Monday, February 21, 2011

A year ago - part 1

Exactly a year ago we went to the hospital for our 21 week ultrasound, after returning from a babymoon in Mexico.  We were so excited to see our baby, the little one that was growing in my belly and kicking up a storm.

I could barely sleep I was so excited, and so was B.  We went to the hospital and the technician took him to a private waiting room while I went into the exam room.  The technician was very nice, and explained that she didn't talk a lot during ultrasounds so she could focus on her work.  After about 45 minutes, she explained she needed to consult with the doctor on call to make sure she had everything she needed.  She was gone for about 20 minutes, which felt like an eternity.  I was dying to see the baby and for B to join me in the exam room.

After 20 minutes she returned, and turned off the machine.  She said "you need to go see your doctor tomorrow".  I asked "we don't get to see the baby?" and she repeated herself.  I asked "is something wrong" and she said "you need to go see your doctor".

Immediately, my heart sank and it took all the strength I had to climb off the exam table, sort out my clothes and walk down to find B in the waiting room.  As soon as he saw my face, he knew something was wrong.  I immediately lost it, and explained what happened.

We came home and I fell apart.  We couldn't see the doctor until the next day, but we knew it couldn't be good.  We called our families and explained that there was something wrong, we didn't know what.  Everyone was trying to be optimistic for us, but we knew this wasn't going to end well.

We went to the doctor the next morning and as soon as we saw his face, we knew it was terrible news.  He explained that Olivia had some anomalies in her face and head, and we needed to go to Mount Sinai to see a specialist.  He wouldn't speculate about the condition, and he assured us he would put through the referral right away.

All we could do was wait, and pray that he was wrong, or that it wasn't as bad as we feared.

It was the beginning of the worst two weeks of my life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This is dedicated to the one I love

Monday was Valentine's Day, and while most people complained about it being a "greeting card company holiday", I took advantage of the opportunity to tell hubby how much I love him.

We met in December 1999, and connected on New Year's Eve.  We've been together ever since then - 11 years!  We were married in October 2006 and this year will mark our 5 year anniversary.

Like any couple, we've had our ups and downs.  And the past year has been the biggest roller coaster of our relationship.  But the saying "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is very true.  Despite the sadness and heartache we faced with losing Olivia, our relationship has never been stronger.  This whole experience brought us closer in a way I never expected.  I saw a side of him that I never had before, and he's truly been my rock in the midst of seemingly endless chaos and hurt.  He gave me hope that things would turn around, and he was there to listen and hug me while I cried, when all I needed was him by my side.

Baby is due in less than 6 weeks and I already know he's going to make an amazing father.  He touches my belly regularly, and is always in awe of the force of Baby's kicks, rolls and punches.  He talks to my belly and kisses it every morning before we leave the house.  I can't wait for the moment when he'll finally be able to hold the baby in his arms.  He's fantastic with kids, especially our nephews, and I know he'll be a wonderful dad.

I am very grateful to have him in my life, and truly feel like the luckiest woman in the world.  I'm not saying he's perfect (none of us are) but he loves me and he loves this baby, and I couldn't ask for anything more.  I love you baby!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

6.5 weeks to go

I had an appointment with my OB this morning and she told me that Baby's position is good (head down), heartbeat is strong, and Baby is measuring about three weeks ahead.  To top it off, I haven't gained ANY weight in the last 2 weeks (I'm holding strong at +13 pounds....crazy!).

Last night we started our prenatal classes.  There's four couples and the classes happen at a woman's home locally.  It's a nice, casual environment, and she's really good about making everyone comfortable with the content (especially the husbands!).  It was funny to see the look on people's faces when they saw the labour video.  While I'm worried about it going smoothly, because we've already "been there", it hasn't really been top of mind.  I know it's going to hurt a lot, I know I will be getting an epidural when the pain gets to be too much, and I know what to expect during the delivery.  In some ways it's nice, because I'm not anxious about the hospital experience.  In other ways it sucks, because our experience wasn't exactly positive, so I really think I'm expecting the worst.

