Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 25

This has been an eventful week so far. On Saturday, we finally hauled our butts over to Babies R Us to set up our baby registry. I swear we must've spent about 2 hours there. It was fun to walk around and pick out all of the different items, but if the wedding registry is any indication of things to come, I'm sure we'll end up with

a) Tacky, useless items NOT on the registry which we'll have to return later
b) People buying us a lot of the same stuff because they don't look at the quantity of a particular item (e.g. bibs)

Oh well...I guess I'll just have to wait and see. We put a lot of stuff on the registry so that hopefully it gives people lots of options. We don't know that many people, so I am under no delusion whatsoever that all of the items off the registry will be purchased.

Yesterday we attended our "Journey into Childbirth" class. We signed up through the Baby & Me Fitness program. The woman who taught it is actually one of the program's founders and also teaches the Monday yoga class. She's super-nice, very informed, and we really enjoyed the class. The class ran from 10am to 5pm so it was a really early start for us for a Sunday (I know that we're in for earlier starts come August). There were 8 couples in total attending the class, which was great. The small group made for a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Topics covered included:

1. Anatomy (I can't believe how squished my intestines will become in a few months!)
2. Childbirth & Labor
3. How life changes after baby arrives
4. Breastfeeding
5. Post-partum depression

Lots of information to take it, especially in 6 hours. I asked lots of questions, but some of the couples there were pretty hard-core and were taking lots of notes. I figure that I probably won't be looking at the notes again anyway, so I didn't see much point in taking notes. I think that my only complaint would be that the course would be better suited for 2 days rather than 1 day. Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable and informative experience - even the hubby liked it!

Finally, I've got a bit of an update on the OB situation. Last Friday I went to see my family doctor (who is located downtown) re: my allergies. They've been getting progressively worse, including breathing through my mouth. I was worried about not being able to breathe at all one of these days, so I made an appointment for Friday afternoon.

The good news is that I'm not wheezing, so no inhaler is required. He said that an inhaler would probably not be the greatest idea since I'm pregnant. That being said, if you need one, you need one. I don't, at least not right now, and hopefully not for the next month. *knock on wood* He suggested Benadryl, but I want to avoid taking any medications if I can, so he said that if I wanted to go au naturel, that I could try getting a humidifier. We bought one on Friday, and I *think* that it has helped somewhat, but it's really hard to say. It rained today, so that helped with the stuffy nose, but I'm coughing like mad. I'm obviously living in the wrong country...

Anyway, after I talked to him about my allergies, I mentioned my OB problem. He seemed pretty confident that he would be able to get me someone at one of the downtown hospitals near me. His approach is vastly different from that of my current OB. All he did was send out a form to the hospital to ask who's available. My OB's office actually contacted specific doctors. Hopefully my family doctor's approach yields better results. He seemed quite confident about things, but honestly, I'll believe it when I see it. I'm clinging on to that wee little bit of hope. We'll see if anything comes of it. :) Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Baby Sounds

Today we FINALLY made it to Babies R Us for our baby registry (in spite of the fact that the a-holes from the TTC decided to strike with NO NOTICE WHATSOEVER). While we were there, we picked up a device called the Summer Heart-to-Heart Prenatal Listening System. This neat little device straps onto your belly and lets you attach two sets of headphones to listen to your baby's heartbeat and movement. For $30, I figured, what the heck. Worst-case, the thing ends up not working. I figured it was a small price to pay for the ability to hear PK's movements.

When we got home, I anxiously hooked it up, and lo and behold, the darn thing actually works! I even managed to record the sounds directly to my computer. Disclaimer: the recording doesn't really do it justice, but still, a souvenir is a souvenir. I took two recordings. The first one is of PK's heartbeat. It's faint and you'll have to jack up the volume on your computer, but it's there. The second one I managed to take while PK was kicking like mad. You can make out the heartbeat too, but the kicks are the highlight. You'll know that you're listening to the kicks when you hear a staticky thump. Enjoy!

PK Heartbeat
PK Kicking

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Week 24

The nice thing about having a summer baby is being pregnant in the spring and summer. I don't really notice it during the wintertime, but as soon as the perma-gray skies give way to nice sunny blue skies, I swear my mood changes. It probably helps that I've been able to wear skirts and sandals for the last week or so. Yay! Of course, on the downside, it adds fuel to the climate change fire. Having 20C weather in the middle of April is NOT normal. But that's a rant left for my other blog.

