Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Goodbye Week 18, Hello Week 19!

Week 18 started off a little crazy when I suddenly developed a mysterious rash! I woke up one morning soon after my return home from PEI. As I walked to the toilet, I glanced at myself in the mirror and saw spots all over my face. Now, I was still half asleep so I assumed I was imagining things, so I wet my face, dried it with a towel and peered closer into the mirror. The spots were still there! I think I went into shock... I ran back into the bedroom and woke Chris up, crying about my face. Even through his sleep filled eyes he could see the red little bumps that spread across my face and down my neck. They weren't itchy really, nor were they sore (that came later). They were just red and almost pimple like. Chris calmed me by assuring me that they would soon fade as the day went on, and that maybe I had them because I had fallen asleep with my head at the foot of the bed, resting my face on a woolen blanket. I hoped he was right and spent most of my morning trying to camouflage the spots with many layers and shades of concealer, foundation and powder. When we got home later that night, I washed my face with a gentle soap and noticed that my skin was beginning to hurt. I looked in the mirror again and saw that the spots had grown and begun clustering together, especially around my eyes. I felt like crying. I have had a bad rash in the past, and it was not an experience I wanted to relive again.

Chris took me the next day to the pharmacist, and then because I wanted a second opinion, the walk in clinic. No one knew what had caused this rash...perhaps is was an allergy, perhaps it was hormonal... I couldn't live with this diagnosis, so I went with my mother and snuck into my doctor's office. She looked at my skin and shrugged her shoulders. "It could be an allergic reaction to something...contact dermatitis. Or, it could be hormonal, though I would think it's more likely to be an allergic reaction." She told me that when you are pregnant, your skin tends to be over-dramatic and that if I wasn't pregnant, most likely I wouldn't even notice the irritation on my skin. Just what I need, my skin behaving like a diva! I had to go without makeup for a few days (which is very difficult for me) and happily saw my skin return to normal. I will be avoiding wool this winter though...just in case. ;)

During week 18, Muppet was the length of a large bell pepper. I am supposed to eat lots of bell peppers, especially red ones as they are great for providing vitamin c, which a pregnant body needs. Some major developments are that the baby's ears have finally moved into their final position (though they may stick out a little still), and that the baby's sexual organs are pretty much developed. If Muppet is a girl, the uterus and fallopian tubes are formed, and if Muppet is a boy, then his genitals are now noticeable and should show up on an ultrasound..if he's not shy.

This week is week 19 and Muppet is the size of a large heirloom tomato! Yum! I love tomatoes!! I really love tomatoes on my grilled cheese sandwiches...Mmmm... This week, Muppet's limbs are finally proportionate to it's body. It also has hair beginning to sprout from it's head! Since it's Chris' child, it'll probably be born with so much hair, it'll look like an ape child. That would explain my bad heartburn too... ;) At the moment, the baby is starting to get covered in a layer of vernix caseosa, a protective layer that keeps the baby from pruning up from living in amniotic fluid for so long. If the baby wasn't covered in it, it would look like it fallen asleep in a bathtub for 9 months. Just writing about pruning up makes my fingers feel all funny. Yech!

Baby Bump!
Seriously, my stomach is huge! It seemed to just grow overnight! It is now noticeable to everyone and I just love it! I could rub my tummy all day! :) I'm still feeling slight flutters, mostly on the left side still, but am now anxious to feel the more intense kicks and punches as I really want to share this experience with Chris.

Another thing I've noticed is how much my belly button is flattening out. It's a little creepy to be able to see the inside of it. At least I can see it's clean! ;)

My nails are growing like crazy, so I have to keep cutting them as I'm a fan of shorter nails, and I'm starting to get leg cramps and spider veins! Ew!

One thing Chris and I have been thinking about is how much the baby can hear at the moment. I watch so much Sci-Fi, especially Stargate and Doctor Who that we're concerned the baby will think that Jack O'Neill or The Doctor is the father... ;) Lucky baby! :)

I have a prenatal appointment tomorrow, and an ultrasound on Friday, so I'll post an update later this week!!

*I am wearing elf ears and a leaf crown in the picture on the left because of an event at work, but I thought the look went well with my recent Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre obsession. Our baby is going to be a huge geek!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 17 in Prince Edward Island

Last Sunday I left Ontario for the red sand of Prince Edward Island with my parents and one of my brothers to take Meme back home to be buried. The trip was a mixture of feelings, as it was of course sad to have to say a final goodbye to Meme, but at the same time it was peaceful and good to know that she was able to find rest where her heart always belonged.

