Feeling the fever

So everyone is pregnant, as far as I can tell.  Everyone!  But, uh, not me.  Not trying, even.  Due to the pills I’m on, probably couldn’t be even if I tried.  I just, like, have eyes and can’t help but notice that everyone is pregnant.

I’m sure it’s hyperbole, but today, for example, I went through the +15 to the next building to grab some lunch, and saw, I swear, 7 very pregnant ladies.  Two were standing in front of me in line.  Walking from my office to J’s daycare?  It’s a 10 minute walk though the +15s, and I have never seen less than 4 pregnant women.  (Okay, sure, they could be the same ones everyday, but I still see them.)  I work in a group of 30 people, 13 of whom are female (not bad for a STEM field), and 2 of them are pregnant.  I’m back downtown, working in a very corporate world, and I’m surrounded by lush, fertile women who are gloriously, roundly pregnant.

And I’m so jealous I’m practically salivating.

I’ve said it before, I was never really baby hungry before I  had Baby J.  It was a cerebral decision, more than anything.  I never had baby fever, or heard a ticking clock, or whatever other cliche that can be used to describe the longing for a baby.  But now?  Holy fuck, you guys.  WANT.  NEEEED.  It’s the strangest feeling.  It feels like a walking cliche, to be so eager, but here we are.

And while we are totally planning a second, not yet.  I’d rather have them +2 years instead of -2 years apart .  I *just* got back to work, and I owe it to myself to give this a serious go.  I’m still on the domperidone, and that’s done insane things to my cycle.  It’s not fair to J to do anything until we figure out what’s wrong with her.  (She’s down to 17 pounds – 1 pound over her 5 month weight.)  I refuse to wean until she stops losing weight or at the very least starts drinking any form of calorie, and I want to have my body to myself for a few months before I get pregnant again.  I’m simply not ready to try again yet, and neither is David.  Mentally, I get it.  In fact, mentally, I have no desire to start trying right now.

But viscerally?  WANT SO MUCH.

At the end of the day, we’re all just animals, right?  It’s stuff like this – this crazy longing – that really brings that home to me.

34 weeks along, looking like I ate the world.  Why do I miss this so much?

34 weeks along, looking like I ate the world. Why do I miss this so much?

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Post Partum Body

So the baby is 9.5 months old now, which is crazy.  We just had some nice family portraits done a few months ago, and I’m having a hard time making the critical self conscious voice in my head to shut up.  Because my post partum body is still not where I want it to be, and I feel bad because I feel self conscious about it.  (I feel bad about feeling bad!  Welcome to my brain.)   So, inspired by Meghan, here’s my journey with the body post baby.

I have never been thin, and my stomach has always been large and jiggly, even when I was a teenager swimming 6-8 times a week.  It’s just what my body looks like.

Here I am at 4 weeks pregnant, or, more accurately: just peed on a stick, went for a walk to celebrate.  I was at my heaviest weight in my entire life at this point – the summer had already involved a miscarriage and a flooded basement, and that had resulted in a summer of crappy eating and a lot of rum.  I weighed, shall we say, X pounds.

4 weeks pregnant

I got pretty big during my pregnancy, but I put on very little weight at all. I actually lost 5 pounds in the first trimester – stepped on the scale to see that the very day I popped my first stretch mark.  I take no real credit for what my body did during the pregnancy – I had terrible heartburn that meant even eating a muffin was a set up for 18 hours of unrelenting burning pain.  The only foods that I could really eat in the second trimester were Lucky Charms and ice cream.  (Being pregnant meant I suddenly became lactose tolerant, which was awesome.)  So I didn’t eat much, but what I ate was really calorie rich.  I got big in the belly, and fast, but I didn’t get big all over.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the rest of me lost some fat.  (I had some to spare.)  I also lost muscle mass when I had to stop working out around 28 weeks pregnant, because of some pelvic floor issues I was having.  Okay, yes, I still walked and did yoga, but that’s totally not the same as 4 day a week fitness classes with weights.

28 weeks pregnant

After I discovered Zantac, I could eat again, but still didn’t gain much weight.  During the whole pregnancy, I put on 12 pounds, or, X+12.  I’m short, and carried it all out front, so I looked like I gained a lot more.

