Dear womb,

June 5, 2008

To my uterus,

First of all, thank you for carrying my two children for me and for holding on to this little one now.  Thank you for keeping them safe and warm and not rejecting them or doing anything silly like falling out of me like cow’s wombs sometimes do.  I imagine it would be uncomfortable for both you and me.  Thank you for putting up with all my poking and prodding (as well as that of my doctor) and times when I haven’t been so nice to you (going nuts with the housework and taking long walks that make you tense up so badly). 

Really, I am thankful, but I have one small request to make.

Could you maybe settle down a bit and not bug me so much until you’re actually ready to release the child inside you?  I mean, I thought maybe we were headed somewhere Tuesday night when you were contracting every three minutes and making me stop eating my supper to focus on breathing right.  I thought maybe it was the real thing when I was almost groaning in discomfort for two hours on Wednesday afternoon.  I know we’ve been here before and I know that my mind likes to try to trick me sometimes, too, but I’m a little bit confused as to why you persist in torturing me so.  I mean, do I really need four months of Braxton Hicks?  Do I need a month of double me over false contractions?  I don’t really think so.  I guess that’s your call, though, and since I can’t exactly do anything to make you change, all I can do is to beg you to let up a little bit.  Or get on with it and get the kid out of me.  Whatever.  That’s up to you.  Thanks for considering my request.  I’ll be waiting for a response – or a lack of response.

Katie

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The home stretch

June 3, 2008

Mike mentioned the other day that even though I’m sick of being pregnant, I will have the baby this month.  It’s one nice thing about being due when I am – I can only really go two weeks late, and that’s still June, so there you have it.  I had my appointment today and found out something pretty shocking – I have gained about six pounds in the last week.  Yeah, no kidding.  I have noticed more back pain and feeling like I’m suddenly huge, so my suspicion is that the baby and the boobs have grown.  At least that’s what I’m hoping.  I’m also hoping that I have the baby soon, because I did the math, and I’ve now gained about thirty-three pounds during my pregnancy.  My doctor actually made the first weight related comment today when she said that I was on target for how much I could gain during pregnancy, if I had the baby today.  And then she told me not to have the baby today, because the whole hospital, maternity ward included, is packed.  When I went for my first appointment in October, the nurse told me that June was a busy month.  I mentioned this to my doctor and she said that she has thirteen!maternity patients due this month.  Yikes!!  And I’ll remind you that this is not a big city.  This is Fort St. John, population 18,000-ish.  If I remember correctly, the year Jenny was born, someone told me that we have the highest birth rate per capita in British Columbia.  For our population, we were having about 250 babies per year, while Metro Vancouver, population around 2 million, was having 1000 babies per year.  Yeah, our population is a fraction of the size of theirs and we are having a quarter of the number of babies they are.  I’m sure my statistics aren’t perfect and are somewhat out of date, but still.  That’s crazy.  Add to that the fact that our hospital is ancient and sucks in a lot of ways, and well, it’s just a lovely place to have a baby. 

Anyway, she said, “Don’t have the baby today.”  I wonder if tomorrow would be okay.  It would help me keep up with the Wednesday, first ten days of the month thing

Regardless of all that, I have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday to have my membranes stripped, which I would really love to avoid.  If it doesn’t work then, she’ll do it again the next Tuesday, and then if it still doesn’t work, I’ll be induced between the 18th and 20th.  I finally got the nerve to ask her what the hospital policy was on induction and she said that it’s more up to her and that she will give two weeks if everything appears to be going well for the baby.  It’s very common here to induce after eight days, but she was previously practicing in the UK, where it is never done before twelve days overdue.  I was relieved to hear this, because as much as I don’t want to be pregnant for another minute, I also do not want to be induced, so I’ll go as long as I can before putting myself through that again. 

As for self-induction, I’ve been doing a bit of boob groping (I don’t know, that just sounds better to me than “nipple stimulation”) in hopes that it might help, but I haven’t noticed anything yet.  I’m also planning to do some walking tonight, hopefully after the kids are in bed and things have cooled down a bit outside. 

On the kid front, something pretty funny happened this morning, albeit something that required a good deal of clean up afterwards.  I put the kids in their room to play for at least an hour and at some point, I remember hearing Jenny say, “Here, I have to change you.”  I figured she was talking to one of her dolls or something and didn’t bother checking.  Finally, I heard Elias crying and not stopping, so I thought it might be time to go in and rescue him.  I found him, completely naked, sitting on Jenny’s bed.  She had taken off her shirt and shorts and was pretending to sleep in her bed, ignoring her poor brother.  A very dirty diaper was wrapped pretty nicely on the bed.  As in, she took it off of him and wrapped it up just like we do.  The only problem is that she gave no thought to the fact that he had some of the contents of that diaper still on him.  So the sheets were stripped and the poor boy had to endure a good wipe down because it had all dried on by then.  Ah, the joy.  At least Jenny is trying to help.  I told her that this is one thing she can’t help with unless I’m there.  And I learned my lesson – don’t ever leave them alone with Elias in only a diaper.  It was really warm in the house, he got breakfast all over his pajamas, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to wait to get him dressed.  I was wrong. 

