Thursday, May 29, 2008


I'm finding it harder and harder to concentrate at work these days if I spend a long period of time sitting at my desk. I'm seriously getting stir-crazy. The aches and pains and all that wonderful ick associated to 3rd trimester are sure hitting me. Today my lower back is hurting. My spine overall feels really stiff. I'm shifting in my chair every five minutes (or less). I lean this way and that way, and I'm sure that that's contributing to my aches. My posture has never been great, and lately, it has been worse. I just feel UNCOMFORTABLE! Top that with the fact that I'm trying to pump out a technical design document complete with inspiring (HA!) technical writing and pretty Visio diagrams makes me want to get up and leave, and enjoy that nice 22C weather outside.

On the bright side, *only* 10 more weeks to go! (give or take)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Week 29

This past week has been quite exciting. First, our baby furniture was delivered last Saturday. I'm really pleased with the way that the nursery looks, and I totally loooooooooooove my new glider. I did one of the HypnoBirthing relaxation exercises on the glider the other day, and it felt like I was floating on air when I had my eyes closed. Very nice!

Our kitchen renos started on Monday, which means that the bottom half of our house looks like a war zone. We moved all of our kitchen stuff down to the basement (pots, pans, non-perishables, plates, glass, cutlery, and alcohol) last Saturday and Sunday. The hubby wouldn't let me carry any of the heavy stuff, which is just as well, because I was huffing and puffing from carrying the little wee things down to the basement. Our cabinets have been pulled out, along with our old backsplash. All that remain are the fridge and stove, which I managed to donate to a friend, though we're keeping the fridge around just a bit longer until the new fridge arrives, so we can actually eat real food once in a while.

I had my second doctor's appointment with the new doctor on Monday. It took us longer to get there than the amount of time that we actually spent in there seeing him, but that's to be expected. He DID tell us that subsequent appointments would be pretty quick, so I'm neither surprised nor disappointed. We saw PK in an ultrasound again (I guess he uses that in lieu of a Doppler) - see the baby AND hear it - and it now looks like PK is no longer in breech. I am not holding my breath just yet, since babies do tend to move at the last-minute, but it does fill me with hope. The different anti-breech (for lack of a better term) positions that I learned in my pre-natal classes, along with the hubby's gentle coaxing to PK to "Just do a little hand-stand" seemed to have worked. We've also added a PK Bed-Time Story into our daily routine, whereby the hubby tells PK a bed-time story every night. He has VERY EAGERLY accepted his mission as storyteller, which makes me happy. :) He's far more imaginative than I am, plus I really enjoy watching him as he lies down next to my lower abdomen to tell stories. It's really really cute!

Although the weather has been nicer in recent days (we hit 27C on Monday!), it has been cold-ish (high of 15C or 16C on most days). Normally, I wouldn't care so much, EXCEPT that I have been wearing pants rather than skirts on most days, and I'm starting to wonder just how long the Bella Band will last me. I really really don't want to cave and buy maternity pants because we're so close to summer! As long as my butt doesn't decide to undergo a growth spurt, I should be fine. *knock on wood!*

The only damper to the week was this whole measles scare, but I'm glad that was resolved.

Next up is my baby shower on Saturday, organized by my dear younger sister. I'm not into the frilly girly-girl baby showers, so we're keeping unconventional. Guys and girls allowed, and no stupid baby shower games. We're getting together with all of our closest friends at a restaurant on Saturday night, and then whoever wants to tag along can join us to see the new "Indiana Jones" flick. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law wanted to organize one for me and I dashed their hopes and dreams when I said that it was for family only, co-ed, and no baby shower games. It's just not me...seriously. They went along with the plan until I canned that idea after we were having trouble making everyone's schedules work, especially for out-of-town family (on the hubby's side). We may still do something smaller with just parents, siblings + spouses, and the hubby's grandmother. I have a feeling that my mom would be really really disappointed if I didn't have anything on the family side, so that'll probably happen at some point. Plus I know that the hubby was looking forward to it too.

Measles Update

After the hubby called me yesterday with the news of the guy in his office who potentially had the measles it was hard to concentrate. Did the guy at the office have the measles? Was the hubby immunized? Would I really be okay if I came into contact with somebody who had the measles? Would/should we be attending our HypnoBirthing class that evening?

By the time we'd left work yesterday, we still hadn't heard back from either the hubby's parents re: his immunization records or from his office re: the co-worker's medical status. He was COMPLETELY freaked out when I met up with him after work because a co-worker had sent him a measles fact sheet saying that an un-immunized pregnant woman could run the risk of premature labor or miscarriage. Oddly enough, I was the calm one. The poor guy looked like he'd seen a ghost, so I guess my reaction was to try to comfort him as he totally flipped out. I re-iterated the fact that I called the doctor's office and MotherRisk that afternoon, and that they said that the baby would be fine.

