Thursday, April 29, 2010

30 years, 30 weeks and 30 days

You know what being 30 years old and 30 weeks pregnant on the 30th means?  It’s a champagne pregnancy!!! Kidding, I am quite sure it doesn’t mean that, but for my mental health let’s call it a champagne coincidence. These are the things that amuse me these days. Thinking about champagne.  And maybe what IS interesting is that the 30,30,30 is happening in the year of my real champagne birthday. 31 on the 31st. It’s going to be a champagne July folks. You’re not going to want to miss it.

We just have got to make it there.

To be honest though, I can’t really complain about anything. For 30 weeks pregnant, I feel fantastic. I wear heels everyday to work, people tell me my skin is glowing, my rings still come on and off with ease, I am sleeping (for the most part) at night, work is actually the best it has been in months, I feel like I am clear headed and contributing to a successful wrap up for my team, we had a great doctors appointment yesterday – the baby is healthy, happy and head down, ... What more could a pregnant woman want? 

How about 10 minutes to pretend we don’t have a TO DO list that isn’t 10 pages long.

Things are busy. Crazy busy. Peter and I have something to do, or see, or buy, or talk about, or meet about ... Every single night. I have a shelf life of “feeling fantastic” until about 6pm. So things are probably too busy, but when has that ever been something I DON’T do to myself.  But we’re excited. REALLY excited. And at the end of all this hard work, guess what our reward is?  A new home, and a BABY.  I know. Crazy.

So... You’re going to start seeing a lot of before and after pictures of our house. We’ve got some renos planned, some painting planned, some landscaping planned, and some décor and furniture planned. Which reminds me, I need to get my (and by my I mean Stephs) sewing machine serviced.  If this baby comes early, heck whos kidding who, if he even comes on time, we will only get through 1/18 of my list, but a home it is and a home it will be.

More later... It’s well past our bedtime.

Oh... we finally bought a crib!

Monday, April 26, 2010

First birthdays, and going back to work

This is the stuff that has consumed my ever active brain all day today. I kid you not. Can you believe that I am only seven months pregnant and we already need to be thinking about child care for what happens when I go back to work in the summer of 2011?!  I haven’t even organized my mat leave yet, but somehow I am managing to organize or at least THINK about my RETURN from mat leave. Welcome to Toronto. The child care wait list capital of Canada.

When I became pregnant and it was evident a move back to Ottawa to be closer to my mom wasn’t going to be an option for us in the near future, I was given two pieces of advice. (1) start looking for a pediatrician. Immediately. (2) start looking for child care. Immediately. I was barely showing. So I did what any responsible newlywed and newly pregnant woman would do, I mostly dismissed both of these pieces of advice as crazy.

Fast forward to today... and countless more pieces of strong encouragement to start thinking about childcare. We have our pediatrician (YAY!) and today was our first visit to one of many child care facilities that we’re going to be checking out, putting our names on waiting lists, and waiting patiently for the next 14 months to find out if we get in or not.  Crazy.

So.... Our first visit was ok. But JUST ok. I mean, come on, we don’t know what we’re doing. We don't even know our baby's name yet... let alone what questions to ask about child care. We don't know what’s going to be important to us down the road.  Until we're down the road!  But, I will tell you this... I almost broke down in tears a dozen times. I welled up at least three times as the friendly women showed us where the kids eat, play, sleep, are changed.  I don’t even have a baby yet (so to speak) and I am already heartsick over the idea of leaving him to be cared for by strangers.  I did make a few interesting observations today though;

(1) kids only cry for the first minute after their parents leave. Really. I witnessed it three time this morning. I bet the crying stopped long before the keys hit the ignition of their parents car. I felt so bad for the parents though that I almost ran after a couple of them to tell them myself. You know... Being impartial and all.


(2) There are way more dads that do drops off than moms. This has me curious. Maybe like me, other moms find this way tougher than dads. Actually... The one amusing moment this morning was when there were three blue pin strip suits in the drop off room at one time (Peter’s was one of them).  It made me smile. I like the thought of Peter dropping of our little boy.  He will be better at this than me. Without a doubt.

Anyway, just another hill on the rollercoaster right?  And one more thing to cross off my list. Although, we’re seeing like 8 of these places in the next 8 weeks. So hang on tight.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Birth is the pinnacle where women discover the courage to become mothers

Don’t laugh. That quote is courtesy of Janice Holsmer, official pre-natal coach to Peter, me and our +1.