38 week pregnant, after my water broke

I gained 12 pounds (X+12), gave birth to an an 8 pound baby (X+4), and a week after she was born was down to X-7 pounds.

1 week post partum

I bounced up to X-3 pretty quickly, as my body tried to adjust to the baby and the Breastfeeding Hunger, and all the rest.

2 weeks post partum

I fit back in to my jeans by the time Jess was a month old. Which was nice, but I again can’t take any credit.  The c-section recovery was really, really hard on me, and at a month post partum, I still couldn’t lift her in the car seat, let alone exercise.

At 12 weeks, I took a lame mommies and babies yoga class.  (I don’t like singing much.  I like yoga.  This class was way too much of  the former and far too little of the latter.)  At that point, I couldn’t even lay down from a sitting position because of the internal adhesions and resulting pain.

4 months post partum

Around the 4 month mark, I started taking more intensive fitness classes – starting with strollercize twice a week.  By the end of November (9 months post partum) I was up to 4 classes a week – a deep water running class, two areobics/weight classes and a pilates class.  My weight has been pretty stable for a couple of months at X-5, and while ideally I’d like to hit X-8 and stay there, I’m not unhappy about my weight.

7 months after Jess was born

7 months post partum

I finally bought new jeans, in time for our family photos, and found that I’d dropped a pant size from my pre-pregnancy jeans.  (My chest size, however, is still a few sizes up.  Breastfeeding!)  My hips, ass and thighs are the same size or smaller than they were pre-baby.  Thanks to all the fitness classes and squats, I had not developed mom-butt and I still like my ass.  (I first learned to love my butt when I took pole dancing classes.  I liked the way I looked in short-shorts!)

Baby's first ocean, at 8 months old

Baby’s first ocean, at 8 months old

But I am unhappy about my stomach, and it shames me that my belly is the first thing I see when I look at the family portraits.  I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to be the woman hiding from the camera, or the one who looks at herself with shame.  Because life is too short to fixate, or so I keep telling myself. The conflicting messages in my brain (be happy!  you’re too big!) are annoying, but I’m feeling them, so here we are.

The thing is, I’m DOING THE WORK, and it’s not making the kind of difference I wish it would.  I work out a lot, I eat mostly sensibly, and I have a big belly and my core strength just is not back yet, 9 months after the c-section.  When I started doing the fitness classes at 4 months, I couldn’t even get in to a plank position, because something internally caused screaming pain if I tried.  Hell, the first time I tried to do a crunch, 3 months after the birth, I couldn’t lift my head more than a half inch of the ground, and 5 of those made me hurt for 3 days afterwards.  (C-SECTIONS ARE NOT THE EASY BIRTH ANSWER.)  Things are better – because I’ve worked very, very hard – but still not great.  I still can’t, for example “access my transverse abdominals” at pilates, or hold a plank for 60 seconds.  I’m getting closer, but I don’t have the strength that I’m used to, or the sensations I remember.

I guess, really, that it upsets me on both fronts – the loss of tone and the loss of strength.  I’m trying hard to be kind to myself, and to keep going to the classes and to generally not think about it to much, but it’s hard. I’m mostly happy with my body – as much as I ever am – but this one thing upsets me, and then I’m upset that I’m upset.  Blerg.

Being a woman in the 21st century: self-esteem is a minefield.

Birth Story – part 2

We left for the hospital just before 7:00 am, just as the snow was beginning to fall. I’d repeatedly made a joke about how even in a blizzard, we would still be able to get to the hospital, as it is so close to our house.  It therefore amused me that it did, in fact, turn in to a full blown blizzard.  The doula took an hour and a half to do a 20 minute drive, due to the snow and traffic.  It was basically the only thing I expected about the birth to come true – I mean, of course there was a blizzard!  (Sure, it had totally stopped by the time she was born the next day, but still.  There was a blizzard as we headed for the hospital.)

