Thursday, April 26, 2012

Month Nine...(April 2012)

This month was supposed to be another two weeks of bed rest and then I was allowed to be more mobile, knowing that at 37 weeks, we were in the "safe zone". Our Dr.'s and midwives referred to this as the "safe zone", because if you were born now, you would likely not have any time in the Special Care Nursery, unless something didn't go well at your birth. Everyone around me was SHOCKED that week by week, you were still in my tummy!  I think your Dad and I were surprised the most.  Every week that you kept "baking", made it that much easier, knowing we would have an end to this'd be born.

I spent half of the month at home on bed rest and that was really hard!  I wanted to help Daddy cook, clean, prepare for you to come home to a finished nursery and to just spend time relaxing on my own terms.  I had up and down days...down days, mostly because the pain was getting to be unbearable in my back and hips and sleep was pretty much non existent!  We were dying for you to come, so that we could hold you in our arms and not have to deal with the silliness that was pre term labour anymore!

My last pregnancy photo taken at home!

At my 37 week app't with the Midwives, I was taken off of bed rest and couldn't have been more grateful!  I could barely walk/move at that point, without assistance, so I was ready to try to get more mobile before you arrived.  Everyone always said to us, "I bet that the second you are off of bed rest, you will deliver this baby", but I had a hard time believing that you would ever come, having stayed in so long!  I was determined to help around the house more ("nest"), walk with Daddy everyday and spend some quality time together!

I tried to re book our maternity photos, before it was "too late", booked a hair app't for the following day (I hadn't had a haircut in 12 weeks!!!) and wanted to "get ready" for your arrival, hopefully before I went overdue! HA!

Secretly, I met with the OB we saw when we were in the hospital, as the Midwives wanted me to discuss with him, an early induction, if possible. They were quite concerned with the level of pain I was in, as well as your size and lack of movements at times.  You gave us yet again, another scare by not moving for a day and sending me to the office for another NST and BPP.  They predicted at the ultrasound, that you were 8lbs 6oz, had a head measurement of 34 cms and a length of 21 inches.  You were measuring 3 weeks and 1 day ahead.  YIKES!  I saw the OB and he agreed to book an induction date for you of: April 20, 2012.  His prediction though: Anytime I make an induction date, it seems the Mom always goes into labour before then.

So, after the app't, on April 10th and a lovely procedure to kick start some labour (which only works sometimes and is not proven to REALLY work), I felt really uncomfortable and was told it was "normal".  Little did we all know, the next morning, labour signs started to show and by 4pm, Dad and I "WALKED THIS BABY OUT", as the Midwives like to say!  We went for a walk around the block to try to kick start better contractions than I'd been having for the last 7 weeks and little did we know, half way through our walk, I WENT INTO LABOUR!!!!!!!  It was an incredible, yet painful walk, that really set your Daddy into high gear once we got back home!

While this is an EXTREMELY unattractive photo of me, Daddy decided that he needed to take a photo while I was in labour at home...he'll pay for this one, one day!

To be continued... :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Month Eight...(March 2012)

Well, well.  What a month this was!  It started on February 27th, actually, but since it all rolled into the events of month 8, it will all make one post!

On February 26th, at 31 weeks and 2 days into carrying you, I started to feel "off".  It's the best way that I could describe it.  Your Dad had left for New York City on a business trip.  We both lectured each other on a few things before he left:

Me to Daddy:

1) Keep your phone on (he always has it on silent), seriously, you never know what might happen while you're gone.
2) Call before you go to bed (we always talk before bedtime, if he's away)
3) Have fun when you're not in your meeting, but please wherever you go, take your phone with you (he always forgets it)

Daddy to me:

1) Don't go into labour while I'm gone.
2) If you think you're in labour, hold that baby in until I get home.
3) Don't overdo it, as there's no one around if something happens

Daddy didn't follow ANY of his rules!  I followed two out of the three.  It was a stressful day on February 27th, a day that would change the rest of this pregnancy for the both of us!

On February 28th, by mid morning, I felt so horrible and in so much pain, that I called the midwives, called your Dad and was asked to head to the hospital immediately.  Once we arrived, it was confirmed that I was in labour!  This is where EVERYTHING of month 8, changed!

It was supposed to be a month of fun and excitement.  A month of CELEBRATION and change.  A month where we got to prepare as best as we could for your arrival.  We had maternity photos planned, a baby shower that was being thrown for us by our friends, Daddy was planning a surprise for my 30th Birthday and we had plans to finish your nursery.  Well, what it turned out to be, was a month of chaos, fear, worry, prayers, hospital visits, tears, anticipation, countdowns, goals and much, much more.  Truth be told, without sugar coating it, it was at times, a horrific month for me.  A month that was difficult to manage, explain my feelings to anyone and very intrusive.  It was a month of medical talk, risk and craziness.

At times, people asked "How are you doing?"  "What was new?"  "How was I feeling?"  I wanted to SCREAM, cry or breakdown and say, "How am I doing?"  Miserable, actually.  "What was new?"  I'm still pregnant and don't know if I want to keep growing this baby, or just have the baby arrive, so that my body can recover and not be in so much pain.  "How was I feeling?"  Terrified, alone and like I completely lost any and all privacy I have ever had when it comes to my body and this pregnancy. That I just wanted to have some sort of answer when the contractions, joint flare up and complications would end.  That I couldn't EVER describe to someone what my heart felt like on a daily basis. However, I usually answered with, "I'm doing OK, I'm hoping to keep this little one growing as long as God allows me and I am glad that I am still pregnant today.  The truth HURT and most times, no one really wants to hear it, or would EVER understand it, unless they'd been there themselves.  They want to hear the positive.  They want to hear the sugar coating.  This was HARD for me.  Some days, I just NEEDED to be negative and have someone listen.  I was thankful for the friends, family and staff that would let me do this...share my fears, talk through them and then be able to move on after.  Keeping the feelings in, made the day so long and so much worse...Sometimes, I was resentful and I HATED feeling this way.

Each day and milestone got better and better.  My first few days were spent at Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto.  That was a scary, scary experience, as everyone there, was so high risk and babies were passing away all around me.  It made me so extremely scared.  I was SO happy to make it to 32 weeks pregnant and get the heck out of there and back to Markham-Stouffville (the hospital where you would be born).  I was not sure how long I would have to stay in the hospital, but just getting out of THERE, would surely make things a bit easier.

The first week was spent getting every test, ultrasound and exam completed to see what might be happening with your growth/this pregnancy.  We were given steroid shots to mature your lungs.  We were given something to stop labour, which in the end, I could not take, so it was even more scary.  We had 2x daily Non-Stress Tests (NST's) and weekly Ultrasounds- Biophysical Profiles (BPP's), to ensure that your heart rate was okay, you were not getting stressed inside and that your growth/heart/lungs were all maturing, in case you were delivered early.  Each time, you passed these, it was a relief.  You were still measuring large at every ultrasound (predicted at our last BPP, that you were 8lbs, 6oz, which was in fact your birth weight!), so I was happy for you to come, anytime after the "safe zone" the Dr's kept referring to 36 weeks as.  After the first week, we were told that I wouldn't leave the hospital before 36 weeks.  What a long month that would be!

As days went by, I met many nurses, Doctors and roommates.  My first roommate, was Heather.  She and I got along EXTREMELY well and still stay in touch to this day.  One week after meeting her and Ethan, they had their baby boy- Nolan, which Daddy and I got really excited over!  In total, I had 13 roommates during my stay, none as amazing as she was!  We heard many births through the walls of our room and shared many laughs, fears and worries with each other.  Each week, the staff would be shocked that I was still pregnant with you, each time people visited, they asked when I thought you were coming.  This perhaps was the most frustrating of all questions!  Daddy would ask this as well and trust me, if I could have predicted it, I would have...oddly enough, the only two dreams that I had about specifics in this pregnancy, were dreams that your birthday would be on April 12th, and low and behold, it WAS!!!!!!!!!!!

