Happy and Healthy!

My Sweet BeZU!

I haven’t talked about your last follow-up appointment at the doctor’s until now because I wanted to have concrete information before discussing it with you. We went to your 9-month check-up last week and there were a few things that our GP wanted to make sure were ok with you so we were referred to a pediatrician. With me being a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse, we were lucky enough that I know her and I like her, so that was a bonus from the get go.

The 2 issues that we were looking into were:

  1. The size of your head (small) and your anterior fontanel (big)
  2. Your hip hypermobility

We saw the pediatrician on Tuesday and after spending an hour with her, she only wanted to investigate your hips a little further. She looked into the size of your head, compared it to the size of Rina’s head and she was satisfied with it. It wasn’t something that really worried me as Rina also has a small head and I do too, so it runs in the family.

As for your hips, you were kind enough to oblige and demonstrate how you can go from a belly position (with your legs pointing in the back) to whipping your legs in a full circle without ever lifting your bum off the ground and land in a sitting position (with your legs pointing in the front). After checking out your ROM (Range of Motion), the peds came to the conclusion that both your hips were hyper mobile, with your right hip being extra mobile compared to the left one. She decided to send us for an x-ray of your hips and pelvis, just to make sure you didn’t have hip dysplasia or any other anomalies in your sacrum.

You had your x-rays done yesterday. Your Dad went with you while I was at ballet with Rina and I think it was for the best because by then, I was a little worried so it’s good that your Dad went instead of me. You see, being in the field, sometimes you know too much and your brain starts digging into and analyzing  everything and it’s not always the best for a worry-bug like me. 😉 Anyway, I digress!

The pediatrician was nice enough to call me yesterday afternoon. She had seen the x-rays (that had been read by a pediatric-minded radiologist) and everything is fine with you! You are just limber! 🙂 I was glad that she took the time out of her busy day to set my mind at ease ASAP and give me the good news! I guess it pays sometimes to be a NICU nurse! 😉

You see, when you become a parent, you have all those hopes and dreams for your children and for me it’s that both you and sister have happy and healthy lives. That’s all that ever mattered to me, from the moment we found out we were expecting you. I know there will be bumps and scrapes and stuffy noses and scars and I can deal with that. I just pray we never have to deal with anything more major!

Happy morning child!

Happy morning child!

Look Mama! I can stand on my own!

Look Mama! I can stand on my own!

Happy 4 months to my giant girl!!!

Sweet Rina,

We just got back from our 4-month appointment with the doctor and here are your stats:

Weight: 6.72kg (14.8 lbs) which puts you at about the 75th percentile

Length: 67.5cm (26.6″) which puts you above the 97th percentile (what kind of giant did I give birth to?!?)

Head circumference: 39cm (15.4″) which puts you around the 10th percentile

*Percentiles are based on the WHO standards*

So. To recap: you are an extremely tall, well fed baby with a small head! The small head, you probably get from me as well as the well fed part (although, I am losing a bit of my extra weight! 🙂 ) The length, you either get from your Grandma’s side of the family or from your Papou’s side of the family.

It looks like you also have a bit of eczema on your eyelids and in one of your neck crease. 😦 I had noticed it before and it doesn’t seem to bother you at all, but it is quite red and dry-looking. The doctor recommended applying vaseline, but I’ll try extra virgin olive oil first. I’d like to delay the petrol product directly on your skin as much as I can! I’ve also ordered a natural body wash from Chartreuse and am waiting for the delivery and am using Burt’s Bees in the meantime. I hope it will work!

You’ve now been asleep for close to 2hrs (ever since we got back from the doctor) which is quite unusual for you! You did, however, skip a nap this morning due to our appointment, so I guess that makes up for it! Here is a picture of the 2 of us, on your 4 month anniversary!

 

You're trying to eat my nose!

Love,

Mom & Dad!

W40D6: Football, Christmas and Follow-up!

Little Monkey!,

FOOTBALL & CHRISTMAS

Yesterday, we put up our Christmas decorations while watching the Grey Cup and I was happy “my team” won for the 2nd year in a row. I will always be a true Montreal Alouette fan at heart, even though we live on the complete opposite coast now! Football is about the only sport I get really passionate about when I see a game (that and when your dad plays squash)!

Below are a few pictures of our Holiday decorations. Our tree is a bit bare, but that’s just because I’m waiting for the end of season sale to buy decorations to make it fuller 😉

 

Our little Tree

Santa greeting us at the front door!

