November 21, 2011

Week 31 - So much going on!!

Whew - I'm still here folks, and all is going well!!  Sorry about the blogging break - things were a bit hectic around here, which means I have lots to report. 

Let's see....where to start?   How about with our prenatal classes?  I know, woo woo prenatal classes, how enthralling right?  Seriously though, for those of us that are birthing a child within the next couple of months, it's actually VERY enthralling.  And for those that are hoping to birth that child in the comfort of their own home (without pain medication) it's even MORE enthralling!!   We decided to take a class with the childbearing society because of their focus on natural childbirth, and so far, we are really happy with our choice.  We've been to 3 classes and we already feel much more confident about our ability to handle childbirth.  Now let's hope the next few classes that focus on childcare instill confidence in our ability to look after our little girl once she arrives. Because I hear, contrary to popular belief, that looking after a newborn is actually more terrifying than giving birth to said newborn - heh.

And with that in mind, let's talk about doulas!  For those that are wondering, a doula is an individual who provides non-medical support to a woman and her family during labour and childbirth, and sometimes during the postpartum period too.  In order to achieve our hope of having a natural homebirth, we've decided to hire a doula to help support both Patrick and I during the beautiful (but likely long and difficult) process of giving birth to our little girl.

So a couple weeks ago, I met with one of the highly recommended doulas from Acumamas.  I soon discovered why these ladies are so highly recommended.  From the moment we first started chatting, I knew I'd feel safe and comfortable having this woman with us while going through the birthing process.  And with that, we hired ourselves a birthing doula!  She's also licenced to perform acupuncture, which means acupuncture treatments are part of her doula services.  I'm not normally one to follow alternative medicine, but I must admit, the statistics that point towards the benefits of acupuncture and preparing a woman in late pregnancy for labour are quite compelling.  And it certainly won't cause any harm - so I figure - why not!

We also plan on hiring a post partum doula (for at least a couple weeks after little girl arrives), since we don't have a lot of family and friends here to help with the baby during those crazy first few months. A post partum doula is kind of like a nurse, and a nanny, and a lactation consultant, and a light housekeeper all rolled up in one terrific package!   If we need help with the basics of newborn care, she can show us what we need to know.  If we need a couple hours of rest, she'll look after the baby while we do so.  If we need someone to run a load of laundry or two or ten, she'll do so.  If I need help establishing breastfeeding, she'll have all sorts of pointers and tips. And if we just need to know that the crazyness we are experiencing is a normal part of newborn life, she'll be able to reassure us of that too - haha.   Pretty awesome right?  I thought so too!  We've got someone in mind and are hoping to meet up with her sometime this week or next.   

Hmmm....what else?  Oh yes, we revamped our bedroom last weekend (including a new coat of paint) just in time to have our maternity photos taken on Saturday.   Yup, that's right, we redid the entire bedroom one weekend before the actual photo shoot.  Nothing like a deadline to get my arse in gear (we've been meaning to paint the bedroom for close to a year now - hah).   We also made a lovely padded headboard  (something else I've been meaning to do for YEARS) and decked out the bed in new linens.  We went with a nice warm grey for the walls, and kitted out the rest of the room with purple, white and dark grey decor.  I love it!  You'll get to see how it looks once we get our photos from the photographers!

Which brings me to our awesome photo shoot with Gracci and Rico!   The morning started out with a make up session with Ai Nagasawa.  Ai was super sweet, and easy to chat with as she did my make up.  I didn't take any photo inspiration of what I wanted - just told her to make it natural looking - and I was super happy with the results!  I felt absolutely gorgeous, which as some of you know, can be difficult to achieve when 31 weeks pregnant - hah.   Then Gracci and Rico arrived (and brought our little girl the sweetest pair of teeny tiny shoes - how crazy thoughtful is that!!) and we started the shoot with some "lifestyle" photos in our own home.  Saturday was actually one of the few sunny (albeit cold) days we've had in a while, so after we finished up at home, we made our way to the olympic village for magic hour.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of being in front of the camera, but when I'm all dolled up, and when I know the caliber of photos the photographers are capable of, I don't seem to mind so much - haha.  I had a ton of fun and can not WAIT to see the photos.  Hopefully, we should have them before Christmas - yay yay yay!!

And now for the weekly (or not so weekly) check in:

Week: 31 (3/4 of the way there!)

Weight Gain: I haven't stepped on a scale in some time now - but I do know I'm well over 20lbs gained at this point.  And although the number on the scale is kind of crazy to see, it doesn't really bother me.  In fact, I was saying to some gals at work the other day, that this is the least self conscious I've felt about my body in years!  I'm not constantly trying to pull in my gut, or worried about muffin top.   In fact, I tend to wear more form fitting tops just to SHOW OFF the belly - haha.  It's really quite liberating!

Feeling:  The heartburn and indigestion have set in for good it seems.  I suppose I did well making it this far without much issue in that regard, but it really takes the fun out of eating when the first thing you think is...hmmm I wonder if this will come back to haunt me at 3am!

Maternity Clothes:  The weather has cooled off considerably, and I found myself wearing the same 5 tops week in and week out, which meant they were getting washed alot, and thus, very worn looking.  So I finally went out and splurged on some new winter items!  Picked up some sweaters and long sleeved tops, as well as a couple pair of skinny jeans to wear with my new boots.  I'm pretty much all kitted out now :)  My only problem at this point is taking the dog for a walk in the rain.  I refuse to buy maternity rain gear for such a short period of time!  So far I've been able to wear my non maternity rain paints below the belly, but that's not going to last much longer.  And I wear my rain jacket unzipped with a fleece underneath which helsp to keep most of the water out.  I think I might have to get a cheap poncho soon though.  Lovely. 

