Monday, August 11, 2008

Journey's End

Well, we've reached the end of PK's journey from the womb to the real world. It has been an incredible journey, and I am a little sad to be leaving this blog. It has been a blast sharing my pregnancy experiences online, and I am grateful to have had some regular readers.

Even though PK is now out in this crazy world of ours, there's no reason to stop blogging, which is why I've started a new blog called PK Land. Please feel free to drop in and read about PK's adventures out in the real world!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

PK is Born!

As I mentioned in my last post, we went to the hospital early on Wednesday morning because I was getting some regular contractions.

After I posted that last entry, my contracions suddenly got stronger and more frequent and I badly needed to sit on a toilet to feel better. After I got out of the washroom, I sat for a bit before having an uncontrollable urge to use the loo.

The pain was completely unbearable and I was re-considering the epidural. I hated myself for even thinking that because I was so passionate about having a drug-free birth.

That thought didn't last too long, because I was suddenly overcome my the urge to push! Small detail: I was still sitting on the toilet!

Out of desperation I called for help. The nurse burst into the bathroom and whisked me from the toilet to a bed so she could check how dilated I was. Turns out I was 7cm dilated from 2.5cm just one hour earlier!

I was quickly taken from triage to the labor room. By the time I got there, I was 8cm dilated, and was full-on screaming and swearing. It hurt THAT much! I was told not to push yet because I wasn't fully-dilated. I told them I needed to push ASAP, so they checked me again and this time I was fully-dilated. It was showtime.

My doctor arrived just in time for the pushing phase. I tried to do the J-breathing that we were taught in HypnoBirthing but my doctor insisted on my pushing by taking a deep breath and pushing like I was crapping. I was so afraid that by doing this, I'd wind up with burst blood vessels, but that didn't end up happening. Needless to say, it took a while for her to come out because of our slight clash. By the end of it, however, I just wanted her out and was ready to try just about anything. At one point, when PK's head wasn't fully out, I asked if they couldn't just yank her out. The doctor responded by saying that that's not how things worked. Phooey.

Unfortunately, I wound up needing an episiotomy because she wasn't coming out fast enough and her heart rate was slowing down. Needless to say, I wound up with a few stiches. So much for those perineal massages! I feel okay right now and can pee on my own with minor pain. The only thing is that I feel like someone tore me a new butt hole. Yes, very pleasant imagery, isn't it? I just hope that the recovery period is kind to me.

In the end, PK made it out. It was the most curious sensation. It was like passing a giant stool after months of serious constipation. All of a sudden my belly went from super-inflated to just flattening all of a sudden. I still have a bit of a pooch in front, but I'm told that my uterus is contracting nicely.

PK, by the way, was born at 6:43am and weighed in at 7lb 4oz. She is 52cm in length and is breat-feeding very well. She is an absolute angel who seldom ever cries and loves to be swaddled.

Since she was born so fast, the GBS antibiotic treatment was never properly administered. This means that hospital staff needed to run some tests to make sure that she is okay. So far the first test went fine. We will get the results of the second test sometime tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I'd better get some rest. PK is sleeping so that's my cue too! I'll post a photo of her once I get home.
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In Labor!!!

Well, I'm at the hospital waiting out my contractions. Although I was 2.5 cm dilated when they checked me, my contractions have been very frequent and very painful. On top of that, my water broke about 10 minutes after I got here. Since I'm GBS-positive, that's reason enough for them to keep me here.

My water breaking was a curious sensation. I felt a "pop", followed by an annoying trickle. I thought that I'd peed myself, until I realized what was actually going on.

My contractions right now are downright unbearable, but I'm hanging on, doing the slow breathing that I learned in HypnoBirthing. Easier said than done! One thing that helps is sitting up during contractions while breathing and rubbing my lower abdomen. Another was sitting on the toilet, since my bowels are being pressured like mad! Strange, a little gross, but effective!

Right now I'm freaking exhausted and could really use a nap. If only my contractions weren't so close together...
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The Real Deal?

As I write this, the hubby is driving us to the hospital and I am currently getting over a nasty-ass contraction. It's 2:44am, and the roads are eerily quiet. At least it means that the drive to the hospital will be quick!

I hope that this is the real deal because I'm in a whole lot of pain and my bowels feel like they're going to explode. Pleasant thoughts, eh?

I feel another one coming one, so this is my cue for exit. Maybe the next update you get will be to say that PK has arrived! Either that or there will be an angry post from me saying that we were sent home. :P
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Counting Contractions

Ever since I got back from the doctor today, it seems that my contractions have gotten stronger and a little more regular. At this point, however, I can't say with confidence that this warrants a trip to the hospital.

Being the geek that I am, I started noting the contractions on my BlackBerry. The hubby, being an even bigger geek has decided to post the numbers on MS Excel and has even gone as far as plotting a graph of my contractions! I'll have to post the Excel worksheet later because it's too friggin' hillarious!

As my contractions get stronger, I'm finding it harder to do anything else other than just try to breathe through them. A friend of mine who had recently had a baby said that one of the most beneficial things she did while in labor was uttering a low grunt while breathing out.

I've gotten pretty creative in dealing with my contractions by uttering "mooooo" as I breathe out. I figure that I might as well have fun with it.

Well, gotta run. I'm in the middle of managing a contraction. We'll see what comes of this...
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Dilation Update

I got back from the doctor's office a couple of hours ago, and in spite of my more frequent and painful Braxton-Hicks contractions, my bowels feeling like they're turning inside-out, my mucus plug passing and having the bloody show yesterday, it turns out that I'm only 1 cm dilated. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! I really need to learn to relax, don't I? ;-)

False Alarm

Last night I almost ended up in labor and delivery triage. I was up late, messing around on the computer, when I started noticing some contractions. What caught my attention was that they seemed to be pretty frequent. So I started keeping time of when each contraction started. This was just after 1am. By 2am, it looked like the contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart, but I still went to bed. By 3am I started worrying that I might be going into labor, since the contractions seemed be 2 minutes apart, and they seemed to be stronger.

I called labor and delivery triage at my hospital, to ask if I should come in. They said that I probably should, so I woke up the hubby and I started getting ready. That's when I noticed that the contractions had suddenly become less intense and less frequent. It was starting to look like a false alarm. The hubby and I stayed up a bit longer to time some of the contractions and consulted our pregnancy books for some words of wisdom. After about 30 minutes, we realized that the contractions were lasting anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds, and that the time between contractions wasn't regular enough - anywhere between 2 and 7 minutes. Needless to say, we aborted our trip to the hospital.

I have a doctor's appointment a little later today, so I'll probably have him check under the hood to see how things are progressing. Maybe he'll even monitor my contractions to see if it warrants going to the hospital. Even if my doctor determines that PK is not ready to come out just yet, I don't think it will be much longer than one week until PK pops out.


As L-Day approaches, I'm starting to feel some anxiety. The anxiety isn't around the labor itself. Nine months ago, if you'd asked me, I would've said that I was terrified of going into labor. Nowadays, I think that I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I guess nobody is ever truly ready. That being said, the combination of my pre-natal exercise class discussions and the HypnoBirthing class have put me much more at ease about this whole labor thing. My fears right now are broken down into main parts: pre-delivery, and post-delivery.

On the pre-delivery side of things, my biggest fear is of delivering a stillborn child. It's a terribly morbid thought, but it's always crossing my mind, especially as I get closer and closer to delivering. What if PK is okay one minute, but not okay the next? What if the umbilical cord gets tangled around her neck? Even as I write this, these very thoughts make me cringe. I also worry about all of the coughing and sneezing fits that I've had over the last couple of days. It's one thing to have been coughing in January/February, when PK was surrounded by a thick cushion of amniotic fluid. Even when I had my April/May allergies, she had a pretty nice cushion. Now things are crowded in utero, so whenever I sneeze or cough, I worry about hurting her.

For post-delivery, I wonder what type of baby PK will be. Every parent hopes for a healthy child. But what if the delivery itself causes her harm - brain damage, physical deformation, or something else that I can't even fathom. Or what if PK has a congenital defect, or some sort of developmental disability? How would I deal with that? I truly admire parents of special-needs children. They are truly brave and loving souls. Would I ever step up like these parents were I placed in a similar situation? My honest answer is that I don't know, and that scares me. I hope I would. At the same time, I don't want to find out. Does that make me a bad person?

I know that these are all "what ifs", and but they're out there. If they don't affect PK, they will affect some other kid out there. It's a scary world out there, and I don't blame PK for wanting to hang out in utero for a little while longer.

Getting Closer!

This evening I was greeted by some blood after I went to the washroom. I thought I had already passed my mucus plug, but maybe that was some preliminary goop. This discharge was goopy but it was more red-tinged than the previous one. The previous one was more browny than red.

I've never gone into labor before, so I obviously don't know what to expect. Books are fine, but the real deal is always different for everyone. I called my sis for some insight/advice, but unfortunately she hasn't gotten to that part in her medical training. Next, the hubby and I consulted our various baby books for signs of labor. From what we've read, the the bleeding I was experienced may very well have been the bloody show (I think that the mucus plug/bloody show are pretty much the same thing). It wasn't heavier than a period, but it reminded me of the very early stages of a period.

