, because any longer than that would put my baby at risk.

Those two hours flew by if I am being honest. With the epidural, I didn’t feel much and I can understand why people want to do it naturally. It was difficult for me to push from where I was supposed to. I understood what my nurse was telling me, I knew where she wanted me to push from, but my legs were numb and I wasn’t fully in control of my body so it was really hard to bear down and push her completely out.

My husband kept telling me she was close, he could see her, one more push, but my body began to give up. I was exhausted and so was my daughter. Closing in on the second hour, they went to get the doctor because her heart rate had dropped, baby was tired and I didn’t have the strength in me to push anymore.

Once the vacuum was in place, I did one big push and her head was out, second push and her shoulders were out and the third push brought my baby girl into the world!

I have to say, the epidural was my saving grace. I can understand why people want to do it naturally, as I’ve said before. Just being more aware of where you are pushing from and better able to control your pushes must really move things along. However, the amount of pain I was in from my back contractions would have rendered me useless to push. I couldn’t even breathe through them in the end and had just become this rolled up ball of sobs.

I had reservations about being assisted. My husband still has the scars on his head from the forceps as a baby, and his brother has a spot where hair doesn’t grow because of them as well. I was worried about what the tools that assist in labour would mean, how they would affect my baby. As much as they are there to help, there are always some risks.

My daughter had a little abrasion on the back of her head from the vacuum. It was bloodied at first but after her first bath at the hospital, her hair was completely clean form blood, the swelling had gone down, her head had rounded and the abrasion is barely noticeable. I have had them check each time we go to the doctors, just to be sure.

Baby came out and went right onto my chest. She was healthy and had a good set of pipes on her. She latched on right away, which surprised me. I had always thought you had to teach your baby to latch, it took practice and bonding time with your baby. My hungry little monster came out in search for food right away, latched on, and them pooped all over my stomach.

Fun!

We were in our Birthing Suite for an hour after she arrived where they weighed her and did a few other tests before moving me to the recovery suite.

She was here! Everything leading up to the moment when they put her on my chest seemed to ebb away into the back of my brain, to this place where nothing mattered and all I could think about was her. How perfect she looked. How I was finally a mom!

It was surreal.

At 8:55am on September 21st, my daughter had arrived!

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Induction Day!

On my due date, I went into the hospital to be induced. September 20th was going to be the day I got to hold my baby girl in my arms for the first time.

It was such an exciting thought.

At the hospital, they monitored the baby’s heart rate for an hour before the induction. They just wanted to make sure with the low fluid and the way her heart rate had been dropping the day before, that all was good and it would give them a better idea of how I would be induced.

Baby was doing well.

As a first time mom, I don’t know the options for induction. I can only tell you about my experience and what they decided to do in my situation.

What they decided to do was induce me with a drug called Cervidil.

Cervidil is dinoprostone, or prostaglandin.

They insert it into the vagina. It is extremely uncomfortable. It is kind of like inserting a tampon, however the tampon is made of abrasive, dry paper towel or something like that. I grit my teeth and powered through it.

Once it is inserted, they monitor both you and the baby for another hour to be sure you don’t have a negative response to it. As long as everything is good, they send you home where you can wait things out at home.

Cervidil can be kept in for 24 hours. It is supposed to help soften your cervix and bring on contractions. However, what I didn’t know was it can also intensify contractions.

We went home from the hospital around 3:00pm after being induced. The plan was for both of us to go home and take naps because we didn’t know when labour would actually start or how long it would take and we were both exhausted.

My husband found a comfortable spot on the couch, cuddled up with our dog and easily fell asleep. I laid down for a few moments and felt some uncomfortable tightening in my back.

Through my pregnancy, my lower back has been an issue. Since my car accident, I have used prescription naproxen to ease some of my constant discomfort in my neck and back. Since I got pregnant, I have stayed away from all drugs and medications, prescription or over the counter. I sacrificed a lot for my pregnancy and looking back I would do it all again to ensure I have a healthy baby.

In the last month, a lot of my pains and aches have intensified. There was a lot of extra weight on my lower back and every day I felt like something was getting closer and closer to crushing my spine. (Ouchie!)

Lying there on the couch, hoping for contractions or for my water to break so we could head back to the hospital, my back pain was intensifying in a way that I couldn’t even begin to put into words.

My back pains got to the point where I was bent at the waist, resting on my elbows as I stood at the side of the bed in tears. I struggled to breathe through it all, unsure of what could have changed to have brought my back pain from something I had grown uncomfortably accustomed to, to this crippling pain.

My husband was still asleep and I had no reason to think anything was really wrong. I suffered on my own for hours before pulling out my phone and doing some research. Was it possible for you to feel contraction-like pains exclusively in your back?

Yes!

It’s called Back Labour and they say it occurs when your baby is in the occiput posterior position. For those of you who don’t know what that means (I sure didn’t), it is basically a sunny side up position. The baby’s head is low in your pelvis facing out towards your belly button. From what I read, it intensifies during contractions but can sometimes linger in between as well.

Well… through hours of pre-labour I never experienced a single contraction in my stomach. From the time I started feeling these back contractions at 5:30pm on September 20th, to the time they finally checked me into my birthing suite at 5:00am-ish on September 21st, I felt absolutely nothing in my stomach whatsoever. Just a climbing pain in my lower back that got worse and worse to the point where I was hanging onto the side of my bed for dear life, crying and telling myself I would give absolutely anything to not be in the pain I was in.

They didn’t take the Cervidil out until my water broke which happened at about 4:20am on September 21st. My water broke just as the nurses were going to put in my IV and prep me to be moved as the pain was too much to bear and I am sure all the women in the Labour Assessment Unit of my hospital were tired of hearing me sob.

