Monday, 12 July 2010

33 Weeks

The above photo is me at 33 weeks. It was taken yesterday morning right before leaving for a Stampede breakfast. I don’t normally wear button up shirts like that – except during Stampede. My facial expression is worse then usual in this photo – Greg always manages to take the worst photos of me!
7 more weeks left! I am excited for this pregnancy to be over for many reasons: meeting baby, no longer being huge and pregnant, no more heartburn, being able to “sleep” on my stomach, not having to use the bathroom every 90 minutes regardless of how much fluid I have drank, no more aching back, and no baby trying to kick their way out of me!
Despite all of the above, this pregnancy is still leaps and bounds more enjoyable then Finley’s. This baby is CRAZY active – way more so then Finley was. I swear she is gonna kick a hole in my belly and then somersault out. I swear she never sleeps in there. I am just happy that I am carrying her lower then Finley because Finley destroyed my ribs!
The heartburn disappeared for awhile but came back with a vengeance late Sunday and I have been suffering since. It doesn’t matter what I eat or don’t eat, when I eat it or the portion size. I just get it all the time. I really do feel sorry for those who suffer from this all the time. My mom and one of my Aunt’s are on prescriptions for heartburn because they get it so bad ALL THE TIME. It’s truly a terrible thing to have to suffer from on a daily basis!
Although I am happy that the weather was so nice last week, the heat was almost unbearable for me. Thankfully, I only had to work 2.5 days so most of it was spent in the comfort of my own home. I also must thank the city of Calgary for purchasing c-trains with air conditioning. You have no idea how wonderful it is to be pregnant and cramped in a ctrain but with air!!! I was pretty happy with the rain both Saturday and Sunday nights – it was much appreciated by this pregnant gal.
My body is also feeling like a furnace which is not good in the middle of summer. I am HOT all of the time. I have all the windows in the house open and sleep in tank tops and shorts with no blankets. Greg thinks I am crazy. If I (we) decide to have another baby it will definitely be better planned with a expected delivery month of April or May. I know I said this last time, but I mean it this time!!
Last week I met with a surgeon regarding my c-section and got my date booked. I am pretty excited for this day to come and am counting down weeks and days. Publicly I say 7 weeks left but realistically it is less then that! I have another pre-natal appt on Wednesday and am hoping that it goes well….will keep you posted on any changes or developements!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Stampede 2010

This past Thursday was Sneak A Peak at the Stampede. Greg and I have traditionally gone on this day for a couple of reasons: it’s half price and not as busy. We thought it would be better with Finley to go on a less then busy day at the Stampede and we were right!
Walking into the Stampede. She has a cowboy hat that she was wearing before we left but I forgot it at home. At least she had jeans on to make her look like a partial cowgirl!
Watching the magic of mini donuts being made…
Look at the icing sugar on her face from the mini donuts. She loves them as much as her daddy does. Good thing Stampede is only once a year!
Running around the grounds. She was mesmerized by EVERYTHING! Last year she slept through pretty much everything so it was all so new to her even though it was her second trip there!

In the Corral Art Gallery. They had fountains and waterfalls in there and she loved them! She seemed to love all the art too!
Watching the water run…ever since she finished her last swim lesson she’s been obsessed with water which is a good thing!
This was Finley riding around on the foot rest. It happened by accident but she kept trying to get back to this position – people laughed when they saw her – probably because it looked completely ridiculous!
Finley coloring at the Service Canada area in the Corral. I use the term coloring loosely because she much prefers eating the crayon as opposed to actually coloring with them
In the agriculture building. Finley loved the miniature horses
Finley loved all the horses and cows and pigs and baby chicks! There may just be a lil farmer inside of my city girl after all…
Finley getting licked by the goat at the petting zoo

All in all we had a great time at the Stampede Thursday night. We ended up staying for nearly 4 hours. We were all pretty tuckered out towards the end. We had planned to go to the parade the next day but we were still so tired and Finley slept in. Maybe we will make it next year!

