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:


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.