The fireplace is missing your stocking... Still looking for a nice one for you!

Yesterday, in a failed effort to bring on labor (and bring you out too!), your dad and I decided to go do some shopping by foot. I was wearing my Sockwa for the 1st time outside. I had decided to wear the black ones (you can see them by clicking on the link). I was wearing some thin Smartwool socks with them just because it was a bit cold outside and the streets were wet and I was afraid my feet were going to get cold as it was my 1st attempt at wearing them outside. Overall, they were pretty comfortable and you can really feel the ground and the different types of surface when walking with them (even when wearing socks). We were out for about 1h30, walking mainly in stores and on sidewalks and streets. I managed to keep my feet warm and dry so that was good too! I could tell my feet were getting tired towards the end of our trip and I was glad to be back home. At home, I am usually always barefoot or only wearing socks walking around on the laminate ir carpet. I know I’ll have to do the switch progressively when it comes to minimalist footwear, but I quite enjoyed the experience today. Mind you, I might not have had the best stepping form with my waddling and all, but I’ll correct that once you come out!

FOLLOW-UP

It is now 12:50pm and we just got back from your follow-up appointment. I am still only 50% effaced and 1cm dilated. Your head is down, but remains unengaged. I was awarded another stripping of the membranes (which wasn’t anymore fun the 2nd time around 😦 ) and told it might be another 7 days before you show up. Mentally, I am not doing so well, but physically, we are both top shape! 🙂 I will go for my NST later this afternoon and if everything is fine, will have another one scheduled either Thursday or Friday. Following that 2nd NST, if I haven’t delivered yet, I will be put on the induction waiting list for either next Monday or Tuesday, with another NST on Monday in the event I don’t get induced then. I am very thankful for this blog as I get to update everyone without having to talk to anyone as, right now, I am not really in a chatty mood. I understand that everyone is excited about meeting you and well-meaning in their enquiry, but the constant asking about your imminent arrival does nothing to help your dad and I deal with our stress and anxiety. To think I stressed so much about everything that could go wrong before I reached 35 weeks of gestational age! If I would’ve known you were planning on cooking for so long, I would’ve relaxed a lot sooner!

 

Since this post is already pretty long, I will update with another one once I get back from my NST appointment.

Love,

Mom & Dad Xxo

W40 (2nd edition): Follow-up

Oh dear Monkey,

I managed to fall back asleep for 2 hrs after I posted my last post, but it wasn’t really restful. I had a bad dream that your dad was so annoyed with me being grouchy that he had filed for divorce. 😦 It doesn’t make for a really restful sleep, I’ll tell you that!

Well, we had our follow-up appointment a bit earlier and everything is fine with the 2 of us on the medical side. You are still growing a bit (1cm since last week and I am 1.5kg heavier *will this ever stop?!?*), however, you still haven’t dropped and the doctor thinks I still have a good 7 to 10 days before you decide to show up. Sigh. I was still only 50% effaced and only dilated at 1cm. The doctor did however go in and do a bit of membrane stripping. Now, I had never heard of membrane stripping or read about it before so I will be a bit graphic in the following description of whit it entails. After the regular exam, the doctor pretty much just goes in to the cervical opening and pokes at the membranes to try and exacerbate it and hopefully, induce some contractions and labor. IT IS NOT A FUN PROCEDURE. It is quite painful and I was glad she was done when she was! If it’s any indication of what labor will feel like, labor is gonna suck big time or I am a major wuss. In any case, it won’t be fun, but I’ll get through it somehow. It’s after this procedure that the doctor announced that she thought I would probably still have to wait for your arrival another 7-10 days. It took everything for me not to start bawling right then and there. Not really what I wanted to hear, but at the same time, I understand that babies are born when they are ready and that you seem to already have a mind of your own (I wonder where you get that from???). I’ve also mentioned to the doctor that my hands literally fall asleep when I am asleep and I wake up with tingly, numb hands and it takes a few minutes for the feeling to subside. She reassured me that it’s a normal side effect of the swelling I’ve been enduring over the past few weeks and it should go away within a few weeks of your birth. We’ve also talked about the infamous hemorrhoids (sorry, but this is what you get with a nurse mom!) and there is pretty much nothing to do until I deliver as the pushing will only make it worse. As long as it’s not too bothersome, I’ll just have to endure it for now! Yay! More joys of pregnancy! 😉

So when I was done with everything, I had to schedule another appointment for next week’s follow-up and we also scheduled a Fetal Non-Stress Test (NST). You can read more about what it entails here. It is pretty much a standard procedure for overdue pregnancies and it’s just to make sure you are still doing well in there and liking your environment. They will also measure my amniotic fluid to make sure you have just the right amount in there to keep you happy. Both my follow-up and NST are scheduled for next Monday so, I’ll keep you posted once I’m back from those appointments.

