Friday, December 24, 2010

32 weeks 4 days

Yay it's Christmas Eve! I'm making sweet and hot almonds, SB is out getting supplies for our dinners tonight and tomorrow, and the puppy and kitties are snoozing away. Oh, and I'm watching a Criminal Minds marathon. Holiday perfection!

Thought I would update on the nursery, which has been "done" for a few weeks now. I'm really pleased - it has come out exactly as I wanted. Not cutesy, not frilly, not overrun by commercial cartoon characters or ugly cartoon monkeys. It's fresh, clean, cozy, and will be easy enough to update into a toddler/kid room as The Insider grows up. Here are some photos of the progress:The empty room, with butter color walls and no window treatments. I'm annoyed by the electrical panel in the corner, and trying to think of ideas to cover it. It's placed in a very awkward spot, that a canvas/painting would look weird filling the whole space.... a bit stumped.

This is a photo of all the crap that used to be jammed in the nursery, now jammed into the dining room. The room used to also contain a treadmill, a giant wardrobe and a giant corner desk, but those were sold/donated long before this stage. Thank goodness.

"Finished" - seating and storage area. Walls are now beige/tan. The giant box of picture frames will be gone (unfinished project #376 for other parts of the house) and the lamp has to go (cause it's ugly). Also, on the back of the door you can note my wedding gown, which I have yet to bring to be cleaned. (unfinished project #253). We may also get another block of 3x3 storage to stack on top of this one. The closet in this room will be used for regular storage, so The Insider needs as much space as possible for clothes and toys to be put away, otherwise her dad may put her to the street.
"Finished" the rest of the room: one option for the ugly electrical box is to pull the curtains over a bit on that side. But then I feel the room may look lopsided.... We will also have a changing pad on top of the dresser, and maybe a rug. The last big thing to do is to choose some wall art, but I have a long list of etsy prints that I want, so I can't see this being a problem.

Friday, December 17, 2010

31 weeks 4 days

So, the decision has been made, and I feel soooooooo much better. We've decided to stay put for the holiday. The final straw for me was thinking about what WOULD happen if we delivered while home. The Insider would be 8 weeks early, so chances are she would end up in the NICU for x amount of time while we would be scrambling around, living out of suitcases, worrying about the cats back here and our condo, and THEN once she was finally discharged we would be traveling back to Montreal with not just an infant, but a teeny tiny 3/4 baked infant.

So we're keeping our butts here. And I feel really good about it. I think SB is just happy that even though we are staying, Christmas is NOT dead this year, and we will be able to have a tree, and hot chocolate, and lots of food and holiday movies etc. I'm also envisioning lots of walking in the snow with Miss Beastly (Tess) and taking lots of photos of her frolicking about.

Our nursery is 98% done - just need wall hangings. I'll post photos soon. It's pretty sweet.

And that's all the baby news. She's still rockin' and rollin' in there. Actually, I'll go one day thinking "wow, she isn't really moving around much" and then the next day she'll be almost knocking me over from kicking me. She's already torturing me.

Monday, December 06, 2010

30 weeks

Week 30 is bringing us into the middle of a slight conundrum. To travel or not to travel?

Both of our families are in New Brunswick. We haven't been home for the holidays for 4 years due to the old dog and cat business. We were both very much looking forward to a holiday at home.

Then we became pregnant people.

At first I was gung-ho. It's no problem. No worries. I'll only be 32-34 weeks during holiday time. It'll be fine. It'll be better than fine, it'll be great!

But the closer I get to holiday time, the less sure I am that it's such a great idea. Things that do not concern me: driving in a car for 10 hours. However, for some reason, everyone thinks that this is the part of the trip that worries me the most. I have no qualms about being in a car for 10 hours. In fact, I would probably love it being that I would nap all day if I could, and being in a car for 10 hours, what's a better way to pass the time then to nap?

Things that do concern me: Going into pre-term labor 10 hours away from home. I realize there are very few things that you can plan and rely on when it comes to labor and delivery, but if I gave birth 10 hours away from home, I think I would lose it. Not in the birthing centre we've visited and wrapped our heads around, not in the hospital 10 minutes from home, not with our chart handy, not with our doula, not with our little baby nest 10 minutes from the hospital to bring The Insider home to, not with our carseat, not with our baby clothing, not with our tub to labor in at home, not with our few weeks of settling in after filled with personal chaos, but in our house at our pace with our cats. I would lose. My. Shit. And right now the only solution I can think of that guarantees avoiding this situation is staying my ass right here at home.

Yes, in New Brunswick there is a great hospital where my mom knows most of the doctors, more of the nurses, they have a great NICU and comfy facilities. But, oh my hell, our doula, our house, our nest, our cats.... Plus a 10 hour drive back with an infant. After giving birth.

We have polled several councils. 1st being our doctor, who was only able to give a medical opinion, which was basically "sure, there's no reason you can't sit in a car for 10 hours." As stated, OBVS. This is not really the question.

2nd council consulted: My yoga class. 6 out of 6 polled there say they would never make the trip in a million years.

3rd council: A caucus of nurses at my mom's work training this week. I'm not sure how many were there, but they all seemed to think it was a bad idea too.

So, I'm at a loss. My heart and my doctor say we should go. But, my intuition, my sanity, and my councils say we should stay put. So, the jury is still out on this one.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A post NOT related to the Insider

So, aside from all the baby building brouhaha, there is some more pretty big news around these parts. I submitted a story to the CBC/QWF Quebec Writing Competition way back in ....mmmm, maybe April or May? In August, I found out that out of a field of about 300 entries, I had made it into the top 30.

Last month I found out that I actually made it to the top 13, which means my story will be officially published in an anthology coming out next fall! My first publication! They told me a month ago, but I wasn't supposed to make any announcements or anything until after the gala that they held last week.

