Saturday, 27 October 2012

40+6 - The recluse

I have always thought of myself as a pretty open and out there type of person, however these last few weeks I have began to discover a new person inside. The recluse.
I have a new found love at the present moment for privacy, alone time, and reflection. 
I have spent a lot of time thinking and actually enjoying those moments of solitude.
My dogs love it because they seem to be getting extra attention. They cant talk or ask any questions ( other than the ones I imagine n my head).
I have been trying to use this extra time with little miss inside to prepare my body with nightly meditation and relaxing morning and evening soaks in the tub ( lukewarm- not hot ;), lots of walking and the occasional bathroom dance party. Don't judge.

I know that all of my family and friends are beyond excited to meet our little creation and it feels great to know that there is a mountain of support behind us. I just feel that I can't really participate in all of the hype at this very moment.  I need the quiet. 
Yes I'm excited, and yes I know she is coming any day now... Its the beginning of a new and beautiful life- however its also somewhat of the ending of an old one.  This quiet time is serving as an important transition period for me... calmly helping me slip from one role in my own life to another.  I'm a thinker, and not usually a "sayer," about most things.... and I think that maybe now that most of all my physical nesting symptoms have left- my emotional nesting is in high gear.  My "home" is ready... and now I'm just working on wrapping my head around it.  I bet I will really savour the alone time and bonding with her on the outside once she's here.

For some reason- a certain experience I had while working on paediatrics keeps on sticking out in my head- and makes me a little teary and excited when I think about it.  Occasionally ( much to frequently actually), we would get children as patients that were more social admissions... failing to thrive for various reasons- whether it be circumstance, neglect or an undiagnosed medical issue.  One little boy ( close to a year old- but looking and behaving like an infant), always seemed to fall under my care, and as much as I knew I should not form too much of a strong bond with him, after multiple weeks of seeing his sweet face it was impossible not to. I'm sure I loved him, and I definitely loved caring for him and being his nurse. He needed a lot of cuddling and consoling, sometimes it seemed like you were holding him for hours while still trying to care for the rest of the ward.  One night I had him swaddled trying to console him to sleep ( this was still in my days of boycotting having children of my own ever)... there I was walking around the room, rocking and swaying and humming.... when I caught a glimpse of myself in the bedside mirror.  It was such a strange moment with myself.  I stayed in front of the mirror and continued to soothe him to sleep- swaying back and forth... while imagining myself as a mother with my own child... wondering if I looked funny with a baby in my arms. Feeling not so horrible about  maybe bringing a child into the world someday... but feeling love and feeling important to be able to care for this person who needed comfort and protection. I really loved my job at that moment- even though it was such an easy moment- it was one that apparently I will never forget.  I remember feeling so happy inside when he finally fell asleep in my arms, and as I placed him in his heart melted and I think a little part of me changed.  I keep thinking about that moment, and feeling reassured that I will really love being a mother, because surely that feeling has to be intensified times a million when it is a being you carried for 40+ weeks and brought into this world.
I wonder why these moments didn't pop into my head during the early ( terrified) stage of pregnancy...?
Everything in its own time I guess.

Anyways-- now that I am feeling thoroughly mushy again... I have a couple minor confessions to make.

Confession number one: I have been cheating on my blog. Yes- that's correct. I have been cheating on my blog with a journal ( real life- pen and paper journal).  Interesting eh.  Maybe you remember the post I wrote about writing a letter to my "unborn child"? Well, I did that, and then, having the word vomit that I do when I start writing; that letter turned into a fairly regular journal of documented emotions, facts about her parents, life, ect ect.  A bit of turning away from me and speaking directly to her. It sounds silly probably, but it has really helped me prepare to meet her ( especially finding a peaceful place to read it aloud to my belly).  She knows I am ready whenever she decides to make her grand entrance. 

