Monday, June 30, 2008

Growth Scan

Just got home from the ultrasound, and much to my relief, everything went very well (Thank You G-d!).

The highlights:

-Maya is in the head-down position.
-My cervix is still holding strong at 3.2cm (no change from 14 weeks).
-Maya is still a GIRL!
-Maya is measuring at 32w6d; I am 33w1d today. The sonographer was quick to add that when you're this far along in pregnancy, a discrepancy of 2 days means absolutely nothing as the measurements become less accurate the further along you get. This does not change my due date.
-So why is my fundal height so big? Well, as it turns out I am carrying a "generous" amount of amniotic fluid. In the 95th percentile, to be exact. I'm going to ask my doctor about this but the sonographer did not seem concerned. A quick Google search on the subject yields a mixed bag of information but in a nutshell, this news is not great, but not
too bad. Looks like I could be at risk for going into labour early but as my cervix is still unchanged, I'm not terribly worried about it yet. But I will definitely talk to my doctor at my appointment next week. (Also of note - apparently amniotic fluid "maxes out" at 32 or 33 weeks, so that may have something to do with it too.)
-Maya's weight was estimated to be 4 pounds, 14 ounces.
-Maya has HAIR!!! Sweet little wisps of it visible on ultrasound. She has EYELASHES too!
-Maya is practicing her BREATHING! Her diaphragm was moving up and down in preparation for breathing air. Clever girl!
-Maya was gripping the umbilical cord with her right hand. Don't squeeze too hard little one!
-Maya's face is just like D's and her feet are exactly like mine.
-Maya wasn't moving all that much, she was just kinda chillin' out. But she is pretty crammed in there so there's not a lot of room for her to go crazy.
-The sonographer said that everything looked "perfect". Music to my ears!

I can't post the pictures, unfortunately; They are just way too grainy to see anything really and besides I don't have access to a scanner now that I'm off work. You'll just have to take my word for it when I say that baby girl is super cute and I am so relieved that she healthy and just the right size.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

33 Weeks Today

I bought stuff yesterday. Diapers, diaper rash cream, breast pads, nipple cream, the works. It felt weird to do it. It felt simultaneously uncomfortable and exhilarating buying these things for my baby; like WOW is this really happening? And soon?

While I was perusing the baby aisle a lady stopped me and said, "So, not long now, eh? [Don't laugh at the "eh", I'm Canadian!] Are you excited? Babies are such a miracle." She went on about how she misses having babies (she was an older lady) and how she loved being pregnant. I told her that I was excited and thrilled beyond words. As she walked away, she looked at me and said, "I truly wish you all the very best of luck." It was a nice exchange. I thanked her for her kind words.

I'm still feeling a bit of anxiety about tomorrow's ultrasound. I don't know why, really. I guess these appointments just make me nervous in general. It will be good to see just exactly how big she is and if she is head-up or head-down. I honestly can't tell what position she is in. I feel movement high up under my ribs and low, like around my belly button. D is coming with me to the ultrasound and I'm thankful for that. I like to think he's our lucky charm.

I'll post with an update tomorrow after the ultrasound. Please keep a good thought for us for tomorrow at 2pm PST. Heartfelt thanks, everyone.

And as a show of gratitude for these well-wishes, I leave you with this lovely self-shot image, which no doubt will haunt your nightmares for at least a week:
Note that my once abyss-deep belly button is now completely flat and has indeed grown a smaller belly button inside. I think it's just mere days away from transforming into a true blue outie. (Side note: I wonder if it will make a popping sound when that happens?)

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Stink. Like Really, Really Bad.

About three weeks ago, I started noticing that my deodorant just wasn't working like it should. Despite how much I washed my armpits (with antibacterial soap no less) and no matter how much deodorant I applied, I could not stave off the eventual B.O.

You know it's bad when when you can smell it on yourself.

