Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Interesting turn of events

A new blog post is up over on Wordpress: http://crazylesbianmom.com/interesting-turn-of-events/

Thanks for updating your readers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

9 weeks to go and baby shower woes

[Please update your bookmarks/readers/blogrolls to www.crazylesbianmom.com]
9 weeks doesn't seem like a long time at all. This weekend, I finally felt like we could be ready for a baby soon, despite not having a crib/bassinet set up yet or any clothes. However, we're getting closer. Just a few more purchases and a few more weekends of work and we'll be really ready.
BoomBoom is doing well, I think. I did have another bit of a scare last week though. From Thursday night to Sunday night, I hardly felt her at all. Usually, when I remember to do my kick counts, she clocks 10 kicks in about 20 minutes - and they are vigorous kicks. For those three days, she was at about 7 or 8 weak taps after an hour and 55 minutes and then she'd surprise me with 2 or 3 more right before the deadline. When I wasn't counting, I didn't feel her. I know they're supposed to be less active soon (when?) because they run out of room, but it was hard not to think something was wrong. All my tricks weren't working. Even playing Leonard Cohen (she really is my kid). I didn't call the midwife, because I didn't want to be a pain during the long weekend (I know... I really have to work on that) and then on Sunday night, she seemed to be back to her usual bouncy self, and has kept it up over the last few days, though I have noticed a change for the more sluggish.
I'm struggling with my rib pain and I'm not really sure how I'm going to get through the last few months. They've been hurting since 17 weeks and it's just getting more and more painful. The pain used to be just in the evenings, but it is now creeping in just as I wake up. I hate to be a complainer, because I do really feel blessed to be pregnant in the first place... I just have to find a solution, if possible. I don't think it's the "regular" rib pain that most pregnant women get - it feels like there is something wrong. Massage therapy isn't working. I apply both ice and heat with some relief, but the pain comes back as soon as I remove these. I've already ditched wearing a bra and I'm running out of options. Oy. I know I've been blessed with good health this pregnancy, so I hate to read over my words where I just feel like I'm complaining, but hey - it's all part of the process.
For a girl who wasn't sure she even wanted a baby shower, I've got three coming up. One for work, one main one for my friends and one mostly for Devon put on by her singing group for us. I felt strongly about not having a registry and actually put on my main baby shower invites that gifts were not expected. Devon hates me every year on my birthday because I just wish it would go away and nobody would notice it, and I'm feeling kind of the same way for the baby shower... even though I know it's not all about me. I know that it is a celebration of the baby's life, but I need to find a way to be comfortable with a) people potentially buying stuff for us and b) being the centre of attention.
I originally had a mere 8 people down on my list, but my best friend who is co-organizing it called me and basically gave me a talking to about how I needed to get over myself and allow people to spoil us. Hard to do. So I have been trying to reframe the thought of who would even want to come to the baby shower to who I'd like there. I think perhaps because I found baby showers so hard to be at when we were TTCing, I'm projecting a little bit and thinking that nobody wants to come. I don't know. So I invited about 30 people. I have no idea how many of those are coming.
I had to call my mother to let her know about the shower before she received the invite and to let her know that if she didn't want to come, she didn't have to. That's probably part of the reason I feel the way I do about showers - my mother raised me to think they are tacky and unnecessary and I grew up hearing endless "what if the baby dies?" remarks (really, if the baby dies, do you think the absolute worst thing would be having stuff in the house? Wouldn't it be that the baby died?). It's definitely a North American thing that my very Scottish mother has trouble with. She embarrassed my sister-in-law a few years ago at her shower by talking to my SIL's friends about how she hoped the baby would be more attractive than my other brother's kids. Yup, she's that kind of woman.
She is choosing to attend my shower. God bless us both.
For anyone who has the same anxiety about being the centre of attention, what did you or would you do? My friend suggested one thing that may help would be not to open gifts when people were there, but isn't that rude? I know how tedious it is sitting in those fucking circles passing onesies around, oohing and aahing at the cuteness, but is it totally rude not to open gifts to thank people in person?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things are so much better when she's here

[Please update your bookmarks/readers/blogrolls to the new site at www.crazylesbianmom.com.]
Call me codependent, I don't care. But when Devon is home, I do so much better. It's not that I don't like my alone time - because I do - it's just that I feel stronger and more sane when she's around. I like having her home.
Her quartet did incredibly well this week and placed 14th in the world. That means they get an automatic entry to sing in next year's international competition in Hawai'i. First family vacation! I'm incredibly proud of her, and really fucking sad that I couldn't be there to see her perform. I was watching on the webcast, but of course, the screen froze and by the time I refreshed, she was off stage.
I was doing okay at the beginning of the week and taking good care of myself. By Wednesday, the day they were competing, I just got really inward and sad that I wasn't there and my mood was definitely affected. Thursday, I went to prenatal classes alone and had the stand-in instructor as my labour coach, and hated not having her there. I guess that's when I really felt my mood slip a bit.
I'm usually pretty good about taking care of myself, but near the end of the week, I would get hungry and realize I hadn't fed myself or looked at the clock and it was 1 am and I hadn't thought about bed. It saddens me to think that I need another person here to do those things. It's not like she takes care of me, it's just that having another body in the room reminds me that there are things to do... if that makes any sense.
I thought the week alone with BoomBoom would strengthen our ties, but it wasn't until about Wednesday that I realized I hadn't said a word to her the whole week, or written in the journal I'm keeping for her. She probably recognized the voices from Long Island Medium and Intervention more than my own. Pretty sad.
I'm sure I would have pulled it together on my own, but god I'm glad she's home. I took the day off work today and we've just spent the last 12 hours in bed reconnecting. I miss her so much when she's gone.
Yeah... a little codependent.
I'm so happy too that she'll be able to put our family first for the next few months and not be so busy with her singing. There will still be lots of rehearsals and weekend retreats, but as she said last night... baby and family come first. And that is the plan. It's a good plan.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Changes are in the air

Hi y'all...

I'm moving off Blogger. I've actually purchased a custom domain and am currently in the process of moving content and setting up www.crazylesbianmom.com. (It's not ready yet, but there you have it). I successfully moved all posts with comments over, but pages never made it over, so I had to rebuild those and none of the comments are there, unfortunately. I also have to rebuild my blogroll, so right now it's just the default. I'll probably change the theme too... basically, it's not ready yet.

The move will give me the freedom to have protected posts (it's built on Wordpress) and I haven't been that happy with the comment issues with Blogger. I can post pics of BoomBoom when she arrives without fear of random people on the internet seeing her, or not-random people I know in real life who I don't necessarily want to know I have a blog.

I plan to set up a redirect once I'll be blogging exclusively from that address (hopefully by the end of the weekend), but wanted to give you a head's up to update your Readers and/or blogrolls.

Be patient with me as I deal with formatting issues and other minor bugs.

See you on the other side!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scary day

I woke up yesterday in a wonderful mood, as it was my first night sleeping with my Snoogle - the best $50 I've ever spent... seriously, this thing is a life-saver. No more pins and needles and tossing and turning.

However, about a half hour after I woke up, I started to get abdominal cramps. They felt like really bad constipation cramps, so I tried to do what I could to get rid of them. Shortly after, they didn't feel like cramps anymore, as they felt like they were getting more and more intense and building up to a pain so bad that I had to consciously breathe through them to get through the pain. 

The scariest thing was that Devon was leaving for the States that afternoon for 8 days and I had to drive her to the border by 3 pm. By one o'clock, I was in tears because of both the pain and also the fear. TMI alert... it didn't feel like constipation for long, as I was back and forth to the bathroom with really loose stools, which didn't bring any relief. 

I pulled out the pregnancy book and read the symptoms for preterm labour, and was having some of them. There was a rhythm to it and they were definitely progressing into something bigger. I was bawling with Dev - feeling bad because of the timing of leaving for her trip and terrified that she had to go and I'd potentially be giving birth to this baby on my own. She was really good with me and basically told me she would cancel her flight if she had to, and that I came first, which of course made me feel better (and worse... because I'm that kind of girl).

