I’ve been meaning to publish this for a while… yet it sits in my drafts  and I just keep adding to it.

9.5 WEEKS PREGNANT
nausea hits around 4:30pm
very tired, but will wake up with back pain occasionally and be unable to fall back asleep despite tired. Often up for 2 hours at night, though I’m dozing for most of it but not sleeping.
Boobs feeling very full and heavy.
Gained two pounds by 9.5 weeks pregnant.

Cravings:
macaroni and cheese from Ikea
pork buns (once)  
thai food… and pad thai

10 WEEKS 4 DAYS PREGNANT
Cravings can be intense
Yesterday all I wanted was cheese buns
Since about 7.5 weeks aversion to all poultry. Now I don’t want any meat. Ham is okay, but that’s it.

I find this time so challenging. So many body changes and you have to keep everything to yourself.
My skin is like grease ball. Pimples hear increased a lot. Yuk. I have to wash hair every second  day, it’s gross. Before pregnancy I could go almost three days before washing.

I have the nausea where it feels better to eat carbs. Yuk.
I notice my belly now. Everyone else doesn’t, well hubby did. Well my uterus is the size of grapefruit now, last week I had gained 2 lbs in total… We will see tomorrow.
Most nauseous time is around 4/5pm. I rarely want to eat dinner with family, but later seems okay sometimes.

Way more mucus, nose has blood in it most days.
I seem to have insomnia too. Especially around 4am, for about 2 hours around that time.

All these things I had forgotten about since last pregnancies (ok except nausea and fatigue!). Some days I don’t exercise at all :( I find that are because I’m not eating the foods that I normally do, healthy with lots of leafy greens.

Leaving for trip home tomorrow with just Ella. I am planning all the food spots I want to hit… Blue fox: half order of classic eggs Benny with side salad with mango vinaigrette. Rebar: their salad with miso vinaigrette. Vanilla bakery: their green salad with thir lemon vinaigrette dressing. Baan Thai: spring rolls.

14.3 WEEKS PREGNANT

I think I already feel the baby move and have for a week or so. Though I know they say this is too early.
I was in class today listening to loud movies in my general language arts history of the music score class, perhaps that’s why I think I felt baby move.
Also I’m wearing regular pants, but below the belly I now have. So maybe they are tight around my uterus and baby doesn’t like it.

My belly has popped so much sooner this pregnancy. Leaves me feeling scared of how big I will be when I get to be 35 weeks pregnant! I know this is my third baby. But I’m only 14.5 weeks and I already have a belly and don’t fit comfortably into my regular pants… sob.
Note here that I have body issues, so I find this much harder to deal with than the average person I think. I emptied my closet over the past weekend of all my regular clothes and put them away. I can’t have them staring back at me… omg what happens if I never fit into you again?
My weight has gone up and down over the years, and I actually saved it the last time it was up. After my daughter Ella, I was only 5 lbs over my regular weight after delivery. Because I was sick in pregnancy, especially the last trimester and found it difficult to eat. BUT… I got PPD and GAINED weight post partum. Like 10-15lbs, which I kept on until she was about 13 months old and finally started to lose it. Yes I’m terrified that will happen again. i actually saved those clothes, so I will have something to wear post… well maybe… they might all be out of style. It was 4 years ago. lol. I put all those clothes my closet over the weekend.
Because i had bad post partum with my daughter, and we already have a son,despite always wanting 3 children, I got rid of all my baby stuff and maternity clothes. So I have nothing to wear really. And I had nice maternity clothes. Oh well… again… not sure if I would wear them now. Most of them were office wear while I was working for the government and my life has changed a lot and so has my wardrobe.
I just bought two pairs of pants from the gap, one pair of jeans and one pair of leggings and anxiously awaiting their arrival in the mail. I am wearing regular leggings, but below my belly, which makes it look even larger not rained in. I’m at the awkward stage where it just looks like I’ve eaten too many donuts (a pregnant friend of mine said this ages ago).
I wrote a blog post about this when I was 16 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I look back on that photo and think I was crazy and didn’t have a belly at all. So interesting how our reception changes.
Anyone have any suggestions for second hand maternity wear? I don’t want to spend a ton, as we don’t ‘plan’ on having any more after this.

