Monday, November 26, 2012

Diary of a Real Pregnancy: Week 30 - Retribution

I KNEW it wasn't a good idea to post "out loud" about getting a break for all the yucky pregnancy stuff. I knew it. Just like you never post publicly about your baby sleeping through the night... You're only setting yourself up for a week of hellatious nights of screaming baby crapola. Well that's what happened... retribution for posting about a reprieve: everything came back. And then some.

My feet started to swell up. Not a ton, but it's started. My ankles disappeared for a day, but then they came back (phew).

My back... Oh, my back. Ow. I'm back to hobbling around like an old lady... Not good.

Heartburn... Wow. Just... wow. Officially taking those heartburn meds twice a day and also popping Gaviscon in between, which I'm not sure if really recommended but acid in your throat = not much fun so I'm doing everything I can to keep it at bay. Blech.

Weight gain. Alright now it's just getting ridiculous. I had a doctor's appointment and as I lumbered toward the scale I wondered if there was a good reason for all this misery to return. There was. I cringed when the doc flipped the scale weight thingy to the next slot... from '50' to '60'. Um, don't do that... stop it. Ack... I'm up to 164 lbs. *sob* Doc didn't bat an eye, reminded me I'm growing a baby, blah blah. I know this. I gained a lot of weight last two pregnancies, I know it will come off, eventually. I also know gaining 34 lbs at this point means swollen feet, reflux, and a sore back! Poop.

Ah well. Everything else is fine, baby's heartbeat was around 125 (lower than it's been... Hmm), blood pressure was fine, pee was fine. Baby is head down, yay! And, big bonus: I got the coveted Doctor's Note for prenatal massage. Woot!

I took that note and ran (okay hobbled) straight to an RMT on my day off this week and it was like angels singing from above.

Prenatal massage... pretty much the best thing ever. Ever. I'm planning to go back every two weeks and then maybe every week in January until baby comes. I officially love that RMT. I might marry her. Oh wait, I'm already married. I'll bring her chocolate instead.

Previous: Week 29 - Reprieve

Monday, November 19, 2012

Countdown to Christmas: A month of giving

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to make this year 'different'. Every holiday season I vow sometime at the beginning of October that THIS YEAR, it's going to be different. We're going to replace "stuff" with meaningful experiences. We're going to give to others, and buy less for ourselves. We're going to do some good, rather than filling our home with things we don't need out of obligation or tradition.

And then, inevitably, the season gets away from me, and we find ourselves at the mall with everyone else, scooping up the latest must-have gift or taking advantage of a deal too good to pass up (but... it's 40% off!).

Don't these people look filled with the holiday spirit?

I'm usually able to 'fit in' a few good moments among the craziness - baking cookies, or decorating, or watching a holiday movie as a family. But, those moments seem so fleeting in a season filled with to do lists, pressure, events we're obliged to attend (another breakfast with Santa...?), things not finished, stress.

So. I am here now, mid-November, making a pledge. This year really IS going to be different.

I'm kicking off a Month of Giving, starting on Nov. 24. This will give me a month to give, outside my own friends and family, for a month before showering my own circle with love and joy and gifts.

My plan is to find ways, big and small, to make a difference. This all came to a head today when I read a Facebook status from a friend (hi Paula! :)) who had just gotten a free coffee, thanks to the person ahead of her in the drive-through. Such a simple yet powerful gesture. I bet that person ahead of her never imagined they would be the catalyst in a month of giving by someone totally unrelated to the exchange at the drive-through window!

I have some ideas of things I can do, but I'm looking for more ideas (keep in mind I have two kids, 7 months pregnant and a full-time job...). Anything - big or small - I will consider it all. I will do something each day from Nov 24 - Dec 24. I am excited!

Anyone want to join me?

Diary of a Real Pregnancy: Week 29 - Reprieve

For whatever reason, the universe decided to grant me a reprieve from every pregnancy malady that had been affecting me until now. Skin is clear, back feels okay, energy is up, heartburn disappeared literally the minute I paid for the prescription for heartburn meds. (That was weird.)

Funny thing is, it seems without all the 'bad' stuff to talk about, I really don't have a whole lot to say! I don't know what that says about me or my outlook on this pregnancy...! All I know is things are going well this week and I will take it! Of course I am still huge -- someone actually said to me this week, "Wow look at you! You're really... uhh... blooming!" Blooming?? Seriously? Pretty sure she just called me fat! All for a good cause... all for a good cause...

