A Birth Story

Friday, June 11th 2010
  • 8:30 - Noticing my first real contractions. They are not painful but they last about 45-60 seconds and come back every 5-12 minutes. I charge my iPod touch and start carrying it around as I installed an application (Contraction Master) that let's me time and record my contractions. I'm excited about this as my due date is tomorrow. I'm going to have this baby soon!  Let's make sure these contractions are efficient: I make an appointment with an acupuncturist nearby in the early afternoon.
  • 13:00 - First meeting ever with an acupuncturist. I'm a little bit impressed since needles have this tendency to make me light headed. Changes I notice with the treatment: I get waves of heat and cold sweat. More importantly, my contractions stop.
  • 15:00 - Contractions are back and come back more rapidly. Still not painful though... I'm gonna see how long this will last...
  • 23:59 - no change.
Saturday June 12th
  • All day - no change.
Sunday June 13th
  • 3:00 - I wake up. These contractions are starting to be more uncomfortable. I proceed to call my dad, who lives across the globe and is awake (mid day) to give him some news. I have a warm bath and wait about 30 minutes in there but the contractions don't slow down or weaken. I call my dad again and decide it's time to wake the daddy-to-be and get ready for the hospital.
  • 7:00 - admission to the hospital. A nurse plugs me onto a fetal monitor for 30 minutes and then estimates I'm now 4 cm dilated. Meanwhile, my mom arrives at the hospital and the nurse suggests I should walk a little bit while they get my room cleaned up and ready and should come back in one hour.
  • 7:20 - I walk to the car with my mom & the dad to be with the intention of driving to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick breakfast. Once at the car, I figure the idea is not the best: my contractions are feeling much stronger already and I don't feel comfortable sitting in a car driving away from the hospital.
  • 8:00 - The room is ready. Another nurse has taken over and reevaluates my condition. I'm now 7 cm dilated!!! Things are moving really fast! Whenever the contractions were peaking, dad to be would push against my lower back to relieve some of the pain. It really helped a great deal. The hip rotations on the exercise ball are very comfortable too and I would have but to my greatest surprise I did not enjoy the bath. WHAT?! I'm a water-lover. A great swimmer. I was absolutely convinced that the comfort of a warm bath would be the perfect environment for me to go through my contractions. I was so wrong! The water made me comfortable, yes, during the contractions only. However, at the end of each contraction, my body would push and during that phase, feeling weight-less on my back in a tub full of water made me feel like I was losing control of my body and was falling back. That was a bit panicking every time until I changed position in the tub and ended up leaving it to return to my room.
  • Sometime around 11:30? - Don't blame me for not remembering the timestamps at this point. My mind was busy with breathing :) I went to the bathroom and my water broke on the toilet. Yay. No mess. My cervix is now 8.5 cm dilated. I remember asking my boyfriend to find a nurse and get me an Advil or something mild for the pain at some point but when she came to see me, she laughed and said and Advil would not help with that strong pain and that it was almost over anyways.
  • 12:30 - My doctor has arrived and the pushing really begins... It hurts. A lot. It burns but it's almost over. They see her hair and next thing I know I feel a strange sensation as if a monkey was drowning in Jello inside me but I know these are my babies legs and knees kicking inside while the new dad is pulling our baby out and putting her on my chest.
  • 13:02 - Our little Naomi is born! 9 lbs 4 oz and 53 cm tall.

Still reading?

Wow! I'm impressed to see exactly the same number of followers from Blogger than the last time I checked about 3 weeks ago! Thanks for your patience and loyalty.

I'm taking advantage of a short baby nap to write the latest news.

You've guessed it - I have birth announcement to make - Sunday June 13th 2010 at 13h02, our baby girl was born weighting 9 lbs and 4 oz and with a head full of hair, after 9 hours of active labor.

Here's a picture of my little angel at the hospital.

Stay tuned for more info on the birth story soon!

40 Weeks

Today was my 40 weeks follow-up and I'm glad to report some progress.

At 39 weeks:
...Baby was floating ---> now at station -2 (see image below)
...Cervix was slightly effaced ---> now 50% effaced
...Cervix was 1 cm dilated ---> now 2 cm dilated
...Baby's heartrate was 150 bpm ---> now 130 bpm
...Overall pregnancy weight gain was 33 lbs ---> now 30 lbs

 Fetal Descent Stations (Birth Presentation)

I have experienced the bloody show for 2-3 days now but still no contractions.

Now, my due date is in 2 days so it shouldn't be very long before I get to meet my lovely baby. Isn't it exciting?

38 weeks

We're now at 38 weeks and Jade is supposedly the size of a watermelon now. I took a few pictures yesterday in front of the mirror. They're not great but good enough to remember the size and shape of the belly in this final stage of development.

My legs, calves, ankles, feet and toes are still swollen. VERY swollen. My energy level is moderate and my quality of sleep has been better. What doesn't help is the temperature has been surprisingly higher than normal for this time of the year in the last 2 weeks.

So far, I've had 2 bad episodes of indigestion that kept me up all night. I'm guessing this is not too bad...

My weight gain until now is at 32 lbs but changes are seen up and down on a daily basis.

Jade has not yet started descending in my belly. The fact that I spend so much time on my back with legs up probably does not help.

We are scheduled for a visit at the hospital this Thursday evening and I can't wait! :)  My goal is that the renovations in the basement will also be done and over by that time and that the hospital bag will be completed and sitting in the car in case Jade should arrive unexpectedly.

37 weeks update

This week's medical update has got to be the most boring one so far. I could have just copied and pasted the results from the 36th week mark and be done with it.

Here we go!

Weight gain: no change since last week, still 24 lbs increase since pre-pregnancy weight
Blood pressure: normal
Glucose: normal
Baby's pulse: normal
Baby's position: head down, floating, normal
Cervix dilation: same as last week, 1 cm
Ankles: same as last week, they look like two balloons
Belly button: as usual, "inny"

The weight stabilizing itself is actually very good news because the rate at which I was gaining these last 3-4 weeks was pretty alarming. Apparently, at this point in pregnancy, the mother's body will start to lose some of the pregnancy hormones so as to allow for the birth process to start. This would explain how the baby can keep growing and building fat without the mother necessary gaining weight.

I will try to take a belly picture tomorrow.

Off Work!

Ok, this is old news... But I have good reasons!

Thursday May 13th (just about a week ago) was supposed to be my last day of work before a 4 weeks vacations, immediately followed by maternity leave for about 10 months.

I'm saying "was supposed to" because on that very day, I heard news that was going to change the way I'm now looking at those 11 months ahead of me: I won't have a job to come back to after my maternity leave is over. With the current economy, it was only a matter of time before the public sector would have to start making layoffs and the time has now come.

Because there's always a negative and a positive side to everything here are my thoughts on this:
-  I'm among the unlucky to be laid off and the financial insecurity stresses me out with the baby coming.
+ I'm lucky that I was told ahead of time, and have many months of maternity leave to figure out what I'll be doing next.

Before heading back on the job market, I might try a career change and give it a shot with a web business instead. Wouldn't it be great to NOT go back to work after my leave and be able to work directly from home, enjoying the first few years with my child? Not an easy task, but... possible!

Ranting about the Perineal Massage

Warning: this post may contain TMI (too much information) for some of you... Continue reading at your own risks.

