Sweet sixteen

Being the main caretaker of my 16 years old nephew is a responsibility that comes with its share of joy, pride and sense of accomplishment, but its not always easy.

2 weeks ago, his very much improved behavior took a 90 degrees turn for the worse.

In those 2 weeks, he broke most rules of the house on numerous occasions and that string of bad deeds was crowned on Wednesday afternoon by a visit from police officers in school, to search his locker. Sure enough, they found what they were looking for and he got a 3 days suspension for substance abuse and possesion in school.

It just seems like consequences have no impact on him anymore. He just got used to losing all priviledges and doesn't try to get them back. Rewards don't work great either. So what do you do with a donkey that won't move despite the carrot and the stick?

You push him? We can't do this all the time. We can't live his life for him. At some point he has to change his ways and I'm hoping he will realise it sooner than later.

All the while, I'm 11 weeks pregnant and not supposed to worry too much right? I should not let this affect my mood and have to learn to manage this kind of stress better. When it happened, however, this is how I felt like managing my stress:

Ahhhh... those things cartoons can get away with!!! :)

Instead, I contacted a social worker and can't wait to hear from her...

Twinkle twinkle little star...

So Friday was "D day" when I had my first medical appointment and with a bit of luck, would hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time.

My appointment was at 10h20.

10h30 - DF and I arrive at the CLSC (a health center found everywhere in Quebec) and proceed with the registration right after disinfecting our hands with Purell. My file is created, the secretary is fighting with her printer to get my papers ready and after a good 12 minutes we're on our way to the waiting room.

11h20 - The nurse greets us and start asking her questions to fill a few more forms... She then explains some stuff about the prenatest and the next appointments. The only reason I'm not writing back her instructions here is because there was only one thing on my mind at that point: the heart MUST beat. I have no idea what she said but I came out of her office with a book and a few pamphlets so there might be some useful info in there.

12h00ish - We enter the doctor's office. She's super nice and tries to assure me... "If we can't find the heartbeat, don't worry". To this I answered: "Actually, if you don't find the heartbeat, I'll freak out, that's how it works". She smiled and proceeded with the exam.

For starters, she made a comment to the effect that I was a tall well built woman and had the room to carry a large baby... But then noticed my uterus was a bit small - even for a 10 weeks pregnant woman. (Thought to self: but I'm ELEVEN weeks pregnant!!! Eeeeek!!) Then she started looking around with the doppler and was never able to find the heartbeat. I was freaking out and was getting myself ready for a long wait until someone confirms the inevitable: my fetus had stopped growing at 9 weeks.

Why did I freak out? Because in my last pregnancy, in 2005, I was told by the doc at the 7 weeks echography, that I had a nice 5 weeks old embryo, and that took another 2 weeks or so to confirm it was dead. My body had never rejected it on its own and I never lost blood.

As I remembered all of that and got the disgusting feeling that history was repeating itself on me, I realized I started crying in the doctor's office. The doc noticed I was panicking (as I warned I would) and she did the very best she could do under such circumstances: she made a call to the hospital, spoke to the OB/GYN on duty and asked if she could see me right away for a "dating echography". She explained that I would really appreciate if this could be done early in the same day because I badly needed some reassurance. I am very grateful for this extra effort she made.

12h30 - We arrived to St-Hyacinthe's Hospital and started waiting... I guess we were not waiting in the right area because the doc never showed up to see us despite the message delivered by an nurse. We end up changing section and speaking to other nurses about it.

13h30 - A nurse tells me the doc is on her way to the hospital and has to perform a baby delivery before seeing me.

13h35 - DF and I made a trip to the cafeteria to munch on a few fries and yogurt. I really have no appetite.

13h55 - back in the waiting room and falling asleep over my own thoughts... How will I announce the bad news to everyone? Family? Friends? Coworkers?

14h30 - The doc has arrived and get us to the echography room. She is also a very kind and nice young woman who I feel comfortable with. I get on the table, and she proceeds to the echography... I see a baby but I don't care at this point. All I want to see is a flickering heart, THERE IT IS: a small star was twinkling in the middle of my baby stomach. I can't believe it!!!