I have started the count-down to maternity leave and am off every Friday for the rest of the year. As well, one huge bonus of having a baby in January: if you accrue vacation while on leave as I was pleasantly surprised to learn I do, you can take said vacation at the beginning of the year (in order not to lose it... my mat leave will go until January 2014)... Meaning, with the vacation I have saved from this past year and the holidays, I'm actually off from December 19 - January 2014. WHAT! :)

That said, the career part of me is conflicted about all that time away. There are some things that I didn't get done that I wanted to... projects that I was leading that I will have to hand off to someone else to finish in my absence. All part of being a working mom of child-bearing age... and I know I have my priorities right by taking the time away to raise this baby at least for a year... But, it's still hard to reconcile that part of me and make that shift, albeit temporarily - putting the career on hold for a whole year (all for a good cause... all for a good cause...). Thankfully, I know it will be there waiting for me when I'm all done with this baby business, and for that I really am thankful.

And I admit... I'm really, really looking forward to being off for a little while, especially the month before the baby is due. I have SO MUCH TO DO!! :)

Previous: Week 28 - Baby Shower!
Next: Week 30 - Retribution

Monday, November 12, 2012

Diary of a Real Pregnancy: Week 28 - Baby Shower!

I was so lucky this week to have a surprise baby shower! Totally out of left field as I assumed (incorrectly) that third babies don't *really* warrant a shower of any kind. Silly me! I'm the one who's always saying "Every baby deserves to be celebrated!" but figured that only applied to other people ;)

The shower was fun, just a few friends and my mom and sister (thank you!!), gathered around with a lot of pink stuff and yummy food and drinks to 'ooh' and 'ahh' over baby girl clothes. :) And of course a few silly games!
  • Guess mom's 'girth' - each person cut a length of ribbon that they thought was about the size of my mid-section. I was fabulous at this game, because I didn't play (too easy to cheat ;)).
  • Name the TV Kids: we went through 6 TV families and had to name their children (ie, Simpsons, Family Ties, Brady Bunch..). I was terrible at this game.
  • A memory game where you view the tray of baby/mom stuff (including a wine stopper in this case, haha) and you have to remember as many items as possible. I was terrible at this game.
  • "Don't say Baby" - each person got a charm to wear, and if they said "baby", the person who caught them got to steal their charm. I was terrible at this game (I lost mine first).
Sensing a theme?? Clearly I am not cut out to be a fit parent (as long as we're basing it on my game success/failure rate). But, it was fun, and I ate a lot even though everyone else was trying to be polite and didn't eat a thing. More for me! :) ha!

And of course I got to go home with a bunch of new stuff for this wee one, which was a bonus. And made things seem all the more real, since at only 28 weeks it seems super early to be dragging anything out of closets and bins and I haven't seen a newborn anything in about 3 years. I guess it's not THAT early... Mama better get cracking on that To Do list!

As a side, we didn't take ANY pictures, because we are ridiculous. You'll just have to use your imagination as to what it was like!
baby shower pregnant beer
Or this. But, made you look!

party girls
It was literally nothing like this.
OH and... I started the Third Trimester this week!! Holy heck! I am obviously getting huge now as a single day or regular chore-like stuff (clearing garden debris, putting away outdoor stuff for winter, hacking away at tree limbs) left me literally unable to walk. My back can't take it. Sigh. Really, really time to book that prenatal massage!

Previous: Week 27: You Know You're Pregnant WHEN...
Next: Week 29 - Reprieve

Monday, November 05, 2012

An Open Letter to Coaches / Teachers / Adult Mentors...

I sometimes see notes from friends who are coaches, teachers, etc. about "Your kids", things parents should be doing or not doing when it comes to their kids. I can appreciate that there are some crazy parents in the world (haha), but I thought it important to send a note to the coaches and teachers of the world, too. Though I use the masculine form (ie, 'his'), know all of this applies to my daughter too.

Dear Coach, Teacher, Adult Mentor of my Son or Daughter:

First let me tell you that I think what you do is amazing. Anyone who works with kids on a daily or semi-regular basis, helping to guide them through this life, teach them things they will need to know to make them a better person, ought to be celebrated. Without you, the job of parents would be impossible -- we simply can't be everything for our kids all the time. So, thank you. It may be cliche, but it truly does take a village to raise a child.

I can appreciate the hard work and dedication you have for my child, and I know you want him to succeed, too.