We got a hold of his parents just as we were eating dinner at Tim Horton's (the result of our kitchen having been gutted a day earlier). Unfortunately, it turns out that while he'd had the first measles vaccine, he'd never had the booster. According to Toronto Public Health, you're not considered a carrier as long as you've had your booster. I checked my records once we'd gotten home and found out that I've been immunized for the measles a whopping FOUR TIMES, so I would not be considered a carrier. The hubby, on the other hand, would be considered a carrier if office guy DID have the measles, so we thought it best to not attend the HypnoBirthing class that evening.

We were obviously bummed out, but it was the right thing to do. Besides, we hadn't heard back from his office re: the status of that co-worker, so we thought we'd be better safe than sorry. At any rate, since the disease apparently spreading like wildfire in downtown Toronto (probably parents getting it from their un-immunized kids attending daycare downtown), he is making arrangements to get that booster shot ASAP so that we don't have to go through this crap again.

At around 10:30pm, the hubby finally got word from his office that his co-worker DID NOT have the measles. Whew! Of course my first reaction was "Damn it, we could've gone to the HypnoBirthing class!", but I knew deep down inside that we'd done the right thing because:
  1. Even if the mothers had been immunized and their babies would be safe, the fathers could get sick. And it's not like the measles is a fun illness to have.
  2. If any of the mothers had not been immunized and something happened to one of the babies, we would NEVER forgive ourselves for it.
  3. We would expect someone in the same situation to extend us the same courtesy.
Lesson learned.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Measles: Near-Scare?

The hubby just called me at work to tell me that someone in his office just went to the ER under the suspicion that he or she has measles. I guess the Powers That Be at the office didn't want to name names to protect that individual from being smacked for his or her irresponsibility.

Of course, being 29 weeks pregnant, I flipped out. There's a measles outbreak in Toronto at the moment, and the main reason is that PARENTS DON'T HAVE THEIR KIDS VACCINATED!!! That totally pisses me off because it puts the general population at risk. Parents are weary of vaccinating their kids now because they think that vaccines are linked to autism. Newsflash: autism becomes apparent at around the same time as kids are of age to start getting vaccinated. There's no medical evidence linking the two!

I know that I've had my MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine, but that was done over 10 years ago. Am I immune if the hubby gets sick? Did he ever get the MMR vaccine? Right now he's trying to get a hold of his mom to ask - we're still waiting to find out...

Anyway, I decided to call my doctor to be on the safe side. I was told that I *should* be okay, but suggested that I call MotherRisk just to be on the safe side. The lady at MotherRisk said that unlike Rubella (German Measles), if the mother gets sick with the measles, the baby is UNHARMED. That's at least a relief. Rubella, on the other hand, is another beast altogether. If the mother contracts Rubella, the baby can end up being born with birth defects. I know I'm fine for Rubella (I had a blood test to check up on my immunity to that before I got pregnant), so that's at least a relief. But that's neither here nor there - measles are the cause for concern right now, not Rubella.

The lady at MotherRisk also said that I should *technically* be immune to the measles because I got my MMR vaccine, but these things are never 100%. I still got sick with the whooping cough when I was 8 even though I had my DPT vaccine, so I am very painfully aware of the fact that she's right.

Still, I find this whole situation annoying. It's a total waiting game for us, and what a big pile of pooh this is. We have our HypnoBirthing class tonight, and we don't even know if we should show up...GAH!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

PK's Room - Update

Our baby furniture finally arrived on Saturday morning. We were told that the delivery window was between 9am and noon, so we woke up early just in case the delivery guys showed up right at 9am. Since we were up and ready by 9am, the Laws of Nature dictate that as a result, the movers would show up towards the end of the delivery window - which they did.

They ended up arriving a bit after 11am. They didn't leave until around 1pm or so. Why? Because we had a buttload of furniture (crib, glider, ottoman, and 2 dressers), AND our house is clearly NOT designed to actually have furniture moved into it. Our house is a split-level type of place where every room is on its own floor, and it alternates between a half staircase and a full staircase as you move up the house. Anyway, the movers had a hell of a time getting the furniture up our windy stairs, and it didn't help that the furniture was ridiculously heavy.

When all was said and done, we ended up with one little wall gouge just outside of PK's room. Not bad considering that we have evil evil stairs. Overall, we were very pleased with their service, and the delivery guys were surprisingly patient through the entire ordeal.

After the delivery guys left, we had the fun of moving the furniture around. Fortunately for us, they put the crib together, so we didn't have to worry about that. Yay! We must've spent an hour or so moving the furniture around the room to get the optimal configuration. When I say "we", I really mean that the hubby moved furniture around as I directed. He's all protective of me now that I'm at 29 weeks, and didn't even like me moving the glider around the room. The glider had felt feet on it, so it's not like I was lifting the darn thing. :P

Anyway, enough yapping from me. Without further ado, here are the pictures of PK's room! Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

All Walks of Life

Everyone in my pre-natal exercise classes has a "story". We may all be pregnant at the same time, but path we took to get to this point and the paths we'll take thereafter are vastly different. It's interesting to see such diversity.

