Monday, August 30, 2010

Innie Becoming An Outie!?!

I've heard that many pregnant women experience itchy stomachs during pregnancy. I haven't felt any itching but I have noticed a strange thing starting to happen over the past 2 or so weeks...the skin of my stomach is stretching and beginning to make my innie into what appears to be an outie! It hasn't fully popped out yet but it is starting to look a bit strange.

Here's what it looks like now:

(Unfortunately I don't have a picture of my "regular" belly button but it really is different.) I'm curious to see how it will continue to change.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Sound of Music (by Darren)

It's almost week 24, and LT's hearing has developed to the point now where he can hear what's going on in the outside world and respond.

We've been playing music for LT for some time now and thus far he has responded most to:

1. Chopin, Nocturnes.
2. Dynamite by Taio Cruz (um, from the radio).
3. Arcade Fire, Funeral

It's funny to picture the little guy dancing in there!

I bet he looks like this when he listens to music ... smiling away ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

When Are You Due?

Sometimes I attempt to look more pregnant than I am when I go out in public. I try to achieve this by wearing dresses that gather at the waist or tighter clothes or standing in a way that makes my belly stick out. Since I was wearing more of a tummy minimizing skirt today, I was  surprised that I got my first "when are you due?" from a complete stranger!

I am quite excited to be at the point of being visibly pregnant instead of just looking like I had a big lunch or hadn't been to the gym in a long time. I wonder if I will start to get a lot more attention from strangers as my belly continues to grow?

I suppose the next big milestone is having strangers touch my belly!? For that one, I can wait!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in a Name? (by Darren)

So I'm really excited that we're having a little boy.

I love feeling LT's kicks, and especially enjoy it when he just goes nuts inside Tara and there are a bunch of kicks thisclose in a row.

One of the parts I've enjoyed the most in this process has been choosing the name. Name choosing truly is a process, filled with lots of conversations that go something like this:

"How about _________"
"Uh, no."
"Ok ... how about ________"
"um ... nope."
"OH, here's one you'll like. How about __________"
"Do you want our child to be therapy one day?!"

Tara and I have pretty different tastes when it comes to the names we like (especially when it comes to boys names).

In general, I think really value being a little bit original. I don't want LT to have the same name as 3 or 4 other kids on the block. I don't necessarily mind if LT has a name of someone I know who is from around my generation, but I just don't want to name him something TOO popular amongst his generation. For example, I really liked the name Hunter ... but then I found out that it was in the top 20 names for boys, and then I didn't like it as much any more.

Tara, on the other hand, really likes very classic boys names. Well, actually she doesn't really like boy's names that much. BUT if she had to pick (which, in this case she does), she would choose a name that would probably rank quite up there in terms of popularity.

OR she would name him something Spanish.

Like Alejandro.

Probably not going to happen. But, from Tara's perspective, Alejandro is better than any one of the names from my top BOYs names list:

1. Maverick
2. Tanner
3. Grayson
4. Asher
5. Raiden

Except for Grayson and Raiden, I know someone with those names. Raiden I really like (and Tara was actually ok with), but it is also the name of the Japanese god of thunder and lightening (as well as a Mortal Kombat character), so there was a very slim chance for that one. I really like the sound, imagery, and meaning of MAVERICK but Tara HATES that name, as do most of the people of the female gender I think.

Despite our differences of opinion, Tara and I HAVE settled on a name. And actually, it is a name I like a lot, and would include on my top 5 (I just haven't here, because we haven't decided if we will do a general reveal before LT is born).

Now, to reveal? Or not to reveal?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"This is going to be fun!"

 Yesterday we had our first OB appointment!

As soon as I arrived, the receptionist sent me down the hall to pee into a cup for a urine sample. When I re-entered the office with the cup and asked where to put it the receptionist said, "Just keep it with you and bring it with you when you get called in." Ha ha, slightly embarrassing way of doing things,  I wished I had known I was going to have to hold it with me so I could have wrapped toilet paper around it like I noticed the other pregnant women had done. Too late for that, I sat in the waiting room with my little bottle of pee beside my foot until I was called in, about 45 minutes later!

