Let’s Do This

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28 Week Belly

Friday was my last day of work.

I went to my doctor on Wednesday for a letter to reactivate my sick leave claim that began when I took two weeks off in August. I see my GP at least once a month, and so we’ve been talking about how work has been impacting my physical and emotional health for the better part of 2013, even before I became pregnant.

“I’m here for a letter to go on sick leave,” I said to her.

She smiled kindly at me with her genuinely tender and compassionate manner. “You’re ready this time?”

My eyes welled with tears. She’s been on my side since the first day I met her. She is a constant support. I nodded my head and sighed heavily with relief. “Everything’s in place.” I said.

“Okay, let’s do this.”

~

On Friday I was duped into thinking we were heading to lunch with our team. At the bottom of the stairs I realized something was amiss…sure enough, my team and the rest of the office staff was in the lunch room for a surprise party. I’m not one for being the centre of attention, but it was a lovely little send-off. On my cake, the words “We’ll miss you Julie”. Gorgeous flowers. A very nice bottle of red from a co-worker who probably loves wine more than I do. Hugs all around. I was touched. It has been a wonderful place to work—everyone is always gentle and kind, ever supportive, and easily lends an ear when I need to talk. I will miss them, too.

So I’m sort of in shock and I think it will take a few days for it to really sink in. For now it’s just a weekend. I pushed myself too hard today and will need to assess how much I can do in a day. Tomorrow will be better. Yoga in the morning. Rest. Walk the dogs. Superbowl at a friend’s house. Rest. Sleep. Monday is open. As is Tuesday…

~

I took my gestational diabetes glucose tolerance test on Thursday morning. 12-hour fast. Blood drawn for a baseline. Sugary orange drink down the hatch. More blood drawn at one hour, and then again at two hours. I booked the quiet “room” at the back of the lab that has a recliner to rest in. It wasn’t so bad. My one-hour test was just slightly out of range but I am uncertain as to what this means exactly. I check my results on My eHealth, and see my midwife on Tuesday for more information. Seems as though there isn’t a standardized number for gestational diabetes so my Internet research indicates both GD and not GD. More on those results next week.

28 weeks and now in my third trimester. How did I get here so fast?? Slow down! But I am savouring every moment with my belly. Now it really feels like there’s a baby in there, and it’s magical. His movements are becoming more fluid, less like kicking and more like he’s stretching his arms and pushing his legs to see if he can make that space just a little bit roomier. Sometimes it’s a rolling all across my tummy, like he’s on the move to find a more comfortable spot. It’s totally surreal. I’ve been trying to capture a video today but no luck. Will try more this coming week.

With MUCH more free time in my life, I’ll be updating the blog more often, although the weekly pregnancy updates will continue. I’m really glad you’re here.

February 1, 2014 Pregnancy 1

Breaking Point

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27 Week Belly

27 weeks. Honestly, getting through each day is quite a struggle but I’m managing to keep a little gas in the tank by resting as much as possible and retiring early. I still have this weird muscle pain in my belly that renders me useless by about 5 o’clock or earlier. And my arms ache all the time. Not complaining, just saying.

I went for a walk today with the dogs on the estuary. It was intensely beautiful out today. A thick blanket of fog, the sun aching to break through, a field of a thousand geese, a sharp cold air penetrating winter attire. The pups loved the walk. Charlie bounding like a cheery fawn and pouncing like a fox amongst the tall grasses made my heart soar. Dogs racing each other down the levee.

Cowichan River Estuary

I made it to 26 weeks with just one pair of maternity pants—no, not pants, tights with a belly band. Last weekend I had to go shopping. My intention was to shop at a locally owned maternity store in Victoria, but when I arrived I found they were closed. So I went to a mall and died a little inside. Then I went to Old Navy and sold my soul for $140’s worth of cheap but fairly stylish clothes. I try my best always to support small and local, but this was a case of dire need and few options. Hopefully I don’t need to buy anything else in the next few months. Although, there will be bras!

Next Tuesday I am set to have my gestational diabetes test. There are two tests offered and I’m doing the more difficult of the two: fasting for 12 hours, then drinking icky glucose drink and waiting for two hours in the lab. I hope desperately that I don’t have GD. My sweet tooth is insatiable sometimes and I can’t imagine not being able to indulge. Right now I’m heavily addicted to the caramel flan latte at SB and Coffee Toffee Crunch Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Things I am worried about: Getting the pups ready for this big change. Not having enough time to mentally and physically prepare for labour (have NOT been doing any yoga for over a month). Not having enough support. Not having the bedroom painted a soothing, comforting colour. Figuring out how we’re all going to sleep. Feeling scared about everything. OMG HAVING A KID TO TAKE CARE OF WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?