There are lawyers, teachers, engineers (including Yours Truly), and doctors. There are gals who got pregnant shortly after getting married, and others who got pregnant shortly before getting married. Some aren't married at all, but are in committed relationships. Some have an OB, and some have a mid-wife. Some have opted for some added support by hiring a doula. Some want the epidural and some want a natural birth, hoping to somehow bear through the pain when the times comes for the kid to pop out. Some will be surrounded by family after their babies are born, and some are a long way from home and have to brave it by themselves.

One girl was telling me that she's going to have her baby back home in Halifax, where her parents and her in-laws live, because they can (and are willing to) help her out. Her husband is a corporate lawyer and therefore spends most of his time working. She doesn't even know if he'll be at the birth, because he has X days off, and the time he's taking off is based on that farcical 40-weeks-of-pregnancy mark that doctors like to give as due dates.

Another girl's partner is working in the US. Meanwhile, she's stuck in Toronto trying to sell their condo so that she can join him in the States later. She won't be joining him until after the baby is born, because she will be staying with her parents at their cottage for the entire summer, to have and raise the baby during its first few months of life.

Look at me, even. I got married at 23, and am having a kid at 28. By the time PK pops out, I will have been married for 5 whole years. By today's standards, that's an awfully long time to be married sans kids. Not to mention the fact that I got married at a relatively young age by today's standards. Most people probably just assume that we had trouble conceiving. The truth of the matter is, we weren't ready to be parents when we got married (even though the hubby is 5 years my senior), so there was no rush for us.

It just goes to show that there is no such thing as a "typical" pregnancy. We're all different, and that's just fine by me. Can you imagine how boring the world would be if every birth were the same?

Belly at 29 Weeks

As promised, I finally got around to taking a more recent picture of my belly. Here at is, in all its glory, at 29 weeks! Oddly enough, this picture makes my belly appear a bit smaller than the one I took at 24 weeks...but I swear that my belly is growing! The difficulty I have tying my shoes should be proof enough!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Glucose Tolerance Test

As I'd mentioned in my last post, the results from my glucose challenge test weren't so favorable, so I had to go for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test.

This test had to be scheduled, and I scheduled mine for this past Wednesday. Since this test requires fasting for ~12 hours, I stopped eating at 6:30pm the night before. My appointment was for 8am the next morning. When I got to the lab, there was a HUGE lineup - and the lab wasn't even open! Interestingly enough, most of the people in line were senior citizens. I guess they wanted to get their tests over and done with as quickly as possible. Why they would opt to wake up so early for blood tests and whatnot is beyond me, especially since I gathered that most of them were retired. Maybe they were fasting too. Anyway, I digress.

By the time I got started with everything, it was 8:45am. They made me give a urine sample first, and then they drew some blood (right arm) before I drank the orange drink. They gave me the drink soon afterward, which was a relief to me, because I was already starting to feel faint. Rather than feel better after consuming that drink, however, I felt worse. I guess not eating since 6:30pm the previous night didn't help. And now the waiting began. After downing the drink, I had to have my blood drawn once every hour, for 3 hours. This brought the grand total of needles poking my arms to 4. OUCH!

I found it a bit difficult to get comfortable. It didn't help that I had my backpack on me, complete with my Yoga mat (Wednesday is Yoga night), making my backpack extra-heavy. All of the technicians seemed pretty horrified that I was lugging this thing around at 6 months pregnant.

I brought 2 books with me to pass the time. One was The Omnivore's Dilemma, which, by the way, is an excellent read, though you'll probably never look at food the same way again. The other book was the HypnoBirthing book, which I got as part of the HypnoBirthing classes that we started taking. I hadn't opened the HypnoBirthing book yet, so I decided to read that. It was a great read, but waking up early that day plus fasting started getting to me, and within 30 minutes, I fell asleep. I woke up in time for the 2nd drawing of blood (left arm).

The second hour was not so painful. I was well-rested and got some good reading done. The HypnoBirthing book is a fascinating read, and really helped to calm me down. That morning, when I woke up, I had a bit of a "What the hell am I doing having a baby?" moment. I guess I'd been so busy with classes and work lately that I didn't even really have time to freak out. That morning, however, something got to me. Maybe as I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my big belly sticking out at me, realizing that life as I know it now would be over in 3 months or so. That, coupled with the fact that I have NO IDEA on what to expect as far as parenting goes just made me feel really uneasy all of a sudden. I'd told the hubby about my little freak-out morning, and he managed to calm me down somewhat. The HypnoBirthing book, however, helped calm me down further. Any bit of anxiety that was still lingering from that morning was gone. It put me in a good headspace and made me realize that having PK around will be an exciting time, even if it will be challenging at times. Right now, though, I needed to focus on having a successful pregnancy and labor.

After the 2nd hour was over, it was time to draw more blood (right arm again). The third hour went by really quickly. The blood lab was ridiculously busy the entire time I was there. I'm glad I found a seat after each time I had blood drawn, because I was tired and felt light-headed. Finally, the 3rd hour was done, and blood was drawn one last time. The vein on my left arm was pretty swollen, so the lab tech had to poke my right arm a 3rd time. If you'd looked at my arms that day, I'd probably look like a drug addict. Oy...