I'm not seeing the doctor until tomorrow afternoon, but I think I might give him a ring tomorrow morning just to check. PK seems to be moving about, and the bleeding appears to have subsided. I guess all this just means that PK is on her way out soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week 39

I've still got about half a week until PK is officially due, but just in case she happens to come before then, I thought I'd get a jump-start on the update for this week of gestation.

I have to admit that I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, I really want PK to come out. I'm so curious to see what she looks like and who she resembles the most. On the other hand, it has been nice to enjoy these last few days off to myself and with the hubby. It has been good to say goodbye to the old lifestyle without PK, and to start getting used to the thought of having a new lifestyle with PK. Not only that, this extra time to myself has allowed me to read some of my baby books so that I know what to expect post-partum. The two books I'm currently reading are The Mother of all Baby Books and The Happiest Baby on the Block. The first book starts off by talking about the last few weeks of pregnancy, and then talks about the post-partum period, including how to change diapers, breast-feeding, and caring for the baby's umbilical cord stump. The second book is all about the so-called "fourth trimester" and how to keep fussy, colicky babies happy. That fills me with confidence, because at least I know that there are proven techniques out there for dealing with colicky babies, so hopefully I won't have to fret as much if PK ends up being such a baby.

While I do think that I will miss PK's kicking and squirming (it is still my absolute favorite thing about pregnancy), I will most certainly not miss the lack of mobility that I have these days. While I think I've managed to avoid the dreaded pregnancy waddle (either that, or I'm totally delusional), it has been extra-hard for me to do the following things:

- shave my legs
- cut my toenails
- sleep for more than 2 hours at a time without having to get up to pee
- tie my shoes
- put moisturizer and/or sunscreen on my legs

Apart from getting up to pee every 2 hours at night (can't be helped), I'm still managing with all of the other items above - it's just getting difficult, and I have to get pretty creative. For example, when I tie my running shoes, I find that it's easiest to do a nice wide squat (like one of the recommended labor positions).

Sleep, or lack thereof, has probably been the biggest inconvenience of all. For months I was worried about the fact that I kept waking up on my back, even though all of the pregnancy books tell you that you're not supposed to be lying flat on your back after month 4 or 5 (or something along those lines). I mentioned this to my doctor, and he told me not to worry. He said that the body naturally feels so uncomfortable when you're on your back later on in pregnancy, that I will likely stop waking up on my back at some point. Well, it took a while, but he was right. I think that sometime between 7.5 and 8 months, it finally hit me. There was NO WAY I could wake up on my back or even lie on my back propped up by two pillows because it felt REALLY REALLY uncomfortable. Ah, nature at work!

Even lying on my side is proving to be really uncomfortable. Last night, I couldn't fall asleep on my left or right side because I was having trouble breathing. So I propped myself upright with 3 pillows just so I could fall asleep. When I CAN fall asleep on my sides, I have to constantly switch sides, because my hips are in so much pain. I hear that it's best to sleep on your left while pregnant, so I try to do that, but I'm finding it really difficult to do so nowadays because lying on my left side is aggravating an old shoulder injury from climbing.

Since I'm getting such crappy sleep, my body makes up for it by forcing me to nap during the day or in the evening. I say force because I'm not a napper by nature. Yesterday, for example, we were running a few errands before going grocery shopping. On the way over to the supermarket, I told the hubby that I needed to sit down because I was feeling a bit tired. Next thing I know, I'm sitting there in the middle of this mall, with my head leaning against his shoulder, taking a nap. I think I was out for 20 or 30 minutes. Later that same evening, I sat down to read a book, and zonked out after reading 4 or 5 pages. I only woke up because my sister called me to say hello. That same evening, I was sitting in bed reading, and fell asleep after 4 or 5 pages. The thing is, I feel most refreshed after I take these naps, so I try to embrace them, rather than resist them.

One thing I've found rather amusing in the last few weeks is the timing of when people would like PK to make her world début. I wanted at least 1 week off before PK came out. That way I could tie up loose ends and have some time off to myself - not to mention enjoy my kitchen! The hubby wants PK to come out sometime tomorrow. That way we had the long weekend to ourselves, and he'd take 3 weeks off from work starting on Tuesday, and returning sometime after Labor Day (the September holiday, not MY labor day :P). My sister wanted PK to come this weekend, because she was in town and would be able to stick around for the birth. Next weekend is no good for her because she's on-call for her obstetrics rotation. Plus she goes to school out-of-town and it would take her a couple of hours give or take to make it over here. So since apparently I'm taking orders, when would you like PK to come out?

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment. It was shifted to Tuesday because of the long weekend, so I suspect that he'll be an hour late to see me. I'm thinking of asking him to do another cervical exam to see if I've dilated at all since last time. From what my sis tells me, I shouldn't expect the doctor to check my cervix this week, though a lot of women in my position ask for it, if they want to avoid being induced. I'm also going to ask him about my suspicions of having passed my mucus plug. I'm pretty sure that I did pass it, and that it's not left-over discharge related to last week's cervical exam. That bleeding/discharge had subsided a few days earlier. I think at this point I may refrain from doing the perineal massages, just in case the mucus plug did pass. I know that PK is still protected by amniotic fluid, but just in case I'm leaking fluid and I don't know it, I don't want to take any chances, especially since I'm GBS-positive (bleh).

Rather than subway up like we usually do, we're thinking of driving up to the doctor's office tomorrow, just in case I'm actually dilated enough to the point where he'd recommend that I check myself into the hospital. My bags are now fully-packed (or at least packed enough), so we'd be prepared just in case.

On a more annoying note, the cold that started last week has morphed into a coughing, sneezing, and stuffy nose fest. I was hoping that it would subside by tomorrow, since will make it a week to the day of when my sore throat started, but I think it may be another week until it's completely gone. It seems to be progressing very very slowly, and it certainly doesn't help with my sleep situation.

And finally, PK still continue to move a fair bit in utero. Sometimes I feel like she's not quite as active as she used to be, which makes me worry. That being said, all of the literature out there says that babies seem to move less later into gestation because there's less room in the uterus. I don't find that particularly comforting, since I'm so used to her moving a lot. Sometimes when I don't feel her moving, I like to coax her into moving by either doing some pelvic floor exercises or leaning forward. That usually gets her moving. I don't think that she find that particularly disruptive, since I usually only get a foot jab from her out of that. Good enough for me. I just want to know that she's okay in there.

Whew! That was a mouthful! The race is on! Only 3 more days until I'm due. Will I be one of the 5% of women who actually has their baby on their due date? Will PK come just before? Will PK come just after? Will PK need to be induced? Stay tuned!

Hurry Up and Wait

I have 3 days until my due date, yet PK is still sitting pretty comfortably in my womb. They (whoever "they" are) say that walking and going up stairs can help induce labor. In my case, I don't think that that's going to work. I've got a ton of stairs in my house (each room is on its own floor), and I walk A LOT as part of my exercise routine. PK is too used to my moving about, so no amount of walking or stair climbing I do will coax her out of her comfy little coccoon!

Now, even though PK has not yet arrived, I do think that we're fast approaching L-Day. First off, she has dropped since last Monday. I didn't find PK's drop as dramatic as everyone says it is, where all of a sudden you've been released from your squished-up-lung prison, and eating is no longer an indigestion-laden ordeal. I did have have trouble breathing, which I noticed mostly when I worked out, walked, or went up stairs, but it wasn't THAT bad. Also, I didn't really have that much indigestion. I was pretty much able to eat the same portions that I did before PK started squishing my innards.

All that aside, she DID drop. My belly now looks pear-shaped, and the trouble breathing I had seems to have gone away. I just didn't feel like it was that dramatic a change. Maybe it's because PK moved down slowly.

I've also noticed that the Braxton-Hicks contractions are more frequent and more powerful. That being said, there's no set pattern to them, so I know it's not time just yet.

And finally - and I'm not 100% sure on this one - I think I passed my mucus plug this morning. I'll probably confirm that with my doctor when I see him tomorrow. This means that labor can start anytime between sometime today, and sometime in the next few days. No kidding...

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Yesterday I was feeling a slight tingling in my throat, and today I've got a full-on sore throat. Not exactly what I had in mind for the days leading up to PK's arrival. Naturally, I'm not too pleased by the entire situation. For one thing, I HATE HATE HATE being sick (I know that I'm in for a rude awakening once PK starts daycare). The other thing is that since I'm pregnant, I can't take anything to relieve my symptoms. I already went through such misery back in January and February, after having caught 3 colds in a row, with the middle cold being the evil of all evils. I'm not exactly looking forward to what this unwanted bug will bring.

Unfortunately, this was bound to happen. Tons of people are sick these days. Not to mention the fact that I had a few day-long meetings last week one of my co-workers who sick kept coughing in my direction. I wish that people would just stay home when they're sick like that. My current workplace isn't like my old workplace where they kept track of how many sick days you took and when during the week it happened. Arrrgh! So aggravating!!!

I'm hoping that maybe I can make this bug go away by flushing out the toxins from my body with lots of water and lots of sweating. Some of my hard-core workout friends swear by this. I definitely have nothing to lose. Right now, my den feels like a furnace so I'm hoping that it's hot enough to sweat this little bug out. I'm trying not to go too far on the sweating thing because I don't want to endanger PK. I just don't want to be sick!!!

You Know You're Almost Due When... - Part 2

Second-time moms have told me that one of the most annoying questions they get close to their due date is whether or not the baby has arrived yet. The rumors really start flying if the expectant mom suddenly disappears.