Confession number two:  We had some beautiful maternity pictures done before I left the island ( around 38 weeks).  Some are appropriate for everyone to see and some are a little more private ( as in no pants- private).  I love them, and when I look at them they make me smile.  But I (we) haven't shared them. Is that strange? We will probably frame them and they will be scattered all throughout our house and given to close friends and family, but we are selfishly keeping them to ourselves-- little pieces of personal moments shared between two soon-to-be new parents- embarking on a new stage in a relationship and in life.  I might post a few on here soon- since I seem to post most of my private moments here, but I have had no interest ( even maybe a bit of an uneasy feeling) to post them for all of the facebook world to see.

Confession number 3: This post has been mostly written and not posted for a couple days--- partly due to confession number 1... so please excuse if some dates are messed up, and it seems a little broken.

So now that I have gotten those off my chest- I guess I owe a little bit of an update since I am officially past due. I'm currently 40 weeks and 6 days along. Almost a week overdue- which the doctors ( and many moms with labor stories) have told me is quite normal with a first baby. The first of the week, I will go for another doctors appointment where they will make sure ( with fetal monitoring, ultrasound, ect) that the baby is still healthy, and more than likely book some sort of induction date in case she still the hasn't made an appearance by the end of the week.
This makes me a little sad, because I was hoping not to need an induction ( I'm sure you've heard me rant about not wanting pitocin at some point, and all the controversy that goes with it)..... but in the end-- I have to do what is safest for baby. You know, do the whole-- risks vs benefits-- thing.
They haven't offered to "start me" so far..
.... and I still have faith that she will come on her own before we get to that point.....
........ fingers and toes are crossed.... but I still feel pretty good about it even though we are getting close.
Mother's intuition perhaps?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nursery pictures update

A few updated pictures of the baby's room... Some of the decor might change-- but this is it for now..
A little girly nautical theme going on I guess...

I'm pretty proud because most of the art and decorations are all homemade crafts, repainted fixtures, framed cards ect.... Except for that one old Gustav Klimt picture from my old apartment --which Robby may have hidden on me by the time I get home haha...Its called "the virgin"... But we're going with mermaids for now ( I had it.. And the wall was empty) ;)

We love how the floors turned our too! They are really easy to clean and look great in the room! Thanks again pinterest!

40 weeks

Looks different every time she moves! Which is a lot!

I didn't know I was pregnant

Even though I don't quite feel as anxious as everyone else seems to be at 3 days past their due date... Every night I lay in bed feeling all the different movements, wondering if it's the start of something bigger.

I know it can happen any moment now, but in my mind it still feels so far away.
At night she is really active, and I can see little knees and feet rolling across my stomach. Every so often I even get a little jabbing sensation that feels like a fist might come right through my rear end or somewheres else close (TMI?) ... I'm sure she's just growing and growing and making things a little more cramped- which means those pokes and jabs are a lot stronger-- little one can really pack a punch!
I obviously have absolutely no idea what to expect when labour starts-because with each intensifying kick... I find myself waiting for the next one and wondering...was that the worst pain I ever felt??? Did that feel like my uterus tightening??
Everyone says you just know when it starts...but haven't you ever seen that show " I didn't know I was pregnant"? People have babies in toilets much too often for my liking....
Ok ok... I KNoW I'm pregnant and the chances of that are minimal I'm sure ( although I'd be lying if I said I have never thought about it lately when I am going through my morning.."elimination routine"... and maybe my strange and irrational fears have caused me to check to make sure there is no baby coming a few times here and there...too much info again?)
Hmm... I'm thinking of all sorts of bizarre nursey things...and think I got off track.

It's funny, you can read all the text books and information you want but it still can't fully prepare you for what something will actually feel like.
I will still lay here and analyze all the fetal movements going on inside, weird sensations, and wonder what's going on in my body... Probably right up until that unmistakable ( I hope) moment that everyone warns you about.

