No.

There is no baby yet. But the full moon day is nearly over and I’m hoping that I can make progress with baby after this :).

(It was my fervent prayer and request that baby not come on the full moon, when hospitals are overarchingly full, plus there are a lot of crazies that come out).

2014-05-14 21.32.55

7 Quick Takes Friday #7qt

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I’ve made it halfway through the 39th week. I thought things hadn’t really changed much, then I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. Yeah, apparently that’s when my body’s like, ‘Hey! Let’s practice some contractions strongly now!’ Felt like one big contraction that kept getting tighter, then tighter, then tighter…then I’d stop, it’d slowly release, and we’d start all over again when I started walking. OI. We walked to church last Sunday and this certainly wasn’t the case then, so my body is trying to prep itself, apparently.

IMG_3049Even my extra-long undershirt is having a hard time keeping up with belly.

2.

We have FINALLY had some beautiful weather this week! Wednesday was nice out but crazy windy. I took the kids to a park nearby, intending to stay about an hour but the wind was so gusty and cool that I wrapped it up at the 30 minute mark. It was Cassia’s first time (that she can remember) at a playground outside. She was squealing and giggling and having such a blast running around chasing Spencer and going down the slide. And of course she tried to climb up the ladder to the bigger kids area and got stuck. Spencer made friends with the other two kids who were playing there and happily ran around with them. It was nice while it lasted. I wish I could have lasted longer out there, but I was too cold. I’m sure that if I was cold Cassia was likely cold too.

Yesterday the wind wasn’t so nasty, so we spent the afternoon outside. I dug up an area near our fence so that I can (eventually) plant a garden in there. I’ve been fighting a massive ant hill near our tree. Normally ant hills wouldn’t bother me so much, but these are red ants, and they’re aggressive and they bite. I don’t want them around. So I spent a good hour or more digging and pouring boiling water on the pieces I dug up. That’s when I realised how late it was and that I really didn’t have the energy to be doing it any more that day. I feel like they beat me out. I need to find some type of ant colony killer in which I can still plant a vegetable garden around. Any ideas?

3.

While we were outside I met, for the first time since living in this house, our neighbour across the street from us. I think this may have been the first time I’ve ever seen him (apparently Andy’s met and chatted with him before). At any rate, we chatted about general lawn maintenance, then completely out of the blue, he offered to rototiller the area that I was digging up. He was saying that he was going to be doing his garden area anyway and if I thought it might help he could just roll it over and turn up the soil in the area I was digging up. My thought: HELL YES! That is a ton of work that I now don’t have to do. And true to his word, while I was attempting to keep calm a little boy who had fallen into a late-afternoon nap, I heard a gas-powered machine outside our door. I went out when Spencer was safely out of the tantrum zone and found he had totally rototillered the space. I AM SO THRILLED! That would have been so much work. And now it’ll be much easier to turn in the compost and top soil into that soil that was there already. So happy! It sure pays to hang out outside occasionally. I guess that it’s a good indicator that maybe we shouldn’t be so introverted….we have good neighbours. It would be great to get to know them more. And not just for their cool tools and willing generosity.

4.

I’ve been neglecting the kitchen again. It now scares me. Anyone want to come over and spotlessly clean it?

5.

My nesting seems to have taken a back burner. Haven’t had any inclination to organise or clean anything lately. Oh well. I’m glad I was able to make use of it for the short time it invaded my pregnancy. I kind of wish that I had more of a nesting tendency; our place could sure use that motivation/help.

6.

My wonderful husband bought be flowers this week. They are opening up so gorgeously! I love having fresh flowers on the table – it’s so … refreshing. 2014-05-07 09.16.28

7.

My brain died. So here’s some pictures instead.

2014-05-06 17.23.31The tree branches stuck in the ground in the holes from the posts that previously held the other fence.
2014-05-06 17.23.54One of their more favourite activities – digging in the dirt pile. (Horrible picture of them though).
2014-05-05 16.00.10Cause she’s such a goof ball and loves sitting in the oddest things.
IMG_3043Our flower garden on the side of the house. Spencer gets his own area this year (in the middle).