Now I sit and wait. My next doctor's appointment is on Monday. My test results were supposedly in sometime today and I haven't gotten any calls from the doctor's office. I don't know if it's because they'll wait to let me know about the test results on Monday, or if there's nothing wrong with me. Hopefully it will be the latter. Stay tuned!

Week 28

Although I look more pregnant this week, I'm always surprised by how many people look at me and say that I look small for being 6 months pregnant. I guess one of these days I should post an updated photo so you can judge for yourself. I'm still not experiencing any issues with balance that I hear so many pregnant women complain about.

I am, however, starting to experience swollen feet. At least I think they're swollen. I bought a pair of slip-ons about 2 months ago or so, and they were a bit large on me when I first bought them, and now they fit pretty snugly. I'm guessing that it's due to swelling. As long as my feet don't swell so much that I can't fit into my shoes, I'm totally okay with it. Another thing that's new to me is a tightness that I feel on my calves. I actually think that they're swelling too. I find that sometimes after I sit for a while, they feel rather stiff, and I have to shake them out.

Another wonderful side-effect of 3rd trimester is that I find that my arms seem to fall asleep a lot more easily than they did before. I get that pesky pins and needles sensation that requires a bit of shaking to get rid of.

I swear that throughout my entire pregnancy, just when I've adapted to one thing, some new sensation/ailment comes along which takes me by surprise and requires me to adapt once again. I guess that's the way it rolls. As long as the surprise isn't too huge, I can live with it.

Speaking of surprises, I was in for a big one last week, when I went to see my new OB. After the epicly-long appointment with my new OB last week, the hubby and I decided to hit McDonald's for milkshakes. I've pretty much sworn off McDonald's except for ice-cream, and breakfast. We always hit McDonald's for breakfast on ultrasound day because there's one right beside the lab where I get my early-morning ultrasounds done (granted, I feel guilty every time I go there for breakfast). Anyway, I digress. So we'd just gotten our milkshakes from McDonald's and started walking back towards the subway station, when I get a call from the OB's office. Apparently my glucos challenge test results had come in, and I was JUST above the cut-off. The cut-off for that test is 7.8, and my results came in at 8.1. This meant that they wanted to schedule me for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. Ugh. I don't mind drinking the sugary Orange Fanta drink, but sitting in a lab for 3 hours is not my idea of fun. Ugh.

Other than the glucose test, I went on yet another maternity clothes shopping trip. I've pretty much decided that I won't be buying any more long-sleeve shirts for the rest of the season, in spite of the fact that it has been rather cold in Toronto lately. Summer clothes, however, are still on the table. I'd like to think that the weather will warm up relatively soon, and therefore I would like to have a decent summer wardrobe.

Although I love the stuff at Rhonda Maternity, it IS on the expensive side. So I decided to go to Thyme Maternity. They've got decent selection AND I had a $50 discount card that I got with my last purchase there. Bonus! I ended up buying more items than I'd planned on buying, but I'm betting on the fact that I will get more wear out of these clothes.

The only thing that totally bugs me about Thyme Maternity is when I go to pay for my clothes. First, they try to make me fill out some ballot for free baby stuff. I don't need some crappy package of baby products that I will probably not even use - especially since we're going for the enviro-friendly Seventh-Generation products that we can get at Whole Foods and Grassroots. After passing that hurdle, I am always asked whether or not I want to be put on their list. I politely tell them "No, thank-you." Usually they're not pushy, but one time I was at Thyme Maternity, the cashier told me that I had to give them my address so that they could put me in their system. I knew that this was bullcrap, and I called her on it. She finally left me alone. I really hate it when stores push you to give them your address - ESPECIALLY when I know that they can't force you to provide you with that information.

So two hurdles down. One more to go. Next I was asked if I wanted the anti-stretch-mark cream that they sell. I'd been thinking of getting some of that stuff anyway, so I took the bait. Then I was told that if I bought two bottles of the cream, I'd get the third one for free. The one bottle was already $20 and I had no idea if it was even any good, so why the hell would I spend $40 on TWO bottles just to get the third one free??? Thanks, but no thanks.

Three hurdles later, I was finally able to pay for my merchandise. At least they didn't bug me when I told them that I didn't want a bag and that I didn't want my clothes wrapped in tissue paper. Bleh. I really like the clothes at Thyme Maternity, but their employees really need to work on being less pushy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Week 27

Overall, the allergies have treated me well this week. Unfortunately, just when I thought I could go about normal life sans tissues and hack attacks, my allergies came back with a vengeance on May 10th (the day I was at my friend's wedding). They were fine-ish during the actual wedding, which took place in the morning. By the time we'd made it over to my parents' place to celebrate Mother's Day that evening, my nose was stuffed, and I was in perma-sneeze mode. Fortunately, that seemed to have been the worst of it, and the rest of the week played out as smoothly as one can expect for going through allergy season sans medication.