Cravings: Still none.  How boring.  Maybe I'll add a couple more things here instead.  How about a report on the belly button (still an inny) and stretchmarks (still managing to avoid these) over the next weeks!

Milestones:  How about being close enough to the end to be taking prenatal classes?  Oh and we took a fantastic infant and child CPR class too!  Aren't we the overly prepared parents :)

Movement:  More and more movement these days.  And it's not just kicks now...I can actually feel her move her hands and legs across my belly.  Just the other morning we played the "I poke you and you poke me back" game.  So cute!!  And for some reason, she loves going hog wild the minute I get into bed and rest on my left side.  Funny girl. 

Weekly Wisdom:  Enjoy the lazy moments whenever possible (and boy did we enjoy being lazy on sunday after a few hectic weeks).

Random Name Ideas:  We are really hoping that the name we have chosen fits our little girl when she arrives, because we don't have much of a list other than that - haha.

And a terrible photo - just cuz I love you all that much:

Prepared but Hectic Mama!

November 1, 2011

Week 28 - hello third trimester!

Wow - lots of fun things have been happening around the English household!  You'll have to forgive my posting absense last weekend; my parents were visiting this week, so we were busy getting ready for their arrival (suuuuuuuuuuuuuure our house is always this clean mom & dad - hah).

First things first, I'm happy to report that my glucose tolerance test was completely normal - phew!  Now I won't feel guilty when snacking on the leftover halloween candy - om nom nom nom.  Seriously though, the test was, shall we say...interesting?  After an 8 hour fast (overnight), I arrived at the blood lab bright and early to have the first tube of (fasting) blood drawn.  Then I chugged a very sugary orange flavoured drink (think flat c-plus but sweeter) and hung around in the waiting room for two hours until the 2nd and 3rd tube of blood were drawn at the one and two hour mark respectively.  Needless to say I was very happy to have a banana and a granola bar in my bag because I was damn hungry after all that fasting!

And it's a good thing I don't have to cut out the sweets altogether because baby girl really seems to like them! She's been moving a lot more over the past couple of weeks.  So much so that she's actually keeping me up at night.  She's also kicked Patrick in the back when I snuggled up behind him in bed, and she makes my belly vibrate and jiggle with her movements.  I've always thought baby movements would seem really freaky - like the movie aliens or something.  As it turns out, when it's your own baby moving around in there, it's actually a huge comfort.   Brings a smile to my face every time I feel her moving around, letting me know she's alive and kicking :)

Of course as soon as someone else puts their hand on my belly, she stops completely - the little stinker!  At least my mom was able see her move my belly while she was here!  And we went for a 3d ultrasound while my parents were visiting too, so they got to see her rubbing her face and moving around on the screen.   We did a lot of other fun activities while parents were here too....explored the anthropology and maritime museums, picked pumpkins from a patch, ate out at tasty restaurants, walked along the seawall, and attended a surprise baby shower - for me!

What an amazing baby shower it was too!  Without my knowledge, vancouver Jayne (not to be confused with toronto Jane - although I think the two of them would get along like two peas in a pod - haha) organized and hosted a gorgeous shower while my parents were visiting!  It was awesome to have my mom there, joining in the festivities and putting faces to the names of all the wonderful Vancouver ladies in my life. I was completely overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness and generosity, not to mention the tasty treats and beautiful decor; I swear it was like something straight out of Martha Stewart Living!! Pictures to come (as soon as Jayne sends them to me *ahem*).

I must say, Patrick played his part in the surprise to a tee.  He never let on about the event, and made it seem like he and my parents had just come up with an activity for us to do that very morning.  He very casually mentioned keeping the activity a surprise "just for the fun of it" so I really didn't suspect a thing! Not even when they blindfolded me to "keep me in suspense for a bit longer" and led me over the lawn, up the front steps and through the door of Jayne's house - haha.   Well done love!!

As you can see, baby and I have been pretty darn busy!  I guess it's time for the update:

Week: 28

Weight Gain: I'm now up by 19 lbs.  The number is slowly creeping upwards, but I'm really not too concerned at this point.  I feel like I'm all belly, so that's good!

Feeling:  Feeling pretty good these days.  My middle back still aches by the end of the day, but I find it's worse if I've been sitting around a lot - so getting out and about with my parents has been great.  I also went for a prenatal massage which was amazing!  You can bet I made a second appointment as soon as my first session was done!

Maternity Clothes:  The cold weather has arrived, and my jackets are no longer zipping up, so I broke down and bought a 20 dollar fleece jacket in a men's large (thank you costco).  It's not pretty, but it has plenty of room, and keeps me warm so it will do the job for now!

Cravings: Starting to doubt that I'll ever have a "textbook" pregnancy craving at this point.  Only time will tell I suppose.  

Milestones: Third trimester - woot woot!  Scary and exciting all at the same time. This baby is going to be here in no time.

Movement:  Lots of movement in the past couple of weeks.  Much stronger, and much more consistent throughout the day too.  Except if I'm trying to get someone else to feel it of course.

Weekly Wisdom:  Make sure to get up and get moving, even if you feel slow and cumbersome.

Random Name Ideas: We're stll pretty happy with a specific name combo - nothing else has come up yet that beats it....any guesses?

And something a little different for a bump photo this week (plus a few more photos just for fun)

My belly is as round as that diving bell - haha

  My view from across the ottoman while eating breakfast (ie pls don't throw away your cereal milk)....
Patrick's new shades...
 Mom and Dad at the Pumpkin patch!

One Very Lucky Mama!