Now I have more days where I can eat the salad I want. Though nights I still often feel sick to my stomach and have to sit up in bed a bit to fall asleep. Oh it begins.
I think I had like 5 pillows in my third trimester and though my husband still slept with me he was annoyed at the barricade I had to be comfortable. I actually didn’t get rid of many of them post… I still find 2 to 3 pillows comfortable. I love to cuddle a pillow in addition to hubby cuddling me :)

Lately I’m craving glasses of cold milk. Also (not at the same time) sour patch kids or skittles.

We told the kids just recently that we were expecting another child in our family. My eldest, who’s a boy and 5.5 years started to cry. We asked why and he thought this would mean he doesn’t get to share a bed with his sister anymore. Despite having plenty of rooms and beds, our kids chose to share a double bed.

My daughter was and still is excited and wanted to see the baby. She wanted the baby to come out now. My husband said this is news we are going to keep to ourselves for a while. Two days later when I go to pick up my daughter at preschool, she right away declares to her little friends that I have a baby in my belly. The kids say it’s not true because my stomach isn’t big enough yet. I tell them the baby has to grow, and my daughter chimes in immediately with the fact the baby is currently only the size of a lemon (good memory!) and it needs to stay in my tummy otherwise it won’t be healthy. I fear this will be a long 6 months for her. Although having the baby due around her birthday, gives her good context that it’s going to be awhile.

I’m still not sleeping well. Especially between the hours of 3 and 5am. I am restless and light sleeping at best. Sometimes I get up a dozen times to go to the bathroom just to see if I’m awake because my bladder is full… often times it’s not. Of course I end up falling into a deep sleep right before my alarm goes off. I vaguely remember insomnia with my other two pregnancies. I remember my friends saying they also experienced it, that pregnancy teaches you early you have to get up with the baby. This insomnia started around 7 or 8 weeks pregnant. It’s a bit better now, not a lot though.

16 WEEKS PREGNANT

I am so frustrated with my body. I went for a run yesterday and a 9:15 minute mile felt really hard to do. I desperately want to run a half marathon on March 23rd.  With the half marathon only 5 weeks away it seems doubtful. Maybe I will defer again. Sob. 

I wanted to be a strong pregnant women this pregnancy. I can’t do my daily regular exercise schedule, and feels pushing to do just every other day. 

I have asthma. Since seeing a naturopath, Dr. Jolene Brighten, I’ve been able to go off my steroid inhaler. Yesterday woke up with a bad chest. My daughter has a bug too. I must have gotten it. Only one week after getting over head cold, I was healthy for maybe 5 days? I did not want to have to start taking my inhaler again. I hate taking medicine period, hate even more taking it while pregnant. Despite it being mostly “safe”. All the doctors I have seen tell me the very small risks far outweigh not breathing properly which in itself is a risk to the baby. Just frustrating. This also means the run I planned tomorrow for for 8 miles won’t happen. Longest distance for training for this half I did 6.5 miles two weeks ago. Loosing another long run :(

25 WEEKS PREGNANT
I gave up running about 4 weeks ago. Just got too painful. I also missed running a half marathon at the end of March as planned because I came down with a sinus infection that impeded my training. At the time I was very disappointed. Now I have moved on to things I can do. I share a personal training session twice a week. I swim, and ride my bike to commute still. I run… okay let’s be honest, walk quickly up stairs, like the Coit Tower stairs in SF, and there is a local parking garage I’ve done repeats on. I can seem to exercise 5 times a week, and have two days off. This is far less than when not pregnant, but I have to do what my body wants. 

I am oh so grateful for my health this pregnancy. I was sick with my second. I had two different chest infections. One lasting 8 weeks, another lasting 10 weeks. Now I realize it was due to being under medicated for asthma. So grateful for not coughing this pregnancy. so so so grateful. 

Sleep still begets me. Hormones I assume. 

My pelvis is sore. My midwife explained it was likely due to the relaxant hormone. I see a chiropractor who also does ART, which seems to help. 

I have heart palpitations. All normal. However I do notice them and they can feel unsettling at times. 