Now that the heart is beating, I get a better look at the baby and we can count all 4 members. The doc says she saw the bladder but I'll have to take her word for it.

First thought to strike me 10000 miles per hour in the chest: OMG we are really gonna be parents! This is real now!

So the doc further announces that my chances are really good now that everything will be fine. She explained that from the day I found out I was pregnant I had 20% chances of miscarrying, but that hearing or seeing the heartbeat at any point passed 8 weeks reduced the probabilities to 2% only.

I can breathe.

Oh yeah, and with the size of the fetus, she said it was 10 weeks and 5 days and that would made my expected due date June 12th.

15h00 - I went back home with DF and the first picture of our baby to be.

2 days before D day

Welcome to the dark side. If you are allergic to whining, skip this post. I'm making myself vulnerable by transposing my yesterday's thoughts here and they are clearly not rational, or positive.

I didn't come to work yesterday. I was sick.

I'm not too sure what was wrong with me exactly but I couldn't sleep the night before and I've felt like crap all day long, trying to take naps in between my trips to the bathroom.

Not. Cool.

What made it even worse was the worry that came with it. If I keep throwing up and being sick, is it because I'm about to miscarry? If not, could it lead to a miscarriage?

11 weeks is an awful long period of waiting before you get a first medical consultation about your pregnancy. Only one word comes to mind: torture.

So yes, I was weak and could barely eat anything yesterday, and was extremely tired, and I'm guessing all of those combined with my newfound hormones have contributing to my first meltdown.

Meltdown or anxiety attack? Are they really that different? I can't tell what it was but I had a few good episodes of crying my heart out yesterday and couldn't see how I would be able to wait those 3 extra days until my first exam.

At the end of the day I had a nursery decorating chit chat with DF which really helped my mood. I went to bed at 9 pm. There it was: my first weird dream in a few weeks...

The stolen foetus

I don't remember the details of it but I was pregnant. Awfully pregnant and on the verge on giving birth. I remember that in this dream, there was a woman I know from work, who is higher than me on the food chain and who I had a small problem with a few months ago, but I've never felt completely confortable around her since. In my dream, that women was always around me and pressuring me to give birth already! She was so very impatient and I didn't know what it was all about. It left me with the general impression that I was carrying her child and she was dying to take it away from me once it is born. However, it's like nobody had told me that I was carrying her child instead of mine so I was very confused and scared as to why she wouldn't just leave me and my unborn child alone !!!

The aftermath

I still got up this morning, felling better than yesterday and hopefully worse than tomorrow, and went to work.

I was able to keep my food down and had no other meltdowns. I felt silly for having them yesterday too but I'm seriously not a patient girl and hate surprises especially when I know I have to wait a long time for them to unveil.

Guess what? That's my body telling me I'm not in control anymore and no matter how much I want to find out sooner that everything is alright, I have to play my body's game and follow its rules. Tough luck girl! You'll learn patience the hard way if that's what it takes.

Only 2 days before my exam now... It still looks like an eternity but 2 days is more pleasant to the ear than 3.

10 weeks 4 days


I'm so glad my parents are present in this period of my life. I really don't know how I'd get through this without them.

The nursery project, before we can even start to think about it, as for requirement that the computer room gets completely free and that means moving the bookshelves and computers and desks in the laundry room downstairs.

Sounds simple? Not. Quite.

The computer room cannot be relocated into the laundry room without some major rearrangement of the laundry room to allow the necessary space for it. That involved moving the washer and dryer (and their corresponding pipes) and taking the big industrial sink out (and its corresponding pipes). My dad was working full time on this as well as some adaptation of our garage (to receive the said industrial sink) over the weekend and the inevitable happened: when you play long enough with copper pipes dating from the 1950s, eventually, it cracks and leaks, but the leak happened above the ceiling so the men (DF and dad) spent an extra 4 hours just to fix that leak.

I'm glad it's behind us and am starting to see the day we can move that computer room into the basement... When this is all done, we can finally start working on the nursery.

