23 September 2013

17 Weeks, Guys!

I'm just a few weeks from the half-way point already and I can hardly believe it. I don't have a picture yet, but my belly popped way out in the last three or four days! Shrimpy is about 5-6 inches long from bum to head this week and growing rapidly. That part I can believe, because the pressure is making me waddle already! I am guessing I look pretty silly, since to anyone who doesn't know I'm pregnant, I probably look like a bloated skinny chick who is waddling to a washroom after one too many iced teas!

Though my doctor apparently never ordered my ultrasound a month ago when she was supposed to, it was receptionist to the rescue today; she made sure that my request was entered and followed up to let me know we'll likely have it on October 5. Which means that if Shrimpy cooperates that day, we're less than two weeks away from finding out if we're having a little dude or a little miss. Yay! We plan to have a gender-reveal party hosted by a friend, who will conceal a pink/blue center to a cake...we'll cut into it and find out with all of our friends around (and hopefully a speaker-phone on with some of our family members so they can find out live too!)

I forgot that a friend gave us a little sort of mic system for talking to your baby (you put the little pads on your belly and speak into the other end) so I'm sure Danny will be crafting some funny tunes for the teeny tyke soon!

I chose this past weekend to start working on the craft/storage room nursery transformation. Amazingly, it went from what you see here to a totally bare floor in two days of work (and with the help of a friend who did the heavy lifting!)

It had been like this pretty much since we moved in. I think the dead beetles I found
on the carpet spent more time on that floor than either Danny or I did!
Then we packed all of our accumulated baby gear inside and it now looks like this...

This kid isn't even born yet and owns more than lots of grown-ups do! Maybe Shrimpy will be
a creative messy person like his or her mama! HA, Shrimp Daddy, HA, I say!
...and everything that was in there before is now pretty much stacked in our living room and dining room, awaiting a new home. Hopefully we will have time to do that soon, because it's a jungle in here. A few more of these things will come out of the nursery, and it'll likely end up being the most spacious room in our little apartment!

I am going to show you something purely for the "awwww" factor. It was given to us by a sweet friend who is moving away soon and wanted to give us a gift now. The pockets! The ears! The softness! Seriously.

Polar bear or lamby? I can't decide.
Speaking of gifts, I just wanted to say how incredibly surprised and blessed we have been by friends and strangers stepping in to help us prepare for our little one's arrival. We have been given so many things that we needed totally out of the blue. We are so appreciative of everything that has been done for us.

I'll post a belly picture soon, but for now, adios!

18 September 2013

Mama Update

I had my second prenatal appointment today, and was poked and prodded and squeezed and squirted with jelly for the Doppler. Everything appears to be normal and healthy, though it turns out that I have gained zero weight so far and have actually lost a pound (apparently my fat cells haven't gotten the "we've been eating a lot of fries and ice cream" memo). So I decided that supper would be pizza dipped in ranch sauce. (Mom and in-laws, don't worry, I actually eat very healthy 80% of the time).

No real solutions offered for the insomnia other than trying chamomile tea and yoga, so I guess I'm pretty much waiting it out. And maybe adding warm baths to my bedtime routine.

My ultrasound should be sometime in the next three weeks - we can't wait to find out if Shrimpy is a boy or girl!

17 September 2013

The Once: "Marguerite"

I had heard the song "Marguerite" performed by The Once before, but I never really listened to the words until a few days ago. It's an incredibly sad song about a real-life young French noblewoman named Marguerite de la Rocque, who was marooned on the Isle de Demons (Isle of Demons) by a relative when he discovered her relationship with a ship-mate (she was unmarried). This sad song would have probably made me cry anyway, but in my hormonal state, the thought of this poor girl being pregnant and alone while stranded on an island (after losing her lover and maidservant), then losing her baby...well, my eyes were pretty soggy.

Try to keep a dry eye while you listen to Geraldine of The Once (one of my very favourite bands) perform this beautiful song! And check out this cool blog post that elaborates a little bit on Marguerite's story.

16 September 2013

Bump It Up!

I'm getting a cute little belly this week! My tummy gets itchy a lot - I think it must be from all of the stretching inside. Danny is very much enjoying all of the growth. He found out that the baby has begun to hear things this week, so I anticipate that Daddy's Silly Songs for Shrimpy will soon begin.

Mama's tired but enjoying the sweet little bump!

15 September 2013

Longing for a Drop of Vitamin Z

You will often hear pregnant women say that they are totally exhausted. This is most common in the first and third trimesters for a variety of reasons: hormonal changes, discomfort while sleeping (yes, even in the first month!), the nausea/hunger cycle, and when you get bigger, it takes more energy to carry that extra baby weight around, and more energy for your heart to pump all of the extra blood your body has produced. There is supposed to be this magical reprieve in your second trimester, when you have more energy and generally just feel better...

And then there is me. 20-year insomnia sufferer. I don't usually find myself wide awake for the whole night; I'll fall asleep eventually, after my thoughts finally turn off, then wake for a long stretch, then sleep, then wake, then sleep. And sometimes, I get to spend entire nights in a limbo, where I'm not fully awake or asleep. Those are the worst, I think. Though there are times it hits seemingly at random, the pattern is usually the same; it's periodic, lasts for weeks or maybe months, and sneaks up at the worst of times - usually when my hormones are out of whack, or when I am stressed out. I'm kind of both right now, so it's been Zombie City for the last month or so.