Feeling Perpetually Pregnant

Cause that’s what it feels like right now. Perpetual. Yeah – I hit the ‘point of desperation’ these past couple of days. 39 weeks today. Oh boy, these last two weeks are going to be killer.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure of my body’s communication for when labour will start, as it’s happened both with Spencer and Cassia. Some quick biology for those who care to note – when a woman becomes pregnant, mucous covers the cervix so that no foreign materials enter while there is a baby. This is commonly called a ‘mucous plug.’ At the end of pregnancy, in order for the baby to be delivered, this plug dissipates, which is commonly known as ‘a bloody show’. I have no idea why it got that name. Apart from there being blood. And then there’s the mucous. Anyway, it leaves the woman’s body in preparation for birth. When this happens is different for every woman. For me, it’s usually been very close to when labour is about to begin (as opposed to a week or two in advance). I’m expecting it’ll be the same this time. So there’s no point in me contemplating how long I have left because it’s redundant. The only sign I’ll get is when I have the bloody show, there don’t seem to be any other indicators prior this for me.

I have to admit, it’s a little frustrating. The Advent of the birth. It’s the ‘already there – not quite there’ tango. I’m trying hard to appreciate that I’m still able to sleep through the night, as I know all too well that will be foregone for likely a year or more once the baby is born. But I feel so done.

Spencer seems to be looking forward to the newbie. At this point he’s thinking it’s going to be a little brother. I’m still mildly convinced that it’ll be another girl. Cassia still doesn’t understand (how can she?), except that there is a baby in my tummy, which she will likely think is still there even when I’m holding the newbie in my arms. Cause that’s how 1 year olds shake it. Can’t blame her, as I’ll still look about 6 months pregnant post-natal for awhile. Oh joy. 2014-05-05 11.29.21

Have any of you ever created a birth plan? We’ve been through several birth training sessions that have highly recommended them and also had two different experiences in terms of reactions that hospitals have to them. In Ottawa we were basically told that we can create one, but it’s unlikely the nurses or doctors will look or care what’s on them. In Saskatoon here, we were told that they treat them with respect, as it can be seen as a potential legal document (please don’t ask me how – I just assume that they take them more seriously here). We made a point to keep ours short, highlighting the most important aspects that would affect my experience of the birth. For me, I feel that it helps to reduce the chance of post-traumatic stress disorder that can happen. I have heard many, many horror stories of women violated in one way or another when in a hospital (and sometimes home birth too, but less often) which lead to major psychological problems post-partum and beyond. It’s a sad state of things, and I’ve read of many women who, through lack of education around birth, have been walked over by nurses and doctors (and some midwives) so that they can ‘get it done’ the way they want it done, ignoring the needs of the woman. This is damaging to the woman and usually has an impact on her ability to bond with her new baby, which is of utmost importance to establish strongly at the outset.

I speak from some experience here, too. With Spencer, who was 5 weeks early, I realise in hindsight a slippery slope that happened while in the hospital. Some of the things that happened may have been prevented, I don’t know. The one that I feel exceptionally affected me happened after my c-section. Spencer was held up for me to see for a brief 5 seconds before being whisked away to the nursery for further intensive care. When I was finally wheeled back to my room the nurse would not allow me to see him. She was not willing to aid me in going to my newborn son. Consequently, I did not see him for the first 10 hours of his life, in which he was stuck with needles, tubes, and everything else under the sky. He did not hear my voice for a very prolongued period of time. His first experience of this world was not a loving embrace of a mother. It was the cold lights of a hospital nursery bed, and the cold sting of needles and medical personnel who could not care as a mother would. A mother who would not enter his life again for 10 long hours. I’m thankful that Andy at least was able to spend time with him, but it was hard not being able to be there myself. It’s hardly surprising I had issues bonding with him and breastfeeding, looking back. It’s much harder work to re-establish that relationship rather than being given the chance to do it right from the beginning.

Consequently, in our birth plans for Cassia and this new babe, it’s a priority for us to mention that separation is not going to be tolerated unless for emergency circumstances. And I know now that I would just request a different nurse for my care instead of ‘agreeing with the expert’ who may have been well-intentioned but failed to grasp the crucial importance of aiding the woman in helping create that bond with her new baby. Informed consent plays a big part in all of this as well.

If you’ve never considered a birth plan, I’d recommend it. I’m sure you can find ones online or resources to help you with. If you have a doula, she should be able to help you formulate one. This is ours: Birth Plan 2014And that’s that.

A good friend from high school and his wife are expecting their babe about 5 days after my due date. Part of me wants to place a bet on who comes first. The other part of me thinks I might attempt natural inducements to make my baby come quicker (which, of course, won’t work when I want them to). Probably not the best idea. Or motivation.

And that’s my pregnancy update. Hope you’re having a great start to your week!

Still Expecting

38 weeks today (as related to the conception due date). IMG_3033Still pregnant. Still waiting. IMG_3031Earlier today I was mentioning to Andy that the end of this pregnancy sure seems a lot easier than the end of Cassia’s pregnancy. He agreed, noting that by this point last time I had been complaining for a few weeks that the baby should just get out. Not so this time.