In my case, since I'm on mat-leave, I didn't want people to start thinking that PK had arrived yet because they didn't see me online as often anymore. Sure, I log on for a bit here and there, but I'm no longer glued to the computer. Naturally the rumors would start flying, especially if people didn't know that I was already on mat-leave. In order to keep such rumors from spreading, the first thing I did once I finished work last Friday was to update my status on Facebook, GTalk, and MSN Instant Messenger: "mat-leave = yes, baby = not yet". So unless my status changes on any of these three media, it's safe to assume that PK is still nicely tucked away in the womb, enjoying her last few days before joining the real world. :)

You Know You're Almost Due When...

Yesterday I was at Ikea with my mom to buy some chairs to go with the kitchen table that we bought for our new kitchen. You can either blame or curse technology for this, but I was down to two chairs that I liked, so I took pictures of them and mailed them on to the hubby to get his opinion. I also decided to follow that up with a phone call, for a head's up so that we could make a decision quickly.

Of course, I keep forgetting that PK can pop out at any minute now, and that a phone call from me could be the "I'm in labor" call...which is what he thought when he picked up the phone. Apparently he'd been in a meeting and had stepped out because he thought it was time for PK to make her world début. :P

He told me later that when he returned to his meeting, he interrupted the meeting saying something to the effect of, "Yeah, my wife's not in labor. She just wanted me to look at some chairs." Man, do I ever feel domesticated...

BTW, here are the chairs in question. Which one would you pick?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Momentous Occasion

My driver's license is up for renewal on my b-day this year (end of August), and seeing as I might be a tad busy at that time, I thought it would be good to get a jump-start on the renewal process and do it before PK arrives. Nothing terribly exciting there. What IS exciting is that I've decided to change my name on my license! After 5 years of marriage, I figured that it was about time. Besides that, I think that if I have my married name on my license and on my passport, I'd get less flack if I were to travel alone with PK by plane or cross-border.

I'm not sure how it works in other provinces and territories in Canada, but in Ontario I can get away with assuming the hubby's name, rather than legally changing my name. That's a huge relief because I don't need to change all of my identification, including birth certificate. That part alone is good because I wasn't born here, so god only knows how annoying that would be. Besides that, the name change process itself is a royal pain in the butt requiring original documents of this and that up the wazoo. Assuming the hubby's name is waaaaaaaaay more convenient.

Even though I was changing my name on the license, it wasn't too painful a process. All I needed to do was bring my marriage certificate with me, and they'd change my name for me. I'd initially wanted to use my maiden name as my middle name, and my married name as my last name. Unfortunately, they don't allow for that - I can only change my last name. I'd initially thought that my options were either using my married name, or using the dreaded hyphen (sorry readers with hyphenated last names). Fortunately, I was given the option of using my maiden name followed by my married name separated by a SPACE. Yay! So now I've got a really long-ass name on my license, but at least I avoided the hyphenation thing. :P

Next stop, passport renewal. That doesn't expire for another year, so I've go time on my side.


One of my missions on my first day of mat-leave was to buy some more nursing bras. I'd bought one way back, sometime during mid-pregnancy. At the time, the lady doing my fitting at the bra store advised me to come back once I was closer to my due date, since my ribs would be more expanded and my boobs would balloon up once the milk started coming in. Maybe it's because I see myself every day, but I don't think that my boobs have really grown since that first fitting, and I don't think that my ribcage has expanded all that much either.

At any rate, seeing as I only had the one nursing bra, I needed to get at least a couple more. The store I went to was the same one where I got my maternity bras and my one nursing bra - Secrets from Your Sister. I went with them because they were recommended in my pre-natal fitness classes and because they do bra fittings. Before that, I'd never been fitted for a bra. That being said, I think their fitting people are on crack, because they keep telling me that I'm a 32 around the chest, and experience has shown me that 32 is quite constricting (i.e. can't breathe all that well). They also claim that I'm a D-cup, but I don't think I've grown much more than a C-cup.

And yet, I still came out of the store spending $230 on 2 nursing bras and a nursing tank. Why, do you ask? Because:
1. I don't have the bloody patience to be running around looking for nursing bras.
2. The bras I got are really cute. :P
3. The bras actually fit just fine with the back extender, which may actually mean that when my ribs shrink back to their original size, the 32 might fit me.
4. The D-cup is probably a good idea because I'm sure that while I'm nursing, I'll end up with big-ish boobs anyway.

That being said, I realized that I forgot to buy a neutral-colored nursing bra for wearing with white shirts. I might just hit up La Senza or Thyme Maternity for one of those. Hopefully I'll pay less than at this store. I might actually try to get another nursing tank as well. The one I bought cost like $75, which is rather steep. Hopefully I can find one for less at one of these chains.

Week 38

Yesterday I went to see the doctor, and as part of the visit, he checked to see if PK's "landing gear" had been deployed. I'd been having some serious cramping a few days before, so I was totally certain that my cervix would be dilated at least 3 or 4 cm. It turns out that I'm barely even dilated (i.e. < 1cm), which was disappointing. I know, I know. I did say that I wanted some time to myself before PK arrives, so it's not such a bad thing. I just don't want to be induced, because I know that that will make for a more painful labor and it may cause me to cave on the epidural, which would mean that my mother-in-law's eye-rolling wins. On top of that, it seems that my cervix is in some weird position, so the doctor said that might make for a longer, more painful labor. Bleh. I'm just going to ignore that last little bit. I'm still convinced that I will have a nice labor. Maybe not pain-free, but at least one where I can manage the pain. :D

On the bright side, he was able to feel PK's head when he poked at my cervix, which means that she's starting to engage somewhat. The ultrasound also confirmed that the head was down, the spine was on my left-hand side, and the feet were on my right. No surprise there. Apparently this is a very common position for babies to be in towards the end.

When I got home from the doctor's office, I noticed some blood on my underwear. Now, I'd been told that there would be some spotting as a result of the cervical exam, but this seemed like more than spotting, so I called the doctor's office. The secretary assured me that since I wasn't bleeding more than a period, I was fine. caught me a bit by surprise. After that, the blood turned more from red to brown, and I passed a small bit of brownish mucus. At first I thought it was the so-called bloody show, but the books appear to indicate that the bloody show is either red or pinkish in color and that the brown mucusy gunk is most likely the result of a cervical exam. WHEW!

At the same time, I think that the cervical exam must've kick-started something. I've been cramping up more than usual, and the cramping has gotten more intense. There is no pattern to the cramping, however, so I think that they're just Braxton-Hicks contractions. One "new" pain that I've started experiencing, however, is this bizarre pain on my left lower-back. It runs from my mid-back to my lumbar area, and it feels like a period cramp on my back. I was woken up by such a pain early this morning, and it took a while for it to go away. I then felt it again in the late morning, just after 11am. No signs of it since then. I'll probably mention that to the doctor when I see him next week.

Besides Monday being my doctor's appointment, it was also an important milestone for me - my first day of mat-leave! YOINKS! This whole thing is still very surreal to me - and I'm sure it will be even more surreal once PK arrives. Right now, it feels like I'm on vacation. I can sleep in, run errands, and goof off. At the same time, I spent part of my first day on mat-leave cleaning up the kitchen after the plumbers came by to finish up. How domestic is that? It made me feel like a bit of a housewife, which made me cringe. Nothing against any housewives out there. My mom and my mother-in-law are both housewives, and I KNOW that it's a tiring and thankless job. In some ways, it's harder than being out there in the workforce. It's just not for me. I like the idea of working and earning my own money. We keep separate bank accounts, which I find empowering and other people just find plain weird. Now that I'm going on mat-leave, however, I'll be getting an allowance from the hubby once my top-up payments are done. How WEIRD!

Oh, before I forget, I did finally get the Depends for when PK arrives. I took the plunge on Sunday. It needed to be done. I don't want to be ruining perfectly good underwear at the hospital due to massive post-partum bleeding. I also got a bunch of overnight pads for when the Depends run out and/or when the bleeding isn't quite as heavy. Ah, Life's necessary evils!

Monday, July 28, 2008

LOL Moment

Today, at long last, the plumber came by to finish up the sink and dishwasher installations. They weren't at the house for too long - just 30-40 minutes - after which we finally had a functioning kitchen!!!

I was so happy and excited that I called my mom to tell her the news. This is what our conversation was like:

ME: Hi Mom!
MOM: Are you in labor?

ME: No. I was just calling to say that the plumber came by!
MOM: You're having a baby girl?

ME: No...the <I>plumber</I> came by!!!
MOM: Oh. So no baby yet?

ME: Nope!
MOM: Oh...
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Stranger Dream

I think it has been a while since I've done any blogging on my weird pregnancy dreams, namely because there's been a bit of a dry spell. That is, until Saturday night. I had a FREAKING WEIRD dream that night, and I felt compelled to share.

The dream started out just fine. I was giving birth to PK. The birth itself was great. Thanks to my wonderful HypnoBirthing techniques, I was laboring at the hospital for about 1 hour. I don't know how realistic that is for a first child. Odds are, not very realistic, since I'll have to be at the hospital at least 4 hours in advance to receive antibiotics for that pesky GBS bug. At any rate, the labor was great, and it was all done in a flash.