We were VERY thankful for all of the visits, supports, prayers and everything in between that happened this month.  We wouldn't have made it through this long, tiring month without so many special people in our lives.  I am extremely thankful and grateful for your Dad.  His strength, love and support for the both of us, is something that I could NEVER put into words for you.  While I missed out on your first baby shower, my 30th birthday party and many other moments, I was grateful for the love that your Dad showed me each day.  He hated being away from us, spoiled us as much as he could and spent an entire month trying to manage working, taking care of the house, taking care of you and I and trying to help me through the emotions and fears that we had, should you have come early.

I was VERY grateful to have been released home on bedrest at 35 weeks, a massive surprise, the evening of my birthday!  While I was happy to go home, I was even happier that you were still growing and that I would get to walk through the front door again and go to bed in your Daddy's arms at least one last time before you arrived.  I was nervous, as I knew it would still be a lot of work for your Dad, I could barely walk/sleep due to the pain and labour, but each day got better and more manageable, labour wise.  We fell more and more in love with you during this month, praying that you'd be okay and arrive at a "safe" enough time, where we could take you straight home.  Every bit of worry, pain and emotional roller coaster, was worth it, just to be able to hold you in our arms soon enough!

What a crazy, whirlwind of a month!  We were excited to see what next month would hold and when you're birthday would finally be!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am SO far behind on blogging...but promise to catch up!

Just as I was starting to write out a post about month 8 and my time in hospital on bed rest, my plans quickly changed!  Little Oliver decided it was time to have his birthday!!!!!!!!

We are madly in love and can't wait to share him with the world (soon) :)  I will be doing some posts over the next week or two to catch up, so look out for some cuteness!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank you for your love and Support.

Before we update with another post, we wanted to make sure that we thanked everyone.  It would be hard to do it all by phone call/email/card, so for now, we are going to sa it here.

Your love, support, prayers, visits, meals, cards, thoughts, calls, emails and everything else in between...have been more than we could have ever imagined.  It has been a long almost 6 weeks of both hospital and home bed rest, something I could never describe to anyone what it's really like.  You have prayed for us through fear, worry, tears, happiness, milestones and now that we sit at almost 37 weeks (full term), we can't be thankful enough.

I thought of inserting a joke here, that you could all start praying now for the COMPLETE opposite of our intial requests (that baby stay in and I can remain sane on bed rest), and pray for this baby to come out and let me get back on my feet again, but whenever baby comes, this will all be a distant memory!

We can't wait for "Gizmo" (Graham hasn't shaken this nickname for the baby) to meet you all and for you to have a cuddle or kiss in person.  It's been a long 6 weeks, but oddly, at times has flown by so quickly.  With less than 4 weeks till our "due date", it's hard to imagine that this baby is not in our arms yet, but we are very grateful that we should get to take home our baby, as long as it arrives healthy and ready!  So THANKFUL!

Can't wait to update you all when Baby Clarke decides to make an appearance...and for Mommy's sake, I'd love to be off bed rest ASAP and for you to come ANYTIME after!!!

Thank you everyone, we love you and cherish you all.

Lee-Anne, Graham and "Gizmo".

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are those contractions, or have you flipped???

On February 27th, while Dad was away in New York City, I started to feel "off". My belly really hurt and it felt tense. I didn't feel you move as much, but my belly did look COMPLETELY different. I tried to call him (he said I better call him anytime something was different), but he didn't answer his phone ALL.DAY.LONG. I spent from 8am-6pm trying to reach him. He still to this day, makes the excuse that "he was in a meeting", but his meeting lasted till lunch and then...HE WENT SHOPPING! For one reason or another, he not only didn't answer his phone, he packed it away, until he got to the airport. After many attempted phone calls, texts and emails, I finally sent a very unpleasant message to him, that he miraculously answered, quite nonchalantly I might add! 

It went something like this:

Text from me: "Why the heck aren't you answering your phone?  Something is not right, I've called the midwives and I think you NEED to get home ASAP!  I can't reach you and am giving it 10 more minutes before I page you at the airport!  Please call me immediately, I'm worried".

Phone call 30 seconds later (why THIS prompted a response, but not the 10 msgs I left throughout the day of "are you alive" didn't, I don't know!):
Daddy: "What's up?  My flight's cancelled.   I'm annoyed.  You okay?".
Me: "What's up?????  What's UP????????".
Daddy: "Ya, you okay?  You better not be having this baby?  Are you having the baby?  I told you that you can't do that without me"!
Me: "No, I'm not HAVING the baby, but something is wrong and I've called the midwives.  Can you try to get on ANY flight.  I think I'm in labour, but am trying to eat, sleep, rest and have a bath to see if it these contractions will stop".
Daddy: "Okay, I'll call you right back".
Me: "Okay".

Phone call 5 minutes later:
Daddy: "I got on the only flight out of here, business class!  YAY!  Isn't that awesome?  Business class!"
Me: "I don't care what class you're flying on, but great.  What time will you be home?"
Daddy: "In about 6 hours, DO NOT HAVE THIS BABY IN THAT TIME.  I MEAN IT!"
Me: "Umm, ya okay, I'll work on your schedule, hopefully it's nothing!"

In the meantime, I had called our midwives, text Auntie Julie, called Aunt Kathryn and didn't want anyone to worry, as it was probably "nothing". I just wanted to talk with someone who had had a baby recently/before to tell me that it was "nothing". After speaking with the midwives, she gave me advice to: have a bath, lay down, drink at least 3 glasses of water, do some kick counts and call back if that didn't seem to help, or I didn't feel you move 6 times in 2 hours. She was sure that there was NO WAY that I was having contractions, as it was "too early".  I was quite uncomfortable, but knowing your Dad was finally getting on a delayed flight home, I felt better. I tried to go to sleep, or get comfortable, which I couldn't, but still tried not to worry too much.

Way too many hours passed by and WAY TOO SLOWLY. Daddy finally came home, said he was exhausted, asked how I was doing and crawled into bed. He slept like a rock (of course, no surprise there, if you know him well!) and I tossed and turned, having two more baths throughout the night.

That morning, I got out of bed around 4am, as I couldn't sleep and felt horrible. After Dad woke up, I drove him to work and said I was going to go shopping for a bit and then see if I felt better after walking around. I went off to Winners, to find Jack a 1st birthday present and try to distract myself.  I got to Winners, found a gift for him, picked it up and immediately felt dizzy, weak and like you had flipped to a completely different position, which made me feel nauseous.  I quickly paid, got in the car, drank some water and drove home.

Once home, I went to the bathroom, got water, layed down, counted movements and then stood up, as I felt "weird".  I had a HUGE gush of liquid and knew it was immediately time to call the midwives and then call Daddy.  After calling the midwives, they were sure I was having contractions, but wasn't sure if my water had broke, I had a leak, or if it was strong braxton hicks and a change in position.  They said to call Graham and that I had 5 minutes to gather a bag of stuff, pick up Graham and head to the hospital (30 minutes away).  I called Daddy and he informed me that, "He was in a meeting".  I told him that meeting would HAVE to end, as I was on my way to get him.  I think he was STILL convinced that it was nothing, so he got in the car, asked to go home to get our camera and then make our way.  I was in NO mood to argue, so we ran home and then headed to the hospital.

Upon arriving, we went straight to a triage room, where the midwives would meet us for an assessment.  Daddy tried to make jokes about playing on the Nintendo to occupy time (he makes inappropriate suggestions/comments all the time, you will come to know this QUICKLY!), which I did not find humourous.  I was in pain, worried and he was finding it a time to make jokes and pretend like it was NO BIG DEAL!  I'm sure he was slightly worried, but he felt more excited that you might have your birthday today.  I tried to explain why, at 31 weeks and 3 days, that it would not be ideal, while fighting back tears, but he had this smile on his face, like it was the

The midwives came in, strapped me to a machine (which I now know how to hook myself up to, work better than some nurses and can explain to anyone and everyone what it does/means), called a Non Stress Test Machine (NST from here on out), to see if I was having contractions.  They drew some blood, took some swabs and said they'd be back in a few minutes.  A few minutes later, they came back and this is where it all changed for me.  I started crying, sometimes not hearing a word that they said...all while looking over at your Dad, who still seemed to have a smile on his face.