Once they called my name the nurse weighed me, I've gained 5kgs so far, then a med student came in to do a history. We had a good laugh when she asked if we had done genetic testing and Darren asked "Are you asking us if we got tested to see if we are related?" She went out of the room to get something and she said that the doctor had heard us laughing and she wondered how we were having so much fun in there. Dr. Ekwalanga arrived shortly after and we were surprised to discover that she was a Caucasian woman, her name sounds so African!

She asked a few questions, checked LT's heartbeat with the doppler (a little tricky with him moving around like crazy in there!) and then gave me lots of important information. She decided that we will stick to the December 19th due date instead of the ultrasound due date of December 23rd because I was sure that March 13th was the first day of my last period. She explained that she works on a team of 12 doctors so I have a 1/12 chance of having her deliver the baby. She said that I have concerns about the baby's health I should go right away to the Labour & Delivery Dept. at Peter Lougheed to get checked out.

I asked her about flying to Paulette's wedding and she said that she thought I should go. She said that there is nothing written in fact that makes flying something to be concerned about and that the biggest risk associated with flying is the risk of the mother getting a blood clot. She said that it is important to walk around at least once every hour during the flight and she reassured me that if there are any big issues that happen during the flight, the pilot could make an emergency landing at another Canadian city. Sweet, I can go to Paulette's wedding!!!

At the end of the day I had no reason to worry, it was a really positive first meeting. The doctor shook hands with us on the way out, saying it was nice to meet us and that "this is going to be fun!" Darren and I both left her office saying "I really like her! Hope she is there to deliver LT!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting ready for baby

Yesrerday our last piece of office furniture was picked up so we were excited to begin preparing the nursery for baby. While Darren continued to work on painting our new rocking chair, I got a start on the nursery. I took down pitures, filled all the holes in the walls, emptied our large Ikea bookshelf, moved it to a different wall and then re-organized the bookshelf. I'm happy with the progress, next step, re-hang the pictures from the office.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great Weekend!

What a fantastic few days, we have been enjoying the Calgary summer to the fullest!

Thursday we were at home for most of the day but after dinner we went shooting in Kensington. To clarify, Darren did the shooting and I did the posing. When I got tired of posing, we went to a cafe to read for awhile. It was a lovely evening!

Friday we went out past Cochrane to a retreat center for a day of quiet reflection. I don't know what it is about getting away from my familiar surroundings but I feel so free to spend time with God in that type of setting. So nice!

Saturday we had a pretty varied dinner menu as we checked out two happenings downtown, the Chinatown Street Festival and Taste of Calgary. We watched a lady defend herself from a purse snatcher and guys break 1 inch boards during a martial arts showcase then ate some pretty good sui mai, BBQ pork buns & pot stickers. We were a little disappointed that there weren't more food vendors so we decided to walk over to the Taste of Calgary Festival, where we could get small bites of food from various local restaurants. We tried some Kenyan curry, El Salvadorian chicken tortillas and chocolate mud pie for dessert. A lovely summer evening!

Today we headed out to Innisfall for Customer Appreciation Days at five farms that are part of a farming cooperative called Innisfall Growers. We only had time to visit three of the farms but we really enjoyed learning about each of the farms and sampling fresh produce. At Beck's we got a great complimentary goodie bay including a bag of sweet carrots, some cheddar cauliflower and kohl rabi (I've never cooked with it before but I'm excited to try!). Upper Green Farms gave us a free bag of baby potatoes (I'm looking forward to tasting those too). The Jungle Farm was our last stop and our favourite farm to visit. They let us each pick a box of raspberries then we had a delicious beef on a bun before taking a hay ride out to the fields. The tour was really informative and we stayed awhile after to ask even more questions. We forgot to bring our camera but we did take pictures of our dinner: the homemade dumplings and raspberry scones.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Possible Doula In Training?!

I'm sooo excited! This afternoon I was inspired to contact all of the doulas I could find on Google who live in Calgary. A friend had suggested trying to find a doula in training or doula school but I couldn't find any so I went ahead and emailed every doula to ask about their fees.