We all heard stories about this pregnant woman who gave birth and had a partial or complete tear of her perineum in the process. As a first time mom, I was naive enough to convince myself it only happens to others and must be quite the minority who experience a tear during labor.

Boy was I wrong!

A study conducted in 1999 showed that only 63 out of 417 women who were giving birth vaginally for the first time maintained an intact perineum throughout labor. That's only 15,1% !!!

I'm officially freaking out about these stats. Fortunately, the subject of the study was to demonstrate the efficiency (or lack thereof) of practicing the perineal massage for 10 minutes on a daily basis from the 35th week of pregnancy until birth. A group of 411 women were asked to do that routine and from that group, 100 women kept an intact perineum post-partum. That's 24.3% - still low, in my honest opinion, but an appreciable 9% improvement rate compared with women who did not use the massage!

So... Wanting make use of all the tools I can, I decided I would try to improve the odds by submitting myself to the very same routine. The technique was shown to the dads-to-be at our last prenatal class and we got started on what seemed like a very promising activity...

I won't lie, it's unconfortable and it burns. But I'll take "unconfortable and it burns" a little bit everyday, if it spares me the major tear and bleed and complications that follow birth. Overall, it's a very small inconvenience for what it's worth.

My only problem now is: DF is away for the week so I need to adapt and do it on my own. I've tried but couldn't find a position that made it possible yet. I'm not so flexible anymore and the positions and angles that I can use to get access there are very limited. Not to mention I don't see what I'm doing.

If you are a business driven entrepreneur looking for a good idea to develop, I think you should look into making some kind of a self massager for the perineum. I'm sure I'm not the only one finding it challenging if not impossible to perform the massage on my own with the big belly in the way and I was very surprised to find out nobody has yet come up with a device that would help single pregnant women do just that!

It could be as simple as a soft balloon that could be pumped bigger gradually once in place, to help stretch that sensitive skin progressively. A meter could indicate the level of pumping used each time so that the mother would see her progress from one day to the next.

Food for thought?

35 weeks belly update

Busy week

I thought this week would be relaxing since DF was back from Ottawa and not yet gone to Japan.

I was so wrong.

Monday = swimming
Tuesday = RESP presentation
Wednesday = swimming
Thursday = prenatal class
Friday = whatever will need to be done before DF's flight for Japan

On the other hand, I'm so excited that there's only 1 week left at work before taking my vacation! The weather is starting to be nice and it'll rock being able to sleep more and rest my feet in the air whenever I feel the need to.

I can't wait.

34 weeks follow-up

Last Thursday was my 34 weeks medical visit and second time in my new doctor's office.

In short:
  • Weight gain since pre-pregnancy weight -> 21 lbs  (YIKES! It was 16 lbs just 2 weeks ago)
  • Blood pressure -> slightly higher, but still normal
  • Position of the baby -> head down, heart beating to my right side now (I've only heard her heart beat on the other side so far so she has shifted position)
  • Cervix -> completely closed and firm - no sign of early labor yet
  • New symptoms -> swollen ankles and hands... Which could explain the increased weight gain.
The doctor said I was having a Braxton Hicks contraction as she was looking for the baby's head... I didn't feel it. Really. I'm sure the real contractions will be easier to notice though! lol. Probably a good thing since I'm going to have to time them.

All in all, I'm doing great and so is Baby.

The clinic has received my medical file from the CLSC but apprently, the most important sonogram (30 weeks - confirming my placenta is no longer previa) was not in it. I have to follow-up on that.

My next appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday, 3h45 pm. I'm hoping I can bring the swelling down by then.

Return of the cankles

...and THIS is what my feet look like after a day at work + a little bit of driving.

What's so wrong about liking uncommon names?

Unless DF and I are both struck with a profound feeling of incompatibility of her name when we first meet our baby girl, all odds are pointing that she will be called Jade.

I just love everything about that name:
  • It has a soft feminine ring to it, both in French and English
  • Jade is a gem that inspires not only beauty, but also strength
  • Green is my favorite colour
  • The name is easy to spell
  • The name is short
  • The name keeps its meaning in French and English
  • It blends well into the more complex last name without adding rhymes or another "c" or "r" : Jade Cascarano
Until lately, there was another point to that list of things I liked about that name : it had not been overused and sounded kind of different. I did not hear about anyone who knew a "Jade" until recently. I spoke to daycare educators and they all said they didn't have any in their groups... yet!

Then, I saw the latest statistical update for 2009 names given in Quebec and was struck in shock...

Jade was the FIFTH most popular name given to baby girls in the last year!

That bothers me. I know it shouldn't but still... it's not like it was the 25th... NO! We're really talking about the 5th most popular name of last year. Do I still like that name? Absolutely! Do I like it less? Well... The name itself is the same, but I really wish it were less popular.

I wanted my daughter to forge her identity and personality around a name that suited her like a glove and made her feel unique. If you found as many jades as you would find rocks laying around, would they still be considered gems or would they be tossed around like vulgar green pieces of rocks ? Whether I like it or not, rarity does play a certain role in my appreciation of the name and I was profoundly disappointed to learn that in a few years from now, there might be 2-3 other girls with the same name as our little one in her class.

So that's all leaving me a bit confused. Whenever I tell someone about my disappointment, it seems like I always get the all white or all black answer:
  • Some will tell me to start reading baby names book while I still have time to think and find another, better name.
  • Others will simply not care and not understand why I want my baby's name to feel a little more "rare" and "unique".
The problem is, I can't seem to be able to simply disregard the sudden news of popularity of the name. Yet, I also don't see how I could find a name that would fit our baby better. Now that I've twirled my mind around that name, it belongs to her and I'm reluctant to even open the discussion about considering other names, unless I'm really struck by one that would outshine Jade... which has not happened yet.

Entering Week 33

Considering little Jade was already 4 lbs and 7 oz, 3 weeks ago, makes me believe she might be already in or close to the 6 lbs weights category. My guess is based on the sole belief that a fetus is known to gain approximately 0,5 lbs each week at this point. Of course, the size and weight given here are those of the average fetus. Since Jade does not have average size parents, it makes sense she might be a bit over the normal curve in terms of size and weight.
Baby’s senses are continuing to improve -- when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.

So... This month is the month of the honeydrew. Hmmm... Sounds delicious with strawberries. : )

Parents and Kids Fair

This is an annual event but for me, it was a first visit. It took place at Place Bonaventure in Montreal, last weekend (April 8th-11th 2010.) If you're curious, you can check it out here: http://parentsandkidsfair.com/


Now I know how an elephant feels in a porcelain store! I felt too big and there were too many people walking around me. I wish I was like one of those moms carrying a stroller just so I could:
  • fill it with stuff that was given to me
  • lean on it when my legs get tired
  • put pressure on people to walk out of my way
Gladly, I was able to convince DF to be a good sport and come with me for moral support and, more importantly, so that we could make on the spot decisions if we found a good deal.

We returned home with the following:
  • UppaBaby Vista 2010 Stroller in red as shown on picture below (graciously sponsored by my brother and parents - MERCI à Charles, Émilie, papa et maman pour ce cadeau collectif. On l'adore !!!!)
  • A kit of 24 washable diapers from Alicot with all the essentials. After seeing 3 presentations from 3 competitors we felt pretty confident we would not find a better deal for such a good product. (MERCI Séb pour ta recommandation !)
2 days and one mistake (purchasing a 3 steps convertible car seat which didn't fit in our car) later... We also bought the following Chicco car seat (compatible with stroller).
Which got successfully installed in our Kia Rondo no later than last Saturday morning (THANKS Honey for the trouble!)