That’s right, we’re officially signed up for pre-natal classes and a hospital tour. We have debated this decision over the last little while... the if, the when, and the where we should sign up to take pre-natal classes. I will be honest, with the mountain of other things on our list to do, it just hasn’t made it past page three.  Until last week’s doctor’s appointment. The look and feeling of absolute horror and shock I felt when the nurse announced I had to get my shot (the one I got because Peter and I have different blood types) IN MY HIP, when I thought it was going into my ARM, said it all. We need pre-natal classes. We need them, because I am not good with surprises. And the less surprises driven by sheer naivety (unless happy ones like the surprise of a super super super quick birth), the better.

As my wise friend Josie put it, these babies are coming out one way or another... And she’s right. For whatever reason though, having now just spent $130.00 to be walked through what may or may not happen the day of our baby’s birth is both reassuring and terrifying.  Mostly because I can’t hear stories about a baby’s birth right now without my eyes welling up with tears. I don’t know if that means I am overwhelmed by excitement and emotion, or just flat out scared. Probably both.

While I know we could never fully prepare for everything our baby’s birth is going to bring, knowing details like where a needle goes, what our options are in different circumstances, who gives me the pain killers, and where we go in the hospital once the show is officially on the road, is a good idea for my sanity. And my sanity = Peter’s happiness. YAY.

So the pre-natal prep package I received via email promises the following benefits to taking these classes;

  1. Prenatal Classes will give you and your partner the information you need to make decisions that are right for both of you
  2. Prenatal classes will give you a better understanding of the process of natural childbirth
  3. Prenatal classes will help you and your partner become familiar with the many options that are available to you
  4. Prenatal classes help give you confidence in preparing for your birth experience
  5. Prenatal classes give you a better understanding of alternative pain relief methods that are available
  6. Prenatal classes help prepare you and your partner for what to expect during labour, birthing, breastfeeding, newborn care and the postpartum period
  7. Prenatal classes give you a chance to ask questions, to voice concerns and to share experiences
  8. Prenatal classes will help you to sort through some information that may be inaccurate or out of date
Or your money back.

Kidding. They don’t offer a money back guarantee. But perhaps they should. Using the words “will give you”, is sort of like a promise isn’t it? Sounds like one to me.

Anyway, in the midst of the sheer chaos we have planned for ourselves in the next 6-8 weeks. Spending an entire day together focused on the baby and our "birth-day" will be a really wonderful thing for all of us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Never a dull moment

As Peter and I drove home from work the other night and chattered away about all the things on the agenda for the week, he looked at me with a smirk I know and love and said “do you think once the baby comes, and we’re settled in our new house and everything is calm, we will be bored?”.   I laughed out loud, but one would wonder.  Well in fact we have started to wonder... Both things; if life will ever seem calm again with a newborn to care for, and also if we’re not moving at lightening speed doing something, if we will indeed be bored.

Peter and I have been on quite the ride.  Since the summer of 2008 we have accomplished what most (sane) couples do over years. And years. And Years.  First dates, first vacations, first apartment together, first engagements, wedding planning, the wedding, the honeymoon, pregnancy SURPRISE, first time house hunting, our first home, planning our first renovations and... Still to come... Our first born.  Oh... And throw in some new jobs, a temporary move to a new city, and a partridge in a pear tree.

We’ve been unstoppable.

And we're crazy.

Well, I am crazy. And Peter loves me.

And no time to slow down now! We have a lot to do. A lot. I have two lists. One work related as I plan for my departure here (HORRAY), and one personal related. The personal list is 5 pages long. The work one is not. When did my life all of the sudden become busier than my job?  In 2008 that’s when. When all my priorities changed. When building a life with the man I fell so quickly in love with became more important than everything else.  Sometimes I think Peter still doesn’t realize what hit him. Lol.

So as we furiously plan the renovation, the repair, the décor, and the moving details of getting ourselves into our new home, and prepared for the arrival of our little guy (who coincidently we have as of this week started to refer to BY NAME)... I can’t help but be of the delusion that life can’t possibly be busier with a new born than what we have already experienced over the last two years and in particular what we’re facing in the next 6 weeks.  Am I right?  Being on mat leave will be like a vacation compared to all this?

Here’s hoping.