I paged my midwife, who called back almost immediately. I explained my symptoms to her and she was worried that it may be preterm labour, considering the cramping would come back strong every 5 minutes or so. However, I didn't think my uterus was getting hard (although I wasn't sure... can you feel that through your skin or is it more of an inner feeling?), it didn't quite feel like menstrual cramps and baby was moving tons, which she took as a good sign. She had me down a ton of water and lay in a bath to see if the pain would subside. It did, thank God. I think the extra water helped too. 

Long story short, the cramps stayed away for the majority of the day and I was able to say goodbye to Devon for the week and know that I was going to be okay. The midwife called to check in later in the afternoon and was happy with the way things were going. She suggested it may have been an intestinal bug of some sort that was bringing on really bad pain. Hell, it may even have been the curry and the sex from date night the night before... though I didn't feel like I needed to mention that :)

Cramps have come back a bit last night and again this morning, but not nearly as painful as they were before and I'm feeling more confident that it has little to do with my baby girl wanting to come early. I think I was more scared than anything else and with Devon leaving, that intensified everything. Today, I have to call my best friend to ask if she'll be "on call" this week in case anything happens, and I have to be okay with the fact that Devon will probably not be able to get back in time. 

And without giving too much of my location away, another scary thing happened yesterday: There was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast. No damage or anything, but a tsunami warning and the coast shut down. I'm feeling very blessed today that it was far enough away and that nobody got hurt, and that this little baby girl is snug as a bug in my tummy, not going to make her appearance anytime soon.

P.S. Thanks for all of your comments on the last post - your experiences were painfully hilarious to read. Another comment came in last week, when I was chatting to someone about weight gain. At one point she said, "well, you weren't exactly at your 'best' going into this pregnancy". Nice.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shit you shouldn't say to pregnant women

Worst comment of the week, from someone I haven't seen since I got pregnant: "I totally expected you to carry just in your belly, but you're carrying this pregnancy all over - especially in your face."

I thought the comment last week along the lines of "Looks like you'll be getting a pre-Christmas surprise - wonderful!" was bad, especially when I had to explain that baby is due well after the new year and not anywhere near Christmas. But apparently, this was was just a warm-up.

I always find it fascinating that having a baby bump invites people to just say the stupidest shit. I didn't like the "are you sure it's not twins?" but that feels like nothing compared to this week's gem.

Anyone have any other gems?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A little lonely, a lot pregnant

Thank God it's Saturday. I'm struggling these days, mostly because last week and next week, I have something every day after work. If I don't have at least two hours at the end of my work day where I can just come home, take off my bra, and collapse horizontally, I am in constant pain all night. My rib pain is back with a vengeance and is getting really hard to deal with. The only relief I get is sleep, and the mornings aren't bad pain-wise. Devon tried to give my ribs a little massage the other night; even though she was super gentle, I was in tears in pain. I see my RMT today (also our doula), so I'm hoping she can do something to give me some relief. 

We started prenatal classes last week and it was nothing like I expected. We went with a private company as opposed to a hospital class for numerous reasons. It also came highly recommended by our midwifery group. It is run by a doula and the classes are based on Birthing From Within philosophy/practice. I consider myself a very open-minded person, but the first class was just too far out there... complete with a visit from the oxytocin fairy. We were asked to draw "A Womb with a View" on art paper with pastels and spent much of the class holding ice (because I'm sure that's what labour pain feels like). We are the only same-sex couple, which we expected and were fine with. There is one very young single girl and the rest are married hetero couples. It's a good group. The second class was a little more tangible and much more informative, so I think it's going to get better.

Speaking of being open-minded, I went to my naturopath this week. This is the same naturopath who sees Devon and has had some messages from Dev's dead mother for her. This week, she had messages from my fetus for me. Apparently BoomBoom needed to tell me some things. Very random things. I don't even really know what to do with the messages except just accept that they are something I needed to hear. Yeah... some interesting people in my life these days.

Devon is gearing up for her (music) competition in a few weeks in the States. I've decided not to go and I'm not super happy about it, but financially, it would just be stupid, and if I went, the competition days are often 15 hours long and I'm not sure that would be wise. Nor would a flight, I think. It's silly... to fly out of our nearest American airport, the flight would cost $180 each way. Flying out of Canada, it's about $800. Redick. We usually fly out of our fellow US airport, but if I did go, I would probably not fly with Devon and therefore would probably have to fly out of Canada. I think it's best that I stay home and watch the competition on the webcast. Boo.

Leading up to contest is always tough too, as Devon is basically performing or rehearsing 5-6 nights a week and is pretty much staying at work until she has to do so. She's away this weekend on a coaching retreat and leaves next Saturday for 8 days. I know it's silly, but it's the first Halloween we've been apart since we met, and we have a tradition of taking our nieces and nephew out trick-or-treating. Instead, this Halloween, I have an appointment with my midwife and Dev can't be there, and then I'm either going to go to the kids house afterwards or just crash on my own. No painting my tummy like a pumpkin or anything like that. Or like this!

It sucks, but I too was involved in this organization for 10 years (it's how we met) and I know the commitment, so I understand. That said, I don't know how we are going to get through these bi-annual competition periods when I'm home alone with a baby. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I'm also feeling really lonely. I don't have the energy to go out with friends, so I'm stuck at home with my cats (who annoy the hell out of me), watching bad TV, icing or heating my ribs. And yes, I know that now I'm in my third trimester, I'll just be getting more and more uncomfortable. Can't wait.

I've updated my belly bump pics. Now that the sun is no longer shining when we get up, we're going to have to get a little better at the lighting. I wish we could move the photos to sometime during the day when the light is better, but it's the only time we're home together.

Oh, almost forgot - new milestone this week: BoomBoom is stretching the outside of my stomach to the point where my entire belly moves. I was giving a presentation at work this week and just before I got up to do it, BoomBoom kicked so hard and popped out under my ribs enough for the lady next to me to gasp. Kicks are starting to hurt and it is SO weird to see her under there, happily moving parts of me around. For the first time too, I can feel the punches and kicks separately when she decides to do both - on either side of me. Crazy. However, she's still not very good at performing as soon as Devon comes to watch/feel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Last day of second trimester

Today is the last day of my second trimester. Crazy. Although each day seem to drag on, collectively, the days are flying by and I can't believe we're close to meeting the little one.

We had our 3D ultrasound on the weekend, which was a quick 10 minutes because we felt weird doing an "entertainment" thing for solely our benefit. But man, it was awesome. It's confirmed that BoomBoom is a girl, which I'm thrilled about. She was actually sucking on her knee the whole time - with a brief interlude to suck on the umbilical cord - so her face was covered and we didn't get a head-on shot. We did get a few profiles and it was extremely cool. It looks like she's got my (pointy) nose, poor girl, and we were actually amazed at how similar the print out photos are of my brother's son. I was initially a little disappointed that she was being stubborn, as she was for her first ultrasound too, but soon got over it when I fell in love with her face. Looks like we may have to invest in some pacifiers. She's a sucker for sure :)

There's been no improvement yet on the iron front, but I've heard it can take up to a few weeks to build up the store. I initially got the wrong kind of supplement, so have only been taking the high dose for 5 days. I'm hoping things will change soon. Thanks for your comments on the last post.

I've been thinking a lot lately about fertility. Since I've become pregnant, two of my good friends have also shared pregnancy news, as well as three colleagues in a relatively small office. So far, I'll be the first to give birth, if everyone goes full-term. I honestly don't know what I'd do had we not conceived and had we still been trying to get pregnant and I heard all of these announcements. Although it felt like forever at the time, we were actually incredibly lucky that we got pregnant in nine months of TTC. It was an incredibly tough road, but reading other people's journeys put everything into perspective. 

Unfortunately, when I couldn't get pregnant, I also couldn't let myself be happy for other people who got pregnant, no matter how close they were to me. I couldn't help it - I really wanted to, but couldn't find it in me. Selfish, maybe, but definitely something I felt I needed to do to get by.

