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!!

After Pregnancy Woes

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

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

I am over the moon excited.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a lot for me to process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man, do I need a break.

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

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

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.

 

Can Your Baby Beat The Heat?

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

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

Ugh!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recognizing Your Voice

At 27 weeks, if you have been talking to your baby enough it will recognize the sound of your voice and even react to it. That is what the pregnancy app I have on my phone told me, and I was a little skeptical at first.

Baby hears me all the time. Every time I open my mouth to talk, whether it’s to it’s tiny little ears or to the store clerk that sold me salsa, my little kiwi has to be hearing my voice, right? It’s not like I can press my lips up to my own belly and talk to my child.

Last night I was standing at the sink doing dishes when my husband got home from work. He did the usual thing he does when he comes home, he gave me a kiss, pulled up my shirt and said hello to our baby.

For the first time, our baby went wild! All the skin on my stomach seemed to move around, we could see my belly point and morph as our unborn baby wiggled around, all because my husband said Hello.

I couldn’t help my grin from spreading ear to ear.

Our baby knows him!

I genuinely think it’s the little things that keep up going through pregnancy. When there is a huge lump pressing out against your skin and you push it back only to realize it was the baby’s head, and baby turns and kicks you defiantly for the poking. When you play a song they react to, or eat something that gets them really moving. These are the things we need to hold onto when pregnancy seems a little too much to take.

This morning, when my baby started shadow-boxing my ribcage and I woke up in agony, it was hard for me to remember those moments. Harder still was it to hang onto the magic of being pregnant when I was hit with an overwhelming bout of nausea this morning that had me running to the bathroom every half hour. So between the throwing up, and being kicked by what I can only assume is a baby kangaroo in there at this point, my morning was looking very bleak and my mood was anything but pleasant.

As I spend my second consecutive day on the couch with little to no plans of moving due to the discomfort in my belly and the overly sensitive old belly-button piercing (the old scar tissue is also being stretched ouch!) I try to remind myself that in a few hours my husband will come home, he will give me my usual kiss, and then one for the baby before he says Hi and our little kangaroo kicks with more vigor than I thought it could muster.

No one is here but me and my pup today, and thank goodness I don’t have to pretend to be loving this when it’s just us. I am going to curl up beside him (he likes to be little spoon) and we are going to be couch hobos for the rest of this rainy Sunday.

Serenading My Baby

For the past few weeks my baby has been moving non-stop, but not in any way I could control. We are playing tag with the little kiwi, trying to spot visual movement from the outside, or get some forceful kicks when daddy gets home from work, but just as our baby was endlessly stubborn during our ultrasounds trying to find out the gender, the stubbornness continued.

One day, while lying on the couch with my belly hanging out lounging in my underwear, I thought to myself ‘Maybe if I play baby some music, I can get this little bean moving.’

But what to play?

My husband and his family are HUGE Phil Collins fans, his father played it for them when they were kids, and it stuck with all three boys even now into adulthood. He joked that if there was anything to get our baby moving, it would be Phil Collins.

I have to admit, I tried a few things at first. Some classic lullabies, some of my own favourites.

Nothing.

Still as can be, not even a flutter of movement. With a sigh and a smile, I put on some Phil Collins. You’ll Be In My Heart. It is one of my favourite Phil Collins songs since I was a kid watching Tarzan and thought the lyrics were so appropriate.

The intro played, and baby was still. Then he started singing and my phone flew away from my tummy where it had been pressed. I couldn’t stop laughing. I placed the phone back where it was, holding it in place this time and let the song play through.

There was a dance party going on in my belly. Kicking and rolling, punches. I laughed all the way through the song and then switched to another song, not by Phil Collins to see if it was just a coincidence. Baby went still again.

Eyebrow raised, I played the same song again. There goes the dance party.

It’s become our night-time routine. Playing You’ll Be In My Heart a few times over while I relax on the couch and watching my baby react to the music. My hope is that when the baby is born and having those stubborn nights, when my husband and I are ragged and a moment away from sobbing from exhaustion, we will remember how our little kiwi reacted in my belly to that very song and sing it to our baby together. I hope it will bring our baby some peace, and lull them back to sleep so my husband and I can cry quietly in our room and wonder what the hell we were thinking doing all this in the first place.