So here is the super exciting news (besides the visit to our new house last night to confirm we don’t have buyers remorse and DO indeed love the place)! Peter’s family has graciously offered to have a SHAUGHNESSY SHIVAREE to help us prepare. For those of you who don’t know what that is (I didn’t), it’s the most wonderful offer I think I have ever in my life been given. Basically what happens is we create a list of TO DO’s, like painting rooms/doors/decks, fixing holes in the wall, cleaning carpets, hanging light fixtures, hanging blinds and curtains, weeding gardens, planting flowers, making pillows etc etc. and a huge group of family and friends comes to help. They come to help for one weekend or whatever time they can spare... We supply the beer and bbq and they collectively work their way through our list. Could you imagine anything more wonderful?  Peter’s uncle Steven and Jules suggested this when we saw the Shaughnessy clan on the weekend and I think Peter and I almost cried in unison.  Could you imagine?  It’s apparently something they have done in their family over time. We have already started our TO DO list and with me at 7 months pregnant when we close, and 8 months pregnant when we move, this stuff would take us YEARS.  Anyway, we’re excited and feel so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.  It looks like it’s going to be May 22nd.  I am hoping we can get some Raycroft’s and Bryne’s down as well... And some of our Toronto friends to join us too. Like the really talented Cedar Nisbet, and Seth Richards. As an example of course.  SO MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! PLEASEEEEEEEE

We have 12 weeks to go.  The first picture you will see of the three of us together, we will be lounging.

Bored out of our minds I am sure. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Girlssssssssssssssssss Weekend

Just in the nick of time... better left unexplained and later you can just enjoy the stories. Tomorrow, four of the best girlfriends in the whole world arrive from Ottawa/Almonte, to join 5-6 best girlfriends in the whole world (Toronto edition) in what we hope is yet another girls weekend to remember. Which there is no doubt obviously. We have never done one with TWO of us pregnant... but there is a first time to enjoy for everything right? And... this girls weekend in particular, is marked by a great deal of things to celebrate, to hug and cry out, and perhaps best of all to drink, talk, and dance silly.  I can't wait.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Our House!

It's late and there is so much more detail to share... but as of 11pm tonight, we officially have OUR HOUSE! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! So I won't ruin all the details until I write a proper blog update... but until then, I will leave you with this awesome song and the wine that Peter opened tonight (and is currently enjoying) that we bought the day after our wedding. If it wasn't such a special occasion I would be in tears that I can't partake in the downing of a bottle of red on Monday too.

Until tomorrow!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Knowing and Feeling like Parents

Peter and I had what we will tell you was our first real experience FEELING like parents on Friday. That is the scary and emotional part of this blog entry, but what I will also tell you right now, this all has an extremely happy ending.

Friday morning Peter and I headed to my scheduled regular check up with our obstetrician. I did a glucose test early before my appointment (where they make you drink that awful orange drink and then check your blood an hour later to make sure you’re not at risk for gestational diabetes), and then we met with Dr. Spitzer (who we love). I come to every doctor’s appointment with a list of questions I have thought up in the weeks between my current appointment and my last, and typically as Peter and I rattle off questions, Dr. Spitzer laughs at us, and rattles off answers. Things were very much going exactly as I have described above until Dr. Spitzer put her doppler over my belly to listen to the baby’s heart, and she stopped in mid sentence and asked me to move onto my side. She told us she had heard a drop in the baby’s heart beat and wanted us to go to the hospital (which is next door to the office) and be hooked up to a baby heart monitor to have it checked. Our whole world stopped on Friday from that moment on.

The next few hours are a blur of sorting out parking, not being able to find where we were supposed to be in the hospital, finding out we needed to go through admitting, and finally the moment where we were in a room, with a baby heart monitor around my belly and the nurse flippantly telling me she couldn’t find the baby’s heart beat. I will remember that moment and how I felt for the rest my life. My eyes met Peter’s and the wave of emotion I felt I know was only something a parent can feel, or perhaps to put it better, a feeling only a parent knows. Fear, anxiousness, love, anger, sadness, and the most overwhelming sense of responsibility. Responsibility because this little guy is in my belly, and ultimately everything I do affects his health and growth. I couldn’t help but feeling solely responsible if anything was wrong.