Every time I'm on Facebook and see that my sister-in-law, who has four beautiful children, posts yet another status about how she can't wait until school starts so she doesn't have to deal with the kids all day or how there are too many mouths to feed or how she needs booze to get through the endless soccer games and gymnastic practises or how she should be paid for her incredible homemaking, I can't imagine reading this without crying every time. Her comments are heartbreaking and I wish I had it in me to tell her how it might be hurtful to people trying to conceive - or how much harder it was for me to read when I was trying to conceive - but so far, I haven't had the ovaries to do so. She thinks she's being funny. 

I feel similarly about people who update their statuses 5 times a day about their children, and though I do "get" this one a little more than bitching endlessly about your children, it's still tough sometimes. I am a big fan of STFU, Parents and use that as a good meter of what not to do when the time comes (I will not be updating my Facebook status during labour).

At work, I can't imagine what it would be like to see all these women around me grow beautiful, big bellies, when mine was just getting emptier. I realize I wouldn't have the strength to deal with these everyday meanderings - on social media or at work or within my group of friends - had I still been trying to conceive. I just don't know how this would look. Devon and I have one friend who refuses to see me right now, as it is too painful. She's been pregnant 5 times and has lost each and every baby. I understand why she wants to sever ties, but wonder whether I would do ever the same. But maybe this is the only way to deal with the pain.

I'm incredibly lucky that things worked out the way they did, and there isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful. I think dealing with fertility setbacks has taught me a lot about how to deal with certain situations, and I am not that pregnant lady that won't shut up about every single aspect of her pregnancy. This blog is really the only place where I let loose about everything... and that's one of purposes of the blog for me, but I still feel horrible that there are some readers out there who are struggling to conceive, and here I am writing about how awful heartburn is. 

Puts things into perspective. Take care, everybody.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fitness woes

I thought that going to prenatal fitness classes would be something I'd enjoy. I thought I'd meet lots of new friends and feel good about exercising for myself and my baby. I thought I'd feel empowered and energized and proud. 

I hate to say this, but there is very little I actually enjoy about the classes. Yes, the ladies are lovely and I'm sure it's good for me, but it's the last thing I want to do in the evening and unfortunately, I don't leave going "oh, I'm so glad I came."

After class, I don't have the energy to stay and get to know anyone and I just get frustrated during class at all the things I cannot do. Years ago, I was a very good athlete and played soccer, basketball, volleyball and track at a provincial level. Then I got sick, spent four years (in and out) in a psych ward and started smoking. It's been 6 years since I quit smoking, but I never got back into sports and I just get frustrated at my lack of fitness and ability. I'm used to being good at things... not the worst in the class.

I'm hoping this has everything to do with my iron levels and nothing to do with my mood. I'm hoping once my iron levels are back up, I'll feel like I have energy to do anything outside of work and collapsing at home. 

Something has got to give...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Double digits

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for this year. Mostly, I'm appreciative of maternity clothes that stretch for you during holiday dinners so you don't have to slow down to unbutton your pants in order to fit more food in. Oh, and I'm pretty thankful for the whole baby thing too :)

This weekend, we passed the 100-days-til-she's-due mark and we're solidly in double digits and this week marks the last week of my second trimester. Scary... and wonderful. There is still a ton of things to do, but we're getting there, slowly. 

I did my fasting blood glucose test on Saturday morning for Gestational Diabetes, which was fine except for by the third blood draw, I was so dehydrated that my veins kept collapsing and they couldn't get any more blood from me. I had also not stopped bleeding from the draw an hour prior. They eventually went through the top of my hand, after several attempts in both arms. The drink was gross, but not as bad as I expected. Reminded me of cold winter mornings on the soccer field when I was a kid, drinking tangy orange at halftime. 

I also had my iron levels tested. I just got my results back for both tests. I passed my Gestational Diabetes test, but my ferritin, hemocrit, hemoglobin and red blood cell count was very low and I'm considered anemic. I think I finally have an answer to why I've been so incredibly low in energy over the last few months. I wish they'd tested me earlier, as now I'm coming out of the second trimester and will soon have low energy again anyway, so even if I treat it now, I feel like I can't get the last three months back... which was supposed to be my "honeymoon trimester". Oh well, at least I know and will get treated accordingly. Bought some iron supplements today, so we'll see if things get better. I take comfort in the fact that regardless of what's getting to me, BoomBoom has been sucking up everything she needs. Midwife says my light-headedness could be attributed to low iron to.

I brought up the fluid leaking thing and mentioned how sporadic and inconsistent it's been. She asked if I wanted to do an internal exam, or whether I just wanted to wait to see if it would happen again, and I chose the latter. I'm not super concerned about it, but if it does happen again, I'll page her. She mentioned that it could be amniotic fluid, but they could find out fairly quickly. It hasn't happened in weeks, so I'm sure it's fine.

I'm becoming more and more anxious about the actual birth, as I feel it's getting closer. We watched The Business of Being Born on Saturday, which was awesome, but brought up a lot of "what if I'm not strong enough to make it through". Granted, the film is about the American system, so a lot of the politics don't apply to Canada (though in my province, we do have the highest rate of cesareans nation-wide). Midwives are allowed to deliver in hospitals here, and it seemed like - at least in the film - that that wasn't the case in the US (or at least NY), so going with a midwife doesn't always equal a home birth. I take comfort in the fact we will be close to medical intervention if needed, though I hope we don't need to go that way.

Devon is getting a bit anxious too. She hasn't yet thought about the specifics, but feels as though it's time. I think she's always had it in her head that I'll give birth like they do on TV, so when it was brought up that giving birth on your back is potentially the worst position ever, she was taken aback at the fact that I could be standing holding on to her, or squatting or whatever... I think it's just weird for us now that we're trying to picture how it's going to be or how we want it to be. 

Prenatal classes start this week, which I think will help with that kind of stuff. I'm pretty excited and am looking forward to meeting new people in our neighbourhood. I imagine we'll be the only same-sex couple, which is always a challenge, but it is what it is. 

Oh, and I *think* we picked a name, though I thought we did a month or two ago too. It's less popular than our first choice, which I think we've decided against for that reason, but still relatively traditional. I like the meaning and the way it looks and sounds with my last name, and there are endless possibilities for nicknames. I never knew how much of a responsibility it was to name a human being! Both Devon and I changed our names in late teen / early adulthood, so we're extra sensitive to being given a name we don't like. No pressure or anything. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surreal social media trip and a confirmed doula

Funny how timing works out with things and worlds come together. I had an appointment with my Chinese Medicine doctor the other day and she asked who would be in the delivery room with us. I told her just us, a midwife, and that we were trying to find a doula, but couldn't afford an "experienced" one. Turns out one of the Registered Massage Therapists in her office just finished doula training and is looking for a few couples to work with for free to finish her qualifications.

Ideally, it would be great to have someone more experienced, but we just couldn't justify the cost. We met with potential doula yesterday after work and we instantly clicked with her. She's awesome. She's young and extremely passionate. I did really like the fact that she is an RMT who specializes in pregnancy massage and fertility - I'm sure having an RMT in the room during labour would be an added plus. She's also gay, which doesn't really change anything, but I like that she understands the additional complexities of our situation.

My main question for her was how her role would work when I really, really want Devon to be my primary birth partner. She explained that she's mostly there to be my voice and that if I want, she would coach Dev to do things that might help me through certain times in the labour. I appreciate that. She's never been to a birth. Does that bother me? Not really... we all have to start somewhere. It also can't hurt to have an extra pair of hands in the room. If I were spending money, I'm not sure I would invest in someone nobody can't vouch for, but I like the fact that we are giving her this opportunity, as she is with us. We're pretty excited.

25 weeks today, and not a ton of change, though I almost passed out at work today. I'd eaten lots and drank lots and was just standing and it was pretty sudden onset. A colleague sat me down and fed me sugar. The extreme dizziness subsided eventually (not quickly!), but I was light-headed for most of the afternoon. I see my midwife tomorrow, so I'll bring it up.

Another semi-scary symptom (warning, TMI) is that two or three times over the last month, I've suddenly had a sensation where I've peed my pants. My underwear gets soaking wet and I know it's not pee (it's clear and odourless) and it's not regular discharge. I've heard about amniotic fluid leaking like this and maybe should have called the midwife, but it's so sporadic that I'll just bring it up tomorrow too.