Thursday, 8 July 2010


I was really bitter about my whole birthing experience. I didn’t think it was fair and I used to get really angry when I heard all of the wonderful birthing stories of my friends. Very angry but then I came across the Ricki Lake documentary on HBO and her book “Your Best Birth”. She co-wrote with Abby Epstein who also had a csection due to various complications. She wrote something in the introduction that helped me get over the bitterness and I would like to share it with you:
“For months after Matteo was born, I felt disconnected from his birth. I felt as if I were the victim of a car crash instead of a glowing new mother. Cara helped me process all of this. She made me the hero of my story in a way. She made me see myself as an active protagonist. For any woman who has had an emergency c-section, it’s a good way to look at it. You’re not helpless. Even though you may not feel like you had a normal childbirth experience, it is a birth that should not be discredited.”
“Although the emergency c-section was traumatic…I really did feel empowered. I had information and wasn’t going to do anything unknowingly or be railroaded into a certain kind of birth. I surrendered to the birth that Matteo needed, and I don’t feel disappointed. I think it’s impossible, in that moment when you have a new baby, to feel disappointed about anything. In some ways, it was a perfect entry into parenthood – these little people arrive and make their own path beyond your control. They start teaching you lessons before they are even born.”
I think that anybody who has had complications with their delivery, whether it ended up in a c-section or not, cannot relate to this. I thank God everyday that I was able to find this book and watch the documentary as it helped my get over what happened to me in ways I can’t explain. After seeing this, I had decided that if I used a midwife, I would do it the old fashioned way and if I couldn’t then I would elect a c-section. Unfortunately, there is such a demand in Calgary for mid-wives that it was not possible for me to use one. And I think I am kinda glad. Psychologically I don’t think I could do it, inevitably a c-section was going to be how baby #2 gets into this world.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Finley's Birth Story

