Thursday, July 31, 2008


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

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

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

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

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

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

You Know You're Almost Due When...

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Momentous Occasion

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Week 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 28, 2008

LOL Moment

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

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

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

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

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

ME: Nope!
MOM: Oh...
Powered by BlackBerry

Stranger Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pediatrician

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week 37

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me at 37 Weeks

Friday, July 25, 2008


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

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

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

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

Although I found the guy irritating (and definitely kind of creepy), I do find the whole situation very amusing when a look back at it.
Powered by BlackBerry


Today was my last day at the office. As of next week, I'll be on mat-leave. While I'm relieved to be taking some time off befor PK arrives (assuming I don't go into labor tonight :P), I am sad to be leaving, even if it's only for a few months.

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

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

Stuck on the Subway

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

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

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home Stretch

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

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

Tickle Tickle Tickle

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Week 36

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hospital Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best-Laid Plans...

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Belly at 36 Weeks

Here's the latest and greatest belly pic!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Those Damned Pesky Emotions

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

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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Playing Hookey

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

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

Too bad it's back to reality tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Week 35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

PK at 35 Weeks

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

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

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

Monday, July 7, 2008

Torontonians Are Rude

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perineal Massage

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

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

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

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Birth Plan

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


General Notes:

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

Laboring Environment:

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

Labor Choices:

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

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

Induction/Augmentation of Labor:

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

Laboring Positions:

• To labor in the most comfortable position for me

Pain Relief Measures:

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


• No episiotomy unless asked for and agreed to by me

After the Birth:

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

Caesarean Section:

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Barely Awake

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Belly Pics

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

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Crib with bunny mobile