We got to the hospital and headed for the 6th floor – the same triage I’d been checked out at two weeks earlier, after a bad fall.  It was nice that because of that fall, all of our paperwork was up to date.  (And I had already had the discussion with the nurse to remove my father as my primary contact, because that was hard enough when I wasn’t in labour.)  They put me in triage, and the doctor confirmed that they would be inducing me as soon as a delivery room became available.  Which took until noon, because every time a room would become available, some lucky woman in full blown labour would arrive and logically get the room.  We walked the short hallway, David got us scones and we chatted.  I had an IV put in at 8:00 am, because they were about to move me in to a delivery room and I was going to need it for the induction.  Having to drag the pole around for an extra 4 hours was annoying, but what could we do?

We finally got a room – the nice room – the room with the tv and vcr player! Heh.  The doctor checked me out and after 38 hours of early labour, I was completely effaced but only a single centimeter dilated.  About as big of a failure as you can imagine, and it was hard to hear that so much work has resulted in what happens to most women before they even go in to labour – sometimes weeks before.    I was hooked up to an IV of oxytocin around noon, and they would increase the dosage every 15 minutes for the next 5 hours.  The oxytocin worked quickly, in that the contractions started in earnest.  We hung out, working through poses and quietly watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on vhs.

Now, everyone knows that contractions hurt.  But there is normally a break between them – a time to catch your breath.  When you add the synthetic hormone, you stop getting that break, and the contractions are harder and stronger and faster than natural ones.  Much worse, by the time the drug is fully ramped up.  The crappy little chart below illustrates what it felt like for me, with normal contractions, and then drug supplied contractions. You’ll notice two pain lines in the latter.  It really felt that way – the contraction pain, and then the constant, unceasing pain that never, ever let up.  It was horrible.

Contractions Comparison

We had agreed on a safe word before I was induced.  I picked the word elephant.  By 4:00 ish, the contractions were pretty brutal and I started saying elephant during the contractions.  The nurse offered nitrous, which I used for the next couple of hours.  It did, I’ll be honest, very little, but it took the edge off.  And forced me to take slow deep breaths, which helped, as I was in pretty terrible pain.  I tried the shower, which was basically useless and totally uncomfortable, even while sucking back the gas.  It mainly just made me cold and David’s pants wet.

I guess I wasn’t clear enough with David and the doula, because I always knew that if I was induced, I would need an epidural.  I knew that I did not want it for a natural labour if I could help it, but oxytocin labour isn’t normal.  My yoga teacher (also a doula) told us that they are inhuman contractions, and that you almost always need an epidural to withstand the pain.  And she was right.  It’s not productive pain.  It’s closer to torture.  And they, as per my natural birth plan, kept deferring my request for pain relief, also knowing that the longer I could go without it, the more quickly I would progress.  I managed until 6:30 pm when it turned out to flat out begging and pleading.  I think my final argument (begging) was that there was productive pain, and there was suffering, and that this was no longer productive and could I please please please have something to make the suffering stop? In those 6 hours, I had only progressed to 5 cm.

The anesthesiologist arrived just before 7:00 pm and gave me a high dose epidural that had me able to breath and dozing within minutes.  The next two hours passed in about 20 minutes for me.  David and the doula dozed on the couch and the chair, respectively.  I eventually woke up and was able to feel the contractions but was not pained by them.  The nurse kept rolling me from one side to the other, but that was about it for movement – this was not a walking epidural.

Just before midnight, I was checked again and had only managed to progress to maybe 8 cm.  The doctor added an antibiotic to the IV stand, as according to what we told them, my water had broken 48 hours earlier.  (We did lie by a few hours about when my water broke.  We said midnight instead of 9:30 pm because I didn’t want anyone to yell at me.  Again, I don’t endorse this.  I just really, really did not want to be induced.)   Still, 50 hours of labour, including almost 12 with oxtocin, and I was only at 8?  That’s pretty classic failure to progress.  The doctor called in various OB/GYNs and none of them could tell which way the baby was facing.  As in, was this back labour and that is why she was stuck?  No one could tell.  We later found out the J’s fontanelles had basically already closed up within a week of birth, suggesting that they weren’t open enough for her head to squish and be born vaginally.  Certainly, between the hair and the fontanelles, no one could tell.  As well, I’d gone from fully effaced to not effaced at all – the cervix was ‘bunched up like a turtleneck’.  Probably because of her unyielding head slamming against it for twelve hours.