Saturday, Teddy (Jade's Teddy Bear) got to try, the diaper, the stroller bassinet and the stroller seat and even got a free ride to the park with the dogs (THANKS to Luka and Chibi for acting civilized around Teddy and the new stroller).

So, as it is, we're really not missing much... Baby monitor and Diaper bag and the only 2 pieces that come to mind and that should be fixed shortly also: we are currently considering the Angel Care System for a baby monitor (as seen at the Parents and Kids Fair) and possibly the Phil and Teds' Diddie Diaper bag in black as shown below.

32 weeks belly picture

The belly is getting harder to hide every week... Jade is stretching a lot and making good use of the space she has in there.

More about Anna-Laberge Hospital...

I promised more information as to what makes this hospital interesting and attractive to me so here it is.

I believe:
  • Labor and delivery is a natural process experienced by all mothers of all races and species since the beginning of times. Pregnancy is not a disease, nor an injury.
  • Labor and delivery are painful. Many options exist to help a mother deal with the pain, before resorting to drugs.
  • The pregnant woman is the one birthing. The doctor or ob/gyn is there to help her and offer solutions if any complications should arise during labor or delivery but should limit his interventions to what is necessary for the health of the baby and mother.
  • In its first hours of life, the baby should be given the time to be in skin to skin contact with his parents, get acquainted with their smell and find its first meal before being handled by any other person (friends, staff, family members)
In this hospital:
  • The laboring woman is provided hospital meals instead of the IV drip.
  • All the rooms are private rooms.
  • All rooms have a bed for the father to sleep in. Some of those rooms have a double bed so that the new dad can share bed with the new mother. Babies can sleep in the same room with their parents.
  • All rooms have a tub, swiss exercice ball and birthing chair that can be used during the contractions.
  • The hospital is open to self-hypnosis, music, massages, pushing in different positions, wearing your own clothes, walking around the hospital during contractions or even outside in the yard.
  • In most cases, the labor and delivery of the baby will all be done in the same room instead of being transported to a delivery room.
  • In April 2008, a study conducted by La Presse positioned Anna-Laberge Hospital as the #1 best birthing location in the Greater Montreal, among 16 other hospitals.
I'm hoping to get a confirmation from the doctor who would be following me sometime today. I can then tell you more about her as well.

Considering My Options

Let's recapitulate the steps I went through helping me choose the right hospital for giving birth.

In order, those were my preferences:
  1. Midwife that would help deliver a baby in the confort of our house -> not available in my area
  2. A birthing center -> not available in my area
  3. BMP Hospital (a baby-friendly hospital 1 hr away from our house) -> they will not follow patients who reside outside their territory.
  4. HM Hospital (a "regular" hospital with a more conservative, narrower approach, 20 minutes from our house) -> it's the hospital on my territory and I'm currently being followed by their team of gynecologists.
 Needless to say, I was less than happy with that option since it was my last choice. But then, I was told at 20 weeks, that my complete placenta previa meant I would need to be scheduled for a ceasarian birth.

- Oh!

So what difference does it make for me when I know it's going to be a scheduled ceasarian anyways? Not much really... I stopped my research and was satisfied that the closest hospital, which was already assuring my follow-ups would be right suited for the task.

But then, my story got an unexpected twist : 3 days ago, I was told I am no longer with placenta previa. Considering the distance separating the placenta and the cervix at this point makes the 20 weeks diagnostic very unlikely... As a result, my confidence in the staff is again shaky to say the least. What that means is also that I'm back on a normal pregnancy and there is no need to seek a ceasarian birth at this point.

- Oh!

Current situation : I'm 30 weeks and 5 days pregnant and feel again trapped with my last choice of a hospital for a natural delivery, but the first 3 options are no more available than they were initially. Only, the pressure to do something about it is getting a bit more intense as I'm getting close to my expected date of delivery (June 12th).

Yesterday, my prenatal class teacher told me about another hospital that was also certified "baby friendly" and was no further than BMP hosptial from our house. The reason she suggested I should look into is:
  • They do not restrict their follow-ups to residents of their territory only
  • She knows one of the gynecologists there she can refer me to and would probably accept to follow me
The hospital is Hospital Anna-Laberge, in Châteaugay. I got so excited about those news that I woke up at 4 am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep afterwards.

I'll tell you more about what makes this hospital so special in a different post...

Jade's 30th Week Sonogram

Finally some news and answers!!!

Today was the day I would get my 30 weeks sonogram for the purpose of determining the exact position of my placenta. If you have followed this blog for a little while, you probably know that my 20 weeks sonogram had shown a complete placenta previa, which placed me among the "risk pregnancies" and I had to follow stricter guidelines in terms of the movements and level of effort I could do, to avoid any potential risks of a hemorrhage.

What this sonogram showed is that the placenta is now completely clearing the cervix and sitting at a very safe distance from it. What this means, is that mother and baby are completely healthy and back on the track of a normal pregnancy, with no reason for scheduling a cesarean birth prior to the first contractions.

Other conclusions we can draw from this echography are that Jade:
  • weighs 4 lbs 7 oz, which is the normal size of a 33 weeks old fetus (yes, she is THAT big already)
  • the OB/Gyn says there is no doubt she will be well over 9 lbs.
  • she has a full head of hair
  • her head is low (mommy is very proud of that - please keep it down)
I am overwhelmed with joy.

Looking back at First trimester

Why do I feel like I'm back in First trimester?
  • I need to nap as soon as I come back from work... Sometimes the nap goes on until the next morning.
  • I'm actually able to sleep
  • I can't stand for more than 20 minutes before getting light headed
  • Less random tears from seeing something cute, less nightmares from seeing violence on t.v.
  • My breasts are almost back to their original size
  • My dreams are "normal dreams", i.e.: if I fall asleep reading a book, I'll dream I'm one of the characters
  • Food cravings and aversions have dissipated
  • People on the train don't offer their seat (usually - but yesterday a really nice man did!!! I'm still in shock. He's my new hero.)
How do I know I'm NOT back in First trimester?
  • My belly is way too big for this, and people notice/ask about my pregnancy
  • My baby is way too active for me to forget it's there
  • My legs swell easily
  • My breasts, though back to a normal size, have recently secrated stuff they never had before
  • I can count to 30 weeks without doubt, and
  • My 30 weeks echography is scheduled on Tuesday!
It seems like either my body has now adapted to the higher level of hormones and is going back to a more stable state OR maybe the fact that I'm sleeping more/better helps me deal with all the symptoms I've seen fade recently.

The mystery is complete.

Nerve wreck

Guess what I'm doing this afternoon?
Teaching a 2 hour Word 2003 class to a group of employees at work.

How do I feel about it now?
Uhhhh... I wish I could run far far away.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that the employees aren't nice or that I'm not confortable with the material I will be teaching, but I've always been very uneasy with adressing large groups of people.

It all started in High School when I started having those panick attacks right *after* each one of my oral presentations. I got so bad that the school psychologist had to see me for a session of hypnosis before each oral in order to prevent the afterscene.