We decided to drive up to the 'Gentle Island' to save money (as plane tickets are very expensive), but it was definitely a long trip. The nice thing about driving instead of flying though is that you get to make little stops along the way to see things that you would otherwise pass right over. During one of our stops, I climbed out of the cramped back seat of the car to a crazy overactive baby in my tummy. As soon as I was standing, Muppet went nuts! It was doing somersaults in the lower left side of my stomach and would not stop! It kind of scared me at first, but I assume it was just trying to stretch out too after that long ride. ;)

The one thing I was really not looking forward to on this trip was the big, scary Confederation Bridge. I hate bridges with a passion! Since I can remember I have ALWAYS hated bridges....It might have something to do with reoccurring nightmares as a child of a bridge that opened up, causing my family's van to plummet into icy waters, leaving us trapped with no way to escape... Or maybe I just don't like them. :) Anyways, the Confederation Bridge is an 8 mile bridge *shudder* that crosses from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. Back in the day, we used to take a ferry across, which I prefer... though I do remember having heart palpations every time my younger siblings would climb the rails and look over into the ocean. I can't imagine how much more overprotective I'm going to be with Muppet...Man, I need to learn to breathe. ;) Anyways, as soon as we crossed that bridge, I felt happiness just spread across my body. I was back in my 'other' home, Prince Edward Island!

Prince Edward Island has always felt like a second home to me. Every visit feels so comfortable and familiar that it's hard not to feel at home. The people are amazingly friendly, the landscape is beautiful no matter where you look and the pace is so relaxed that you instantly feel the change from the usual hustle and bustle of regular life. All you really want to do is smell the salty sea air while walking along the beach or harbour, or in my mother's case, eat a cone of grape nut ice cream. She sure loves that stuff!

A really important thing for me on this trip was to rub some red sand on my belly to officially welcome Muppet to the island. I didn't feel that it would be a real visit without getting my feet wet in the ocean, or a little stained from the dirt. So I walked along the ocean collecting sea glass and shells for Muppet's nursery, and then rubbed earth all over my belly. Some collected in my belly button. Maybe Muppet was hoping to take some home.

We were able to see the red sands on Tignish Shore while staying with the best hosts on the island, Bill and Lil'Cec (truly, you have never met more wonderful people than these two), and the white sands of Cavendish Beach.

Another thing I was able to see in Cavendish was an adorable fox that I just had to meet! We were driving away from Cavendish Beach when we save a fox sitting in the middle of the road. We pulled over, and I quietly got out of the car with my camera, leaving my noisy flip flops in the middle of the road. I was able to get pretty close to him, and he didn't seem too phased by me either. He playfully batted like a cat at some weeds that were sticking out from the brush, scratched himself behind his ears like a dog and then suddenly a loud truck rumbled past and he was off like a shot back into the bush. I climbed sadly back into the car, and it wasn't until we were back on the main road that I remembered I had left my sandals behind. We had to go back and as I approached them, a huge tourist bus came barreling down the road, heading straight for them! I covered my mouth and... the bus missed them by an inch. *Whew!*

A very important stop for tourists on the island is the Cows store. That place is always hopping, and I think it was especially busy since Regis and Kelly were filming their show on the island that week. Apparently, during their visit, PEI was second most googled thing on the internet! I expect an increase in tourism next summer for sure! The day they got there, the Cows store released a new shirt in their honor. I took a picture while I was in one of the stores...we visited many. ;) The Cows store sells  really fun merchandise, ranging from t-shirts, to mugs, to pens, to calendars and more! They also have a-moo-zing ice cream! Hahahaha...*Ahem* While I was there, I also found some gifts for Muppet! I got an adorable bib, a t-shirt and a little onesie that is just perfect, as we are doing a Winnie the Pooh theme. I just couldn't resist!

While in Prince Edward Island, I went through week 17 of my pregnancy. During that week, the baby is able to yawn, weighs the same amount as a boneless chicken breast, is more conscious of sounds surrounding him/her and the nerves in the brain are working hard on developing the rest of the 5 senses. At 17 weeks, Little Muppet was the size of a sweet potato, so we thought it only fitting to take a picture in a potato field. Oddly enough, my mom has a picture of me sitting in a potato field when I was just a wee one, so next summer we'll be sure to get a photo of Muppet playing in the red earth, surrounded by potato plants. I cannot wait to see Muppet's first reactions to the feel of sand between it's fingers, the waves lapping at it's little chubby legs, or the sounds and sights on the harbours. I know, it too, will come to look at this peaceful island as it's second home. 

