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Friday, December 25, 2009

15 Weeks Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas is almost over and it's been a great couple days. It started with Christmas eve at my mom's. Turkey dinner with all the fixin's and then the good news of my pregnancy, followed by dessert. Everyone was happy for me & Paul and we answered all the usual questions, "When's the baby due?", "Do you know the sex yet?", "Are you going to find out?"... The night continued with opening presents and periodic questions about the baby. It felt great sharing the news with them.

The following morning started with Paul making me breakfast. We talked about how we would tell his parents later that day, and decided to use the photocopies of the ultrasound pictures. We got to my in-laws at about 3:30pm and were just sitting around talking. When everyone was settled in we started opening gifts. It took a little while to get through all the gifts but the very last ones were plain white envelopes for my father & mother in-law. Paul had them open the envelopes at the same time and they were quite surprised and very excited to become grandparents again. My sister in-law was really excited to become an aunt for the first time. And of course we answered the usual questions...again. Dinner and dessert came next with talk about the baby. It was a few hours since then before Paul got to tell his brother who is living out in British Columbia. He was happy too. It has been another great night and we are happy that our little secret is no longer a secret.

Tomorrow I'm seeing my dad but I'm not sure if I'll tell him then. I know he'll be happy for us but he's not one for expressing his feelings. We'll probably get a nod and "Oh that's good. You guys must be very happy. Congratulations." Either way it'll just make the rest of the day uncomfortable. It's a better idea if I tell him over the phone.
As for sharing the news with other people, Paul told his bosses and his best friend a few days ago. I'll be waiting until next week to tell anyone else.
And my lil' bean couldn't be happier. He/she is about the size of an apple with legs that are now longer than the arms. Elbows and knees are able to move more freely and the eyebrows and scalp hair have begun to grow. The eyes can now sense light behind the eyelids even though they are still fused shut, and in a few weeks my lil' bean will be able to hear my voice. This has definitely been a Christmas to remember.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

14 Weeks

I had my second appointment with my midwife this week, which included a follow up to the ultrasound I had last week. It seems the ultrasound looks normal and my blood work also looks fine, but I won't have a confirmation that everything is as it should be until my second round of blood work is done. The size of the baby is perfect for his/her gestational age, so my due date of June 16, 2010 is still a go. Overall I'm glad all is well in the baby world.

Another highlight this week was listening to my lil' bean's heart beat. I was ready this time and didn't put on any lotion. My midwife checked my blood pressure, heartbeat, breathing and my uterus by external palpation. Everything checked out so the next step was listening to the baby's heartbeat using the doppler. It took her about a minute to find it but when I heard that whoosh-whoosh, it was unmistakable.

I think I could have listened to it for hours. Paul & I were smiling and staring at each other while she checked the heart rate. 150 bpm which is perfect for his/her age. We talked briefly about registering at the hospital and how integrated the midwives were with the rest of the hospital staff. She answered the few questions we had and our visit was over. Yet again Paul & I were giddy as we left the building. We're so happy that our lil' bean is growing perfectly and staying out of trouble. I can't wait to see and listen to him/her again.

I know most people would have told family and friends about a new baby by now. Especially with all the good news we've been getting over the last couple of weeks, but we're waiting. Christmas is at the end of this week and we think it'll be the perfect time to spill the beans. And although I was ready to tell people at 13 weeks, I've been good at keeping my mouth shut. Besides, I don't think I'll be able to hide it past the next couple weeks. My lower abdomen is sticking out, and most of my pants don't fit comfortably any more. Not to mention the size of my chest. All the shirts I've been wearing for the last 3 or 4 weeks are new. I've got about 3 loose fitted sweaters that have been keeping me warm but that's about it. I'll probably pick up a belly band after Christmas and maybe that will help a bit.
But looking fat won't last for very long because my lil' bean just keeps on growing! He/she is now the length of a lemon and the joints are developed enough so that he/she is really moving around. Hands are grasping and his/her eyes are moving under the eyelids. Facial muscles are also giving him/her the ability to form expressions. Lanugo is beginning to form and the body will now be growing faster than the head. It won't be too long before I start feeling all this movement!