Anyway, nice weather = me in a happier mood. So Week 24 has been very pleasant overall. Well, EXCEPT for the fact that trees are sprouting leaves, which means ALLERGY SEASON. I've developed allergies to tree and grass pollen in the last 10-15 years, and it gets worse every season. Basically, I'm severely allergic to EVERY BLOODY NORTH-AMERICAN TREE, and minorly allergic to grass. This means that I spend anywhere between 1 to 1.5 months sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and stuffy nose. Allergy medication helps somewhat, but this time around, with PK in utero, I've avoided the allergy meds. I'm told that anti-histamines are perfectly safe during pregnancy, and I'd like to believe that, but: a) anti-histamines seldom ever work for me anyway, and b) I'm sure a study will come out down the road that says that taking anti-histamines during pregnancy causes Scaly Dragon Tail Syndrome. Bottom line: no meds if I can help it.

I've noticed that my symptoms have gotten progressively worse over the past few weeks (I think that the oak trees are sprouting leaves, and they really mess w/ my allergies), which really sucks, but I'm hanging int there. I think my office mates are freaked out by it though, because my sneezes are loud enough to wake the dead, and I really do sound like I'm sick rather than having an allergic reaction to tree pollen. Oh well. Hopefully the trees will be done with their mating rituals soon so that I can have my nose back.

One highlight of my 24th week was going bra shopping. Well, if you call that a highlight. I decided to go bra shopping after a rep from one of the local bra/lingerie shops did a talk about maternity and nursing bras last week at my Tuesday night swimming class. I figured I've never been properly fitted for a bra, so now's as good a time as any to go.

I dragged the hubby to the store on Saturday, and walked out with 2 maternity bras and a nursing bra. I feel really bad though, because he didn't even get to see me try them on. I was with the fitting lady the entire time while he sat in that estrogen-filled store along with all the other males who were dragged there by their respective partners. On the bright side, I treated him to a date that night, so hopefully that made up for things.

Anyway, back to bras. Apparently you're not supposed to wear underwire when you're pregnant because the wire squishes your milk ducts and could possibly lead to clogs and/or infections (not sure which). Sucky. Then again, I had small boobs before (an A or B cup - not really sure which, to be honest), and now I wear a friggin' D cup - oy! - so I guess the push-up underwire bra isn't really needed. The only thing I wanted was front padding. Don't want to be telling the world when I'm feeling cold, thank-you very much.

Same deal with the nursing bra. No underwire...but no padding either. I did, however, get a pair of Lily Padz, which are like nursing pads but instead of being cotton, they're silicone. That means they're re-usable and supposedly I won't leak milk all over the place when the milk finally does come in. More importantly, they serve as nipple shields. Besides that, I can wear them post-nursing with halter tops and tank tops with an undershelf bra. Yay! The nursing bra itself is nothing super-special except for the fact that you can peel the front off, Janet Jackson style, which the hubby found very amusing. :P

So there you have it. More than you ever wanted to read about bras and boobs. Just wait until I talk about the Great Breastfeeding Conspiracy. That will be a topic for another day. Enough on boobs for now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Body Image

Last night's topic of discussion for my aqua-fitness class was "Your Changing Pregnant Body". Granted, we've covered this before, and I've talked about it before in a previous post. I will, however, rehash this topic, because there were a few interesting revelations from last night's discussion.

First off, I'm not the only one who is pissed off at the changes in my body. Yay!!! Many girls complained about how they were once and exercised a ton, and then once they got pregnant, they gained all this extra weight and are having a hard time coping. My instructor, who has had 2 kids and is super-skinny even shared with the group that she gained a ton of weight for both pregnancies, in spite of her best efforts to exercise regularly and eat well. Her main take-aways were that:

1. You gain what your body is pre-disposed to gain. Basically, if you happen to be genetically-unfortunate and gain a ton of weight during your pregnancy in spite of trying your darndest to live a healthy lifestyle, you're stuck. Not a pleasant thought, but I guess it's a painful truth.

2. You WILL lose the weight. Easier said than done. You have to want to lose the weight, of course. It's not like it will automagically melt away as soon as you give birth. But I guess her point was that even if you gain a bunch of weight during pregnancy, it IS possible to lose it. As she pointed out, it takes 9 months to make a baby, and 9 months to lose that baby weight. I guess time will tell on that one.

Sure, it's easy for me to sit here and write about this because I haven't gained a ton of weight from my pregnancy. I try really hard to eat well and exercise regularly, but I guess my genes are helping me out too. My mom never gained a ton of weight when she had my sister and me. I guess that helps.