As of Monday, I have 4 weeks left of work and 6 weeks (or less) until Baby arrives.  It's all still pretty surreal.  I can't believe a year ago we found out that Olivia wasn't going to survive and we had to make the most difficult decision of our lives.  The last twelve months have been mentally exhausting, but at the same time it brought hubby and I closer than we've ever been.

I'm sure the next 6 weeks will fly by.  We've crossed a lot of to-do's off our list in the last two weeks, and I'm feeling much better about where we're at.  Fingers crossed the rest of this pregnancy goes smoothly!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby's room: slowly coming together!

Ever since our scare a few weeks ago, I've been determined to get the baby's room together and buy all the necessities.  We spent most of Saturday working on the nursery and it's looking really good!  Here's a few pics of our work-in-progress Baby pad:

The bedding is the Fisher Price Zen collection.  I bought it when I was pregnant with Olivia from Sears.  Since then it's been discontinued (thank goodness I bought the curtains and mobile early!).

I spent a few hours on Sunday building the dragonfly "mural".  It's a combination of a rub-on I bought from Six Under a Tree Designs and some silver Umbra wallflutter art I found.  I think it turned out pretty good!

I'm really pleased with how it's turning out.  The green wall colour is a bit off in some of these pictures.  The first picture is the best example of the wall colour. And the furniture is chocolate brown, not black (despite what the pictures look like!).  Next time I'll take pictures when there's better light in the room (and with my BIG Canon camera instead of my small powershot).

Now we just need to finish putting the changing supplies and pad on the dresser, and add some final finishing touches.  I'll post more pics when it's done!

A dedication

This song came on my iPod this morning.  I remember hearing it after Olivia was born and it ALWAYS brought me to tears.  It reminded me of how low I was feeling, but at the same time it made me think of all the people in our life who were there to support us.  Hearing it today reminded me of those emotions, but it also made me happy to know we've come so far in the last year, and that we truly did "make it through".

I dedicate this song to anyone who's grieving the loss of a child.....I hope these words bring you strength.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Real mom advice

I just came across this post by Manical Mom and had to share it.  I love how she's so reassuring, yet real at the same time.  Here's hoping I can keep some of this advice in mind once Baby arrives!

An open letter to new moms…

Dear New Mom:

First things first, I don’t know everything…this is my fourth baby and well, really I can only share my experience with you. I am not telling you what to do or be, I just want you to know some things that people won’t tell you or maybe don’t know.

It’s called Labor for a reason! It’s supposed to be hard. It’s meant to massage the baby, get them ready to face that cold harsh world that we all live in. Inside your womb is warm, soft, quiet…and life, well, life is not. It really does serve a purpose and if you can take it one minute at a time, it isn’t that bad. There is a purpose to labor and even though it fucking hurts like hell, it’s only for a moment when you consider a lifetime of baby!

Don’t listen to women who have NEVER had a child…at all…they don’t know shit! Well, okay, maybe they know stuff, but the reality is….you are a PERFECT parent until you become a parent, then the universe bitch slaps you from high heaven and you realize that parenting is a tough gig and no one knows exactly what YOUR experience is going to be like.

Experts are great, but again, they are paid to talk smack and most times, they are only GUESSING based on their experience! If you wanna co-sleep…do it! If you wanna bottle feed…do it! NEVER EVER EVER let anyone make you feel bad about your parenting choices…unless of course what you are doing is illegal or immoral, then you better feel about as high as a fleas knee…cuz that shit ain’t okay. YOU, I am happy to say…are the EXPERT when it comes to your child! Do what your gut instinct is telling you to do! Pick your baby up, put your baby down, feed them, let them lay naked on a blanket, let them eat Cheerios for supper! Do what YOU think is best! Honestly, I was pulled in a trillion different directions as a brand new mom and sometimes, I wish I had just listened to my own instincts and done what I wanted to do at the time. Ferber DID NOT work for me! Nursing for 18 months did! Co sleeping worked for me! Baby wearing didn’t! See, it’s all about moderation and choices.