Nope--- just another kick...
Wish me luck!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lady in waiting

Both of my due dates have arrived ( oh the confusion of having 2 early ultrasounds predicting different dates)... Today is my official due date I suppose... But I feel absolutely no different than I have the last few weeks.
I have been filling my days at my parents house visiting with friends, galavanting around the city ( taking advantage of book stores, Starbucks, and all of the things you need to plan trips away for on the island), attending concerts, walking the dogs, bantering with my mother, reading, sleeping, bathing stretching and trying to practice different types of meditation for labour. It almost feels like a bit of a mini vacation since I am being pretty pampered around here ( not that I wasn't at home... But it's definetly different being " taken care of" by mom).

It's funny... Every morning ( and night)... I feel like I'm preparing for the biggest and most special date ever ( probably because I don't know what else to do).... ( it's kind of like a blind date in a way! )
I have gotten my hair done- my nails done, had a pedicure, been freshly waxed (ouch!) legs are shaved, outfits are picked out, eyebrows tweezed. I'm moisturized, and in make up more than ever before... And every night I make sure that I just need a quick primp should I need to rush out in the middle of the night. It's almost become a superstition... I figure if I don't do it- something unpredictable, embarrassing or horrible would happen. Crazy... I know.
It's really pretty odd behavior I suppose, but I figure that if I can arrive at the hospital looking somewhat put together- then I might feel a little bit better and look a little less like an angry demon when it's all said and done. And I don't want to scare my new baby.
That... And it will be the first time I see Rob in a while ( maybe almost 2 weeks). Haha... I know that he won't care about any of that stuff, and have much more on his mind than if my nails are chipped...
It must be all the extra time I have on my hands.... That and hormones... For the next few weeks I can still blame everything strange that I do on hormones.

Speaking of Rob... I must say... I really miss him a lot. We were used to long distance at the first of our relationship, but not so much now. I greatly overestimated my ability to jump back into that mindstate... And wish I could spend some of these " days in waiting" with him by my side. I think i was so used to seeing him everyday that I forget how much I actually love being around him. They say that time apart is good... And even though the next time we see each other will probably be nerve racking and stressful-- I'll be so relieved and comforted to have him here. I miss those manly fisherman hugs!
..... I may have even contemplated "crying wolf" just to get him away from work and on the mainland. ;) .....
Haha... But now I've " outed myself" and will just have to behave;)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

38 weeks

Finished off the 38 week mark... It doesn't seem like I'm getting much bigger other than in the cheeks ( haha)... But I'm still getting those last few inches according to my checkups.

Bonding with belly

Up early this morning, spending some quality time with my baby girl... Patiently lying in bed, as she shows me all of the new moves she is capable of.

Did you ever realize just how much pregnant girls touch, rub, and caress their tummies. It's like some built in soothing mechanism for both mommy and baby... Connecting you- even if you seem worlds away from each other.

As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy (only 8 official days until my due date), and with babes making her presence even more obvious with her cramped space in my womb.... I realize that I too, will be one of " those women", that sees a pregnant belly- and states "I miss that".

I finally get it. It's not the big, awkward belly that you miss. It's the feeling of a little life that you and your partner created... Actively present and with you at all times. Unknown but so familiar and perfect before she enters the world.

Often people ask- "what does it feel like?". But it's so unique and incomparable to anything ever felt before, that unless you have experienced it (the squirming and sliding- stretching, rhythmic hiccups and kicking)- its impossible to describe other than.. It feels like your baby.

It's amazing how well you get to know little things about her, even as she unknowingly grows inside you. You begin to notice patterns and what seems to make her calm or active.
You also seem to know just how and when to place your hands on your abdomen, so that you can catch those subtle ( or giant) movements better than anyone.
I feel like even though fathers don't get to experience this on the same level-- as time passes and the pregnancy progresses-- they too seem to create a special "bond" with the belly ( although maybe they won't actually miss it all that much when it's gone)... For us, our baby girl seems to react almost immediately to Robs voice. I think he likes that (I like that). I could be lying awake in bed for an hour reading... But as soon as he starts talking- I know I will be in for some kicks. It seems like he gets great joy in "waking the baby"..