My hips don’t hurt as bad. My uterine muscles aren’t cramping with every move I make (which was especially bad at night with Cassia). My carpal tunnel seems to have completely disappeared. My tummy isn’t so scratchy and itchy all the time (probably because I decided to actually moisturize the skin as it stretched this time…using, of course, my awesome Un-Stretch Mark Oil I make). Overall, I’m rather content for being at 38 weeks. Bizarre, isn’t it? I feel like I should be complaining more, but I can’t justify it by any means. It’s definitely strange how very different each child can be, even in utero. I hope this doesn’t mean that baby will want to stay in the womb indefinitely. While I’m happy to not be complaining so much, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to meet said baby who has given me the best pregnancy so far. And my doctor would be more than happy to assist with inducing baby out, though it’s not my preference.

So don’t get too comfy and happy in there baby. Mayhem must arrive for there to be completeness in this story.

7 Quick Takes Friday #7qt #sotg

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Thank goodness it’s Friday. All the prep for Easter celebrations and then the amazing vigil itself has left us in recovery mode most of this week. And this will (hopefully) be the first weekend in about 2 months that Andy will be home for a regular weekend. I’m looking forward to the slow return of normalcy after all the sacramental prep that he’s been doing these past months. Just in time for baby, yes?

2.

Speaking of babies, a huge congrats to friends of ours, Frank & Sharon, who just had their bundle of joy delivered this week! In my mind I thought their due date was closer to mine, so my initial reaction was, wow, was she early?! Then I just realised, nope. Nope, it’s almost May which means time has really just flown by quicker than I thought and this baby can come anytime. So excited to see pictures of their little one though. Andrew & Joelle – you guys up next?

3.

I had my prenatal appointment yesterday and baby was in transverse position (sideways). Which has officially worried my doctor. The thing is, the night before, I’m certain baby was head down. And later that afternoon, baby was head down again. But this morning? I think baby tried to be breech for awhile. I’m pretty certain it was a head I was poking and not a bum that time. And right now? I think baby is back to being head-down. One thing is certain – this baby is a traveler and looking to cause trouble (already).

4.

My ‘PANIC’ button was pushed this week when I realised the baby’s first due date is 2.5 weeks away. Mad calls to organise child care and back-up to back-up plans and making lists have been taking up good portions of my time. And looking over baby names. Cause apparently we hadn’t really done that together yet. And apparently babies need names once they are born. Next on the list is putting up the crib and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Cause obviously the baby is going to care whether the sheets on the crib are freshly washed over washed-before-put-away, right? Oh, and don’t get me started on my lack of food prep. My highest hopes at this point are that I can shred some potatoes and freeze them for hash browns whenever we want. If you want to give us an amazing gift, prepared food is the best way to tell us you love us. And we will love you for it.

5.

It snowed again today. I don’t think anyone’s informed the weather that the planet has moved from its winter position in relation to the sun to its spring position. This winter has now pretty much been as long as last winter, which I thought would be the longest ever. Only difference (so far) is that last year had a lot more snow. I’m very disappointed in our planet’s inability to give me warmth in spring. If the baby comes and there is snow on the ground still, I might be very grumpy about it indeed.

6.

Jennifer Fulwiler’s book is about to be released on Tuesday.

jennifer-fulwiler-something-other-than-godI pre-ordered it soon after it was available to do so (I can’t remember when that was – 1 month? 2 months ago?). I’m looking forward to it, and it sounds like she’s doing some pretty cool celebratory things over the next two weeks to commemorate this momentous occasion. Oh, the name of her book? Something Other Than God, which is available to purchase through amazon.ca (with free shipping, for you folks who are wondering). Also, if you pre-order before the 28th (in 3 days), you can get a free e-book from her too! While I was disappointed she didn’t take my suggestion of matching drinks with crisis-at-home situations for the e-book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and had a number of good ideas from it. And if you start tweeting about the book, she’s claimed the hashtag #sotg for mentions, so be sure to be up on that coolness.

7.

Another person releasing something new is none other than my favourite comedian – Jim Gaffigan. JimGaffigan_2-710x710

I have hardly enjoyed a comedian so much, as all his pieces about family and food are right-on-target with my experience, so I nearly end up peeing myself with laughter every time I watch it (comme ca:)Jim-Gaffigan-quote-e1365615343298His new set is called Obsessed and is being released Sunday night, available for pre-order on iTunes. While I’m not pre-ordering his newest, I might follow his live-tweeting about it, cause I’m sure it’ll be full of food references. And, well, I love food.

Have a great weekend folks!