They confirmed that I wasn't leaking fluid, so that was a GOOD sign.  They did confirm that I was having contractions and "some good ones" at that.  They said that I would need to be "checked" and that they had to consult an OB ASAP.  Sushma, one of our midwives, confirmed that yes, I was in labour31 weeks and 3 days and in LABOUR.  They left to get the OB, run another test and I broke down.  I tried to call EVERYONE and no one answered at first.  Not my Mom, Dad, Kathryn, Julie, Jenny, Scott, Stephanie, Dana, Jolene, NO ONE SO FAR.  I just wanted to talk to someone that wasn't sitting across from me, smiling.  Daddy did NOT seem to understand my worry, as he had ZERO experience in knowing anyone who had preterm babies and the long haul that could entail. 

The next 10 minutes seemed like hours.  I FINALLY got ahold of Papa (my Dad), after calling the switchboard and saying that they needed to get him out of his meeting IMMEDIATELY.  What felt like forever later, he picked up the phone, asking if I was okay?  I told him, through tears, that I was in labour and was being admitted to the hospital to try to stop it (that's all that we knew at this point).  I told him that I couldn't reach ANYONE and he said that he would try to get a hold of Mom for us.  I told him that one of us would update them when we knew more.  I knew that Papa was scared and for some odd reason, that actually made me feel better.  Maybe because I wasn't alone with being scared and that someone else knew how REAL this was.

Daddy left the room to admit me, where I was left alone to cry, freak out and listen to your heartbeat thumping away on the NST.  At least I had the reassurance that your heart was beating away.  It didn't mean that you were going to be okay, it just meant that you were still alive and hopefully KICKING. I then reached a few other people and reassured everyone that we would update them all when we knew more. After everyone came back in, Daddy came in, with his usual personality to say this:

"Umm, so the OB who is coming to "check" you, is HUGE! And when I say HUGE, I mean, not like your Dutch cousins HUGE, but like REALLY HUGE!"  I semi ignored this comment, thinking that he is probably no bigger than any of my friends/family and that Graham was just over-reacting...until he sauntered in. Yes, sauntered.  I looked over, to this very appropriate voice that matched his body size and reacted.  There was NO stopping me!  He introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Dr. Gilmore, I'll need to check you, as your being admitted for labour and we need to make a plan".  To which I replied, "Umm, YOU'RE checking me?  YOUR HANDS ARE HUGE"!!!  All I got back was a chuckle (he must have heard things like this before, as he told me that he would be gentle).  He was a 6 foot 6/7 inch man, that towered over EVERYONE in the room, with a voice that was actually, the most reassuring sounding voice.  He was calm, collected and really, really kind.  Just what I needed. 

All signs pointed to labour. I was slightly starting to dilate, my contractions were getting LONGER, HARDER, MORE FREQUENT, STRONGER AND MORE PAINFUL and he suggested that we get steroid shots for your lungs, as well as some medication to try to stop labour, or you'd have your birthday imminently.  No one could tell me WHY this was happening, other than "You have an irritable uterus and your baby moved from breech, to head down" (you flipping later confirmed that this could have started everything!).  Again, I tried not to cry and be brave, but I looked at your Dad for some reassurance and he was STILL excited. 

Everything after that, was quick, crazy and two completely different experiences for your Dad and I.  I wanted to keep you in, but not be in so much pain and he wanted to meet you.  I wanted a "take home baby" weeks from now and he wanted to see what you looked like, even if that meant that you'd be in a little incubator.  I wanted him to understand my fear and I think he wanted me to understand why he didn't want to HAVE to wait any longer, as it's felt like he has waited long enough already.

I got my first steroid shot for your lungs, some morphine for the pain and contractions, a nitrate patch to stop labour and too many attempts at getting an IV in my arms.  The midwives consulted with Dr. Gilmore, who stated that I would have to be transferred to Mt. Sinai, a hospital with a level 3 NICU, as our hospital can't take anyone before 32 weeks.  This scared me SO much.  I would be taken ASAP in an ambulance and Daddy would need to follow us.  They didn't seem to have high hopes that I would be transferred back there and told us to prepare for you to have your birthday and need A LOT OF NICU time.  Dad and I talked, well he tried to talk to me and I tried to breathe through the contractions and pain.  We ordered something to eat, while we waited for an ambulance and I just laid there in complete fear, while Dad seemed to enjoy his pizza, watch some TV and get on with life as if nothing was different.  I am now thankful for this, as TWO of us panicking would be REALLY bad, but at the time, I just wanted him to understand a LITTLE bit of my fear.

We had NO idea what the next few minutes or hours would hold, but we were ALL sure that'd we'd be meeting you before the morning came...

Month Seven...(February 2012)

So many changes, emotions, getting to see your pudgy, cute self, Daddy constantly being away on business and Daddy's Valentine's present and a crazy end to the month...were all things that were really memorable this month.

This month was a complete whirlwind of a month.  I am blogging this much later than I would have liked to, as I am actually blogging this when month 8 has passed us by as well!  That was an interesting month, but that's a whole other story that will be blogged about after this month!

We found out at our 3D ultrasound this month, that you are definetely growing quite big!  I know that there is still so much time for this to change, but Daddy and I have a feeling, that you are going to be a Dutch sized baby afterall!  With the size of my belly, that's really no surprise!  We instantly fell in love with your cute button nose at the ultrasound and found watching the DVD play back, was a moment that we will NEVER forget!  Your Dad wished for ONE thing, for you to NOT have the "Mosselman chin".  I guess we will see when you decide to have your birthday!

Daddy was away A LOT this month.  He went on business for a few days, three out of the 4 weeks of this month.  He missed you and I SO much while he was gone, lecturing the BOTH of us, that nothing better change/happen, he better not miss anything that you do!  Your movements have been UNMISTAKABLE this month, with Daddy seeing and feeling almost every movement you make when he is home.  By the end of the month, you were still up in my ribs, but you started doing flips and rolls, which fascinated the BOTH of us, as we could see my entire belly change every time you did.  Little did we know, that these flips and rolls would turn into one heck of an interesting end to the month!  Everyday, Daddy fell more and more in love with you and my belly, asking me to take photos whenever I could while he was gone.  So much has changed and I felt HUGE!


For a few months now, I have been working on a little surprise for Daddy.  It was VERY hard to keep it a secret, but when he received his present, the sheer look on his face and the silence, while he opened it, made it BEYOND worth it.  I had an amazing opportunity to do some maternity photos, back in January, with Ashley Vansickle Photography.  This is something that Daddy had been BEGGING me to do for a long time, as he LOVES my belly (what a good man to tell me that all the time!) and wanted me to remember every moment of growing you.  He has a few definite favourites, that will be hung in the house, but we were both excited about them all!  Thank you so much Ashley, you did such an amazing job and I felt so relaxed and beautiful!  Yes, it was freezing, I did get a NASTY cold after this photo shoot, but it was worth every bit of cold and discomfort!

Lastly, this month brought on some VERY big surprises for both Daddy and I.  Since he was away a lot on business, he got quite a few lectures on MAKING SURE HE HAD HIS PHONE ON HIM FROM NOW ON.  Unfortunately, he's not always the best listener, or most concerned about having his phone with him, or answering it, so he got in a little bit of trouble...

The big surprise, was that... I went into labour!  This is a weird, long story, that deserves a memorable post of it's own, so I will end here, as the next month, became the craziest, most unpredictable time ever!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

He's officially melted...

You're Dad has melted.  I really didn't think it would happen until AFTER you were born, but... I.WAS.WRONG!