Yet, even though I haven't gained a ton of weight, I STILL have body-image issues. The fact is, I'm NOT as thin as I used to be. I CAN'T fit into my pre-maternity pants without wearing a Bella Band. Even before I started showing, I was having trouble fitting into some of my shirts because my boobs got too big. But yesterday, as each of us talked about how we felt about our bodies during pregnancy, I felt a little guilty. Most of the girls complaining about their weight had said that they were skinny before they got pregnant, and now they were fat. I complained about my weight, lamenting that I could no longer rock climb or play squash, or rollerblade. I complained about the fact that my boobs looked too big. I complained that I couldn't fit into my clothes. But of all the people who complained, I probably came off as being the one with the least to complain about.

Does that mean that I was less justified to complain? Probably. I guess this was an eye-opener of sorts. I work hard to not gain extra weight, but some of the weight I haven't gained was thanks to Nature. I've been spared (knock on wood).

As I reflect upon last night's discussion, I come to the realization that women will never be satisfied with their body image, even if they look perfectly fine. Case in point, I have a friend who is ridiculously ripped. Toned arms and legs, and six-pack abs. She sees a personal trainer regularly, and watches what she eats. And you know what she told me one day when we were clothes-shopping? She said that she couldn't shop anymore because she was having a "bad stomach day". If the girl with the six-pack abs was complaining about her stomach, is there any hope for the rest of us?

Sure there is. But I guess it proves my point - we'll never be satisfied with our bodies because there's always a better body to be had.

A Sign of the Times

How's this for modernity: my friend's wife delivered a baby girl yesterday afternoon, and he sent out a text message to share the news. Ah, we sure have come a long way, haven't we? Back in the day, a phone call was the way to share the news. Convenient, but time-consuming nonetheless, since you can't really broadcast news live like this over the phone. I can only imagine what it was like before phones were invented. Did people just hop on their horses and tell their friends and neighbors? Did they send out letters to friends and family who lived far away? Most likely, I'm sure.

Anyway, I think broadcasting great news like this over text message is a great idea. Short, sweet, and to-the-point! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Belly Games

Last night, PK was kicking like mad. I wanted to share the vigorous kicking with the hubby, so I plopped his hand on my belly and we just sat there on the couch while she kicked. Needless to say, it was entertaining. To add to it, he decided to poke my belly (gently, mind you), and to our surprise - and extreme amusement - PK poked right back! So cute! It was like we were bonding as a family. Awwwwwwwww...

This reminds me of something I saw this past weekend. On Sunday the hubby and I decided to take a nice long walk downtown (it was really really nice outside). We passed the ROM during our walk, and I remember seeing a man, a woman, and their baby, sitting by the steps. The man and woman were sitting side-by-side, and the baby was facing them in a stroller. What amused me was the fact that the man and woman were just staring at their baby, completely mesmerized and completely oblivious to their surroundings. It made me think back to when my niece was born. She was such a novelty, even as a newborn who didn't do much other than wriggle and writhe around. Yet, we could've just sat there for hours, staring at her take in the world. I guess that's what it was like for this young couple.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Maternity Clothing Conspiracy

I'm pretty convinced that there's a maternity clothing conspiracy out there, to dress mothers-to-be in the tackiest clothes ever. I think that's why so many moms get "mom cuts" and start wearing ugly clothing. They've been brainwashed into tackiness during pregnancy, and so they just continue the trend into motherhood. I think that's it.

Now that the weather is warming up, I thought it would be nice to get a few maternity skirts. I like wearing skirts and dresses all summer long if I can, and I don't think that just because I'm pregnant, I shouldn't continue the trend. I've got a couple of skirts that I can actually wear while pregnant, but I figure I want at least 2 more pairs that I can wear, hopefully in a similar style, so I can wear once I regain my figure as well. Variety is the spice of life, after all. :)

Anyway, yesterday, I set out to look for maternity skirts at the inexpensive stores that sell maternity wear: H&M, Old Navy, and GAP. Oh, they had maternity clothes all right...but a) they were tacky and b) they had no skirts (or if they did, they were butt-ugly). Bleh. So much for going the inexpensive route. I guess I could've tried Thyme Maternity, but at that point, I was annoyed by the shopping mall and annoyed by the fruitlessness of my search, so I decided to return to my little piece of maternity wear heaven: Rhonda Maternity.

We got there just before closing, and in 10 minutes, I'd managed to find 2 skirts which matched my search criteria. Piece of cake. Yes, I spent almost $200 on 2 skirts (GASP!), and no, I was not planning on spending that much $$$ on 2 skirts, but I did try the cheapie route, and it failed me. At least I know that I won't look frumptacular and that I can wear them post-partum. Was it worth the $200 then? Yes.