Last year, I was asked to teach the fundamentals of MS Office to people on my team at work and that went fine. But it was different! I realize now that the class was much less structured and I had only 3 participants who worked with me a daily basis so we kept things very casual.

This afternoon's group is constituted of 6 participants who are all expecting a professionnal level class and work in different teams that I do not interact much with. This is day 1 of a long road on which I will be giving MS Office classes every day until my maternity leave. The bar has been raised to another level and I'm so scared of facing that group. I feel exposed and vulnerable.

My heart is racing and I'm stupidly sitting at my desk with no other excuse than my poor stress management.

Wish me luck.

Milk? Colostrum? This soon?

Did I just miss a chapter in my book? I don't quite remember reading that my breasts would start producing colostrum this soon! Actually, I don't remember reading much about this part of the breast development but I guess I was not expecting them to leak until the few last days preceding labor/birth.

Is this really what it is?

They didn't actually leak much but I noticed some dry beige crust on them when I woke up and sure enough, when I removed it, I got a few more drops of the thick liquid.

Whatever that was, it's probably a good idea I get myself some pads if I am at risk of getting more leaks in the weeks to come. I can only imagine the embarassment of a bigger leak while at work. EEEeeeek!!!

Better safe than sorry!

This is what 20 weeks will do to you

This is me NOW.
This shot was taken this morning, at 29 weeks

Same clothes, no makeup, same smile, same wet hair pulled back in a ponytail, same location... Only difference is the belly and this pic was taken without a flash.

29 weeks follow-up and GlucoDex results

So today was the day I would meet the last obstetrician of the trio. My first impression is that we are going to get along very well.

Before meeting her, I had heard that she was the one who performed the delivery of triplets at that hospital a couple of years ago and since then, she was in charge of the clinic for risk pregnancies.

The first thing that caught my attention when I met her was that she was sporting a baby bump: she is currently pregnant with her third child. :) Then I noticed that she looked smart, efficient and nice.

My GlucoDex results came back from the lab and they are absolutely puuuuuuurfect! What a relief! I can still eat normally! :D

About the placenta previa...
She thinks I have about 80% chances that it moves to the side of my cervix and the 30 weeks echo should give us a heads up on that soon. She asks me for the date of the appointment and when I responded that I didn't receive a call from the hospital yet, she flipped: "don't do it at the hospital!!!" she says...
  • Uhhhh... why not? where should I have it done?
  • I'll do it for you at the clinic. I want to make sure it's done right. We've had 2 examples of poorly performed placenta previa echographies done by the hospital staff recently so I'm not taking any chances!!!
Bottom line -> she scheduled me for my 30 week echography on Tuesday April 6th and because she will be the one performing it, I should know more about the steps to take on my third trimester once it's done.

When I asked about my leg circulation problem, she wrote me a prescription for compression stockings that would be made to my exact measurements.  I can't wait to try them!

This week's craving is...

Lemons!!! I bought 10 of those at the groceries yesterday. Let's see how long they last...


Tomorrow is an important day.

Not only do I have my monthly appointment at the doctor, but I will finally get to meet the last of the 3 obstetricians who works at that Hospital!

Those who have followed my blog long enough, will remember that the first Dr. I met and who left the team shortly after was nicknamed Dr. Doogy for her lack of experience and nice personality.

I then met a few times with another Dr. I have affectionately nicknamed Dr. Jekyll for the fact that she's showed me a different personality everytime I've seen her.

The last Dr. I've only met once and had to nickname him Dr. House since his reputation (for being a highly competent obstetrician) preceded him but when I asked him about which exercices were safe to perform while in CPP (complete placenta previa) he only told me to stay off bungee jumping and parachuting... (!)

I'm very curious as to meet the last Dr. in the trio tomorrow... and to see which famous Dr. she will take her nickname from! I'm actually starting to run out of names :P

Also, I should be given some results from the gestational diabetes test I did last week (remember that fainting episode?)  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it was not a bad sign...


I wonder if this word would be accepted during my next game of Scrabble... hmmm.. 8 letters, too bad!!!

Last Tuesday, I went to the CLSC for my 26-28 weeks gestational diabetes test. My doctor's prescription had only one word on it: GlucoDex.

Not knowing what to expect and with only instructions to start fasting after supper the night before, I showed up at 7 AM at the clinic...

The clinic has a special waiting room for all patients needing blood/urine tests and so I was directed to that area and picked a number before chosing a seat: 44. I looked up the board to ssee which number was being called out: 03. Looking left and right, I noticed someone holding his prescription for his test and realized I had forgotten to take mine with me. SIGH.

Where was that paper? After emptying the content of my purse twice rather than once, I remembered where I had last seen it: between the cover page and the first page of my notebook, on my desk, at work.

Please note that my office is unconveniently located 45 minutes away from the CLSC, by car...

I juggled with my options and decided to try and make a run for it. I would drive to the office and back and hope that my number (44) has not been called out in the meanwhile...

2 h later, I came back to the clinic and found my number had been called out already so I picked another number but was informed by a secretary that no waiting was necessary for the GlucoDex and that I should just present myself at the counter with my prescription, so I did.

I was given a small bottle of overly sweet juice (reminiscent of Sunny Delight) and told to wait for 60 minutes before they would take my blood.

I sat down and took on a few more pages of The Book of Negroes... (Great book by the way, if you can get passed the first part which depicts stories of horror and violence in a quite graphical manner...)

After 45 minutes of waiting I started to feel uneasy and went to the bathroom... No improvement. I walked a little bit and tried to adopt different positions to stop the nausea... but nothing worked so I decided to start searching for a nurse and see if they could draw my blood already.

I went behind the closed doors and found 3 nurses, one of which stopped her discussion to ask me if I needed something.

"I... think... my hour... of waiting... is almost..."

My knees bent and I held on to the wall for balance as my body was dropping to the floor.


I fainted and the 3 nurses had to help me get to a bed and lay down before any blood would be drawn. Apparently, it happens often that pregnant women will faint or throw up as a result of this hyperglycemic test but it does not necessarily mean they have gestational diabetes: the fainting might also result from the long hours of fasting while pregnant.

So, I was given a slice of white bread with margarine and left to rest for a couple of minutes before I got up and drove to work.

The results should be available on my next consultation this Friday. I will keep you posted.

The legs challenge...

Circulation in my legs has started to be a problem a couple of weeks ago already but it doesn't seem to get better as time goes by...

Lifting my feet when I'm sitting does help, but it's never quite enough to make the knee and ankle swelling go away.

Yesterday night, I went to the swimming pool again... and had a BLAST. Hehe... I really enjoy my new activity and just speaking about it gets me all excited again.

My only disappointment when I arrived home was to notice how my ankles were still swollen. I didn't think the swelling would magically disappear but I was still hoping for a miracle... I thought the swim would activate my blood circulation and help alleviate my legs' swelling...

Don't get me wrong, if it gets to the point where I get complete cankles, full of stretche marks and variscose veins, it's ok, I will accept these marks of pregnancy as I would embrace war scars... Doesn't mean I have to accept them without a decent fight!!!

So I grabbed a book, got ready for bed and stacked a few pillows under my feet instead of behind my thighs, as I would normally do. After a good hour of reading I checked on my ankles = no progress. I closed the book, took the extra pillows from under my head and back away and kept the ones at my feet for the rest of the night.