Belly picture

With all this added attention and activity over the weekend, we forgot to take the belly picture update. I guess it's alright, I can probably take a snapshot once every two weeks anyways if I want to see some change. I full much bigger than last time but I don't think the difference actually shows in the mirror (or would on a picture).

Nervosity strikes back

This Friday is the day of my FIRST MEDICAL APPOINTMENT. Can you spell "excited"??? I can't believe I've been waiting all this time and did not die of anxiousness yet. Now the countdown is on. In a few days, I'll know that my mini-me has made it that far alive... or not.

I swear if I can't hear the heartbeat on Friday, I'm totally going to freak out and book an echography in the first private clinic I can find. I can't wait for Friday to get an answer but I'm so nervous that I might not get the answer I want to hear that it's already driving me nuts. how will I sleep until then?

Tic. Toc.

4 nights before D day.

10 weeks!

Today's the day our embryo becomes foetus. I can hardly call it a SweetPea anymore and JellyBean sounds a bit too girly to my ears... For some reason he still looks a bit alien-ish and I'm having a bit of a hard time find a cute nickname for it now...

Ten weeks old foetus

I gained some weight back already but I blame it on the fact I have stopped my good drinking water habit. I have to kick myself to drink more water again starting today because I found that ever since I stopped, my mouth has been producing saliva like crazy.

Other than this, not much change... not many symptoms... the strange dreams have stopped, the thick fog of extreme fatigue that hit me every afternoon has been much more subtle and manageable. However, it is still very difficult to focus on anything else than baby thoughts.

In terms of food cravings the only 2 things I could eat everyday are: baba ghanoush and tomato sandwiches. Just thinking about them makes me hungry. For some reason, I've always liked raw tomatoes but now it's actually on the top of my "things I like to eat list" even before ice cream!

I got my flu shot yesterday evening and feel very good about it. no side effect from that and my arm barely feels bruised if I touch it.

Update on that H1N1 vaccine...

The coupon

DF did not have work today so that left me with the flexibility to steal the car at 6AM to go get my coupon.

I got there at 6h03AM, and was moving bumper to bumper until I saw a lady who asked me to roll my window down and tell me in which high risk group I was.
  • Me - I'm pregnant
  • Lady - Do you want a day or evening appointment?
  • Me - Evening
  • Lady - Here's your coupon, see you at 17h30 tonight!
I drove off. 6h13AM... Still have a good 50 minutes or so before taking my bus to work... Time to celebrate with a breakfast at Tim Horton's!

The vaccine

I had to leave work 20 minutes early to catch the 16h30 train. When I arrived at my hometown train station at 17h20, DF was waiting for me in the car. I gave him my train/bus card and we switched: he took the bus home and I took the car and got to the vaccination clinic for my 17h30 appointment.
  • 17h30 - Arrival at the vaccination clinic
  • 17h32 - A volunteer forces Purell on the hands of every person walking in the clinic (smart move), distributes a number to everyone and tells us to sit.
  • 17h42 - Our group of numbers is asked to get in line for registration
  • 17h50 - Done with registration, the lady asks me to follow another volunteer into the pregnant and immunodeficient room. I'm waiting there with 3 other pregnant ladies.
  • 17h55 - I tell the nurse I usually do the plank after receiving shots, she brings me to the first aid room to lay down for the shot
  • 18h00 - The nurse poked me with the needle. I think she might have missed because it went out so fast I didn't feel a thing. Nope. that's really all it took.
  • 18h00-18h15 - Watching Toy Story with other patients who have received the shot and need to sit there for 15 minutes
That's it! I'm vaccinated. I was expecting much worse to be honest, both in terms of waiting and in terms of the needle itself. A walk in the park but I'm glad it's done now and I can sleep with one less worry on my mind.

H1N1 Vaccine

Ok, I don't remember if I mentioned it already, but I changed my mind about the vaccine... I was initially waiting to hear the vaccine was safe before taking a shot that would be potentially hazardous for the health and development of my unborn but this time has come a few weeks ago now and I was simply waiting for my turn to be invited to have the said vaccine.