I dozed off between doctor’s visits and intrusive internal exams and being cathetered.   Eventually, I was abruptly woken at 2:00 am by another OB/GYN who announced, without any preamble, that I would be getting a c-section.  I didn’t take it well – I may have burst in to tears – and her attitude didn’t help.  A trio of OB/GYNs came in and lectured me about all the terrible things that could happen to me and the baby if I didn’t immediately consent to it, up to and including fetal death.  The baby had been on the monitor basically since we checked in, and there wasn’t even a heart rate deceleration at any point.  The baby was fine, and they were using mean scare tactics that immediately got my back up.  I asked, and eventually got, one more hour to try and progress further.  I hadn’t been moving much, so for the final hour I rotated in a new position on the bed every 5 minutes.  Around 3:00 am, the nicest of the OBs came back and checked me again.  He looked sad to have to tell me that there was still no progress.

So I had to consent to the c-section.  They came back in and when through the risk factors, which sounded EXACTLY like the risk factors they had listed when I didn’t want to have it, up to and including fetal death.  I cried, and signed the consent form.  They took David off to get changed in to scrubs, and the doula left, as she could not accompany us to the OR.  The nurse (my least favourite of the 3 I’d had that day, and in Calgary the nurse spends her whole shift just with you, in the room) gave me this really gross anti-nausea drink, which I immediately puked back up.  (I still wonder why my puke was neon yellow.  Is that the colour of stomach acid?  There certainly wasn’t anything else in my stomach.) She broke regulations to give me enough ice chips to wash the taste out of my mouth.

They wheeled me to the OR, flat on my back.  I felt like I was in a tv show, that’s how cliched it was.  The epidural had mostly worn off, but I knew I was about to get seriously medicated, so I just did my best to breathe through the pain.

They moved me on to the operating table and put nice warm contracting leg cuffs on and covered me in hot blankets, as I was shivering so hard my teeth were chattering.  I’m assuming it must have been in reaction to one of the drugs, as it went on for most of the surgery.  At least the spinal needle was already in – it was hard enough to stay still for that during contractions – I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been while having full body shakes.  Various doctors came in – I think David told me at one point there were a dozen people in the room.  However, they didn’t bring David in right away, and it made me panic.  I kept asking for him, and telling them not to start until they found him.  A nurse mentioned that he wasn’t in the change room, and it made me worry.  He was sitting outside OR in the ‘loneliest hallway in the world’, able to hear me ask for him but not being able to come in.

David said waiting here to be called in to the OR was lonely – the loneliest hallway in the world.

They eventually brought him in and surgery started right away.

The anesthesiologist was amazing.  That nice doctor blend of cocky and kind.  (After giving me the epidural, he declared with perfect confidence, and accuracy, that I would not have a headache.)   After I was transferred to the operating table, he started adding drugs to my IV line.  Things get pretty fuzzy for me at this point, but I know that there was a much stronger epidural, morphine, plus an anti nausea drug, and when the pain killing affect of those drugs wasn’t enough, he added something else to the line.  He was also the only doctor who I remember any interaction with, and he never left my head.  The surgery hurt – I don’t think the morphine took – and every time I winced or moaned, he checked over the curtain to see what was going on.  If it was pushing, he did nothing as apparently pushing and pressure are normal to feel, but for everything else, he reacted to keep me comfortable.

I am as stoned as I look

He also told David when to look over the curtain – to see our baby being born.  David said he had no intention of looking, but when the doctor said to, he couldn’t help but look.  Said it was gross and weird and pretty fucking amazing.

The view from behind the curtain, as they were stitching me back up.

Baby J was born at 4:05 am on March 6, 2012, weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.  54 and a half hours after my water broke, via c-section.