I can't really explain how happy and excited I am. When we sold the business our intention was that I would work part time for a year, and see how far I could go in this writing thing. I got out this submission, and one or two others before we found out I was pregnant, and then writing sort of got put on the backburner again while I wrapped my head around everything. I started to feel...not resentful, but definitely anxious that my one chance to give this a shot was lost, and now with a baby coming, and the subsequent child-rearing that is generally associated with birthing, I would never work up the steam and nerve again.

But this, this is a great start. It gives me a little confidence, and definitely some motivation. Like crack, I think, knowing your words will be in print is a bit addictive.

Friday, November 26, 2010

28 weeks, 4 days

Here is the latest belly photo:
Taken this morning. To me, looks exactly like the LAST belly photo I posted. Although my pants would beg to differ. Maybe because I'm wearing black?

I have begun the prep work to The Insider's Lair. Yesterday I filled all the holes in the walls (the previous owner was a BIG fan of drywall anchors, which makes for very heavy patching), and today I will give the walls and baseboards a wash. I may even paint the trim today....although after dragging the contents of the room into our dining room, I'm already pretty exhausted. We'll see. Nesting fail.

We have yet to have even one conversation about possible name choices. I have been slowly building a list (I've gotten through A-M so far!) but I don't think SB has been working on his yet. In this respect, it would have been much easier if the Insider were a boy, since I have had a boy's name picked for years.

Tess says she is compiling some name selections, but will only tell them if we are really stuck.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

27 weeks 3 days - Doula Doula Doula

Week 27 and the Insider is on the move in there. Lots of kicking, pushing, headbutting, flipping - I swear she is going to join Cirque du Soleil. It doesn't wake me up in the night or anything, but it can be quite alarming when I'm typing away and she almost kicks the laptop off my lap.

I also had a cold this week, which started last Friday and which is still lingering. Ugh. When we owned the business, I didn't get a lot of bad colds, because I was rarely interacting with people in the public. Now that I work as a receptionist, I have had two bad colds this year, and I'm assuming I'm catching them from clients at the clinic, or from touching money...Or maybe I caught it at the hospital last week when I was stuck there for 4 hours for appointments!!! Anyway, I'm almost past it, and hopefully it's the last one for a while.

As a follow up to my post about birthing naturally, just wanted to say thanks to those who posted comments and who messaged me privately. I love hearing all about different birth experiences - both about what your intentions were vs what you ended up with, and how you would plan differently next time. It is all extremely helpful in the planning process.

To help us achieve our goal of a natural delivery, we decided to hire a doula to help us out. A doula, or at least a doula the way that we plan on using one, is basically a birth coach who is with you from the moment you are in labor until the baby makes its entrance. She is also helping us prepare for labor with several prenatal information sessions (like a private prenatal class, I think these will be much more useful to us than group ones), and will have a visit with us a week or two after the baby is home to follow up and help us out in any way she can for a few hours.

We found our doula at - they have great information sessions once a month where all the doulas are present to explain what they do, how they work, and where you can ask any questions you may have about their services. It was also a great opportunity to see which of the doulas we felt most comfortable with, like a group interview really.

What do we hope the doula can do for us? Well, since we want to stay home as long as we can, she will join us here and help us decide when it's really time to go to the hospital. I would much rather be hanging out in my own house, on my own bed/couch/floor or in my own tub or shower as long as we possibly can. I never had any interest in birthing at home, and would prefer the main event to happen in the hospital just in case, but from what I understand labor is a pretty uncomfortable experience, and I'd rather be in a comfortable environment while I'm working through it.

We're also going to rely on our doula to help make suggestions about labor positions, to give some helpful massages to relieve some tensions, and to remind us to eat and drink when appropriate. Once we do get to the hospital, her role may be even more important. While the doula won't take on the role as arbitrator between us and the hospital staff, she can help to counsel us in our decisions. I think that if it came to a point where I had to decide whether to have or not have one of the interventions I'm trying to avoid, I would feel a lot better about whatever I decided if I was able to take 5 minutes with her to discuss the situation and get her opinion as someone outside of the medical team who actually knows how a regular birth should go.

Hopefully this strategy will work for us. And if not, at least if SB faints or something I won't be stuck alone :P

Friday, November 12, 2010

26 weeks 4 days - au naturel

Before becoming pregnant, I did not want to hear anything about birthing, labor, waters breaking, c-sections, etc etc etc. It grossed me out. It creeped me out. And it was something I never thought I would ever have to worry about.

Cut to us deciding to have a baby, and obviously the birthing process is part of that. But for some reason it went from giving me major skeeves to being completely obvious how I wanted it all to play out.

I preface this post by saying that I am not a judgy person. I totally understand why other people make different choices about their births, and believe that everyone needs to make their birth experience exactly what they need it to be. Before becoming pregnant I probably would have said "Give me the Twilight Sleep birth - knock me out and I'll worry about the kid when it's out and I wake up." But it's like a switch flipped in me.

I'm sure I'm jinxing myself by saying this, but this pregnancy has been very, very easy. Aside from fatigue and some muscles cramps and achiness, I barely feel pregnant at all. It really has helped me wrap my head around the fact that my body was built to do this. It is working like it's supposed to, and building The Insider all on its own with barely any conscious effort on my part except for being sure not to poison her. So why can't labor be the same? If my body is being so efficient at putting this baby together, why can't I trust it to get it out of there just as efficiently?

So we decided to do a natural birth. What does that mean? Ultimately, my ideal situation would be laboring at home as long as we can, then heading to the hospital to fight with them about not interfering. I don't want Pitocin, I don't want laughing gas, I don't want an epidural. I don't want an episiotomy. I definitely definitely definitely do not want a CSection. There are a lot of factors that made me decide this, but basically I want my body to be in full control of the situation, and I trust it to work the way it should. I also care more about bouncing back after the labor than getting labor over as quickly as I can. And from the reading and researching and googling I've done, I feel like a natural birth is going to give me the best outcome with regards to those goals.