I still crave sugar. My midwife this week said ‘sugar makes bigger babies’. I clarified what that meant. So if you have the exact same calories in your diet, and on diet number one a lot of them come from sugar, and diet number two you have limited sugar. But exact same calories, the diet with the sugar will make you have a bigger baby. This topic comes up because my 26 week gestational diabetes test is coming up. She also said that babies tend to get larger each pregnancy. First was 6 lbs 13 ounces, Second 7 lbs and 11 ounces…. so they are assuming this child will be larger, and don’t want me to have issues. All searching for the best outcomes. I just need to be more mindful of eating sugar I think, as most of my diet is very healthy and I exercise well. I haven’t had it my diabetes test yet, but of course want to be thoughtful. Today was tough with a ton of Easter chocolate around.  I have gained 15 lbs to date. 

Baby kicks a lot. Though you do have to put your hand on my belly and be patient. My children and husband have all felt babe kick. When babe is active now I am trying to figure out which body part is moving and where babe is at. Hoping “head down” has already happened or will very soon! 

My 2013 summary

Ran 5 half marathons. Totalled about 750 miles (1207 km).
Since June 2012, so in 1.5 years I have run 9 half marathons. Not bad I guess ;)

Started Julia Christina’s Fine Photography in the summer of 2013.

Took 4 courses towards my Master of Photography (21 for graduation). 

William’s started kindergarden. Ella started preschool at William’s “big school”

Bought a house in the USA.  Completed house renovations: Had new roof with skylights put in. Also moved out of downstairs to have all flooring ripped up and real hardwood floor installed.

Got pregnant twice. 

I ran the See Jane Run half marathon this morning. A flat course, in my backyard (Alameda, California). I wanted a personal best for my time. Sounds easy.

I had run the course last year for my first half marathon. I remember how hard it was. I ran a 1:53. I assumed it was so hard because it was my first half marathon. It was also hot that day, not as hot as it felt today.

I ran a 1:47 on a injured foot, with huge hills for the Nike Women’s San Francisco half marathon. So I assumed of course I could achieve <1:45 no problem today on a flat. Just take out the hills and I will go faster right? wrong.

Well today it was hot. Really hot for me. LIke 25 and the race there was little to no shade, full sun.  I don’t like the heat, not to mention running in it. I feel like this was a huge factor.

I psyched myself up for the run, too much. I was nervous yesterday. I got out there, and was running with a friend for part of it. I ran fast to begin with, too fast I think. By the time I saw her she said this doesn’t feel like you (I often run my long runs with her). I guess she was right. I stopped more than couple times. Ug.

My right quad started to hurt early. I thought it would go away, I tried to run through it. No that didn’t work.  When 1:50 pacer past me I had completely given up. When I had to find a potty around mile 5 it was over in my head, I just wanted it to be done and out of that heat. All I kept thinking was it’s so flipping hot, I want shade. A 9 minute mile felt like a 7 minute one. Ug, what a slog. Maybe I’m not meant for this running business. Today was my 5th half marathon.

What I like about the See Jane Run Alameda race… that the terrain is flat, that it’s in a nice area, my kids and hubby can come and watch me. See’s chocolate is a part sponsor, you get some nice chocolate at the end. Last year it wasn’t so great, only a small piece of dark chocolate. This year it was sweet, truffles, which feels nice and needed at the end of the race. Also you get bubbly at the end, and a champagne glass. I didn’t wait in line for the champagne this year, but nice none the less.

What the race doesn’t have going for it; it doesn’t start until 8am, and by that time the heat is setting in. Always in June, why not start it so we could be done by the time the heat hits? Start at least at 7am! It was so hot a few women at the end said it felt like there wasn’t enough water stations. There was enough, the regular amount there are on a half marathon, but being hot it felt like we needed more. I drank so much water. I need to learn to run with a camal back I think. There is something about having water whenever you need it.

There is hardly no spectatorship to get you going, no loud music at ever corner. The shirts you get are made of a horrible thick fabric, the design an unbecoming v neck. Not my choice and I haven’t seen it look good on many women. And it’s mostly a women’s race.

Last year they gave me a 500 ml of water bottle at the end. I went back for more because I was hot and thirsty. Too volunteers snapped at me and said one per participant. I just ran 13.1 miles and all I get is 500ml of water for how much money I paid? This year I didn’t bother and brought my own.

I liked the medals both years. I think they are of nice quality. But this year the medal says “I ran for chocolate”. Degrades the reason most people run I feel. Last year’s, 2012, was nice.