I remember one doctor telling another that “she looks healthy” and I so clearly remember my voice wobbling and tearing up as I asked, “it’s a girl?”  I guess they are so used to everyone knowing the sex of the baby before birth that there was no ceremony to the announcement – not even, “It’s a girl!”  Just a baby being taken over to the heating table and David got to go up there and see her.  At some point, they brought her over, all swaddled up, but I’ll be honest and admit I don’t really remember that part.  In fact, they took her away and David followed and then I passed right out, and woke up in the recovery room.  During that time, David got to hold her and feed her a bottle and cuddle.

Freshly born

I just remember waking up hurting and having to spend time in the recovery room trying to make small talk with the nurse.  David and the doctor showed up to tell me that J had an unsurprising but very bad tongue tie so they wanted to clip it right away.  I remember slurring something about David would have to be the one to sign the forms for it, because I didn’t think I could move.  Apparently I was very incoherent.

Eventually I got enough feeling back in my body for them to move me to a room.  Luckily, it was a private room (which only costs $40 a night and was worth every penny) because I had got feeling back in my body and the morphine had NOT given me the promised 12 hours of pain relief because I cried out every time we crossed a door jam and then screamed in agony as the nurses moved me in to the bed.  When asked about what level of pain it was out of 10?  It was 10.  It actually hurt worse than anything else that had happened over the last 3 days.  They must have given me something, because by the time David brought in our daughter, I can remember something other than agony, but I’ll be honest.  It’s all very fuzzy.  And I may have been weeping.  And it was 5:00 am after days of labour – with the last solid sleep being four days earlier.

Meeting my daughter for the first (coherent) time

She was small and red and angry and I had no idea what to do.  I think I tried to feed her and she latched on pretty well, and I remember that David went home around 7:30 am to get some sleep and I must have passed out eventually, because the next day was simply a blur of feedings and diaper changes and endless, ENDLESS sitting around the hospital bored out of my mind, wanting to go home, and sobbing.  I’ll talk about that next, this is long enough already.

First family picture

Birth Story, part 1

So, I think I may as well type this out, to get it out of my own head.

I had my second baby shower on Saturday afternoon.  The first one was with friends, the second was family and family friends – a combo of aunts and cousins and old family friends.  It ended around 5, and I hung out with my mother, my aunt and my cousin Kim for another couple of hours, chatting.  I left my mom’s house at 7, and came home and ate a late dinner with David and then started going through the presents, entering them in to a spreadsheet so I could write the thank you cards.  (What, I don’t like it to be  a task that lingers…  I’d already finished the ones from the first shower a week earlier.)  Around 9:30, I jumped up because I suddenly had to go to the bathroom, and as I did, a little bit of liquid came out.  Afterwards, I joked to David about how sexy late pregnancy is – incontinence and all.  “Or, haha, my water just broke.”  And then the water didn’t stop – just kept trickling out.  And then I panicked.  Hard.  I was so totally unready for this.  I had another week of work!  I hadn’t packed my office.  I hadn’t finished passing off my work. I hadn’t finished my Well Evaluations course.  The nursery wasn’t done.  The tidying I had planned to do on the week between leaving work and having a baby hadn’t even been started.  Let alone the 5 lunch dates I’d lined up, or the emotional work I knew I needed to do to be ready to have the baby.  I wasn’t ready yet in any way.

38 Weeks Pregnant

But there’s no arguing with leaking amniotic fluid.  I kept soaking pads, and I kept crying.  In the picture above, if you look closely, you can see my eyes and nose are red from the weeping.  We quickly moved in to work mode.  We packed a hospital bag, finished entering the presents in to the spreadsheet and tackled a few final nursery chores.  Around 11:30, we called my doula, who recommended I have a relaxing bath and then try to get some sleep, as contractions hadn’t started yet.

