I went back to work the next day. Everything was so much better. I finally knew why I had been "losing it" the previous few weeks. The hormones in my body were messing with me. I was so emotional and now I knew why. Knowing that, my patience came back. I was able to work again and found myself enjoying it. I also knew that in 8 months I wouldn't be working.
My boss ended up offering me a counselling position. Looking back, this was a really REALLY good promotion. I knew it at the time too. However, the position called for working 2-10pm. I had only been on the day shift for 5 months and didn't want to return to afternoons again (after working them for 3+ years). I was enjoying the time with my husband in the evening. I declined the position. I think I also didn't want to take it because I knew I wouldn't be going back to work full time. If I had, maybe I would have taken it.
The morning sickness sucked. I started losing weight. I wasn't throwing up often, just once a week. Usually I would throw up in the morning, just after eating my breakfast cereal and brushing my teeth. My gag reflex was really strong. At work I was really faint. The standing made me dizzy. I remember a few times when we were serving breakfast to the homeless I started to black out. I'd stumbled my way to the office and sit down. I did a lot of sitting in my last year at work. Some of the clients noticed right away.
I had these great plans to keep it a secret until I was out of the 1st trimester. Ha! It seemed impossible. My close friend Mark kept asking me to chat with him while he had a smoke break - something I didn't mind doing before - but now I declined. He figured it out instantly. Then there were things I was required to do but didn't feel comfortable doing now (like cleaning blood, or breaking up fights, throwing huge bags of garbage out). Everyone knew sooner or later.
When I wasn't at work, I was horizontal. I was on the couch all the time. I was soo tired. I'd come home at 2:30pm from work and nap. If I wasn't sleeping I was watching TV. I couldn't believe how exhausting it was creating a baby. When I was 8 weeks my mom and I decided to go on a week end get away to the exciting town of Red Deer. It ended up being not so exciting. I felt like crap the entire time. But I look back at the trip fondly. We stayed at in a old character home B&B that included a spa.
At this point I really only knew a handful of moms. My closest mom friends were Alisha (my cousin), Bianca and Sandra. I'm sure Alisha remembers the phone call much better than I do. I called to tell her I was pregnant (she'd been harassing me to get pregnant so her son would have some cousins). I don't remember everything specifically but I do remember her talking over my head. LOL. Attachment parenting yada yada yada - I had no clue about different styles of parenting. Then I remember her giving me the most important piece of advice regarding birth - GET MIDWIVES. She told me how she got midwives and described their model of care. I remember thinking it sounded great and decided to look into it. I got some books from the library and one of them was about midwifery in Canada. I really liked the idea but... it came with a $3000+ price tag. I remember talking to my husband about it and we decided not to choose midwives because of the money (or the money we didn't have).
At the time I really wanted a natural birth. My thought was that since every woman in my family had a vaginal birth (many of them non-medicated) I could too. Why would I be any different?
I remember praying every morning. Praying for the future. Praying for my baby being created inside of me. Praying for a natural birth.
Once I hit 16 weeks my morning sickness started to go away. I started to have more energy. I was feeling pretty good. My tummy started to form in the shape of a pregnant belly. I had an ultrasound which we thought would be the 18 week U/S but turned out to be 16.5 weeks. Because I only had the one period since the pill my dates were just estimated.
Since I finding out I was pregnant I was fairly convinced I was having a boy. No reason why really. At the U/S it was confirmed. We were having a baby boy. I was really excited. I hadn't been buying anything and now felt like I could splurge on the odd blue baby outfit.
My on-line life changed. Instead of just checking my "myspace" page, I joined an on-line community for moms. My estimated due date was March 4th, 2007. I joined the march due date club and read all the different posts by these other pregnant moms. I wasn't much into posting but I did read it often. Looking back it was something to kill the time but sort of stupid. Half the posts were lame and those of us who didn't have kids yet, were... so naive. But still, I guess it was my way of connecting with other moms to be.