Will I run See Jane again? Well let’s just say never say never ;) But it’s not going to be on the top of my list. It wasn’t this year, but last minute I thought why not? I got sick and was unable to run Oakland Half Marathon in March, and I had trained for it. I’m very much looking forward to running the San Francisco Half Marathon with my friend on her birthday next week, it will be her first half marathon :)

I started Crossfit and strength training a couple months ago, seriously and consistently just recently about a month ago. It should make me faster. Maybe it has. But not today.

For running a bad race, I feel sore. I feel like I don’t deserve to feel sore. Ha.

I think most of it was due to heat. I know I can swim longer and faster in a cold pool. In Victoria, BC I preferred the coldest pools in Victoria. I feel I couldn’t swim efficiently in warmer pool. It was cool when I did the half marathon on October in San Francisco. So maybe I just like cooler weather, simple.

I think another thing is I set out a too ambitious goal. Maybe? I need to be more realistic and access things when I get on the course and see how I’m feeling and then just go for my personal best, and concentrate on negative splits. That sounds much more wise.

I’m disappointed. My goal time seems so much more elusive to me now.

My ultimate goal, which I think is so many runners goals, it to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I haven’t ever run a Marathon, I assumed it was good to start at a half first. Also I haven’t been able to dedicate the time required away from the family for long runs.
To Qualify for Boston I have to run a 3:40 marathon. Ah yea that’s fast. That’s a little less than a 8:30 minute mile to KEEP UP for 26 miles!

My husband doesn’t want me to do any marathons. He feels the pounding on the body is too much. So maybe my bucket list can’t include, ‘qualify for boston marathon’. I wonder if I could run 40 half marathons by the time I’m 40, that would mean 6 a year. Seems a bit ‘intense’ was my husbands comment. But ‘goals shouldn’t be easy’, said from my wise friend.

I want to be faster, stronger, leaner. Maybe someday, but not today.

AND THAT’S ALL OKAY. I learnt some valuable lessons I today. And mostly I like to run and workout because I enjoy it. Another part of life about the journey not the destination :) I enjoy getting together with friends, feeling stronger. Trying to focus on that this right now.

Also seeing my children and husband at the end, I was reminded about the most important things in life :)

I haven’t blogged on here in ages. It seems I used facebook posts for mini blogs and sometimes rants these days.

My brother-in-law asked a while back, like a couple years ago what we normally eat for dinners. I am the cook of the house and I thought of this question the other day. It so has it that I record my food so I took a little snapshot from February dinners what I ate. These were MY dinners. I can see something I choose to eat a heavier lunch and only snacked at night. This is what I ate, though I do normally eat with the kids unless I am at school that night, so more than likely the family ate the same thing. Although not mentioned almost all my ingredients are local and organic.

Dinners week February 18 – 24th

Monday: homemade chili (turkey meat, onions, kidney beans, tomatoes, spices), tortilla chips, jasmine rice, mild californian cheddar cheese

Tuesday: homemade hummus and carrots, homemade vegetable barley stew (barley, zucchini, carrots, lentils, onion, chicken broth).

Wednesday: homemade chicken noodle soup (roasted chicken, onions, carrots, celery, egg noddles, chicken broth)

Thursday: homemade lentil vegetable soup, parmesan cheese, ground turkey patties

Friday: ground turkey patties, jasmine rice, carrots and ranch dip

Saturday: steak, cauliflower steamed with olive oil, carrots and ranch dip, homemade; baked garbanzo beans with onions, tomatoes and quinoa

sunday: kids – annie’s gluten free macaroni and cheese, I had plain yogurt with almonds (I had a late lunch of baked: chick peas, onions, tomatoes, quinoa).

Dinners week of February 25 – March 3rd

monday: black bean, monterey jack cheese, short grain brown rice, veggies and dip

tuesday: udi’s gluten free bread and sunflower seed butter (*I ate a Mixt Greens salad for lunch, and didn’t come home till 8pm from class)

wednesday: brown rice spaghetti pasta, homemade tomato basil sauce, parmesan, cheese, steamed broccoli with lighthouse ranch dip

thursday: homemade hamburgers (hamburger, bun, mayo, mustard, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, Colby jack cheese) with open nature cut fries and ketchup

friday: chicken drumsticks, raw carrots with homestyle ranch dip, Brussel sprouts and broccoli sautéed

saturday: lentil and vegetable soup garnished with Colby jack cheese, lean ground turkey patty

sunday: homemade pizza: gluten free crust, tomato sauce, ham, pineapple, mozzarella, carrots and litehouse ranch dip

Interesting. I think I will look back again in a couple months and see how it’s changed or not.