Well, once again, I sincerely hope that the next time I write, I will no longer be pregnant.  I seriously doubt that will be the case, but you never know. 

Tick tock…

June 2, 2008

I was going to say something about counting the days, now that I’m down to less than a week before my due date. Then I realized that due dates don’t mean much and the less I think about it, the better off I’ll be. I really, really don’t want to be overdue, but I was with Jenny and it doesn’t seem like this kid is making any effort to move out yet, so I may very well go past my due date. I made it through Jenny’s birthday without giving birth, so one goal has been accomplished. Not that I would have minded having the baby a few days before her birthday, but I was a little afraid that I would have it on her birthday and then my poor kids would have to share a birthday forever. I never have thought that was very fair – it’s similar in my mind to kids born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It becomes very hard to celebrate one without the other and people often end up combining the two to save time and/or money. I know, Jenny’s birthday will be quite close to the baby’s, but at least it won’t be on the same day.

My goal right now is to also make it through today without going into labour, since my sister-in-law’s baby shower is tonight. However, after it’s over, I’m starting in on the self-induction stuff big time. The baby is head down and I think pretty low, I’m full term and healthy – there’s no reason that I can see not to try to get things going myself. Number one on the list of things to try – nipple stimulation. (I bet that phrase will get me some unintentional links from search engines.) I have never used this method in past pregnancies, but a friend of mine said that the one OBGYN we have in town recommended it to her, so I figure it’s a safe bet. It can bring on really strong contractions, so women are supposed to be careful, but I’m not too worried. It will either work or it won’t. The What to Expect book has a brief blurb in it that says women who started doing it at 39 weeks were much less likely to go past their due dates. That’s enough motivation for me. There are lots of other things I can try, but I’ve done most of them and none of them have worked for me in the past. I do want to try to go walking a bit more often as I know it’s good for me, but I’m not expecting that to push me into labour. And castor oil – something one of my friends swears by and has used, I believe, in all four of her pregnancies – is just way too gross for me. Not only do I hate the thought of swallowing oil, but the effects of it are just not what I want to start labour with. Yeah, let’s spend hours on the toilet emptying out our insides while having strong contractions. Um, no thanks.

Meanwhile, the ribs still hurt, but I’m getting used to it. They are making sleep a bit more difficult, as I think I wake up a bit every time I roll onto my left side. Of course, at this point, I’m waking up nearly every two hours to pee anyway, so what difference does it make? I still hurt pretty bad when I sneeze, but I think the cold is going away, so it’s not happening all that often now. I haven’t iced them in a few days and I stopped taking Tylenol, so things must be better.

Yesterday was a huge day, but somehow we got through it and didn’t feel totally awful at the end of it. Church in the morning, lunch on the way home, a short nap for the kids, I made a cake and then we had Jenny’s party. We quickly cleaned up after everyone left and ran over to Mike’s company barbeque, where at least we were fed and I didn’t have to be on my feet much at all. Most people are pretty sympathetic to hugely pregnant women, and the hostess actually recruited one of her daughters to keep the kids entertained for some of the time. I expected that we might be there for some time, but by twenty after six, things were wrapped up and the kids were acting pretty grumpy, so we decided to go to a communion service at church. Friends of ours were doing childcare, so I at least was assured that bringing the kids wouldn’t be a bad idea. They got to play with their friends (who were at the birthday party, too) and we got to sit in one place for awhile. After that, Mike’s parents were going to McDonald’s, and while we do not buy things or eat things there as a rule, they do have a nice play area, so we headed over after getting drinks for ourselves elsewhere. The kids got to play some more and by the time we got home at nearly nine o’clock, they were quite obviously in need of sleep. Jenny just had to play with her new toys first, but after fifteen minutes, we got them to bed. I then had some cleaning up to do and Mike took the time to remove all the junk from our room and put it back in the laundry room (that was how he cleaned it up so that people could come from the backyard into the house…our room was full of laundry room mess). I put in some laundry, made Mike a lunch and then read and slept until Mike came to bed. I got a foot massage out of him before we went to sleep, which was a nice treat. It must have been the shoes I was wearing, but my right foot hurt so bad I was walking funny before bed.

Anyway, today is my day “off”. So far, I have folded laundry and cleaned up a few things in the kitchen, but I’m not planning to be terribly productive, just because I wore myself out so badly yesterday. I have movies and books from the library and the kids have new toys and a clean room to play in, so they’re likely to stay entertained pretty easily today. Tomorrow, when I feel like going into labour would be nice, I can start back on things around the house, with hope that cleaning might get things going for me.

My big triumph of the day yesterday was the cake I made for Jenny. It was a boxed cake mix (I had to compromise somewhere) but with homemade filling and icing. I did a layer of raspberry puree with some sugar and cornstarch to thicken it and a layer of whipped cream in the middle of two layers of chocolate cake. I iced it with pink butter cream frosting and decorated with candy. I have made Jenny’s cakes in the past few years, but this one is definitely my favourite so far. I did some piping on it and really enjoyed that part – it may be something I do more often.  Here’s a picture (yes, I’m showing off :)):

 

Jenny\'s pink candy cake

Take a deep breath.