Adjuvant-free vaccine for all pregnant women started today.

So, as specified on the website, I passed by the public vaccination clinic on my way back from work. The website said "if there's a line-up, you will be given a coupon to come back later" (free translation provided to you by yours truly - it was a French website). Unfortunately, this is not how things went.

We drove among a crowd of cars parked and double parked on both sides of the industrial road and finally noticed the huge line-up of people waiting outside the building. As we drove forward, we were greeted by some guy wearing an orange jacket:
  • Orange guy - Can I see your coupon please?
  • DF - No, we're here to "get" a coupon
  • Orange guy - Sorry you'll have to come back tomorrow at 6am for a coupon.
  • DF - uh, really? Ok then, thanks anyways...
...and that is how I did not get vaccinated tonight. I don't know if I'll show up at 6 tomorrow morning, it seems really early and I have to get the car back to DF before he leaves for work (I take the train). It just seems much more complicated than I had anticipated...

***Update*** No, I did not get up earlier this morning to go get my coupon, I'm planning to do it tomorrow while DF doesn't need the car since he's got a holiday on Remembrance Day.

First Belly Picture - 9 weeks, 2 days

9 weeks, 2 days pregnant

I did it. I forced DF to take a picture of my belly before it blows up to astronomic proportions... Actually, I'm a bit late for the "before" pic because there is already a bit of a bump there, but eh! Better now than later/never.

What you get here is the bare truth of what I look like without makeup or Photoshop intervention. Putting this on the web makes me feel, uh, exposed and vulnerable.

Note to self: remember to wear makeup on the next belly picture if face is within the frame...


I've had the strange feeling that I was going to have a baby boy since the beginning of my pregnancy. I don't know how much of it is intuition and how much of it is actually influenced by the higher probability of conceiving a boy (in theory) when conception takes place on the day of the ovulation or after...

In any case, my mind thinks I'm having a boy and therefore, it just seems easier to find boys baby names.

We found so many names and only one stuck with us so far: Liam.

I think it's cute. Very cute. My only disappointment is with the fact this name is becoming very popular and I always preferred unique sounding names. Tough luck. We like Liam, popular or not.

We also discussed middle names and this one was an easier question... For a boy, Thomas. For a girl, Patricia. Both names in honour of deceased relatives whom we would love to carry the memory of.

Last name being Cascarano, chances are - if we don't change our mind before then - our little boy name would be:
  • Liam (Thomas) Cascarano
If we have a girl now we have a few options:
  • Alizée (Patricia) Cascarano
  • Norah (Patricia) Cascarano
  • Kayla (Patricia) Cascarano

My personal favorite is Alizée despite the fact I can foresee people disforming the pronounciation in English (it's French). So for all of you wondering: it's pronounced "A-liz-ay", not "A-liz-ee".

9 weeks and a grape

It's so good to be wrong sometimes...

I "feel" pregnant.

Fears and intuitions have mixed me up seriously recently... Having no symptoms for the last three days shook my faith that everything was ok. I admit: I'm a worrier.
This morning I woke up (as usual), went to the bathroom (as usual) and had a glimps at my profile in the mirror (as usual) before stepping on the scale (as.. you get the picture?).

With different results this time.

I swear I can now see the small pouch of a bump! I could barely believe it. It's like I was almost starting to accept that my pregnancy was lost and that I would no longer see any symptoms or progress, and there it was, looking back at me from the mirror as if trying to prove me wrong.

Wow. Overnight?

The scale result was different too...

I have been steadily losing 1 lb every week for the last 8 weeks (I was initially 200lbs) so, I was expecting to be 191lbs this morning. Nope. 194 lbs. Wrong again.

I must have eaten like a pig yesterday night and can't remember... Nope. An onion soup with regular ham sandwich at Tim Horton's at 6pm and went to bed at 9:30pm.

I guess that means I'm still pregnant afterall... It just seems like a certainty now, so I'm very grateful for that. At the same time, I'm sure my fears will get the best of me everytime I lose all symptoms so I'll appreciate this moment of peace and confidence while it lasts.

