Pregnancy

Still Here! Still Pregnant!

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Guys.

Unacceptable, I know.

It has been forever and a day since I’ve blogged, which is something I am in the process of correcting.

Today is just a little note saying “hi!  Don’t forget about me!”  And to update you briefly on a few things, bullet-point styles:

I’m sitting (uncomfortably) at 38 weeks + 2 days pregnant.  Which, if you remember from my 34-week pregnancy update, is just outside the cusp of when my midwife predicted I’d go into labour.  Sooooo…. any minute now??  Hello?  Bueller??

– The IKEA dresser is done!  HUZZAH!  It still smells like an IKEA dresser – which is to say, not great – so I have to find a way to make the drawers baby-clothes friendly before I load them up.  Any tips??

– Bee is doing so great.  She’s growing smarter by the second, and just the other day crawled onto my lap, lifted my shirt and screamed at my belly, “BABY!  COME OUT NOW!”  I wonder where she got that from… heh…

– We’re getting a new car!  Upgrading our Forester to a new model that is super safe and will make me much more comfortable in when driving around 2 small children, especially with a potentially crazy winter looming….

– During this writers block funk, I have actually done a bit of writing!  PercyVites, a super fun website that allows you and your child to create 3D video greetings, recently asked me to contribute a piece to their blog, PercyViews!  My first time contributing to another site!!  I had to do it!  And of course I had to think of something that was relevant to my life at the moment, so I wrote a short bit on preparing your toddler for the new baby!  Here’s the link, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it 🙂

– In not so exciting news now: we had a bit of a scare.  Again.  At my 37-week positioning ultrasound last Friday, to make sure that Pelé is head down – the tech picked up that my amniotic fluid levels were on the very low side of normal.  Still within the normal range, but just kinda super low.  UGH.  Since then I have had two other scans, the first measured the levels the same as the previous one.  Which, my midwife said, would mean if it dropped any lower, would mean I would have to be induced.  Totally not on my birth plan.  But thankfully, yesterday’s showed that the levels had gone up!  I have no clue why or how that happened, but it means no induction!  Well, for now.  I go back next week for a follow-up ultrasound to make sure they haven’t dropped again…. but I’m really hoping I have this kid on my own before then.

– I’ve decided to put #ASKAMAMA Monday on a bit of a hiatus as we prepare for this baby to arrive.  I LOVE doing them – it’s so much fun getting to know different Mamas and seeing what kind of questions come in for them to tackle – and having a soft deadline for myself has been really great for my spirits.  Being a SAHM has been something I’ve struggled with a bit, so pushing myself to get the videos out every Monday has made me feel really good.  Even though, yes, I know I still owe you all the last from Kat Armstrong!   And I am slowly working on it!  Unfortunately this writing funk has spilled over into an editing funk, but I’m working on it!  I really am!!

So, yep.  That’s about it for now!  I’m starting to feel the tingles back in my fingers, and will be back on this bandwagon for reals, real soon.

And in the meantime, here’s a super cute picture of Bee givin’ the bump some love for you all to enjoy.

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#ASKAMAMA Monday with Kat Inokai: Where Do We Go From Here?

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This week Kat tackles a sensitive yet important question from K., regarding sex and relationship issues post-miscarriage.

Kat handles it gracefully and provides valuable insight from her own struggles with the same issues.

Here’s how you can ask a question for an upcoming episode:

– Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA

– Leave what’s on your mind in the comment of this post

– Head to my Facebook page (link in the sidebar) and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall

– Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com

– Fill out the trusty ol’ form below!

Turn Baby, Turn: 26 Weeks Pregnant

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June 18, 2014

Can I just start off by saying, completely off topic, that earlier today I was digging through my closet, searching for a roomy, one-piece maternity swimsuit I thought I had and instead came across some of my old teeny, tiny frilly bras that I wore a million lifetimes ago…

… and it made me crumple into a heap and cry.

Sigh.

I posted in my 24 Week update that Pelé is lying transverse.  Well, according to no science whatsoever and only how I feel at this exact moment – like I have a baby growing sideways inside of me pushing my ribs even further out, which I didn’t think was humanly possible at this point considering how far they’ve already stretched – he is still lying transverse.

My next midwife appointment is in a couple of weeks so I’ll find out then if I’m right (I am.  I just totally know I am.).  

As evidence that I have done my research and am taking measures of my own to gently turn him in the the head-down position, I made the above little ditty which not only shows me doing the Forward-Leaning Inversion, but also showcases my extreme Cirque du Soleil-esgue balancing abilities.