Now the TRUE highlight of the week was HypnoBirthing. My classes started on May 13th, and they'll be running for 5 weeks total. To my delight/surprise, the class was relatively small - there were only 4 other couples in the class. I much prefer the smaller groups due to my introverted (with extroverted tendencies) nature. I find it a lot easier to interact with others and to speak up more readily and freely.

The class itself was taught by two doulas, Natasha and Amanda. Both are as nice as can be and pretty down-to-earth, which makes the classes very enjoyable. My only complaint is that I found the first class a bit poorly-organized. I don't hold it against them though, because it was the first time that they were teaching the class, and it was the first time that they had to set up in that classroom. I would normally be pretty miffed by the fact that neither of them had taught HypnoBirthing before, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. They've done their HypnoBirthing instructor training, and they are, doulas after all. Isn't their job to be soothing and supporting throughout childbirth?

As far as first impressions of HypnoBirthing itself go, I think that the class made an even more positive impression on me than I'd originally had from my preliminary research. Even the hubby seemed into it. When I'd first told him that I'd wanted to take HypnoBirthing classes, he looked at me with much skepticism, advising me to research it so that I could be sure that it was money well-spent. After all, it IS rather pricey - ~$350 for 5 weeks! Unfortunately, the term "HypnoBirthing" evokes images of a bunch of hippies living in a cult-like commune brainwashing unwitting mothers-to-be with their psycho-babble. Of course, that didn't help my cause. So I humored him and did some research. I sent him a number of articles that I'd found online, and I got him to read a few pamphlets that I'd brought home from my pre-natal fitness classes. It didn't take very long to get him on my side, thank goodness!

The more I get into it, the more I realize that HypnoBirthing is a state of mind. It's all about being in a good headspace during the birthing process. As the founder of HypnoBirthing - Marie Mongan - points out, giving birth is a part of nature. If the less "intelligent" animals can do it without drugs, why can't we? Unfortunately, throughout history, childbirth has evolved from something perfectly natural and relatively stress-free, to this horrid, painful experience that requires medical intervention to "get it over with". Total horse-pucky.

If you can get past these societal taboos around childbirth, then that alone is a HUGE step in the right direction. The next part of the philosophy is to learn to RELAX. I'll be the first to admit that I am NOT a relaxed individual. I fidget. I get nervous when I have nothing to do. I always need to have everything scheduled. I think that's why this HypnoBirthing experience will be positive for me. If I can learn to be a calmer, more relaxed person, then that alone is a huge success for me! Some of the breathing exercises that we've done in the past couple of weeks have been great so far. I already feel myself becoming a more relaxed person, which is huge for me.

The only thing I'm not quite sold on is the hubby's role in coaching me on my breathing during labor. We've both agreed that that's just not "us". I do, however, believe that we can tailor what we've learned (and are learning) in our HypnoBirthing classes into a birthing process that works for us, so that doesn't worry me at all. I was never a stickler for following the rules word-for-word anyway - my baking is edibly yummy proof of that!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Today was the day that I saw my new not-downtown-but-closer-to-home-nonetheless OB. I had already been mildly impressed by the fact that his secretary had called and left such a detailed message (complete with the doctor's Web site) on our voicemail. Was this a taste of things to come? Drum roll please...


All I can say is that I am bloody impressed! After filling out a series of never-ending forms, we had to sit for a while. That didn't bother me so much because I've learned to accept the fact that doctors are seldom on time. Sad, but true.

I scanned the waiting room. It wasn't too full. There were two couples and one woman on her own. One couple caught my eye. I would best describe them as Angelina Jolie in the movie "Hackers" married to Harry Potter. :P

In scanning the room further, I noticed that the walls were plastered with thank-you cards from his obstetrical patients. Some patients got really fancy and made him really fancy picture frames with a collage of pictures of their new-born baby. Some were just plain old thank-you cards with really nice messages thanking him and his staff for their services. My impression from seeing all of these pictures is that he really loves what he does and his patients know it too. If they didn't appreciate him as a doctor, I doubt that they would be sending him these nice pictures.

I talked to the nurse about my medical history, had my blood pressure taken, and was weighed. I was weighed on one of those old-school scales where they fiddle around with the counter-weights to figure your weight, so I couldn't read the number, and I wasn't able to steal a glance when she wrote it down. But I digress...

So, the nurse was super-nice. As far as doctor's office nurses go, she definitely didn't fit the mold of nonchalant and bitchy. In fact this was the complete opposite. She was cheerful and chatty, and definitely made me feel at home.

After waiting a bit longer, we got called into the doctor's office, where we waited a teensy bit for him. As far as doctors go, this guy is super high-tech. He had a couple of printers, a digital camera, and two LCD monitors - one facing him, and another facing his patients. Impressed I was!

Enter the doctor. Tethered to him was a med student. I'd read on his Web site that he often has med students interning with him. I think that's a fantastic idea. The doctor himself was a very pleasant British fellow - love the accent! He was very chatty and didn't at all make us feel like he was trying to push us through an assembly line of patients. After a brief chat, he told us to go to the room next door to see the baby. Pardon?