Is there a maternity skirt conspiracy out there? Yes. Why do I say this? If there was no conspiracy, I would've been able to find my skirts at the cheapie places. No such luck. QED. So skirts are taken care of. Now I just have to worry about finding some pairs of shorts and a few dresses. I dread shopping for shorts because I know that the only crap that I will be able to find will be those stupid crop pants (ugh) or capris (double-ugh), or Bermuda shorts (triple-ugh).

Now I understand why so many pregnant women try to borrow maternity clothes from friends/family...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Week 23

As this week drew to a close, I began to come to grips with the fact that it is 90% likely that I will not be delivering PK at a downtown hospital as I'd originally wanted. It's a real shame, since there are 4 hospitals within 7 minutes from my house, plus another 2 that are still close enough. And there isn't a single OB affiliated with any of these hospitals who is willing to take me on for an August due date.

Last week I was so desperate that I called the Pre-natal and Labor Triage division of the hospital I'd gone to after my fall, to see if maybe the OB that saw me there could see me. HA! Instead, I was lectured on how you can't just call up a hospital for these sorts of things. That I need a referral from a doctor (been there, tried that), and that I should go to the Web site for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to get this information. I really really wanted to yell at that rude bitch on the phone for being so snarky with me, but figured it wasn't worth my energy. I checked the Web site because I am desperate after all, but the Web site is not up-to-date, so the 3 hits that I got from my OB search turned out to be duds. I've also asked a few friends with downtown OBs for their OB names as well, just in case. I'm not too hopeful, but it's still worth a shot.

In any case, it is what it is. As the Rolling Stones say, "You can't always get what you want". I guess that's life for you. At least I have somewhere to deliver PK and at least I have an OB. And what's really important is for PK to come out healthy. Can't ask for more. :)

On another note, I've decided to get my butt in gear and sign us up for some pre-natal (non-exercise) classes. Next weekend we're taking "Journey into Parenthood", which is a day-long crash course on parenting. The week after, we're taking an infant first-aid class. And finally, in mid-May, I'm hoping to sign up for a Hypnobirthing class. It's a 5-week class, held once a week for 2.5 hours. I first heard about Hypnobirthing at my pre-natal exercise classes. It's supposed to be kind of like Lamaze in the sense that they teach you breathing techniques and all that. But from my understanding, it's more than just that. It's about being in a good state of mind (i.e. calm and in control) during labor. The idea being that if you're in this good, positive space during delivery, you can have a much more pleasant birthing experience. Plus I figure it's a good way to cleanse myself of my "glass half-empty" mentality. :P The end result is that you're in a better position to give labor without the dreaded epidural, which I want to avoid at all costs. It took a bit of work to convince the hubby to play along, but I think he realizes that pleasing a pregnant woman is far better than living with a crabby one. :P

Baby Bump at 24 Weeks

With all this talk about being pregnant, I haven't even posted any pictures of my belly. So here we are, without further ado, my 24-week-old baby bump!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baby Bump at the Office

I've been having fun noticing how people react to my baby bump as it has evolved over the past few months.

When I first started showing, people at the office would CONSTANTLY stare at my belly, DYING to ask me if I was expecting. I'd say that 99% of them were too nervous to say anything, on the off-chance that I was gaining weight. I say off-chance not because I'm cocky, but because people at the office know that I'm a workout nut, with my rock-climbing, weekly squash games, and epic walks to work with giant backpack in tow. Obviously I knew why they were staring, but opted to play dumb and see if they'd work up the nerve to say anything.

Some brave souls DID ask me in the early stages of the baby bump, and all of these brave souls - 3 of them in total - were women. No guy dared ask me, though if any guy DID notice a bulge, they probably thought that I was just getting fat - a main contributor to the awkward stares described above, I'm sure.

As my belly has grown, people have gotten braver and have asked me flat out: "So when are you due?" I guess at this point, seeing that I haven't really gained much weight anywhere else, it's pretty obvious that I'm pregnant. Either that, or I get fat in really weird places. :P A question like that still takes me by surprise, though, because it's so bleepin' blunt. Not that I care either way. I just find it surprising/funny.

In the last few days, the comments about the baby bump have gotten more amusing. I guess I spend too much time sitting at my desk, or at least not that much time roaming around where my former teammates roam, because I think that some people around here really had no idea that they were pregnant until they ran into me recently. I guess this isn't a gossipy office, which is a good thing. Today's office comments take the cake:

Comment #1
Comment: "Oh, I didn't know! Congratulations!"
Translation: "Holy crap! You're pregnant, but if I say 'pregnant' and you're not really, then I'm in trouble, so I'll just sound kinda wishy-washy and hope that I'm right."