I feel it's important to also say that, yes, I realize this is my first birth experience and that I really have no idea what it is REALLY like. And I realize that in the moment I may change the way I feel about the wonders of the human body and gladly welcome some interventions. But I'm hopeful that I can power through it, because chances are I won't be up for doing this again. And I would hate to have any regrets at all about this experience, especially since so far it has been very positive.

If you feel like sharing, tell me about your birth. Tell me what you loved/hated. Tell me how you felt about nurses/doctors in the moment, and tell me things you wish your partner had done and things you're glad they did do.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

25 weeks 6 days

Appointments on Thursday were great! Our doctor couldn't figure out why the ultrasound department was so concerned about the baby's size. She thinks that 6-7 lbs at birth is great, and I happen to agree with her on that one. Anyway, so instead of sending us back up to ultrasound, she did one herself (saved us time AND aggravation!) and announced that everything looked normal to her, that The Insider will probably just be petite. Considering neither of us are giants, that seems pretty acceptable.

She also agrees that The Insider is most likely a girl, so we are going with girl. I think it's harder to get them to guarantee it's a girl than to get them to place bets on "boy" - it's easier for a boy's penis to be hiding than for a girl's vajayjay to spontaneously expand for the sake of the ultrasound. But 3 out of 3 doctors have agreed she's a girl, so my money is on girl too.

The last big part of my appointment was my glucose challenge test, wherein they make you drink a bottle of orange-flavored drink, wait an hour, then take a blood test to be sure you aren't developing gestational diabetes. I really don't want to get that. I have not looked into the different treatments for it because I'm too terrified and don't want to know about them until I get it, but I have a feeling it would at the very least involve a very restricted diet, to which I say BLAH! So fingers crossed I'll pass this test and not have to worry about it again. The tech said I should know by Tuesday.

And that's it! I promise this week I'm working on some more interesting posts about some of the plans we have for AFTER the Insider comes out, but this week we were just concerned with making sure she's not going to come out Smurf-sized.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

25 weeks 1 day

This pregnancy has really been uneventful. I apologize that it hasn't given me much fodder for the old bloggity blog. But I guess I'm pleased - eventful doesn't always mean pleasant!

Lots of movement happening now - Insider aerobics and circus classes happen daily. I think my doing yoga is really inspiring her (still going with "her" until we're told otherwise - we have another ultrasound this Thursday so hopefully we can get a little confirmation).

Although I find my belly is still growing gradually enough that I don't really notice it, I am starting to feel that my body isn't really my own. While I'm still very flexible in yoga class, and okay to climb stairs and walk the dog without actually getting winded, there are a few things that bother me.

If I walk too fast (with the dog, without the dog, carrying something, not carrying something) I get some pretty wicked round ligament pain. These pull at your sides, just under the belly, and pretty much feel like runners' stitches. Ya, except I'm not running, I'm just trying to get my fat ass from A to B.

My sciatica is back, only on one side, thank heavens. It bothers me most when I have been sitting too long in a chair that is the wrong height. Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment with me knows that I like my chair seat height to be about 3 inches off the floor. Okay, maybe not that low, but low. My theory is that I have short legs - when I'm seated at a comfortable height, my legs bend at 90 degrees. And it just so happens that the right height is usually the lowest one. Anyhoo, if the chair is too tall, and my legs are not at 90 degrees, my sciatica acts up and I turn into a 97 year old who just happens to be growing a fetus.

Lastly, I have been chronically running into everything. It's like all my joints and appendages have Tourettes and jump out at random objects. I just got rid of a bruise on my knee (printer stand under our desk at work), and currently have a giant blue welt on my elbow (piece of hospital equipment while on our tour of the birthing center) one on my hip (run into the radiator outside the bathroom at work at least once a day), and I'm pretty sure there will be a new one on my knee tomorrow because I bashed into the printer stand again today. Between this and the acne, I feel like I'm going through puberty again.

And I'm 97.

And growing a baby.

It's the entire life cycle rolled into a 9 and a half month period.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

23 weeks 6 days

A bit slack on the posting this week. But, don't worry, you're not missing anything pregnancy-wise because nothing is changing. Still weird spastic movements, still getting fatter, still feeling great, but tired. Old news.

I am very interested to see how the pets will react when the Insider comes along. They cats are very sensitive and are often the first to tell that a mom is pregnant, but our guys seem completely oblivious. Or, at least, if they ARE onto me, they don't really care either way. They haven't adopted any weird behaviors, which is great because those behaviors usually include peeing in places they shouldn't. Sometimes we catch Simon sleeping in the baby carseat, but that's harmless and pretty hilarious, actually, because he barely fits in the seat part.

I'm curious about how Tess will react. I have no qualms at all about how she will be towards the baby, but she has never known me NOT pregnant, so she may feel differently about me once all these weird hormones quit emitting their vibes. I hope she still likes me. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time together with the Insider in the middle of the night.

Friday, October 15, 2010

22 Weeks 4 days

The Insider is moving around a bit in there. For a while I was feeling it mostly in the morning around 10/10:30, but this week it's been completely unreliable and all over the place. Once I was able to feel it from the outside by pressing down pretty firmly on my belly, but the movements are so random and spastic that it is next to impossible to predict when SB should give it a shot. Soon, hopefully.

Decided to post a "Belly Photo". It would be awesome if I didn't have that extra back and arm fat, but what are you gonna do, right? Actually, I was on a message board the other day and one of the posts was called "No one told me my arms would get pregnant too" - I laughed out loud.

Yoga should help, though. Or at least I hope so. I've been to four classes so far, and am loving it. Going to shoot for at least two classes per week. Not only is the class itself fun, but most of the women there are pretty cool, too.

I still feel great, which is a bonus. Most of the women in my class have loads of back pain, carpal tunnel, lots of acid reflux, but I've been off the hook so far. I'm sure it will come, but each week that passes that I feel good, I'm thankful.

