Monday, December 31, 2007

It's a girl!

Hi everyone - this is "Mr. December", DecemberBaby's husband.

24 hours of labour and 18 minutes of pushing later and we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl (6 lbs 14 oz). Mother and baby are doing really well. Since it is a bit early we weren't super prepared (you think we would have been). Oh well, we'll figure it all out and both our parents are around and ready to help.

Thanks to everyone for wishing us well!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

STILL pregnant, day 256

Around midnight, I timed my contractions and realized that they were 5 minutes apart, lasting 30 to 45 seconds. I tried to sleep for a few hours, gave up, got back in the bath, and called my doula.

For the rest of the day I breathed my way through contractions that would have been excruciating if not for my doula's encouragement and instructions. at some points they were 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 to 2 minutes. But a change of position or activity would also change the pattern.

Finally, after 15 hours of contractions and no change in sight, we went down to L&D. Lumpy's fine, says the monitor. I'm also fine. I am contracting. But after 15 hours of hard work I'm only 1 cm dilated, 30% effaced, and really nowhere near the point at which they would admit me or even offer anything for the pain. What the fuck?

Apparently this is called "pre-labour". Excuse me, but nobody ever mentioned 15 hours of constant contractions *before* actual labor begins. Did I miss something? And how the fuck is this fair? I haven't slept in two days and may not sleep tonight, because we've been sent home without so much as a tylenol.

We've been warned that Lumpy may not come tomorrow, or anytime until his/her due date. I just hope these contractions don't continue until then.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Still pregnant: Day 255

Thanks for your concern and well-wishes. I feel a bit better, although I was unable to keep down most of my breakfast and lunch today. It felt more like morning-sickness puking than stomach-flu puking... and I felt fine again afterward.

Right now I'm dealing with an intermittent low backache and a lot of low pelvic pressure. After consulting with my doula we decided that I'm probably not in labour... but damn, it hurts. I'm going to get in a warm tub with some good music and a bottle of soap bubbles and see if all my carefully planned pain reduction techniques actually work.

Don't get all excited, folks. I'll make sure to post and tell you when it's time to get excited.

Friday, December 28, 2007


24 hours after it started, the flu symptoms stopped... and replaced themselves with something even more painful - air pains. If I hadn't had serious air pains before, I'd have thought I was dying of a heart attack. After Mr. December fell asleep and was no longer available to burp me, I discovered that running a hot shower directly onto my upper back moved the gas around.

Trying to make the best of things, I reasoned that I now have major empathy for a baby who needs to be burped. Air hurts. No wonder babies cry inconsolably until you burp them.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feeling like crap... what is this? - updated

Last night, very late, my stomach decided to start emptying itself of ALL its contents. In the most efficient way possible. I'll just say that it's good to have a bucket by the toilet just in case this happens. I tried napping on the bathroom floor, as it's a lot closer to the toilet than my bed is, but discovered that at 38 weeks pregnant the floor is just not comfortable. It finally seemed to let up after an hour... I showered and went back to bed.

I slept fitfully for about four hours and now my stomach is doing its thing again, minus the puking and with a little less urgency.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I have no idea what this is about. My first thought was "early labour sign" but I'm not so sure, based on how high Lumpy is and all.

I have a regular appointment with my doctor at 11:15 today. I guess we'll see what's going on then.

ETA: The verdict is... stomach flu. Ugh. I'm sucking back popsicles and ice chips. If I can keep them down today, I get to eat tomorrow.

How long does it take?

Lumpy has SO not dropped. Today my elderly aunt commented that I'm carrying really high and she thinks it'll be another three weeks. I certainly have no evidence that anything has changed, in terms of how things feel, although I have been kind of PMS-crampy... but I've been that way for the last couple of weeks.

So, my question to those more experienced... how quickly can things change? Should I just hunker down and assume that we'll be going the distance here?