IMG_3686

Fun but messy of course. We bought a kit from Mama Goddess online. It was one of the more reasonable ones we found at only $40 and their instructions were good. We never did one for my first pregnancy and I thought it would be fun for my second. I love the artwork on some of the casts I have found online and want to do something like it.

After using a kit, I don’t think you need one. Though it would make a great gift and everything is there, and you can go add to it once you know what you want or need. You could just find instructions online, and just go buy some plaster. You will probably run about the same or a little more for cost. After buying my own plaster, the kit we bought was not overpriced. A drop sheet that is completely plastic would be better, the one in the kit once it got wet the floor was wet too. All you need for materials: plaster, vaseline (some kind of lubricant), and something to protect your floors.

My husband did it with me. He would dip the strips into the water, at first we forgot to take a little water off, so I was drenched. We quickly figured it out. He’d put the plaster piece on me and I would smooth it out with my hands. It does dry quite quickly. By the end I was taking shorter breaths because it was pretty solid. The kit provided vaseline, which I used, but it still hurt a lot to take off. I guess I needed to use even more! It felt like (and looked like) someone was waxing me in a giant strip trying to take it off, especially under my boobs, yipes!

The cast is now complete though the work is far from over to get it to where I want it to be. It looks quite rough like this:

I don’t consider myself a large person but we still used all of the plaster in the kit. I had to go and buy some more today to reinforce it in areas. I plan to reinforce it, trim around the edges, lightly sand it and then use Gesso acrylic paint to smooth it out. This all needs to be done before I get to the artwork part. I am excited for the possibilities of how it could turn out!

…to be continued

So update after last night… I used the ‘extra’ plaster that I bought at Michaels craft store. I must say the stuff that came in the kit was far superior. From Michaels, the strips didn’t take to water as nicely and there were spots that were still hard, they didn’t seem to have as much plaster on them, and were very stringy. The kit is looking better and better by the minute.

Steps I plan to do: 1) do the cast, dry 2) trim edges, reinforce with more plaster, dry 3) use Polyfil or joint compound to smooth out lumps, dry 4) sand to get smooth surface 5) use Gesso to get a nicer surface, dry 6) prime with white acrylic paint 7) drill holes for hanging cast and put in wire for hanging 8/9 etc.)….. start artwork… which probably involves planning what I want on the cast, drawing it in pencil, painting, etc. 10) final step, clear gloss to finish

Onto step 3 ;-)

Cucumbers are acidic and can cause heartburn. Haha, were you expecting something phallic…. sorry to disappoint this is going to be about food and nutrition.

I didn’t know cucumbers were acidic until I was pregnant with my first baby and was nearing the end of pregnancy. I was reminded a few weeks ago when I had a Greek salad for dinner…. tomatoes and cucumbers, bad combo for heartburn, needless to say that night wasn’t fun. It’s amazing how your organs get so squished near the end. My husband reminds me that I was pretty uncomfortable and had a really hard time eating near the end of my first pregnancy….. which is all coming back to me now.

Even wearing a bra I feel impedes my digestion now. I feel my tummy gurgling, and sometimes need to take off my bra to feel better… odd I know! My Naturopath laughs and says well you know what will relieve that…. ;-) delivery! Not much I can do about it but attempt to avoid the more acidic foods, less raw veggies (though I much prefer them over cooked) and eat smaller meals.  Some foods that particularly bother me and cause upset are: chocolate, some of the more acidic fruits like oranges and raw strawberries…. coffee, black tea would be on my list if I drank it, and as mentioned in particular cucumbers, tomatoes.