The next thing I remember is realizing that after the birth, there was no skin-to-skin contact with PK, nor was their any attempt made for me to breast-feed PK. To top it all off, I realized that PK was in a small basket, like those gift baskets that they sell at Babies R Us, and that she was covered with a sheet. I started freaking out because I'd wondered if she'd suffocated overnight. I was distraught because it had been a long journey with PK, and I didn't want to risk anything happening to her. When I lifted PK from the basket, she felt more like a doll than a baby, and I kept checking to see if she was breathing. Finally, it sounded like she was. Whew! Sigh of relief!

After that scare, I thought I'd try breast-feeding. That didn't work out so well, because she'd twisted my left breast such that her mouth was on the breast itself, but the nipple was sticking out of her mouth. So I gently put my pinky in her mouth so she'd let go of the bad latch. For whatever reason, I didn't pursue the breast-feeding thing any further...or any type of feeding, for that matter.

Next, I thought I'd try changing PK's diaper. When I held her up, she looked like a miniature version of my pediatrician. Basically, she didn't look like a baby - just like a shrunken adult who happened to look like my pediatrician. That struck me as a teensy bit odd, but not that much. I began the process of removing her clothes so that I could change her. It seemed like I kept peeling layer after layer of clothing. Until I got to the end...a wedge piece of some creamy cheese. That's what was left of PK after I'd taken her clothes off to change her - CHEESE!!!

And that was the end of my dream. Freaking weird, if you ask me. I have NO IDEA what it all means. Any interpretations are welcome! :)

The Pediatrician

When I posted the update for Week 37, I forgot to mention the fact that we'd met with our new pediatrician on July 17th for a pre-natal visit. I was already pretty impressed by the fact that they even DID pre-natal visits, so that was a good sign. I can't remember if I'd mentioned this before, but I got the pediatrician's name from a new mom that I'd met at a friend's wedding back in May.

I'm glad we were able to secure a pediatrician for PK, because - and I may have mentioned this before - I don't particularly trust family doctors. I figure that since pediatricians deal with kids exclusively, there's a better chance that if PK had some nasty ailment a pediatrician would fare better than a family doc. The residency period for family medicine in Canada is only two years (compared to at least 5 years for all other programs), and most med students choose it either because they want an easy life or because they couldn't get into their first-choice residency program. Very sobering facts, and they definitely don't add to my confidence in family doctors. That being said, there are good doctors and bad doctors everywhere. I just have yet to find a good family doc. But I digress...

So, back to my story. The hubby called the pediatrician and made arrangements for our pre-natal visit. Fortunately - and to my surprise and delight - we didn't need a referral from a family doc, so getting the appointment was relatively easy. The pediatrician's office is not quite as close as we'd like, but fortunately it's a 15-minute ride on the subway, and that particular subway station has an elevator, so it's stroller-friendly. Yay!

When we got there, we were led into an examination room right away, and then we waited. And waited. And waited. I think we were seen one hour later, which, for being in the examination room, is quite a long time to be waiting. Then we found out why there was the delay. There are two doctors in the practice, Dr. X and Dr. Y. When the hubby made the appointment, he'd made it for Dr. Y - i.e. NOT the one given to us by the girl at the wedding, Dr. X). When we got to the office, however, he'd gotten the names mixed up, and told the lady at reception that we were seeing Dr. X instead of Dr. Y. So in the end we ended up seeing Dr. X (original referral) even though we'd made the appointment for Dr. Y. :P Confused yet?

At least the wait was worth it. The doctor was extremely pleasant and mild-mannered. And as an extra bonus, she has kids of her own, so she can actually practice what she preaches. Before taking any questions from us, she gave us a little spiel about the practice. First off, she told us all about how both doctors in the practice cover for each other, so even if one doctor is away due to illness or whatever, the other doctor is there to take on the extra caseload. And she said that if you need an appointment at the last minute (i.e. the day you're calling), they always accommodate. On top of that, she also mentioned that they're part of a group of pediatricians that are on-call in the evenings and weekends, so if you have any questions or concerns, you always have phone access to a pediatrician up to 10pm every evening. Freaking awesome!

In the end, it was a very fruitful visit, and I'm very glad that we were able to book a pre-natal appointment. It's nice to know that there are all of these support services available to PK. It's also nice to know that I can bug her for resources on lactation consultants, post-partum depression (knock on wood that I won't have to), and other post-partum related items. It definitely makes me more at ease to know that PK is in good hands and that so are we.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week 37

I was totally convinced that PK would be making her world début partway into my 37th week. On the opening night for "The Dark Night", I was sitting in the theater watching the movie like everyone else, when all of a sudden I started getting some major cramping. I dismissed the cramps as Braxton-Hicks initially, but started worrying when they wouldn't stop. Finally, they did. I guess PK wasn't ready to come out just yet. On a similar note, one girl in my aqua-fitness class who was due the same day as me (August 7th) ended up having her baby at 37 weeks on the nose.

As with the past few weekends leading up to PK's due date, we've spent most of our time scrambling around buying odds and ends. One of the things I still had to do was buy some disposable undies for the hospital, seeing as I've read (and have been told) that there is some crazy bleeding that happens post-partum. I was all ready to buy myself a pack of Depends, when I suddenly started feeling all self-conscious and abandoned my mission. That was probably not the smartest thing to do, but as I've said before, I've never claimed to be rational at all times.

On the Monday, I had my usual weekly doctor's appointment. Nothing terribly exciting happened there. PK's head is still in the right spot. Hurray! He told me that the following week, he'd do an internal exam to see if PK's "landing gear" had deployed. That totally cracked me up. It was a nice euphemism for saying he'd check if my cervix was dilated. My sister tells me that when they do these types of exams, it can sometimes trigger the onset of labor, and that if labor does start, it's usually within 24 hours of the exam. I'd considered waiving that exam after she told me this, because my last day at the office was July 25th, and I wanted at least one week to myself before PK arrived. Seeing as my next doctor's appointment is on July 27th, there's a possibility that checking under the hood might trigger labor on the 28th and therefore nix any of my plans for actual time off before PK arrives. After giving it some thought, I think I'll still go ahead with the exam. PK will come out when she's ready. If I go into labor on the 28th, then so be it.

Speaking of mat-leave, I did decide that July 25th would be my last day at the office after all. As I'd mentioned in my last post, I'd tinkered with the idea of working part-time after the 25th, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a hair-brained idea. Who am I kidding. I need some "me time" before PK arrives. Besides, my attention span during meetings has gotten worse, and I am increasingly more tired overall. I've been so tired lately that I skipped out on my pre-natal Yoga class this week. I really wasn't up for the torture workout that I usually get. That being said, I went home and worked out all the same - arm-toning with the TheraBands and leg toning with some fabulous squats. Believe me, that was still a lot less intense than the Yoga class.

On a final note, here's the latest on the kitchen. Counters were installed on Monday (July 21st), so our kitchen finally looks like a kitchen! The plumber also came by that week, to install the sinks and the toilet. As of today, we have a working toilet, but the sinks are half-done. The faucet for the kitchen sink has been installed, and the sink has been mounted (it's an under-mount sink), but the drain for the sink and the dishwasher hasn't been set up yet. I'm a little miffed because the drain was never set up because the sink needed to be glued in place. The plumber didn't come until Wednesday, so they could've mounted the sink before then. Oh well...c'est la vie. The bathroom sink has been put in place, but the faucet wasn't installed because they couldn't remember if the faucet was going to be to the left or right of the sink, so they hadn't drilled the hole for the faucet when the counters were installed. Our cell #s are posted in the front hall, so a simple phone call to ask would've sufficed. Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! We were told that the final plumbing work would be done on Monday, July 28th, at the latest, so hopefully we'll have a working kitchen by then. On the bright side, everything has been cleaned up in the kitchen area, so we were at least able to move our kitchen paraphernalia into the kitchen. Yay!

I just hope that I get to enjoy my working kitchen for a day or two - I've been itching to bake cookies :D - before PK arrives. I guess I'm getting pretty demanding. Enjoying time off, being able to do some baking...all before PK arrives! Will it happen? Only PK knows the answer to that question!

Me at 37 Weeks

Friday, July 25, 2008


There must be some love potion that my pregnant body is emitting, because the number of guys trying to pick me up in the last few months has been unbelievable.

Just today, I was going into a subway station on my way to work when this random guy starts talking to me and asks if I'm Italian. I say "No," smile, and walk awaym

A few seconds later I see him on the subway platform again, and he keeps pressing me on where I'm from, oblivious to the fact that I've got my headphones on and therefore don't wish to engage in conversation. So I turn around and tell him that I'm from Brazil and THAT'S when he says, "Oh, I didn't realize that you were pregnant. Otherwise I wouldn't have kept bothering you."

Dude, how about checking for a wedding ring? Anyway, he walked away, and that was that.

Although I found the guy irritating (and definitely kind of creepy), I do find the whole situation very amusing when a look back at it.
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Today was my last day at the office. As of next week, I'll be on mat-leave. While I'm relieved to be taking some time off befor PK arrives (assuming I don't go into labor tonight :P), I am sad to be leaving, even if it's only for a few months.

My co-workers have not only been great to work with, I've actually ENJOYED my job! In addition to that, my co-workers actually appreciate the work that I've done to date. This is a very stark contrast to previous workplaces, so I am very grateful for the opportunity and experience.