At my last doctor's appointment, I arrived wearing a heavy long sleeve shirt. Dr. R asked if I could take it off so she could take my blood pressure on my bare upper arm. I warned her that she might regret asking me to do that and told her she better hold her breath. She laughed and said she was not surprised, adding that towards the end of pregnancy it's not uncommon for women's chemistry to change thus causing them to, well, stink. Apparently it's due to the increase in hormone levels.

And unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about this.

So here I am, sitting in my sun-toasted condo at the beginning of summer with about 7 weeks of pregnancy left to go. Sitting here sweating and stinking. Stinking and sweating.

This is just one of the many aspects of pregnancy that no one ever warns you about. I should write a book about all these bodily surprises I've come across. Pleasant it's not, but I wouldn't trade a second of this for the world.

Stank and all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blown Away

I just found out that three of my friends are throwing me a baby shower. It was supposed to be a surprise, but they decided to let me in on it because A) they wanted me to have an opportunity to invite who I want and B) they didn't want me to be so surprised that I suddenly go into labour.

I am touched and moved beyond words. Words can't express my appreciation for this lovely, lovely gesture.

So my baby shower is on July 10th and other than the date and the guest list, I have no other details. I truly have the sweetest and kindest friends in the world.

I'll definitely take lots of pictures and post them!

I am so lucky and so spoiled.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quick Update

Had my semi-weekly doctor's appointment today... All went very well, and for that I am sincerely grateful.

There was some sugar in my urine this morning, and the doctor said that it could be caused by something I ate and even if it wasn't, she said it's not that uncommon at this point in pregnancy. She basically reminded me to watch my sugar intake (which I usually do) and not worry about it too much.

I only gained one pound in two weeks so that was good news.

My fundal height is only measuring about one week ahead this time. At first, I found this to be a bit of a relief because if you recall, two weeks ago, she was measuring FOUR weeks ahead. But then I started wondering if that meant she hasn't grown at all in the last two weeks. When I asked about it, my doctor laughed and said, what it means is that the doctor who measured me last time tends to measure bigger and it's not an exact measurement anyway. But, because my fundal height has been consistently big, and she could tell I was concerned, she agreed to send me for an ultrasound to verify just how big Maya really is. My scan is scheduled for Monday June 30th at 2:00pm. I gotta admit, I'm nervous! These nerves never seem to settle no matter how far along we get in this pregnancy.

Also, on palpation today, my doctor seems to think that Maya is breech. Which is fine now, she still has plenty of time to turn. And again, this was just a guess on her part and the scan on Monday will confirm just what my little girl is doing in there exactly. I kinda think she is head-down but what do I know?

All in all, a good appointment. As Dr. R was finishing up with me, she made it a point to say that Maya is doing "great". Music to my ears!

Wish us luck for Monday's scan.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

32 Weeks Today

32 weeks = 8 months! EIGHT MONTHS!!!

This is a very special milestone. A few appointments back, my doctor mentioned that if a baby is born at 32 weeks, the long-term health outcomes are the same as if the baby was born full term. They would have to be in the NICU for a few weeks but a 32-week preemie has the same rate of survival (and long-term good health) as a 40-week baby.

Do I dare breathe a teeny tiny sigh of relief?

Maya has been sleeping a bit more, I have noticed. I still feel her often, but she's a tad lazier than she was in previous weeks. I think it is a combination of her running out of room to move and the fact that she's starting to sleep more to get ready for birth. I read somewhere babies do that near the end. She still goes nutso in the afternoons and in the evenings after dinner, which I look forward to every day.

I am bigger than ever now. My belly seems to stick out a mile and I am truly starting to resemble a beached whale. I go back and forth between feeling beautifully pregnant and horrendously huge. Of course I LOVE my big pregnant belly and it really is the greatest fashion accessory; I can get away with wearing almost any ridiculous or ragged outfit I want because the belly gets all the attention anyway. But I certainly don't feel as sexy or alluring as I used to think I was.