So, as the nurse struggled to figure out the machine she was trying to use to find the baby’s heart beat, she tells me (1) to RELAX – not just once, but she says it TWICE. And (2) that maybe she’s having trouble because I am only 20 weeks and the baby is so small. I am 27 weeks (this nurse officially knew nothing to me after that moment) and if any of you have seen my belly, this baby is NOT small. And this is where when I think back to everything, I know this situation was a first for me. I was so overwhelmed, I couldn't find any words to use. Not even when the second “RELAX” came. In any other situation I would have wanted to reach out and either slap this woman, or assertively let her know that one more “RELAX” might just result in that. But I said nothing. I was speechless as I watched her try to work around me. But something on my face after the second "RELAX" did make her stop, look at me, and quietly apologize for it. It was then, I felt three massive kicks from inside my belly and finally opened my mouth to tell this idiot in front of me, “My baby is kicking, and I think your machine in broken”.

So here’s the happy part. We soon were introduced to the most wonderful RESIDENT ever. She was the silver lining to this whole experience. She was sweet, calming, sincere, smart, and worked quickly. She knew I was upset from the moment she entered the room and acted accordingly. She quickly had our little guy up on a ultra sound screen within seconds of being in the room and immediately without hesitation pointed out his heart, how strong it was beating, and how regular it was. She stayed with us for probably 10 minutes pointing out again to us all his body parts, his brain, his little legs and arms and face, and made comment of how ACTIVE he is and that THIS was what Dr. Spitzer heard and why the nurse may have struggled to pin point his heart beat with their weird sensitive machines as he was dancing all around. She finally said, we had absolutely NOTHING to be concerned about, that these things are common, and that our baby couldn’t possibly look or sound any healthier. Oh, and she confirmed again, we’re having a HEALTHY BABY BOY. The amount of relief that Peter and I felt in that moment will forever be personal to us, but I am sure you can imagine.

So several hours later, Peter and I (perhaps aged a few years) felt exhausted by emotion, but also stronger, smarter and more confident we’re ready to be parents. After Friday, we sort of felt ready for anything. So a wild, exhausting experience, but all is happy and healthy with the three of us. And more than ever, we cannot wait to meet our little man and become the family we're so excited to be.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rain, rain go away, and come back with the third trimester, and breakfast in bed!

It’s been raining non-stop since Tuesday. Ok, so it’s only Wednesday…, which is a fair point. But after all the sun on the weekend, and now all this rain, this week already feels a million days long.

I am tired this week. Really tired. I haven’t been sleeping that well since the weekend, and I got up yesterday at 5am to go the gym and lifted weights for an hour. I regret that decision. I think it zapped whatever energy this rain hasn’t depleted from me. You know though, I can’t complain too too much. With all that is going on with us (both our jobs being crazy busy right now, the on-going house hunt, entertaining visitors, auditioning for TV shows, planning for the birth of this baby, and the work I can’t see but feel, as our baby grows bigger everyday) I have been feeling pretty good as of late. Happy. Healthy. And surprisingly, pretty sane. That’s right SANE. Hallelujah!

So let’s kick this THIRD Trimester off then!!! To celebrate, Peter arrived this morning to greet his very sleepy, but very grateful wife and baby +1 with breakfast and coffee in bed. Gold star for Pietro on what would have been a rainy miserable Wednesday. He made it a rainy fantastic Wednesday. ☺

Hopefully this period of severe tiredness is weather and over exercise related and not what is to come for the next 15 weeks. We gots a lot to do.

PS – I didn’t want to dedicate a whole blog post to this but I FINALLY went shopping for new bras the other day and to my holy shock… the girls have grown TWO full cup sizes. For real. It’s crazy. It’s the best part about being pregnant. Besides the baby stuff.

Love you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bikes, beaches, bunnies, babies and a bbq