Something weird happened this week, and I'd love to hear from others about similar experiences. I was on our sperm bank's Facebook page just to check it out and started clicking through photos that clients have posted of their children. It amazes me that people can post so many pics - which include personal information - with comments thanking donor #9346 or whatever.

Here I am clicking through the pics and I come across a picture of a mom thanking a donor and I'm suddenly staring at BoomBoom's half sister. You could definitely see some of the donor's features in her... oddly enough, the one characteristic that I'm not super keen on... and I was fascinated. She was a lot darker in colouring than I expected (eyes, hair and skin), and her mom was very blond and light-skinned. Our donor has reached his maximum number of offspring and has retired, so god knows how many are out there. I followed the link to the mom's profile and totally Facebook stalked the family.

It's a surreal experience, and one that I realize I haven't really figured out how to deal with before. Part of me wants to join the donor sibling registry, but part of me wants to keep my family just that - my little family that's mine and mine only, you know? We did choose a donor who is willing to be known eventually, and I have no problems with BoomBoom finding him later in life, but I still don't know what I'd like to do about half siblings.

Is this part of the process that would be helpful for our future daughter? We plan to tell her from very early on that she has two moms and a donor and explain what a donor is, but I have no idea what to do about bringing sisters and brothers into the mix. I know some of you are in contact with half siblings and some of you have chosen not to be, but I don't even know where I want to stand on the issue! Would love to hear some advice from others who have already dealt with something similar.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

24 weeks and kicking my wife in the face

24 weeks along today, and belly is growing. I think the rest of me is growing too, unfortunately (mainly my ass and thighs). It's nice to hear from others - especially from the fingers behind All Things Relative - that they too struggle/have struggled with the weight gain. The batteries on my scale died during weigh-in this morning, so I have no idea how much I've gained this week. Maybe I'll take it as a blessing.

I've been a bit frustrated because although I've been feeling BoomBoom for well over a month now, Devon has yet to feel her. It seems every time the baby kicks and I call Devon over, the baby goes into hiding and stays still. Devon is fine with it, but I get frustrated, as I'm desperate to share the experience. Granted, to me, BoomBoom's kicks feel like I have a dying fish in my stomach, flapping it's tail (I know, but it's the most accurate I can come up with).

So last night, I went to bed and was lying with the covers off. I look down when I feel her start to kick, and I can see my skin stretch up and down exactly where I feel it from the inside. I know that most of you know what this feels/looks like, but for those who don't: It's fucking weird. Knowing that it could end any second, I didn't tell Devon to rush in, but did let her know that if her patience was good, she may be able to see the kicks.

Devon eventually came in, and of course, baby goes still. After waiting around for several minutes with no action, she lay her head down on my tummy and almost immediately, BoomBoom gives her a sweeping kick to the face. It was awesome and so funny to watch. Apparently, Devon could hear it really clearly with her ear to my belly. I love this stage and I can't wait until Devon can be more involved in the movements.

Work is kicking my ass, and yet again, I'm sick. I think this is the third or fourth bad cold back-to-back. My boss is not taking anything off my plate because she doesn't have much faith in my colleague, and though I'm getting praised up the yin-yang right now (which has never happened before), it's not helping my work load and is just making me resentful.

Part of me doesn't care, because I'm out of there in 12 weeks, 2 days, 19 hours and 37 minutes (not that I'm counting), but part of me really cares about finishing up projects that I have started and am invested in. I had a meeting with a client today about building her a website and she asked me what the plan was for my replacement... and my boss hasn't even told me what she plans to do about that.

I'm also incredibly distracted and work, and honestly, the things that used to take me a day take me three or four now and though I've tried to work on that, I really can't focus that well. I'm not beating myself up over it, but it does affect things.

Just have to figure out a balance of reading baby product reviews while writing key messages for doctors' speeches.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

See naked pictures of me online

My writing profs always told me to use catchy call-to-action titles. I'm not naked head-to-toe, but I have started a page containing updated photos of my baby bump. I'm happily faceless, as I figured I had enough trouble plastering my naked tummy on the world wide web for all to see. Thank God for anonymity. Here's a sneak preview:

I'm barely halfway through this pregnancy and I've already gained the lower end of the scale of the recommended weight gain for one's entire pregnancy. I'm not sure how to feel about it, as I am eating pretty decently and am trying to be as active as I can. As I've said before, I was small to begin with, so this is all a little foreign. I'm hoping that the weight gain slows down, even though all the books/websites/apps say to get ready for a big growth spurt / weight gain over the next couple of weeks.

I have a question for all of you who have ever changed your blog URL. I'm thinking about switching to Wordpress, though will probably buy a domain and just use Wordpress as my platform. I may even change the title of my blog (and the main URL), because, as I've written about before, this blog name doesn't suit me at all. I also want to get off Blogger, because I'd like to post pictures, but would like the added layer of privacy with the ability to do protected postings.

What I want to know about is whether you had a drop in your readership once you made the switch, and if so, whether people did eventually find you. I will probably do cross-posting for a while, and will make it very apparent on this blog that I've moved, but if people don't update their Google Readers, then I'm kind of shit out of luck. For those who care about search engine rankings, did your switch negatively affect this too? First world problems, I know, but problems I do care about.

Anyhoodle, things are going well. I'm still relishing in this feeling that BoomBoom is healthy and happy. I caved and booked a 10-minute 3D ultrasound for when I'm 26 weeks. We want to double check the gender, considering we never got the money shot, though I'm 99% sure she's a girl. Basically, it's just an excuse to see her again. I feel guilty telling my midwife that we plan on getting a scan, as I know it's not really recommended by health care professionals, but I figure 10 minutes is not going to hurt.

I started prenatal fitness classes last week and after I got over the feeling that everyone was smaller than I was - even the girl who was 32 weeks - it was pretty good. I had my doubts when the first 10 minutes was sitting on a yoga mat in a circle of 10 other women, doing kegal exercises while introducing ourselves ("pretend you are sucking a tampon into the core of your body" / "pull the anus up as close to the baby as possible"), but we did move on to some less awkward "fitness" like strength training and yoga. I'm hoping to meet some other moms in the neighbourhood while trying to sweat a little too.

My rib pain was getting really bad but I went to see an RMT on the weekend, who really helped with some of that. She actually specializes in breast massage (I wasn't sure whether or not to ask for a happy ending), and gave me some literature about it. I'm supposed to tell her next time I see her whether or not it's something I want. I'm open to it... but tell me... do I warn her about the spurts of colostrum that are randomly escaping my breasts these days?

Thank you for all of your feedback on doulas. We are looking into options. Devon feels really strongly about it, so we're going to try to find someone we can afford. Guess we better get on that.

Speaking of.... today marks the first day of my sixth month of pregnancy! Yikes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

22 weeks calm... and a doula question

Today, BoomBoom is the size of a spaghetti squash and I am finally feeling her pretty consistently day-to-day. I love that feeling.

Although the 19/20-week ultrasound calmed my fears A LOT about the health of my baby, I expected the anxiety to creep back in within the week, as it has done after each time after I hear her heartbeat at the midwife's office. I am happy to say that almost three weeks after seeing my baby on the big screen, I have surprised myself with how calm I've been.

During these past three weeks, I've never questioned baby's health - not even for a second. I have this strange sense of calm for the first time in the entire pregnancy that I am welcoming with arms open. I'm sure that feeling her daily helps, because as long as I feel her move, I know she's alive, but it's more than that, somehow. To be realistic, this feeling may not last, but I am grateful that it's here for the moment, and love the fact that my stress is not getting passed through to my baby right now.

I've been struggling still with fatigue and start a prenatal fitness class tomorrow, which I am hoping will help with the energy. I just have to be committed to go, because I know it'll be the last thing in the world I want to do. We signed up for prenatal classes (pricey!) which start on October 11th, and I'm excited for that to start.