To you, he is one of many. But to us, his parents, he is one in a million. He is our heart personified. We have sat on the edge of his bed in the middle of the night, rubbing his back, watching him breathe, waiting for the fever to break. We have paced the doctor's office or the ER, wringing hands, waiting anxiously for someone to tell us he would be okay. We have cried with him when he got hurt, we've celebrated with him when he's succeeded in doing that thing that he'd been trying so hard to do. We've felt our own heart break, when we've watched his heart break.

He's not the star in your sky, no. He's your average kid, one of a group of average kids. He's not amazing, or incredible, or exceptionally special in any way. Except, to us, he is. All of that, and more. We think about him all day long. We wonder how he's doing when we're not with him, we worry about him. We hurt when he doesn't live up to expectations. We're doing our very best to help him navigate his way through this world, to be respectable, driven, helpful, compassionate. We're doing our best to help him to do his best.

There isn't a way for you to ever see him the way we see him. We'll try not to be the crazy, irrational parents who you see on a regular basis, telling the coach / teacher / mentor that their child really IS special. But, please know, we can't help it. Because, to us, he just is.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Diary of a Real Pregnancy: Week 27 - You Know You're Pregnant WHEN...

I'm a member of a couple of different online mommy forums (hi ladies!), and recently on one we had a discussion about all the things that really only happen when you are pregnant. Too funny not to share. Enjoy!

You know you're pregnant when...
  • you eventually just work hurling into your daily routine
  • your belly greets people before the rest of you
  • you go to bed 10mins before husband to ensure that your entire 'routine' is done before he gets there: peeing, PJs, peeing, vitamins, lotion, peeing, fluffing pillow, possibly pee again, suddenly thirsty and get a drink of water, pee again, and crawl into bed, get your body pillow in place and finally lie there trying to catch your breath
  • you need other people to put your socks, shoes etc on you
  • putting your unwashed hair in a ponytail and not wearing any makeup becomes a completely acceptable way to leave the house
  • getting into bed or rolling over in bed takes about 5 minutes and leaves you completely out of breath
  •  you give up your heels for the ugly, comfy shoes from the back of your closet, and you're totally fine with that
  • you have to do an acrobatic act to get your socks on. You may or may not have fallen on your @ss trying to get them on, once
  • you're convinced your coat has shrunk
  • you get instant reflux by bending over
  • when others pass on seconds, you grab theirs
  • you keep Gaviscon by your bedside, on your desk, in your purse and in the car
  • you burp and fart like a man. No apologies.
  • you find yourself using the words "cervix", "prenatal", and "Kegel" much more than you ever thought you would
  • you forget about your big belly and actually bump into things way more than you should
  • you find yourself watching other women, well rested, in their skinny clothes drinking their alcoholic drinks and laughing, and shooting them death stares
  • you steal an inordinate amount of time away from work to browse sites like BabyCenter, TheBump, and Babies R Us
  • you forget everything (the "Mum-dumbs")
  • your lower back aches getting out of bed so you shuffle to the bathroom like an old person
  • your belly is bigger than your boobs
  • you have an extra guest in your bed, the body pillow, leaving your loved one about 2 inches of the entire mattress
  • it takes you more than one try to get up from sitting or laying down
  • eating food in bed and resting the bowl on your belly becomes the best part of your day
  • you swear up and down that your bladder is so full and you're about to pee your pants, but when you actually go next to nothing comes out
  • you sweat while doing NOTHING
  • you're stuck wearing any clothes that you have that still (sort of) fit and end up looking like a homeless person half the time
  • you start eying your hubby's clothes as potentially wearable
  • the prospect of sneezing or coughing kind of scares you, because a little pee may just come out
  • sleeping through the night is a luxury
  • nausea, vomiting and heartburn run how, when and if you eat
  • your family is living on vegetarian meals cause you can't stand the look, smell or texture of meat
  • stepping on the scale at the OB/midwife's office causes you a bit of anxiety every time
  • you seriously rethink any task that requires bending over, just because the belly gets in the way
  • you eat more than your hubby does
  • you truly believe that you will sleep better after baby comes because you wont be so uncomfortable and in pain
  • getting out of bed takes so much energy you have to prep yourself in advance and take a few deep breaths
  • you "hold it" because the walk down a flight of stairs seems worse than the need to relieve yourself
  • you keep catching people looking at you sideways, with a scared look on their face, worried they may Anger the Beast
  • you wonder what that smell is... and then realize, it's you

Previous: Week 26 - Doctor's Appointment and Baby To-Do List
Next: Week 28 - Baby Shower!