The only annoyance this week has been a weird sleep pattern. I get exhausted around 4pm, and stay that way until bedtime, then I can't fall asleep. And when I finally do fall asleep, I wake up every hour or two for no reason - don't have to pee, no pains, nothing, just wide awake. Very aggravating, especially since I'm trying to store up my rest reserves until the Insider makes an appearance.

Friday, October 08, 2010

21 Weeks, 4 days - Girl"ish"

Big week here, big big week.

First of all, finally got to my prenatal yoga class. Last Saturday's attempt was a disaster wherein I forgot to bring the exact address of the studio with me, walked right past it, continued on for 20 minutes, then upon doubling back I realized I had parked about 1 minute away from it.

However, I got my act together and made it to class last night and it was awesome. We did some postures that we relaxing and then some other flows and postures that were actually pretty challenging fitness-wise. I was sweating and out of breath a few points, so was all in all impressed. They have class three times a week, with three different teachers, but I'm only available regularly for two of them. We'll see if the other teachers measure up!

Also, we had our ultrasound yesterday. The technician was very helpful when she said "Looks like it could be a girl." Duh. It could be for sure. but IS IT???? She left the room for a few minutes and we asked her to look again. At first she seemed offended that we didn't believe her, but when we said it was more the way she stated it than anything she assured us that if she had any doubts she wouldn't have said anything at all. I'm still not 100% convinced, but am going with "girl" for now...tentatively.

Friday, October 01, 2010

20 weeks, 4 days

Vacation was great! Little did we know that our wee mountain dog is actually a water dog at heart:
Her very favorite thing was running along the beach and exploring the giant piles of seaweed. And while she did hop in the water regularly, I think that she would enjoy it even more if it was a bit warmer!

While on vacation, I passed the 19 week and 20 week mark. Allegedly The Insider is the size of a small cantaloupe now. Also, within one day, my belly went from looking fat to looking round, as per my mother who said "Wow, you really popped overnight!".

The last few days I've been feeling a few what they call "flutters" - basically feels like gas bubbles without the gas. In one week, we have our anatomy scan ultrasound, which means we will know if we're having a boy or girl baby.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try my hand at a prenatal yoga class. I feel blobby and gross since I can't go running, and walking just doesn't do it for me. So I figured at least if I get some stretching and muscle strengthening happening it may help me feel better. Plus I'm sure a little flexibility won't hurt to help during labor. I'm going to check out Studio Bliss since one of our ex-clients is an instructor there. She won't be the teacher tomorrow, but I figure she is a very sweet woman, and if she works there it must be a pretty okay place. I'll let you know how it goes, so long as the exertion doesn't kill me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

18 weeks 1 day

Less than a week until vacation! Actually, tomorrow is my last workday before vacation, but we don't leave until Saturday. I can't wait for Tess to see the ocean. I'm pretty certain she is going to be terrified, but I'm hoping it will be a little fun for her at least. Especially since the week we get back she goes in for her spay. Poor Tessy.

It's pretty amazing how fast Tess is growing. Right now she is 55 pounds. I can remember having to carry her up and down the stairs because she was too small to negotiate them herself. She also used to refuse to come to the door so we could go on her walk - we had to clip the leash to her and practically drag her to the door. Then when we got outside, she would refuse to walk anywhere, terrified of everything she saw. And while she's still pretty much traumatized by anyone on two legs, I can remember a time when I thought she would stay petrified forever. That I would be spending the next ten years trying to drag a 100 pound dog around. But she loves her walks, and even moreso she loves the dogpark. And I can't even begin to gush about how smart she is and how obedient with all the commands she learned in her training class. Every day I tell her I can't believe how much I love her. Because I really can't believe it. She is awesome.

On the pregnancy front, still no baby movement. However my legs have been in overdrive. For three out of the last five nights I haven't been able to fall asleep because of restless legs. I've had this happen to me before in normal times but apparently it's a pretty common pregnancy problem too. And a super annoying one. At 12:45 am last night I was ready to go run around the block a few times to get my legs to quit feeling creepy crawly.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

17 weeks 2 days

Still no movement in there. But belly is reaching critical mass, I would say. Any moment now the stretch marks will start to appear.

One of the first things you do when you find out you're pregnant is start googling. I can't get enough information. I read online for hours and hours and hours, sign up for newsletter after newsletter. And I cannot deny, this information is so helpful and sometimes reassuring. It often helps me form my opinions and wishes for this pregnancy, for how I want to eat, how I want to exercise, how I want to deliver, where I want to deliver, etc.

By now, I feel like I've googled my google off and read the whole internet with regards to pregnancy. I keep coming across the same info, phrased in all different ways, but basically the same old stuff I already know.

However sometimes the information that's out there is quite alarmist. Often on message boards what you will find are the happiest moments ("Yay, tomorrow we find out the sex!") or the very worst stories ("we went to find out the sex, and found out the baby has no heartbeat"). And because I still don't feel any movement, it sends my mind through all sorts of dark tunnels of "What if that's happening to me and I have no clue?"

Nothing I can do for now except assume that no news is good news. Hopefully The Insider will start wiggling around a little closer to the walls in there so I can tell what's going on!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

16 weeks 5 days

Still nothing eventful. I feel like I'm failing at this science experiment as my results have been fairly lackluster. Sorry it's so boring.

Before preparing the nursery, we decided to pull up our pants on decorating our own bedroom. This hasn't been touched since we moved in. Two years ago we bought a new mattress with the intentions of buying a new bedframe to go with it, but we never got around to it. Well, we've bought a new dresser, ordered our bedframe, and this weekend is the big re-paint project. We did the ceiling yesterday, and Eric and I got a start on the priming this morning. After lunch his friend Bjorn came over and helped him finish the rest as I had gotten a bit sleepy (normal) and also a headache (also normal, but was a bit worried about the paint fumes too).