I found a cute artsy image of what my "grape" is now supposed to look like at 9 weeks. Enjoy!

I guess it's time to start taking belly pictures too... hmmm...

That was a bad idea...

I've already discussed how one of my rare pregnancy symptoms is to have more frequent, strangely vivid dreams.

What happens when you mix that symptom, with a tired mom-to-be who goes to bed right after watching a horror movie or thriller?

Bad dreams.

But it was Halloween and we didn't do anything to celebrate it since DF was out for the night so we thought we should rent a scary movie yesterday and make that "our" halloween night.

Bad plan.

The movie chosen was "Orphan".

I won't go into the details of this movie, but yes, there is something VERY wrong with Esther and even though I will admit it was a very good movie, my newfound emotional sensitivity got the best of me during some graphic scenes that I would have gladly skipped through.

For some reason though, there is no escaping those scenes as even if I were to close my eyes, I could easily guess what was going to happen and my own imagination would probably show me images worse than those of the movie.
I was told this was more of a thriller than a horror movie... I guess it's a matter of opinion and will be more careful when chosing my next flicks.

Last night, I woke up a few times, not in the middle of a bad nightmare, but with those same images rolling through my mind in a loop... This morning, I was veeeeery tired.

I also read somewhere that pregnant women should try to minimize stress as it can harm the feotus... You can read one article about this here.

Ok, I'm only 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant so it shouldn't be damaging for the foetus yet, but it hurt my sleep and what hurts my sleep is bound to be on my black list right now.

Pregnancy tests anyone?

No, I'm not starting a new business but it's very much like that.

About 2 months ago, I ordered a batch of ovulation strips and pregnancy tests from earlypregnancytests.com and received them shortly after our first attempt trying to conceive (TTC).

Sure enough, I was skeptical that I would get pregnant from my first attempt and became a compulsive peeer on a stick (CPOAS). I used a test every day (sometimes twice a day) since 7 days past oculation (DPO) until 15 DPO and thought that was it. Not pregnant. And my thought was that if I was going to use this many pregnancy tests every month, might as well order a larger batch right away! So I went back to the website and ordered another 50 tests.

But I was pregnant. I got my first big fat positive (BFP) on the same day my ordered has been shipped. it was too late to cancel it.

Now, I have received that new order of 50 pregnancy tests and have no idea what to make of them.

Yesterday was Halloween and a thought crossed my mind about handing these out along with candies... Hehe... maybe not!!!

Well in any case, if one of you readers are TTC and would like some home pregnancy tests for cheap, feel free to post a comment to that matter with your email so I can contact you.

Catching up on dreams

I spent a beautiful weekend doing nothing.

Well, not completely nothing. I cooked a bit, trimmed my 3 ferrets' claws and gave them a bath. Other than that, I just slept a lot.

What's nice with sleeping a lot is that not only you become rested, but you dream a lot.

That also made me realize there is no way I'll be able to keep up with posting the details of all my dreams on this blog. That would be one or twice per day!

So, here is a list of a few dreams I had recently:
  1. In this dream, I had God's view and could see and hear everything. What was disturbing is that I was witnessing the start of a very passionate and physical relationship between my 16 year old nephew and a 32 year old married lawyer I happen to work with. Ishhhh.
  2. In this other dream, my relationship with DH was over and I was starting to date a guy I know and take the train with. In reality this guy has to be the most arrogant, fussiest and most argumentative person I know but in this dream, he was the total opposite: sweet, patient and very sensitive.
  3. Some very strange dream that I couldn't remember but I know my mother and Yoda (yes, from Star Wars) were the two main actors.
  4. I dreamed that I had a son. I remember his face and hair and eyes perfectly and it was the most beautiful kid I had ever seen. I'm saying kid because in my dream he was already 3 years old. His thick wavy hair was chocolate and his eyes were amber and gave him an angel look. The name that popped to mind when I saw him was Matthias. I don't know why. This name is not on our baby name's list but for some reason, Liam wasn't a good fit for that kid.