When I checked my email this evening I had already received several responses. Amazingly, one of the people I emailed is still working towards her certification so she is only charging $350 instead of the regular $1000 fee!!!

Her email was several paragraphs long and it detailed her services, which sounded amazing! She offered to meet for a free "meet the doula" coffee date. I responded right away to see if we can get together sometime next week. I'm ecstatic about the possibility of getting a doula for only $350! Praying that our meeting goes well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What about a doula?

I really wanted to have a midwife deliver our baby but it became apparent very early on that it wasn't going to be an option. Although midwives are covered by the provincial health care lab here, there is a massive shortage. When I contacted all 4 clinics in the area at 7 weeks I was told I was wait listed but likely wouldn't get in. Sad times!

I thought that doula might be the next best option but didn't look into it much when I found out that they weren't covered by the province. However, since the prenatal massage class on Monday that was taught by a doula with 15 years experience, I've been reconsidering.

The Calgary Association of Doulas lists some pretty compelling stats in favor of having a doula including:

- Reduction in length of labour by 25%
- Reduction in caesarian birth rates by 45%
- Reduction in oxytocin use by 50%
- Reduction in epidural requests by 10-60%

I find these stats so compelling because it seems like a doula would help me stick to my plan of having a natural birth. I don't want to be one of those people who gives up and takes the epidural. And I do not want to be talked into unnecessary medical procedures by the doctors or nurses.

I wonder if all that is worth $750?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prenatal Massage, YES PLEASE!!!

The Calgary Health Region offers prenatal massage classes for couples and Darren suggested we take one. Best $40 I've spent in awhile!

The teacher was fantastic, both funny and informative. She knew her stuff!She's had 20 years experience as a massage therapist and 15 years experience as a doula. I loved that she got right down to business as soon as the class began. She had the husbands sit backwards on their chairs and the wives begin about a half hour massage of our husbands backs, necks and heads. She explained technique and massage therapy ground rules as we went.

Some of the things we learned:

- once you begin a massage, continue maintaining contact at all times

- if you are only using one hand to massage, rest the other hand on the persons body, more touch is more relaxing

- never massage bone on bone

- the muscle junctures need lots of work

- always massage in a circular motion

- never dig in hard right away when you find a tender spot, massage it slowly for a few minutes then move on and come back later to massage it a bit more deeply

We hope we'll remember these tips for when I go into labour. The teacher recommended practicing one to two times every week in order to improve and get more comfortable with the techniques. Hubs, I could get used to this!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slowly Growing Belly

Darren found a really cool iPad application that lets you see the exact size of your baby each week. Yesterday LT turned 22 weeks and as we held the iPad up to my stomach, we couldn't believe how big the baby boy has grown because on the outside my belly has not expanded much yet!

LT is about 7.6 inches long (almost 19.5 cm) so he almost takes up the full screen on the 9.5 x 7.5 inch iPad!

This picture was taken at 20 weeks (last weekend), standing on the windy hill at Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna. This is one of the outfits that makes me look the most pregnant so I love to wear it when we go out.

When I wear most of my clothes, the bump is not very noticeable. Only my skinny jeans are too tight but all of my other clothes still fit me, although tighter shirts are getting quite tight.

Overall, I'm glad that my belly hasn't expanded too quickly because I really like my summer clothes and I think having a smaller belly is a lot more comfortable.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stroller Success!

Today we skipped church to go to a stroller sale. We had a GREAT time too! An online baby store based out of Calgary ( was hosting a stroller test drive event at a park so we thought we should take advantage of an opportunity to try a few strollers and potentially get a great deal.

We were greeted by some friendly volunteers who gave us event guest passes and a free Starbucks gift card since we had rsvp'd. Off to a great start! While we waited for our time slot to test drive strollers, two friendly volunteers helped us try several carriers on Darren. We didn't buy today but we really like the Becco Gemeni and are considering getting it.