Hey, I am not a delusional person. I know it is going to be rough. There will be tears! More from the two of us pretending adults and struggling new parents than from the baby!

Hopefully it works the way I am thinking it will, otherwise it will be the song that plays while I sob and rock myself in the corner of the bedroom when everyone else is asleep. I guess we will find out exactly how things will play out later.

Don’t worry, I will keep everyone updated!

Preparing Your Nest

Let’s talk numbers for a moment.

276,075 minutes.

4,601 hours.

191 days.

6 months and 9 days.

That is how long I have been pregnant. Today, I feel like I have been pregnant for a million more minutes than that. My baby is shifting endlessly and seems to favour my right side, so I have been uncomfortably lopsided all day, my feet are slightly swollen and there is nothing I want to do more than lie down until this baby is ready to come out.

It’s just been one of those days.

Now you know how long I have been on this journey. I have broken it down into minutes, hours, days and the traditional months.

How long is left?

When you think about it in the traditional sense of three more months to go, and also factor in that your first baby rarely comes when it is supposed to, it seems like there is a lot of time left.

Yet, I look around our apartment. At all the knick-knacks and junks we’ve accumulated over the years, all the dust-covered things we never move, all the cupboards and storage closets bursting at the seams with things we never planned to hang onto, but could never bring ourselves to throw out and I think to myself, Is there even enough time to get everything done?

I have 127,125 minutes left to clear out all the junk my husband and I have accumulated over the last nine years. That seems like a lot of time, unless I think about it as 2,119 hours. That still makes me feel like I not only have enough time to clear it all out but also to change some things and make our apartment more baby-friendly.

89 Days.

That doesn’t really seem like a lot of time.

12 weeks and 5 days.

This is about the time I start to lie down on my couch, throw my hand over my forehead dramatically like an actress in the 60s, and sigh until my dog comes over and lies on my ever-growing baby bump.

There are days when I get bursts of energy and convince myself that it could be the day I tackle some of the things on my ever-growing list. But lately, all that energy seems to die out quickly and I end up lying down something, mentally kicking myself for not getting more done.

I read all these forums and look at all these photos where mothers-to-be go through the nesting period. They clean their whole houses top to bottom, set up nurseries and baby areas in their homes and manage to get everything in tip-top shape before their bundle of joy comes into the world.

Right now I would say I am in the wishing-to-be-nesting phase. I wish I had the blind motivation that sometimes pushes pregnant women in the nesting phase. With the heat of summer slowly building, and working with five-year-olds all day, there is nothing I want more at the end of the day than to kick back with my feet up and do absolutely nothing.

Hopefully I will get something done this weekend.

There are only 2 months and 28 days to go after all.

The Battle For Maternity Clothes

For those of you who do not know, I am living here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Here in Toronto, there are so many clothing stores that advertise maternity clothing.

It has taken me a long time to get here, but at 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant, when all my clothes seem to be bursting at the seams, I have finally decided to be reasonable, and buy some maternity gear to provide me with some much needed comfort.

My list was not a long or unreasonable one. I went out looking for basic items to get me through the summer. I wants a maxi-dress and a sun dress, both with small straps and more of an open back to keep me from boiling over in the many heat waves I am sure we will have this summer. I wanted a pair of shorts, preferably denim so I could throw them on with everything and then a handful of tanks and tees. Sounds perfectly reasonable and easy, right?

Wrong.

Of all the stores I have looked up online, none of these stores seemed to carry their maternity lines in stores. I went to three H&Ms, two Old Navy’s, which had been my first choice for maternity wear as their prices were a lot more reasonable than Thyme and other stores specifically gears to pregnant women.

With Old Navy having their 50% off storewide sale, I was hoping to get clothes for the prices I would regularly pay. $10 tees and tanks, $20 dresses, $20 shorts. I am a bit of a thrifty shopper and don’t tend to like to overspend on fashion. This seemed like the perfect option.

However as soon as you mention maternity in any of their locations, the sales associates get this sad look on their face as they begin to explain to you that the maternity wear is only offered online and not in store.

Look, I can understand there may not be a huge market for that specific line, but you have a small section in the front of the store designated for pets, you can’t put a small section for maternity wear in the store? I don’t know many people going in to Old Navy to buy handkerchiefs and accessories for their dogs… I didn’t even know they carried stuff like that.

I was exasperated.

Why?