May 28, 2008

Okay, so literally, doing this hurts, but figuratively, I think it’s what I need to do.  I had a decent morning, really.  I woke up at nine, which is nice – not too early and had some snuggle time with Jenny before we got up to have breakfast.  I started to make her breakfast when the phone rang, which usually throws me when it happens so early.  However, it was a good phone call – from the lady who has been more or less running the show at our Thursday morning Bible studies.  She is a great-grandmother and I won’t guess at her age, but obviously, having that status does generally make you “elderly”.  She defies that title, though, as she is full of perk and incredibly easy to talk to.  It seems that once a week now for a few weeks, she has been calling to check up on things with me and to talk about the Bible study and what our plans are for it.  I feel priveleged – she’s a fountain of wisdom and a breath of fresh air when I need it.  Anyway, I talked to her for some time, made breakfast for Jenny and then for Elias when he woke up, and picked at my cereal while I talked.  Just after I hung up the phone with her, close to ten o’clock, my mother-in-law called and asked if we would come over for coffee on the deck at eleven.  I had not even started reading my Bible and had just poured myself a new bowl of cereal (as the kids ate most of the first one).  I figured I could probably do it, though, so I said we’d be there and got on my routine right away.  Really, things seemed to go very smoothly until we left the house.  The kids got dressed without a hassle, I had a shower that wasn’t even rushed and we got to my in-laws right around eleven.  The rest was not quite as nice.  Elias decided that getting into things and doing things he wasn’t supposed to be doing would be lots of fun and so instead of enjoying myself and relaxing in the sun, I kept jumping up to stop him from doing one thing or another.  My sister-in-law was there with her son and she was asking my mother-in-law about breastfeeding and when she started giving solids.  This is where it got fun.  I have opinions about all of this and they are based on research and the facts about babies and what is best for them.  It’s just like car seats – maybe we didn’t ride in proper car seats when we were babies, and maybe we’re just fine now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can for our kids now that we have more knowledge.  The same thing goes for breastfeeding and giving solid foods.  Breastfeeding is good for babies.  This has been proven.  Long term breastfeeding is good for them as they get older, and feeding any form of solid food before six months of age is not a good idea.  Their digestive systems are not mature enough yet to handle more than formula or breastmilk, and in reality, they do not need more than either of these.  There is a mentality with some people that if your baby cries more than  you like or demands to be fed or doesn’t sleep through the night often enough, you should give them infant cereals to get them to behave.  Well, Jenny was easy – she slept through the night at two months and was a content baby.  I did nurse her a lot – often forty-five minutes on each side per feeding.  However, she hardly had to get upset when I would know to nurse her, so I never had any temptation to give her anything else.  Elias was a different story.  He was on the breast every two or three hours until he was six months old and still not sleeping through the night.  I persisted in waiting until then to give him solids and guess what – he still didn’t sleep through the night!  The fact is, we have more information now that will benefit our children’s health and well being.  Our mothers had other information, their mothers had other information.  Our daughters, when they are having children, will have new information and we will have to respect that.  Shouldn’t we want the best for our kids and someday, our grandkids?  I should hope so. 

The point it, my mother-in-law started giving my husband solid foods at three months and stopped nursing at five months.  She stopped nursing both her daughters around three months.  She has made comments to my sister-in-law about nursing that indicate that she doesn’t expect her to nurse any longer than she did.  My sister-in-law said today, “How am I going to nurse for a year like my husband wants me to if my mother didn’t do that with me?”  The logic stumped both my mother-in-law and myself, and yet she said, more or less, that it wouldn’t hurt her grandson to have solid foods earlier if he needed it.  I explained my thinking and that it is based on research and what is now advised by the medical community and it felt like she was shooting it down and calling me stupid.  My kids are doing just fine now and they breastfed for a year or more each, did not have solid foods until they were six months and did not have any dairy products until they were over a year old.  I never gave them formula, I never gave them bottles – we went straight to cow’s milk in sippy cups when they were not nursing anymore.  Yes, I know other families who have gone in the opposite direction from this and their kids appear to be just fine as well.  And yes, my husband and his sisters are healthy adults now.  But if our kids could be heartier and healthier because of the differences in how we do things now, why wouldn’t we want them to be?

Anyway, after this mental upset – it’s not like we actually  had an argument, it just felt like we were on the edge of one – I brought the kids home and fed them lunch.  Jenny wanted applesauce and there wasn’t much left, so I split it between both kids and then made them sandwiches.  Jenny first had to throw a small fit because she wanted applesauce and not a sandwich, and then when she was over that, she ate two or three bites of her sandwich and said she was done.  I then had to do a great deal of forceful speaking to her to get her to go to the bathroom and to bed.  Elias made a gigantic mess with his lunch, so much that I had to just take his overalls off before putting him to bed.  And then, as I finally sat down to check my email and have some lunch myself, I can still hear them talking in their room.  In fact, right now, forty minutes later, I think I can hear Jenny humming.  This does not fare well for the rest of the day, because we are supposed to be going to the lake with the family for supper at four.  Some days.