My iron has been low so I’ve been taking an iron supplement for some weeks now. It helps, but can be a little complicated to take, on the bottle it says to take it 2-3 hours after a meal, or one hour before a meal, and 1 hour away from any dairy products or other medicines, and best absorbed on an empty stomach… sheesh!. Some iron supplements can really cause upset, but my midwife recommended one that I’ve had pretty good success with called “Bob’s Female Iron Formula”. Available from a few of the local Pharmasaves in Victoria (I found mine at the Cook Street location, but I’ve been told View Royal and Tuscany Village also have it).  I assume it’s named after “Bob” the fellow that owns these particular Pharmasaves in Victoria: www.bobmehrpharmacies.com

I’ve had an aversion to any type of poultry this pregnancy, since about 6 or 7 weeks pregnant, which was similar when I was pregnant with my son. Makes eating a little bit more limiting. I am now able to prepare chicken now, which I wasn’t in my first trimester, but still would rather not and don’t like the smell. Or any strong smell come to think of it. I have a sensitive nose when I’m not pregnant, when I am pregnant it’s pretty unbelievable (and annoying to some) what I can smell.

I don’t really want any type of meat this pregnancy but do eat it (with the exception of poultry) to try to keep my iron up. I didn’t know before that any black tea, even decaffeinated black teas inhibit iron absorption. Needing as much iron as I can to be absorbed, I no longer drink decaffeinated black teas now (normally love them, including Rooibos). My midwife recommends red raspberry leaf tea, not to prepare your uterus for birth, though some think it does, but just for general health as it has a lot of good properties, I have yet to pick some up. The site I read said to drink it from 32 weeks on and increase your intake closer to birth, but that is for uterus ripening. I assume it’s safe and good for you in moderation the entire pregnancy, but would ask your caregiver if you are unsure.

Currently I truly would love to just eat home made mac and cheese all the time, or Alphagetti, haha, but resist…. because it’s not healthy (duh ;-) ) and because I am the cook in the house and my hubby is lactose intolerant and my son is off dairy and gluten right now. A far cry from when I craved vegetables and orange or cranberry juice when I first got pregnant. I occasionally crave vanilla ice cream too, milk shakes, etc., probably because the baby is needing more of my calcium stores now to grow her little bones. I do take a liquid calcium supplement twice a day, which also decrease muscles contractions, including Braxton hicks, along with staying hydrated.

I do… of the baby kicking. Her feet go across the top of my belly, and you feel the full movements…. ‘bvlop bvlop’ over and back, hehe. This is the movement I miss when I am not pregnant. Mentioning it to other moms they miss it too. My mom remembers loving the feeling of the foot going back and forth in her tummy. I know I will miss it when I’m not pregnant… and a reason I craved to be pregnant when I was not.

Yes sometimes she kicks hard, or shoves her hands into my hips, a muscles or my bladder and I jump from the discomfort or want to pee my pants… but I still like to feel her move. 33 weeks now, so she’s still has a little bit of room, certainly not as much as she did before and mostly stays in the same spot. Most of the time she has her back on my left side and I feel movement and limbs on my right…. or the solid part of her bum or back when she stretches or pushes on the other side. My tummy can look like it’s having quite the party sometimes, particularly at night before bed or after a meal when my digestion is making a racket, she seems to be the most active. I still think she is less active than my son was… I can wake up at night for my trips to the bathroom and baby doesn’t always wake up, I remember my son always woke up.

I will cherish these movements until the babe is born.

Labour is going to go how labour is going to go… as one of my midwives tell me. I now understand how true this statement is. You can prepare for as much as you want, with your birth plan, but your labour will progress the way it does and it is largely out of your control. Some women are more fortunate than others.

It’s interesting the expectations I had going into labour the first time. I wanted this and not that, but had no real idea how it was going to go. Even though I had done lots of reading and research prior to my first birth, no one can really tell you. I was a little disappointed looking back, but overall very happy to be done with it and have had my baby naturally. I reviewed my first labour with my new backup midwife the other day, and also spoke to my Naturopath about it, both who have had children in the past couple years. It was comforting to know that they too did not get their birth wishes… meaning that circumstances took over and things needed to be done, at absolutely no fault of their own and it does not reflect on them poorly or mean they aren’t a strong people because of it.