This morning... NO SWELLING. I was in awe and decided to celebrate by wearing a skirt to the office today and pair it with a red sweater in honour of the blood drive happening one corner away from the office today and for which I have made some promotion recently.

I think I found my magical formula for helping my legs deal with the pregnancy weight, stress and bad circulation. YAY!!!

Can you smell it? Today's gonna be a GOOD day! :)

Water, I missed you!!!

Don't believe the chinese horoscope when it claims I'm a Metal Monkey.
Disreguard my astrological sign, Virgo, being considered under the influence of Earth...
Maybe there is some truth hidden behind my rising sign (Cancer)...

I've always felt my element to be Water.

As a kid, some of my best memories were by the beach (a very cold beach, I'll give you that) and I would pride myself into braving the big waves despite the cold... Early on, I remember fantasizing that I was a mermaid far more often than dreaming about being a princess. Then, I watched that movie called "La grenouille et la baleine", in which the heroin, was a young girl who befriended a whale and would make her sing by playing her recorder underwater. That movie made me dream that, I, also, was a daughter of the sea, and that my heart beated to the rythm of the waves.

When I first heard about death rituals and how some people who opted to be cremated would sometimes ask that their ashes would be flown with the wind... I remember my first reaction to this was that I would so much rather have MY ashes thrown into the ocean, if it ever came to it!

Entering adolescence, I progressed with different levels of swimming lessons until I became a swimming instructor and a lifeguard. Then, I thought, what next?

In college, I joined the swimming team and got completely bummed. I had never been a very competitive person and it turned my love and passion for water into a repetitive, solitary exercice. I quit and never looked back.

Until, a couple of years ago... I certified as an open water diver and had a few interesting dives in Australia and New Caledonia... The wonders of the ocean were smiling back at me... but all that gear and equipment made me feel very far from the mermaid I used to be.

Yesterday evening, I finally took a first step into reconciliating with the municipal pool. I took the car and drove there to just relax and get my legs moving in the water again... It was me, the big belly, the awkward bikini and the element: Water. I forgot about everyone else around me. I got my hands on a spaghetti shaped floater and just let myself float and move my legs for a little while... Gently! I've been warned to go easy with my CPP (Complete Placenta Previa)...

I had SO MUCH FUN. I feel my back got a good stretch and it got some blood pumping in my lower legs. Did I mention that feeling light as a feather and free like a bird was just the right kind of mental treatment for this mom to be? My belly was weightless and I could feel like a mermaid again... FREEDOM!!!

I was planning to go every Monday and Wednesday nights because the schedule is convenient for me on those nights, but... I might still work my way around to going again tonight!!!

I also have a slight feeling that Jade will also be a water baby...

One thing is certain: I'll make sure she gets the exposure she needs to develop her basic swimming skills at an early age! Then, the rest will be up to her.

27 weeks

Here are the milestones of the 27 weeks mark that we have been through yesterday:
  • Jade can now suck her thumb
  • Jade can now cry... Oh I feel a connection already! :)
  • 3 weeks passed the 50% viability probability mark
  • Entering the 3rd trimester this week or next week, depending on the source I check
  • Linea negra? not quite yet... maybe linea rosa at the moment...
  • Innie or outie? innie... for now!
  • Gestational diabetes? the big test is tomorrow... will follow-up on that
  • Complete Placenta Previa? until further notice I have to assume that yes. Next echography will be scheduled in the first week of April.
  • Mommy's last week has been marked by - scratch those who don't apply: angry, hungry, grumpy, emotional, tired, clumsy.
  • Mommy's starting to have trouble finding a confortable sleeping position.
  • First introduction and visit to Jade's big grand-cousin Édouard.
  • Jade's bedroom is almost ready. All we need now is a light fixture and to reinstall the shelves.
  • The family car project 2010 is complete... and a big success!
  • Daddy has torn the ceiling apart in the basement and is reconstructing it as we speak
  • Daddy's planning to work on the floor as soon as he's done with the ceiling
  • Things we still need to buy before Jade shows up: car seat, stroller, baby carrier, baby monitor, diapers, receiving blankets.
I'm going to the swimming pool tonight and hope I can make it a habit on Mondays and Wednesdays. Will update on that...

How can you NOT notice?

I was sent the following video yesterday afternoon, about a mother who gave birth at home, in her bathroom, while she claimed she did not know she was pregnant.



I mean, come on!!!

I'm guessing the weight gain can be tricky for some, but surely the interruption of your menses should have hinted to something..? How about feeling your baby's kicks?

I'm sorry but I'm very sceptical. It's not the first time I hear about a mother who "did not know she was pregnant" until she gave birth, but to me it's pretty hard to imagine.

Meet my new car!

Last week, I posted something to the effect that I was looking for a family-friendly vehicule to accomodate me, DF, the possibility of 2 babies/children, my bernese mountain dog and some cargo (stroller, grocery bags, luggage, etc.)

I looked at many cars that were either:
  • too small (not enough cargo space for dog + more)
  • too big (we definitely don't need 7 passengers capacity)
  • too high (most SUVs would be difficult to enter for my dog and I would rather not have to "lift" so high for everything I load into the car)
  • too pricey (yes, call me cheap but I like affordable)
So... As you read last week, I fell in love with the Golf Wagen TDI... but it came out a bit pricey once equipped with our desired options. So... The car I got is...

Kia Rondo EX (charcoal), 5 passengers!!! And because I'm cheap, I got it used: it's a 2008.

The picture below shows the exact same vehicule with tinted windows and in the same colour as mine. The only difference would be that mine has a deflector in the front.

Can you feel the love? I'm so excited! I can already picture Jade sitting in her car seat (note to self = must buy a car seat) under the confortable shade of the tinted windows and safely out of my dog's reach.

Now I'll take any excuse to go on a road-trip this weekend... I've already booked a road-trip to Quebec City on Saturday to meet my cousin's newborn at the hospital there but Sunday is still free!!!

Any offers? Hehe...

Conflictual emotions

A new life

My cousin Guillaume and his girlfriend Marie-Ève are also expecting a baby. They are about 7 weeks ahead of me, making Marie-Ève 33 weeks pregnant.

At least, that's what I thought when I checked my email yesterday evening... Not anymore.

Sometime on Sunday morning, Marie-Ève has given birth to a beautiful baby boy named Édouard. I was told both Édouard and his mommy are going well but Marie-Ève had to be transferred to a different hospital by plane during the night so that she would give birth.

I absolutely have no details, so I'm just going to assume they didn't feel confortable delivering a premature baby in this hospital and hope she didn't suffer complications of any kind. It's a bit hard being far and waiting for bits and pieces of information that will hopefully reassure me on her condition. The fact that my youngest brother, also a premature baby, passed away when he was 2.5 months old probably has a lot to do with my sensitivity in regards to the risks of premies, which only adds to my nervousness.

Saying that I'm glad mother and child are both ok would be a gross understatement. That's the only part of the email I got I'm trying to focus on at the moment while waiting to hear more news from them.

Dream dream dream

Of course, I had a bad night as my fears resurfaced in a dream. While Marie-Ève was 33 weeks pregnant when she gave birth, I'm only 26 weeks pregnant, and for whatever reason, Jade decided 3 o'clock am was the perfect time to change position in my belly.

It's the first time I actually hear loud sounds of liquid moving in me like this and I could hear that sound through my sleep. Only, in my sleep, I was associating those sounds to be blood. The contorsions Jade was going through in order to switch herself into a different orientation completely felt like she was fighting her way out, to follow the leak of blood.