All in all, I feel really good aside from a few very minor discomforts: Heartburn, hip pain, breathlessness, and basically just being slightly uncomfortable. But I certainly can't complain. I am loving every minute of this.

Here are the latest pics of Maya and me:

Friday, June 20, 2008

720 Baby Wipes

I'm sorry. I have been lax at posting this week due to being busy. My parents are in town and have kindly been driving me around to a million errands that I have been putting off. D and I don't have a car - we're true blue city folk - so when my parents show up, I'm afraid I tend to take too much advantage of their offer to taxi me around town.

Yesterday was one such trip. We went to Costco! There is a Costco right in the middle of downtown Vancouver (less than half a mile from our home) and although we have a membership, I do find it challenging to make the trip on a regular basis without a vehicle.

Well yesterday was my chance to do some damage. Armed with a fully loaded debit card and my parent's SUV, I arrived with my folks, ready to shop. We timed our arrival for 11:00am - figuring that this would be the least busy shopping time. The world was our oyster.

Costco treated us well, and I managed to get out of there spending less than $300. Notably, my favourite purchase was a big ol' industrial-sized box of baby wipes - 720 to be exact. Buying them felt amazing, exhilarating, exciting. It's the little things in life, I suppose.

This isn't a very exciting post. I apologize for that. I guess that's just where I'm at right now. I'm caught up doing the ho-hum preparations and biding my time until Maya arrives. She is all I think about. All day, every day. I am so excited to wipe her cute little bum with those 720 baby wipes.

Monday, June 16, 2008


My parents took me shopping for all kinds of baby stuff today. Thanks to their INCREDIBLE generosity, Maya's room is now outfitted with some gorgeous nursery furniture PLUS we got a fantastic new stroller. Here's what we got:

This crib and dresser/changing table (the one on the left, not the right, and without the hutch):
And PS- the crib converts into a day bed and a full-size bed for when baby girl gets older.

This crib bedding set:

This stroller (The Bugaboo Chameleon in Denim...ahhh drool):

And this diaper bag:

Unfortunately the only teeny tiny issue with the nursery furniture is that, since it is built to order, it won't be ready for 8 to 12 weeks from now. I am a little disappointed that I can't set everything up sooner, but really it's not a big deal. Maya will be in a bassinet in our room for the first few months anyway. And as far as changing her diapers go, well I can just use the changing mat that came in the diaper bag while we wait for the changing table. Plus, the store said our order might arrive earlier anyway so we'll see what happens. Either way, I am really, REALLY happy with our purchases.

My mum asked me today if all this shopping made everything feel more real. I'm not sure how to answer that. But I can say that buying everything was really exciting. I think Maya thought so too; she kicked me all day.

Today was a really fun day. THANKS AGAIN MUM AND DAD!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

31 Weeks Today

Woohoo!! The countdown of remaining weeks is now officially in single digits.

I have indeed noticed that it's true what the books and websites say; Maya's movements have become less forceful and strong lately. While I still feel her moving around often, her movements now seem to be of the squirmier variety and less kicky and punchy. And she does tend to get the hiccups quite often too (which I love).

I am still not sleeping well but I'm just getting used to it. C'est la vie and it's a small price to pay. I honestly don't mind. Other interesting developments include:

1. I can no longer bend over without considerable effort and maneuvering.
2. None - and I mean none - of my bras fit anymore, even my maternity bras.
3. I have far less patience for bullshit.
4. I am feeling unusually and noticeably mushy for my husband, bordering on needy.
5. When I sit in certain ways (i.e. slouching), I get short of breath.
6. Lastly (and this is an embarrassing admission), I am having trouble *ahem* uh, wiping after going to the loo. In other words, my tummy has grown and my ass has grown but my arms have stayed the same length. It's quite a conundrum. I can't seem to reach past my big ol' belly and I can't seem to twist around to reach past my big ol' bum. This is one of those interesting things they never tell you about being pregnant.