So, I’m going to try to take a deep breath and keep hoping and praying that I’ll go into labour today and at least get the physical pains taken care of.  Who knows, it could happen.

I have had a few weird days physically.  Yesterday I was concerned that I might have something serious, but fortunately, the worst of it went away.  On Sunday, I felt fine all day and then after supper, my ribs started to hurt.  I felt strange and kept getting hot flashes (not those kind, but I imagine they aren’t that different) so I went for a long walk from my in-laws while Mike stayed with the kids.  I felt somewhat better when I got back and happily spent almost an hour holding my two week old nephew, who was wide awake.  I still had pain in my ribs when I went to bed, and throughout the night, every time I woke up, I had something new bothering me.  My head and neck on my right side started to ache and the glands on the right side of my neck were swollen.  Most of that is gone now, although it lasted most of the day yesterday.  My ribs just keep feeling worse, though.  The strange thing is that nothing happened on Sunday that could have injured me.  I feel like this is what broken or bruised ribs must feel like, though.  Fortunately, I have a doctor’s appointment today and should be able to find out why I’m in pain. 

On a different subject, I was filling out a passport application for Elias and they asked for weight and height.  I haven’t weighed or measured Elias in a few months, so I did both today, and did both for Jenny as well.  I then punched the amounts in on a growth percentile calculator online and found that while Jenny is just about where she has been since she was six months old – around the 50th percentile for weight and height – Elias is still a tiny little munchkin below the 3rd percentile for both.  At birth, Elias was around the 40th percentile for weight and the 75th for length, but he has persisted in being tiny ever since.  Jenny, on the other hand, was a monster baby until she hit six months – she was above the 97th percentile until then.

A little off topic regarding pregnancy, I suppose, but it is making me wonder how this baby will compare with them for weight and length at birth.  I know that most of it is when the baby is born – Elias was early and 7 lb 4 oz, while Jenny was late and 9 lb 6 oz.  Three and a half weeks of extra in-womb growth makes quite a difference.  My guess is that if this baby was born now, it would be around eight pounds, but I could be off by quite a bit, I suppose.  And, if it isn’t born now, I won’t really know what it would have been.

I think as my pregnancy progresses, my writing gets worse.  I was terrible at keeping up on my journal with Jenny and Elias, so at least I have a record for this baby.  I suppose one reason that my writing suffers is that my son never wants to leave me alone when I’m writing.  I end up getting up two or three times to re-locate him or change his diaper or break up a fight between him and his sister or some inanimate object.

Of course, this entry is no different – I have so far left to change his diaper and keep him from dumping Jenny’s water on his head.  I suppose this means I had better end this for now, although I will probably write again later after my doctor’s appointment.  Hopefully I’ll have some answer about the rib thing by then.

 

Post-doctor’s appointment:

I have costal chondritis.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  Basically, it happens when the uterus grows to the point that it starts pushing the ribs outward.  It can happen to non-pregnant people, but when it happens to pregnant women, there is only one cure: delivery.  So now my desire to give birth has skyrocketed.  If I’m going to have to put up with this pain and pregnancy any longer, I’d like it to be less than twenty-four hours more.  But we’ll see…

Aside from that, everything seems to be ship-shape.  Baby’s heart rate is staying around 150 bpm and my weight is up just a bit from last week.  At this point, I think my total gain is probably around twenty-eight pounds, but I didn’t check my chart this time, so I’m not totally certain of that.

Okay, this is the end for now.  Even though the kids are now sleeping, I’ve had a phone call that has thrown me off just as badly as my kids do.  Not a bad phone call, just a distraction.  Until next time.

My family is watching Shrek the Third for the second time today.  Mike was quizzing me on what my plans or hopes were for the evening and I caved and told him to just put in the movie so I could have some time to think about it and relax.  I went shopping this afternoon and totally exhausted my hugely pregnant body while Mike and the kids napped.  Mike decided that playing games online until five in the morning was a good idea…so he didn’t get much sleep last night.  I was smart and went to bed considerably earlier, but I’m still feeling the interruption of sleep.  I’m having lots of back pain, abdominal pain, shoulder pain…oh, I could go on forever, really.  I’m hoping every day for this kid to come – but still trying to have something to look forward to each week that distracts me.  Last week it was a date night on Thursday.  Once we were home from our date, I let myself go back to wanting labour to start.  Now I have a deadline – either by Wednesday or not until after the 1st.  Jenny’s birthday is on the 1st and we’re having a party for her that day.  I figure if I have the baby on Wednesday (or sooner), I’ll be home by Friday at the latest and that will give me a day at home before her party.  If this was my first baby, there is no way I’d be willing to even plan a party until long after my due date, but as it is my third, I have no choice but to jump back into life hours after giving birth.  Anyway, all I have to do is make it to Wednesday without thinking about it much and then I’ll actually want the baby to wait until the following week.  My desired date of delivery was previously the fourth of June, which would only be four days early.  The reasons for this are rather silly – Jenny and Elias were both born on Wednesdays – the first and the sixth.  My birthday is the sixth of October, Mike’s is the tenth of February, so thus far, we all have our birthdays in the first ten days of the month.  This little quirk of mine is closely related to my obsession with symmetry and I suspect it comes from the same place that my need to organize my closet by rainbow colour order does (have I ever mentioned that it gives me great pleasure that red and green come before blue in the rainbow?).  But I digress. 

