Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hasn’t hit me yet (nothing to do with Blue Rodeo’s song but who doesn’t like to dream about Jim Cuddy’s sexy voice from time to time)

Tomorrow is my last day of work before maternity leave starts. Well technically before my sick leave starts and then maternity leave but I’m not getting wrapped up in details. Tomorrow is my last day of work-FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!

Ok. So it’s not like I have been working for 40 years and am taking my retirement tomorrow. Still, it feels friggin amazing. I have been working full time for over 6 years now and prior to that, I was working part time and/or in school for pretty much my entire life.

I am by no means disillusioned though. I realise that I am essentially trading in one job for a completely different one. For one entire year, my sole job will be to take care of princess bean. Some people say that being a mom is the hardest job in the world. I guess I will soon find out. For years we study, take tests and pass interviews to advance ourselves in the corporate world and yet here I am, about to start the hardest job in the world and there is not a single test required. Nobody has taken even a glance at my C.V nor called any of my references. There is no training before the start of this new employment. I guess it's sink or swim.

So ready or not, my last day of work (as I know it) is tomorrow. At this point, I don’t want to hear from the naysayers. I only want to hear the good things about my new job. I understand that with any job, there are tough moments. There are moments where you think you are not right for this job and want to quit, moments where you want to pull your hair out and heck, even moments where you do pull your hair out.

Right now though, I am in that bubble like state of a person who just landed a promotion. In a couple of months, watching the snow fall on a cold December night (sing it Jim!), as I cuddle my baby girl by the fireplace, I will not miss the daily grind of my former job. This new job of mine sounds pretty sweet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

She's HOW big?

So last week a friend of mine delivered her baby at 35.5 weeks. She had a very rare condition known as vasa previa in which some of the umbilical cord vessels are unsupported and lie at the base of the birth canal. Essentially, there is a very high infant mortaltity rate if this condition goes unidentified until labour. If a woman goes into labour with this condition, these blood vessels with rupture, causing the baby to lose blood extremely quickly. Thankfully, she was diagnosed early enough and her beautiful girl arrived safe and sound via C-section....just a little bit earlier than planned.

When my husband and I went to visit  them at the hospital ,we of course took the opportunity to hold the baby. My husband remarked how tiny her features were (probably because most babies in his family are 10 pounders but that's another story!). He was also looking back and forth between my belly and our friend's baby. As it is, I am now 35.5 weeks along and my little bean is the same size if not a bit bigger than the baby. It was a cute moment. He could actually visualise just how big princess bean is.

A real live baby...truly a much better indication than what some websites provide as an example. Apparently at 35 weeks our daughter is as heavy as a honeydew melon..approx. 5.25 lbs and 18 inches in length.

By next week she will be the size of a Crenshaw Melon

Whatever the hell that is!...

Monday, September 13, 2010

The E word

Lately, I’ve been getting asked about how I envision my labour to go. I talk about labour in our pre-natal class and of course among my many friends who are also expecting. The truth is, everyone’s labour experience is so different. It seems that no matter how much you plan, you can never be truly prepared. Perhaps the motto should be-Be prepared for the unexpected! Most people ask if I am planning to have an epidural. I feel like this is a trick question at times. Like no matter what answer I give, I risk being judged. If I say no, then I’m labelled as some crazy hippie lady who has clearly never been through labour and is trying to prove something. If I say yes (GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!!) then I am labelled as someone who is not tough and is going to willingly prolong my labour and not have a ''natural'' birth.

In fact, this subject comes up in nearly every single pre-natal class in spite of the fact that we are already on class 5 discussing post-partum and breastfeeding. The one thing that amuses me (read: I want to smack the smug look of their faces) is that it’s mainly the MEN who are opposed to medicated births. There are 7 couples in the class (including me and my husband and a couple who are very good friends of ours). Of the 7 men, there are 3 of them who adamantly shake their head from side to side whenever we talk about the big bad word EPIDURAL. When our instructor told us that our hospital has an 85% epidural rate, they stared in disgust stating things like:

'' How is that safe? Getting an epidural seems like overkill!’’

'' Why would you risk your health? Can’t you become paralysed?’’

''It’s not natural.’’

It’s not to say that men cannot have opinions on the subject but I find it inappropriate for them to judge women in the class who want to get as much information as possible on their labour options. Using medication during birth is a personal choice. Women have different coping mechanisms and certainly different pain thresholds.

So my answer is this. I plan on using many coping skills I have learned until the pain becomes too great. At that point, I am quite open to an epidural if it will give my body and mind a chance to rest in preparation for pushing and the after birth.

So to buddy with the bad comb-over in my Wednesday night class-I resent the fact that you tell us women that having an epidural is not natural. I respect the fact that you want an un-medicated birth so please respect others. Heaven forbid your wife should realise she’s in excruciating pain and ask for some drugs. Will you flash her an arrogant smirk saying ‘’NO. That is not natural’’?

I guess I didn't realise that you are in charge of her body.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time Machine

I used to always say things like ''I can’t wait until next month. I wish we could just skip through September’’. It would drive my mother nuts. She’d tell me that I should appreciate the moment and to stop wishing my life away. She made an excellent point of course but there are times in your life when you are sitting at work, completely unmotivated (yes like right now) wishing it was Friday at 5pm.

I am currently 34 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy and anxiously counting down the days (40 to go) until our little princess bean is due. That being said, she may choose to come early or even a few days late. P bean-if you are listening..please don’t try to come late ok? Early is fine but not too early since daddy and I are renovating the kitchen. I’ll keep you posted.

People love to tell a pregnant lady to relax and that the baby will come when she/he is good and ready. I am by no means wishing for a preemie baby but let me just say that with 5 ½ weeks left to go, I feel ready. It’s not so much that I am completely fed up of being pregnant but rather that I cannot wait to meet my daughter. That being said, pregnancy does drag on. I feel more exhausted by the day and sometimes wish for a forklift to flip me from side to side in bed.

Whenever you are eagerly awaiting something, the days tend to drag on. I guess that’s the way life is. So on occasion, I give myself a boost and enter the time machine A.K.A. the dollar store. The dollar store is a great place to shop if you too find yourself wishing away September or heck, even an entire season. In July, there were harvest decorations out. By August, cheap plastic Halloween masks and battery operated spooky sound machines filled the shelves. While I haven’t been to the dollar store in the last few weeks, I have noticed Christmas paraphernalia popping up at craft stores. These aisles of cheaply mass manufactured crap bring a little smile to my face, reminding me of just how close I really am and just how far we’ve come.