PLEASE, please, PLEEEEEASE, do not attempt this move if you have, or suspect you might have any underlying medical conditions or issues.  As a pregnant woman, you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or midwife before undertaking any new, weird activities, even something as mundane-looking as this.  

*****

I’ve come across a few mom/pregnancy blogs lately that answer the below questions week-to-week instead of writing long, sometimes rambling posts on how they’re feeling.  Since I made the above video for your enjoyment (entertainment?) I thought I’d try it out this time.  Let’s see how it goes!

How far along?  26 weeks.

Baby’s size:  Pelé is now the size of a head of lettuce, between 1.5-2.5 lbs.  Yep, I’m definitely feeling that.

Total weight gain: Ehrm, I really don’t know.  If I had to guess, I’d say probably around 20 lbs?  To put that in perspective, I only gained 24 lbs while pregnant with Bee.

Guys.  I have still have 3 months to go.

Maternity clothes?  Nothing but.  And you know what?  Thank God for maternity clothes.  I haven’t been able to fit in my “real” clothes for months now, and would be wandering the streets in WHOKNOWSWHAT otherwise.  Not that I go out much… but you know.  When I do make an appearance somewhere, I’m grateful to have a cute, slouchy, ruched something to wear.

Best moment this week:  Spending time with Bee and my husband over the weekend, being lazy, doing nothing in particular.  Just being together.  It’s so wonderful to get to have special time as a little family unit before this huge new arrival.  Special moments happen when you least expect it, like Bee saying, “I yuv ooh, mummy,” unprompted for the first time.  *heartexplodes*

Miss Anything?  Boooooooooooooooze.  DAMN YOU, WORLD CUP FEVER.

Movement:  Um, all of it.  In the world.  Especially at night when I’m trying to sleep.  Oh.  Wait.  Sleep?  What’s that again?  Sounds vaguely familiar….

Food cravings:  I’ve actually been struggling to eat this past week; my stomach is so squashed I’ve have to force myself to choke down a meal.  So other than the odd bagel and croissant (which hasn’t changed since conception), no weird cravings.

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Most food.  And toothpaste.  Brushing my teeth is the GROSSEST.  Did you guys know how gross brushing your teeth actually is??  Bee is at the age now where we’re supposed to incorporate it into her routine.  Though I feel she can sense that I’m faking it when I smile happily at her as we do our nightly brush together.  She looks at me like, “hmmmm… mummy doesn’t seem to pleased about this whole process, so why should I…?”

Gender:  As far as I know, Pelé is still a boy!

Symptoms:  Occasional nausea; insomnia; being annoyed at my thighs rubbing together, especially at night when I’m tossing and turning and not sleeping (what, your thighs don’t rub together when you’re in bed?  I hate you.); crazy baby movement; weird dreams usually involving emergency c-sections (yikes); spontaneous crying over the thought I didn’t give Bee enough protein at breakfast (….?).

Belly Button in or out?  Why is this a question people need answered?  No one wants to know what my 34-year old pregnant belly looks like.  I plead the Fifth.

Looking forward to:  The July long weekend!  We’re headed north to the in-laws for some much needed R&R.  It’ll also be the first time Bee has been in the pool as a fully-aware human being!  Last summer didn’t count since she was still technically an infant who we could put anywhere and she’d be happy.

We really don’t know how she’s going to react to the water; she totally loves bath time, but haaaAAAATES having her hair washed.  Swimming in a pool is sort of half fun bath, half hair washing (in my mind, anyway), so we’ll see how it goes!

Other Fun Things to Note:  

In general, I’m doing pretty good!  Yes, I often moan about the stretching and the kicking and the lack of sleeping… but there have been a lot of lovely moments lately, too.

Bee is all over the belly these days!  She always wants me to lift my shirt so she can say “hi!” to the baby, and when I’m in climbing reach of her she is on top of me in the blink of an eye, squishing her face deep into my gut, whispering and singing sweet songs to her brother.  If I’m ever feeling low or blah, all it takes is one of those moments to turn my mood around.

And my husband.  My dear, sweet Hubs.  The bigger I get, the more he’s connecting with his little boy, which just EXPLODES my already exploding heart.  At the end of a long day, we lay on the couch watching TV with our hands on the belly, half watching the screen, half watching Pelé squirming away.  We talk about how amazing it is that we are where we are in our lives and that we’re so excited to soon have TWO kids… which, believe it or not, hasn’t quite sunk in yet.  I don’t know what that’s going to happen, but I’m hoping when it does, it doesn’t turn my happiness into total and utter, complete freakout mode.  I’ve heard that can happen.  So, I’ll be watching and waiting for it, and will hopefully be able to squash the scared feelings before they crawl in too far…..