And for your amusement... two things that piss me off:

1. People who call me every day and casually ask, "how are you?" Folks, the jig is up. I know you're really calling to find out whether I've had the baby yet. If you're calling to ask, then the answer is still "I'm still pregnant, thanks. And you?" Believe me, as soon as Lumpy gets here it'll be broadcast on CBC (or its extended-family-grapevine equivalent). In the meantime, if you're calling to find out whether I'm in labor yet, just say so. The euphemisms are getting annoying.

2. People who make one of the following comments:
- "Oh my god, you're huge!"
- "Well, with that belly you look kind of fat."
- "Holy cow, look at you! you're enormous!"
Has nobody seen a pregnant woman before? Hello people, there's an entire person in there. Along with some fluids and gross stuff. What size did you expect me to be, huh? Whatever, go on telling me how huge I am. It's a great boost to my self esteem right now. Oh, and say it over and over again. It gets funnier every time.

I guess you could say I'm entering the bitchy final stage. If you stick around, you may get more bitter but funny posts, a la original decemberbaby.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

To all of you...

Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating today.

To the rest of us... Happy "Go nowhere and do nothing" day!

Oh, and apologies to Reality for making her think that two posts in one day meant I was in labour. Sorry, but someone has to make up for the bloggers who barely post once a week... *ahem* but I won't mention any names, ok Reality? ;-)

Have a great day. If anybody needs me, I'll be busy nesting.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I think I found one

It even comes in colours that go with my Ik.ea Mammut furniture (the crazy-coloured kids stuff)!

A preview...

Know what pisses me off?

Went to Pottery Barn Kids on Saturday to look at the cribs and change tables. Lo and behold, I found one of each that I liked.

What's the catch, you ask?

The crib was $729 at the store. Online (the American site) the price is $499. The change table, which I'd have to buy at the store for around $500, is only $250 in the States.

For those of you who don't get my outrage, the Canadian dollar is pretty close to par with the American dollar right now. In fact, there were huge signs at PBK advertising that they had reduced the prices on their items to reflect the strong loonie (what we call our dollar). And yet... there's still a discrepancy of over $200 on these big-ticket items. What a crock!

If it wasn't the dead of winter, if I wasn't due in 16 days, I'd be hopping in my mom's van and driving to Buffalo to buy this stuff. Maybe I will anyway. First, though, I'm gonna talk to a manager at PBK here and ask what kind of a sucker they think the average Canadian is.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

My head is spinning... advice needed?

Today I went out to buy a change table. We knew what we wanted... one of those changing tables that has an integrated baby bath and is on wheels. But when I got to the store and looked at them, they seemed... flimsy. So I walked away and started looking at cribs instead.

Cribs. Where do I begin? I can't decide whether we'd be better off with a drop-side crib or something with solid sides. We're not really concerned about the crib being convertible, because we do plan to have more children and so the crib will get used as a crib for more than a year or two. Also, there's not room for a double bed (which is what you convert the crib to) in Lumpy's room. Not if we want the room to accommodate more kids.

So I don't know. Drop side? And what style goes with the IKEA crappy storage units we already have in there?

AAAARRRRGGGHHH. Crib shopping made me cranky. I think when Lumpy outgrows the sock drawer we'll just find a bigger drawer.

Anyhow, input on cribs would be appreciated. Specific mention of features, manufacturers etc would really help at this point.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

37 Weeks

Lumpy is head down, but nowhere near engaged.

I've gained a crazy amount of weight this week, but my doctor is unconcerned - she thinks it's bloat from eating salty foods.

My blood pressure is fine.

Lumpy's hearbeat is the same as always.

Everything's ok. Now... we wait.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's getting there... (reno update)

My house is slowly shaping up. The furnace room has walls now... very exciting. The plumber was here yesterday and roughed in the pipes for the downstairs bathroom. Lumpy's room received a fine sanding and an extra coat of paint to hide the crappy job that Mr. December and I did. My office floor is clear (a major feat, if you've ever seen my office) and I plan to work on the desk and credenza in a few minutes. Then I'll hang some pictures, rearrange the furniture (don't worry, it's all on wheels), and maybe add some lucky bamboo or something else that makes it peaceful and zen-like. Oh, and I think I'll mount a wall sconce (from our old bedroom) for some mood lighting. That should do the trick. I'll post pics when it's done.