But, alas, life goes on, and it's time to move on with the next phase of my life. I'm sure that taking care of PK will be as busy as a full-time job, especially in the first few weeks of her life - oh, who am I'll be for much longer than that! Besides, work will still be there in a few months. Let the new phase of my journey begin!
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Stuck on the Subway

I am stuck on the subway and late for my 9am meeting on my last day at work before taking mat-leave. Great way to start the day, eh?

All that aside, I really need to pee. I've got one more stop to go, but at the rate this train is moving, I may explode. Let's hope that that doesn't happen...
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home Stretch

As of today, I've only got 2 weeks until my due date! I can't believe how time has flown by! On the one hand, I really want PK to pop out already. On the other hand, I want to keep her in there just a bit longer. Tomorrow is my last day at work, and I'd like to enjoy at least one week to myself before taking the plunge into parenthood. I don't think that PK is quite ready to come out yet, just because I haven't felt her drop into my pelvis quite yet. But who knows...things can change quite rapidly now, can't they?

The kitchen is still not done (more on that later), so the race is on. Who will win? Will it be the kitchen or PK? Feel free tell me your guesses!

Tickle Tickle Tickle

For the past few weeks, PK has been co-operative and has been in the head-down position. This has been a huge relief, seeing as it means that a C-section will be less likely. I say less likely because you just never know with these things, do you?

At any rate, she's propped herself in some awkward position because her head is not quite aligned with center of my hips - it's slightly off to the left, and while her back is in the anterior-ish position, it's hanging out more to the left side. Which means that every once in a while, one of her feet tends to poke out of my right side (just like she's doing right now). I actually love that sensation. Last week she poked out so much at one point, that it looked like I had a little cone protruding out of my right side. It sure impressed the hubby!

I'm not the belly-rubbing type at all, but whenever she does that, I like to put my hand where her foot pokes out, and rub the area. It's cool to feel her foot retract when I do that. The hubby also gets a kick out of it (pardon the pun), and whenever PK pokes her little foot out, he tickles her foot, saying "Tickle tickle tickle!" It's really really cute. I've noticed that he really enjoys rubbing my belly overall these days - maybe because it's looking so round - it beckons a rubbing. It's really sweet when he does it. The look on his face is just priceless. There's so much love in his eyes for this unborn child. It's like he melts as soon as he touches my belly or addresses PK. Very endearing. I think he'll make a great father.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Week 36

I have to admit that I was half-expecting to go into labor over the weekend. I was feeling a combination overall ick and this horrid fatigue that I'd never felt before - not even in my first trimester. The Braxton Hicks that I've been feeling also didn't help.

I've been feeling Braxton Hicks on and off since the onset of the third trimester, but I didn't really realize what it was until quite recently. I just figured that they were third trimester cramps, since all of the literature about Braxton Hicks seems to indicate that the symptoms feel like nothing more than a bit of tightening of the uterus. I finally laid that to rest a couple of weeks ago when I asked my doctor about the cramps, and he told me what they were. Even though they're rather uncomfortable I take it all in stride. Whenever I get the cramping, I practice one of the breathing techniques that I learned in my HypnoBirthing classes for dealing with uterine surges (HypnoBirthing term for contractions). It actually makes the pain a lot more bearable and it's great practice for when I actually do go into labor.

I saw the doctor on Monday again (now that my appointments are weekly), and got the results of my GBS swab. Not surprisingly, the test results came out positive. This basically means that I have to come to the hospital at the onset of labor, since they have to administer antibiotics intravenously for at least 4 hours. It's a bit of an inconvenience, I admit, and definitely puts a cramp in birth plan, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

On Monday, the hubby and I went on our hospital tour. I won't bore you with the gory details since I'd already done a nice long post on it. The short of it is that it was useful, and definitely overwhelming in some ways, since it really really made this whole baby thing seem all the more real. At the same time, knowing what to expect at the hospital when I go into labor is hugely comforting.

Speaking of the hospital, I FINALLY got around to packing my suitcase for the hospital on Monday. Well, sort of. I got most of it packed up, but I'm still missing a couple of items here and there. I'm hoping that I can just pick them up on the weekend and be done with it more or less. As long as I don't go into labor before then, I should be just fine. Honestly, my biggest fear right now is going into labor and forgetting the cord blood collection kit that I picked up last week. I can't keep it with my suitcase right now because my bedroom gets really hot during the day and the lady with whom I spoke when I picked up the collection kit said to keep it in a cool place. So right now it's sitting in my basement, while my suitcase sits in my bedroom with a big post-it note reminding me to grab the collection kit. Once the other items have been packed, I'll take the suitcase down to the basement and re-unite it with the collection kit.

This week I also thought I'd figured out the timing for my mat-leave. The plan was to start it on July 26th so I'd still have 2 weeks until my due date to chill out. That plan is still in effect, but my manager's boss asked me today if I could work some half-days up until my due date. It's food for thought, and I may do the half-day thing after the 26th. It wouldn't be a big deal for me if I came in for the morning and just went home at noon or 1pm.

And finally, at long last, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the kitchen renos! We got confirmation this week that our kitchen counter is getting put in on Monday, which means that the kitchen may actually be done by the end of next week. Yay!!! Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. Still, I'm glad that there's a date. I'll be even happier if the kitchen renos are done before PK arrives. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hospital Tour

Yesterday we went on our hospital tour. I'm actually really really glad that we got around to doing it. Overall, I found it to be quite the surreal experience. Going to the maternity ward and getting a glimpse of what will happen when I go into labor was an eye-opening experience.

There were 3 other couples with us. Our tour guides were hospital volunteers. The first took us to the pre-natal (?) triage room. That's where they assess you for 4 hours when you first go into labor. I'm guessing that this is where they also turn you away if you're not far enough along in your labor. I really hope that I don't get turned away...otherwise, I'll be spending an awfully long time at the Starbucks downstairs. There's no way that I'd drive back home with the hospital being a 30-minute drive (on a good traffic day) from home.

Once you start going into active labor, you're taken to the labor room. The labor room looked a bit '90s ghetto. Considering that it was a hospital room, it could've been much worse. Cheesiness aside, the labor rooms are quite nice. They have the labor bed, some monitoring equipment, a private washroom with single-person Jacuzzi, a phone (no cell phones allowed), and some other equipment which was tastefully hidden away in what appeared to be hotel-like cabinets. That was a nice touch, because one of the things that the HypnoBirthing classes mentioned is how birthing nowadays is such "medical" process. This setup certainly made you feel less like you were in a hospital.

Another thing that I REALLY liked is that, while the bed we saw in the room looked like a regular flat bed, it converts into some crazy setup where you're practically squatting during labor. This is definitely a plus, as the squatting position is one of the most optimal birthing positions, since it opens up your pelvis nice and wide and shortens the birth passage. It also supposedly reduces/eliminates the need for an episiotomy (not that these are done that often anyway). BONUS!

I also found out that even though the hospital doesn't have birth balls anymore, they certainly allow them in the birthing rooms. That's good, since I picked up a birthing ball this weekend specifically to take to the hospital when I go into labor.

After the baby is delivered, you stay in the birthing room for about 2 hours, and then are taken to the "mom and baby" center - i.e. your accommodations for the remainder of your hospital stay. We were told that there are 6 private rooms, 14 semi-private rooms (2 beds to a room), and one room which houses 4 beds. Although I put down a private room as my first choice, it remains to be seen whether or not I will actually get one. I'm hoping for one, because spouses/birth companions are only allowed to stay overnight in the private room. Otherwise, it's buh-bye to the spouse at 10pm, since you need to be considerate of the privacy of the other new mom(s) in the room. That also means no telephone calls after 10pm. I find this thought a bit freaky. Odds are that I will most likely end up sharing a room with at least one other person, and the thought of being in there in this room with another person, and with my baby and no support from the hubby is positively FRIGHTENING!

The thought of spending my first night with PK alone made me extremely emotional, and I was on the verge of tears throughout the remainder of the tour. While taking the tour was a very positive experience, it suddenly made this parenting thing seem all the more real. It was a "holy crap, I'm really having this baby" moment. As if the squirmy little creature kicking at my bladder wasn't indication enough, eh? ;-)

The Best-Laid Plans...

I should know by now that even the best-laid plans can be blown to smitherenes due to unaccounted for circumstances. I also should've learned a lesson from my first trimester - even I, a self-proclaimed Energizer Bunny, am at the mercy of my pregnant body and CAN (and WILL) get tired.

As with the first-trimester fatigue, the third-trimester fatigue has TOTALLY caught me off-guard. So much so that I had to take a "me day" last week to rest up.

When I first got pregnant, I had this "brilliant" idea that I could work through until I went into labor. I joked with my manager that my water would break while I was working away at my desk. I still find the thought rather amusing. :P Working up until the bitter end SEEMED like a good idea, especially since I was full of boundless energy in my second trimester and had trouble believing that the energy levels would drop once I got into my third trimester. Enter third trimester. An entirely different beast. Energy levels dropped. Staying awake during meetings was becoming increasingly more difficult. Walking around without huffing and puffing seemed like a distant memory.

That got me thinking that taking some time off before PK arrived wouldn't be such a bad idea. My days of sleeping in are very short-lived. As are my days of being selfish. I might as well enjoy what little time I have of life before PK, because after PK is born, life as I know it will cease to exist. Not for the worse, so I'm told, which is at least comforting. At any rate, I felt that I NEEDED to set a date for my mat-leave. So yesterday I told my boss that two weeks from that day would be my last day at work.