I have five days of work left. I’m taking sick leave before mat leave because I really can’t live with this pain any longer and going to work makes it worse. It’s hard to believe I’ve been able to go this long. Everyone says I look wonderful and I’ve got that “pregnant glow”. Little do most people know how much I’ve been suffering. It’s breaking me in more ways that I can count and I just need to rest so badly. So while I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for the day to come, now that it’s so close it feels rather strange–like it won’t happen. But I’ve been training my replacement and she is amazing is so many ways; I feel like she’s nearly ready to take it all on. Wow, not working is going to feel incredible. (Not making as much money is going to suck balls.) I just hope I get enough rest before my life turns into a circus.

Baby Nixon has been super active this past week. I AM LOVING IT. There really is a human being in there. Damn, I kind of like being pregnant. It’s pretty awesome.

January 26, 2014 Pregnancy 2

My Life is About to Begin

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26 Week Bump

My belly at 26 weeks. While it might look a tad large, it’s not out of the ordinary and I’ve gained just 10 pounds. Everything is NORMAL, which doesn’t make for very exciting updates. Oh, except for the agonizing pain beside my belly button this little turd is causing me. But if I talk about it too much, it seems like I’m complaining. Jeez, I can handle the PGP and the FMS pain any day; this muscle spasm/tearing in my tummy is nearly unbearable. My movement is drastically restricted. The weekends have been *okay*, but work is really tough. I’m training my replacement (she’s so lovely and smart), so I’m soldiering out two more weeks if I can and then I’m out.

I have this idea floating around in my head that my life is about to begin. That sounds weird, obviously, and it’s sort of a blanket statement, since I’ve been living for 39 years and it’s been just fine. What I mean is, the LIFE I’ve been pining and aching for over the past few years. Hold on. That doesn’t mean being a mother. For about 98% of my life I had no intentions or thoughts of having babies. I think it’s that with all of this change, I am going to be much more conscious than ever about my decisions, about how I’m shaping my life, about what I am creating for myself and my family.

Like, I’m going to dance a lot more. In fact, I’m going to dance right now while my second cup of coffee is warming up in the microwave.

Do-da-da-do-doooo-da-doooo… Yeah that feels good.

I’m looking forward to all of the wonderful learning experiences coming my way. Something I see a lot of with new parents is letting go. Letting go of the worry about things that don’t really matter. Letting go of that mental chatter. What’s important comes into a much sharper focus. For me, that’ll be baby, family, and creating a career that is suits my lifestyle. And just simply creating a lot more, even if the finished product kind of sucks.

Knit Headwarmer

Over the holidays I knitted a head warmer. With my own two hands. It ain’t fancy and it’s only a basic knit stitch, but I did it and it feels freaking awesome. Damn, if I can make a human, I can knit. If I practice (knitting, not making humans), I’ll be able to knit well. Bring it on.

Back to the belly to end this post. He’s a feisty one—still bootin’ and bashin’ me and I’m loving all of it. See, someone I know, not very well, but a woman I admire and respect a lot, had a horrifying end to her pregnancy this week. I can’t imagine how much emotional pain she has been going through and will continue to suffer before the healing can begin. So for all the pain, for every sleepless night, for all the sacrifices, I am at heart utterly grateful I have a healthy baby inside and that my pregnancy has been fairly easy so far.

We are extremely blessed in so many ways. Many many many thanks to the universe.

January 19, 2014 Personal No Comments

A Hooked Fish

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I’ll begin first by apologizing for what may be a rather boring update for some. My intention with these weekly updates is to keep my family and friends apprised of events related to my pregnancy, to share my own personal story with other pregnant women, and to journal the last few months of this incredible journey I am on.

It’s now been 25 weeks and it seems like a lot has changed since last week. I’m feeling really pregnant. I’ve had an increasingly difficult time getting in and out of the car, moving myself in bed, getting OUT of bed, putting my socks and shoes on…you get the idea. And all this is only going to get worse as my belly grows bigger and bigger. Honestly, I am a bit worried. I had such an easy six months; I wonder if the last three a half will be tough.

I’m measuring totally normal for 25 weeks, but look at that bump! I’m in awe of it. It’s so lovely.