Comment #2
Comment: "Oh, it took me a while to notice! Congratulations!"
Translation: "Crap! Am I a bad person for not having noticed sooner? Hopefully the hormonal pregnant lady won't get mad at me!"


More fun-filled comments to come, I'm sure!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Baby Room

This past weekend, we finally decided to tidy up the mess of boxes in PK's room. When we moved into our house, we knew that our spare bedroom would be used for our potential kid (PK :D), so we left it empty until just after my first trimester. That was when we slowly started filling the room with clothes, stuffed animals, and books. In the last few weeks, we've added on a playpen, our beloved Bugaboo Bee stroller, and the car seat, all sitting pretty in their boxes. That is, until yesterday.

It all began on Saturday, when we ventured out to Ikea to look for a mirror and light fixture for our downstairs washroom (which is being re-done as part of our kitchen renovations). Finding the mirror and light fixture was a dud (though we've discovered a lot of tacky crap out there), but we did come out of the store with area rug and a bookcase for PK's room.

We decided to put the bookcase together on Sunday because after spending a couple of hours at Ikea, we were spent. Ikea is always a zoo, especially on weekends, and always sucks the life out of me.

Putting together the bookcase is a one-person job, so I let the hubby take care of that while I worked on the Bugaboo. The only assembly required for the Bugaboo was to pop in the 2 front wheels and that was that. The real tough part was in trying to figure out how to collapse and un-collapse the Bugaboo. It took me a while (and nearly hurling the damned thing out the window), but now I've got it all figured out. PK will be a very mobile city baby. :P

Even though we still don't have our glider and the rest of our furniture in the room (hopefully in the next month or 2), the room is looking more like a baby's room now that the bookcase is up.

A few people have asked me if we're going to go with a themed baby room. The answer is no. Themed rooms don't tickle my fancy. Babies are too young to care either way, so I figure I might as well save Future Me and Future Hubby some time by going with a non-themed white-walled room. Even our furniture was picked under the premise that most of it will stay with PK until she goes off to university. I guess some people dig the themed room and view it as part of being part of the whole experience. Hey, if that tickles their fancy, then so be it. If we were all the same, life would be mighty boring, wouldn't it?

And now, without further ado, here are some pictures of PK's room (a work in progress). More pictures to follow as our furniture comes in. :)


The Hubby hard at work


The Bugaboo Bee!


Pile 'o Stuff


The Finished Product 1


The Finished Product 2

Week 22

A couple of incidents during the week opened the floodgates of emotion, which always catches me by surprise. I'm always shocked by the utter lack of control that I feel when something triggers a strong emotional response in me these days. I've definitely had to learn to adapt to this, since I can't afford to lose it at the office. I don't want to be seen as one of those hormonal pregnant women, plus I do think it's rather unprofessional, especially when leading a team. That being said, I am human and not some robot. I guess the trick is to have your emotional breakdowns with grace. :P

The pre-natal exercise classes are going well. Last week was my first Tuesday off since the Symphonic Band went on summer break, so I decided to attend an extra aqua-fitness class. I figured that my Tuesdays were normally booked anyway, so I might as well replace that timeslot with an extra exercise class. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with things. The Tuesday aqua-fitness class is definitely more rigorous than the Thursday class, which is great. I was so tired after that class that I slept like a baby. Ditto for the Wednesday Yoga class. The instructor really has us work hard, but I feel great and relaxed after the class is done. Plus I also slept like a baby that night. :D

The topic of discussion in the Yoga class was cloth diapers. Toronto has one diaper service company, called Comfy Cotton. The way it works is that they deliver ~10 clean diapers AND pick up your dirty diapers at the same time (once a week). Even though the diapers are cloth, you put an outer shell (with Velcro tabs) over top of the cloth diaper so that the baby ick doesn't make a mess everywhere. It's definitely food for thought for a few reasons:

1. It is claimed that cloth diapers decrease the overall amount of time that a baby spends in diapers (and if I have it my way, PK will be out of diapers as soon as she starts walking).

2. Cloth diapers are more environmentally-friendly. That being said, Comfy Cotton does have to use chemicals to clean its diapers, which aren't the best for the environment. At the same time, they do claim that they use more environmentally-friendly practices for cleaning their diapers. You win some, you lose some.