Don’t let this scare you, but my first labour was long. It does not mean yours is going to be. Every labour and pregnancy are different. I was in pre-labour for about 24 hours or more. I was anxious and thought things would get going. My midwife suggested taking Gravol and trying to get some rest, I should have listened. By the following night she came over and I took some homeopathic remedies to try to jump start things, within a couple hours I was in early labour and contractions were noticeable stronger, closer together and more painful. The next morning I was in the same place, and my midwife stopped by my house again. She decided we should go to hospital to do a stress test on the baby, and she wanted to check my bag of waters as she thought I had a slow leak. I remember going in around 10am on Sunday morning and choosing to stay at the hospital, I was 100% effaced, and 3cms dilated by this point, or so I thought. Looking at my notes I was only a finger tip dilated, but 100% effaced, which I find embarrassing now that I stayed in the hospital. Contractions were coming every 5 minutes, plus or minus a couple minutes and felt quite strong. Reviewing my past labour with my backup midwife she said so after 10 + hours of labour you chose to stay in the hospital and you think you went and stayed in too early? Okay so, you really think after 10 hours of labour it was too soon to go and stay, 10 hours is quite a while Julia…. that made it sound differently to me.

By that evening I was about 3cms dilated, contractions were about the same distance apart (anywhere from 3-8 minutes) but feeling much stronger and painful and I was noticeably more tired having not slept since Friday night, and it was now approaching Sunday evening. Around 7 PM it was suggested I get an epidural to get some rest, after asking everyone in the room that they would not be disappointed in me if I got an epidural, we decided to get one. My caregivers were also thinking it might be necessary to augment my labour as things were taking a long time and more importantly they were concerned about my exhaustion having to deal with strong contractions that were not furthering my progress.

So ladies, when they say once you choose to get an epidural PLAN to be able to cope with labour for the next couple hours in case hospital staff are not available to give you one. Oh SO SO true. I was prepared for a couple hours, but not the 7 MORE hours that passed waiting for one AFTER I decided to have one! A nurse needs to be dedicated to you and in your room to monitor you if you have an epidural, although your midwife is more than capable, it’s “hospital policy” to have a nurse. Around midnight my midwife gave me a shot of Demerol, and checked my cervix before doing so, I was only 4cms. It took the edge off but I could feel the peak of each contraction, so I slept for a couple minute intervals between them. A couple hours later it was wearing off and finally at 2 AM the nurse was ready, and the Anesthesiologist came in (I thought we’d have to wait for him! But not so he was ready). I hate needles (I’ve fainted in the past with a needle) and hate the thought of an epidural, but I can honestly say it was no big deal. I was so exhausted and in pain I didn’t notice.

When you have an epidural you are on your back confined to a bed, I have not heard of any woman who had a walking epidural and was actually allowed to get out of bed. I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors by that point. They have a constant monitor on the baby, and it was turned up too loud, it rung in our ears for days after. My midwife would turn it down, and the nurse would crank it back up. I don’t know if they augmented me with Oxytocin right away or just at the beginning or end. I sort of remember the OB coming in to check on me that my midwife consulted (as things were going on a while and I think it’s in their ‘handbook’ that they need to consult an OB at that point) and asking why I was not get Oxytocin. I remember someone saying well she’s progressing now, but I guess he wanted things to go even faster?! I have no idea if that meant they did give me something after that or not. I’ll have to ask my midwife to look back in my records to see.

My son was having decelerations in his heartbeat after contractions. The nurse (which I did not like, I wish we were able to keep the nurse that relieved her for her break) was scaring me saying I might need a c-section, which was my ultimate fear. My midwife didn’t seem overly concerned as his heart rate was recovering well after each decel. I remember the nurse wanting to put a screw in the top of my sons head to better monitor his heart rate, I midwife kind of looked at her like… you’ve done that before, and politely skirted the issue, luckily it was not done. When he was born we found out the decelerations were because he had the cord wrapped around his shoulder.

Around 5:40 AM or so my midwife checked my dilation again. There was a small lip of the cervix left, she moved it out of the way with her finger as I pushed through it. I started pushing. I pushed for 45 minutes and my son was born at 6:30 AM on the dot.

Because of my exhaustion they were concerned that I would not have the stamina to push the baby out and my uterus would be too tired to do the work. I remember thinking to myself there is NO way I’ve gone through all this and am going to still have to have an operation! I was very determined to say the least and got second wind, I ordered a couple people around telling them how to hold my back or legs and pushed as hard as I could. The OB came in to check on my progress and was like, ‘oh she is definitely making up for a tired uterus no problem, she’ll get this baby out.’