I've learned that she shys away from a firm or aggressive touch, but with a gentle one will be herself. Mommy and daddy seem to have the best hands to feel her move- which makes me feel like she must already know us.
She gets the hiccups if I eat too fast, and every time I eat caesar salad. Fruit and peanut butter turn her into the karate kid.
It seems like hooping ( around my belly, or even just the spinning), quiets her movements down... Maybe even rocks her to sleep.
Its sort of amazing.

I think I can understand why after giving birth, you sometimes hear of women saying they "feel empty" or like something is "missing" when they touch their stomach.
Even though I went 27 years without something there and only 9 months with... It seems like it will be bizarre to stop rubbing my belly and monitoring it daily.
I guess we'll have her on the outside to love... But I still can't quite grasp that concept yet. One baby step at a time--- we're getting it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Letters to myself

Remember when you were a teenager and you thought that by 25 you'd be married, have 2 kids, a job, a house... And well into the adulthood type lifestyle.
I almost forgot that I actually thought that at some point as a young teen ( I had myself pegged as the lifelong adventure seeking traveller since the age of 18 or so).
That was until I found a secret stash of journals and letters written anywhere between the ages of 13 and 17..
While most of my entries have to do with young love, and daily happenings... There were many containing quotes, future dreams, inspirations and insights... It's so interesting to look back and read all of those old feelings captured on paper- see which ones have drastically changed and which ones seemed to stay true to my personality. I'm sure one day I'll look back on all of these posts and think the same thing. It's like a little life journey - documented.
I think I will save all of those journals for my daughter- and let her pawn thought them when she's a teen ( I know- probably getting ahead of myself here)...
One letter tucked away in a diary stuck out and gave me a bit of the chills---
Scratched on a piece of loose leaf- was a letter to my future unborn child...basically saying how excited I was to meet them someday- and how I wanted to be a good mother and other little bits and pieces of how I believed they would be able to anything, what they would be like.. But it was very short piece-y and unfinished -Like someone must have walked in and interrupted the moment- or perhaps I fell asleep. It's not dated.... But I almost think I remember laying on my bed, writing my thoughts down in that horrible green ink. Hmmm...I guess I wasn't always so scared about being a mother :)
It also got me thinking that I really need to finish that letter.
I won't be posting it on here- because it will be meant for one little girls eyes only. But I am in process of writing a new letter to my unborn- but very real baby. I'll tuck it away- and give it to her sometime when she will need it most.
( or maybe re-read it at a time when I'll need to).
It's funny how we get to certain places in our life ... and how a little self reflection once in a while can teach us to appreciate how much we've grown.

Sitting, waiting, ranting

Well half way through 38 weeks, and I have finally planted my roots on "the mainland". This is mainly to avoid any sort of birthing experience that will involve emergency deliveries, plane rides, the entire hospital staff ( aka: my coworkers) in one cramped outpatient room taking turns listening to me scream and poking at my vag.

On thanksgivings, I packed my bags and two dogs and came to my parents house for dinner,knowing that if I was a compliant patient ( which nurses never seem to be), I would just stay until all of the magic happens. I figured that bringing the dogs would give me something to do, and let Rob work without having to worry about them. I also figured that it would be a good time to fit in some visits with friends and " take it easy".
Wow- these last 3 days have literally crawled by... Probably slower than the last month. Saying I've been bored is an understatement! Most of my friends are either working through the week or in school mon- fri, so that leaves my days pretty open for ... Activities which I haven't figured out yet. A pregnant girl can only take two big dogs for so many walks in a day. I suppose I could watch bad daytime tv or read or learn how to knit or something... But none of that really interests me at the moment. I still find myself getting this odd nesting urge to be home and tinker with random things around the house, tidy and organize things, walk the empty beaches, and spend some quality time with my man before the baby comes.
I love my family, but it's hard to be so idle and away from my new home... Especially since no one has the slightest clue when this big event will take place! It could be days or weeks... What's that old saying? A watched pot never boils? Exactly what I'm feeling- and since I'm in no real rush... It's kinda messing with my head! Haha

So... I'm sure that after my next doctors appointment- I will venture back to the island for a visit ( weather permitting) , even if it's just for the day. Staying away is harder than you think!