So far, I have felt a bit of cramping, but no contractions today. Like I said, you do things on your own terms and I just have to work on my patience a bit more.

Even though we find all this waiting very hard on our nerves, we love you very much and your dad and I will meet you when you’re ready for it!

Love,

Mom & Dad Xxo

P.S. I am totally treating myself to a grilled cheese sandwich to make up for our tardiness! 😉

W40: Where are you?

Little Monkey,

It is almost 4:30am and I am once again, lying awake in bed, thinking about you, wondering if today will be the day you decide to come meet us. Your dad is sleeping soundly next to us and i am writing this from my IPhone (thanks technology!). I am very glad and thankful that this pregnancy has been so uneventful and I know how lucky we’ve been that it has been just so.

I now also understand the anguish all my friends have felt at the end of their pregnancies: the strong desire to meet our little one, the overly annoying waiting game, the daily phone calls and Facebook messages asking if you are born yet (don’t worry peeps, you’ll know when we deliver!) and the increasing annoyance with myself.

I feel like a lion trapped in a cage: aggravated, annoyed, bored and ready to pounce at the next person who tells me to “take this time to enjoy the calm and rest”. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past month!!! I’ve had enough rest! I am usually not an idle person and this waiting game has turned me into a grouch. I am very anxious about meeting you and so is your dad. He keeps asking if I’m feeling any contractions, if I’m in labor, etc.

We have a Dr’s appointment later and I’m curious to see what she’ll say. I’ll write again when I get back.

Love,
Mom & Dad Xxo

W39: You seem to be quite comfy right where you are…

Hello sweet little Monkey!
We just got back from a f/u doctor’s appointment and apparently, you like your little swimming pool. Upon doing an exam, the doctor announced that we probably won’t get to meet you until at least net week :(. I have to admit, I am a little bummed out as I am totally ready for you to come out and I’m getting a bit bored with all this free time on my hands. I know everyone is telling me to enjoy this “down time” and to take advantage of this “quietness” to “rest up and relax”, but that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks. Everything is ready for your arrival, thanks to your dad’s and mine’s nesting instinct and there is only so much TV watching, knitting, scrap booking, going for walks a person can do!

I really shouldn’t complain as we’ve had it pretty easy so far with the pregnancy (no complications whatsoever and my major complain has been heartburn, big deal!), but this Babymama isn’t used to doing nothing and it is slowly driving me bonkers! And that’s not to mention the daily phone calls from loved ones inquiring if I’ve “had the baby yet?” I know people are well-meaning, but it only makes this waiting worst at times.

Oh well, at least, your dad will be happy as he is running a squash tournament this upcoming weekend and he thinks he’s in the clear as to me delivering only next week. Hopefully, you won’t interfere with his plans! 😉

See you soon (hopefully!) little one!
Love,
Mom & Dad Xxo

W34: Oh my! How you’ve grown!

Hello little one (but really, are you still little?)

This morning, we had a follow-up appointment with our doctor and your dad wasn’t able to come as he had a prior engagement. We won’t hold it against him as he has been to every single visits except for 2. We went through the usual: urine test (normal), weigh in (up 0.5kg = 1.1lbs in 2 weeks, up 7.5kg = 16.5 lbs since finding out I was pregnant), then we went over any concerns I had about my health (only minor things, but they sometimes seem silly as I have no idea of what to expect, this being my 1st pregnancy and all. We then figured out your positioning (head down, bum up and your back was on my left side today), measured you (you’ve made my belly bigger by a whole 4.5cm since my last visit 2 weeks ago, putting me at 36.5cm!) and listened to your heartbeat with the Doppler. This is always my favorite part as I try to guess-timate your heart rate. I am usually within 5-10bpm of what you actually are and it gives me some comfort that I know one thing about babies. After all, it’s what I do at work all day long, listen to baby’s heart rates (being a NICU nurse).  At our next visit, we’ll do my GBS status testing and then we’ll switch my visits from every 2 weeks to weekly visits. I’m really glad we have the doctor we have, she is really good, no-nonsense (which I like), doesn’t mother me, but yet doesn’t make me feel like my questions are stupid. Here is a picture your daddy took of me last night, you can see by yourself how much you’ve grown!