If there is another, easier way to be induced, I don’t know but I would have gladly done it if it meant my back contractions wouldn’t be as bad as they were.

As a first time mom, you take everything they tell you at face value. Why wouldn’t you? You don’t know any better and you don’t know what questions to ask to ensure you are making the right decisions. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we don’t really know anything.

We ask our friends and family that have been through it, but really every woman’s body is different, every woman takes a different path towards becoming a mother, even if it seems like they went through the same thing, when you break it down, there are infinte differences.

All of us just pretend to know what we are talking about, we pretend to have the information needed to move forward.

I pretended, and I got through it.

We women are strong, and we push through even when we can’t push anymore.

I can’t say 100% if the induction was what caused my back labour, or if it intensified it to the point it was. All I could say was that was what had happened ot me, and from what I read on some of the other forums, Cervidil does seem to intensify contractions, wherever you may have them.

This is something I wish I knew going in, although even if I did, I am not sure what I would have done with that information.

At least any of you reading my blog know it could happen, and hopefully when your time comes, it helps you decide if this kind of induction is right for you.

Decreased Fetal Movements

In the days leading up to my due date, my routine became very lazy. I was anxious to meet my baby and frustrated with the time I had left in my pregnancy so my plan for most of my days was early to bed and late to rise hoping it would eat up most of my days. Plus, knowing how much sleep I would be sacrificing soon, I thought now was as good a time as any to catch up.

The time in between was spent struggling to find some way to ease my discomfort which was usually binge-watching something on Netflix and snacking while having full conversations with my dog about how miserable I was. He was very consoling!

My baby, as I had mentioned in some of my older posts, was a kickboxer or salsa dancer. Always moving, up in my ribs constantly, and now down in my pelvis. She was making sure I knew she was in there, taunting me, making me wonder if she wanted to get out, or was just living it up in there.

On September 19th, I started my day just like any other. I got up late in the afternoon, around 11:30 and hobbled into the shower. I took a long shower that usually involved me sitting in the tub while the water rained down on me until my concerned dog burst through the bathroom door and threatened to jump in if I didn’t get out. Then I slowly got dressed, moisturized my skin (which was really beginning to be a chore, but helped me in some way think I would avoid those stretch marks) put on a minimal amount of clothes and made my way to the couch for binge-watching.

I would watch an episode on the couch while I ate breakfast than move onto my exercise ball in hopes of getting things moving, something I did several times a day with no sign it was helping in any way.

Typically she would be moving in the shower a little bit, more towards the end. Then she would move while I applied lotion, when I got in those more bent positions and she was letting me know she needed more room. Her movements would often cause me enough discomfort that I would find myself back on the couch, pillows all around me, begging for comfort.

Half way through my breakfast, I paused, realizing I hadn’t felt her since I had woken up that morning. She had been eerily still.

At this point in your pregnancy, especially if you are a first time mom, every little thing makes you worry. I grabbed a tall glass of ice-cold water, downed it and waited.

Nothing.

Poured myself a tall glass of fruit punch, loaded it with ice cubes and downed all that and waited again.

Still nothing.

Now if there are two things that will get a baby moving, it is cold drinks and sugar. Neither was doing anything to get my little salsa dancer going. I told myself it was probably nothing but messaged my husband at work to let him know I planned to go in and get checked.

We went into the hospital and I was thankful that my OBGYN was the one on call. She monitored the baby for about an hour or so and because her heart rate kept dropping and then they sent me for a last-minute ultra-sound just to be sure everything was okay.

I was due the very next day, and so far there had been almost no sign that I was going to go into labour any time soon.

Now anything you do at the hospital takes an abundance of time. We arrived there at 3:00pm. We had to wait around a little while, then were brought to a bed, hooked up to a fetal monitor where I was told the test would take 20 minutes but several hours passed before the nurse came and told me they were doing it for longer than the usual amount to monitor her ‘irregularities’. Then when that was done it was another half hour to an hour waiting for the doctor to come and check the results and let us know what she wanted to be done.

We ended up leaving the hospital at around 9:00pm with the technician telling us our doctor would look at the results and call us if we needed to come back to the hospital.

My doctor had told me she was on call that night but would be returning to her office in the early morning and would get a chance to look at my ultrasound then. She had mentioned to us that if the technician saw anything in the scan that she thought was a red flag she would send us back upstairs and they would page my doctor to look at it right away. So when she told us we could go, we figured we were just being paranoid, all was good, and we would wait for this baby to come when she was ready.

We both moaned a little bit about the amount of time we had spent there, but both agreed it was better to be safe that sorry and were happy we got to see our little girl again as we hadn’t seen her since the ultrasound we had done at around 20 weeks.

I woke up to a phone call at 7:00am. My doctor was calling me to tell me the fluid around my baby was low and that I needed to come in and get induced just to be safe.

Getting everything ready, we slowly got everything we needed for the hospital in the car and went in to be induced.

I can’t stress enough how it doesn’t hurt to be a little hyper-aware when you are pregnant. It doesn’t hurt to be overcautious. I was like that all through my pregnancy, and when I felt like something was off, I would call or go in. If I hadn’t I would have just kept waiting for her to arrive, while slowly leaking fluid.

Trust your gut, listen to your body!

On the way to the hospital, I felt normal. I try not to overthink things too much.

I didn’t know what I was in for, I was on my phone doing some research and pretending to know what I was talking about when my husband would ask me questions on the short drive over.

Being induced, on my due date!

Things were definitely moving!

 

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.)

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.

 

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.

 

 

TDAP Vaccination While Pregnant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until around 10:00am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really need to step my game up.

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

Anyway, until next time.

I’ll keep on pretending my way through this.