Yup, just tell me "I told you so".

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Belly at 36 Weeks

Here's the latest and greatest belly pic!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Those Damned Pesky Emotions

My mom just sent me an e-mail forward about motherhood. I'll post the text at a later time because it's in Portuguese, so I still need to translate it. At any rate, it made me go all teary-eyed and it so happened that as I was reading this e-mail, a couple of people happened to come to my desk and saw me in tears. How embarrassing! I'm used to being so composed at the office, and this just makes me look so vulnerable and not in control.

It's those damned pregnancy hormones. That'll teach me to read mushy stuff during office hours.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Playing Hookey

Today I decided to take a "me day". I figured that since I won't really be taking any time off before my mat-leave begins, it would be good to at least take a day to myself. Besides that, I've been a bit stressed and tired, and really really needed a day to clear my head. After all, if I want this HypnoBirthing thing to work, I really need to be calm and relaxed BEFORE as well as DURING labor.

Since the day was absolutely beautiful today (26C!) and my kitchen is still not done (translation: house looks like a war zone), I decided to spend the day with my mom. It was great. We ran a couple of baby-related errands in the morning, and then relaxed in the afternoon. Plus I got to mooch off of Mom's cooking. Can't beat that! Since my parents have a pool, I spent almost 3 hours in there. The feeling of weightlessness was just what I needed to relax and make me forget about the lack of mobility that I've been experiencing as PK gets bigger and bigger. If I could, I'd spend my entire day in the pool. Since that's not the case, I take what I can get. :)

Too bad it's back to reality tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Week 35

This week the fatigue is really hitting me - to the point where I find myself dragging my feet half the time. I think that I'll be taking a me day really soon. I seriously need a real vacation.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've started with the perineal massages. They are anything but pleasant, but there has been a noticeable difference in the amount that my perineum will now stretch. I really really hope that it makes a difference on L-Day. The perineum is stretched for 2-minute intervals, 3 times, and by the end of it, I feel absolutely sick. I don't quite know how to describe it other than the fact that it feels like mild nausea mixed in with fatigue. It definitely doesn't help with my energy levels.

This past weekend we picked up a few more odds and ends for PK's room. We bought some baby body wash and shampoo, some more fitted sheets for the crib mattress, and a vinyl mattress pad to put under the fitted sheets. Given that the mattress cost us a bloody fortune, we didn't want any PK bodily ick to soak through the mattress. I think at this point we're pretty set for PK's arrival.

Yesterday I was supposed to have had a make-up class for the HypnoBirthing class that the hubby and I missed a while back. Unfortunately, I was feeling really beat, especially after my doctor's appointment ran late. That, factored in with the fac that the make-up class location would be a bit more of a trek for us, I (we) decided not to go. It's just as well that we didn't show up, because the downtown core was hit with a really nasty thunderstorm that evening. It POURED for a couple of hours, and I was very very glad that I wasn't outside. I feel a bit guilty for missing the class, but to be honest, I think I've picked up all I can from that class. I've read the part in the book that was covered in the missed class, and now it's up to me.

I must admit that my confidence level re: HypnoBirthing has plunged significantly. A couple of weeks ago I had a very high-stress weekend (parental issues - long story), and I've been a bit on edge ever since. I feel that while my body can relax, my mind is unable to do so. As the time passes, I have been able to relax a bit more, but for some reason, my HypnoBirthing confidence is shot. I really don't know what to do, because I know that it's all a head game. Somehow I need to convince my brain that things will work out.

Yesterday I dropped off my forms for the cord blood banking place. It's going to cost us somewhere around $1,200 for initial setup and for the first year of refrigeration, but I figure that it's well worth the money for some peace of mind. This morning I picked up the collection kit, so now we're all set. I'm glad that this is out of the way - one more thing off of the to-do list! We just need to make sure that we take it to the hospital with us on L-Day.

So it looks like I'm more or less set for this labor thing. :) The only thing I need to do now is pack my suitcase for the hospital. I really should get around to doing it. We at least hauled the suitcase from our storage locker, and it is now sitting in my bedroom, as daily reminder that I am procrastinating. I think that part of me feels that the minute I pack the suitcase, I go into labor. It's a stupid silly thought, but I never claimed to be rational 100% of the time. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

PK at 35 Weeks

Today we went to see the doctor. From here on in, I'll be seeing him once a week. I hope that next week's appointment isn't like today's where we arrived on-time for our 3:30pm appointment, and ended up seeing him at 4:45pm. I'm just glad that I didn't book my appointment for first thing in the morning - the entire workday might have been a write-off!

In a nutshell, PK is doing just fine - still head-down. Not that I could tell from the ultrasound at this point. PK just looks like a big gray blob on the ultrasound these days, which I guess is to be expected. There's only so much that the little ultrasound probe can show at this point with PK being so big and all. I did ask him for a print-out of the ultrasound, however, and he provided me with one of PK's heart. I'm posting it up here, but I will warn you that you really can't tell that it's a heart on the picture.

I also got swabbed for Group B Strep (GBS). I'd done an initial GBS swab a few weeks back - when I was 25 weeks or so? I really can't remember. At any rate that swab came back positive. I'm not terribly optimistic about this one coming back negative, but if it DOES come back positive, I won't be distraught. These things happen. The good news is that there's treatment for it, so I'm not going to fret over it. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Torontonians Are Rude

You've read my bitching on how I don't care that people don't offer me their seats on the subway and how I'm annoyed that people eagerly open doors for me. Well, I guess I've done a 180 of sorts, now that PK looks like a basketball attached to my abdomen. While I really don't give a snoot about whether or not someone opens doors for me, I am starting to care more about whether or not people offer me seats on the subway.

It's not so much that I don't have enough balance to stand as the subway jerks about, but I DO have another little person to think about. Swaying around with a big belly on a crowded subway car can be very disconcerting, and I worry about PK.

In a nutshell Torontonians are rude - couldn't you tell from the post title? :P On more than one occasion, I've been in a crowded subway car, with big belly and standing room only, and NOBODY has had the courtesy to offer me a seat. I have to stand and hold the rail and hope that I don't swivel back-and-forth as the subway jerks about. What's more is that as people crowd the subway, they are either oblivious to or ignore the fact that I'm pregnant and try to smush me like a pancake.

Today was no exception. The hubby and I got on the subway, and it was really really crowded. As I got in, I asked a woman near the door to move inward a bit so that I had room to get on. She ignored me. Stupid bitch. I ended up having to stand, with the hubby holding the rail with one hand, my backpack with the other hand, and me trying to take on a stable stance so that I wouldn't flail as the subway jerked about. I finally managed to find a seat at the next stop, though no thanks to the kindness of strangers.

On another occasion on the subway, there was an empty seat out of a set of two that were perpendicular to the window. There was a guy sitting on the outermost seat (by the aisle), and the empty seat was the innermost one (by the window). One would expect the normal, gentlemanly thing to do would be for the guy to move over to the window seat so that I could sit at the aisle seat. Unfortunately, as I said, Torontonians are rude. All he did was shift his legs over so that I could squeeze into the window seat. I may not have gained a ton of weight during pregnancy, but I still have a fairly protruding belly. I can't squeeze into spaces like I used to. I was so pissed off by this guy that I declined his "offer" and looked for a seat elsewhere. Stupid bastard.

Yes, I know...y'all told me so...

Perineal Massage

I finally got around to doing that pesky perineal massage yesterday. I had been putting it off because the thought of sticking my fingers down there quite frankly is rather disturbing. What changed my mind, however, is when I read about episiotomies and tearing in The Mother of All Pregnancy Books this past weekend. BTW, this book came highly-recommended to me from my pre-natal classes, and I can see why. It's definitely a great read, and it's written by a Canadian! Yay!

Anyway, looking at all the ick associated with episiotomies made me realize that I should just suck it up and get this massage done. I should've started the routine at week 34, but better late than never.

BTW, if you think that this is a "fun" massage because of the parts of the anatomy involved, then think again. It's NOT fun. It hurts. It burns. You're stretching stuff that isn't used to being stretched. And this is just a preview of what it feels like when the baby's head is crowning. Yowsers!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Birth Plan

At long last, the hubby and I finally sat down this evening to put together a birth plan. Without further ado, here it is! My next challenge will be to present this to my OB on Monday. Wish me luck!


General Notes:

• Please consult with couple prior to executing any procedures/medical interventions

Laboring Environment:

• Labor at home for as long as possible
• Dim lights, quiet ambiance, and music in birthing room
• Spouse present at all times
• Have the option to labor in a tub or shower

Labor Choices:

• To begin labor naturally
• To be allowed to be up to two weeks past due date
• To wait for up to 24 hours for contractions to begin before discussing medical induction

NOTE: Unless there is a serious health risk involved in any of the above

Induction/Augmentation of Labor:

• Natural induction methods to be attempted before resorting to medical induction

Laboring Positions:

• To labor in the most comfortable position for me

Pain Relief Measures:

• I do not want epidural unless I ask for it
• I will be using Hypnobirthing techniques in lieu of medication for pain relief (i.e. relaxation techniques)


• No episiotomy unless asked for and agreed to by me

After the Birth:

• Cord blood banking
• Skin on skin contact with baby
• No unnecessary separation from baby. If separated from baby, my spouse will accompany
• Delay any standard procedures for as long as possible, to allow for bonding with baby

Caesarean Section:

• In the event that a C-section is needed, my spouse will be present during the procedure at all times
• Baby given to spouse to hold/bond

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Barely Awake

Today was one of those days where I had 3 hours' worth of meetings in the span of 4 hours, and I could barely stay awake. I hate the feeling I get partway through a meeting where I realize that I'm about to doze off, and there's nothing that I can do to stay awake. I tried breathing in deeply, rubbing my eyes, writing in my notebook, and even looking around the room to kill the monotony. None of these tactics worked. Oddly enough, I still managed to take (mostly) coherent notes.