The idea of going with cloth diapers does seem enticing. At the same time, I don't know if I'm quite ready to take the plunge. Another alternative I'm considering is the G Diaper. In some ways, they're like the cloth diaper in that they have an outer shell, but the inside is a disposable, plastic free diaper.

I figure we've got a couple of options to work with at least. Hopefully we'll make up our minds by the time PK makes her world d├ębut. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Clarification or Two

One day, somewhere around the time just before becoming pregnant, the hubby and I were at his parents' place for a visit. I don't remember the specifics of the visit, except for one thing. During the course of the visit, my mother-in-law pulled out a journal that she'd kept while pregnant with the hubby. I remember thinking at the time how that was such a cool idea, and thought that when I became pregnant, I'd keep a journal as well. When I found out that I was pregnant with PK, I remembered my journal idea, but I didn't put it into action until my first trimester was almost done. The main reason behind my inaction was that I was petrified of starting a journal, only to have something go terribly wrong with the pregnancy so early on. So I waited until I was at 10 weeks or so to start writing.

My original intention was to keep a paper journal, but I type far faster than I write. I'd considered keeping a Word version of my journal, but that just seems so impersonal. And then I thought of the blog. I already had a blog, and I didn't really want to mix the baby stuff in with that blog, so I decided to create a brand-new blog. One dedicated solely to PK. And so, PK on the Way was born.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the blog, and she asked me who my intended audience was, stating that what you write is largely influenced by who you write it for. So very true. I guess the answer to that question is that I'm writing for myself, mostly. I enjoy writing, especially when it's done on a whim. I seldom ever sit down with the intention of writing. It just happens. I don't claim to be a great writer, but I still enjoy it. If writing were my destiny, I would not be in IT, would I? The second person I write for is the hubby. I didn't realize it at the time, but after talking to him about it yesterday, I really do. Even though communication is not a barrier in our relationship, he finds that he doesn't always know what I'm thinking/feeling with regards to the pregnancy, and that this is a great way to let him in on my thoughts. Cool! Of course, I also write for PK. I still do think that when PK grows up, she will be terribly embarrassed by this blog, but hopefully she'll reach a point in her life (maybe in her mid-20s) where she'll look upon this blog as something neat. Only time will tell.

I am rather pleasantly surprised by this blog's readership. I've given the URL to a few friends whom I thought might be interested in tracking PK's progress in the womb, but I seem to have acquired some readers outside of that select circle, which I think is awesome. I don't think that my other blog gets nearly that much attention, which is fine too. I just like to rant. :) One of my favorite things is reading the reader comments, even if I disagree with them. As the hubby puts it, the fact that people comment means that I've written something provocative enough to make them want to comment. How neat is that? So thanks to everyone who reads the blog and who enjoys commenting. I'm glad that you find it entertaining in some form or another.

Now, for another clarification on this whole pregnancy thing. I probably sound like a bitter bitter bitch sometimes on my blog. I think the tone is somewhat set on purpose. I just tend to find that the most interesting things to write about are the ones that get me all riled up. I'm just not the "la la la...pregnant life is perfect and awesome" type. And before anybody fires off a bitter angry comment, bear with me for a bit.

First off, I am happy to be pregnant. That being said, I don't enjoy BEING pregnant. Weight gain, constipation, frequent trips to the washroom, trouble sleeping, and cutting back on exercise to me aren't exactly selling points. At the same time, I KNOW that there are tons of women out there who can't get pregnant and would look at me as an ungrateful bitch. I hear you. I've read the literature. I know how bloody hard it is to get pregnant. There are a number of factors that have to line up in just the right way to make this happen. I know that it is a PRIVILEGE to carry a new life form inside of you. I also know how fragile a pregnancy really is (believe me, I know). I don't take my pregnancy for granted, but don't expect me to enjoy every minute of my pregnancy out of guilt. Now you may comment. :)

And one final thing regarding my feeling uncomfortable with the special treatment I get while being pregnant, because I don't think that I got the right point across. The reason why it bothers me when people open doors and keep asking how I'm feeling and all that is BECAUSE I'm pregnant. I know that under normal circumstances, these same people wouldn't give a flying pig about how I'm doing. That's just fact. So I'm bothered by this because I know that it's somewhat hard-wired into us by society and is not an act of genuine concern. The other thing is that at this point in my pregnancy, I stick out like a sore thumb. There's no way you can look at me and tell me that you didn't know I was pregnant. Standing out like that makes me feel uncomfortable. I even felt uncomfortable at my own wedding, where all eyes were on me. I stuck out. I was the lady with the big white dress. Hard to miss. :P

So hopefully this clarifies some things about this blog and about my personality. I hope that my readers continue reading and commenting, that I continue entertaining them in some form or another.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stressed

Today is one of those days where I feel completely distraught, and I can't quite put my finger on it. There's nothing really wrong per se. Work is fine. PK is kicking away (either happily or grumpily). The weather is nice. I don't seem to be blowing up like a balloon. Nothing wrong, really.