#PoppedCulture Presents: How Far Would You Go For a Pregnancy Craving?

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The start of a very fun collaboration with the fabulous Kat Inokai!

Stay tuned for more Popped Culture, coming very soon!

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Tell us, Mamas: how far would you go for a craving?

#PoppedCulture

 

Not The Ideal Position To Be In: 24 Weeks Pregnant

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June 11, 2014

Some of you have asked, “why the nickname ‘Pelé’ for your baby?”

Here’s why:

pelebicyclekick

This is Pelé, a retired Brazilian footballer regarded by many to be the best player of all time.

Pelé was famous for the “bicycle kick“, which is depicted above.  He’d hurdle himself into the air and deliver a massive overhead, backwards kick… it’s kinda how I imagine Li’l Pelé looks when he’s kicking the crap out of me all day, every day.

I’m serious.  This baby is crazy active.  It’s incredibly reassuring feeling so much commotion in there (my midwife tells me there’s no such thing as “too much” movement), but it can get pretty uncomfortable when he’s bopping up a storm just as I’m trying to go to bed.

Back to the bicycle kicking.  You’ll see in the picture the person delivering the kick is horizontal in the air (CRAZY!!!).

My midwife confirmed at our last appointment that Li’l Pelé is currently transverse, which means he is lying straight across my belly rather than the optimal head down position.

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Peleé bicycle kicking + Li’l Pelé lying transverse = same, same 

I’ve had a hunch that this was the case for some time now – his kicks have been erratic and all over the place since the very first one I felt.  Bee was head down right from the start, so from experience I know the difference between a settled baby  vs. a crazy, wiggly, can’t-decide-where-I-want-to-go-next  baby.

Apparently at 24 weeks pregnant though, the lie of the baby doesn’t matter… not yet, anyway.

“You don’t need to worry,” my midwife assured me.  “There’s still so much room in there still, the baby can flip-flop around for another few weeks, be in different positions, and it’s totally fine.  It’s not until you’re 32 weeks along that we need him to be head down.”

“Sooooo, what if he’s not head down by then,” I gurgled through the sweat pouring down my face.

“Well that’s when we decide which measures to take to make sure he gets that way before you deliver.”

I went home feeing not-so-great about this news and, despite knowing better, took to Dr. Google to ask him what those “measures” she spoke of might be.

Now, I say “despite knowing better” because generally I hate Googling stuff like this.  I really do, because I stumble across tidbits like this:

“Most fetuses in transverse lie early in pregnancy convert to a cephalic (or breech) presentation by term. The later in pregnancy the transverse lie is diagnosed, the more likely it is to persist.” – Robert A Strauss, MD; Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (c/o uptodate.com)

I have a lot of stress over the thought of having a breech baby.  Without going into detail, my family suffered an incredible loss a couple years back because of an undiagnosed breech situation.

So seeing a fact like that… made me want to puke.

After further digging, I found there are lots of natural methods I can do at home help Pelé turn around – meaning I don’t necessarily have to worry about having to have him externally “turned” by hand (oh my GOD, that sounds brutally uncomfortable).

Spinningbabies.com offers up lots of tutorials and advice on how to gently coax that little baby into the head down position, and I plan on starting them as soon as I get the go-ahead from my midwife.

For now though, I just have to breathe… and focus on those amazing, impressive kicks from my little boy, telling me that no matter which position he ends up in,  he  – we – will be a-okay.

On a lighter note….

How Big Is Pelé This Week?

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An ear of corn!  Yummy!  I love corn!  Not quite in season, but still delicious no doubt!

Babycentre has a slideshow, “How Big Is Your Baby“, where you can scroll along and see pictures of vegetables that represent the size of your babe each week.  It’s cute… but I found as I scrolled through to 24 weeks that I forgot what I was doing exactly, and started getting really, really hungry.

Mmmmmm…. corn…..

 

Ask A Mama Monday with Kat Inokai!

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Here she is, guys!

My first Mama for #ASKAMAMA Monday, the illustrious KAT INOKAI!

Kat is a creative director, producer, and mom. Sometimes she pretends she has her own reality show.  Balancing a business, a split marriage, a 4 year old, a new relationship and pregnancy will do that to you.

She runs Spin the Idea Ltd. —a boutique digital PR and branding firm; writes her own little blog (TheBumpandHustle.com); and is a featured blogger with Yummymummyclub.ca whose articles have appeared in the Huffington Post.