I am going crib and changing table shopping with my parents tomorrow. I'm quite excited! It will be great to finally have the nursery complete and ready to go. Not that I want to tempt my little girl to come early; it will just be a relief to feel more prepared.

When I was out for a walk this morning, I saw a mum changing her newborn baby girl on a blanket on the grass at the park. I thought to myself, "I am going to have one of those soon." Amazing. I am so SO excited.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


My friend L is taking a photography class and she had to complete an assignment today in which she was to take several photos of a subject (me) using different exposures and framing. This one is my favourite.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yup, It's 4am Again

I've been up since 3:00 and I can't sleep. I'm sitting here at my computer drinking milk and eating toast. Not a bad way to spend the wee hours of the morning.

I had my regular doctor's appointment yesterday. I saw a locum instead of my usual doctor. I really liked her. She is very calm and zen and that works well for a high-strung personality such as mine. I am happy and relieved to report that everything was fine, great, normal. There is nothing so excellent as a boring doctor's appointment. Here are the highlights:

-My uterus (fundal height) is measuring FOUR WEEKS AHEAD now. You may recall that at my last appointment I was three weeks ahead. I asked the doctor is this was something to be concerned about and she said, "nah, it's not an exact measurement." Whatever that means. But I think we can all agree that baby girl is gonna be a big 'un.

-Maya is much bigger than I thought. The doctor confirmed that she is indeed head-down now. Apparently her head is in my pelvis (although not "engaged" yet, thank goodness) and her bum is all the way up under my ribcage. I was surprised by the fact that she is now taking up my entire belly. I don't know what I thought she was doing before, but I guess it's just amazing to imagine that at 30 weeks, she is already "baby sized". This sounds weird, but I think back to when I was newly pregnant and baby was smaller than a grain of rice... and now she is the size that she is... it seems fantastic and surreal. Keep growing baby girl!

-The doctor had to push and prod my belly to figure out baby girl's positioning. She poked at us pretty hard and I must admit it was a tad uncomfortable having someone with their hand pushed right into my baby belly. Maya must have thought so too because she gave the doctor a karate chop right in the hand. The doctor and I both had a laugh. This was indeed the highlight of the appointment.

I will now have my doctor's appointments every two weeks, instead of monthly. Then, at 36 weeks, I will start going weekly.

Maybe it's because I'm off work now, but time sure seems to be speeding up lately. Here's hoping it keeps going like that until Maya arrives. I am so excited!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Ass Crack Of Dawn

I am getting all too familiar with the AM hours. I can almost pinpoint exactly when that first city bird will start squawking and when the lighting in my bedroom begins to turn from pitch black to charcoal grey. Early morning has become a dear friend to me. I seem to jolt awake just before 4am. I'll lie in bed for about an hour and just enjoy feeling Maya's early morning Jazzercise class. Then, when my hunger gets the better of me, I'll meander downstairs and have breakfast, check my email, and read my blogs. A happy little routine this has become. Of course, my contentment with this new early morning agenda is solely based on the fact that I have the freedom to nap any old time I want, thanks to being off work now. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I'd be a crabby, sleep-deprived wreck.

At some point around 7am-ish, D will wander downstairs and I will make him some breakfast. He'll then shower and get dressed and head off to work. I'll probably go back to bed for a couple of hours before getting up (again) and starting my day. This is how my mornings have been going. Everyone says this is good training for when Maya arrives and I'll need to wake up throughout the night, and I suppose they're right. Based on her activity levels in the womb, I think I may just have a little night owl on my hands!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

30 Weeks Today

Wow. 30 weeks. Seems like a big milestone to me.

Here are some random updates on this pregnancy as of the Big 3-0:

Weight Gain: Up about 40 pounds, I'd estimate. Not that I care about my weight really, but my doctor will give me a hard time, I'm sure.

Appetite: Ravenous. All. The. Time.