Also, we are currently trying to decide whether we want a doula or not for our birth. The only thing that is a deterrent is the cost (up to $1,000), otherwise it would be a no-brainer. I would love to hear from anyone about whether it was worth it to you or not and why.

The stats in our area are quite impressive with a much lower cesarean rate and much shorter delivery time and a prolonged time until a epidural is used (if at all).

Devon feels as though she needs a coach in the labour room, as it's just going to be the two of us and the midwife in there. I think I feel confident enough with a midwife only, but want to make sure that my wife feels supported too so that she can support me. Don't know where we're going to get the money if we decide on a doula, but if it's important enough to us, we'll make it work somehow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You know what's ridiculous?

This is ridiculous.

I decided today to look into daycares for February 2014, when I would need to return to work. Keep in mind that this is 18 months away. I've heard through media and some friends that it's tough to find a daycare in this city, so I figured I'd at least email a few places for more info.

There is a great daycare right across the street from my work, which would be perfect. It's just 10 minutes away from home too. I emailed the administrator and got a response with a document to fill out to be placed on the waitlist. The email wrapped up with the following:

"Please keep in mind that the waitlist for XXX childcare is 4.5 years"

Four and a half years??? You mean, my child can finally attend when she's old enough that she won't need to go to daycare anymore? What do people do? Call up and say, "So in about three and a half years, we plan on having unprotected sex. Can our future fetus get on the waitlist for your establishment?"

I thought this was a one-off, but several responses are coming back with similar time frames. It's also going to cost roughly 50% of my net profits per month at my current job to put my kid in daycare (and I make a decent salary). Is it worth going back to a job that I don't really like when I'd only be pocketing half my salary, when all I want to do is stay home and raise my kid?

Unfortunately, we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. There was a recent survey by a Canadian bank which figured that owning an average house in my city takes 91% of ones salary. How is that sustainable? Makes me want to get up and move to a small town, but there, we will face other challenges as a queer family.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cabin fever and calm

I thought maybe my 200th post would be a bit more newsworthy than this one, but no - I've just been lying on a couch for three days straight with a really bad cold, complete with a fever and chills. I'm feeling a little better today, but I think it's just moving from my sinuses back into my chest, where it seems all my colds end up. Damn that whole smoking for 10 years thing. I thought your lungs regenerated after being smoke-free after several years, but alas mine seem to continue to be weak.

I'm getting a little bit of cabin fever and probably should leave the house at some point. If I can't get out when it's 28 degrees celcius (~82 F) and not feeling great, I can imagine getting my ass out the door in January with a newborn when it's below zero is going to be tough. But I keep reading blogs about the necessity of leaving the house at least once a day when the baby comes, and I'm going to make that my goal, knowing full well that there will be days when it's just not going to be possible.

We saw our midwife on Thursday for our 20 week appointment to check on BoomBoom and everything looked good. Heartbeat was back up at 160 bpm and I was amazed that the midwife knew exactly where to put the doppler on the first go. She said she can feel where the baby is now, which I find quite incredible. She said that next time we go, she'll teach us how to find the baby's back, and if Devon lies with her ear right above the heart, she'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat through my skin. That's pretty cool.

I've managed to keep this sense of calm since the ultrasound, which I'm honestly quite surprised about and am pretty proud of myself for allowing myself to feel that everything is going exactly how it should. My doppler, which I bought on a whim, is on it's way here and I don't think I'm going to even open the box. I'll probably keep it until the birth, in case I'm in a moment of panic and need to find a heartbeat, but I'd rather not expose BoomBoom to the radiation if I can help it (I know it's generally safe, but it's more principal). I'll sell it on Craigslist in the new year.

Whenever I feel like I'm being a crazy lady with things like this, I go on the pregnancy boards/forum and read posts by people even crazier than I am and it makes me feel normal.

Recent highlights include:
  • Is it safe to eat warm meals when I'm pregnant?
  • HELP! I just ate honey! Am I going to miscarry???
  • I know I'm only 4 weeks pregnant, but I haven't felt the baby kick. Is it dead?
  • I heard that swallowing your husband's sperm when you're pregnant may cause a reaction for the fetus. Should I spit?
At least I'm not that crazy... 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Halfway there!

Tomorrow marks the halfway point of this pregnancy.

I've been able to keep this feeling of knowing that BoomBoom is healthy and I've managed to since the ultrasound. It may not sound like much of a feat, but there hasn't been many 4-day stretches where I haven't doubted something, so I'm pretty happy.

I picked up a journal and started to write to the baby, which I think will help me get my thoughts out so I can remember this time and also help me to connect to BoomBoom a little more. I just keep scanning ahead 18 or 19 years, trying to picture my daughter reading through it. What will she think of me?

We are struggling a little with names - we thought it would be easier knowing the sex, but now we're able to get more focused, the names that we once loved don't fit. We do have a #1 girls name, which we absolutely adore, but it's been a bit of a turn-off lately because three acquaintances in the last three years have used the name for their daughters. It's becoming more popular (bottom of the top 20 in Canada), but I can't tell yet if it's going to be the next Jennifer or Lisa. But nothing else has fit as well.  I guess we have to be okay with the potential of our daughter being a first-name-last-initial kid in her class. Maybe. We have a few months yet. We are using a version of Devon's (deceased) mom's name as the middle name and will be using my last name. I've tried to get Devon to take my name so that we can all have one family name, but she struggles with that, as most of her family is dead and she feels as though she's one of the last of her kind. Her last name is very unique and we haven't found another non-relative in Canada with the same last name.

Physically, I'm struggling a bit and I'm a little scared that at 20 weeks, I'm this uncomfortable already. I've been putting off making an appointment with an RMT (mostly just for time), but I need to get there ASAP. At the end of the day, my upper ribs feel extremely bruised and sometimes almost broken. I thought it was the underwire of my bra, so switched to a sports bra last week, and haven't felt the relief I was hoping for. There are days where I'm still cramping quite a bit and I tire incredibly easily. I was home early from work today with a migraine, which comes and goes. I'm normally a very physically healthy person, so feeling each twinge and pain that I can't shrug off kind of sucks. I can't imagine getting any bigger, but ha! Of course I'm going to be a lot bigger than this.

To some of the Blogger bloggers out there, I've had trouble commenting on your blogs as of late. Not sure what's going on, but hopefully it'll get fixed soon. Take care.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ultrasound results

So.... here are two pictures of our healthy baby GIRL!

Oh my god, I am so happy. Everything looks good with her. Everything was measuring normal and all of the high risk stuff with anti-depressants in utero that they can see at this point was ruled out (cleft lip/palate mostly).

Baby girl was sleeping the whole time and the doctor had to send me to the bathroom to do jumping jacks to wake her up. It took a while to determine sex, and though her legs were closed and she never gave us the money shot, the doctor kept calling her "her" and "your daughter", so we're pretty confident it's a girl. Not sure whether we'll go for a 3D ultrasound later on to confirm 100%, but something to think about.

I am OVER THE MOON excited that she is a girl. I want to thank everyone for being so honest in your comments the other day about sex preference. I've actually felt a lot of guilt around the preference-for-a-girl thing and was happy to hear I'm not the only one who has struggled with this. You never hear people state a preference, and I get why, but it was comforting to read other people's experiences. Though I'm sure I would have been totally fine with a boy, I've just ALWAYS wanted a girl, from the time I can remember. This is one of the major reasons we wanted to find out the sex, because the last thing I wanted was to have a moment of disappointment right after giving birth. [One of the comments mentioned the Pregnant Women are Smug video on YouTube, which has long been a fave of mine... so funny about the sex thing. Check it out if you don't know it]. However, bring on a boy for #2 if we ever get there!

As I mentioned, we are only telling one person each in real life, so I've already had to be careful about slipping in the pronouns. But it's going to be so awesome for Devon and I to talk to each other about our baby GIRL and I feel like it's going to make it much easier for me to bond (and thank you for those comments/experiences too).

I am SO relieved with the news that she looks healthy and can't believe we get to use the word "daughter". Even if she does look like Skeletor in that face-on shot :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

19 weeks and an upcoming ultrasound

It's been a little while since I've written about how the pregnancy is going and this week is a big week, so I wanted to get my thoughts down. We have our 19/20 week ultrasound on Friday, which I'm so excited about and ridiculously nervous about too. I had a horrible nightmare last night that we went to the ultrasound and found out the baby was dead. Haven't been able to shake that feeling since this morning.