One month until we find out what kind of baby this is, and until we're halfway done this adventure.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

15 Weeks 3 days

Another uneventful week. I must say I am quite impressed with the way my body is dealing with being pregnant. I have had zero sickness, no swelling, no weird veins on my legs. The only inconvenience has been extreme fatigue, which is not so far off from how I feel on a regular day, so I've been coping alright. Napping is a regular activity now, but there are definitely worse things. This week I've also been experiencing some pretty bad headaches, but I think those have more to do with sinus pain and allergy issues than baby-building.

I am also not finding myself having more food cravings than I normally do. And I'm not craving anything weird. I definitely miss sushi A LOT - more than I would have thought. I've tried some vegetarian sushi and while it's okay, it's not the same as some fantastic spicy tuna sashimi.

I do however have one food aversion, which is weird. I can't even stand the thought of a mixed green salad. It makes me want to barf. Caesar salad is okay, though. So weird.

I was almost inspired to take a photo of the belly this morning. I find it has really popped this week, which I kind of like since before I just looked like I was carrying a spare tire. But I'm still not happy about all the extra flab I see (which a lot of people are saying indicates I've a got a girl in there) so didn't go through with it. Maybe next week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

14 weeks and 4 days

One of the major issues I'm having with being pregnant is getting fat again. Rationally, I know that this is what happens when you are growing a human in you, but psychologically I'm finding it very, very difficult.

Two years ago I started the process of shedding excess weight that I was unhappy with. I was very successful, and very happy with the results, ultimately losing over 30 pounds. I was more active, had more energy, and actually enjoyed shopping again.

Now I find myself only 15 pounds away from where I started.

Yes, it's true that after the wedding I put on about 5-7 lbs from my lowest point, but I think this is normal, and it brought me to a point where I didn't have to constantly worry about what I was eating to maintain the weight I was at.

At the beginning of the pregnancy I stopped eating/drinking things with aspertame and started drinking more milk and juice - this small thing added on another 5-7 pounds within a month or so, but I felt I didn't want to chance the chemical effects on the baby (even though they say they are relatively safe).

I also had to quit running, not because running is bad for you to do in a normal pregnancy, but because we had a horrible heat wave and I barely wanted to chance walking the dog let alone running 5Km since they say overheating is very dangerous for a pregnant lady. By the time heat let up, I felt like my body wasn't ready to start back up again without it being dangerous.

Then, I started to get HUNGRY. All the time. And I was so worried that I would suddenly be stricken by morning sickness and not be able to keep anything down, that I figured "better get while the getting is good" so I ate. Whatever I felt like it, whenever it struck me.

But morning sickness never came and by 12 weeks I was already within 15 lbs of my starting fat weight.

But, by week 10 I also realized that I probably wouldn't be getting morning sickness after all and reined in my "feeding" habits and I'm holding steady at the same weight in the meantime.

Hopefully it will all balance in the end, but for now I feel fat, gross, and fat. And no matter how many times I tell myself that it's not fat, it's baby, and no matter how many times SB tells me "But that's where the baby goes!" when I look disgustedly at my gut, I think I won't feel comfortable until the "real" baby bump appears.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I have been wondering for a while how I would approach this. And now the time is here and I am no closer to having a clue how I should say it. So I guess I should just come out with it already.

I'm knocked up.

The baby is due on Valentine's Day. I am 13 weeks along right now, and haven't had a stitch of morning sickness however have taken to going to bed at approximately 7pm since I'm exhausted.

Also, before you ask:
1) yes we planned it
2) yes we're pretty excited
3) yes we're very terrified
4) yes we will find out if it's a boy/girl
5) No, we won't name the baby after you
6) No, I won't suddenly start feeling comfortable around other people's babies
7) yes, I'm considering a nanny until that baby can hold its head up alone
8) yes, I'm already fat
9) no, you can't touch my belly.

I'm not sure what else to say at this point.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Going by too quickly

Monday was a sad day here. Not only had Tess grown out of her baby puppy collar and had to move up to another one, she had also outgrown the loaner crate and we had to buy the big one already. And her puppy fur is starting to come out.

She is still exceeding all expectations I ever could have had. She is so quiet, and sweet, but twice a day has her playful times when she is fun and energetic. Simon still wants little-to-nothing to do with her, but Osha likes to check her out once in a while, which is adorable.

Milestone-wise, she now does "sit" on command (still working on "come" - she understands it, but I think she just doesn't feel like doing it sometimes). She comes to the vet clinic with me, and while the first few days she was a bit quiet and anxious, she is slowly coming out of her shell. Today we had our first trip to the dog park, and she loved it. She doesn't quite get the concept of play yet, and isn't sure if the other dogs are trying to kill her or not. But that will come. She only has enough energy to hang out there for 15-20 minutes at a time, though.

I'm sure next week she will bypass some other monumental stage and my heart will break a little more. But I do love her so much, and I love seeing SB getting to experience a puppy for the first time. He loved Charlie and Gabby very much, but there is nothing quite like raising a puppy - so far I think he's totally loving it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The puppy has landed.

So, she's here, and all I can say is she is amazing. That is basically the only line that even comes close to describing her.

We decided to name her Tess. We had a friend whose dog's name was Tess, and we always loved it. Then she moved away and took Tess with her, so we felt it was up for grabs. My first choice name was not Tess, but in thinking about her personality during the first 24 hours, and also the physical presence she will have when full grown, Tess seemed to fit better.

So far, she has learned her name, "NO", and "come" (albeit she will only usually come to us when we are kneeling down. We're working on it.) She has also mastered going up the first and third flights of stairs. Because our stairs have open risers, I think it freaks her out that on the second flight she is looking out into the street when climbing.
Potty wise, today is the first day she hasn't had an accident, but I have been pretty diligent with taking her out at key times. She is pretty lazy, so doesn't get excited to go out like most dogs do when you pick up the leash. This makes me think it may take her a while to actually ASK to go out.