I did a bit of a double-take because, given my recent experiences, I was led to believe that only movie doctors had ultrasound machines on-site. I guess I was wrong. This doctor DID have an ultrasound machine on-site.

Since it was my first visit to his office, he did a more extensive exam. He performed an abdominal exam, did a pelvic swab (bleh), checked my heart rate, and of course, did the ultrasound. He also measured my preggo belly - apparently it's 27cm, which he deemed normal, so who am I to complain.

The ultrasound machine wasn't one of those big fancy machines that you see in the ultrasound labs. It was a bit fancier than the little laptop ultrasound that was used on me when I fell several weeks back. The setup in the room was pretty cool. There was an LCD monitor facing me as I lay on the bed. This screen was hooked up to the ultrasound machine so that I could look straight ahead rather than turn my neck to see what was on his little monitor. I have to admit that I didn't really see much, but he saw what he needed to see, so that was good enough for me. According to him, the baby is in breech position, and my placenta is apparently a posterior placenta. He wasn't too concerned over the fact that PK is in breech. After all, she has 3 months to invert herself. In the meantime, I think I'll take the advice given in my pre-natal classes and start watching TV on all fours for 10 minutes a day. Not the most elegant of positions, but if it means that I'll avoid a c-section, then so be it.

After the exam, we went back to his office where he gave us a PowerPoint presentation (!) outlining office hours, patient expectations, basic pregnancy nutrition, emergency contact information, etc. I swear this guy just kept impressing me!

Before we left, we were given a little folder with some pamphlets about the doctor, the hospital, and a hodge-podge of other things.

I think that today was the first time that I actually saw my healthcare tax dollars put to good use. It's a shame that most doctors are apathetic and treat their patients like they were part of a huge assembly line. The little things done at his office to make us feel important make a world of difference. Also knowing that I can e-mail him with questions, that there's an after-hours # where I can reach him, and that he works for an hour on some Saturdays and Sundays are nice touches. Doctors don't need to do these things, and most doctors don't. It's just nice that there's someone out there who actually cares about what he's doing.

So I guess at this point, even if an OB affiliated with a hospital closer to home happened to pop up, I don't think I'd go for it. Today's experience made me realize the value of good medical service. When you've got a good thing, you definitely don't want to throw it away.

Oh, so close!

Last Saturday, I was at a good friend's wedding, and at our table, the hubby and I met a couple with a 3- or 4-month-old baby boy. I swear they are the nicest people ever, and it was great to share pregnancy stories with them. Their son was a cutie too. Is it me or are all babies looking extra-cute these days?

Anyway, I was talking to the the mom, Nancy, about my OB woes. She started telling me about how great her OB was, how she was located out of one of the downtown hospitals, and how she was most likely taking new patients. Score! So we came out of the wedding with a treasure-trove of information - the name of Nancy's OB, the name of her son's pediatrician, and her contact info. Yay! More moms I can hang out with once PK is born!!!

Anyway, I called her OB first thing on Monday morning, and to my disappointment, found out that she was not taking any new patients for August. Damn, I was so close! Hopefully we have better luck on the pediatrician front. I've also got the name of my sister-in-law's pediatrician, so hopefully one of these 2 will pan out.

In the meantime, today I am scheduled to see my new doctor at the closer hospital. His secretary left a nice lengthy message on our voicemail the other day, confirming the appointment, their location, and the doctor's Web site - how modern! That's a pretty good sign, and I'm hoping that this will be a little less self-serve than my experience with my old OB.

In a nutshell, my visits with my old OB consisted of him hearing PK's heartbeat on the Doppler, him asking us if we had any questions, and the grand finale..."Take your vitamins!" Oh, and my questions were usually answered with, "Call MotherRisk to find out." MotherRisk is # you can call if you have any questions on what you can and can't eat during pregnancy. Aren't doctors supposed to know these things? Sheesh...

Anyway, I digress. So today, visit with new OB. I hear that the hospital he's affiliated with is pretty swanky too, so that makes me feel good. Yay! :) I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I never think much of Mother's Day apart from splurging on my mom. This year, I bought her perfume, a couple of books, chocolates, and even made her a quiche. I like to spoil her because she's been great to me and has always been super-supportive, even though we tend to have our creative differences (and there can be a LOT of those).

This year, being pregnant and all, has taken a slight deviation from the status quo. My mom bought me a Mother's Day card (very sweet of her), and my boss left a box of chocolates on my desk last Friday wishing me a "Happy 1st Mother's Day". It was a really sweet gesture and almost made me tear up - damned pregnancy hormones! Nice gestures aside, is it "right" (for a lack of a better word) for me to celebrate Mother's Day when the little one is still relatively safe and sound (barring any more falls - *knock on wood*) in the womb, away from what will surely be a very fumbly first few weeks (maybe more) of motherhood once she enters the world? I guess it's a bit of a slippery slope.