Physically, I'm beginning to get more and more uncomfortable. I've gained over 15 pounds already, and definitely feeling that. I'm relatively small to begin with, so the additional weight is a bit tough - especially on my feet, which have had issues for years.

We are 19 weeks pregnant, so next Tuesday will mark the halfway mark. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

A few surprises lately:

1) On the weekend, my left boob was hurting SO much - like a pulsing pain - and I couldn't figure out why. The only thing that would help was when I put pressure on it. It came and went all day and I didn't even really put too much thought into the "why" until I went bra shopping that day and took off my old bra to see that I was leaking collostrum out of one breast. Totally didn't know it could happen this early (and didn't know there was pain associated with it), so just stood there staring at it. Still haven't bought pads, but if things keep up, they'll be a necessity soon.

2) This is a few weeks old, but I think I've been feeling BoomBoom kick. I describe it to Devon as someone popping bubble wrap paper deep inside of me. I felt it about 3 or 4 days in a row a week and a half ago, but nothing since, which is kind of freaky. However, last night, Devon put her mouth on my tummy and started to talk to the baby, and I swear it started moving. Whether or not they can really hear that well at this point, it was a nice feeling.

We saw our reproductive psychiatrist late last week. It was nice to finally talk about all the hypotheticals now that we're pregnant and things aren't so hypothetical any more. She was very impressed with how much I've cut down on my meds. She warned me about some potential changes in the third trimester due to increased blood flow and the liver functioning faster than usual - that my medications will be processed faster and therefore the effects won't be as strong (bad for me). She often sees mood changes in late pregnancy due to this. I would love to come down on one particular medication, which passes through breast milk at a higher rate than the others (though no research has been able to find any adverse effects on the child), but I'm not sure if I'd be able to. I figure it ain't broke right now so there's nothing to be fixed... and it's not a great time to play around with things.

She said we could talk about breastfeeding closer to the due date, but I told her I really needed to now. I want to mourn the loss if I can't, and if I can, I want to be as prepared as possible. The bottom line is that I'll be able to, if I choose to. The good news is, the medications I'm on has not been shown to affect the child negatively through breast milk. The bad news is, not a heck of a lot of research has been done on my particular combination. In Canada, children are not monitored through blood tests to see what's in their systems, so it would be by observation only. Basically, if I want no risk, I should formula feed. But if I formula feed, there are concerns about my lack of bonding to the baby (not that formula-fed kids are not bonded with their mothers... more that depressed moms need more opportunities - like breastfeeding - to bond with their babies). I'm still on the fence, but I want to breastfeed so badly. I'm scared that it's a selfish choice though. I have a couple more months to decide, but not being able to is going to break my heart. She essenitally said go for it, but I have to get there myself first.

I'm finding it tough to concentrate on work these days and I do feel like I've "checked out" a bit, which is a bit concerning, but I'm just so exhausted and can't put two sentences together. Plus, summer is slow and I'm not in the mood to make work. I'm in a bit of a slump work-wise.

My anxiety is pretty high and I'm hoping that on Friday, after we see that everything is A-OK with BoomBoom from the ultrasound, I can stop thinking that I may be carrying a very sick child inside of me. And fuck it - I ordered a doppler on eBay the other day so I'm hoping that will help ease the "oh my god, s/he's dead" feelings when/if they come.

We will be finding out the sex, but we're telling everyone that we're not finding out. We just want it to be a surprise for other people, but feel we would like to know. We also don't want the gender issue to enter into all conversations. I think finding out will help me bond (which I'm still struggling with at times). I will let the blogging community know the sex, but Devon and I are only telling one person each in real life. I am also hoping that finding out now will help with my "preference" of having one sex over another (I want to not care, but I kind of do! Feeling awful about that).

Hopefully my next post will include a healthy pic of my little BoomBoom.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bump molestation!

Thank you all so much for your feedback from my last post. Especially to those who have offered to be a support to Devon - I will pass along all of the info and just knowing what's out there in the blog world makes both of us feel more supported.

I haven't written in a little while, as I've been dealing with my best friend's wedding. I was the maid of honour as well as the emcee. It was an out-of-town deal so it was non-stop for three days. I'm bloody exhausted, but had fun. If it had been just a few days later, there would be NO way I'd fit in my dress; when I took it off on Saturday night, the (thankfully high) waistband had left indentation marks in my skin.

The bride is a 30-year friend and most of the bridesmaids were friends from high school. I didn't realize how much they could annoy me when I am stone-cold sober! Though I don't normally drink much, the one or two glasses of wine I often enjoy with them really helps my mindset. I'm sure the hormones didn't help, but by the end of the weekend, I'd had enough of them, when normally I can't get enough of them. It was nice to see that the other bridesmaid who is (secretly) pregnant was just as annoyed, so I don't feel too bad.

The most horrible thing happened at the reception though. An acquaintance from many years ago was there with her husband, who I met briefly. And by briefly, I mean "Hi, I'm Lex" ... "Hi, I'm Brandon" and then we were on our way. Well, Brandon got insanely drunk very early on in the wedding reception, came up to me on the dance floor and gave me a lingering hug. Not a huge deal. Kinda gross because his lips were on my neck, but whatever - he was drunk, I pushed him off and he went on his way.

But not for long.

He came back with his wife about 20 minutes later and came up to me while I was dancing. He dropped down down on the floor, grabbed my tummy, started rubbing it and kissing it over and over again. I pushed him off and his wife tried to pull him off; she apologized for not being able to control him and again, he left me alone. Not long after, following some drama with the groomsmen, Brandon was sent off in a cab and his wife stayed behind.

I actually like his wife and felt really sorry for her, so I sat with her later and we started talking. Turns out she was very recently pregnant and the baby died when she was five months pregnant. Prior to the pregnancy, she and Brandon had gone through two years of fertility treatments. It just broke my heart.

Here was her husband all over my belly while she's next to him, painfully aware that her belly is empty. While it was extremely uncomfortable for me, I can imagine it hurt her much, much more.

Drunk people suck. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Non-bio mom advice

I'm happy to say that we have our mid-pregnancy ultrasound booked for August 24th! We'll be 19 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It's going to be a looooooong three weeks to get there, but so glad we actually have a light at the end of the tunnel. We've finally got in to see our Reproductive Psychiatrist in two weeks too. And there is a midwifes appointment in there as well, so feeling really supported and excited this month.

Devon has been a dream through this pregnancy. She's so thoughtful and does things for me before I even think about them. She's always been supportive, but I've never seen her like this. It kind of makes my heart melt every single day. I'm extremely lucky.

Devon is extremely excited to be a mom but I think she's struggling a little bit with what she's supposed to feel during the pregnancy part... and also what her role will be when the baby comes, but for now, the pregnancy. She's read several stories from Confessions of the Other Mother and her overall comments so far have been that, unlike many of the other mothers, she doesn't have a drive to be masculine and fatherly. Yes, she's protective of me, but she's always been. She also does not hold any of the resentment that many non-bio moms in the book seem to hold for not being the body that bears the child.

As I talk about the stories and posts I read on pregnancy forums, she often asks whether I've seen any such sites or resources for non-bio moms. We've searched for websites that support non-bio moms and though we've found an odd story and anecdote here and there, there really isn't much. I'm wondering if any of you have any advice or resources that I can pass on to her. I want her to feel as supported as I feel, but I am at a loss as to how to help her.

I just need to say that it's not like she's extremely affected and can't move past this; it's definitely not like that. I guess I'm feeling as though she's doing SO much for me, I just want to do something for her. There are a billion support systems for pregnant women, but yeah - it's like it's the dark side for the non-bios.