Friday, December 11, 2009

13 Weeks

I've been waiting 13 weeks for a chance to see my lil' bean and it was amazing! My first ultrasound was on tuesday and I loved it. It was part of the Nuchal Translucency screening so for Paul & I it was more of a reassurance that everything was going as it should.

Before the technician began, she told me she was going to go through the screening first, which would take about 30 minutes. Then she would call Paul in and we could have a quick look at the baby. I knew she wasn't going to give me any info about the baby so I planned on keeping my attention on her facial reactions until the end. As she started, I was anxiously waiting for the bad news. Her furrowed brows could only mean one thing to me and so I waited. And waited. She continued moving the probe along my abdomen and clicking her keyboard. Her eyes relaxed and she moved closer to the screen. And still I waited. I stopped looking at her soon after and my anxiety lifted a little. After all, if something were wrong she would at least be asking me questions.
I don't know how long it actually took but she finally said she was done with the screening and would be right back with Paul. I said "OK" and as she left the room I silently squealed for joy. It only took a moment and she was back with Paul. He stood next to me as she moved the screen so we could both see it. She then placed the probe on my abdomen and there was our lil' bean moving around. She pointed out the head, arms, heart (beating like a champ), and the legs. We saw some kicks and punches and then it was over. Luckily this will not be our last ultrasound and I can't wait to see him/her again. Until then, I've posted the two ultrasound pictures on the fridge.
At 13 weeks my lil' bean is about 3.5 inches crown to rump, about the size of a medium shrimp. The liver is now secreting bile and the pancreas, insulin. He/she can smile now and there are 20 teeth under those gums. The hands have started to open and close and the toes can now curl. The sucking reflex has started and no doubt he/she will start sucking his/her thumb. With that comes the swallowing of amniotic fluid and he/she is passing it in their urine. Vocal cords have started to develop along with finger and footprints. The eyes are starting to move closer together and the ears are practically in the right spot. Hopefully next week I'll be able to report that everything is moving along perfectly!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 Weeks

I've almost reached another milestone in my pregnancy. At the end of this week my first trimester will be over and as far as I can tell, no bad news to report. I've got my first ultrasound next week and I'm really excited about it.

Another exciting moment for me was my trip to the local Salvation Army. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but thought I might come across some treasures. And I use the word "treasures" quite loosely. Anyways, I found two books that I knew I wasn't leaving behind, especially since they were 25cents each! The first was "Our bodies, Ourselves Pregnancy and Birth" written by a collection of women regarded as The Boston Women's Health Book Collective. They even have a website. The second book was "Baby Bargains" written by Denise & Alan Fields. Now this one was from 2005 but at least I can get a good understanding of what's out there and if it's worth buying an updated copy. I had gone to Indigo and saw a few books I wanted but I didn't really want to spend all that money. And besides, most of the books I was looking at were available at the library. I think I'll stick to borrowing books unless I feel I have to have it, or if I find them for a good price.
My lil' bean is now the size of a lime and squirming about. The placenta has now taken over the production of progesterone which doesn't really affect me since I wasn't taking any form of supplements. He/she can now make a fist and put it's little thumb in it's mouth. The ears are now in place and the eyes are at the front of the head, although still far apart. My lil' bean is looking more and more human each week!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

11 Weeks

Not too much happened in the past week. I began to notice that my nausea was starting to get better and that's when I jinxed it. A few days into my 11th week I suddenly started to feel really nauseous and came home from work with a headache two days in a row. I wasn't sure what was going on but knew something was wrong. On the third and fourth day I paid close attention and came to the conclusion that if I didn't have something small to eat every two hours, my nausea would return full force. I definitely wasn't happy about that but what could I do? Since then I've been feeling better. No headaches and just some minor nausea.
As for my lil' bean, he/she is now the size a plum and all the organs are now up and running. I've passed the dangerous time of development and only my ultrasound can tell me if everything is OK. The hair follicles started to form this week and even though the eyelids are fused shut, there are iris' forming behind them. There is also a skeleton, nerves and blood circulation. The external genitalia is now visibly male or female and a very skilled ultrasound technician may be able to tell the difference but, he/she is still too small and it's highly unlikely. For now all I can do is wonder...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10 Weeks