The hubby was a bit freaked out when he realized that I'd gotten Mother's Day gifts from my mom and my boss, and when my grandmother started asking me over the phone yesterday if he'd gotten me anything. I guess with me pregnant, he thinks I'm a ticking emotional timebomb and that not getting me anything this Mother's Day would put him in the doghouse. Damn, am I really THAT bad in my preggo state??? :(

Anyway, I wasn't mad. PK's not out of the womb yet, so to me, it doesn't count just yet. I wonder how it'll be next year. Will I expect some sort of fanfare around Mother's Day, or will it be "just another Sunday" to me? I like celebrations, but I don't like being the center of attention in that way.

I sometimes have a hard time picturing what it'll be like once PK is born. I know that life will change significantly, but I just can't fathom HOW MUCH it'll change. I know that my life and my actions are very centered around me (and around the hubby too) at the moment. I still have the delusion of being able to hit the climbing gym again soon after PK is born, but I know that realistically, it may be a while longer. All I know is that I want to integrate PK into our lives, rather than run our lives around PK. I've seen it done, so I know that it's possible. I guess it's a wait and see game. I won't figure things out until showtime, so for now, I'll just sit pretty and continue with life as I know it, until life's little curveball is born.

And who year, the PK blog may even have a gushy Mother's Day entry.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Name Game

People keep asking me if we've come up with any names for the baby. The answer is yes and no. We started looking at names when I was at 12 weeks. The boy names came really easily. I suggested 2 names, and the hubby took to them immediately. No questions asked. My top name was his top name. Easy peasy! The girl names, on the other hand, have been tougher. Our initial brainstorming session did yield an initial short list of girl names; however, none of the names we came up with tickled my fancy the way the boy names did. I didn't worry too much, since I was pretty convinced that PK would be a boy. It turns out, however, that PK is a girl, according to two different medical professionals.

Since I wasn't totally satisfied with our initial list of girl names, it was back to square one. We tried baby name sites. We bought a book. Let me tell you - there are A LOT of weird names out there. I definitely think it's cool to have an original and/or unusual name, but within reason. Parents-to-be need to realize that kids can be evil little brats and they'll pick on other kids over ANYTHING, including a name. So Apple, beware of playground bullies. If you get beat up, blame mommy Gwenyth Paltrow. (What was she thinking?!)

I am also opposed to weird name spellings. If you want to be original, at least pick an exotic name. And by exotic, I mean a person's name that exists from another culture, not some made-up crap name that will get your kid beat up in the schoolyard (see previous paragraph).

I was born in Brazil, and I thought it would be cool to have a Portuguese name. Unfortunately, most Portuguese names, to me, sound dorky, especially when you anglicize them. Compounded with the fact that the hubby is of Scottish and British descent (as WASPy as it gets!), I can't even imagine what it would be like for him to try to pronounce (let alone spell) a Portuguese name. My own name anglicizes nicely, so the hubby has no trouble with spelling and pronounciation. :P

I'd also considered French names, but that puts us in the same pickle as the Portuguese names. I also thought that a Shakespearean name would be neat, but I haven't encountered a Shakespearean girl name that is the "it" name.

I really like the name Ariel, but the hubby says it reminds him of the character in "The Little Mermaid". Too bad. It's one of my favorites. I also like the name Aïda (as in title character in the Verdi opera), but the hubby thinks it's too weird. Too bad. I loooooooooove the umlaut! Pooh on him. :P I would also love a name with an accent. I think the name Padmé is cool because of the accent, but the kid would NEVER live down the "Star Wars" reference. That's up there with Nicholas Cage naming his kid Kal-El. Oy...

We did finally come up with a short list of girl names (around 3 or 5 names), though I think that it has been narrowed to two candidates. They are easy to spell and easy to pronounce. They are Anglo-ish names, which is probably good, given the hubby's super-WASPy last name. :P The problem? We both like both names; however, he really likes one name, and I really like the other.

Now in case you're wondering, I'm not sharing names until showtime. I got the idea from my sister-in-law. She and her husband did that when they were expecting their first child, and I think it worked out well. EVERYONE has an opinion about names, and some people can be quite adamant about it. We definitely don't need that right now. Unfortunately, when we told family that we weren't sharing our baby names, I got some serious lip service from my side of the family. My mom and my sister both said something along the lines of, "But why wouldn't you tell ME?", and my grandmother is completely disturbed by the fact that we don't have a name for the baby, and she doesn't know what to call it. I would've told her about the PK nickname, but try explaining that to a 75-year-old Brazilian lady. Not easy.

I did cave and tell my mom the boy name, but it was after we'd found out that we were having a girl, so no danger. Even so, I got so much criticism for that one name, that I'm really glad that I didn't reveal the girl name. Besides, I think that the hubby would not have been too pleased about that one. I think that part of the reason why we won't quite settle on a girl name is to stave off prying family members. If we don't pick a name, we don't have to tell them that we've picked one but aren't telling. I guess we've picked two but aren't telling, but oh well. :P In the meantime, I get name suggestions from my mom and my grandmother every so often. I smile and nod. I love my mom and my grandmother, but it's our decision, not theirs.