When I was about 21 weeks along my husband and I went on a trip to Victoria. It was our last vacation before kids. We stayed at this super cheap motel called Paul's Motor Inn. It was awesome. It had a sweet retro restaurant. Every morning we'd go for breakfast. I remember ordering toast. PB &Jam....mmmm.. We went to ocean, we drove along the Island, we drove by all the beautiful houses. I remember thinking there were lots of homeless people in Victoria. It's so nice and warm there - I can see why they migrate there.
Here's a Belly pic from our holiday. I was 21 weeks.
I had been seeing my family doctor for all of my appointments and then I was transferred to a maternity clinic. The clinic had 6-7 female doctors who took turns working at the clinic or the hospital. I liked all the doctors and was happy with my care there.
That winter at the shelter was a bit tough for me - only because I was really trying hard not to catch all the illnesses that spread so easily there. I remember washing my hands an insane amount. It was too the point of OCD. For example, in order to eat my lunch I would go to the bathroom, wash my hands, take the paper towel to turn off the tap, use the same one to open the bathroom door, go to the office and not touch anything. If for some reason I had to touch something I would consider that hand dirty. I would then only touch my food with the clean hand. It was difficult being so OCD. I'd be sitting at the desk trying to eat my lunch and then the phone would ring. I didn't want to look lazy, I was sitting right there, I had to answer it. I'd answer it but the whole time I was so annoyed I had to "dirty" a clean hand. LOL. I'm such a freak.
People at work gave me a hard time about the food I ate. It was a lot of microwave dinners. I wasn't huge into eating the shelter food (seems kinda wrong to me) and I didn't want to take the chance of getting sick (any random person would bring us the meals). My old favorite of a deli meat sandwich was out (no deli meat during pregnancy for me). So yeah... microwave dinners. I'm not proud of that...
I was planning to leave work asap. I wanted to avoid as much of the winter there as possible. I must sound like a freak. See, a few years earlier I had experienced a quarantine at the shelter. The Norwalk virus (stomach flu) spread so quickly at the shelter that almost everyone got it. The sick clients were in quarantine until they felt better. I can't tell you how many times I cleaned up vomit in those 3 weeks. I really wasn't anxious to experience the same thing while being pregnant. So yeah, at the first chance I could, I went on mat leave. I took off 8 weeks before my due date.
Some people thought this was stupid. Why not work and get paid right until you are due? Then when mat leave is up you don't have to go back early... well I wasn't planning to go back. I had no reason to stay as long as I could.
I wanted to enjoy my last 2 months without a baby. I laugh at this know. I thought I was resting and taking time for myself before my baby boy came. I swear, all I did in those 2 months was watch TV. For example I watched every single episode of "Friends". If I had that kind of freedom now it would be different. I would actually DO stuff. I just didn't realize how much my world would change.
The only real preparation I did before baby was read some books and taking prenatal classes. Books like "Knocked Up". While I didn't agree with Rebecca Eckler's choices, I found her book hilarious. Still, that wasn't exactly good reading. I did read some good books, like Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and LLL's Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
The prenatal class was through the Calgary Health Region. Looking back I wish I had taken something different, Bradley Method? Birthing From Within? Something along those lines. It would have helped me more with my goal for a natural birth. But I didn't really know about those options. My husband and I took the 10 week long class through the region. We were by far the youngest parents there. I did enjoy the class and it was useful. I did learn a lot through it. If I hadn't taken it I would have been even more clueless.
A friend of mine since grade one came over and did some prenatal photos for me. I was 37 weeks.
Preparing for having a baby at our home consisted of baby showers. My husband and I bought hardly anything. We waited until after the baby showers. We were very fortunate to be thrown 3 separate baby showers. Almost everything we had was a gift from a baby shower. We had to only buy a couple things, like a stroller and some other small things.
One of the last belly pics. 38 weeks.
The weeks went by and I was getting closer to my due date.