Where was I going with that anyway?  I obviously enjoy going off track..I think it serves as a nice distraction when I’m in pain or dealing with the frustrations of pregnancy.

I could go on and on about myself and the same old thing, but I actually had something to write about that is unrelated to me.  I know, amazing.

I often read the strange or odd news headlines when I check my email and today there was something that caught my eye – a German couple attempted to sell their baby on eBay.  You can read the story, but basically, they put him on eBay saying he had gotten too loud and they wanted one euro for him.  The child was taken away from his parents, authorities are looking into the possibility of child trafficking and they claim it was a joke.  Personally, I believe them.  Who doesn’t joke like that once in awhile?  However, they were obviously lacking in brains to go so far as to post him on eBay.  The thing I do find funny is that people will be appalled by this and not give any thought to the fact that they wanted one euro for him.  This is about $1.57.  If they were actually hoping to sell him, do you really think they would post him publicly on eBay for such a low price?  I seriously doubt it.  There are other ways to do things like this – I hate to think of people who actually sell their children.  This is not the way to go about it.  Of course, it is possible that I’m wrong and they weren’t joking, had a devious plan to take any offer for their child and actually sell him.  But if I’m right, I sincerely hope that they reunite the parents with their child quickly.  Yes, give them a very serious lecture on why this is so stupid and keep an eye on them, but get the baby back to his parents.  If this was a joke, they will regret it for the rest of their lives.  The time, however brief, that they are separated from their son, will always be felt by them, even if he doesn’t remember it.  There have been many times in recent years where authorities have either waited too long to step in or stepped in when it wasn’t needed and children and often parents suffer for it.  It is horrifying that children have died in the care of their parents because of abuse and yet something like this sends the police running to take the kid away.  Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say about that.

And now back to me.  Tomorrow puts me at two weeks from my due date.  If I push to wait two weeks for induction if I’m overdue, it means that I could be four weeks away still.  Yikes.  I’m going to attempt to remain optimistic, though, and just focus on the next event. 

On a very positive note, I saw my doctor on Thursday and was told that since April 20th, I’ve only gained about a pound.  I lost some weight the week before and then put it back on…but overall, I think I’m at about twenty-seven pounds gained.  This is wonderful, because I had all sorts of lovely people tell me that I may have only gained thirty-three and twenty-seven pounds with my first two kids, but this was my third and I’d probably gain forty or fifty.  Of course, one of these people was a representative for a fitness club trying to sell memberships at a trade show, but still.  Some people just don’t have any tact.  And ha ha, I am not going to gain fifty pounds, so there.

Also from my doctor’s appointment – my blood pressure is good and not too low like it has been.  I am still faithfully taking my iron supplement (nasty stuff) twice a day so I will hopefully have higher stores of iron before the baby is born.  The baby is head down and not moving nearly as much anymore, we suspect just from lack of space.  Heart rate is good, etc etc.  It gets tiring going to the doctor every week at the end of pregnancy, but at least it’s reassuring knowing that everything is still going well.

Well, that’s probably enough for today.  With any luck, I’ll have the baby soon….or at least find enough activity to distract myself for a few more weeks.

Full Term

May 19, 2008

It’s official – I am three weeks away as of today.  Well, three weeks away from my anticipated due date, which could be off by weeks.  Not based on the baby or anything else, just based on the fact that very few women actually give birth on their due dates.  I suspect that many don’t even make it within a week.  They’re either early or late.  Last week, we were invited to a party that happened yesterday and I was asked to make sushi, so I was holding out until then to have the baby.  Also, my doctor requested my cooperation in waiting until I was technically full term.  So, today is that day and now I can have the baby.  The car seats are moved back in the van and the base to the baby seat is installed.  That was the big job, although there are lots of small tasks in the house that still need to be done…and the fact that our cradle is still being fixed (well, I hope it’s being fixed anyway).  I don’t really think of these things as a big deal, though.  The thing that keeps me holding on is my desire for another big baby.  It’s highly likely that I’ve mentioned it before, but Jenny was 9 lb. 6 oz. and eight days late, while Elias was 7 lb. 4 oz. and two and a half weeks early.  The difference was amazing and Jenny just never felt so fragile as Elias.  She was big and hearty and healthy, while I worried about him a bit more.  So as much as I don’t want to be pregnant anymore, I would like to have a bigger baby than last time. 

Really what would help is one event per week leading up to my due date that would keep me from wanting to have the baby so badly.  One party or get together, etc. and I could look forward to those things rather than my due date which is still depressingly weeks away.  Typically, my Thursday Bible study would be enough, but it’s not quite cutting it lately.  I thoroughly enjoy it, but if I had the baby..say, tonight, I would probably still go on Thursday.  If I had the baby on Wednesday, the girls could all come to see me in the hospital after the study, which would be awesome.  Therefore, it’s not imperative that I remain pregnant for that reason alone.  Unfortunately, it feels like a quiet month in the way of events.  I suppose I could try using my imagination and pretending that there were things to go to, but then I would be disappointed when the day came and it wasn’t real.

