Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I’ve grown accustomed over the years to comments about my arm size on the occasions when I have my blood pressure tested. Given that these occasions have been infrequent and spread out thinly over several years, I’ve never thought much about them. Over the past four months of being pregnant, however, I’ve had a barrage of blood pressure tests. There are the usual “Wow, you have slim arms,” and “Gee, I might have to use the child-size equipment for you.” But some of the comments are starting to make me feel like I have arms in the same proportion to my body as a Tyrannosaurus Rex does with his body. Poor T-Rex with his useless little arms. The comment that topped them all was the nurse who looked at my bicep (or apparent lack thereof) and said “Oh my goodness! Your arms are so tiny. How are you ever going to look after a baby?!” I don’t know. Maybe I should start looking for a nanny with good strong arms right now.
But then again, I might turn out okay. When I was born, the nurses apparently made quite a scene about my gargantuan feet. I was the talk of the Royal Columbian nursery and all of the nurses had to sneak a peak of my feet. If only I could track them down now and show them my diminutive size eight feet. If not quite diminutive, then at least average and perfectly acceptable.
I’ve also experienced an array of comments in the past few weeks about my expanding belly, some more flattering than others. “You’re starting to get a pot belly,” for example, was not an observation that needed to be shared with me. Nor was “You’re starting to pouch out a bit.” ‘Baby bump” is a much safer option if you are commenting on someone’s newfound rotundity.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Grace Indeed

The fog of "morning" sickness is starting to lift. Food is actually starting to appear appetizing. I'm so grateful to be feeling like a human being again, but, surprisingly to those who have listened to me bemoan my constant nausea, this isn't at the top of my list of things to be thankful for. In fact, I don't think I would even be that upset if I was still feeling miserable at this point...

Last Friday, Hubby and I visited the doctor for a prenatal checkup, and to get some antibiotics for his sinus infection. This was the first visit during which the doctor would be able to listen for the baby's heartbeat on the doppler (a listening device with an amplifier so everyone in the room can hear the heartbeat). I was a bit nervous about the appointment but I kept assuring myself that everything would be fine because we had just seen the baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound a couple of weeks earlier. My doctor moved the doppler around on my belly for what seemed like five or ten minutes. There was a lot of static, and the slow whoosh of my own pulse. The baby's heartrate can be up to 170 beats per minute at this stage, so I knew it wasn't the baby's heartbeat. The doctor turned off the machine, and I think all three of us sighed at that moment. It's unusual at this point not to be able to hear the baby's heartbeat, he explained. It's also unusual to have seen the baby's heartbeat at eleven weeks and then for something to go awry after that point. So it was impossible to know either way. Free unsolicited advice to everyone: if you have an appointment to find out something significant, i.e. hearing your baby's heartbeat to ensure that he or she is still here, don't make that appointment for the last hour of a Friday afternoon. Apparently radiologists don't do weekends, so we had to wait until Monday afternoon to have an ultrasound.

How do I describe the weekend in between that Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon? I think I felt most of the ugly emotions possible, interspersed with brief, strange moments of pure hope and assurance that everything would be okay. Even my dreams at night were filled with such vacillations.

I kept wishing for a fast forward button a la Adam Sandler in the movie Click. When the moment finally came for me to lie down on the ultrasound table at the hospital, it had somehow arrived too quickly and I was reluctant to hear the finality of bad news. I started crying as soon as the technician asked how I was doing, and simply said "anxious" in a warbly little voice. She looked sympathetic and apologetically said "I know you're anxious but I won't be able to tell you anything until after I've taken all of the pictures and talked to the doctor." I nodded, and barely a minute later she whispered out of the corner of her mouth "There's a heartbeat, don't worry!" Such relief is hard to put into words. A few minutes later, my husband was allowed to come into the room, and she gave him the good news too. The whole time I was laying there, I kept wondering what the technician's name was. That seemed like such a weird, random thing to wonder about during such an emotional experience, so I tried to push it out of my mind. She wasn't wearing a name tag, so there was no nonchalant way to find out. I had decided not to ask her, but I found the words exiting my mouth anyways as I exited the room. "Grace," she replied.

Grace, indeed.

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope
Because of the LORD's great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome to my new blog. Much to my chagrin, xanga is set on posting ads on my old blog.

Hubby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on January 4th. In honour of the half decade mark, we embarked on a return trip to Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino. We spent our fourth anniversary there last year and loved it, despite having horrible head colds. This year I was sick as well (more about that later) but, again, we had an enjoyable time. I think that speaks for the quality of the resort and the character of this little town to say that I loved it even though I was rather...not myself on both occasions. Before leaving on our 5-day getaway, I had the bright idea to turn off the furnace while we were gone to save some energy and save the planet. Hubby had some reservations, but I assured him with these foreshadowing words: "What's the worst that could happen?" When we returned home five days later, it was late evening; we were tired and I was feeling quite green, and I don't mean that in the "save the planet" sense of the word "green." Our house was an icy 6 degrees Celsius. We spent the evening under all of the quilts in the house with hot water bottle on our feet. I think we may have canceled out any savings by running the furnace full blast for 6 hours just to get the temperature up to 18 degrees. Most of my house plants didn't survive the ice age. I guess we're just lucky the pipes didn't freeze or our tenant didn't freeze. Just kidding - he had moved out at the beginning of the month.

Now for the big news: For those of you who don't already know, I am expecting a baby. It's been a wonderful miserable experience so far. I'm elated to be having a child, but it's hard to be really excited when you just feel rotten all the time. I was in the hospital for four days last week because I was so sick. Why do they call it morning sickness, on that note? It's more like all-day, all-night sickness. The upside of being in the hospital is that they did an ultrasound to make sure baby was okay, which wouldn't have happened for another 6 weeks if I hadn't been in the hospital. We had a miscarriage in September of 2006 and only found out at the ultrasound, so I was scared heading into this ultrasound. The moment I saw the baby's heart beating, I knew something had changed inside of me - something beyond the physical. It was so surreal.
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