She's not sure what she wants to be called when the baby comes. For a while, she wanted to be "Mama D" but that's something I really don't like, because to me, I can just see the "Mama" being dropped and our kid ending up calling her Devon and me Mum. That might work for some people, but I want her to be an equal and for some reason, a "mom" name is part of it. I will start by being Mumma and end up with Mum (British background) and just today she said that "Mommy/Mom" might be okay... but it's taken a long time to get here. Not sure what we'll end up with, but I guess we don't need to think about it at this point.

Anyway, any advice on the resources would be splendid. I've introduced her to a few of you bloggers that are/have been in her shoes (especially you, Olive).

More to come on the pregnancy. From the near-panic attacks to the intense cramping and everything (good) in between!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

No, it's not twins, thank you very much

We had another midwifery appointment on Thursday, which always make me feel better. We heard the heartbeat again (150 bpm). I was giggling so much that the midwife had to stop for a bit to have me calm down. The doppler picked up lots of scratchy sounds and she said that was the baby moving and doing flips. It is truly one of the best sounds in the universe. And it always makes me relax a bit and realize that although I don't know much about him/her, BoomBoom has a good, strong heartbeat. That's got to count for a lot.

I did bring up my weight and size with the midwife. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm *sure* I'm not having twins, which is maddening. I usually just answer (depending on the person) "no, I'm just fat, but thanks for noticing", which usually shuts them up. But not always.

I've gained well over ten pounds already and on my 5'3" frame, it is extremely noticeable. I've gained it all in my belly, so going from a slim(ish) 128 lbs to 142+ in a matter of weeks has been some cause for concern... I thought. All of the books say to try to keep the weight gain in the first trimester to 1-3 pounds, so I've been feeling like a fat pig.

I've definitely been eating more, but I'm certainly not pigging out and my diet is pretty healthy (could be better, but I'm generally happy with it). When I brought it up with the midwife, she told me to ignore all the books. They don't generally worry about weight gain as much as a good diet, and each woman puts on weight at different times in the pregnancy (most in the 2nd trimester, with some exceptions, obviously). I'm happening to get a lot of it over and done with early. I'm just hoping the weight gain doesn't keep up at this pace.

I haven't had body issues like this since my teens, and it's a little sad that after years of dreaming about a baby bump, I'm not welcoming mine as I should be. I'm feeling a bit better about it now that I'm open about the pregnancy, but I still have a little bit to go to be completely comfortable with it.

The midwife also measured my uterus and it's clocking in around normal for 14 weeks, so I'm close to being on target that way. It's sitting directly below my belly button, and I've still yet to really pop, despite the big belly. The top of my bump is squishy and all intestines, but BoomBoom is certainly making his/her way to the surface. I can't wait to feel the babe!

In other news, Devon won a competition lately that has her competing at an international level the first week of November. Competition is in Colorado and I would love nothing more than to go, but I'm struggling. I trust everything will be fine, but insurance will not cover the birth after 25 weeks, when baby would viable, so we would be taking a risk. Stories like this one freak me out. It's a 6-hour international flight and there's a children's hospital there, but I don't want to spend months in a NICU in a country that's not my own. But it's an opportunity of a lifetime for Devon and I want to be there to support (btw, she's totally okay with me staying home if it's the right decision).

I'd love to hear from others how late in your pregnancy you flew. I know it's generally considered safe prior to 36 weeks, but is it worth the risk...? I'll obviously see what my midwife says closer to the time, but if we don't want to pay an arm and a leg for the flight, we kind of need to decide pretty soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musings at 15 weeks: Fully cooked baby

After 2.5 months, I finally got another appointment with the reproductive psychiatrist... in a month. Although I'm thrilled that I got the appointment, it feels like if there was damage done to the baby by my meds, the damage is done. Baby is fully formed and all of the things that could be affected by side-effects of antidepressants during pregnancy are pretty much cooked. Cleft lip would have happened already, heart defects would have too. Developmental issues may not be apparent for a while, but if there will be issues, they are already there. The only thing that I *could* still control is the potential withdrawal that the baby may have at birth if I continue my anti-depressants in the third trimester. But the risks of not taking them in the third trimester may not outweigh the benefits.

I'm a bit disappointed, but so glad that I met with the reproductive psychiatrist prior to conception. If I hadn't, I'd be freaking out a lot more. I know that what I'm on is considered "safe" in this realm and I worked so hard to get to this place. Although I do deal with the guilt every day, I do also know that I've done the right thing. My mood is good, and that's what counts. Interestingly enough, in all of the studies I've read about outcomes of children with depressed moms, the children who's moms were suffering from debilitating depression were the worst off.

Other than all that, I guess things have been progressing. At least that's what my belly tells me. We started taking belly shots, but I'm still too embarrassed to put them up on the blog (even faceless). Maybe I'll get over that soon.

But quite honestly, sometimes I go through periods of questioning whether I'm even pregnant, and I don't know whether that's normal at this point. I mean, I'm fully in maternity clothes and I've pretty much popped (my colleagues keep saying "are you *sure* it's not twins???"). But I don't have any strong symptoms other than a lack of period and sore breasts and a little bit of round ligament stuff.

We see the midwife on Thursday, so I'm anxious to have her find the heartbeat again, because I know how awesome that was last time. I was tempted to buy a Doppler on eBay today.

I know I should be thankful that I'm feeling so healthy, and mostly, I am. But I'm an anxious person. I need reassurance. I'm hoping once the 18-20 week ultrasound happens and baby is healthy, I'll feel better. And when I feel the baby move. And when Devon gets to feel the baby move.

Oh who am I kidding... I won't feel better until this baby is safe and healthy in my arms.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Devon and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this week. In total, we've been together 8.5 years, which feels both like a lifetime and several seconds. So much has changed over these years, but I'm happy to say that we still have that spark that was there in the early days. I think it's actually gotten bigger. I'm lucky.

We got away this week to reconnect and it will be our last vacation as a couple for a long, long time, I imagine. I don't imagine our upcoming vacations will include 12-hour sleeps and crazy eights tournaments - at least not for a while. We're trying to make the best of it, and at the same time, we are both so incredibly burnt out from the renos/move that a lot of the time, we're a bit comatose. But that's okay.

Today is my 100th day of this pregnancy. I'm getting a bit restless - only because I'm a bit frustrated. The ONLY thing I know about this baby is that it has a heartbeat. That's the only information we have. Part of me regrets not getting the CVS genetic testing, because it would give some indication of how this wee one is doing in there, although in my part of Canada, we do not get an ultrasound to go with the blood tests. I just don't like not knowing about the health, considering that this isn't considered a low-risk pregnancy, considering my health concerns and medications.

That 18-20 week ultrasound cannot come fast enough, yet I know I have to be okay with the time I have right now and have to find some way to enjoy it. Who knows if I'll ever be pregnant again (I hope so!) and I don't want to rush through it just so I can meet my baby. The time it spends inside is just as important as the time it will spend with us on the other side.

I am having quite a bit of what I imagine is round ligament pain when I cough, stretch, reach for anything. The sharp pains are brutal and totally put me in my place. Every time it hits, I just say, "Okay, little dude - I'm sorry!" and sit still for a minute. I like these little reminders that things are progressing.

Oh, and I finally put a ticker on my blog. Didn't really know how hard it would be to be okay with that up there, but it's there to stay :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last few days of 1st trimester

I'm on vacation and it's raining and I don't care...

These past few weeks have been killer. We finally moved (every time I move, I promise I'll never do it again) and though we are thrilled to be living in our new place, we're still mostly living in boxes. Poor Devon has been doing 75% of the work, as my body objected to the going-going-going and I could only do so much. She's been amazing.

We are SO happy to be out of the small-ish town we were living in. Not only does it cut down our 3-hour round trip for commuting every day, but we are back in the melting pot of the big city where we lived for years before thinking it was a smart move to be all grown up and buy our own place. We are back in a colourful world and couldn't be happier. In the five years we lived where we lived, we saw one gay man at the gelato shop... and he was probably just visiting. It was a similar situation with anyone of colour. It's nice to be home.  

With the work of the move, I've been fighting off a sickness and when I woke up on my first day of vacation, my lips were covered in cold sores and my throat was on fire. In the last few nights, I've averaged almost 12 hours of sleep. Bliss. The place we're staying is a 12-hour drive from home and even the drive was relaxing (granted, Devon was driving).