I guess I'll chat about one more thing, since a lot of people don't quite understand why I can't have my baby at the small hospital on the island.
The truth is- technically I can, and many people have before. However it is defiently not the ideal situation. I find that even many people who live on the island don't fully understand why.
Birthing is a natural process which our body is designed to do and usually does it quite well, and ideally would be wonderful if all we needed was someone to facilitate it all happening smoothly, whether that be a doctor or a midwife or even a nurse specialized in labour and delivery.It' thought of as a happy time... A miracle... And one with a big reward ( a new baby ) at the end.
However, if something starts to go wrong or if mom or baby become distressed and in danger- you need to have access to immediate interventions, possibly an OR, specialized equipment, and staff specializing in that area.
Access- unfortunately- is something that a small rural hospital- especially one in the middle of the ocean- does not have.
When you throw weather into the mix, all you can do is hope that it would cooperate enough to allow for an emergency team to fly on or off the island, that a plane is available , ect, and that there are no other serious emergencies that come through the door putting extra demands on an already small staff....
That's probably all I am allowed to get into since technically I am an employee - so ill stop there I guess.
It just seems to baffle me when people in the community ask me if I will have the baby at " the hospital" or on the mainland. And then I am told stories of this person and that person who gave birth on the island, in an ambulance or a plane and did "just fine"...
... Maybe it's because I've worked a bit in neonatal and heard plenty of stories in hospital of births that did not happen as planned and had the proper resources not been available, would not have had such a happy ending....
Or it could be the hormones.... But I just want to scream when I hear people suggest an island birth.
People have been lucky and blessed that they have had uncomplicated and natural births. Heck- that's what I want too! :) But if someone doesn't happen according to plan.... It will make headlines and be tragic. I sure don't want to take that risk on myself and especially my new baby.
If you were to show up to the regional hospital in labour- you are immediately rushed up to labour and delivery floor- not the emergency department--- for the same reasons. ER is not the ideal place for a birth! So there you have it... My explanation- that sort of might sound like a rant.. All part of living on a beautiful maritime island. And don't get me wrong... It's impossible(and frustrating) to predict when you should leave, I'm just fortunate enough to have my parents house to take over.
I would much rather have that moment of rolling over in bed, nudging Robby, and saying " it's time"! ... And heading to the hospital together in rushed anticipation ( just like in all the movies).

I guess you take what you can get. Hopefully for us- that's good cell phone/ radio reception when he is out fishing- so he can get here in time ;) and use all those labour support skills he's been reading up on ;)
Maybe that's why people tend to lean towards induction. It's a little more predictable. But still not on my list of things to do....

Here's hoping that I don't go into labour on he ferry on my day trip visit... Especially after stating all the reasons why I should stay away!
Like I said- nurses make the worst patients---- hmmm...
Maybe I'll just get Robby to come visit me instead.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Puppy love

Anyone that knows us- knows that although we don't have children already- we definetly have two "fur babies", that occupy a lot of our time, energy, and couch space. ( I know some people are shaking their heads right now--- sorry they like to couch snuggle too).
Daisy ( the mama) and Banjo ( our clumsy horse like puppy), both look intimidating at first glance...but are like gentle giants once you get to know them. And they are verrrrry loving... Actually--borderline needy attention hoarders. Which has always been sort of cute....but we all might in for a big shock soon. Well.... One of them may know something is up....