Because this is my first pregnancy, I have no idea where to even begin when I am purchasing maternity gear. Which is why I went into stores hoping to try some stuff on and gauge sizes and fits before I ordered anything online.

Usually when I order things online, if they don’t fit they just sit in my closet for ages because I can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of returning things. So ordering maternity clothes online, when I have never ordered anything in those styles before, knowing they all cost a bit more, was very low on lists of things I was planning to do.

After hitting up several malls, and trying other stores, I went home quite defeated. I did go into Thyme just to see the differences in price, and briskly walked out after holding up a pair of denim shorts for almost $60.

Ummm, I have baby gear to buy, what in the hell makes you people think I am going to spend that on a pair of shorts I may not be able to wear once I give birth?

Why is buying maternity wear such a battle?

I ended up buying some clothes a few sizes up from Old Navy. I really didn’t want to miss the sale, and wasn’t willing to pay the other store’s prices. However, I was disappointed to know they didn’t carry maternity wear in store.

I guess the choice has been made for me.

I am going to power through this pregnancy without any maternity wear and hope I don’t split yet another pair of yoga tights… yes, it has happened.

Ugh!

 

Little Ears Can Finally Hear

As a first time mom-to-be, I have downloaded over a dozen apps on my phone to track my pregnancy and the progress of my baby. I have no idea where I am supposed to be, when appointments need to be booked, how big my baby is, or at what stage they are. Theses apps help me feel connected in some way.

Opening the apps in the morning as religiously as some people open their Facebook, I like seeing how many weeks I am, how many days I have left to go, how big my baby is. What I like most of all, are the apps that tell you something new about the stage of your baby every day. It’s how I learned that my baby is covered in tiny little hairs that regulate it’s temperature in the womb, or when my baby had fingernails, or when their eyes opened. These are all things I would have been in the dark about before.

The big thing for me was learning when my baby would become sensitive or aware of certain things, like sound and light.

Knowing that my baby’s ears had developed and he or she could now pick up my voice and start to recognize it filled me with an excitement that used to be reserved for 24 hour breakfast diners.

My apps recommended I talk to the baby, sing, do all these little things like play music for them and stuff. I was delighted, but it seemed to be more difficult than I had thought. Mostly it consisted of me talking out loud to myself while my dog stared at me like a crazy person, realizing most headphones would NOT fit over my bump, and getting weird stares from my husband when I told him to talk to the baby. “Uh, what do I say?”

I would roll my eyes and act as though he was being ridiculous but that had been my exact thought when I started doing it.

Is there a way to do this without feeling silly? Probably not. My husband and I are still kids at hearts at times, and neither of us can resist teasing one another. My husband’s favourite pass time is mocking me when I say something that doesn’t make sense.. even to myself. This is the kind of grown up relationship we have.

Tackling things like talking to my stomach is definitely something that has us both feeling a little odd. Maybe in time we will just grow used to it. I will start monologuing to my unborn baby about my awesomeness, exaggerating my story, narrating my life in the kind of way that makes me seem like a heroine that most people wish they were, whose story is told across the world.

Did I ever mention I am a dramatic person?

Anyway, until then the two of us will both just pretend we are doing something completely normal until it… becomes normal. Isn’t that how life works?

Movements At 24 Weeks

Hey all,

Anyone who has been keeping up with my blog so far knows that I have a bun in the oven and am on my way to being a mommy. Anyone who hasn’t, shame on you… you should be reading my awesome blog and know this about me by now! (Kidding!)

One of the first things I started to wonder about when I got pregnant was the baby’s movements. You are growing a whole person inside of you, and there is always some way your body is trying to remind you of that. In the beginning, those reminders are ones that have you taking your shoes off, throwing your feet off and hoping it will pass. Some of these fun things are nausea, vomiting, aches and pains, boobs that are suddenly bigger but a thousand times more sensitive than they have ever been, bloating, never-ending gas, need I go on?

Now I have known women who have hoped and prayed for these symptoms to pass as they move further along into their pregnancy, only to get the unpleasant surprise that they would be sticking around until the end. With my brother’s poor girlfriend, she was throwing up constantly, almost every day, unable to keep any semblance of food down. This lasted right up until she delivered my beautiful nephew.