We have no plans for the week except to rejuvenate and reconnect as a couple. With all the chaos, although we've been together a lot, it's hardly been quality time. I suppose it's giving us a taste of what might come in January, and I think that if we figure out how to stay connected now, we may learn a trick or two for when the baby comes and throws our lives back into chaos.

I told my boss this week, and afterwards sent out the obligatory company-wide email. Turns out I couldn't have waited much longer, as I found out that my belly has been a source of some "conversations." Things with my boss went well at first and she was really professional about it. She did curse our department for being so fertile (as both of her staff are now out for the count), but she was very congratulatory and even asked a few questions. So unlike her.

The following day, however, I did get a bit of a passive-aggressive slap when I was talking with her about necessary updates to our website (which I manage) and was told that she couldn't afford to make changes as "we have a mat leave coming up and my budget is extremely affected by it." Oh well. We can't all play nice all the time.

My colleagues were thrilled and it was really nice to see them react, though I wasn't really good with all of the attention. I actually feel a little bit like I did when I came out about 10 years ago: pure relief that everyone knows. I'm definitely popping a little bit (who am I kidding? A lot). I still could look just chunky around the middle, but to anyone who knows me, it's pretty obvious. We've begun to tell a few people, but there are some people we would like to do it in person and don't have the opportunity til the first week of August. By then, I should be able to make the announcement simply by walking into the room.

I'm pretty exclusively in maternity clothes now. Some things are still a bit big, but I'd rather that then trying to squeeze into regular pants. The bump is growing on me (no pun intended) and though I think I'll feel better when I look obviously pregnant, I'm getting better at accepting my new look. I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought I would love it all from the very beginning, but I honestly didn't expect to be this big this fast.

We'll be 14-weeks pregnant on Tuesday. Though many sources say different things about the second semester, I will start counting Tuesday as the start of the second. That's pretty cool.

Now that I'm on vacation for the week, I'm looking forward to catching up on everyone's blogs and putting a little more effort into this wee blog of mine too. When I'm not celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary, that is :) 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

12 weeks! Though my uterus says otherwise...

So we made it - 12 weeks today. The "first big" milestone. I can't really believe it. We're thrilled and though I do feel much safer that this baby is hanging on, I know that we're not entirely out of the woods... but the trees are definitely thinner here.

I mentioned this before, but I don't think I'm going to have the luxury of hiding it much longer. I broke down today and bought a belly band (after the buckle on my pants near cut a hole through my gut with the pressure) and I'm having a tough time finding shirts that can cover the belly without looking like they're obviously hiding something.

I was between a size 0 to 2 pre-pregnancy and though I wasn't as skinny as I have been in the past, I didn't have much meat on me. I'm petite (5'3" on a good day). I'm thinking there just isn't much room in there for my melon-sized uterus and my plum-sized baby these days. I've gained about 5 pounds already and don't feel as though I'm overeating and I'm eating well on the most part. The weight is worrying me a little bit. I'm sure my mother's voice at the back of my head saying "You shouldn't be showing until at least 5 months" doesn't help. At all. I'm actually really insecure about it right now.

I haven't "popped" and I know the belly weight is not baby. I imagine it's excess stuff that can't fit down where the baby is anymore. I feel as though once I've popped, and once people know I'm pregnant, I'll have no problem rocking the belly. For now, I just feel overweight.

My boss is away this week and then four days after she comes back, I leave on vacation for 10 days. If I don't tell her next week (13 weeks), it'll have to be when I'm 15 weeks, and I honestly don't think I'll be able to hide it then. Plus, all the books tell you to tell your boss right after a big accomplishment at work and coming back from vacation hardly seems like an accomplishment. I feel like I'll be much lighter (not physically) once the news is out, but 13 weeks still seems pretty early to me. It doesn't help when I'm on baby forums all day reading posts by people miscarrying at 12 and 13 weeks. Gotta stop reading that shit.

Telling my boss is going to be tough for numerous reasons but especially because in Canada, we have 12 months maternity leave. To boot, my colleague - it is only her and I on my manager's team - is on mat leave until May 2013. Our mat leaves will overlap 4-5 months. 100% of my manager's staff will be gone. It's any manager's nightmare.

But, I can't shoulder the responsibility and I know it's something I just need to get through. I kind of want it out of the way, and I also want to share the news with my colleagues. I'm looking forward to that. I still haven't told some of my very best friends, but that will come this week. I've been enjoying the few reactions so far. Wow, there is a scale of them! From a quiet, passive "oh, I'm delighted for you" to "shut the fuck up, that's awesome" (as they fall to their knees). Funny.

So, 12 weeks. Twelve frikkin' weeks. Yay. Maybe I'll finally break down and get myself one of those tickers for my blog.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm not used to "normal"

I got six vials of blood taken from me today for tests to go to my midwife. And a urine test. I think it's hilarious that although I got the same blood work done three days before the IUI that got me pregnant, I have to prove to the hospital that I am giving birth at that I did not contract a sexually transmitted infection during the conception.

I know it would be silly to expect an exception, but I feel like explaining how frozen sperm is pretty much free of all disease (except TB, according to our stream-of-conscious nurse) and that there is no way I obtained an STI during my time in the pristine clean doctor's office, but there are some fights that are totally not worth fighting. I'll take the bruise in my elbow crease, the lightheadedness and the half-hour-late-for-work in stride, like the straight folk would.

I'm still waiting on my urine results, but all of the other test results have come back normal (iron, hematology report, thyroid, etc.). I keep getting surprise every time something comes back NORMAL. I guess I just haven't expected it. I think I may just have to get into the head space that there is a possibility that all of this could go better than expected. That my choice to treat my depression and anxiety with medication during pregnancy will outweigh the risks to BoomBoom. Like the doctors told me it would.

I know I have a long way to go, and I know we've barely even started. I know I only have a heartbeat and a 4-week-old ultrasound to go off for now, but I think everything is going to be okay. For now, everything is okay.

Friday, June 22, 2012

First midwife appointment with a bonus

We finally had our first midwife appointment today and it was awesome. I feel very supported and the place is incredible - there is a lending library (which includes books on queer families), and trading post where you can pick up anything from maternity clothes to onesies to diapers and just bring something in yourself when you have something you don't need, drop-in new mom info sessions, a massage therapist... the list goes on and on.

The midwife herself was fantastic. She will be one of three midwives we see, so that we build a relationship with all of them, and any of the three will be on call for the birth. I was nervous that as soon as I gave my medical history, along with a list of medications, they would find me too complex, but she was incredibly non-judgmental and just asked questions and wrote down all of the info. I cringed when she said, "which medication are you on?" and then had to list ALL of the medication that I was on. But no reaction. It was was it was. And it is what it is.

We decided against the genetic testing for weeks 10-13. She walked us through it and basically said (without trying to sway our vote) that it can lead to a lot of unnecessary anxiety. For me, who is anxious to begin with, although I really really want to know my baby is okay, I realized that these tests are not going to be able to tell me that. And we are against doing an amnio, so we wouldn't be going any further anyway if the initial tests came back positive. So we didn't really see the point. Devon was grateful that I finally arrived at this place (she has always been against all genetic testing and I was on the fence). I feel better about it having talked it through with the midwife. It feels like the right choice for us.

At the end of the appointment, she asked that although it's early and she probably wouldn't be able to find a heartbeat, would I like to try. I didn't think they'd ask this early on, but regardless, had prepared myself to try and fail, so we said yes. It took a while to find and I was losing hope, but eventually we got it! Beating at a strong 160! 10 beats faster a minute than three weeks ago.

Honestly, hearing the heartbeat today was even more reassuring than actually seeing the baby at the ultrasound three weeks ago. Yes, I saw that there was a baby in there, but today, I found out that the baby STAYED in there... and oddly enough, it became more real today that ever before. I feel so much more relieved and it was quite funny - every time we got a good run on the doppler, I started giggling and then we had to start again. I couldn't help it. It's like the best sound in the entire world.

BoomBoom is okay. We're okay. Today is a good day.