I look a bit tired, but it was taken late last night. However, look at that massive belly!

Leaving the doctor’s office, I went to get my TSH bloodwork done. I get this done every 10 weeks as I am slightly at risk for hypothyroidism under normal circumstances (ie, not being pregnant) and pregnancy can play with your hormone levels, hence the testings.

The fun part of my day was what followed. On my last post, I had discussed how I made an Oreo Cheesecake in the slow cooker for Thanksgiving. After that epic dinner (which was a success, in my humble opinion!) I wanted to boil the turkey carcass in the aforementioned slow cooker only to find out that it had died on me! I was devastated! My slow cooker reminds me of being at home with my mom and the wonderful scents filling up the house, good home-cooked meals for dinner and heartwarming food for chilling fall/winter nights. When he got back from work, your dad had a look at the defunct slow cooker to see if he could revive it, but to no avail. Therefore, today, after our doctor’s visit, I went out and bought a new slow cooker! Yay! I got a 6qt programmable Hamilton Beach slow cooker that was on sale. I can’t wait to put it to good use!

I came back home, dropped off my purchase, ate a quick bite and then I was off for a chiropractor appointment to relieve my back. The chiro gave me a pretty good adjustment and made my middle back a lot looser than it was before I went in! What a relief and good feeling overall! I can’t believe I was ever scared of going to the chiropractor.

When I came back home after the chiropractor, I re-potted a few plants and am now relaxing, watching some tv before your dad gets home.  Tomorrow will be a full rest day before I go back to work for my 2nd to last work set! I only have 8 more shifts to work before I start my maternity leave! I was supposed to go for a slow walk with a co-worker of mine tomorrow, but she has 2 sick cats at home and thinks one of them won’t make it. I completely understand her cancelling the walk on me, I wouldn’t be much fun if my pet was sick, never mind 2 pets and thought one of them wouldn’t pull through. I hope they feel better soon!

We can’t wait to meet you little one! See you in a few weeks!
love,
Mom & Dad Xxo

W32D2: Conquering your fears is a good thing!

Hi Bédaine!

Today, I did something new. I faced a fear of mine. Let me explain.

I came home from working my night shift with yet another horrible flare up of pain in my back. I had tried resting with my back flat on the floor at one point during the night, but it didn’t help. As I was lying down in bed, I could feel all the pressure in the muscle in my back and it was so painful that I cried myself to sleep. Needless to say that I took the night off tonight in order to rest my back a bit.

When I got up from a short nap, I was really determined to do something about that nagging back pain. As I’ve mentioned before, massages are good, but the soothing effect only lasts about 30 mins before I feel the flare-up again. I called Genny, your dad’s chiropractor and was planning to make an appointment for tomorrow, but she offered to see me today, which, even though I’ve always been afraid of chiropractors, I jumped on the opportunity. That’s how bad the pain was. I never felt warm to the idea of having my back and neck bones twisted and cracked in every which way, but I had to face the fact that desperate times called for desperate measures.

So here I was, on my way to my 1st chiropractor appointment ever. What I really liked about Genny is that she’s not just the “let me crack your back and send you on your way” type of chiropractor. She actually massaged and loosened my tight muscles in my neck, back, hip flexors and legs before she cracked my back and neck. I felt INSTANT RELIEF and I still feel very loose and relaxed now (1hr post treatment) which makes me believe that maybe I am on to something good here! She has also recommended for me to invest in the Miracle Ball. She made me try it and I can tell this little ball might be really helpful to stretch my back and my pectorals (as I hunch forward a lot). I will  definitely look into it shortly and post a review if and when I get one.

The Miracle Ball

Over the past few months, I have also been doing a lot of reading and research about barefoot running and walking. As you might remember, I often come home from work with painful arches in my feet and for the past 4 days, I have been walking around barefoot in the house and the pain has literally disappeared. I haven’t begged your dad for a foot rub in as many days, therefore I  think it makes the 2 of us happy!

On another note, we saw our doctor yesterday morning and we are all just cruising along with your arrival. So far, there are no major issues regarding my health and you are right on par as to where you need to be. I am getting really excited and anxious about meeting you, but I can also be patient. After all, only 8 more weeks to go! It’s really nice to see your dad and his interactions with you. He cuddles you every chance he gets, even when he’s not fully conscious of doing it (when he’s half asleep in bed). I can tell he’s also excited about your upcoming arrival and he’ll be a great dad!

We love you little monkey!
Mom & Dad Xxo