Anyway, I’m rambling now. 

In other news, my family is sick.  Elias came down with a cold last week and his nose ran and he coughed like crazy and effectively passed it on to Jenny.  Now Mike and I have a touch of it as well, although not nearly as bad as the kids.  Jenny has had a fever for most of the day and is acting very sick.  She tends to get hit with things much worse than Elias.  When he is sick, he doesn’t act quite as down as she does.  She will lay on the couch for hours at a time doing nothing and sometimes falling asleep, whereas he is rarely content to sit still.  I am sure that some of it is personality as Jenny seems to be a lot like me when I’m sick and Elias more like Mike.

The nice thing about this illness hitting us now is that tomorrow is Victoria Day and Mike has the day off.  The weather has also been very nice which makes it somewhat easier as well.  I still have lots of things on my to-do list for the house, but if necessary, I imagine we’ll all be nice and lazy tomorrow.

Aside from the cold, I’m not feeling too awful physically.  I’m paying very close attention to the baby lately, making sure that it’s moving enough and if I’m feeling hiccups or small movement down low, which would indicate that it is still head-down.  It’s possible that my kids were like this, but this baby seems to either be going nuts or totally still.  I’ve been on the monitor at the hospital twice now and the first time, the nurses were astounded at how often it moved, while the second time, they were trying to wake it up by giving me ice water to drink.  When it’s calm, it’s hard to believe that I’m carrying a child that could safely be born now.  When it’s awake, there’s no way that I can ignore it, and of course it’s grown enough to be born – it could probably crawl already if it wanted to! 

I just noticed the time stamp on this entry and thought I’d mention that, for the record, it is not yet Monday where I am writing from.  The side bar tells me that there was a draft saved at 6:16 am on Monday, May 19th.  As of this moment, it is 11:14 pm on Sunday night.  So, to clarify, my due date is three weeks from today, Sunday.  I know, nobody cares, but it matters to me right now (blame it on pregnancy…you can do that for almost anything).

I’m sure there are things I could have gone on to say, but I should probably finish doing the dishes and some other general cleaning up.  My concern is that if I went into labour in the middle of the night, my mother-in-law would have to come over to stay while the kids slept and then she’d see how bad it was in the morning.  This is one of my greatest fears…well, okay, it’s diminishing a bit year by year, but still, it’s not a nice thought.  At least if my dishes are done and there aren’t pieces of clothing and garbage strewn about, it’s not quite so bad.

If I’m still pregnant, you’ll hear from me sometime soon (or at least during my thirty-eighth week), and if I’ve had the baby, it may be sooner.  Or later.  Okay, I’d better leave it at that before I stop making any sense at all.

Thirty-six weeks

May 13, 2008

I’m not promising creativity today.  I had a long weekend full of emotional and physical upheaval (well, maybe that’s a stretch) and I’m feeling disappointed that I’m still pregnant.

Timelines are nice…I’ll go with that.

Thursday morning: Make food, pack kids into car, go to church for Bible study potluck and to practice song for Sunday morning offering.  While waiting to start practicing, my brother-in-law’s aunt comes in and announces to everyone that my sister-in-law had her baby that morning.  I had no idea and hearing it with her at the same time as everyone else wasn’t very much fun.  This combined with hormones and a very unpleasant and brief telephone confrontation with my mother-in-law led to a good hour of crying.  I managed to feel somewhat better until I got home, at which time I cried for another hour.  Fortunately, Mike called and offered to come home early.  Josh (our other brother-in-law, who Mike works with) was leaving work so that he and Lacey could go see our new nephew.  I figured that if Josh could leave, it wouldn’t hurt Mike to leave early either.  Mike came home, the kids got up from their nap, we went to the hospital and I promptly fell in love with Hayden Oliver.  I even got to change his first dirty diaper (I know, gross…but somehow I felt honored to do it).  I also decided that after all the emotions, it would be nice to just get it over with and have my baby then and there.  That obviously didn’t happen.  Still, I came home and tried all sorts of things hoping something would happen.  Decent Braxton Hicks contractions ensued…but sadly nothing more.

Friday: A relatively normal day that ended with seeing Hayden in the hospital again.  He’s such a feather – he was only two days early but weighed 5 lb 8 oz and was 18 in long.  We went out to supper afterwards and I again had some more good Braxton Hicks that led nowhere.