Her YMC blog Trying Times is all about her most private life: hardships with loss and miscarriage, fertility clinics, the separation from her husband, adventures in co-parenting, and being single all over again. It’s about staying real and raw, while grappling with personal ambition and passion projects through the lens of mummyhood. If it puts Kat outside of her comfort zone, and in touch with staying vulnerable, learning, self-discovery and connecting with others — it’s fair game.

Some people think Kat is nuts to put all this out in the public domain, and maybe she is.

Lucky for you!

QUESTION THRESHOLD: Ask Kat ANYTHING. She’s game.

She has no problems offering ‘totally non-expert but completely impassioned’ advice about sex, relationships, pregnancy, parenting, intestinal health (she has Crohn’s), trying to conceive and other fertility issues, body image, women’s rights, business management, branding and social media, conspiracy theories (especially PANTS), maternity style, and comic books that have been adapted to film. Oh. And food.
Always the food.

So go ahead. Shoot!

Here are some ways you can ask Kat a question:

  1. Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA
  2. Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post
  3. Head to my Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall
  4. Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com
  5. Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page
  6. And of course, if you’re a follower of Kat, feel free to send her your questions directly!  Her social media links are:

E-mail:  kat@spintheidea.com
Twitter & Instagram:  @bumpandhustle
Facebook/SpintheIdea

So there you have it!  Fire those questions away,
and tune in Monday for the very first Ask A Mama Monday vlog!  

 

Just Call Me Stretch: 22 Weeks Pregnant

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May 28, 2014

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Yet still, somehow – by the grace of God? – no stretch marks.

“How could this BE??” I continue to ask myself every time I inspect the ever-expanding, ever-swelling belly.

“But you didn’t get any with Bee,” my husband says, as I pull at the skin around my belly button to make sure I haven’t missed one.

“Yes, but this time is different.  This time it’s a BOY, which means I’m going to get BIGGER, which is a FACT OF SCIENCE.”

“Well, just keep using that gross oil on your belly and you should be fine.”

“It’s not gross,” I hiss.  “It’s lovely and I love it and it for sure helps but… this time… I just have a feeling….”

What that feeling is are my insides being slowly pulled apart by some invisible, inhumane torture device every minute of every day.  So how is it possible I’ve been spared thus far?!!

Thus far.  It is still early days, unfortunately.  There’s still plenty of time for those squiggly lines to appear.

And then there’s the discomfort.  STILL and ALWAYS.  I can’t ever seem to find a good position, not when I’m sitting down, or lying down… or standing up, for that matter.  Or leaning.  Or walking, or waddling, or shuffling, or bending.  Oh man, bending.

Please can I not ever have to bend down ever again?

Sigh.

Thank God for my beloved yoga ball, the one I got all of the use out of when pregnant with Bee. Not for yoga though, guys (hahahahahahahaaaa!).  No, definitely not for that.

Nope.  It’s for sitting on.

Just… sitting. Not bouncing, not stretching, not balancing on while lifting 3 pound weights.

I have this ball for the sole purpose of sitting on it, and maybe rocking slightly from side-to-side. But here’s the thing: there’s something to that motion, that simple, swaying motion: something about it, about having my tailbone sink into the softness of the latex (or rubber or whatever it’s made of), that causes me to exhale a deep, primal, resonating “aaaaaAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahohmygodthatfeelssogoooooood,” every time.

It’s almost like I’m floating, that’s how good it is.

Which, if you’re pregnant or have ever been pregnant, you’ll know is the most heavenly feeling.  Like getting into a pool or sinking into the bath, you’re suddenly weightless and the relief you experience is – otherworldly.

At the end of the day, when the achiness is at it’s peak, I’ll roll that ball out from the corner, plunk right down and feel all the pain and discomfort melt away.

So, if you’re starting to feeeeeeeeeeeel reeeeeally pregnant and don’t yet have a yoga ball, I would highly recommend you get one!  You don’t need anything fancy; Amazon has dozens of good options to choose from at varying  prices.  I’m not sure what brand mine is, but it did come with a pump, which you’ll need.

And if you do have a ball, get that sucker out and start SITTING!

I promise you will wonder how you ever got through these last few months without one.

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Which Fruit/Veg Is Pelé This Week:

Spaghetti_Squash

According to whattoexpect.com, he is now approximately the size of a spaghetti squash.

Um, WTF?!  That’s huge!

I’m always floored when I read the veggie/fruit size comparison.  Even though it definitely feels like he’s the size of a million spaghetti squashes, it never ceases to amaze me that this tiny person is that big already.

I think I’ll include this little section at the end of each pregnancy update going forward – I’ll even try and refrain from checking beforehand; I’ll leave it a surprise for all of us!