I have to let you know…you may lose friends once that baby shows up. To be honest…your single girlfriends will tire of looking at endless albums of your gorgeous baby…and that’s okay. Find a mom’s group…online or in real life. Get out of the house when you want to…and stay in your pajamas for a week…well, change your pajamas in the week…if you want to! The best thing I did as a new mom was to wear pajamas 24/7 because then the rellies didn’t stay for hours and hours when all I wanted to do was nap! Trust me on this one!

Learn how to nurse lying down on your side! OH MY GAWD! This was a gift from my guru parent friend! She taught me how to do it…and fucking hell, it saved my sanity…that old adage nap when the baby naps…well honey, you can’t help but nap if you are lying down to nurse your baby…and fuck em…the ones who say don’t nurse your baby to sleep…trust me…they won’t be 8 years old needing your nips in their mouth to fall asleep!

Buy an awesome book or series…prop that baby up on a pillow and nurse…shut of the idiot box…and READ a book! It’s good for you! Let your mind to the creating! Read out loud to the baby if you want! Maybe skip the bodice ripping scenes…but read the ones that describe the sky and the trees and the gorgeous clothing!

I am a personal fan of nursing! That’s my PERSONAL opinion. It was monumentally easy to go to the mall, to friends for dinner, even to movies with a newborn. Whip out the food source and feed the baby. No bottles to warm, no formula to mix. No crazy grocery bills because formula is ridiculously expensive. It’s your choice! Do what you think is best! I loved the nursing times with my little ones…and that is one thing I am SO looking forward to with baby pickle (that’s the nickname we are using).

DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!! It may surprise you…but you don’t have to do EVERYTHING your physician recommends. He/She doesn’t know everything…HONEST. TO. GAWD. You are the master of your destiny! You are the Momma Bear! I am pro research…I am not ANTI anything!
I love to chat with moms and share my experience…cry about things, laugh about things…and one thing is for sure…we moms need a heck of a lot more support that we need to be condemned for our choices! How about we start sticking together and helping rather than tearing each other apart?? HERE HERE!!!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Freaking out (a bit)

Last week's hospital trip really scared me.  It made me realize that this Baby IS coming....and soon!  I've been working through the list of must-do items before Baby arrives, and with the exception of the car seat and crib, we're in pretty decent shape.

As of yesterday, I have 6 weeks left of work.  I said it out loud to a colleague and all of a sudden I could feel panic setting in.  We still don't have a replacement hired, and I have a lot of deadlines to get through before I leave.  I know it's not my burden to bear, and my employer will get along fine without me, blah blah blah, but I take my job and work very seriously, and it still stresses me out.  I'm a bit of a control freak, which I know is contributing to this stress.  I'm not so good at "letting go".

On top of that, people keep telling me how big I'm getting (despite the fact that I've only gained 13 pounds - I'm seriously ready to punch someone) and those who know about what happened last week thing it would be "good" if Baby arrived early.  Seriously?  How is the baby arriving early a good thing?  The longer it stays in, the better chance it has of developing properly so we won't be stuck in a hospital for weeks due to complications.

PLUS....and this is a big plus.....I'm not ready yet!  When you find out you're pregnant, 9 months feels like an eternity.  Any initial anxiety is calmed by the notion that you have "plenty of time" to get used to the idea that your life is going to change forever.  Now that I'm 8 weeks to go (potentially less), it's becoming VERY real.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Baby to arrive and can't wait to be a parent.  But it's still scary!  I would really like to get through our prenatal classes this time around (they start next week) so we actually have an idea of what to expect and what to do when we leave the hospital.  With Olivia's birth we were flying blind, which was probably better because of the circumstances, but I know this time will be a lot different.  It won't take 2 pushes to get the baby out, and I won't be out for dinner drinking wine the next night like nothing happened.

I know a lot of this is just fear of the unknown, and when I think about it rationally I know I'm being silly.  If those girls on Teen Mom can handle a baby, I know Hubby and I can too.  But then my irrational (and hormonal/sleep deprived) side takes over and the panic sets in and all reason goes out the window.

Boy would I love a glass of wine right now!  But instead, I shall drink water (and leave the wine to Hubby), because wine would only give me heartburn! :)