Some of you may be wondering why I am having a scheduled c-section with my second baby. Here is a somewhat descriptive account of what led me to my decision:
When I got pregnant with Finley I was determined to have a natural child birth. I became an expert on hypnobirthing, had created my perfect playlist of reggae, island music and had found a picture as my focal point. There would be no drugs, no medical interventions – just pure heavenly bliss.
I remember in our pre-natal class, we were giving placement cards where we laid out our perfect birth plan. I already had a birth plan in writing so this was easy for me. Once we had what we wanted to happen, she told us to turn over a few cards. When I did this it had medical intervention and drugs and quite possibly csection but I can’t really re-call. She said what we want to happen and what actually happens are 2 different things and that we should expect anything to happen. I was like whatever, this is what I want and this is what I am gonna get. People who know me won’t be surprised by me thinking that way. That’s just how I am.
Fast forward about 3 weeks or so later. I had been on maternity leave for about 2 weeks. I was incredibly sick and wanted to die. This is no exaggeration. I had the worst cold that I have ever had in my life and could take nothing for it. Well I was able to vicks rub and take a anti suppressant cough syrup. Greg warned me about taking it but of course I ignored him because Dr. Kyle said I could. It didn’t help. At all. In fact, it probably made things worse.
On October 27th, I was watching tv with Greg and stood up to go get ready for bed when I was overcome with the most incredible pain in my ribs. It was awful and no matter what position I was in, it was piercing pain. I called Health Link and they insisted I go to the hospital because it may be the baby. So off to the hospital we went. When we got there, Dr Hoey (spelled wrong) checked me out and got a second opionion from Dr. Chow who both said that this pain is pretty much going to be there until you deliver which could be anywhere in the next 3 weeks. I would not and could not tolerate this pain for that long. So they suggested induction. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even think of my birth plan so I agreed. Greg then told me that less than 5% of women induced actually get to have a vaginal child birth. So early on the 28th of October, I was induced.
From what I had heard previously and have heard since, being induced is way worse then going into labor naturally. Instead of your contractions slowly coming on (in most cases), induced ones start immediately. And they are so painful. So very very painful. The worst part is that I was “lucky” enough to have contractions in both the front and back of my body. Not fun. I was hooked to iv’s, heart monitors because the baby’s heart beat was low and they wanted to monitor me. It sucked because I wasn’t allowed to move and was confined to my bed unless I wanted to go to the bathroom, in which case I had to get Greg to unhook me from all my machines.
As the day went on, so did the pain. It was the most excruciating pain of my entire life. One of the nurses came in and asked if I wanted anything. I caved and got morphine. It is without a doubt the most amazing drug in the world. She gave me a larger dose then i was supposed to get and I was out cold instantly. I remember once waking up for them to check me and I was so out of it, it was kinda crazy. I still had not progressed – the baby had not dropped, I was not dilated, cervix was not opened and my water had not broke. So not good. I suffered for more hours and they were going to give me more drugs but thought they would check me again because they could maybe give me something stronger. Again it was like 9pm and I had been in pain for 13 hours and still no change. So more morphine was given – although not as much as last time. They also cut down the amount of gravol they gave me which turned out to be a big mistake. The morphine didn’t work and made me so sick. Greg was sleeping beside me and didn’t wake up when I tried calling his name. He was sound asleep and I didn’t have the energy to do more then whisper. So I attempted to take off my hook ups to the machine so i could go to the bathroom. I knew I was going to throw up. Unfortunately I didn’t make it and I ended up throwing up all over the floor. Let me tell you it was the most disgusting vomit I have ever seen in my life. This woke Greg up who went and got the nurse. She was not impressed with me and didn’t hide it. I was happy that she wasn’t going to be my nurse for much longer.
Dr. Kennedy who was on call for the clinic I was being looked it during my pregnancy was still holding up hope that everything would work out. I was surely dying and wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to be able to endure this pain. Finally, another doctor from the clinic took over the rotation and took one look at me and said lets get this baby out of her now. So 26 hours, 52 minutes of non progressive, induced labor, Finley was born via c-section. I have very little recollection of this event. I remember feeling them move around inside of me while getting her out and putting me back together, I remember having laughing gas put on me while they actually pulled the baby out, I remember not caring very much when Greg brought her to me and said that it was indeed a girl. Greg left shortly after to go whatever it is you do with a newborn baby. I have no idea how long I was in there for or in the recovery room before being moved to my post-natal room. I don’t think I held Finley until much later in the afternoon because I was so out of it. I remember going to the bathroom around 4pm and that was the first time in 3 days that I had actually walked anywhere.
Finley stayed in the nursery overnight since I was too exhausted to deal with a crying baby. I got up at 4am and went for a walk. The nurse let me feed, burp and change Finley. I went back to bed and around 6am they unhooked me from my iv, the catheter and my oxygen mask. I was “free” at last. About an hour later, I tried to get up to go to the bathroom and I started coughing. The nurse came in and checked my oxygen level and it had dropped to 67. Normally, I believe you are supposed to be over a 100. They put on a full oxygen mask but nothing was happening. They called a Code Blue and before I knew it, I had all kinds of doctors, specialists, interns and technicians in my room. I had no idea what was happening because honestly I didn’t feel that bad. I had various blood tests done, an ekg, xrays – it was crazy. They were worried that I had a blood clot in my lungs which was causing the distress and would not be out of the norm considering they hadn’t let me move much in nearly 4 days.
I vaguely remember being rushed out of the room and being sent downstairs to have a cat scan done. It was really weird and scary because when you have a cat scan you have to lay completely flat and still and I was unable to breathe when lying flat. After the cat scan, I was sent to the ICU where I stayed for 4 days with double pneumonia. I woke up in the ICU and saw Greg and had no idea where I was or what had happened. I had all kinds of tubes down my throat and stuck in my arms. I thought my aunt and uncle were there but apparently this was before they got there. I had a coughing attack and tried to rip the tubes out of my throat. After this happened, they had my hands tied to my bed. It really couldn’t get much worse.
Finley remained in the nursery while I was in the ICU. Greg would bring her down for me to see her but I was so out of it, I really had little interest in her. She went home on the 31st and I remained in the hospital. I had all kinds of doctors, interns, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, nurses – everything. It was my own personal Grey’s Anatomy. It sucked big time. I honestly believed I was going to die, that I even wanted to die.
Eventually I convinced a nurse that I wouldn’t pull my tubes out when I coughed and figured out how to best manipulate the tubes to my advantage. It was here that I realized that I wasn’t going to die and that I needed to change my attitude or I would be stuck in the dungeon forever. Although, at one point, I was certain I was doomed for death. One of my nurses gave me some potassium right in my IV and of course I hadn’t ate in days so it went into a empty stomach. I couldn’t talk so when the new nurse started I had to rub my tummy to tell her I was nauseaus. She went to get some gravol and while she was gone, I threw up with tubes down my throat and a oxygen mask on. I thought I was going to die courtesy of my vomit. Thankfully I pushed my button thingy and the nurses came back and cleaned me up.
My feet and legs were swollen to about 4 times their normal size because of all of the drugs I was on and the fact I had barely walked in about a week. I had a physiotherapist who I absolutely loved. He was so great. He worked with me while in the ICU and once I got onto the post-op ward. The only shoes/slippers I could fit were my rider ones and he laughed and told me i was brave because even though he hadn’t lived here long, he knew this was wrong. It was weird learning how to walk again. I can’t imagine what others with way worse leg and/or spinal injuries must go through.
Eventually I got the tubes out of my mouth. I was so excited. I must admit though that the tube that came out of my mouth was perhaps the grossest, most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I didn’t have much of a voice but at least I could talk. My mom and sister had brought me a photo frame with a picture of Finley in it and a very sweet card. I remember crying after they left because I felt guilty that I didn’t feel the way the card thought I should. It was also at this time that the post natal nurses started pressuring me to pump my breast milk. Because of all the drugs in my body, I would have to “pump and dump” until my milk tested negative for any outside drugs and such. I declined. I thought I had been through enough and my body didn’t need to do this as well. They came back again the next day and my husband said that we decided because of everything I had been through that we would just formula feed. 
Finally I get moved to the post op ward where I stayed for 3 days. I was so excited because I had a window and a tv. Finally a little bit of normalcy. The day I left the hospital (10 days later!!) , I had to be seen by a hospital counseller and then by the resident psychiatrist. Apparently because I refused to breastfeed or pump my milk, they thought I was depressed. The psychiatrist thought I was fine and told me that Finley would not suffer because of this and not to worry a bit.
So this my friends is why I am having a scheduled c-section. Our bodies work in mysterious ways and unfortunately I can’t risk my body not co-operating and having to endure the same induction process again. Not a single doctor could tell me if my pnemonia was caused by the cold I had previously or the fact that I was immobile for days or because I had a csection. Pneumonia is a possible side effect of all of the above. And I really can’t do that again.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Columbia Ice Fields