This morning I woke up to a beautiful hot sun beaming through our east facing bedroom window. So wonderfully warm, that when I finally got up and took a quick glance in the mirror, my cheeks were definitively a sun kissed pink. I immediately knew it was going to be a fantastic day.
After a lazy breakfast with Peter, I started in on my campaigning.  My bike ride campaigning. For weeks now I have been absolutely itching to pull our bikes out of the basement and take advantage of this beautiful spring weather and go for a long bike ride in the sun.  My campaign today was backed with articles from the internet (read out loud over breakfast) about the ‘how to’ of safe bike riding while pregnant and the ‘plan’  to use the fantastic  safe bike paths in the east end and take a casual/slow ride through Leslieville, the beaches and down to the water.  Just like we used to do last summer. 
Well, with one major difference… I wasn’t 6 months pregnant last summer.
The mention of my bike and bike riding has been a bit of charged point of discussion for weeks between Peter and I. Last Friday it was almost a stand-off.  He was riding to work, I wanted to as well.  I didn’t end up biking. My tires were flat, and so was Peter’s morning expression of disagreement of the notion.
 Speaking honestly, Peter has been uncomfortable, nervous, and probably even scared of the idea of me out on my bike in this city. Perhaps it’s the size of my belly and concern about my balance.  Or maybe because sometimes I get too excited while biking and don’t pay as close of attention as I should.  And a lot of it’s probably just the obvious.  I just flat out don’t know my body as well as I used to.
But today we made a plan.  We had a calm discussion together about how we would keep both me and the baby safe while we enjoyed the weather and I got back on my bike.  It’s easy to forget that even though our baby is growing inside my tummy, his safety and his health is something we’re both concerned about and get an equal say.  Peter understood that for whatever reason, being on my bike was important to me today, and we sorted out the safety requirements of the trip together.
We ended up taking that casual and leisurely cruise down through the east to the beach. We stopped for some iced drinks along the way and eventually ended up at Kew Gardens where we locked up our bikes, grabbed some bagel sandwiches and read/laid in the park while the Beaches Easter Parade marched through the streets around us.  We took it slow, I paid close attention to everything around me, and Peter sat protective watch to my side.
When we got to the beach, there were kids and babies everywhere as they sorted out their positions along the street waiting for the parade.  It was not lost on us as we examined each passing stroller (we’re trying to decide on which kind we want) and each passing couple with their children, that this is soon going to be our life.  In a few short months we’re not going to be the carefree couple laying around in the park, eating sandwiches and reading books while other parents chase their little ones (some crying, some laughing and some yelling) around us. We’re going to be one of them.  We’re going to be parents.  Maybe it was the sun, and the biking and all that fabulous fresh air, but today the idea of being parents in 3 months was exciting.  It made us laugh and smile. It made us happy.  We’re getting closer to being ready for this. Today we could feel that.
So a beautiful day in the sun, and a reunion with my beloved black beauty (my bike), wrapped up a wonderful weekend of visits with family, a lot of friends and some quality time with just the three of us as well. I have a tan on my face, a full belly from a fantastic Easter BBQ and a heart growing at the excitement of soon becoming a mom.
Happy Sunday Everyone!   

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here comes the sun

And these are the days us summer babies shine at our best. There is something about a bright sunshine that makes my eyes wider, my smile brighter, and my personality more playful.  I am a true Leo. I love the sun.  Our baby boy will also be a summer baby. This makes me so excited for the long gorgeous days of sunshine the two of us are going to spend together this summer walking the neighborhoods, parks and beaches of this city.  A whole summer to play together.  A summer baby, and a summer mom.  It’s going to be glorious.

Just as soon as we find a house.

So, offer #2 went in last night on a cute little semi-detached in Leslieville.  And... we lost in our very first bidding war!  How exciting (note my sarcasm). 12 offers went in, we were in the top two, we were asked to come back with our best offer. We move a bit, they moved more. They won. They actually won in the first round... So they outbid themselves.  Brutal.  But, we’re getting closer. And, we’re also getting more confident as our knowledge of the Toronto market and even all that boring crap about interest rates and long term equity/resale becomes more solid. Our agents are good.  They arm us with a ton of information, and then they watch/help us put the pieces together. But they never tell us what to do.  But the interesting thing is we’re getting it quickly.  Quicker then we thought we would. It’s sort of a game. I love a good problem to solve. When we see a place, and then find out what it sold for, I am pretty good at guessing within about a 5K variance now. 

So I was a bit sad this morning... But Peter made a good point by asking me if I was sad that we didn’t have a house yet, or was I sad about not having THAT house. And I was honest and said this time it was different, I was just sad about not having a house yet (the first round I felt heart sick I couldn’t have THAT house).  So... It wasn’t meant to be.  But one will be.

Until then... This sun makes everything seem so wonderful, doesn’t it? I am happy.

Mom and Dad are on their way here for a quick Easter visit, we have hockey tickets for tonight, and lots of plans to see friends over the weekend.

Happy Easter Everyone!