Saturday: Went to A&W for breakfast and actually beat everyone else there.  This is rare, but our kids just keep getting up earlier all the time.  After that, I took the kids to the Farmer’s Market and Mike went to play tennis.  When we were done, we went up to the courts and let the kids play with the extra tennis balls while I attempted to relax and not pay attention to the feeling that the baby was going to fall out of me.  Tennis finished up, we went to have ice cream with Mike’s friend Nick and then we went home.  I can’t exactly remember anything between going home and going to the hospital at 2:30 to register, but when I got there, I was again having such strong contractions that the lady doing my paperwork suggested that I go upstairs and get on the monitor.  About forty-five minutes later, I walked out of the hospital after even my strongest Braxton Hicks couldn’t be seen on the screen.  At least I got some good hospital ice out of the deal.  In the evening, we ran over to drop Mom’s birthday present off and the kids jumped on the trampoline for a while.  Ran to the store, bought a few things for supper, saw smoke and decided to investigate, drove out to find it was just a field burning, drove down to Taylor to pick up a movie and went home.  I then fed the kids sandwiches in tortillas and put them to bed before making our supper.  We watched Juno and I spent almost the whole movie grabbing onto Mike’s foot or hand and breathing through contractions, hoping that they might lead somewhere.  I liked the movie, but it was a bit depressing watching a pregnancy go so fast.

Sunday: Wasn’t sure if we would go to church, but felt it was unfair to the kids to deprive them of that time, so we went anyway.  I’m not a big fan of Mother’s Day because of some things that happened a few years ago, so I wasn’t sure how I would do.  However, I got to see my nephew again and that mostly made up for it.  We went out after church and actually ate somewhere new that wasn’t packed with people.  I had some phenomenal salmon nuggets (it was better than it sounds) and rice and Mike had halibut and chips.  After this pleasing lunch, we were able to go straight home and put the kids to bed.  I worked a bit in the living room rearranging furniture while Mike ran back down to Taylor to take the movie back.  I then had a nice nap on the couch with the front shade up, which was like laying in the sun, and when I woke up, my aunt was on the phone.  When the kids got up, we went to meet the family at the park while they finished playing croquet and then we went for a barbeque at Josh and Lacey’s.  I got to hold Hayden again, this time for about forty-five minutes, and it was lovely.  It was a bit strange holding such a new baby and feeling by own baby kicking me from the inside.  I can’t wait to see these kids next to each other (mine will more than likely dwarf Hayden).  Mike was very good to me all day and made sure that we were doing what I wanted to do, which is the agreement we have with birthdays and Mother’s and Father’s Day.  We played Phase Ten after we got the kids to bed and even though Mike usually complains because he’s no good at games like that, he won. 

Monday: A normal day until the evening – I actually got a lot of work done on our bedroom during the day and wasn’t having contractions like crazy, which was very nice.  We went to the church at seven for English Corner and a membership meeting that I was speaking at.  The kids got to hang out with Marcy, which was nice for them and nice for Mike, who didn’t have to keep after them while playing games upstairs.  I gave my three minute blurb on our Bible study (twice) and then we went home.  I spent about two hours having really nice Braxton Hicks that made me very uncomfortable, but then they quit.  I have resigned myself to four more weeks of pregnancy.

Tuesday (today): A little more productivity in the morning and then a doctor’s appointment.  I have lost weight – not much, only about a pound in two weeks – and everything else is good.  I am anemic, so I get to start taking Floradix (yay) until the baby is born.  Also, this was the week for the strep test, so she checked for the positiion of the baby and everything else while she was at it.  Baby is head down – let’s hope it stays that way – and I am sealed up tight.  Also, the baby’s head is still somewhat far up, so I guess waiting longer for it to be born will be good as it was that situation that made me end up on Pitocin when I was having Elias.  I’m trying to be positive, telling myself that there are still things to be done before the baby is due and that I want a big healthy baby and not a premature one – even a few weeks premature.  I’m going to keep on like this as much as I can and keep being as productive as I can be without totally wearing myself out.  I’m also going to stay away from the hospital unless I’m in incredible pain or my water breaks.  Or I feel the urge to push, which would definitely send me in ASAP.  I’m also going to drink some more Raspberry Leaf tea (I got the remainder of Alaina’s on Sunday and they’re already gone) and try to go walking more often.  I don’t necessarily want to be early, but I would like to have a quick and easy labour, and these things may just help.

I’m sorry that this is lacking in eloquence and is so long winded.  I may not be very entertaining for the next few weeks (I use it all up in real life). 

One day of weirdness

May 7, 2008

Fortunately, it passed after only a day, but it did start early and last until the afternoon, which was not fun.  I got up, felt fine, got the kids breakfast, started to eat my own breakfast and suddenly had severe vertigo.  I then started to feel sick to my stomach and spent the next hour debating whether I should call the doctor or go in or not.  I finally called and was told that I should come in if I wasn’t feeling better after laying down for awhile.  This is, of course, easier said than done, but I made do by putting the kids in their room to play for an hour while I laid on the couch and then putting on a movie and continuing to lay on the couch while one or both children climbed all over me.  After a few hours, nothing had improved much, so I took the kids to my sister-in-law’s and went to the clinic to have my blood pressure tested.  It was a bit low, but nothing too awful, and the baby’s heart rate was fine, also.  My blood sugar was normal, so all there was left to do was to have a non-stress test.  Hooray.  Fortunately, my doctor told me that as long as I did it before eight o’clock, it was fine – I didn’t have to do it right away.  I had orders to go home and rest and so after picking up the kids, that’s what I did.  I went for my non-stress test in the evening after Mike got home and the only strange thing about it was that the baby moved like crazy.  Both nurses were astounded at the number of movements noted on the chart.  I stayed for about forty-five minutes, all the while thinking that although I can’t wait to meet this baby and be in the hospital for that reason, I don’t wish to be back there until the blessed event itself.  I had a strange nurse who kept insisting that the baby was a boy (okay, it could be..but still, what does she know?) and who pronounced centimeters “sontimeters”.  For some reason, that sort of made me feel weird about her.