Mama Daisy has been acting very strange and seems to have a pretty good idea there is a big change coming.
We often find her in the nursery lying on the floor in front of the crib by herself. That was a room she never seemed to bother with at all up until a few weeks ago, and now it's one she is very partial too. She is usually laying in the doorway whenever I get the urge to put away clothes or ( as you know), get into a midnight nesting fit.
Also, she makes a point to lay her big head on my big belly at every opportunity ( where as before she was content at my feet). And when the baby decides to give a little kick to her chops, she starts in a sniffing frenzy looking for the culprit ( quite comical).
Out and around, she is notably more protective of me. Often creating a little shield in front of me, when her puppies are playing and not watching where they are running.
She stares at me a lot ( wow that makes me sound a little paranoid).... But it just makes me wonder if she is more in tune with things than we think.

I wonder if part of her motherly instinct , is letting her know that I will soon too have a baby and be a mother.
9 months ago when she was having her litter of 11 puppies... I was by her side every step of the way. I used to lay with her for as long as she would tolerate- with my hands on her belly- feeling the constant kicking---- in awe.
And during her "labour and delivery"... I played the role of doggie doula.
And know in some strange way- her acting so wise and intuitive gives me a little bit of comfort. Maybe that's her plan ( after all, animals are much smarter than we think).

Meanwhile- Banjo has no clue. He is more concerned with clumsily trying to function in his quickly growing body which is much to big for him, getting his belly rubbed and treats. He's a little special- a big sook- and used to being the baby.

( at least for he next two weeks)

I think that as silly as it sounds, turning our pets back into pets instead of makeshift children, might be a bit of a challenge. I'm worried that they will feel neglected or not as loved...and it's hard to picture them taking a back seat for a while or forever for that matter.

Hopefully everything works out, and they will be gentle and understanding big brother / big sister pups...
If not--- I'm going to have to pull some strings and try to get Ceasar ( for all you non dog geeks- he's the dog whisperer) to come for a little visit.

Time to take the clan for a walk! Adios!
Sincerely yours,
Crazy dog lady

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

37 weeks

Beautiful birth affirmation...

This is a little something I came across on another blog ( via pinterest) which I thought was really inspirational to someone considering/ hoping for a natural birth experience.

When I read this for the first time I was stunned at how it seemed to capture exactly what I was feeling at this moment in my pregnancy, and felt encouraged for what is about to come.
It might sound a little cheesy- but then again- so am I... So it fits.

Since I'm not very iPad/ computer savvy...I'm sure I haven't credited or presented it in the right way.. But I think i have included the link to the site.
Hope you enjoy-- and thanks "Mama Birth blog"

A pregnancy and birth affirmation:

"My body has the divine ability to grow a perfect child within it.
Without conscious thought it builds an amazing organ, the placenta, to help grow and feed my baby.
My body and my baby tell me what healthy foods they need to function and grow.
I listen to their promptings.
As my baby grows my body changes.
I embrace the roundness,the curves, the fertility that shows the power within.
I welcome the softness of my breasts and abdomen and legs because it shows how perfectly I am preparing to grow and feed this baby.
I take time to slow down, rest, and care for my baby and my body without guilt, knowing that it is for the best.
As I get closer to the time of birth I enjoy the last few weeks and days with the baby inside me.
I love her close presence, her constant reminders she is there and her growth.
As I get heavier I look forward to the moment of birth, recognizing that my body gets less comfortable so that I will embrace what I once feared: labor.
I wait for the baby to grow until it is ready to meet me.
I know that this baby will come when it is ready.
I love being able to give my baby time to grow to her full potential.
I trust her time table.
As labor begins I embrace the next step on my journey to motherhood.
I am not afraid.
I am powerful.
I hear nothing else but my body and my baby as they tell me how to move and dance to make her entry more joyful.
I embrace the sensations.
They are strong, they are work, they are preparing me for motherhood.
I am not afraid.
I am powerful.
I feel my body open to let the baby out.
I feel the baby move down as my body helps her come to our family.
I accept what is overwhelming.
Giving in to my birth makes me more powerful.
I roar my baby out.
What seemed impossible is done.
It is more that perfect.
It is as close as I will get to the divine creative power.
I embrace the slippery, perfect child.
I am a mother."