I promise, before-and-after pictures will be displayed... just as soon as we're acutally finished. Everything is waiting for a few finishing touches. I hope we'll have time to finish before Lumpy appears.

Oh, and I've been memed... by a reader I didn't know I had! I appreciate the surprise readership and I will do the meme... probably tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Best. Birthday. Ever.

I turned 28 yesterday.

Synagogue in the morning, board games in front of the roaring fire, a nice long nap, and then a movie, dinner, and a round of glow-in-the-dark mini golf. I had a fabulous time. Best. Birthday. Ever.

People asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year. The things that came to mind were trivial... and I tried really hard to think of what I needed. I think it's a sign that life is good when all you really "need" are some fluffy white towels (to go with your new white bathroom) and a pair of fleece mittens.

Friday, December 14, 2007

heads or tails?

We went for an ultrasound today to check Lumpy's position. I'm proud to report that Lumpy has mummy's tendency to pull through at the last minute... we have a beautiful, head-down baby. True to genetics, I could feel Lumpy making some major movements just this morning... just in time.

I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement. I was thoroughly bummed on Wednesday, as you know. By yesterday I was feeling more like "que sera, sera" and willing to accept whatever needed to happen in order for Lumpy to be born. Today I'm elated.

I'm going to keep playing music in my pants, just to keep Lumpy's interest. We don't want enough flip-flopping to alarm my doctor every single week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fuuuuuck. (36-week checkup)

Lumpy is breech.

This is a bad thing. Nobody will do a vaginal delivery of a breech baby these days (probably for good reason, but gaaaa)... so if we can't get this kid to turn and stay turned, I'm looking down the barrel of a c-section. I do not want a c-section.

And the thing that really gets me is that Lumpy was head down two weeks ago. My doctor said that at 34 weeks, most babies who are head down will stay that way through to the end. Mine didn't. Do we need to have this conversation again? The one about how crappy it is to fall on the wrong side of the statistics?

Go ahead, tell me I'm being irrational. Tell me that at least I'm having a baby. Tell me that lots of women have c-sections and love them. Tell me that I'm blowing this waaaay out of proportion. But while you're telling me all that, pass the chocolate. I'm bummed.

Bummed because which part of "major abdominal surgery" sounds good to anyone?

I can't keep writing about this. I think I'm going to cry.

Oh, and on top of that, I gained 4 pounds in the last two weeks, and my uterus is now measuring 39 weeks. My doctor wanted to know if Mr. December and I were big babies. Gaaaa.

I'm completely healthy. Lumpy is completely healthy. I should be thankful. I am thankful. But I still think I'm gonna cry now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why am I...

... red in the face, huffing and puffing?
It started very innocently. My soon-to-be sister-in-law came over to help me with general nesting stuff. First we moved the white storage bench from Lumpy's room to my room, as a new laundry hamper. Beautiful. Then we emptied the bench in the front hallway (actually a children's chest of drawers) and moved it to Lumpy's room, under the window (note to self: don't forget to buy foam and fabric and make a cushion for said bench to become window seat). Then we looked at the front hall and I said, "gee, it seems so much bigger and nicer now. Let's finish off this hallway today!" We decided that the trunk which was serving as our coffee table would look much better in the hall as seating and storage. So we moved it. Then I moved the umbrella stand to the other corner. Turning around, we realized that there were lots of displaced shoes and nowhere to house them. I remembered a back-of-door shoe organizer we used to have, and off we went to find it. It was determined that we'd need some heavy duty hooks to screw into the door so that we could hang the organizer and put away the shoes.

Are you tired yet? I wasn't.

