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.