I wrote notes a couple days after my first birth so I would remember as much as I can. It’s funny how my memory alters things. It was what it was. In the end I was delighted to have a healthy baby out of it born naturally. Yes it was long, but that is not abnormal. Labour start and stops, that’s not abnormal either. Contractions can go from 3 minutes apart back to 8 minutes, yup in the realm of normal too. First labours can be longer and yes that’s normal too.

Knowing what I know now I will TRY to listen to my midwife better this time, and REST when she suggests it. I still have wishes for this birth of course, but I am way more open to assessing things as they go along and doing what is necessary. As I found out from the first time, labour is going to go how labour is going to go. It doesn’t mean I am broken or abnormal etc… it just is and it’s all okay!

I’ve swum since I was younger with different swim groups. After my son was born I joined a masters swim club at UVic. I was a member for about a year and regularly went to practices 2-3 times a week. It’s more like an organized swim with a workout provided and you swim at your own pace. There were about 15 people UVic masters when I swam with them, sometimes as little as 3 showed up in the winter, up to 10 in the summer. This past September I joined the Victoria Masters Swim Club that swims out of the Crystal Pool. More competitive of a group, but fantastic coaches, and you get excellent instruction. I joined for the year but stopped going to practices when I got really sick with a chest cold this past March. I now swim on my own three times a week. As my midwife said, yes swimming is excellent now, but probably not the type you are used to in this stage of pregnancy = take it easy. With a group of people I find I push myself to keep up with them, which is great when you aren’t pregnant but not ideal at the current time.

I swim between the Crystal Pool and Commonwealth now. Crystal I have a pass from master club with, and Commonwealth I have a punch card. I think drop in is about $5.

I finally found a pregnancy lap swim suit and love it. We ended up ordering it online, from a recommendation on my post from my first pregnancy… thanks! We ordered the size they suggested for the size my regular suit was and it ended up being too large, so I ordered another one a size smaller. I still have the unused medium size thinking I may get big enough to fit into it near the end, but not sure if I will need it now. It’s a Lycra suit, so won’t last much longer than this pregnancy as the chlorine tends to eat them quickly. Not pregnant I wear a polyester suit now, which lasts and lasts and lasts… as the sales people say you will get tired of the style way before it wears out! I have to have thin straps on my polyester suits otherwise I get chapped marks on my neck and it looks like I have hickeys all the time. Putting on Vaseline on my neck prior to a swim workout also used to help. Lycra does not bother me.

Pools in Victoria….. now I am a swim snob. I like swimming laps in a pool with other people that obey swimming etiquette. Fast lane for fast swimmers, swim up the rope and down the middle, etc. Hard to find when swimming with the public. I find the cooler the pool, the more I can swim, and the less tired I feel. For example if I swim 1000m at the Commonwealth Pool in their competition pool, I swim faster and am less tired than swimming the same 1000m at the Crystal Pool.

I think the Commonwealth competition pool is the coolest pool in Victoria. Runner up is UVic’s McKinnon pool. Then perhaps the Crystal Pool, then Gordon Head…. Oak Bay Recreation Center being one of the warmest (those are the pools I frequent). None of this is scientific, it’s just how I feel when I get in and based on how I swim. I’ve never been to Juan de Fuca Recreation Center pool but have heard good things. Their kiddie pools apparently are among the warmest, so you aren’t too cold when you are with your little one not moving to keep warm and their larger pool I’ve also heard is nice to workout in.

Not being pregnant Commonwealth and UVic are my top choices for the best swim workout (out of the above). However pregnant the Crystal Pool works well as it cuts down on the Braxton Hicks when I get into the water, which seem exacerbated by the colder water.

Only issue with the Crystal is their large theft problem. I have started wearing my key to my locker on me now while I swim and take only my towel and shampoo to the pool deck. I heard of a swimmer in my club that left only her clothes in a locker, unlocked, and came back and someone had stolen her pants. Her pants!!! Who steals pants? She had to walk out in a towel. The other day a woman brought her back pack with her purse in it to the deck while she swum, which was within her sight for most of her swim. She picked up her bag and her purse was gone.

Swimming is also excellent for pregnant women. It’s not only weightless workout, it also helps get the baby into optimal fetal positioning.

Speaking of fetal positioning it seems my little one, as of my last midwife appointment a few days ago, is now head down. At this stage, I am 30 weeks along, my midwife reminds me that baby still has room to move and can move back to be head up and that is perfectly normal, but reassuring that she is head down for now.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.