See, your Dad has become cutely obsessed.  Obsessed with my belly, obsessed with you kicking, punching and rolling around inside me, obsessed with looking at your room and everything in it.  But mostly, (and yes, I'm sure he'll kill me for documenting this) he's become obsessed with...

watching "A Baby Story" and "Baby's First Day".  Actually, he seems to love it so much, he asks me to PVR it (record it on the digital box).  He comes home from work and gets REALLY excited to be able to sit, relax and watch his "baby shows" :)  I think it's adorable. 

He loves asking me questions about "how I feel" or "if it's okay if he does x, y or z, that the Dad's do in the videos" or "gets all pouty and excited when the baby is born and the Daddy gets to hold him/her for the first time.  He then tells me, "I think when the baby gets here, I might turn to mush"...

I look at him, very lovingly and usually say to him, "Honey, you already have".

Lastly though, he is already getting territorial.

He likes to tell me that since I will have "held" you for 9/10 months, I don't get anymore turns when you come out.  He feels/thinks that he gets to be the FIRST person to hold you and doesn't have to hand you over to anyone if he doesn't want to.  I just laugh at him, why burst his bubble? :)

I wanted you to have all of this to remember, because when days that your Dad defends that he's "too manly", "a tough guy" or is the "hard one" of us can rub this in his face with me...hee hee!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Month 6...a slow moving month...

Month Six (January 2012):
Going off of work, exciting news from friends, serious belly growth and a surprise present in the works for Daddy...were all things that were really memorable this month.

Last month, Mommy and Daddy had another secret to keep (there's been so many while you've been growing!), that they were just bursting and overjoyed all of Christmas!  My most favourite Christmas gift that I received, was a phone call on December 24th, that was by far, the "strangest" conversation that I had ever had with our best friends, Kathryn and Gary.  Kathryn was inquisitive, yet vague and all over the place.  Then she hung up.  I immediately told Dad that I thought she was pregnant, but knew that she would have told me if she was.  Then a photo msg came on my phone, of Brayden wearing a Big Brother shirt!!!!!!!!!!  I knew it!  I was so thrilled to find out that we would get to enjoy pregnancy together and you were already getting your first friend, closest to your age!  We celebrated New Year's together, which was such a fun time to celebrate two new lives coming this year!

This month, I also stopped working.  While I enjoyed my co-workers, it was getting very difficult for me to stand for long periods of time, with minimal breaks and constant lifting/bending.  My fibromyalgia started to get worse, my sleeping affected the most, as well as my joints, so the midwives knew that I needed to stop.  They wanted me to be able to get more rest, still be able to exercise and keep healthy, rather than go to work, exhaust myself, be in pain and not be healthy enough to not worry about your growth and wellbeing.  I felt very guilty about this and had a hard time adjusting, but the better I felt, the more I had a chance to take care of myself, the better chance I had taking care of you.  It made it a very long month, but it was the right thing to do!

You have been VERY active off and on this month!  You also like to play games on us though, hiding for hours...sometimes DAYS on end!  You'll move like crazy one day and then I don't feel you for a whole day, which not only worries me, but your Dad and the midwives.  You spent 48 hours not moving one week this month and Dad and I had to make a Friday night trip to Labour and Delivery.  Of course, as soon as we got there and they put the doppler on, you tried to kick that thing right off!!!!!!!  You were a little stinker!  Dad had a stern "talking to" with you after this, telling you not to do this again, as neither of us enjoyed that time particularly much!

Your nursery is REALLY starting to come along now and fabric has been decided on for your room!  Both Dad and I are REALLY excited to have found the nicest lady to help us make your custom bedding.  We wanted something "gender neutral", but FUN and she helped us pick the perfect choices for a travel themed room!  Pictures will probably have to wait till next month, as the bedding is currently being worked on, but I am on the edge of my seat till then!  Daddy has bought a few new toys for your room (mainly two 5 foot stuffed animals), that he is obsessed with and Mommy has found some of the cutest clothes and shoes for you!  A sneak peek:

Landmark Scenery fabric for some of your bedding!

I didn't think that my belly had grown too much during these weeks, but now that I compare our photo by the Christmas tree, to what my belly looks like by the end of this month, I realize that it has grown quite a bit, just not week by week!  Daddy still gets really EXCITED to my belly changing.  He loves to talk to you (sometimes through my belly button, thinking that you'll hear him better) and he loves to feel you kick!  He starts to pout when I feel you kick, he comes over and then you hide from him!  Lately though, your kicks have been getting SO STRONG, that it makes my belly bounce or my ribs REALLY hurt!  I beg you to move out of them, but it NEVER works!  You have yet to move "head down", so I pretty much spend the day, trying to push you out of my ribs, or get you to move from being sideways (transverse).  You have yet to let anyone else feel your kicks yet and are much more active when I keep my belly warm, then when I expose funny!

A comparison of me at Christmas vs. me at the end of this month!

I guess that a lot HAS changed!  I don't know how much bigger I'll get, but I can only see it in my upper half.  It's starting to weigh down my hips and back, but I'll take that, over it spreading everywhere :)

Lastly, some cloth diaper shopping has been done for you and we have started our "stash".  Even Dad is getting excited about diapers and how soft they are, which are his favourites so far and how cute you will look in them.  He has picked out his favourite one to put you in first, which I think is beyond adorable!  We have great friends supporting us through this and giving us a lot of tips, so we are confident that this is a successful and good choice for all of us!  Dad's favourite minky diaper!

Only 3 more months to go!!!!!  I really hope that time starts moving a little faster soon!  Not only is your Dad getting more impatient to meet you, so am I!  Mom has also been working on a BIG surprise for Daddy, but that won't be revealed until next month!  All I can say is, that one very special lady helped Mommy make something for Daddy, that he is going to LOVE!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Dear baby...

If you could PLEASE turn head down, move your head/behind out of my rib cage and your feet/hands out from underneath my ribs, I would BEYOND greatly appreciate this.  It is not fun when I try to move you and you shove/kick/punch back harder.  My rib cage, is not a piano!

I understand that I have a short torso and therefore not much room for you to move, but at this point, with 10 weeks to go, IT IS NOT FUNNY.  Standing is the only way you stop pushing my ribs up and I can't stand all day.  So, now that Daddy AND I have begged you to choose one position (head down please), we'd like you to try and listen.

Yes, this is your first lecture.  I'd appreciate you co-operating ASAP.  Thank you so much.

Also, laying across my belly, taking up any and all space you can, is also not comfortable.  I have learned in these 30 weeks, that you ARE SO MUCH LIKE YOUR DAD, but you need to share space.  My hips, back, ribs and body will appreciate this.  Your exit strategy should be out my lady parts, not my throat!  Having two midwives and 1 nurse tell me that I am "carrying REALLY high" and that "you must be REALLY uncomfortable", is NOT helpful.

Thanks so much for listening,

Love Mom

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our first "live" view of you!

Yesterday, Dad and I had a 3D/4D Ultrasound.  We have known all along, that we wanted to do this.  See how big you've gotten, watch you move LIVE and get to see some of your ever changing features.  We were excited to find a place that could not only provide us with pictures, but with a CD and a DVD as well.

We weren't sure what to expect, but it was AWESOME!  We'd recommend anyone do it, that gets the chance.  It's a moment that you will remember forever.  It allowed us both to feel that much closer to you and excited about your 10ish weeks!!!!!!!!!!

The last time we saw you, was 12 weeks ago.  You were a long legged, skinny little baby.  WOW, are you ever different now!  I had an ultrasound earlier this week, to check on your movements (you still play games with us and scare us), where we found out that you, so far, are ONE BIG BABY!  They estimate that you are almost 4lbs, your femurs (legs) measure 30 weeks 5 days and your head measures 31 weeks 4 days!  This was confirmed yesterday, that you are one CUTE CHUBBY BABY!