25 Week Bump

I had an appointment with one of my midwives today and she confirmed that the pain in my hips, pelvis, and thighs is pelvic girdle pain. The pain is usually non-existent in the morning but by the afternoon it hurts quite a lot to walk (er…I mean waddle—yep I’m sportin’ a foxy new mini-waddle) and it’s very uncomfortable to sit for more than an hour or so. Pelvic floor exercises and sitting on an exercise ball seems to help. And oh lordy I went and bought myself a maternity belt. Seems a tad uncomfortable, and it certainly doesn’t lend itself well to tight-fitting tops, which I prefer to wear. But if it relieves some pain, then so be it. Wincing and waddling around the grocery store is garnering some double-takes and slightly concerned faces.

A few weeks ago I noticed a desensitized area to the left of my belly button. It’s a very odd sensation and I don’t like it. But the spot is causing some intense pain. I can’t even explain the feeling it’s so peculiar, but I can tell you that it sucks super bad. The only relief is to lie down on my back and squish the skin together. My midwife said it’s the abdominal muscles stretching and the nerves are being pulled, and possibly there is some scar tissue there that is causing this terrible pain. It progressively gets worse throughout the day and by the time I’m incapacitated (and crying), I feel much like there’s a hook in my belly and I’m a flailing fish. It’s awful. A few hours in bed, and it’s gone. Clean the bathroom and do some dishes, it’s back.

It’s not surprising there is a lot of pain when growing a human being in your belly. Check out this animated gif that shows the organs shifting inside a woman’s body during pregnancy. Insane what our bodies can do and how they can adapt.

Pregnancy Changes

This Flash interactive from the Museum of Science and Industry is also worth visiting.

My FMS pain has been ever present. I’m feeling it mostly in my arms. They ache and sting and burn. Saturday I spent the day in bed. On Sunday Tyler took me to see his acupuncturist in Nanaimo, and I felt pretty good afterwards. Hardly any pain on Monday. But, it was back again last night and today. I’ve been in bed since 5 o’clock.

I had an ultrasound back at 19 weeks and I just got the results today from my midwife. Everything is totally normal. Except that I have a very “long cervix” (5.8 cm?), which really means nothing right now.

I didn’t realize how bad the flu has been the past month in BC. I’ve never had a flu shot and I don’t want to start, but of course I’m certainly concerned for myself and baby if I were to get sick. I’ve been struggling with it the past couple of days, but I can’t argue that it’s best for both of us. However, there aren’t any vaccines available in Duncan at the moment. Have to wait until Tuesday at least. I’ve been extremely careful about washing my hands and kissing strangers…

More next week!

January 8, 2014 Fibromyalgia 1

Kickety Kick Kick

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24 weeks pregnant

Happy new year! And what a marvellous year it will be. Today I am 24 weeks pregnant. Little Nixon has lots of growing to do, but I feel like the countdown is on. The next three months will fly by, and there is still so much to do! But I am so excited.

The most thrilling development over the past month has been baby’s movement. It started around 20 weeks with a rolling fluttery feeling just below my belly button that lasted about half an hour. Now I can tell you when he’ll be most active — which is at night when I’ve retired to bed. I love it because it’s a wonderfully quiet time that we spend together. I tell him stories, play music, or read a book aloud. It’s awesome. Most evenings I can hardly wait to call it a day.

I’ve been having some mild pain in my hips and lower back, and on Sunday afternoon I started feeling pain in the pelvis and down into my thighs. I’m not sure if it’s just ligaments and muscles stretching, or if it could be the beginning of PGP or SPD. Will find out more when I see my midwife next week.

My FMS pain is hovering around a 3-4, and has been on and off each day for the past month as high as a 7.

Am in complete denial about going back to work tomorrow after the holidays. I’m truly looking forward to going on mat leave…

I plan to do a pregnancy update each week from now until baby arrives in late April.

January 1, 2014 Pregnancy No Comments

Nursery Mood Board

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Nursery Moodboard

Left to right: Diaper bag: ikabags | Owl glow lamp: Urban Barn | “Lumi & Lewis” poster: le train fantome

Penguin wallpaper in silver: isak | Corian & walnut sideboard by Nissen and Gehl, The Conran Shop

Barn owl print: GingiberDeer rattle: manzanitakids

“I Love You” print: AldariArt | Owl pillow: GingiberWanderlust quilt: Frieke

“Not a Peep” crib bedding: Land of Nod | Dachshund bookends: Jonathan AdlerElephant Crib: Oeuf

Nixon chair: Thrive Home Furnishings | Bazaar Dhurrie rug: West Elm

December 29, 2013 Nursery No Comments

Little Nixon

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Little Nixon at 19 Weeks

I gots me a baby growing in my bellah! Little Nixon at 19 weeks. Mama and babe are doing just fine.

December 10, 2013 Pregnancy No Comments