I know that this is just third-trimester fatigue, but it does nothing to make me feel any better about feeling lethargic at work. I feel really guilty when I start dozing off in a meeting, because it just looks so bloody unprofessional! Plus it looks like I'm completely uninterested in the meeting, which is most often NOT the case.

I've noticed that I've been getting more and more tired with each passing day. I took naps on both Saturday and Sunday, and again on the Canada Day holiday. I don't usually take evening naps on workdays, probably because I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off up until bedtime. I'm sure that this will come back to haunt me. I really really really need to just take a day of nothingness...but I just can't bring myself to do it. I try to squeeze as much as I can into every day, and I STILL get frustrated that I can't finish everything in my mental to-do list. I'm the type of person who always needs to be doing something. It drives the hubby up the wall that I have urges to clean the house or tidy things up at odd hours. We've been late for a movie on more than one occasion because of my urge to tidy up just before heading out the door.

Maybe I just need a good swift nerf bat whack to the head to knock me out for a few hours so that I can actually get some rest. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Belly Pics

It has been a while since I've posted some belly pics. Here are the latest and greatest for weeks 31 through 33.

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

PK has been getting squirmier and squirmier with each passing week. Usually I don't mind that, except when she pounds on my bladder. These days, it feels like I'm peeing every two seconds. It doesn't help that my water intake has significantly increased because I'm always thirsty these days. Nowadays, I plan my walking routes such that I know that I have a washroom along the way should I need one. Salvation! Apart from that, I don't normally get any rib jabs, except when I'm slouching in bed. I've been a bit disappointed with my posture throughout this pregnancy. I really haven't been sitting up straight on my chair or even when I stand up. Fortunately, I seem to have been spared chronic lower-back pain. *knock on wood*

Speaking of ailments, the foot-swelling still continues, though I think it's more or less at bay now. The only weird that that I've noticed is that my feet have been extra-sweaty these days. I normally don't have sweaty hands and feet. In fact, my hands and feet are always COLD, no matter what season! Okay, maybe not so much in the summertime. These days, however, my feet are always warm. To the point where I have trouble wearing shoes with socks for very long because I just feel so damned uncomfortable. Another thing I've noticed is that my hands have tended to swell a bit, especially when the weather is warm. Today we went for a nice long walk to the lake, and by the end of it, my hands were swollen to the point that it felt like I'd just finished a nice long climbing session. There was no way that I'd be able to yank my rings off my fingers without some soapy water. I think it was a combination of the heat and the fact that I was walking, having my hands down by my sides most of the time. I don't normally get swollen hands when I'm at the office, since I'm always typing. I hope that this swelling isn't a sign of pre-eclampsia. I'm guessing it's not, since my urine tests, blood pressure readings, and weight gain haven't been cause for alarm, so it's probably just one of those things. At any rate, I'll ask my doctor at my next visit just in case.

Since PK's arrival is not too far away, we decided this past weekend that we should get our act together and take care of getting some PK-related odds and ends. Given that nobody got us any big-ticket items from our baby registry, we just went ahead and bought those ourselves. Here's a list of our weekend spoils:
  • A bathtub - With stand!
  • A diaper bag - We decided to go with a backpack, since I find those shoulder bags rather uncomfortable. Besides, I wanted something that the hubby wouldn't be embarrassed about carrying around if he were alone with PK. :D
  • A moulded change pad - It's made of a soft foamy-ish material kind of like what those wretched Crocs are made of
  • A baby carrier - We got the Baby Trekker, since we've heard pretty good reviews about it and crappy reviews about the Baby Bjorn carrier.
  • Bedding - We got this super-cute neutral-colored teddy bear-themed bedding. It cost us a bit too much though, since it was made of organic fibers.
  • Burp pads
  • A bottle sterilizer - We got the Born Free (BPA-free!) sterilizer to match our lovely set of Born Free glass bottles.
When we got home, we decided to wash the bulk of the baby clothes that we'd acquired to date, along with some bedding. We washed mostly onesies, toques, booties, burp pads, blankets, bedding, towels, and facecloths, and we still ended up doing two loads of laundry. I didn't bother with the larger clothes that we have for PK, since she won't be needing them quite so soon (they're for 6-months and onwards).

We also decided to clean up PK's room a bit. Ever since our baby shower, we've had boxes of things sitting off in the corner of the room. It was high time that we actually got around to setting things up. Major items of note: we have most of the bedding in place, and the hubby put together the bunny mobile that my mom had gotten us. It looks soooooooooo cute! :D

My next doctor's visit is next week, and since we're rapidly-approaching L-Day, the hubby and I have to get off our butts and come up with a birthplan...or at least tell our doctor that we want to have the baby au naturel. I really really hopes that he reacts in a supportive manner.

Speaking of L-Day, we finally booked a hospital tour, AND we found a pediatrician for PK. She's not located right downtown, but we can at least get to her by subway in about 15 minutes or so. She was referred to me by someone I met at a wedding who had a cute little four-month-old boy. It's nice to have someone's seal of approval like that. I was actually impressed by the fact that when the hubby called to see if she was taking new patients, she actually wanted to meet with us before PK was born to get to know us. I think that's so nice and so rare to see. We see her in a couple of weeks, so I'll likely write something up about that appointment.

Still on the to-do list is cord blood banking. It's a bit pricey, but better safe than sorry. We've done some reading on it, and it seems to be a worthwhile thing to do. My sister-in-law had it done, and we're most likely going with the same place that she went with her her little one. They charge about $1000 up-front, and then it's something like $100/yr to store the cord blood. Anything for a bit of peace of mind.

BTW, I'm still in denial about that pesky perineal massage. Okay...I'll start it at 35 weeks...I swear!


Crib with bunny mobile

Monday, June 30, 2008

Matleave Ponderings #3

I've finally gotten around to filling out the various matleave forms for work. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, though it was annoying to calculate the dates. Matleave seems to be split off into 2 - pregnancy leave, which is 17 weeks, and parental leave, which is 35 weeks. They add up to a grand total of 1 year.

I'm taking the full 17 weeks of pregnancy leave, and part of the 35 weeks of parental leave, which is why the calculations were so annoying. On top of that, I had to give estimates for:
- Last day to be worked (i.e. beginning of pregnancy leave)
- Last day to be paid
- First day of unpaid leave
- Start date of parental leave
- First day back at work (after parental leave)

I hate calendar calculations. Thanks goodness for MS Excel. :D

Although I technically have my mat-leave starting on August 1st, it's nothing more than an estimated date. In reality, I'll be working until the bitter end. I spoke with my manager and I *may* work a couple of days from home in the 2 weeks or so leading up to my due date, but I don't even know if I'll exercise that option. I think I'd be bored out of my mind working from home in an empty house. I'd rather be at work. Still, the option is there just in case.

I've also had to hash out the details of my part-time work arrangements. At first, I was thinking of working 1 day per week upon returning from maternity leave. After giving it some further thought, however, I decided to revise that plan, and have proposed working 2.5 days per week, or alternating working 2 days one week, and 3 days another week.

Why the change of plans, you ask? Well, let's be realistic. Working 1 day a week is not enough time to really get anything done at the office. On top of that, I don't think that my workplace would even be able to justify getting me a cubicle and computer, let alone approve such an arrangement. Besides, this way, I still get best of both worlds. Time spent with PK, and time to re-integrate into the workforce.

Of course, I have no idea what it'll REALLY be like once PK arrives, so for all I know, this plan may go to the dogs. Fortunately, work is pretty flexible about my changing my mind even while on mat-leave. I just hope that I can stick to the plan.

Week 33

I had yet another doctor's appointment this week. Even though they're every 2 weeks now, I swear it feels like I'm there all the time. I don't mind so much, except for the fact that it takes me a friggin' hour to get there. Plus this one was earlier in the day (13:00h), so my entire afternoon of work was a write-off. He wanted to see me earlier in the day this time because he wanted to see me right after lunch, which apparently is a time when babies get squirmy in the womb. PK is squirmy ALL THE TIME, so it probably wouldn't have mattered so much. Anyway, the reason why he wanted PK to be extra-squirmy is because he wanted to check out my placenta. Apparently squirminess and placenta-measuring go hand-in-hand? At any rate, all was well on the placenta front, and PK is still favorably-positioned!

We even made it out of there at a good time! The only sucky thing is that when we left the doctor's office, we were greeted with a nasty thunderstorm (thunder, lightning, and pouring rain), so we had to wait out the storm for an hour or so before we could walk down to the subway station. By the time we got home, it was 4:30pm, and while I was tempted to call it a day, I VPNed into work and got about 3 hours of work done to make up for the lost time in the afternoon. Not that I'm complaining. I enjoy my work enough to WANT to work those 3 hours from home, so no biggie.