Simon is becoming more and more tolerant. He hasn't hissed at her today, which is a start, and he always positions himself in such a way that he can observe her. Each day he observes from closer and closer. I hope they will be playing soon.

That's the update - she is the smartest, sweetest puppy we probably could have chosen. I feel so in love with her it's crazy, and the only way to describe her is amazing.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Puppy preparations Fail

The puppy is coming home on Thursday. Aside from getting a crate for her (we have borrowed a small one for now, then will buy a bigger one when she needs it) and deciding on our feeding plan (the breeder feeds them RAW, which we weren't altogether convinced would work for us), we haven't really prepared ourselves. It's slightly terrifying, but mostly exciting.

Today I am busying myself making a training treat pouch, because I have about 800 yards of damask fabric from our wedding decorations and figured the pouch will come in handy. Hopefully it works out. We haven't bought any new toys. We still have tons of toys, and I figure not all dogs like the same stuff and I don't feel like wasting money on things she won't play with, right?

We have decided not to continue feeding her RAW food, but we will be very paying very close attention to her diet, feeding her very specific calories/fat/protein/calcium foods, and watching her growth. The issue with giant breed dogs is that they tend to have joint and skeletal issues, sometimes caused by genetics (both her parents rate very well!) and sometimes caused by a too rapid growth rate as a puppy. If they put on too much bulk before their bones have fully developed, it causes major stress on the bones and joints, leading to big problems. We don't want any big problems, so we'll keep a close eye.

I have been trying to mentally prepare Simon - I think he's going to love having a puppy around, once he gets used to the fact that he has to share space with another fuzzy creature. He is constantly trying to playfight with Osha, who is far too old for those kinds of shinanigans, and I think it causes a certain level of frustration for Simon. A playful puppy may be just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some sad, and then some happy

The week that Charlie died, we had been making plans to visit a dog breeder to get a puppy. It has been just over a year since Gabby passed away, and I really felt like Charlie was not my dog. It's not that I didn't love him; I did, no matter how much I maligned his presence in our home and talked about when he was going to finally croak. It's the fact that he was SB's dog. Much like Gabby was more mine, Charlie loved SB fiercely. But me, not so much. I was okay playing second fiddle when I had my Gabby girl around, but when she was gone it wasn't the same - and my heart ached to have that back.

Then Charlie died, and I thought SB might not be able to handle a new puppy. It made me sad. It was like a double loss for me. But we talked it over, and since we had been so ready to move ahead anyway, we decided that now is the time.

So on Saturday we met with a breeder, and also got to meet four fuzzy little nuggets of amazing goodness, one of which is going to be ours. We met the mom and dad dog (I think they call them the "bitch" and the "ho" or something like that) and they are both beautiful and healthy well into their fourth years, which is great.

Here is a little photo of one of the pups. I'm sorry I don't have any really good ones, but I was so entranced by the puppy breath that I forgot to take any photos at all - this is one the breeder sent to me.

We haven't picked a name for our puppy yet, but she will be a girl. And she will be coming home around June 10th, I think. I will keep you updated, and am warning you right now to brace yourselves for WAY more puppy pictures and stories than you ever thought imaginable.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I am a jinx

So, I guess I spoke too soon about the whole health situation.

Unfortunately last Friday we had to make the decision to let our dear Woodgie go. It was tough, and of course happened on Friday night, when I returned from the CLOSED vet clinic. SB had found the Woodge in extreme respiratory distress for the second time in a week, and the meds were not kicking in. He was working so hard to get air into his lungs, which were crowded and swollen with fluid. We waited over an hour and nothing happened with the meds, which usually kick in within 20 minutes.

I called our wonderfully fabulous vet on her cell phone, and she talked me through all the stuff I was struggling with. In turn I discussed everything objectively with SB and we decided it was time. Our vet met us at the clinic, which was dark and quiet, and the whole thing was very peaceful and serene. I can't express how thankful I am to have our vet, and I also feel very settled about the whole situation. When he finally passed it was obvious to us that it was time. I will spare you all the details that showed me we had made the right choice, but even just seeing him so still, finally done struggling and fighting to keep his heart pumping at all, I just knew it was right.

Our house feels very empty without a dog in it. The cats are great, but they aren't dogs (okay, so Simon is almost a dog, but not quite). And surprisingly Simon has been acting very, very strangely, almost as though he misses the dog that tried to eat him on at least 10 separate occasions that we know of.

I share with you what I think is my very favorite photo of The Woodge. I didn't go through all the photos we have of him, and I'm sure it's not even the best one. But when I think of him fondly, this is what I see.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Week #2-ish

We got back from NB last week, and have been go-go-go ever since. This week I'm doing walks for three days, then in the clinic to days, but by the end of this week I should be officially detached from the old business and moving on. It feels slightly surreal, especially since I continually find myself looking for my blackberry.

In the past two weeks we have had two separate first meetings with two different babies, and I am proud to say that my title as Baby Whisperer stands. Those babies dig me. At one point our friend said "see, you like babies!" and I said "I like quiet, and if I can make them quiet, then I win." I think I may have a bumper sticker made.

For those of you keeping track of pet health in our house, The Woodge is not dead yet, and his condition seems pretty stable. He will eat/not eat randomly, and seem distressed/totally fine as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Week #1

So, it's nearly the end of the first week post-business. I will be in a car for the better part of this weekend for another fantastic whirlwind trip to NB. Goodness I hate car trips more than I thought possible. Anyhoo, thought I should give you an update on how life is going so far.

It's great. I've been doing some work at home, and doing a few more hours at my vet clinic job. I really am loving that so far, and I feel really lucky that the timing worked out for that. Last night the most adorable puppy came in and we got to play with him. I had to resist the urge to grab him and hightail it outta there.