I have to admit that a premature birth at 26 weeks, though scary, always seemed unlikely to me and therefore, never really bothered my thoughts until now. It's like my brain just decided now to link 2 concepts together: "complete placenta previa" + "premature birth". Aren't they a perfect match? Just like water and electricity... Now, that's something I can have nightmares about.

Luckily for me, Jade's movements were very unconfortable and woke me up. I went to the bathroom and admit doing my routine inspection for traces of blood. Satisfied that all was ok I went back to bed and listened to Jade's efforts to completely flip herself inside me... It took her about an hour I would say until the liquid settled down and Jade decided I was allowed some sleep...

Getting exercise back in my life

I'm still confused after my Friday exam with Dr. House...

While Dr. Jekyll thought I should stop all exercise and sport with the exception of walking (due tocomplete placenta previa), House didn't seem to have a problem with any exercise or sport as long as they are not extreme or give me too many contractions. Uh.

When 2 doctors disagree, I try not to fall into the trap of choosing the opinion I like best. Whenever in doubt, I'll play it safe and will rely on the specialists' opinion that was most conservative and cautious. On the other hand, my reasoning is that maybe incorporating some physical activity into my weekly routine would not be a bad idea at all. For me. For my baby.

I think the safest sport I can try to practice at the moment, besides walking, would be swimming.

It seems to meet all the restrictions given by Dr. Jekyll (i.e.: low-impact, no risk of falling, can be performed at a "slow" pace, no jumping). Also, I am expecting it to be less risky than most activities to carry-on into the 3rd trimester since water reduces the effects of gravity and swimming implies an almost completely horizontal position (I was told I might be asked to go on bedrest at some point if the baby's weight on my placenta was to trigger bleeding).

In terms of benefits, I probably don't need to repeat that it's good for cardio, toning, flexibility, endurance, etc. but I'm most of all hoping it will help me get a better circulation in my legs. They are starting to change colour and I'm not so pleased about that.

My new resolution is to try to go for a one hour swim every Monday and Wednesday evening and see how it goes.

Baby steps...

25 Weeks Pregnant

I'm glad our baby girl has a name by now. I couldn't picture myself playing with the word "eggplant" until I found a nice nickname to call her by this month.

Medical update

My last monthly check-up was last Friday. I arrived at the CLSC at 3h10PM (appointment was at 3h20PM) and ended up waiting until 4h20PM or so. Note to self -> show up 1 hour late to next appointment.

I had never met this OB before. The CLSC has a team of 3 OBs now and I've only met one so far (kindly referred to as Dr. Jekyll).

This other OB is a man of a certain age. I had heard his name on several occasions in the past as he was supposed to be the "superstar" OB in this hospital. Super smart, knows his job inside out and saved many lives in the delivery room over the years.

He seemed very nice at first but then he mentionned his frustration with having to share his patients with other OBs. It didn't seem to please him at all having to meet a woman with complete placenta previa in her 24th week of pregnancy and not knowing the details of her file...

Because of the previa, doctors cannot perform gynecological exams on me. So it all went pretty quickly. He took the doppler, found Jade's heartbeat and announced that Jade spoke in perfect morse code and he translated: "I'm doing very well, mommy and daddy. It's very confortable here. I'll see you in a few weeks."

Ok so he's got a sense of humour. That was cute.

Back to his desk we tried to find out more about the position of the placenta and what was written in my file in regards to it... All our questions were deflected and avoided. his recommendations were:
  • About exercise = everything's fine as long as it's not an extreme sport or give you too many contractions (completely different from Dr. Jekyll's recommandation to avoid all exercise but easy walk)
  • About the placenta = if Dr. Jekyll told me it was covering, then it must be covering
  • About other restrictions = if Dr. Jekyll said I should be on pelvic rest, then he can't go against that recommandation
  • About the next sonogram = I might need more than one. Also said he's not sure my placenta can actually migrate
  • About the possibility of bedrest = unless I start bleeding he doesn't think it will be necessary at all
  • He refused to have a look at my legs that are getting discolored. Said that would be normal if I'm at 24 weeks and should keep them elevated as often as I can and use compression stockings if that doesn't help.
All in all, I think we were with him for a solid 6 minutes before he let us go with a request to schedule a glucose test in 2 weeks and get another appointment in 4 weeks.

From this point on, this OB's nickname will be Dr. House.

Echoes from the womb

Dear Jade,

Earlier this week I read somewhere that your dad might now be able to hear your heartbeat if he'll just put his ears to my belly and waits quietly.

We tried.

As I went to bed on Tuesday evening, your dad put his ears on the middle-right section of my belly and waited for a bit. He then asked if I had moved and I said "no". It was you.

So he moved a little bit closer to the center of my belly and started picking up on a heartbeat. My heartbeat.

Slightly disappointed, he didn't give up and moved toward the left-middle section of my belly and said he could hear all sorts of noises: movement of liquids and your every motion. He then quickly turned his head to face the belly and told you "tu bouges donc ben!!" (you move so much!!)

It was simply adorable to watch him hunt you down and try to track your heartbeat across my belly. We knew his chances were probably thin, given the placenta is between you and me, but it was nice to see him try so hard and get excited about feeling you move a lot more than usual.



First family car review - VW Golf Wagen

We went to a Volkswagen dealer yesterday evening, in our search of the perfect family car and were proposed the Golf Wagen TDI (clean diesel technology).

I like:
  • The roomy cargo area (my dog can fit as well as the stroller)
  • The low floor (easy to load and unload)
  • The completely collapsible seats to increase cargo space
  • The assisted opening of door in hatchback
  • The panoramic sky roof that comes in option
He likes:
  • Its fuel economy
  • Its looks (cannot be called a mini-van)
  • The panoramic sky roof that comes in option
What would be nice:
  • More leg-room for passengers in the rear.
  • Electric opening and closing of the hatchback (as in the Passat Wagen)
We also had a quick look at the Passat and loved the electric opening and closing of the hatchback at the touch of a button and the increased space in the driver and passenger seats in front. However, the panoramic sky-roof and the Diesel engine are not available on the Passat.

We have been scheduled for a test drive of the Golf Wagen tonight. Will keep you posted!

The quest for a family-friendly car

Our current family situation:

  • Full-time working dad-to-be who drives 20 min. to work every day + loads his music gear in on the weekend to drive usually over an hour to get to the venues he performs at. 
  • Full-time working mom-to-me who commutes to work (train and bus)
  • Bernese mountain dog who takes up the whole back seat space 
Our current car:
  • Toyota Celica 2000
In the coming months, I'll be on maternity leave and will "need" a car with me at home while DF is at work with his. Time to start shopping!

The first car's mission = "daily trips to work and weekly trips to bars and venues". It needs to be:
  • Cheap on gas
  • Easy to manoeuver and park
  • Easy to load with his music gear (hatchback)
The second car's mission = "family car and backup when first car is gone". It needs to be:
  • Roomy (must sit 2 adults + 2 babies/kids + 1 large dog + some cargo)
  • Safe
  • Kids-friendly (anti-stain fabrics, assisted doors, sun protection in the back, easy to climb into and out, are all bonuses.)
  • Dog-friendly (hatchback)
  • Easy to load (hatchback + floor must not be too high)
  • DF will go on a hunger strike if I ever try to force him into a mini-van.
  • I will go on a hunger strike if the whole family cannot sit in the same car with their essentials (read strollers).
Since the Celica we have meets the needs for our first car, our search will be focussed on adding a family car.