So then we went to the hardware store and to Linens and Stuff to find hooks and maybe a nice decorative ledge shelf for the front hall. Came back, installed both. By this point SIL had called it quits and gone home. I put the shoes away, threw out lots of garbage, swept the hallway floor, found some non-slip backing and put it down under the rug.

Then I turned around and looked at the living room. Total pigsty, partly from all the packaging that came with our stroller, carseat, and new storage bench. I attacked the boxes (collapsed and folded them and put them all inside the two biggest ones), then the garbage, then put away anything that didn't belong on the floor in our bay window (i.e. pretty much everything). Putting stuff away necessitated a lot of trips up and down the stairs... so when I finally came up for the last time, I was huffing, puffing and flushed. And here I am.

Makes sense. So why am I not wearing a shirt?
Well, I was so flushed and hot that I was afraid of overheating, which I've heard is bad for little fetuses. So I took off my shirt, and here I am.

Okay. But why am I sitting on the floor when there's a comfy couch right behind me?
Um, because we don't have any blinds or curtains on our living room window, it's dark inside, and folks can see right in. And I'm topless. So here I am.

Is there a point to this story?
I like stories.

Thanks, Homer. But seriously, is there a lesson to all of this?
Yes. If you feel the nesting instinct coming on, for God's sake, lie down until it goes away. Or try to drown it in chocolate. Otherwise you'll end up half naked, on the floor, sweaty and red, and not from anything good like sex.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holy emotional hormones, Batman!

Today Mr. December and I are tackling a variety of tasks around the house, in hopes of finally finishing all those small projects we started. So far every single project has resulted in an argument, the climax of which involves me whining, "but I don't like it there. I want it over THERE." This argument has applied to ideas as stupid as moving a shelving unit in Lumpy's room to effectively block the closet door... because doing so would give us a nice, symmetrical furniture arrangement around the window. Can we say irrational?

Just spitballing here, but I think that nesting goes a lot more smoothly when the logical significant other is not home. They're usually too lazy to undo anything the crazy pregnant lady has done.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

yeah, must be nesting...

I forgot to tell you, I scrubbed, painted, and organized the hall closet yesterday. I think it's nesting season.

We went to see an open house down the street, to compare their asking price with what we paid. All I can say is that I hope whoever buys that house knows what they're looking at. It's being flipped... the plaster on the walls is done very shoddily, the old (as in really old, they click on and off) light switches are still in place (really, how much does it cost to put on new switches that match the rest of the decor?), the mouldings and casings aren't nicely finished... need I go on? I can't believe they're asking more than we paid for this place. I pray that the purchasers aren't first-time homeowners getting ripped off. If all that surface stuff wasn't finished properly, who knows what's lurking behind the walls?

Friday, December 07, 2007

what I learned (about parenting) from my Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. As I get closer to being a parent myself, I'm realizing how many lessons he's taught me about being a good parent. Thought I'd share them with you, too.

1. Hugs and affection make everything better. 'Nuff said.

2. If you're also teaching the right values, you can't spoil a kid by giving them things they want. Mum always accuses dad of spoiling us. The truth is, he was often the one to indulge us in what we wanted... but he was also the one to remind us to be respectful, and to consider others' feelings. By being generous with us, he set a great example so that we could learn to be generous towards others.

3. Don't let your kids get away with intellectual laziness. Anytime we used a big word, Dad would ask us what it meant. If we couldn't define it (even though we knew how to use it), he'd send us for the dictionary. Sometimes we flat-out refused - and then he'd go get it, and read us the definition. Same for questions about geography, history, etc. He never let us get away with not knowing. Thanks to Dad, I learned to use reference books and seek out answers instead of being content with only a little knowledge.

4. Sometimes it's best to say very little. When I first started dating Mr. December (at age 17), Mum wasn't convinced that he was right for me - and she was afraid we were getting too serious too quickly. While out walking with Dad, he turned to me and said, "it's really nice to feel that way about someone, isn't it?" That was his only comment, and it meant the world to me.