The new business owner seems to be settling in nicely. I have barely heard from her, which I take to mean she is getting along just fine. At least I hope so. I hope she isn't just scared to ask me questions.

We're going to NB for Eric's niece's christening. I have no idea what this entails exactly, but I do know that I will have to enter a church, so if you don't hear from me, it's possible I spontaneously burst into flames when I walked through the door. It will be our first time meeting her, so that's pretty exciting, and extra exciting that she is 7 months old now, so I'm pretty sure she can hold up her head and stuff. Yay.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Big Thing

Alright, so everything is official now, which means I can safely spill the beans without putting any bad karma out into the universe and jinxing everything.

We have officially sold our business. It took us a while to decide, then took a while longer to get organized, and actually took barely any time at all to find our perfect buyer. She's great, and is much more business-minded than I am, so I think she will be much better suited to growing the business than I was.

I am actually having a lot of mixed feelings. I feel happy - we are gaining so much freedom to travel, or hang out, or whatever without worrying and planning and organizing.

I also feel sad. I would have 100 pets if I could, and owning this business kind of allowed me to do that. I took a lot of joy from the dogs and cats I saw every day. They helped me through some pretty tough moments, brought my blood pressure down when I was stressed. So that will be hard, leaving them. I know they don't care who walks them, or visits them, as long as someone shows up but I always like to think they love me as much as I love them. I will helping out during a transitional period, but will be outta there by the end of May. And who knows how much helping she will actually need me for.

And then begins a very big year for me. I'll be working part time at a vet's clinic and getting started on what will hopefully be my permanent vocation, writing. Finally. It's exciting and terrifying all at once. I have some goals, and have taken a workshop to get me back into it. I may take another one in the fall, we'll see. I am feeling inspired, and also a bit overwhelmed. There are so many possibilities to succeed, but also so many to fail. I guess all I can do is get to work and see where it takes me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


And of course the day after I posted about Big A we received a card from our friends in Winnipeg with their baby Chloe on it. And holy eff if she isn't the cutest thing too. So I guess there really CAN be more than one baby that I find quite darling. And in real life she has actually liked me reasonably well also. Maybe I am not just a cat whisperer, but a baby whisperer also! I think I may make a fantastic Auntie after all.

I can't think of anything else to say right now because my mind is a little too full, but I'll be back on the weekend with some big announcements!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The End is Nigh

So, not to jinx the BIG THING, but it should be happening this Friday. I am all at once terrified, elated, anxious, ecstatic, nervous and certain. As soon as the paperwork is done I will post an official announcement, but for now, I'm just trying to keep on truckin', as they say, and my hands have been totally mangled by my nervous gnawing.

Last weekend we visited our friends and their baby, Big A. I have to say, if ever I decided to abduct a baby I think it would be him. He really is the sweetest little one I've ever met. And we all know what a big fan of babies that I am. When we visit, he appears to be completely obsessed with both of us (SB's glasses, my hair, I think) and will just stare at us. Plus I can always make him laugh, and you know what a ham I am.

So, still nothing official for you, but a quick update, and I will be back, hopefully with good news, on the weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sort of an update

Wow, okay, so it's been a while. Quick roundup.

It's been a pretty rough month for me. Due to many many external factors combined with the perfect storm of chemical imbalances in my head, I had a minor mental breakdown about three weeks ago. As much as I kid about my craziness, this wasn't funny, and it wasn't pleasant for anyone here at our house, and it was exacerbated by the fact that our shitty healthcare system in Quebec makes it next to impossible to seek urgent care for psychological issues.

Long story short, I'm feeling quite a bit better. I'm still not sleeping properly, but the days are better, so there's that.

We still don't have a puppy, and the next Big Thing has still not happened yet.

So I guess it's not much of an update, but we're doing okay and just thought everyone should know that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Thoughts. How do you control them? *****

I can't sleep. I can't pinpoint a specific problem, there just seems to be a whole mess of stuff clunking around in there lately. I spend the whole day with the thoughts, and work myself into a lather, then I spend the whole evening trying to keep myself from blurting them out willynilly to SB and driving him batshit crazy too. Because do we really need that? So for the last few weeks my sleep patterns have been sporadic at best.

Sleepytime is the worst. The thoughts are racing. And I know, I know "make a list before you go to sleep, so you can forget about them and move on". But the problem isn't that I think I will forget about these issues. It's that they won't go away!

It doesn't seem to be bothering anyone else in the house - all my boys, furry and not-so furry are snoring away happily. However I'm sure I'm much moodier than normal during daytime hours. My usual insomnia routine has me hopping out of bed after a good 90 minute try, watching some TV or reading then heading back in 30 minutes or so. For the past two weeks I've been just lying there until I fall asleep, which hasn't been such a hot idea, so tonight I gave in and got up to read some blogs and write a post here for myself.

It's really a crying shame because sleeping is one of the very few things in life that I know I generally excel at and which I also shamelessly enjoy.

****title of the post is one of my very favorite Karl Pilkington lines from the Ricky Gervais Podcasts.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh, ya....

I know, I know, two posts in one day - I'm such an attention whore. But I was running and thought of something that I had been meaning to blog about.

I cannot for the life of me figure out who the hell is in charge of choosing theme music for sporting events. It was something that I realized really bothered me last week while watching the Super Bowl, and then we went to a hockey game on Wednesday and it came up again. SB doesn't seem to understand my outrage, but let me set the scene for you.

Super Bowl. A commercial comes on for the NFL draft - they ran several throughout the night. I don't know any of the players, but they were apparently showing pretty key guys during their moment of their NFL draft year. Putting on the jersey for the first time, shaking hands with the owners, blah blah blah. And what song are they playing?

Wake Up, by the Arcade Fire.

Think about it for a second.

Does it seem strange to you that they are celebrating and promoting a very pivotal moment in an athlete's career, the moment where all the hard work and dedication and all that jazz culminates in earning them that shot at the dream, that they are celebrating all this with a song about being emotionally beaten down as a child and growing up mal-adjusted. Huh.