Are you an anti-minivan mom? 
If so, what do you drive? 
How do you like it? 
Do you have any suggestions of what might the perfect-family car if minivans are out of the question?

Lazy Friday

Yesterday evening was our massage session at Spa Mont-St-Hilaire. Lovely! I'm very glad we went. On the other side, I realised just how much emotional I can get after a few episodes of crying for very silly things.

This morning, I feel relaxed. There is still tension and pressure in my stomach (I know, duh!!! lol) but my legs and back feel more relaxed... Maybe too relaxed?

And I'm at work. Looking at the clock...

I have stuff to do (lots) but I'm carefully choosing which ones (the fun ones) I'll be doing today as today is a lazy day for me and even though I truly love my job, there are days like that where my brain does not want to cooperate and procrastination awaits me every corner.

I miss Luka...

Luka's our dog... He's completely healthy and not far at all, so this might sound like a very random thought (at least to me). He's at home, waiting for us to come back from work but I wish I was with him back home already, in my slippers, combing his hair... I feel like I might have neglected him recently and that's bad.

Here's a few pictures of that sweet and loyal friend:

Tonight, I'll take him for a looong walk and all will be right again.

Bilinguism starts in the womb...

...at least, that's what the article below claims:

If you don't understand French, here's my attempt to translate the article into English...
Babies who evolve in a bilingual environment learn to differenciate both languages from the womb, according to a study published this week in Psychological Science.

A group of psychology researchers from University of British Columbia (Canada) and a researcher from OECD (France) came to that conclusion after studying 2 groups of newborns.

In the first group, babies had only heard English while in utero whereas the second group had heard both English and Tagalog (spoken in the Philippines).

In order to determine the babies' preference toward one language, the researchers have monitored their succion reflex, which increases when a newborn is interested by a stimulus.

In a first experience, babies have listened to a 10 minutes speach alternating every minute between English and Tagalog. Babies who were from the first group, and hence had only been exposed to English in utero, showed a more important succion reflex in the English parts than the Tagalog parts of the speach. Babies who had been exposed to both languages in utero did not show a preference.

Another experience consisted of speaking to babies in a language until they would no longer manifest interest. A second person woul then start adressing them either in the same language, either in the other one. The succion reflex has only shown to increase when the second person was communicating in the other language.

This experience suggests that bilingual babies, as well as unilingual babies are all capable of distinguishing between the 2 languages. This innate mechanism exists to help bilingual kids not confuse their 2 languages, and is an essential condition to the learning of bilinguism.
I have to admit I am completely impressed by these findings and glad that DF and I have been exposing our daughter-to-be to English and French conversations from the early beginning. Of course, I'm not going to pretend we did this in order to achieve any particular goal: we just happen to be a bilingual couple who interact with people in both languages everyday!

Still, it's great news to think Jade will start life with that extra push that will ease her learning.

My 22 weeks belly update

This is what I looked like on Feb.7th, when we had people over for a surprise baby shower.

This is me 22 weeks pregnant, with the father-to-be proudly pointing at my belly.

Jade is somewhere inside... Waiting to make her big appearance.

Don't we look happy?

Valentine Love Letter to Jade

Dear Jade,

Even though I'm already 23 weeks pregnant, you have been steadily growing in my belly for only 21 (I'll explain the mathematics of it all when you're older) and each one of your little movements, be it kicks, rolls or hiccups is always followed by a wave of pride and joy.

Pride and joy

This is also a song by Stevie Ray Vaughan that your daddy plays a few times every week so there's no doubt you'll hear it soon enough. The tune is catchy but I never really put much thought into the title of the song until now. It just describes so well how I feel when I think of you. If you don't like it, don't worry, he knows a lot of other songs too that might suit your taste better. My personal favorites are when he takes his classical guitar out and lets the magic fill the room. Don't be afraid to ask him, he tends to shy out because he doesn't practice it as much, but I'm sure he won't refuse you!

Of course, you're kicking just as I'm typing this, and I'm thinking: you're gonna be such a strong girl if you keep working out like this: maybe a soccer player? or a dancer like your parents? Whichever, mommy is already sooo proud of you!

Oh you might not know it yet but you'll be the cutest baby I ever laid eyes on. I'm sure you're gonna be the smartest too. How could you not?

If you're anything like your father, you'll be very smart, talented, honest, loyal, have strong work ethics and a good ear.

If you're anything like your mom, you will be very impatient, procrastinant and analytical, but smart, curious, organized, expressive, intuitive, romantic, charitable and have a good eye.

Your name itself conveys the idea of what you are to us now: a beautiful and precious gem.
I have to apologize already if that scares you a little. It's true that your mother has high expectations, but I'm confident it will come to you naturally. You've already met and exceeded all my previous expectations as a fetus.



I love Valentine's Day...

...and this year will be the best!

We have a history of celebrating Valentine in our favorite sushi restaurant and I had to think outside the box, considering sushi was a no-go for me this year.

After a quick Google search I found out there is a spa, located 2 streets away from our house... My expectations weren't so high considering I had never noticed it before and never heard about it either, but I think I might have just found a real gem!

Spa Mont-Saint-Hilaire

I visited their website to get an idea of the place, their prices and the services they offered and it all blew me away:

I can't believe we have been living so close to such a gorgeous place and never paid them a visit before!

Well, that time is gone! We have an appointment next Thursday with two 60 minutes massages (one of which is a pregnancy massage), 2 bottles of water, 2 herbal teas, and unlimited access to the scandinavian baths, saunas, steam room and the resting areas... All for $88. Not bad.

Although it is not recommended for me to do the scandinavian baths/sauna/steam room regimen, I am counting on a solid 2 hours or relaxation in the resting areas, either reading a book, napping or just staring blankly at the fireplace and imagining DF's first entry into the ice bath (*insert malicious smile here*).

Yesterday evening, we made a quick stop to the spa to see by ourselves what the website had been unable to show us: the inside and winter pictures.

I have to say the place is even more gorgeous than what the website had made me believe. There are 2 resting areas, both of which have a fireplace and large windows overlooking a splendid view. The oriental room displays white drapes flowing from the ceiling and floor cushions and matresses. The other resting room is the only place where chatter is allowed. Walking into this spa for yesterday's visit felt like walking into a temple. The smell of eucalyptus and the complete respectful silence we were wrapped in gave us a good taste of what our next Thursday will be like.


Trying to win a book!

I don't participate in just every contest out there but this one's special.

I could win... a book!

ABCs for Expectant Dads

Now careful about this book because it's not like the other pregnancy books I've bought or read already. This one might actually talk to DF about the pregnancy. YAY!

Finally a book with a sense of humor that can be straight forward yet detailed when it needs to be!

The contest can be entered by following the instructions on:

Good luck!!!

Ok stress is no longer my friend...

Not that my life is that stressful to begin with, I just think I'm particularly bad at dealing with it.