The major event this week is that I had my first prenatal appointment with my midwife. It was everything I expected and nothing like the appointments with my GP. It started with a bunch of questions about my health and the history of our families. Then she explained how midwifery care worked. Each mother is placed in a "pod", which is a group of 4 midwives. Throughout my pregnancy, delivery and for 6 weeks postpartum I will see only those 4 midwives. I will be delivering in a hospital that the midwives are associated with which will most likely mean less medical intervention. But, if I did suddenly need it, the doctors aren't far away.

My appointments are always an hour long instead of the usual 15 minutes which I was thrilled about. They've also got their own "library" in the office so I've got plenty of recommended reading material and dvd's at my fingertips. When it came time ask if I was going to have testing done, she actually went through all the steps involved. She explained when each test was to be done, and all the risks that came with them. That was something my GP never went through with me. This really has been an eye opening experience for me and I'm really looking foreward to the rest of my appointments.

Speaking of... I've got my first ultrasound in three weeks!! It'll be for the nuchal translucency screening and of course to set my fears at bay. The midwife did try to hear the heartbeat with a Doppler but I had put body lotion on and there was too much static. I'll just have to wait until my ultrasound.
Well my lil' bean has grown to be the size of a kumquat and is officially a fetus now! There is no more webbing between the fingers and toes and the nails are starting to form. The vital organs have started to function and he/she is swallowing amniotic fluid. Although his/her size has doubled in the last 3 weeks, it's not stopping here. It will double again in the next few weeks. I'm almost at the end of my first trimester and so excited.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

9 Weeks

Hormones are a bitch. Even PMS isn't this bad. And oddly enough it's work that's been keeping me bent out of shape. I keep telling myself that I'm being too sensitive but mostly I can't help myself. The lady that works the day shift has been having some personal problems and has told me about it. Although I do feel for her situation she makes it hard for me to really sympathize with her because all she does with her negative energy is complain about everything I do. And the thing that really gets to me is she doesn't say a word to me about it. I haven't changed the way I work, or the way I leave our "office" when my shift is over but nothing seems to be good enough for her. I work in a small company so gossip travels fast and that's how I know what's going on. Even though everyone thinks she's overreacting and they are siding with me, I still can't help but feel stressed about it. My coping mechanism is just ignoring her. I usually say hello when I get there and start working right away instead of asking how her day has been. If she starts telling me about stuff I usually just give short answers when a response is expected and I never engage or encourage her to continue. I'm sure she thinks something's up but I know she won't ask me about it and that's all I want. She can keep to her business and I'll keep to mine.

And now I'm going to change the subject before I get all worked up. I've got my midwife appointment on Thursday and I'm really looking foreword to it. I hope it's what I expected.

My lil' bean is almost an inch long now and it's tail is nearly gone. His / her internal sex organs are formed but externally they won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. And still they won't be able to see the difference in an ultrasound until about 18 weeks. The facial features are becoming more distinct and the tiny teeth buds have started to grow beneath the gums. There's cartilage and bones forming as well as the intestines moving into place. With all these body parts working to become completed I'm sure to be due for some weight gain. So as far as I can tell my pregnancy seems to be progressing normally :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