Cravings: Salt & Vinegar chips, fresh fruit, any delicious thing I see on TV.

Sleeping: A joke. Between the hip pain and the need to pee, I'm up at least 8-10 times a night. And I'm acutely aware that it only gets worse from here on out. Luckily, one of the many perks of being off work now is that I can take a nap any old time I want, and I definitely take advantage of that.

Breast Changes: I don't even recognize them anymore. They're huge and my areolas resemble dark brown pancakes. Quite a far cry from where they started before pregnancy.

Belly Size: Pretty darn big. What do you think?

Digestion: Not bad at all. I do have some reflux/heartburn on occasion but other than that, I feel good. No constipation either.

Braxton Hicks: I still get them all the time. Some days I only get 1 or 2, other days, it's more like 15 or 20. I hate them. They're uncomfortable and they make me worry.

Baby Movement: Maya isn't a big schedule follower. But I have felt her more and more each week as this pregnancy has progressed. I typically feel her move around every hour if I'm paying attention, or every 2-3 hours if I'm not. She is generally fairly quiet during the morning, moves a bit in the afternoon and goes crazy after dinner. If I'm awake in the middle of the night, I feel her gymnastics then too. Also, her movements have changed from kicks and taps to those of the squirmier variety lately. And, as usual, some days are super active and other days are more quiet.

Baby Position: I'm pretty sure she's head-down at this point. I tend to feel movement on the sides of my abdomen and just under my ribs. Plus, sometimes she does this lop-sided thing where my belly sticks out on one side and I swear it's her sweet little bum. But at this point, it's all just a guess.

Baby Purchases: None to date. However, I do plan on buying Maya's crib, changing table, and stroller next weekend (or just shortly thereafter). Plus, I have registered, which was a huge step for me!

Best Gift I've Received So Far: An adorable zebra-striped little newborn bikini. So freakin' cute. (All though D says she's not allowed to wear it out of the house because she doesn't want any of the boy babies making eyes at her.)

Nursery Preparations: All clean and ready for furniture!

Books I'm Reading: What to Expect the First Year, First-Time Parents, The BabyCenter Essential Guide to Your Baby's First Year.

Current Mental State: Really excited, happy, grateful for every day, feeling ready to meet my daughter. At this point, I'm still not the least bit scared of going through labour. I think I've just resigned myself to the fact that it's happening and in the end, I will get to hold Maya in my arms so really, I think I am more excited than nervous. At least at this point. My anxiety is markedly less since I've been off work, which is great. I still do have my moments occasionally (i.e. last night when I found a worm in my corn on the cob...gross!!!) but for the most part I am able to keep many of my worries at bay. Sort of.

How I Plan To Spend the Next 10 Weeks: Relaxing, spending quality time with D, enjoying the quiet times and reading every baby book I can get my hands on. We are SO excited!

Friday, June 6, 2008

This Baby's Got Back: A Chronicling Of My Pregnant Sleeping Challenges

I have noticed that my hips have really been hurting over the past week or so. They ache and feel like they're out of their sockets. I don't know if this is a product of my joints loosening up in preparation for labour or a side effect of sleeping on my side. I tend to notice it more at night. Anyone else experiencing this?

Speaking of side-sleeping, I've also noticed that lately, I keep waking up on my back. A pregnancy no-no! Despite my Snoogle maternity pillow and the fact that I am not sleeping so soundly these days, I have found myself waking up on my back at least once a night. I've always been confused about this. I mean, I know why back sleeping isn't great for a pregnant woman, but how bad is it, really? Haven't pregnant women been sleeping on their backs for centuries? Isn't this new no-back-sleeping rule relatively new? My mum never heard of it.

Also, at a little over 29 weeks pregnant, I am getting up to pee at least 8-10 times every night, even if I make it a point to restrict my water intake well before bedtime.