We instantly fell in love with your cheeks!  They are pudgy and squeezeable already!  It looks like you might have the "Mosselman" chin, which is something that Daddy was hoping you wouldn't have :)  You also have the cutest little button nose!  We've been told that you will change much more, as you pack on more weight/fat and that the baby we saw yesterday, will look much plumper and longer than the baby we will see in April/May!  CRAZY!  It shocks me that I am carrying almost 4lbs of a baby and that there is still 10 weeks for you to get bigger and bigger!  Mommy feels big enough already!

You were sleeping for the first part of our ultrasound, but after some pushing, poking and prodding, you started kicking your legs, yawning, drinking and cuddling your arms up to your face.  You like to sleep with your arms over your face, just like Dad does.  I find it strange and don't know how either of you breathe like that, but it was fun to see!  We all thought it was really funny that the umbilical cord is near your face and not only do you like to play with it, but you like to "chew" on it too!

We got home and really enjoyed watching the DVD again, as we could see all of your movements, when you woke up, played a little and tried to get back to sleep!  We can't wait to share it with family and friends, down the road!  10(ish) more weeks till we see if you're a boy or a girl!

Here is your cute little self:

Our first 3D look of your arms and face, with the cord around your face!

We are all in love with your precious cheeks and nose!

You woke up to give us a precious little smile...:)

Cuddled up, just like Daddy, with your arms to your face!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The little things...

Everyone kept/keeps telling me that pregnancy can get really emotional.  They have warned me that silly things, important things, heart breaking things and sometimes NOTHING can make you cry.  I was wondering if or when this would actually "hit" me and had my doubts that I would be one of "those" women that cry at the little things.  Until Sunday...

Dad and I went to church and the Pastor was preaching about the things that we learn(ed) from our own Moms and Dads, from family, from friends and from anyone else in our lives.  He asked if anyone needed more friends, or needs family, as they aren't close by, to raise their hands.  The purpose of this, was for someone to reach out to them, as this month, at church, is outreach month. 

This week, your Dad and I talked a lot about friends.  How our friends either don't live in this country, or live a few hours away.  We have some "aquaintances" that we have been getting to know here, but no one that we could really count on/ask for/swap favours with, if in a crunch...or just needing to be with other people.  IT.MADE.MY.CRY.  First it was a few of those "blinking tears" (ones that well up in your eyes, but you think you can blink away) and then they just started falling.  It was impossible to explain to your Dad how I was feeling at that moment, but it really made me miss our FRIENDS.

Later on that day, Dad gave me flowers, these beautiful orchids.  He hoped we could put them on the kitchen table and watch them flower and grow.  Something beautiful to watch and wait for, while we waited to hold you.  Then, that made me cry.

It came with a card.  The cutest little baby card, with booties on them.  Inside, were some of the sweetest, most vulnerable words that your Dad has ever written me.  They don't happen often.  Or, I can actually say, they DIDN'T happen often...until we started watching you grow inside me.  His words, his card, his vulnerability, made me cry.

There are other things that have started the waterworks.  There has been a few disagreements, frustrations, tiredness etc, but I guess, I can now safely say, that even the little things make me teary-eyed now.

One thing, that I want to remember, hold close and write to you, is that lately, I have had to hold back my emotion, almost daily.  Your Dad, is becoming a REAL softy.  From constantly kissing my belly and therefore giving you kisses; to telling me and "the bump" how much he loves us.  It melts my heart, everytime he goes to work, coming to give me a kiss.  He exposes my "bump", gives you a kiss and tells us that he loves us and misses us already.

You've already got Daddy wrapped around your little finger...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Will you take after Mommy or Daddy?

I want to mark this day as the day I am "outing" your intense cravings!  I have been craving things that are so EXTREMELY abnormal for me (yes, I like them, but I've never been an I need them now, or can't stop eating them kind of person).  It makes me wonder if you will take after Mommy or Daddy, when it comes to your eating habits, outside of the womb.  Some of these cravings last just a day or two and some of them seem to be ongoing!

Things I have craved at one point in time in the last almost 7 months:

Candy.  I mean, seriously.  Cinnamon hearts, Laffy Taffy (especially banana, but can't get it here), Sour candy (it's what helped the nausea), Dropjes (you better not take after your Dad and love these, like Mommy!), Jolly Ranchers, sour keys, pretty much any hard candy actually.  I have a feeling, that this started, because of nausea issues.

Fries and Gravy.  I almost puked at the smell of it, before knowing that I was pregnant.  But now, if I have fries, I HAVE TO HAVE GRAVY.  Sometimes, a poutine.  It's SO decadent and I really limit myself on this one.  I LOVED these before pregnancy too, so it's not that surprising.

SUPER SOUR PICKLES.  No other pickle can compare.  NONE.  I think this was because of the nausea stage as well.  I don't crave them so much anymore...but I sure did love them months 2-4.

KIWI. I like to have at LEAST two a day.  Usually with my breakfast.  They are so delicious and juicy.

Bagels and English Muffins.  I loved bagels at the very beginning, as they really helped me not feel so sick.  I stopped enjoying them after weeks 10/11, but in the last week, have come to LOVE English with peanut butter and a little bit of jam.

Salad.  I have to eat one almost every single day.  I love it with a little bit of dressing and as much "crunchiness" in it as possible (nuts, seeds, apples etc).

Curry.  The spicier, the better, usually.  Dad LOVES this, as he LOVES spicy curry and I usually can't handle it.  My 2nd trimester, I couldn't taste spice, so I even liked it spicier than Dad did!  Lately though, I still like the spice, just a little bit more mild. 

Water.  Honestly, I crave it like crazy.  I didn't realize it was a craving, until Dad and my Dr. brought it up in December.  I could drink oodles and oodles of it, SUPER COLD with LOTS of ice!

Milk.  I could NOT drink milk before pregnancy and it would make me REALLY sick, but since trimester 2 started, I.JUST.CAN'T.GET.ENOUGH!  I can have it in my cereal, drink it by the glass, have chocolate milk, drink another glass and another and another!  It's so strange for me!

Red Meat.  I was going to write steak, but then I couldn't stop thinking about meatballs, burgers and I'm hungry again :)

That seems to be all that I can think of.  I wonder if you will take on Dad's tastebuds or mine?  I wonder if I will like the things the way I did in pregnancy, once your born?  I wonder if I will ever like the taste/texture/smell of chicken ever again?  I wonder if I will get my "salty" snack habit back of loving potato chips?

Only 3 more months till we get to meet you!  Only another year (ish) before we get to see what foods you like yourself!  One thing I know for sure, Dad will not give up on trying to get you to eat spicy, spicy foods!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The day Daddy felt your feet!

Last night, you were moving like a mexican jumping bean (I don't know if those are real, but it's the best description that I can think of)!  Well, actually, you were like that almost ALL DAY!  I don't know what's gotten you moving so much, but I love it!  It's much more reassuring than last week, when you wouldn't move at all!

It was crazy to see you kicking SO hard, that things were bouncing off of my tummy.  You'd stop the second I put my hand on my tummy, but you'd start right up again, as soon as I moved it!  Dad came home from work and you were moving so much, he could see it- RIGHT THROUGH MY HOODIE!!!  He was so excited to feel your kicks and couldn't believe how strong they are from the outside now!  I think he *somewhat* understands now, if it's that hard on the hard my ribs are getting a beating!

We went to bed last night, and he couldn't keep his hands off of my belly.  I didn't think he could get anymore excited, until you got hiccups!  It was like 20 kicks in a row to him and he was excited, but thought it was weird.  I was laughing so much, as he has been waiting so long for you to kick and not hide from him!  I didn't think he could get anymore excited, until he put his hand near my left ribs and you kicked so hard, that he COULD FEEL YOUR FOOT!!!!!!  What a special moment!  I haven't gotten to feel it yet, as your Dad has been hogging belly space, but I hope to feel it soon.  So cute!

Keep those kicks up, little one, but I'd love it, if you moved your little bum- OUT OF MY RIBS :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping us on our toes!!!