Next scene:
Habs game.

The visiting team skates out to boos and the like. Then to bring the Habs players out two young kids (maybe 10-13 yrs old, I can't be sure because, kids, who needs 'em?) take the ice (which has been darkened and there are swirling spotlights) and what song are they playing to get everyone pumped up?

Fix You, by Coldplay.

Yes, let's get this party started with a song about dealing with a loved one trapped in the clutches of a dangerous depression.

Does it really take so much effort to LISTEN to the lyrics, to see what the song actually says? Stop being so lazy sports marketing people!!!!

Because, seriously, at the hockey game I got goosebumps, but not for the right reasons.

Still waiting

Still nothing happening on the next Big Thing. I know it's very tedious that I keep mentioning it and then not going into details, but I just really dislike fielding questions about stuff when I can't control when they happen. So, you'll get to know when it happens, and until then, I get to whine about how it's not happening fast enough.

In other news, I was ecstatic to find out that Wolf Parade is doing a mini-tour in April, so we scooped up some tickets to the show in Quebec City on April 1st (we better not show up to a fake concert - I am not a big fan of April Fool's day). I'm not super stoked that we have to go to Quebec City to see them (they are from Montreal, so the only thing I can imagine is that all the good venues were already booked on the dates they needed....otherwise it's just annoying). But we're going to take the opportunity to spend the night, then check out Old Quebec the following day, which I think we've only done together once, and only for like half an afternoon.

I think it will be a fun little mini-trip, and I could never express how excited I am to see them live again. I feel like one new album every two years is just NOT enough!!! I'm hoping that since the new CD is not out yet that this means this tour is a test run of new stuff, and that they will do a big tour in the late summer/fall. Fingers crossed! Two shows in a year would be amazing!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Waiting for the next big thing

Back from vacation means we're back down to business. There are big things happening here, big things. Big things I can't talk about yet. Or won't allow myself to talk about, at least until it's confirmed. It may or may not be what you think it is. If you know me at all, you know it's not that thing, but the other thing.

So, just waiting. Feels like a lot of time wasting, and lately I have been pretty preoccupied with time, and how quickly it passes. And the things I take for granted, and the things I don't take advantage of. And the things that fill up my time that have no value to me - things I can't control, obligations I wish I could shake off.

We both want to make the most of our time, doing things we love. For a long time our life has been about what we HAVE to do, but we are realizing that living life that way, it's not a life. So, we have some goals, and we have some deadlines, and we're on our way.

More to come soon, hopefully.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Back to reality.

So, we're back from vacation. Been back for about a week now. It's sad. So, so, so sad.

I wasn't able to let go of thinking about work while we were there. I cheated a few times and checked the emails just to be sure things seemed to be going smoothly. I can't wait until I don't have to do that anymore. Because aside from that, I was able to completely disconnect from everything else in life (even FARMVILLE!!!!) and just spend time with SB.

The resort was fantastic, we couldn't have asked or hoped for more. We were ridiculously spoiled, and had nice surprises from the staff. SB got to do some active watersports stuff - I tried to get into the Hobie Cat thing for his sake, but was way too nervous. He didn't mind taking it out alone, and also did some waterskiing too. We went snorkeling together, which was amazing. So many cute fish to see!

Now, back to reality, it doesn't seem fair that just over a week ago I was eating dinner with my feet in the sand and the ocean just a few yards away in the moonlight. It's like it never even happened, like it was just a dream. At least we have photographic proof!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

vacation countdown and organizational madness

5 days until vacation. Which means I am now obsessively checking weather reports (it's not looking great, folks) while alternating with obsessively making lists. And it seems like these lists never get shorter.

The most stressful thing, as it is on any given day of my life, is the work situation. Trying to be sure everything is in place and ready for the girls so they have a stress-free week (or as stress-free as possible), which involves heavily coaching our clients to get their acts together and make things as uncomplicated as possible.

But this time, we have the added fun factor that The Woodge is basically half croaked, so SB's brother may come home to a dead dog at any moment. What's happening is that he is in congestive heart failure. This is surprising to me because I didn't think he had a heart, then come to find out it's about three times regulation size. He's taking three different drugs which seemed to have regulated his breathing a bit, and he's back to eating his normal meal, so that's good, but the vet gives him 4-8 months. Now, I'm not sure if we're doing the right thing by medicating him, or if it would be better to put him down, but we both have a whole lot on our plates at the moment, and medicine is easy to administer (albeit not CHEAP, by any means) so that's what we've decided to do for now. Hopefully he will be okay while we're gone, because I would feel horrible if Ren had to go through that. Even though we're expecting it to happen, I know he would feel pretty poopy about it.

And as if all that weren't enough to worry about, today I have to go for a wax. Ugh. Vacation is killing me.

Monday, January 04, 2010

an unresolved resolution?

I have been avoiding the requisite "It's a new year, and this year will be different" post. I rarely make resolutions, and this year is no exception. I just can't. It seems so artificial.

That being said, one of our clients has given me an idea that I quite like. She makes lists, on Post-It notes, and sticks them to her fridge. Lists of things she wants to have. Things she wants to do. Places she wants to see. And because they are on her fridge, she sees them every day (I'm assuming. Unless she doesn't eat or drink.) And as she gets things, or sees things, or does things she crosses them off her lists. Some items are completely materialistic and frivolous, and some are really meaningful experiences - a whole mishmash.

It seems so simple. I have tons of lists of stuff that I want to have or do that are knocking around in my mushy brain. But I love the idea of having that visual every day, and I also love the idea of crossing stuff off, and seeing all the things I've achieved, and also all the items I have been lucky enough to receive. I think it would not only help me feel a sense of worth, but also increase the gratitude I feel to others for sharing their worth with me.

So I want to get on that. But it's not a resolution, really.