Well, that felt like one big run-on, but my mind is going fast today.  Last night was interesting – to bed at ten, up at midnight to take Jenny to the bathroom, where she pooped and gave me the stool sample I’ve been waiting on for a few days now.  I then had to divide it into three cups (fun, fun) and store it in a paper bag in the refrigerator overnight.  Gross.  I went back to bed and couldn’t fall asleep.  Too many things on my mind, so I finally got up to make myself a to-do list.  Writing a to-do list turned into writing and addressing six Mother’s Day cards, printing pictures to go in the cards, finishing my citizenship application and checking on passport requirements for Mike.  Around two o’clock I went back to bed because I finally felt like I could fall asleep.  Instead, I lay there for another half an hour at least, feeling like I could throw up.  I so want to have this baby – it’s making it very hard for me to sleep.  Okay, so I don’t want to be four weeks early, but I’m starting to feel like it wouldn’t be so bad to be a little early.

Another run-on.  Oh, well, at least I’m writing this week.  Today, I dropped off the sample at the hospital, mailed my Mother’s Day cards and went grocery shopping, all before noon.  I am way too proud of myself.  My goal for the day – getting my potluck menu ready for tomorrow (I’m thinking cucumber sandwiches, pasta salad, lemon squares and guacamole…or maybe I’ll do sushi…we’ll see), cleaning the entryway and maybe starting on my bedroom.  But who knows, by the time I get the kids down for a nap, I may be exhausted again.  It’s getting very difficult for me to plan ahead lately.

Well, enough run-on’s.  I am thirty-five weeks pregnant, my next appointment is next Tuesday, after which I’ll start on once a week appointments.  I’m finally reaching the end!  Hooray! 

Well, on most days, anyway.  I’m trying it out now because I am feeling a bit down.  My first thought about writing about this here was that it feels pointless sometimes.  I wonder if anyone bothers to read, and then I think – Who cares?  It is a great way for me to feel like I’m writing to an audience rather than just to myself.  Even if no one reads it, I can tell myself that someone does.

Seriously, I am lacking in motivation, frustrated with my house and my kids and my body.  Very frustrated with the fact that I have five weeks left of this pregnancy (give or take a few days).  I want to hold my baby and watch all of this melt away.  Since I’ve been there before, I know that’s exactly what will happen – at least for the first day or so. 

I am keeping up on my dishes (mostly), my laundry (mostly), and trying to get into the habit of making sure the kids’ room is clean before they go to bed at night.  It feels pointless at times, but I know someone has to do it.  I have little moments of joy – like making muffins that have to be the best I’ve ever made in my life, and assembling a gift for my sister-in-law that hopefully will be useful to her before her baby is born.  Knowing that I’ll at least get to hold her baby soon does help a bit.  The house is another story.  I had a goal.  A number of separate projects that could be finished in a day or two individually.  I finished the kitchen and the bathroom and half of the kids’ room.  I have the living room, laundry room and my bedroom to finish.  The living room is the one that gets me.  I haven’t been bothering to clean up at all because I tell myself that one of these days I’ll do a really thorough job of it and so worrying about the day to day is silly.  But then I see the mess on the floor and the clutter that just needs to be gathered up and put away and it makes me feel awful.  It doesn’t help that when the kids are awake and not confined to their rooms, they follow me around and won’t leave me alone.  By the time I get them playing in their room or napping, I feel like sitting down and doing nothing. 

I think tonight will be one of those when I get some Mommy time.  I hope it will be, anyway.  I need a few hours to myself that are not being used for productivity and are not in my own house.  Really, though, it would be even better if I could have a date night with Mike.  I told him last week that he is in charge of arranging babysitting in advance and taking me out soon.  Too often, our date nights are spur of the moment, call his parents half an hour before, rush to feed the kids some supper, drop them off and then feel rushed and guilty through the whole thing.  We have one girl who wants to babysit for us, but she’s a bit young to do it on her own yet.  She’s going to help me out this summer by coming and playing with the kids once in awhile so that I can have time with the baby or by myself – hopefully by the fall, she’ll be at the point where we can trust her with Jenny and Elias.  It may be awhile before we would leave a baby with anyone, though.  My committment to nursing makes it hard to leave our kids with anyone until they’re over six months old.  I will not bend, though.  The only thing that would keep me from it would be a serious problem with the baby that made it impossible to nurse.  I sincerely hope I never have to face that.

I feel like I’m all over the board today, but some of it is venting and some of it is just filling space.  I’ve already written for this week of pregnancy, but this just felt like the best place to say some of this.

At this moment, I feel like I can’t remember most of what I just wrote.  Don’t worry, I’m not drinking or on drugs or in labour.  Just pregnant and losing a brain cell or two every day.