But I feel distraught. I haven't slept well for the last couple of nights. On Sunday night, I woke up at 5am and spent the next 2 hours tossing and turning until my alarm went off. Last night I woke up distraught several times, and had a weird dream where I was being attacked by snakes. Besides that, it feels like every other day my calf muscles on both legs go into spasm in the wee hours of the morning, waking me up with a jolt and leaving me limping with tight muscles the next day. Can't figure out what that's all about.

So here I am, totally distraught, unable to concentrate on my work. After giving it a bit of thought, I think I've boiled down my distress to 4 major items.

Getting a Downtown OB
I've been seeing my regular OB/GYN for my pre-natal visits, which has been good because I really like him, but he's all the way out in north-east end of the city. I don't want to be driving at least 30 minutes come delivery time to a hospital way out there, when I could deliver at a hospital that is a 10-minute walk away from my house.

I've told him since the end of my 1st trimester to get me a referral to a downtown OB, and now, 22 weeks into the pregnancy, I still don't have a downtown OB. The one to which I was being referred isn't taking any new patients, and I'm on a waiting list for 8 others who haven't gotten back to his secretary to see if they can take me. Unfortunately my due date is on August 7th, 2008 - one day before 08.08.08. Toronto has a huge Chinese community and the number 8 is super-duper lucky in their culture. This means that many Chinese couples will be either having babies on that day, be it naturally or via C-section. Guess where that leaves me? F!ed.


Kitchen Renovations
We are currently renovating our kitchen. Well, sort of. We've put in our deposit, our design is finalized, and the materials have been ordered. Unfortunately, the work won't start until mid-May, AT BEST. That's because the cabinets won't arrive until then (if everything goes well) AND that's depending on whether or not their contractors are available to start on that date. So at this point, I'm not too optimistic that the work will be done before PK is born, and that stresses me out.

Maternity Leave Plans
That's still up in the air because I haven't heard back from my manager to see if I can swing some funky creative plan at work. Plus we're on the waiting lists for a few daycares, but a waiting list is a waiting list. What if by the time I'm back at work, we don't have a daycare to which we can send PK?

Parenting
The more I think about it, the more I wonder what kind of a parent I'll be. The hubby is great with kids, but me...well, I act like I've got a giant pole up my ass when it comes to kids. Plus, as I've seen with my own life, no matter how well you plan for your life and for your kids' lives, Life always throws you a curveball to interfere with your plans. What if I end up with a freaky Goth kid? What if my kid turns out to be uninterested in school? What if my kid succumbs to peer pressure (the bad stuff like drugs and gangs)? You can only do so much, but in the end, they're the ones making the decisions, and there's nothing you can do except give advice and see things unfold.

So yeah...I guess I know why I'm distraught. I wish I'd at least resolve one of these problems in the near future so I can cross it off the list of worries. Writing about it helps a bit though, so I guess it'll do for now.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Beatlemania

So it looks like PK is a Beatles fan. She was pounding away at my belly this evening as I caught up on blog posts and listened to the Beatles "Help!" album. Like mother, like daughter. As long as she isn't into Springsteen like her daddy... ;-)

Bleh to Special Treatment

I've been told by more than one person that I should enjoy the perks of being pregnant - namely, all of this extra attention. To be perfectly honest with you, I actually find it a bit annoying.

I have found people to be extra-nice to me, asking me how I'm feeling, and paying a heck of a lot more attention to me than they ever did before. I don't like it one bit. You might think that this sounds completely crazy, but the way I look at it is that I'm still the same person. So unless I'm wearing some sort of magic potion that makes everyone love me all of a sudden, I am VERY suspicious of all of this sudden attention.

Another thing that bugs me is that people seem to think that I'm in some fragile state. At work, people ask me every day how I'm feeling. I'm starting to wonder if I'm looking really sick or miserable or something, because I haven't felt like crap since my first trimester ended and since I got over the cold marathon that followed.

Besides that, whenever people at work see me carrying something heavy, they always try to grab the load from me or refuse to let me carry any heavy stuff when I offer to carry say a laptop or a projector. Little do they realize that I walk 2-3 km to work every morning with a gigantic backpack, and walk back from the grocery store each week with 2 bags and a backpack. Tsk tsk...