I am curious if anyone else is experiencing any of this nighttime fun and if anyone has any tips to make it easier. I have sort of resigned myself to having these restless nights for the rest of my pregnancy, but I would be delighted to hear if anyone has any tricks up their sleeves to make pregnant sleeping a bit easier.

One bonus of not sleeping so well is that I get to be awake and witness baby girl's nightly squirming show, which I love. This kid definitely likes the night life, baby.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Well, I Did It... Sort Of.

I registered. At least at one place. I wanted to register at two places - one place called Crocodile Baby - a local, very hip, very expensive, modern and organic baby store that I absolutely love. Everything there is just my style. And the other - Babies R Us (natch), simply for accessibility's sake. I am happy to report that my registry at Crocodile Baby is now pretty much complete. And today, I plan on registering at BRU.

Whoa, big step.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be registering for my baby's birth, I think I would have laughed in their face while simultaneously trying to pin them down for a big wet kiss (a weird mental picture).

With regard to registering, however, I really doubt I'll get much, if anything from my registries. First off, I really don't have very many friends and secondly, my mum tells me that my extended family is probably going to give us baby clothes, which is a nice gesture but honestly the last thing Maya needs right now. Her wardrobe is already bigger than mine. We'll see what happens, but I'm not expecting much from my registries.

Baby girl's movements are getting so interesting. In addition to the usual kicks and punches that I had been feeling all these weeks, she is now doing these great squirming and stretching movements, which feel amazing. It feels like sweeping elbows and knees, rather than something like an actual kick, per se. Last night at 4am, I just laid awake in awe at the amazing show she was putting on for me. Sometimes I swear I could almost grab a little foot or hand from the outside. I still do get some kicks, but it is so interesting to witness how varied her movements are getting. I feel so lucky. And it never seems to get old; every single movement is like a magical miracle, as corny as that sounds, I just love feeling them so very much.

I have been trying to ascertain Maya's position, as so many of the books and websites say that she may go head-down anytime now. I think she's still small enough to move around quite a bit so I don't know how useful it is for me to figure out her position just yet. And because I feel so many of her movements on the right and left sides of my abdomen (sometimes simultaneously!), I think if anything, she likes to hang out in the transverse position most often.

Last night, I swear I felt a little bum. The cutest little bum in the world.

Monday, June 2, 2008

29 Weeks Yesterday

Usually I try to make it a point to post a little something every Sunday, when I hit a weekly milestone. However, being on maternity leave has made me even more scatterbrained than usual and I'm afraid I completely lost track of time yesterday. I remembered in the middle of the night, however, when the thought occurred to me suddenly, out of the blue..."I forgot to post!" Oh well, so this post is a wee bit delayed.

So yesterday we arrived at 29 weeks. I celebrated by having a facial. I'd never had one before and it was really, really nice. Although, because of having lie on my side for so long, I was contending with some major hip pain before the end of it.

I was really nervous about going, I must admit. Why? I was afraid they'd use some non-pregnancy friendly products on my skin, despite the fact that I went in there with a list of all the things I did not want to be exposed to. Scary retainoids! Frightening salicylic acid! Cursed essential oils!! When I asked the esthetician beforehand if the products had any of this stuff in there, she kinda looked at me blankly and without even checking, responded, "I'm pretty sure our products will be safe for you." Pretty. Sure. Pretty sure? Pretty sure is usually not good enough for me - at all - but for some reason, this time, this one time, I let go of my need to control and consented. I figured, I am not the first pregnant woman to have a facial. And plus, my skin looks fabulous now and feels oh so soft. Maya kicked me through almost the entire appointment, as if to say, "It's alright mum, I'm fine."

I know this sounds crazy, but having this facial and just letting go and accepting that everything will be okay, was a HUGE step for me.

Other than the facial, I've not been up to anything too exciting these last couple of days. Just the nesting. Serious, breakneck nesting. I am all about the nesting right now.

I'm going to have D take a photo of me today so you can see how big I'm getting. Stay tuned!