I'm glad we have such a beautiful spot to visit Muppet's Great-Meme and Great- Pepe and I know we can look forward to spending many family vacations there. It's comforting to know that Meme's spirit will live on there, and that she'll never be too far away, and well, she'll probably enjoy watching Little Muppet's island adventures... especially the first little fist full of dirt in the mouth. Yuck! 

*When I got back home to my pets and husband, Little Muppet jumped around again. I think it missed it's Daddy! Awwww!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Remembering Meme

My Grandmother, or Meme as we called her, was the most extraordinary woman I have ever met. She could be very stubborn, and self sacrificing, and always made you want to better yourself...to be a little bit more like her.

She passed away on July 8, 2010 at 98 years of age. Though none of us wanted to see her go, we knew deep in our hearts it was what she wanted...that she had suffered long enough and had already enjoyed life to the fullest. Part of me never thought this day would come, as she just kept holding on all these years. Another part of me was just selfish and wanted the comfort of knowing that at least she was around somewhere, even if I didn't get to see her all that often. Mostly, I just wanted her to meet Little Muppet and see her eyes light up as she held my little baby, because everyone who knows Meme, knows how much she loves children. In her life she was surrounded by many children. She had a large family of her own, and they went on and had many too (my mom had 6 of her own). She had many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and they brought so much joy to her life. All of us live on with a little piece of her in our hearts. I know that I will always carry her laugh, her smile, her cute little eskimo kisses and her constant teasing of my love for my ratty baby pillow, with me forever. I will share with my own little one, the values and morals that she stood so proudly for, and take her/him to my Meme's true home, Prince Edward Island whenever I have the chance, so she/he can feel the wonder and beauty that Meme truly loved and embraced with her whole heart.

She was a strong and inspiring woman, raising a wonderful, close knit family who know the importance and power of family, acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love. Through her, so many life lessons will be passed down from generation to generation. She appreciated the little things in life, and I think that is so important. The currency in life that mattered most to her was the love from her family...a hug from a grandchild, a card from a friend. Always cherish the small, simple things in life, because those truly are the most rewarding gifts you can receive, gifts that come from the heart.

I will miss Meme so much, but I will never forget her. She will live on in our family gatherings, in our loving exchanges, in our fiddling music, in our spiritual lives, in the red sand of PEI, and in our children. Thank you Meme, we love you so much! XO



Friday, July 9, 2010

16 (weeks) and Pregnant!

Since I just posted my 15 weeks the other day, not much has changed, though I have discovered the annoyance of heartburn. Oh man! I have never been one to get heartburn, so when I heard people complain about it, I just thought they were overreacting. Well, I retract that stance and can now sympathize as I am experiencing bad heartburn everyday. No matter what I eat, no matter how bland, it prevails! I have read that this is very common for some women, and that eventually, it too shall pass, so I'll just chug back carton after carton of milk and wait.

Another change is that I am slowly getting into maternity clothing! I have broken down and actually started wearing some maternity jeans, as many pairs of mine are now starting to dig into my ever-growing gut, which is a little uncomfortable. I'm not going to lie...they are actually quite lovely. They may not look amazing, but my tummy is really loving it. I can eat food and let my belly expand without worrying that I am cutting off circulation to Little Muppet... which means I'll probably start growing as big as a house soon. ;)

At week 16, Little Muppet is about the size of a turnip! It is starting to accumulate some baby fat, which will continue through the pregnancy. I can't wait to see those chubby little legs! Another exciting thing is that the baby is now starting to listen to the world around it! It is able to hear us talking, the dog barking, and my husband... "singing". ;) I hope it will become accustomed to the sound of our dog barking, as this is a habit he's gotten into lately and we just can't seem to break it. I have read that if they hear barking often enough, they will be able to sleep right through any doggy outbursts. So fingers crossed everyone!