Well, well, little one.  We've heard the phrase A LOT, "giving you a run for your money".  But we were hoping not to use that phrase when it came to you/us for a very long time.  Last night, however, you won the battle and we lost.  I wanted to re nickname you, "little buggar", but Dad didn't think it was very endearing.

See, Mommy has been quite busy over the last few days, visiting friends/family, doing some shopping research for you, completing a gift for Daddy and doing a lot of driving.  I have been feeling quite uncomfortable and tired, so I wasn't as "on the ball" as I usually am. 

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had not felt you moving much at all in the last day.  You have DEFINITE patterns, which surprises the midwives already (but not me, as I am a pattern kind of person) and your pattern had been off.  I had been feeling quite stretched and sore lately, so Dad just kept reassuring me that you were having a growth spurt and were extra tired.  By mid morning/early afternoon, I thought more about it and called your Dad, saying that I really hadn't felt you move since the night before.  He tried to play off that he wasn't worried and to just call the midwives, but I knew he was worried as well.  I tried EVERYTHING!  Candy, water, pop, juice, milk, food...and NOTHING would make you budge.

I called the midwives mid afternoon and they said that I should head home (was already on my way there), have some protein, juice and a glass of really cold water, lie on my left side for a half hour and call them if you moved less than 6 times or not at all.  Within 30 minutes of getting home, you didn't move.  The midwife called back, asked us to meet her colleague at the hospital, so that she could do a check.  At this point, I was quite worried, as was your Dad.  She reassured me that you could have moved, now hiding yourself behind my placenta, which is in the front, but that she wanted to make sure, as your movements were so off. 

We got to the hospital and your Dad (he thinks he super funny, even when I'm worried), tried to make a joke: "Well, at least I know how to get you here now, when you're in labour and don't want to give me directions...maybe this baby just wanted us to have our hospital tour early...OOH look, the gift shop has SUPER CUTE TOYS"!  The last part of that statement, almost had me laughing, just because it is SO typical of your Dad!

We met the midwife, she reassured us not to wait so long next time and then took us into a triage room.  See, the GREAT thing about being pregnant and having midwives we found out, is that they meet you at Labour and Delivery, you skip the ER and go straight to a room to be examined!  It's like playing Monopoly, rolling the dice and getting sent to jail without collecting the $200 at "GO" (although better than going to jail obviously!).

She sat me down, asked a few questions and then pulled out the doppler to see if we could hear your heartbeat.  You gave us an immediate "horse gallop" of a heartbeat, at a nice strong 144bpm and for the first time in over 24 hours, gave a kick!  it was a kick SO HARD, that you moved the doppler right off of my belly!  We were all VERY relieved to see and hear that, but were all shocked at the amount of movement we heard on the doppler, without having any feeling of it from the outside/inside whatsoever!

She felt my belly and let us know that you are finally moving out of your "comfy" position, laying sideways across my belly!  I wasn't too happy to know that I have bruised ribs from you digging your bum up in there, but it made me laugh, as Dad likes to stick his bum out in a comfy position when he sleeps as well!  You are now laying diagonal in my tummy, with your face under the placenta and your legs up in my right ribs.  She gave me some suggestions on how to move you OUT OF THERE, before I break a rib, so let's hope that those work!

Needless to say, baby Clarke, you are keeping us on our toes!  It'd be nice if you stopped teasing us and playing games...until you've joined us outside in this world!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fashion Accessories!!!!!

Yes, I know it might sound CRAZY, but today, Mommy spent most of the morning/some of the afternoon, researching/starting an online registry for accessories for your little bum!  Dad and I have decided to use cloth diapers, we decided this early on and for a few good reasons...

1) We will try to add to the landfill waste MINIMALLY with disposable diapers (we plan to still use these for travel/long days out).

2) They are so darn cute and come in so many different styles, colours and patterns!

3) We have some good friends that LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their cloth diapers and have been giving us very helpful, experienced and trustworthy advice (you can thank Auntie Julie and Shannon for their help when you're older!)

4) We can throw your diapers in a pail, put them in the wash and use the clothes line outside to dry them!  BONUS if the weather is sunny and warm!

5) The cost of them is large up front, but in the long run, we will save a lot of money, especially if we decide to ever have a little brother or sister for you, one day!

I am so excited to start getting some more cloth diapers for you!  The ones that I have so far, I got for very good deals, are so cute, so soft and even Daddy is excited about them, which I NEVER thought could happen :)  I can't wait to see your cute little bum in your cloth diapers in just a short time!  Now I have to make sure that I don't start ordering diapers weekly until you arrive, just so that cute stuff can arrive in the mail!

This is my favourite so far! The Kawaii moo minky!

Friday, January 13, 2012

What we'll be enjoying together!

Last night, I took a prenatal yoga class.  I was hoping that it might move you out of my ribs and turn you around a little, so I could breathe better.  Not only did this NOT work, but you seemed to be quite unhappy with certain poses that I did.  I don't know whether it was because I woke you up from a nap, compromised your space, or just because my body was being stretched in ways that you weren't used to...but you kicked AND punched me A LOT and quite ANGRILY.  Instead of feeling your normal lighter kicks or punches, I would do a stretch and get anywhere between 5-10 good jabs in a row!  It felt good to get out and try some yoga, so unfortunately, baby, you are going to have to get used to it!

On Monday, I start aquamotion.  While they don't have a prenatal class, the instructor is more than happy for me to join the 65+ year old class.  I have a feeling that this will be both hilarious and a good workout for us!  They did warn me, that there might be a lot of "grandmas" wanting to rub my belly, but hopefully we will be okay with that on occasion!  I LOVE to swim and hope it's something that we can do together once you are born!  Your Dad used to say that I was like a "fish out of water".  If water is available to be in, I would swim ALL DAY LONG!

We are now registered for prenatal classes, which I am very excited to start with your Dad, at the end of the month.  I think that it will bring us even closer and Dad will learn a lot of the things that I am trying to teach him everyday about the birthing process and what it could be like!  We met some friends that live in town, that have enrolled in the class with us.  They are also having their first baby, so we are thrilled to not be "doing this alone".  We can't wait to make new friends and hope that this will be the start of some new "Mommy and baby" friends for us!

So baby, looks like we will be keeping active and busy until you arrive!  I can't wait to tell Daddy all about what the classes are like and whether you are active in my tummy during them!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To my unborn child, from Daddy:

You have been growing for 6 months and already you have taken mummy and daddy through the spectrum of emotions; from the “uhh…. say again?!” moment with the stick (or I should say 8 sticks!! Mummy is very efficient like that), to the denial, 3 months of anxiety, the anticipation and excitement that encapsulates the remaining 6. All in all though, frustration reigns supreme at the moment; I know you need to grow but the simple truth, is that I want to meet you and hold you today. Needless to say, I’m hoping that the remaining few months fly by.  

Today mummy is modeling a rather large belly and daddy spends his evenings trying to hunt you out, like a warship chasing a submarine. As the score stands, I’m wining 5-2 in the game of battleships; last night you lost your sub. I do have to confess; I’m cheating though. I will teach you what this means by introducing you to Uncle Scott one day. The thing is, recently you have become so big and strong that my hand doesn’t detect your movement anymore but is literally repelled from mummy’s belly every time you give her a one-two or a kick. I cheer you on; mummy put down the pom-poms when you took an interest in her ribs and bladder but she still loves to see you grow.  

It will be hard to explain to you one day what becoming a parent feels like. It is a responsibility you have to live to appreciate. We are only scratching the surface at the moment but our days are spent thinking about how you will grow, play, laugh and who you will become. I find myself standing in your room looking at the crib and thinking of what will be. In short you have become the center of our worlds and everything else seems that little bit less important and benign.  Becoming a father has opened me up and knocked down a few walls. It is not just a new chapter in life but more like different life altogether. Strong emotions develop for someone so small, so foreign, someone you don’t even know and haven’t even met yet. Your focus turns and your priorities change. As it turns out, ironically, the most selfish thing in the world is to want the joy and happiness of another.