So we dozed.  My contractions started up around 3:00 am, and lasted for a couple of hours before tapering off again.  We got out of bed around 10:00 and went for a long walk around the reservoir, stopping at McDonald’s so David could eat lunch and I could pee/leak some more.  The walking helped the contractions, in that they were mildly happening.  I knew that we’d already cheated by not going to the hospital to get it looked at as soon as the waters broke, and that as soon as we crossed hospital doors I’d be signing up for induction at the very least, and I Did Not Want That.  Very VERY strongly.  I’d been working hard for months to have a natural birth.  I’d read the books – ALL the books.  I’d done prenatal yoga for 6 months.  I’d hired a doula.  I’d read up on pain and hypnosis and relaxation and the stages of labour.  I’d done the work, and I really, really wanted to have a natural birth.  And I felt that history and my body were on my side.  My mother was only in labour with me for 4 hours, and David’s mother for 6.5.  I have breeding hips.  I’d had a very easy pregnancy, heartburn aside.  I was far more worried (and prepared) to have the baby late and fast.  Honestly, early and slow didn’t really occur to me.   I was convinced that the baby would be born on March 21 (3 days late), because that’s my late father’s birthday.  Irrational?  Sure.  But we all like to believe that we can control the universe with our minds, right?

At any rate, the walking helped.  We talked to the doula, and she suggested nipple stimulation.  Which totally worked.  Like, crazy worked.  It took the contractions from intermittent to just about every 5 minutes quickly.  Bodies are so weird.  But, like before, the contractions eventually tapered off, only to reappear a few hours later.  We had a timing app, and it showed that they really would come hard and fast for a while, and then slide right back.  It was a little frustrating.  Our doula came over and suggested poses and positions, and eventually made dinner.  Labour started to hurt, and I worked through the yoga poses I’d learned, and bounced on the ball, and all the rest.  Around 1 am, the doula suggested that David go have a nap and she and I chatted for a couple of hours until the contractions were mostly gone, and then she suggested I go to bed.  Yes, for those keeping track, this was 29 hours after my water broke, and I was and am aware that I was potentially courting danger.  Don’t be like me.  But my amniotic fluid continued to be clear and just slightly salty, and have I said how much I did not want to be induced?  I may have been panicking hard about having the baby, but I was panicking harder about the cascade of intervention that I knew would happen as soon as I walked in to the hospital.

Correctly worried, as it turns out.

Introducing…

So.  It’s been a busy week.  My water broke on Saturday around 9:30 pm and on Tuesday at 4:05 am, this little creature was cut from my body:

Named after my grandma Jessie and David’s grandma Shirley Anne.  Weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces, 2 weeks premature and with more hair than your average toddler.

I only got home from the hospital around 4:00 on Friday, so for those playing along, that’s 55 hours of  labour followed by an emergency c-section, followed by 84 hours sitting around a hospital.  Yeah.  Pretty traumatic, all told, and I’m still working to process what the hell just hit me.

But, no matter how bad this bit is, it’s hard to argue that she is indeed, pretty cute.  I think we shall keep her.

Why is no one else laughing?

So we’re taking this Birth and Babies class. It’s offered through the local health region, and our class happens to be at the hospital where I will deliver. (Which is conveniently less than 5 minutes from our house.) It’s a 10 week course, and costs $200, so a large-ish investment of time and cash, and this clearly makes for a self-selecting group. It’s a neat concept, in that you ideally have the kid around week 5 or 6, and then you bring the baby to the rest of the classes and learn about infant care. For the last class, they even bring in an infant massage specialist.

I was expecting to be on the older side of the class, being 30 and all. But we’re actually firmly on the young half, which surprised me a bit. But then we’re back to the self-selection of a 10 week $200 course and it makes more sense.

What I expected less is that no one else in the room seems to have a sense of humour. And let’s be honest, there are enough weird and wacky parts of this whole experience that if you can’t find something to giggle about, you probably have no sense of humour at all. I mean, at the very least, when they show the birth video and the woman walks in with her 80s mushroom cut hair and giant overalls and you don’t at least crack a grin? Soulless. We probably will not become friends.

One of the things we had to do last night was to practice the supported sway. Which the instructor explained as being like grade 9 dancing. So David and I immediately went for the arms on shoulders with straight arms awkward dance style. Which we decided was too grade 7-ish, and immediately got closer. He spent the rest of the time trying to ‘subtly’ cop a feel, all junior high boy style. While I muffled my giggles in to his chest. Because who doesn’t like a bit of side-boob touching? Everyone else looked like they were being graded and not enjoying it at all. Which is silly – this is the father (I assume) of your baby, and I don’t know about you, but I still take just about any chance I get to snuggle up with my husband.