5. Be explicit about the connection between your family's values and your child's actions. If I cried about having 'wasted' my time playing at the grandparents' house instead of being with my friends, Dad would remind me what a mitzvah it is to honour your elders and to bring happiness to those who are lonely. If I got too far into bad-mouthing someone I didn't like, Dad reminded me of the Jewish laws against Lashon Hara. A phone call from my grade 3 French teacher (and my subsequent rant about what a bad teacher she was) prompted Dad to ask me if I knew the meaning of Derech Eretz and whether I was aware that we are supposed to respect our teachers' authority and position, if not their personal conduct. To this day I still think about my actions in terms of Jewish values and ethics.

There's much, much more... but I'm probably rambling, and you get the idea.

What's the most important thing you've learned from your parents' example?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Still here, still pregnant.

Lumpy isn't here yet, we don't do baby showers in my family, and our house is still filling up with baby gear and assorted crap, not to mention the boxes it all came in. For those curious about our eventual stroller decision, we went with a firstwheels stroller in aqua... just like a Bug.aboo, without the crazy price tag. I'll do a proper review once we've started using it.

I think nesting may be kicking in. Today I was determined to clean out our front hall closet... I got as far as getting all the stuff out of there, but the scrub brush and bucket of soapy water will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm thinking the closet would be a good place to keep the (folded) stroller and the carseat.

I've been getting what I think are Braxton-Hicks contractions. They don't hurt, it just feels like I'm doing a serious ab crunch - except that I'm not. I'm using them as a chance to practice letting go, breathing, and letting them take their course. How many points do I get for being totally naive that this "practice" will somehow help?

Too many things to finish doing, and too little time. Why couldn't I feel the urge to nest a month ago? My pantry isn't organized, my office is in a shambles, the bills aren't filed... argh!

Monday, December 03, 2007

More stupid parent-to-be tricks

The more I think about it, the more I realize that what with my fibromyalgia and my risk factors for post-partum depression, I'm going to need more sleep than a new mom usually gets. So, as keen as I am to breastfeed exclusively, I've concluded that I should probably pump a bit and let someone else take over at least one night feeding so that I can get a semi-decent stretch of sleep.

This leads us to the question of which kind of bottles to use. In the spirit of "let's try everything out first", we had a little test session tonight. Too bad squashy couldn't help us out - no mouth, no sucking reflex - we were completely on our own.

Contender #1: The Adiri Breastbottle Nurser
It's shaped like a breast. Soft like a breast. And like a breast, you have to open your mouth wide and use a decent latch. You also have to work a bit to get the liquid out, although gravity will make the nipple drip a bit even without suction.

Contender #2: Gerber Nuk nipple on a really cheap bottle
We probably all recognize the bottle from our childhoods. The nipple shape is pretty different. We had to apply a good bit of suction, and the flow was very slow. I didn't like the size and shape of the nipple... it's too small to get a really good breastfeeding-type latch going, and it flows more easily if you just suck at the tip.

Contender #3: Second Nature bottle
This is the only bottle I've ever seen where the nipple doesn't drip when being held completely upside down. The only way to get a drink out of this one is to suck, suck, suck. The flow is apparently controlled by how hard you suck, which is good, but when I sucked my hardest I got a really fast flow. Wonder how a newborn's sucking power compares to mine? You can get a decent latch on this bottle, although the nipple part is kind of long.

Winner: Whichever one Lumpy will take and still move back to breast in the morning.
Seriously, I know it's going to be trial and error. I can't wait to see what Lumpy prefers... will he side with Mr. December and love the Nuk, or will he agree with me that the breastbottle is the way to go? Stay tuned for the stunning conclusion... in about 5 weeks.

Oh, and if you have babies, or experience with same, drop me a comment and let me know what bottles you liked best.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

feeling not so groovy

I just feel out of sorts tonight. My uterus is dully aching, my head feels heavy, and I'm in a crabby mood. What's up with that?