Lots of love,

Now and always,


Monday, January 9, 2012


You're Dad thinks that I don't think that he's funny.

You're Dad thinks that I don't have a sense of humour.

You're Dad can often stick his foot in his mouth.

You're Dad can sometimes make me forget about all of these things by saying things that make my heart these:

"I miss the baby already and (s)he's not even here yet".

"I wish the baby could talk to me and tell me what's it's like inside your tummy...did (s)he just kick?" (Me, "I think (s)he's talking to you now, hun").

"I love him/her already and (s)he's not even born yet" (He never understood people telling us this before).

"Come on baby, Daddy wants to meet you and teach you and play with you and have some cuddles".

"You look beautiful pregnant, have I told you that lately?  I love you and your belly SO much"!

"Why can't the baby just be here already?  I can't wait any longer".

I think that your Dad is JUST as excited as I am to meet you in 15(ish) more weeks!  Time is really flying by and we are getting more and more excited EVERYDAY!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My body is not my own...

I realized from very early on, that my body would change and that I wouldn't have control over what changes would happen.  What I didn't realize, was how much and how quickly.

See little one, when you have a baby of your own one day (I don't want to think too much about that!), you will hear stories, read books and be given advice on what to do, how to adjust to the changes and what's "normal" or not...

The night that your Dad and I went out for dinner to celebrate, we finished the night at Chapters.  He sat there with his cappuccino, reading books on gardening (no surprise there) and I picked up the largest stack of books that I could carry, on: "How to be a good Mom", "How to eat healthy while eating for two", "What to expect...", "Belly Laughs", "Guide to Canadian Births" etc. etc. etc.  I felt already, like I wouldn't have enough time to take it all in.  I wanted to get knowledge (other than what I'd already had from working with kids and friends having kids), before I started getting advice...wanted or not (and I had been WARNED about the unwanted advice!).

It took quite awhile for your Dad to pick up any sort of pregnancy related book.  I strategically left them lying around the house, in the bathroom, beside his bed...pretty much anywhere.  I would talk to him about what I read and what I thought would NEVER happen to me, but of course did.  He would listen and laugh, or tell me I was crazy...until he physically saw my body changing.  It was around that time, that I started seeing him read a few pages here and there, or look at some birthing pictures in shock!

Things I can tell you that I expected to happen:
- My body shape would change (legs, butt, belly, arms, face, pretty much everything)
- My body would get more sore, the bigger I got
- It would get uncomfortable to sleep
- I could get stretch marks or a line down my tummy
- I would have to go to the bathroom A LOT!
- My feet might swell
- I might get itchy skin from you stretching me
- I might gain weight slowly or quickly (I expected quickly!)
- My skin/hair might change
- My eating habits might change for the better or worse
- I might have cravings or start eating a lot more than usual

Things that I didn't expect to happen, that have been:
- My belly seems to be the only thing growing (besides my chest)
- Your Dad and I talk about "going to the bathroom" more than I could have ever dreamt of (sometimes because you're growing so much, I can't remember how long it's been since I've gone, or because I have to pee ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!)
- I have started swelling earlier than I would have liked to
- My back, hips and shoulders have been causing me lack of sleep since week 15
- I hated vegetables and they made me sick from weeks 6-14!!!  Which was awful, because I love vegetables and it made me feel so sick not to be able to eat them!
- I had nausea if I didn't eat frequently and had something salty everytime I ate
- I started to love spicy food, the spicier the better!!!!!!!!!!!
- I started to hate chicken and fish and LOVE LOVE LOVE red meat!
- I occasionally lose my lack of taste.  I have to get your Dad to taste things, as I can't taste certain flavours of food!
- I have some cravings on occasion, but I also can't eat as much as I need to, as I get really full, really quickly!
- If I'm not working, I can get a nap in a few days a week, I haven't napped since I was a little kid!
- Your Dad is falling more and more in love with my belly, your kicking and the fact that I am carrying his son/daughter!  For your Dad to tell me this often, melts my heart!

I hope that one day, when you are all grown up and you have questions/worries, you'll be able to look back at this and see some things that are totally "normal", from one person to the next.  Don't let some of the books you might read scare you!  Some books are written in a way that are negative, scary and might not be the most helpful.  I had to make sure that I put those down, tried not to worry too much and find something more positive, that helped teach me how to be a good "baby grower"...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Your first few months of growing!

Month One (August 2011):
What an exciting time!  I had a feeling that I was pregnant.  Why?  You see, my FAVOURITE thing to eat as a treat, is New York Fries french fries.  I was doing some shopping for our holiday to Hawaii in September at the mall and I was hungry.  I walked towards the food court, thinking I'd treat myself and instantly ran to the bathroom when I got in line.  Weird. 

I went to Wal-Mart, picked up a test (or two, or three, or maybe a multipack box) and couldn't even make it home to see if I was pregnant...I swore I saw two lines, but it was a "squinter".  Long story short, 12 tests, two conversations with your Dad, where he said I was imagining lines, an appointment with the Doctor, who said I wasn't pregnant and some tears later, I bought a digital test, had bloodwork done and confirmed that, YES! We were having a baby!!!  Funny thing, a woman's intuition is, almost always right. 

When I finally got results that your Dad could believe, I happened to be on the phone with my Dad, your Papa.  I was SHOCKED that it was for real, rushed him off the phone, hung up and was caught in our bedroom by your Dad, staring at a test in tears!  Your Dad asked what I was doing (REALLY?) and when I showed him, he sat on the bed, completely silent.  Shows how different we are!  It wasn't something that sank in, we knew that it would take time.  But on August 26th, your Dad and I went to our favourite restaurant, The Port, to celebrate.

Month Two (September 2011):
This was a busy and exciting month!  We started to adjust to the fact that you were going to be in our lives next year.  We had a VERY hard time keeping it a secret that we were having a baby, but wanted to wait till later to tell family and friends. 

This month, we were going on a vacation to Hawaii, one that almost didn't get to happen, due to a few issues that I was having this month in our pregnancy.  It was at this time, we decided to tell Nana and Papa that they were going to be GRANDPARENTS!  We surprised them with a Grandparents card, took a video to remember the moment forever and still get emotional to this day, when we think about this amazing memory!  Nana and Papa were VERY excited and Nana and I shared some tears together.  This is one of my very favourite memories of month two, even though going to Hawaii was a great time with your Dad!

I was feeling okay during this month, although, I was extremely exhausted (I would fall asleep at 8pm in the hotel in Hawaii), despite having some thyroid and a few other issues.  I only got sick once during this month and it was on the flight back from Hawaii, after we landed in New York.  It was embarassing and I will never think the same of an airport garbage or bathroom again!

Dad and I were getting more and more excited and nervous about having a baby.  Me, more nervous than Dad for sure.  I was nervous that something might go wrong, that I would get really sick, that I would struggle with being off of my fibromyalgia medication, that I would hurt someone's feelings who wanted a baby and we were having one before them and that I wouldn't be ready for you, when you came.  Dad nicknamed you "squidgel", his name for a squirrel, when he was little, as he pictured you moving around like crazy in my belly!  He was excited to find out whether you were a boy or a girl (I didn't want to!) in a few months, to teach you things, to take you for bike rides, to be a Dad.  I was excited for all of these things and more too, but this was definetely my most nervous time in this pregnancy so far.

Month Three (September/October 2011):
There were so many highlights this month, so many, that we can't decide which one was our favourite!

1) On September 19th, we got to see you on an ultrasound!  We couldn't believe how tiny you were!  I cried the first time I saw you on the screen and I had tears, when your Dad came in the room, held my hand and we heard your little heart beating for the first time ever.  What a magical moment!

2) We asked Papa to help us announce to my Sister (and brother-in-law) and Brother (and sister-in-law), your Aunties and Uncles, that we were going to have a baby.  Your Papa said a prayer, before our early Thanksgiving meal, which ended with, "We thank you that next year, we may have an extra place at the table..."  It got a reaction of complete silence at first, followed by a "WHAT"?, from your Aunt Jenn!  It was a fun way to tell everyone and a very exciting time.