Another assignment from last night – talk to the couple beside you about 3 things they plan to do during early labour. Early labour is the part that can go on for 14 hours and be mostly just uncomfortable, for those of you not immersed in this stuff. (Active labour is when you can’t talk or walk during a contraction.) Then we went around the room introducing the other couples and talking about their plans. Of the 12 pairs in the room, at least SIX OF THEM listed, I swear to God, studying their birth notes as a planned activity! Yours truly? Listed having a bath, watching tv and playing video games. Most of the room looked pretty judgey until the woman running the program mentioned games as being a perfect thing to do. Haha, all you uptight boring people!

But seriously. As the woman in labour, everything I’ve read suggests that it’s a very primal, not-thinky experience. It’s not a test. You get the prize no matter what happens. Reading your notes seems … way too fucking OCD for my tastes. And I say this as a woman who has read at least 31 books about pregnancy and birth and labour and breastfeeding and babies. I like research! I like learning! I just really feel that last second cramming isn’t going to help at that late date, and that staying calm and relaxed and having a laugh is so much a better plan. (All of the books I’ve read agree with me, FYI.)

Look, labour will happen and I accept that it will be hard and painful and take me to a place within myself that may be quite new. I accept that this will be an experience like no other. But I refuse to accept that it means I have to give up my sense of humour and sense of the absurd, or that I have to stop sitting in the back of a classroom making off colour jokes with the cute boy sitting beside me.

I just wished when I looked around the room I could find someone else who looked like they were trying to suppress a giggle.

Making mom friends is gonna be hard, I think.

I refuse to waddle

I point blank refuse to waddle.  I’m now 34 weeks pregnant and I’ve managed to hold off on it yet.  I’m not convinced I can go the distance without it happening, but I work damn hard to keep good posture.  The very few times I’ve slipped in to a waddle, I stopped immediately because it made my back hurt.  Probably an advantage to being front heavy my whole life, so the balance change isn’t so extreme for me.

I have had to started wearing a support belt when we’re heading out in the evenings.  It helps, as the belly gets heavier and heavier.  It does, however, look ridiculous.

The Belly

Another odd thing is that not only can I not gain weight, I actually lost a kilo over the last two weeks.  (A little more than 2 pounds.)  It’s crazy.  I’m eating decently, now that I have effective heartburn medication.  Yeah, I can’t eat as much at a meal, due to Skipper’s butt pressing on my stomach, but I’m still eating.  It’s bizarre.  We had a 34 week ultrasound last week* and the tech estimated the kid weighs 6.5 pounds.  I have put on a total of 8.  Bizarre, I tell you.  At least they can’t accuse me of eating too much and making the baby too big (it is measuring heavy for the gestational age), because clearly my body is doing whatever the hell it wants regardless of my feelings or habits.  On the upside, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to move if I put on twice that weight or more, and well, losing the baby weight should be pretty easy, I hope.

So, I refuse to waddle, but I may in fact have started to grunt.  Like while trying to roll over in bed, or getting out of bed, or changing the cross of my legs while seated, or while walking.  Sometimes because of the discomfort, and sometimes because damn this kid’s a strong kicker.

Pregnancy, man.  A constant party of ever evolving wacky symptoms.**  But hey, at leat the kid is quiet and doesn’t scream and while it may pee constantly,*** at least there are no diapers yet, right?  SO bizarre.

*In Alberta, you only get a 12 week and 20 week ultrasound, unless they suspect problems.  Turns out, because my size 12 self was so fat before I got pregnant, they feel I need extra watching.  Seriously, I hate the BMI system.  I starting working out 5 days a week years ago, and only stopped around 6 months pregnant due to pelvic floor issues.   I had super bulky muscles.  Muscles =/= fat, unless you look at a BMI chart, and now no one will take this fairly odd weight issue seriously.  Harumph. 

**We’re not going to talk about my nipples, but let me just say, damn, pregnancy is weird. 

*** A pint a day!  A small alien lifeform is PEEING INSIDE ME IN LARGE VOLUMES.  There is no way that’s not weird.