In other pregnancy news, my non-sciatica butt pains seem to be at bay now (maybe all that squatting practice and Yoga stuff I'm doing is finally sticking!), but it has been replaced by foot swelling. Most of the time it doesn't bug me, because my shoes aren't all that tight, but sometimes I do feel it. My legs are a bit swollen as well, mostly on my calves. I notice it most when I get up from my desk to walk, as they feel pretty stiff. Fortunately, I've got a box under my desk that I prop my feet on, so I think that it could be worse. One other thing that helps is time spent in the pool - both at aqua-fitness and mooching off of my parents' pool on weekends. :D

I've noticed a bit of hand swelling as well, especially when the weather is warm or when I walk a lot. It's not so bad during the day because my hands are elevated. It has been significantly better now that the weather has cooled off somewhat (i.e. 25C vs. 35C + humidity), though I notice that my left pinky (where my iron ring resides) still seems to suffer a bit.

The breathlessness that I was complaining about last time is still prevalent, though at this point, I've just accepted it. I'm still winded is hell whenever I go up a flight of stairs, though walking isn't so bad. The fatigue is definitely hitting me most during meetings, where, if I'm not actively participating, I just find myself feeling lethargic and wanting to doze off. Unfortunately, I think it'll only get worse before it gets better. Fortunately, since I DO actively participate in most meetings, I never quite fall asleep when the topic shifts away from my area of expertise/interest.

On the kitchen front, we are at a bit of a lull right now. Although our carpenter told us that the counters would be arriving 2 weeks after templating, our project manager said that it would be more like 4 weeks from the time of templating. While the 4 weeks is in line with the estimate that we were originally given, I really really was hoping that the counters would come sooner. That puts our counter ETA at around July 16th, and if all goes well (*knock on wood*), then they have another weeks' worth of work (hopefully less) to do odds and ends like install sinks, the toilet, and appliances. And after that, the hubby and I have the lovely task of cleaning cabinets, moving things back from our basement to the kitchen, and getting the house in order from its current state of chaos. For now, however, we are sitting ducks. Waiting sucks. I just hope that PK doesn't arrive before the kitchen is done.

And now, for the topic that I've been dreading for the last few weeks - the perineal massage. I think I'm at the point where I have to just take the plunge and do it, but I really really don't want to. First off, I hear that it hurts. Secondly, I really really don't want my fingers to be anywhere down there, thank-you very much. At the same time, the prospect of tearing during labor or being given an episiotomy (though the latter doesn't happen as much) do not tickle my fancy, so I guess I need to suck it up and just do it. Bleh.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home Stretch Weight Gain

I had a doctor's appointment this week, and as usual, I was weighed. I can't remember if I'd mentioned this before, but this doctor has one of those scales where you muck around with the little weights in order to figure out how much you weigh. By contrast, my old doctor just had a scale with the big needle. For the last few visits, I couldn't figure out how to read the scale at my current doctor's office, because the numbers just seemed really weird. This week, the nurse moved a big weight to the 40 mark, and a small weight to the 19 mark. And then it dawned on me: THIS IS A METRIC SCALE! Major DUH moment. :P

I won't go into too much of a rant over metric vs. imperial except that for an overall metric country, I HATE the fact that most people still refer to their height in feet and their weight in pounds. Pretty back-assed, if you ask me. Anyway, I guess I must've been somewhat brainwashed over the last few years, because now I always refer to my weight in pounds and my height in feet, so I always have to do the conversion to quote it the "right" (metric) way.

Anyway, I digress. So as of Monday, I finally "figured" out my current pregnancy weight (40kg + 19kg = 59kg). I guess I could've weighed myself at home, but I've refused to do so ever since I got pregnant. Don't ask why - it makes no sense. In the spirit of the metric system, I calculated my pre-pregnancy weight in kilos, and determined that so far, I've gained 11kg in the last 33 weeks. I decided to search around the Web to see if that weight gain was normal, and this is what I found on The first part of the article says that you're looking at gaining an average of 11kg by the end of your pregnancy when you add up things like baby, placenta, uterine growth, extra blood volume, and so on. At 33.5 weeks, I had already gained 11kg. Alarm bells went off in my mind. Now, before you feel the urge to smack me because of my weight gain complaints, read on. Then you may give me a virtual smack. :) As I was saying, I read further down the page, and realized that 11kg is merely an AVERAGE (makes sense), and that the amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy is based on your BMI. Being the keener that I am, I calculated my pre-pregnancy BMI to be approximately 18.75. According to the article, it means that I should be gaining between 12.5kg and 18kg. The 18kg (~40lbs for you non-metric folks out there) upper-limit seems a bit excessive, and I'm guessing that that's reserved for women who were under-weight before getting pregnant. The moral of the story is that my 11kg (~24lb) gain over 33.5 weeks is normal enough, so I really should shut the hell up.

I really have no reason to worry. Most people have told me that I look pretty good for a pregnant gal, and that alone should have been reassuring. I guess I need the backing of numbers to re-assure me. I have to admit that freaked out a bit when I read a few weeks back that rapid weight gain occurs in the 3rd trimester and that, while that's normal, I don't want to go crazy and gain more than I need to by having sweets and all that. I live off of fruits and fruit juices. I tend to drink the no-sugar-added juices, but even "natural" fruit juices still HAVE naturally-occurring sugar. I would hate to be doing well throughout my pregnancy weight-wise, only to blow up in the home stretch.

I probably sound like a broken record today, since I've harped on the weight thing here and there throughout the life of this blog. The purpose of this blog, however, is to allow me to vent, so venting is what I've done. On that note, I promise to not mention the weight gain thing ever again on my blog for the duration of my pregnancy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Putting Things into Perspective

My family is probably not what you'd consider normal, but we're still close. My parents and sister live in Canada, while my ENTIRE extended family lives in Brazil. We've been in Canada for almost 20 years now, and while we visit the extended family as often as we can, I don't feel particularly close to anyone there, except my maternal grandmother. That's why my relationship with my family here is all that more important.

As L-Day looms (7 more weeks go go, give or take 2 weeks), the importance of family becomes all the more apparent. PK won't be just another addition to my little household. PK will be a daughter, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, and a cousin to the little extended family that we've built in Canada. Support from the extended family here will be all the more important.

Moments of crisis really make us realize that we can sometimes take the love and support of our family for granted. That's when you realize that the people you love really do love you - because they put up with your crap, and don't even think twice about it.

I truly hope, as every parent does, to have a good relationship with my child. I'm sure that my initial relationship with her will be more authoritative, as I need to give her the tools to live a successful life. As PK grows older, however, I will need to wean out of that authoritative role, in the hopes of moving into the role of friend, so that we can be equals, sharing ideas and opinions, even if our opinions sometimes clash. Easier said than done, I'm sure, but I can at least strive for it.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I was called into a meeting at 2pm today to discuss a work-relevant topic. About 5 minutes in, the meeting room door opened, and a bunch of other co-workers from my team streamed in with a cake and gift basket - a little surprise baby shower! I'm not used to so much attention, so my face went BRIGHT RED.

I can't even begin to say how touched I was by what my co-workers did. It certainly brightened my Friday. That they would actually put all this time into planning things - organizing a fake meeting, buying a cake, and buying a gift basket - certainly makes me feel like a valued member of the team. I don't think I've ever felt this way at any of my previous workplaces. WOW!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A few weeks ago, we were at Shopper's to pick up some odds and ends. When we went to pay for our items, the lady at the check-out (who was Chinese) asked about my pregnancy:

Check-out Lady: So how far along are you?
Me: About 6 months.

Check-out Lady: That's so nice! Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
Me: We're having a girl.

Check-out Lady: Oh, I guess you'll have to try again later then!
Me: [smile and nod]

I wasn't insulted because I know that it's a cultural thing, but it was still pretty surprising. You'd think that in this day and age, having a girl would be just as exciting for parents as having a boy. I guess every culture is different, isn't it?

Week 32

I continue to be plagued by the usual 3rd-trimester fatigue, and the breathlessness is getting a bit worse. It's no cause for concern though; I see it as just another thing that I have to adjust to. It's interesting to realize that pregnancy (at least for me) is all about adaptation. The minute you come to grips/adapt to one of its little quirks, another one is thrown at you. Maybe it's done to keep me on my toes once PK comes along. A 2nd-time mom in one of my pre-natal fitness classes says that the adaptation goes well beyond pregnancy and into childcare too. I guess it's no surprise!

Now that HypnoBirthing is done, I've once again resumed going to my Tuesday aqua-fitness class. I don't know if it's the 3rd-trimester fatigue, but my Tuesday class was KILLER. I was totally pooped after it was done. It was just non-stop movement for the entire class. The same went for Yoga last night. Today I came to work completely sore. It's a good type of soreness - the type you get after an awesome workout - so no complaints! I can only wonder what's in store for today's aqua-fitness class!

And before I forget, a quick update on my kitchen! The cabinets were put up last week, so the room is finally starting to look like a kitchen again. The floors were put in this past Monday, and yesterday the appliances were delivered and the templating was done for the counter. If we're lucky (*knock on wood!*), then the counters will be delivered in 2 weeks, and in the meantime, they can finish up the minor carpentry that's still left. This should put us at a completion time of mid-July for the kitchen, which should hopefully give us time to actually get the house back in order before PK is born, and to have a kitchen-warming party. I'm a being too ambitious here? :P