3) We told a few friends.  They were VERY supportive to us, surprised, excited and help us keep our little secret for a few more weeks!  We loved each of their reactions, all different from the other, but memories that will last a lifetime for sure!

4) We told your Grandad and Yaya (Grandma in Greek).  We had to do this at separate times, as Grandad was in Australia and Yaya was in Crete.  We also wanted to catch their reactions on video and Skype, which you can't do by having a three-way call, so we talked with each of them one at a time.  Grandad was SHOCKED, but sounded very excited!  He knew that your Yaya, would be "over the moon".  When we talked with Yaya later that day, we caught her off guard, using the same "fake story", that we told your Grandad... "We had a present that we wanted to give them for Christmas, but it would take a little while to get there, so we wanted to show them a photo of what was coming their way"!  Your Yaya cried, so happy that we were having a baby and couldn't wait!

5) We flew to England on a business trip for your Dad.  We had booked it in August, finding out that we were pregnant, the day AFTER we booked our flights.  We had dreamed that this would get to happen, but didn't think that we would actually be able to tell your Grandma, Uncle Tom, Great Auntie Sue and Great Uncle Martin IN PERSON, that we were having a baby!  We kept it a secret the whole time leading up to the trip, with everyone knowing we were coming, apart from your Grandma!  The plan was to meet everyone at a restaurant in London, for her birthday and surprise her, not only with us showing up for the meal, but to also surprise everyone and tell them that we were having a baby as well!  It worked out perfectly (amazing) and not only was Grandma thrilled and surprised to see us, the wedding album that we made her, containing your ultrasound photo, shocked her, on the last page of the book!

This truly, was a month of amazing memories.  A lot of them caught on video.  A lot of them that we can't wait to show you, or tell you about when you get older!  We know that it was hard for family and friends to keep it a secret until we got back from England, but once we got back, the news was out and everything started to feel a lot more REAL!!!!!!!

Month Four (November 2011):
We got to see you again on an ultrasound!  You were so much bigger and your heart was beating so much faster!  You're Dad only got to see a photo of you though, as this time, I took Nana with me!  She was so excited to come and loved getting to see you move, wave, suck your thumb and hear your heart beating.  It was such a special time for me to get to share with her!

I had still been so tired, during this month...but we were now in Trimester #2!!!!!!!  So much relief came, when that 13th week hit, that I took your Dad out to celebrate at our favourite Pho restaurant! 

I was starting to really "show" and was no longer able to wear any of my non-maternity pants/skirts/dresses.  I had to go out to buy maternity clothes, which was so much fun for both Dad and I!  It meant that you were growing and soon, would start moving so that I could feel it!!!  It was one of the things that we always talked about this month, dying for it to happen!  At 15 weeks, I could feel little bubbles and flutters, which was one of the COOLEST things that I could ever imagine!  Dad LOVED seeing my belly grow, he loved rubbing it, talking to you and telling me everything that he was getting excited about!

Month Five (December 2011):
Food Aversions, "cravings", kicking, DIY, boy or girl and a QUICKLY growing belly...were all things that were really memorable this month.

I can't stand chicken while pregnant.  Chicken and fish were my "go-to" meats for dinner, as I don't usually like red meat...however, I can't tolerate chicken now (it makes me sick everytime), but you seem to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when I have steak!  Yup, baby, you love when Mom eats steak and spicy food and lots of fruit and veggies for that matter.  You also seem to really enjoy it when I drink chocolate milk, something that I haven't done in YEARS.

I felt you kick inside for the first time on December 9th.  I was watching TV with your Dad and could swear that I felt something trying to kick the right side of my belly, near my kidney surgery scar.  He was jealous that I could feel it and he couldn't and was hoping that he would feel it soon enough.  It was few and far between, which our midwives said was normal, as my placenta is in the front.  They even said that I might not feel you very much, which made me so sad.  But you showed us all wrong!  I felt you kick again on December 13th and this time, I was 100% sure!  Not only did I feel you kick, but on the way to going out for ice cream, I felt you turn and flip in my belly!  That night, I got the flu which lasted for a horrible two days, but it won't erase the memory of how exciting and amazing that felt!

For the next two weeks, your Dad was DESPERATE to feel you kick on the outside.  I had felt it once on Christmas Eve, but everytime you moved and your Dad would put his hand on my belly, you would stop moving.  It made him so sad!  But December 27th, at 6 in the morning, you gave a REALLY good kick near my ribs.  I woke Dad up, told him to put his hand on my belly and be patient.  You gave him 5 good kicks to his hand in a row!  He was THRILLED!!!!!!!!!!!  It took 4 days for it to happen again, but when it did, you kicked his hand so hard during a movie at the theatre, that his hand moved off my belly!  He is desperate to feel it everyday and hopefully that will come soon enough, as you get bigger and stronger.  But I have to remind him that, some days you turn back to my back, so I can't feel you either...

This month, Dad worked SO hard on your furniture for the nursery.  We went and bought your crib in the States and came home to Dad wanting to build it IMMEDIATELY.  He was too excited to let it sit in the box!  We loved your crib once it was set up, so Dad started doing some DIY work to make your nursery beautiful!  He took an old dresser that we had been given and sanded, stained and varnished it to match your crib.  We bought a chair for nursing, rocking and reading to you and Dad put it together.  We ordered the fabric for your room, getting a friend to make it for us.  And while your room is already painted a nice, light blue, which we are happy to leave on the walls till after you're born, your Dad put a fresh coat of white paint on the trim, window and shelves.  He learned a lot along the way and worked incredibly hard.  I am so proud of him!

We had our big 20 week ultrasound this month as well, where we could have found out if you were a boy or a girl, but where we live, they refused to tell us!  I didn't think I wanted to find out, even though your Dad did, but once we got to that ultrasound, I was dying to know!  I left feeling so disappointed that we couldn't find out, your Dad trying his best to make me feel better!  Our plan was to keep it a special secret between the two of us and not tell anyone till your BIRTH DAY that you were a boy or girl.  He got to watch a lot more of the ultrasound, being so excited, as he hadn't seen you on the screen since you were 9 weeks!  That's a lot of time to grow, change and look like a much bigger baby!  You were bouncing around, kicking, sucking your thumb, giving a thumbs up and refused to give us a good look at your face, as you were facing my back!  I had to go back the next week, just because you were too stubborn to move!  Typical for a Clarke/Mosselman.

My belly has been changing rapidly this month!  I go to bed and wake up, sometimes feeling really sore/stretched and can't believe how much can change from one day to the next.  Your Dad LOVES taking photos of my growing belly, giving it kisses and saying, "WHOA" everytime he sees my bare tummy.  Christmas was a perfect time for Dad to take photos of us by the tree.  Our last Christmas just the two of us and a Christmas with you in my belly!

I don't know why, but Dad now likes to call you Gizmo.  I don't rememeber when this month it happened, but that's what he calls you now!  SO FUNNY!  I have been less tired and less hungry.  I am more excited and getting less sleep, my growing belly making my hips, back and shoulders hurt.  I have been too sore to work some days, being on my feet all day long, so this is being monitored by the midwives.  I feel you kick more and more and can at times, feel you move/flip/turn/change positions!  I keep getting told that I have what looks like a beach ball in my tummy, as I am "all belly and all baby".  I don't get too many "guesses" on whether you're a boy or a girl, but occasionally, older ladies in random stores, like to look at me, touch my belly and tell me that "it's a boy".  Too funny.  I have had dreams that you're a boy and dreams that you're a girl...

I have one more month before I start my last trimester!  I can't believe how quickly time is going by!  I lost sight of my feet weeks ago now and can only imagine that this belly of mine and you are going to get much bigger, much faster!  I have gained minimal weight, which is surprising to both Dad and I, but everyone keeps telling me that "it will come".  For now, I am happy to carry you around, my little "beach ball".