Those symptoms for me didn’t last quite as long, all though when I was in the thick of it, I felt like I was sinking in quicksand and would never find my way out. I was falling asleep in moments when I thought I was just blinking, battling nausea throughout the whole day while struggling to hide it from all the five-year olds I was working with, throwing up all hours of the day and if anyone even came close to my boobs they would ache as though they were getting branded by hot pokers.

Most of these symptoms stopped at around 12/13 weeks. Sure, I still toot like a tug boat and I have a new ache and pain that resurfaces every day, but I think at this point I am through the thick of it.

At around 18 weeks and three days, something happened that made everything else seem worth it. I was lying on the couch, topless with my little bump hanging out (as is customary now that none of my shirts seem to fit the way they used to and I haven’t given in to maternity clothing yet) and I looked down and saw a small ripple move across my belly. I had been feeling little flutters and everything for at least two weeks prior to this, but my doctor had told me there probably wouldn’t be any movement that could be seen from the outside or that my husband would be able to feel until at least 20 weeks in.

Amazed, I stayed perfectly still, my eyes glued to my belly. A second later, I could see my little kiwi pushing outward, in really strong, obvious movements. Right away I pulled out my phone and tried to record it. Now, my baby decides to be shy and won’t move until of course I give up and put the phone down, then BAM! another strong hit/kick.

I had to laugh to myself in a way, because all of my ultrasounds, the technician has told me how my baby moves so much and refuses to cooperate. I experienced this first hand while sitting there, trying to record my stomach moving for about an hour.

When I texted my husband excited about the new development, he was jealous and of course spent the night trying to see/feel for himself. Again, our difficult baby refused to move. It was a playful battle, him sitting there with his hand on my belly for hours, trying to will and bribe little kiwi to move.

Now, at 24 weeks, I can pretty much time baby’s movements. Kiwi is up at about 6:20am every morning, kicking the crap out of me until about 8:00am when it’s break time. Then throughout the day, almost nothing. A few flutters here and there, sometimes when I am bending over and limiting the space in there I will get a kick letting me know Kiwi is uncomfortable. Then I get home from work, chill out and do what needs to be done, and almost nothing. Then 9:45pm comes around and BAM! WELCOME TO WRESTLEMANIA. TONIGHT, IT IS KIWI AGAINST MOMMY. THE MATCH WILL LAST UNTIL AROUND 3 IN THE MORNING! DING-DING-DING!

Now, when things become THIS routine, it is both comforting and stressful. I find myself waiting, watching the clock. I smirk to myself when it starts again, yet since I was hit with this stomach bug Kiwi has been eerily still. The mornings I would feel a flutter or two, but none of the fierce kicks and movements I had become so accustomed to. Again, the same thing was happening at night. What this meant, was I had turned into this worried monster, conjuring up all sorts of bad case scenarios in my head.

For other mommies-to-be going through this, there are a few things you can do. Down one or two glasses of ice-cold water and then go and lie on your side and wait. Usually babe will start kicking or resuming the movements you had started to feel were normal. If that doesn’t get them moving, something with sugar usually will.

I tried both of those things and although I did feel movements, they lacked the ferocity of the kid who had the Championship Belt for kicks.

For first time moms, every change seems like it is the biggest deal. We don’t know what’s normal and what’s not. From the phone calls I made to my gynecologist and my OBGYN, they stated that movements can not be considered routine or normal until 28 weeks. It is normal for babies in the womb to go through lulls at this stage, and it wasn’t much to stress about.

Easier said than done.

With little to no movement both Friday, and Saturday, but Saturday night I was ready to go to the hospital just to be sure. My husband told me to do what I felt would make me less stressed. The decision was up to me, he couldn’t tell me what was normal or what wasn’t, all he could do was support my decision either way. So, shoes on, stressed on, we were heading out the door kwhen BAM!

THE CHAMPION WAS BACK!

I sat down in a relaxed position in hopes to give Kiwi full range of the ring. Awake and ready to wrestle, non-stop powerful movements kept up for about an hour.

Whew! I let out a sigh of relief. I had been so stressed out about this, the quiet had me tied up in knots. It just goes to show that nothing in pregnancy is predicatable. I had been pretending I knew exactly what this pregnancy and these movements were about at 24 weeks, but it turned out I was doing just that… pretending.

Today, I am more relaxed and feeling good, planning on kicking my feet up and challenging the champion to a rematch!