Our first stop once we got to Jasper was the Athabasca Glacier at Columbia Ice Fields. Greg and I were here last about 5 years ago and were anxious to see how far the ice had shrunk since then. If I ever get around to it, I will post pics from then and now but at the moment I am not that motivated!
Finley stretching her legs after the long car ride here! She is wearing her Olympic Bunny Hug in honor of Canada Day. It was ridiculous the amount of people wearing their 2010 Olympic gear that day! Finley and I fit right in with ours!
Finley trying to hug the Mounty Moose at the Columbia Ice Fields Interpretation Center
A rare photo of Finley and I. I almost never have my photo taken but took advantage of this opportunity for some reason. Turned out not too bad, I even almost smiled! haha
 Finley with her daddy and the Bear Mounty
This is me at approximately 1979. You can barely see the Glacier in the background it has receded so far….darn global warming….
  This is Greg at approximately 1981
Kristy and I at the top of the Glacier. You used to be able to walk right on the glacier but now it’s all taped off. You can see streams and puddles around the edges because it is melting so fast. It will be interesting to see it again in another 5 years. I was almost 32 weeks in this photo
  Finley at approximately 2008
Kristy at approximately 1981.

It was pretty cold hiking up the glacier and probably a little dangerous for a pregnant gal but we did it. The worst part for me was that I didn’t have a jacket that fit me properly. I ended up wearing Greg’s fleece whenever I got cold. Unfortunately it was WAY TOO big for me and I looked like an elephant…hahah

Jasper The Bear

On our way down to the Canada Day celebrations at Centennial Park, we took a little walk around Jasper. We don’t get to Jasper much because of the long drive from Calgary so it’s nice to look around when we do. Greg, Kristy and I all remember the Jasper bear from visits when we were kids. The last time Greg and I were in Jasper – about 5 years ago – we looked everywhere for it before realizing they had moved it from where it used to sit. We were also disappointed to see that it had been replaced with a much smaller bear. The original was built in 1948 and the one you will see below was built in 2004 with financial help from CIBC. This is why it is now near the CIBC building in Jasper.

Greg, Finley and I with the Jasper bear. Not sure why I have my pockets in my bunny hug. It is not the most flattering look for someone almost 32 weeks pregnant for sure. I also realized that my COACH sunglasses look awful on me. Anybody wanna buy them off of me? HAHAH
The one below is of Finley with her Aunty Kristy. Finley was very much spoiled having her around over the weekend that is for sure!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Canada Day 2010

We’re literally flying out the door on our way to Jasper this morning but thought I would quickly post Finley wearing one of her two Canada T-Shirts before we left!

Hope everybody has a fun, safe and Happy Canada Day and Long Weekend if you are so lucky to have one!! 

Happy Birthday Canada!