(1) Our car broke down and died while we were driving it. (2) We decided that now was a good time to learn to drive stick... and we live in one of the most hilly city areas probably in Canada. It's been an adventure. (3) I am an administrator for a large dance school and classes just started, so I have been flat out at work. (4) Three buildings by my home burned down about two weeks ago, and in the process, we were evacuated for a full day and night. We didn't know if we would have a home to go back to at the end of it. Thankfully, the firefighters were able to contain the blaze and our row of homes was saved. However, the repercussions of the clean-up will continue to affect us for several weeks yet, including being displaced again for a week or two very soon for clean-up purposes.

Basically, I feel like I'm running on fumes most days. I'm not nearly as mentally sharp as I normally am, I have a shorter fuse, and my energy levels are almost nil. I usually make it to the end of the day, tired, but able to function, but by the time I get home, I am barely forming sentences. Exercise has been out of the question. The messy storage/craft room that is going to be the nursery has not yet been touched, so baby things that we have accumulated dominate the rest of the house as they wait for a home. The house is often a mess, and I haven't cooked much (sadly, since I like food again!). Thankfully, I have a husband who still tells me that I'm beautiful (in my mumbling, messy-haired, purple-rimmed eye glory) and does his best to understand. He often does my share of the chores in addition to his own...and his full-time and part-time jobs. He's pretty much my hero.

I am hoping that the doctor can offer some sort of relief at my next appointment, but I am not holding my breath. I'm still holding out for some of that magical second trimester energy...if I can just get some sleep.

07 September 2013

525 Billion

I was talking to a friend last night about how we had originally intended to wait a little longer before starting a family and she said something that got me thinking. She said that when her little ones were born, she realized that they would have been completely different kids if she had conceived on a different day or in a different month. That made me want to go and look up some numbers...

Did you know that the average man produces around 525 billion sperm in his lifetime? That is potentially 525 billion different possibilities for half of a child's DNA makeup. And a woman is born with around 2 million egg follicles in her ovaries, with follicles dying every day as she ages. Just as the sperm are in competition to reach the egg first, egg follicles are in "competition" with each other too as they vie to be the egg released at ovulation. If you think of it that way, you are the very best of the best that your parents' cells could have created on the day you were conceived.

And Shrimpy would have been someone else entirely if we had waited to start trying until the spring! Though this was all a surprise adventure at the start, I couldn't be happier now at the timing of it all.

04 September 2013

Haircuts, Threats, and Bets

Direct quote from Danny's haircut on Monday (he was offering "helpful tips" on how I could more efficiently cut his hair):

"Argh! Just stop talking! I have hormones and scissors, so shut your mouth!" 

At least that's how he remembers it. I am sure it was much more loving than that.

Speaking of hair, we're both thick-haired beauties now, but I've been wondering if our little squishy will come out looking more like me as a baby, or Danny. Bets?

Exhibit A:
This is me in the hospital with my mom (look at that mop!)
A few months later - still rockin' the mop-top!

Exhibit B:
This is baby Danny at the hospital with his mom (a bit thin on top).
A few months later...still a bit on the bare side (pretty stinkin' cute though!)

03 September 2013

The Silver Lining

Since this is my first pregnancy, I pretty much read everything I can get my hands on about the process. And it seems to me that I have had nearly all of the possible symptoms of pregnancy. This entry started out as Pregnancy Symptoms: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but I figured people didn't really need to know that I was gassy for a few months (whoops, see what I did there?) I did think it was funny that my "The Good" section had only one entry: "My boobs are huge!" But anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was this:

One symptom that blindsided me was Round Ligament Pain. It feels like a stabbing pain and/or prolonged ache in the lower part of your abdomen. For me, it has been mostly just over my pubic bone and on the right side, branching out from around my ovary, though the left side occasionally twinges too. It generally happens when I change position or move suddenly. I've had other aches and pains throughout, but this particular pain seemed stronger and unlike anything else. I hadn't yet heard of Round Ligament Pain, so I ended up in the E.R. this Sunday, scared that something serious was happening.

After being jabbed and giving urine and having every test done, the doctor said she'd like to do an ultrasound to make sure I didn't have any ovarian cysts (I have a history of these guys rupturing painfully). She wheeled the machine into the room and started looking around in my belly...and I got to see Shrimpy! It was more detailed than I thought it would be - I could even see the faint outline of the face and the heart. The doctor said, "oh look, he's waving at us!" Sure enough, that little arm was waving from side to side. I instantly started crying...he/she was so tiny and perfect. Seeing that little baby made me feel like the weight of three months' worth of worry had been lifted off.

On the way out, the doc told me that I was likely experiencing Round Ligament Pain, to take some Tylenol, and come back if the pain worsened. I felt a little silly having been so worried, but the silver lining to the pain and the long E.R. wait was that I got to see little Shrimpy. Totally worth it. I know it sounds silly, but this whole thing didn't feel real until I saw that tiny, cupcake-sized person floating and wiggling around. I'm gonna be a mama!

Sadly, I wasn't given a picture, but I'll get one at my scheduled ultrasound in a few weeks. I can't wait!