I've also had people open doors for me more often now that I'm pregnant. This really bothers me for some reason, especially when people give me the sympathetic "oh, you're pregnant" look. Ugh. I haven't yet had someone give up their seat for me on the subway, which is a quasi-relief to me. I feel fine right now (maybe I won't be saying this when I look like I swallowed a beachball a couple of months down the road), so I really don't want people giving up their seats for me. I think that the only reason why nobody gives up their seat for me on the subway is because you can't tell that I'm pregnant when I wear a jacket. I'm sure that won't last for long, but hopefully summer will be here soon so that I won't have to worry about whether or not I can fit into my jacket.

I'm such a whiner, eh? ;-)

Week 21

Week 21 started off with a bang, but not in a good way. Well, kind of. I had my ultrasound that morning, and that was pretty cool. I always enjoy seeing little PK on the monitor. The not-so-good start to the week happened after my ultrasound, as the hubby dropped me off at the subway station on his way to work. I had just gotten out of the car, and started walking towards the subway entrance when I found myself falling back. Fortunately, this time I had something to hold onto - a short wall - which kept me from falling. Whew! That was a close one! What's with me and slipping near the entrance to the subway? Sheesh...

Apart from that, there was no other excitement of that magnitude to report, thank goodness. The other major highlight of the week was that we got some major baby shopping done on the Saturday. We invited the in-laws along for the ride, which was fun. I think my mother-in-law enjoyed it more than my father-in-law did though. At one point we found my father-in-law fast asleep on one of the gliders on display.

We decided to return to Lil' Niblets to do our shopping, since they carried both the stroller that we wanted and the bedroom set that we liked. The shopping trip proved to be fruitful. We spent a bloody fortune, but we bought our big items: crib, a couple of dressers, our beloved Bugaboo Bee, a car seat, and a super-cool glider. The glider cost a bloody fortune, but it is the swankiest glider ever. A far cry from grandma's rocker. The Bugaboo is a bit on the high end too, but the fact that the thing collapses all in one piece and doesn't take up an entire subway car had us sold. We are city folk so mobility and compactness are important.

After taking a brief self-imposed hiatus from my pre-natal exercise classes due to my fall, I was back to taking my Yoga and aqua-fitness classes. I can't remember if I mentioned this, but I switched Yoga sessions. The Yoga class is offered 2x per week, and I'd just picked a session at random. I had to attend a different session one week due to a scheduling conflict, and, although I think the instructor is a bit too new-age for my taste, she does offer a more rigorous Yoga class.

As of April 1st, the symphonic band that I play with is on break for the summer, so I'll probably pick up an extra exercise class now that my Tuesdays are freed up. I'm sure PK will appreciate the break, since for the second half of our season, I was playing the Eb clarinet for most of our pieces, AND I sat beside the piccolo player too. My ears are pretty shot after that...at least she's got the amniotic fluid to shield her wee little ears.

Week 20

I'll admit that I'm a bit late posting something for week 20. I blame it on work. I think I've become more of a workaholic lately. I guess in some ways it's a good sign - not loathing my job has made me a much more agreeable person to be around. :)

Anyway, I've been scratching my head all day trying to figure out what to report on for this week, but I really can't think of anything. I guess the "highlight" of that week (if you can call it that) was my falling on my lovely pregnant behind and spending the better part of that morning in the hospital. But I've already bored you with all the gory details. :P

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lay Off My Belly!

Now that I'm starting to really show - enough that my arsenal of maternity clothes has gone from 3 shirts and 2 tanktops to a whopping 7 shirts and 2 tanktops - people seem to think that I have a sign posted on my belly that says "Touch Me". WTF is up with that??? Before getting pregnant, my abdomen was completely uninteresting to the general public, and now, everyone seems to think that it's public property. Not cool.

I've read in my pregnancy books that this is a common occurrence, but I guess I didn't quite believe it until now. After all, IT MAKES NO SENSE. Unfortunately, I'm too shy to say "Stay the F! away from my belly, you creep!", so I just smile and laugh when they touch my belly. Obviously the wrong kind of feedback as it only encourages that type of behavior.

Here are some belly-touching deterrents that I've come up with thus far:
1. Post a big sign on my belly that says "Lay off!"
2. Slap anyone who touches my belly
3. Always walk around with my hands in front of me
4. Touch the toucher's abdomen if they touch mine
5. Spray the toucher with Lysol
6. Rub the toucher's head

How would you deal with this? Any suggestions are welcome!