For the stroller test drive they had about 10 models to demo. We went on a walk in the park with various strollers and then spent over an hour with the moms and volunteers asking questions and trying out folding, unfolding and lifting each of the strollers that we liked. It was an interesting way to learn about the various features. We finally decided to go with the Quinny Buzz 3 because it was a great stroller and an amazing deal! It retails for about $500 but we got it for $450 including a bassinet ($175 value), car seat adapters, rain cover and bug cover for free! The one downside is that it is a bit on the heavy side (26 lbs) but overall, we love it.

We took it home in two boxes. Darren thought we should check to make sure all the parts were there but before we knew it, we couldn't help ourselves and we had put it together! Our friend, Karen came over and we could barely contain our excitement as we showed off our new purchase. Thankfully for us, she is a very gracious friend and she was happy to share in our excitement.

Can't wait to use our new stroller for LT! Hope he likes it. Darren just discovered that the seat is made with memory foam...wonder if babies can feel the difference? Oh well, our baby will be stylin' in this stroller.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"I know what you're having"

Yesterday I went for my 20 week ultrasound. It seemed like we had been waiting so long for this appointment and then before I knew it, the day was upon us and the tech was squirting warm gel on my tummy. Shortly after she began the exam, the tech exclaimed, "I know what you're having!"

At 9 weeks our doctor in South Asia said the baby looked like a boy then at 13 weeks our radiologist showed Darren the "weenie" so we had suspected it was a boy. We weren't 100% sure if they were just trying to be polite since it is very favorable to have a boy in their culture but it seems as if they were right. We have now had three medical professionals confirm that LT is a boy. The tech showed me the "weenie" at least twice yesterday.

Darren was excited to call our parents then announce the news to the world via Facebook. Next step, finalize the name...

I wore a blue dress yard sale shopping in honor of our baby boy on the way. This is also one of the dresses that makes me look the most pregnant. I wanted people to notice that I was pregnant as I was scoping out baby stuff. It worked!

And So It's Begun ... (by Darren)

And so it's begun: shopping for LT (who, btw, we confirmed was a Mr. yesterday), and LT related things.

I find it a little difficult to shop for a little person you've never even fully met before.

What will he like? What won't he like? What will be a good investment? What will be a waste of money?

There are so many different brands, that it becomes a little daunting at times. What really IS the difference between one play mat and the other? What about the Ergo vs. Sling? Bugaboo vs. CitySelect? All this stuff is PRICEY and the amount of time you can use this stuff for is MINIMAL (sometimes just for a couple of months!)

Today, we went yard saling for the first time and found some great "gently used" items that cost us a fraction of the price as it would brand new. For me, finances is a pretty big part of the pregnancy equation, so it felt good to get a good deal ...

Jolly Jumper: $10
Metal Organizer: $15
Change pad: $3
Play mat (with the tent-y dangly things): $5 
WOODEN ROCKING CHAIR: $10 (Tara almost started crying with joy when she saw this item, as it's one of the things she's been saying she's wanted since the beginning .... you knew she was excited she started speaking quicker and in hushed tones: "wow, i can't believe this is so cheap ... can we get this? please? wow, so cheap ...").
We're going to a stroller demo tomorrow where they'll have Bugaboos, Phil & Teds, and Quinny strollers on sale. I think the Quinny Zapp may be the best fit for us and our lifestyles currently. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

We'll check it out ... but still holding out hope that we'll get one we really like for super cheap!

First post in a while ... I promised Tara I would do more.


Monday, August 2, 2010

New Friends

To add to what I wrote recently about the great things about being in the second trimester, one of the greatest things about being pregnant in general is the instant connection to pregnant women and mothers!

I really enjoyed opportunities to connect with the six pregnant co-workers I saw at our annual staff conference this year. Although I do not know these girls very well, I think that there was an instant bond that developed as soon as we found out we were all due at around the same time. I also really appreciated hanging out with my co-workers who are moms! It is a great thing to be pregnant in our organization right now!

I am beginning to realize that becoming a mom will thrust me into a brand new peer group. How exciting to have opportunities to meet so many new people simply because I'm going to be a mom.