8 Weeks

Another week has gone by and there's only one major thing to report. My winter wardrobe is almost nonexistent. I'm left with a few pairs of jeans, short-sleeved shirts that are visibly snug but still fit and a few hoodies. Whoever said you don't gain any weight in the first couple of months is full of shit. And the weird thing is I haven't really added and extra meals. I've cut out a lot of stuff like caffeine, sweets, and most of the junk food I used to eat. Although I have been drinking a lot more milk & water throughout the day. Well anyways, my point is I've added about 1 1/2 inches in my waist in the last 8 weeks. It would be fine if people knew I was pregnant but they don't. I'll just have to deal with it for the next month or so.
In the mean time, the good news is that my lil' bean is now the size of a kidney bean and acting like a jumping bean. Although I can't feel it yet he/she is moving around. There's knees & elbows and little webbed fingers & toes growing out of those paddles from last week. The nerve cells in the brain are beginning to connect and the face actually looks like a face now, on a giant head of course.

I'm feeling OK, no major changes from last week. I still get nauseous throughout the day and fatigue is still a problem, although it has gotten a little better. I've learned to take it easy if I'm tired and to rest when I can.
I'll be seeing the midwife in 10 days for my first prenatal visit and I'm excited for that. I think I'll start a list of questions to ask her because I'll probably end up forgetting them if I don't. The baby excitement is growing with every week that passes and it's getting harder to hold it in. Once or twice a week P will ask me if I'm getting excited and my response is always yes. I can't speak for P but I think he feels the same. The other morning I woke up to him rubbing my belly and it was great. I know there will be lots more belly rubbing to come but the thought of there being a baby there is so unreal at times. Mom is definitely a word that's going to take on new meaning to me and one that's going to need some getting used to.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I was setting up my iPod for the day and decided I needed to blog about this wonderful podcast I listen to. It all started when I found out I was pregnant for the first time back in March. I immediately began searching for podcasts and found many with the help of Podcast Alley and iTunes. As I began listening to all of them I was able to quickly weed out the bad ones and was left with only a hand full. The one I found myself returning to almost daily was PregTASTIC. And even after I lost that first baby I kept listening.

This weekly show is based out of San Diego CA, and is basically a round table discussion between the host, pregnant women and most often an expert on the show topic. Topics vary from breastfeeding and prenatal fitness to strollers, c-sections, and my favourite, "what to do with these nipple shields?" The women on the show return week after week as their pregnancy progresses and when a baby is born, the couple return for the Birthing Story. I love this part. Not that I don't enjoy the regular shows because I do, and I take away so much from them. But the birthing stories really show that every woman is different and every birth is unique.

I highly recommend this podcast and hope you'll give them a shot. Just visit PregTASTIC to subscribe. They've got a few pod catchers you can choose from.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

7 Weeks

This week has been one of disappointment and joy. What a roller coaster ride! I called to make an appointment with a midwife on Monday only to discover that it's not as easy as making a doctor's appointment. I needed to answer some basic question over the phone like, when are you due, do you have any illnesses, do you have an ontario health card etc. Then I had to wait for the centre to confirm that there would be a midwife available for me. And she told me I could be waiting up to 2 weeks! Luckily I only had to wait 24 hours but the news was not good. Because midwives take their vacations during the summer, there was no one available for me. She might as well have ripped my heart out of my chest with the help of a rusty spoon. OK, well... I'm exaggerating a little but I was pretty upset. For the past 3 months I've been thinking and weighing my options only to be told it was all a waste of time and I would have to do what I had decided against... seeing my GP for 10min appointments only to be passed along to a strange OBGYN and finally to deliver in a hospital, medicated and unable to leave my bed. All I wanted was options. And then there was a glimmer of hope.
"You could try calling the midwifery centre on the other side of town. Maybe they've got someone available for you."
My heart began to beat a little faster and I suddenly wanted to hang up on this woman and call the other centre before any other pregnant bitch got a chance to. But of course rational people don't do things like that so I kindly thanked her for helping me and answering the few questions I had. Then I said goodbye and hung up. I said something to P about my bad luck and promptly started dialling the other centre.