It used to give me problems in high school too:

I would be that smart kid who never got worried or stressed out before an oral presentation... My fellow students were probably jealous that I could keep my cool so well until the very very last minute. A typical oral presentation would go like this:

  1. Very little preparation from my part... And no stress during the weeks of preparation given to us.
  2. Casually walking in the classroom on The Day.
  3. Entering some kind of a transe while the others are performing and during which I'm feeling a bit weird.
  4. Doing my own presentation, as if I was a spectator, with no recollection of actually presenting.
  5. Walking back to my desk, legs starting to shake, hands starting to sweat and my face decomposing into a river of sobs and cries...
  6. Leaving the room and trying another calmer spot to sit down before my legs give up under me and lose complete control of my body.
Weird huh?

Anyways, the psychologist at my high school used to make me meditate on a regular basis and she would hypnotize me before each and every oral presentation. That trick seemed to work into making me "feel" a biit more stress before the oral presentation and that would normally avoid the big meltdown that normally followed.

Now, years later, and thinking this is all behind me, I'm starting to notice a recurring pattern since I became pregnant. It seems that everytime I have a deadline at work, if have to present what I've done to my superior, I feel very sick on that day. I swear I'm not making this up!

Yesterday was once of those days and my discomfort went as far as making me restitute my breakfast on my train ride to work in the morning... At first, I blamed the food, then the lack of sleep, then I didn't know what to look at but I felt really crappy all day long until I got out of the dreaded meeting at 2 pm, "magically healed".

I believe our emotions can get the best of us if not dealt with properly and I think I'm probably not adapting so well to being a big ball of emotions... Not that I'm not enjoying most of it, but rather, it seems to be a learning process and I still have much to learn in that department. The big surges of emotions I experienced this weekend (baby shower and all) did not make me any bit worried about my meeting on Monday... until it was too late and I crashed.

Note to self - must start meditating again.

Can you spell s-u-r-p-r-i-s-e?

Wow. I'm still in shock.

I just finished folding onesies and little pink outfits, even though the party ended around 3pm.

If you've never met my mom, then you've never met the best organizer on this continent. Sadly, I did not inherit much of her talent with hosting big dinners and family parties. For her, it is not only a second nature that comes naturally - it is a lifestyle.

Anyways, what happens when an elite hostess finds out her only daughter is pregnant? hmmm... I should have seen it coming...

A big biiiiiiiiig baby shower.

We had guests that flew in from Korea, Alberta and Sept-Iles, just for the occasion.

My mom's sisters and mother are just as excited about organizing a baby shower as my mom was so they all helped a lot. I had no idea this was happening and this morning, there was 33 people in my house only 4 of which lived within 30 minutes of driving from our place.

My dad, who was in Korea all week, managed to pull together a spectacular slideshow of baby pictures from DF and me.

We were completely "showered" with gifts that will be much appreciated when little Jade shows up. I don't think we'll be running out of burping cloths or facecloths anytime soon!

Come to think of it there's no much we'll need after this.  We're already on our way to receiving a stroller from my brother, we got money for the baby monitor and have a high chair promised to us from a neighbour... We're only missing a car seat and...

DIAPERS. Lol. I can't believe in the huge pile of gifts we got today there was not 1 diaper to be seen. I thought that was usually the "popular" gift at baby showers. But apparently, everyone also thought so and decided to be more original lol.

I can't wait to receive some of the pictures that were taken today...  My next baby belly picture is somewhere in there!  :) I promise to post it as soon as I receive them!

Here's a picture of DF and me opening presents...

And I was sleeping so well!

After the recent period of insomnia I suffered from multiple vivid recurring nightmares every night, it has been a whole week since I had any trouble sleeping... That was until yesterday...

The good = no nightmares
The bad = no sleep
The why = Jade was "moving the furniture around"

Being the typical virgo, I like to change and move the furniture around in the rooms that allow me to. It brings a fresh vibe and feel to the room and makes me enjoy it so much more... Until I get fed up again of that look and rearrange everything differently again. It's cyclical and healthy.

Has Jade inherited this trait from her Mommy?

Yesterday night, I woke up at 2 am and had a hurricane moving in my belly. Ok, a tiny banana-sized 19 weeks old hurricane that tried to rearrange my organs by tapping, kicking and pushing on them... The commotion stayed up all night until 5h45 and kept me awake most of that time.

Is she already fed up of the look in her little house? I certainly hope not, there are still 19 weeks to go before her due date! If she was not rearranging the furniture...

...maybe she was starting a P90X workout program, like her Daddy?

Whatever it was she was doing, I'm blaming the delicious ice cream special with bananas and strawberries DF spoiled me with last night for her excessive bursts of energy.

In conclusion, I think the ice cream special with bananas and strawberries is very good, beneficial and soothing to this pregnant lady's soul... But if having it after supper turns Jade into a Tasmanian devil for the whole night, I might try having it for breakfast instead!

Blog Award

For me?  I mean... really?!

When Suzanne Incognito, from Incognito Soapbox Confessions told me she was going to grant me a blog award yesterday, it came to me as a surprise.

For one thing, English is a second language to me and I'm all too aware it might come across here and there in the quality of my writing. Secondly, I too often neglect to embellish my posts with pictures and am surprised there is still a stranger out there caring enough to read through my long daily rants, let alone enjoy them enough to grant me an award! I realize now that my modest RSS feed is followed by 29 readers as of today. Wow. It warms my heart and makes me feel very loved.

THANK YOU -> To Suzanne, and all my readers :)


Now time to share the love...

I am passing this award to people who probably don't need more awards as it is, but who really brighten my day everytime I read a few of their lines:
  • Melissa, who shares her most delicious moments as Everly's new mom on Dear Baby
  • Kenny, who blogs about his experience as a new dad on Smonk You
  • Jennifer, who revealed she was expecting a baby girl yesterday in an online revealing party on Baby Makin(g) Machine
A gem to discover:

I'm such a geek

Yesterday on the train (I take the train to and from work everyday), a friend asked me if I am a web addict...

That question is pretty large... Are there some categories or levels of geekness one falls under?

Here are some of the things I use the internet for, that is not work-related, on a daily basis:
  • My home phone is VoIP.
  • I make all my long distance calls through Skype-out.
  • Reading RSS feeds (news and blogs).
  • Keeping touch with my friends through Facebook and email.
  • Finding phone numbers and office hours
  • Writing thoughts on my blog
  • Playing World of Warcraft (Horde BE Holy Priest on Bloodhoof, name's Petulya).
  • Online shopping (there's always something to shop for or reviews to look at)
Can I go without the internet? I'm guessing I could, but that would mean:
  • Getting a normal phone ($)
  • With a good long distance plan ($)
  • Subscribing to magazines and newspapers ($ + ecological waste)
  • Calling my friends and family more often and letting go of my aquaintances
  • Getting a new phonebook, and collecting business cards
  • Keeping a diary
  • Starting a new character in Oblivion, or Final Fantasy
  • Borrowing DF's car to several  stores to compare products and shop for the best ---> FAIL!
Ok, I would never do that. I just have a complete aversion for crowds and having to stand in the middle of one while looking around for something in particular and not having the results I'm used to on the web. I used to say that I hate shopping but in reality it's only the traditional form of shopping that make me impatient. When I'm shopping online, I can spend hours at it without buying anything and it won't bother me at all. When I get tired, I close the browser's page and I'm done. No need to drive home in the middle of traffic, while hungry or having to pee.

It's not so much that I couldn't live without the internet, but I find it conveniently replaced a lot of the traditional alternatives to get things done by being faster, more efficient and convenient.