As for the middle name, THAT was easy. Call me weird, but I don't like middle names, which is pretty funny considering that the hubby goes by his middle name (big long story around that one). My aversion to middle names might be an upbringing/cultural thing. In Brazilian culture, the child's middle name is the same as the mother's maiden name. I guess it's more like a surname than a middle name, really. At any rate, I told the hubby that I would like PK's middle name to be my maiden name, and he agreed. (Did he really have a choice? :P) So I guess in the end we get the best of both worlds. I retain a bit of my culture, and PK ends up with a North American name that the hubby can both spell and pronounce.

Third Trimester

My third trimester officially starts today! I totally can't believe it! My belly has really popped out in the last little while, and I think my bellybutton is about to invert itself. Not terribly excited about that (sorry, all you "outies" out there :P), but I have been assured that my bellybutton will return to its "innie" state post-partum. Yay!

I'll try to post more belly pictures in the coming weeks. :)

Week 26

Week 26 has by far been the worst week for allergies. Although the difficulty breathing subsided somewhat this week (it popped up on and off at night), the coughing was incredibly intense! My coughing fits were so bad that people at work thought I was some inconsiderate diseased employee, spreading my germs around the office. I took every opportunity I could to tell them that it was "just allergies" and that I wasn't contagious. Because I would wake up coughing 1-2 times during the night for an hour, sometimes, sleep had become somewhat of a luxury. The only thing that comforts me is the fact that the trees will stop pollinating and my nose will once again be happy.

Although my allergies didn't keep me from attending my aqua-fitness classes, I did opt to work out at home on Yoga day. I figured at a) I was really tired and could use the rest, and b) my coughing fits would probably not be too welcome at a Yoga class. :P Fortunately, I am happy to report that this week, the coughing has subsided significantly! Yay! Unfortunately, I am still sneezing and blowing my nose like crazy. That's okay, because I can at least sleep on a stuffy nose.

In other news, we found out that our baby furniture has arrived. The crib and the dressers had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, but we were still waiting on the glider. Well, the wait is finally over! Now we're expecting a call from the delivery company to arrange a date and time for delivery. It'll be nice to have the room all set up. I will post pictures as soon as the furniture comes in!

I mentioned earlier this week that I got referred to a new OB (somewhat closer to town). As I've said, it's not the perfect location, but at least it's accessible by subway. Beggars can't be choosers!

To continue on the news front, we finally got word that work will be starting on our kitchen. It's scheduled to begin on the last week of May. I sincerely hope that it's finished by late July, and that PK hangs in until the work is done. HA! :P I'm just happy that the work will be starting!

Last Saturday we attended an "Infant/Child Choking and First Aid" course. Like the "Journey into Childbirth" course that we'd taken one week earlier, it was held through Baby and Me Fitness. As I'd said before, we were extremely happy with the Journey into Childbirth course overall. I can't say the same about the first aid course. It was supposed to last for 2 hours, and only lasted 1.5 hours. On top of that, the guy who taught the course was clueless, and showed us outdated VHS (!) videos from the 80s (!) featuring industrial safety and first aid, with next to no focus on infant safety and first aid. The only useful things he taught us were what to do when an infant is choking (conscious choking only), and how to perform infant CPR. The highlight of the class was the fact that it was a mix of expectant parents and parents with babies (<1 year). Both the hubby and I were quite amused by the babies to either side of us. :)

Anyway, everyone was pretty pissed about the outcome of the course, and one girl actually complained to one of the owners of Baby & Me, Trish (who also teaches the Tuesday night aqua fitness class). Needless to say, Trish was pretty pissed by what happened, and is taking action to ensure that everyone who attended is properly compensated for this cluster-flub. Apparently they've been running this workshop for years, and have never had this happen before. From the sounds of it, the guy who came in last Saturday was a substitute (and a bad one, at that). I'm really glad that something is being done about this, because we've been very happy with the services provided by Baby & Me overall. I think that this shows a lot of class and integrity on their part, so kudos to them! And yes, I still definitely 100% recommend this program for anyone who wants to do pre-natal or post-partum fitness in the GTA.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Doctor Update

Today I got some good news regarding the OB situation. My current OB's office called me this morning indicating that they'd managed to get me an appointment with another doctor who is located a little closer to (my) home. Both the new doctor's office and the hospital are on the subway line, which means that we won't have to drive to get to appointments, so it's at least a bit more accessible. It's by no means an ideal situation, but I think it lessens the stress.

That being said, I'm still waiting to hear back from my family doctor's office to see if they can get me an appointment with a downtown OB. I want to keep my options open, after all. :)

Going High-Tech

This past weekend I bought myself a BlackBerry 8320. That's the one with built-in WiFi that the mobile phone carriers in Canada don't want you to have because they can't charge you their ridiculous data service rates. But I digress...

I figured that I'd get one for when I go on matleave so that I can stay connected to the outside world without having to be chained to a bulky laptop. (I never thought I'd ever say THAT!) Anyway, I found out that I can make blog posts via my BlackBerry, so here's my first crack at it!