This time, it all worked out :) It wasn't my first choice but it's not a bad one. I'll be seeing a midwife that's about 25 minutes west of me instead of 15 minutes east. My first appointment is in 2 1/2 weeks which is a little later than I would have liked but I'm sure it'll still be an uneventful visit. I'll probably be too early for an ultrasound but maybe if I keep my fingers crossed they may want to verify a heartbeat.
Speaking lil' bean is now the size of half a cheerio and growing! His little heart has now finished developing and is beating almost twice as fast as my own. And what could that little heart be pumping at seven weeks? His own developing blood of course. The arm and leg buds now have little paddles where hands and feet will be and are starting to flap about. The eyes and nostrils are just dark spots but the nose, ears, and mouth are also starting to form. Then there's the kidneys, spleen and liver ducts that have begun to form while the intestines are getting longer. And you know all this work is leaving me very tired. I find myself exhausted after only doing a small amount of work like washing dishes, or even doing the laundry. My to do list keeps getting longer and I've really had to tell myself that it's OK. I've got to rest and not sweat the small stuff.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

6 Weeks

This week has certainly been a lot different than last week. My lil' bean is now the size of a peppercorn and it's sucking up all my energy. I can barely make it through a day at work without wanting to take a nap after lunch. I try to eat small meals more frequently so I don't get lethargic but it doesn't always help. Then there's the short bouts of nausea that seem to affect me at the worst of times. Although I have yet to make a dash to the bathroom, feeling like I might isn't fun. And my last complaint is that I'm starting to gain weight. Wether it's from water retention or actual baby weight, I'm not sure. And of course it's not a lot of weight but my pants are starting to feel a little snug and my button down shirts now have a peek-a-boo hole. I wonder if anyone else is going to notice?

On a different note, I've decided to see a midwife instead of staying with my GP. It was something I was always curious about and since I've had a lot of time to think, read and listen to podcasts, it seems like the obvious choice for me. I'm planning on making an appointment next week and I'm really curious to see how it will go. I especially like the fact that the midwives are 15 minutes from me while the doctors office is 35 minutes. Yay for short commutes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

5 Weeks

Today I hit the five week mark and so far so good. My lil' bean should have a beating heart even though he/she is only the size of a sesame seed. I've decided not to call the doctor until I'm six weeks along. I just want to be sure that this isn't going to turn out to be another chemical pregnancy. My first prenatal appointment won't be until eight weeks anyways so I figure I've got some time.
The biggest difference I've noticed this time around is that I've felt a lot more, um...activity. I guess that's a good way of describing it, lol! I was feeling crampy and uncomfortable during implantation and it didn't stop until a few days ago. Apparently that means the blastocyst was doing a good job of making a permanent home in my uterus. Yay!
Other than the cramps I'm feeling good. No morning sickness yet and I can only hope it won't be so bad when it starts. Also, my appetite hasn't changed at all. No crazy cravings but I am really missing the coffee :(

Monday, October 12, 2009

There's Always a First!

The idea of starting a pregnancy blog has been running through my head for some time now. I've been reading other blogs and listening to podcasts and after being uncertain about it for so long, I decided it was time to jump in. I wanted to document every step of my journey and since I'm not exactly the best speaker, and I lack the audio equipment, and I'm a photo nut... a blog was the logical solution.

My husband (let's call him P for now) & I have been married for 3 years. He is the oldest of 3 children so you can be sure the last three years have been a series of questions, similar to the following:
"do you want kids"
"are you planning on having kids?"
"have you decided when you are having kids?"
"you guys are getting older, have you thought about kids?"
"are you at least trying?"
And the questions keep!! I thought that maybe with my sister-in-law being pregnant and having her baby 7 months ago things would taper off, and maybe we'd be question free for awhile. But of course not...sigh. The hard part was dealing with all the questions through my first miscarriage and one chemical pregnancy.
But's on. I am pregnant again!!! 4.5 weeks to be exact.
P & I are hoping for the best but we can't be sure. Not for awhile anyways, hence the secret blog. I've been keeping my excitement of our growing bean to a minimum, but deep down I can't wait to tell everyone that I'm going to be a mom.