Now that we are at week 16, I read that I may soon be able to feel my little one fluttering around. Well, yesterday I think I just may have! I was lying down in bed after a shower, massaging my belly when suddenly I felt this light popping feeling. I looked down at my tummy and saw a small ripple go across the left side of my belly, right by my belly button! It was really freaky! (And no, it wasn't gas!) I'm thinking that maybe the baby was doing a little u-turn in my belly! :D

Now I'd like to do a little shout out to my husband. I have always known that I am the luckiest girl alive to have my best friend as my husband, but now that I am pregnant, I am realizing just how lucky I truly am. Over the past few months, he has grown into an even more loving and supportive partner then I could have ever dreamed of. He works so hard to support our little family, and yet thinks of me in the middle of it all. The other day, he took our dog Sawyer out for his walk while I had my shower. I heard him call my name, so I pulled back the shower curtain to see what he wanted, and there he stood with a little bouquet of wildflowers he had picked on his walk for me. Just that simple little action of love and thoughtfulness shows me how much he loves and appreciates me, and really reveals how wonderful he'll be as a father. He's always willing to listen, to settle my overactive mind, to calm my nerves, to make me laugh (like no one else can), to be silly with me, to share and most importantly, to love me and our little family unconditionally. Thank you so much hon... I love you lots! XO


Sunday, July 4, 2010

15 Weeks Pregnant with an Apple Sized Baby!

Sorry I'm a little late posting this, as I am actually starting into my 16th week, but I just thought I'd still record what has gone on in the last week, so my little one will know all about his/her beginnings. :)

I have really gotten most of my appetite back, though I am still losing weight! I think this must be due to the fact that most of the foods I'm eating are healthy, which is unusual for me, as I tend to be the pizza and chicken wing girl around my house. All I want is fruit all day! I've started a habit of making yummy fruit smoothies every morning, and man are they delicious. My favourite recipe is mixing a cup of ice, a cup of plain yogurt (you can use flavoured if you prefer), a splash of milk, a whole banana and a bunch of fruit together in the blender. I've been mixing my fresh strawberries in with frozen raspberries, which makes it even colder. It is so good, and well, it's also good for the body, so why not?

My nasal congestion is currently under control as well...*knock on wood*. It's not completely gone, but it's definitely manageable and if it stays at this level instead of going back to what it was, well, I'll never complain again...ha! ;) The only thing I can complain about is my darn back pain, which my doctor suspects is actually sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It occurs mostly in women, especially pregnant women when our bodies start creating the hormone 'relaxin' which loosens the joints to prepare the body for delivery. It feels just like sciatic pain, as it sends waves of pain from the lower back down the legs, and can occur on both sides of the body. Apparently the SI joint is responsible for absorbing shock while walking and helping your body balance. So it makes sense that it hurts mostly when I am standing or siting for long periods of time. I'm thinking of looking for a prenatal swim class to help strengthen my back, and the doctor recommended I look into physiotherapy as the pain generally worsens as the pregnancy progresses. Other then that, I feel pretty darn good!

As of week 15, Little Muppet is about the size of a large apple! It is currently developing it's air sacs in it's lungs by breathing in and out the amniotic fluid. The baby is now able to move all it's limbs and joints and is most likely doing the "Tyrannosaurus" dance move like it's father. I've read that if you were to shine a flashlight at my tummy, it would be able to sense the light even though it's eyes are still fused shut. Maybe it's a little shy. ;)

I still haven't felt any flutters yet, but will let you all know as soon as I do!

It's kind of funny. We went for a prenatal the other day and the doctor brought out the doppler so we could finally hear our little one's heartbeat. So she moved it around a little on my stomach, and said, "That's normal". We then left the doctor's office and I turned to Chris and said, "I just wish we had heard it's heartbeat". Chris looked at me and said, "We did....". I said, "All I heard was the machine!", to which he replied, "That was the sound of the baby's heart!". Apparently the doctor was commenting that the heartbeat was normal, not that not hearing it was normal. I then started to pout and cried, "I'm such a bad mother! I can't even recognize my baby's heartbeat!". I don't know what I thought it would sound like, but I'll be listening for it better next time! :)

Bump Alert!

My belly is really starting to show! I went to my sister's graduation wearing a cute little tube top and skirt and couldn't believe how much my tummy had grown! I'm starting to get little belly rubs from family which is still so odd to me as I'm still getting used to the idea that there is someone in there, but I am so glad our Little Muppet will be surrounded by so many loving and caring people throughout it's life.

I'll be back soon with Week 16!!