Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pictures At Last!

Well, as promised, here are the pregnant photos taken a couple of days ago.

It has been an up and down week for me. Tuesday was a pretty rough day. I think I was the worst mother ever to Simeon that day! I was in alot of pain (I have a pinched nerve resulting from the baby sitting in a certain position in my pelvis) and was having difficulty walking or doing anything for that matter. Sim seemed to know something was up and decided to push every button...literally. He is really challenging our authority these days and it is so difficult to be consisitent with the amount of energy I have! Deyan's mom has been here, which has been awesome. She has really helped me get the house ready for this baby. But, bless her, she is such a softy with her grandson! Anyways, I had an emotional breakdown on Tuesday and called Deyan at school in the early evening to ask him to come home. I think reality was setting in on how difficult parenting can be at times and I'm realizing that I'm about to have 2, not just 1 child to raise! It's an exciting but sometimes scary thought, as I lost my patience how many times with Simeon that day? Thankfully he is so forgiving!

Wednesday night/Thursday morning I thought for sure my labour had started. But it petered out in the afternoon and hasn't picked up to the same intensity since. Poor Ionka had to leave on the plane today without getting to meet her newest grandchild! She will be back in the spring, however, and we will share the news as soon as there is any!

Friday, my midwife came over to check on things. Remember how I said last week that I had shrunk? Well, this week I'm right back up to 35cm again! And Cara seems to think it's all baby. Not exactly what I want to hear at this point. I mean, I know the baby needs to continue to grow and be healthy, but I was really hoping for a less than 9lber this time! Oh well, I guess we'll have to just wait and see. But please come soon baby so you're not TOO big! Everything is healthy, though. So continue to send those "Come out baby" thoughts and prayers my way! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I walked my first labyrinth today! I am doing a workshop this weekend through Birthing From Within at St. Benedicts Retreat Centre. It's been really fun so far. And today we had the opportunity to walk the labyrinth. This is often done as a spiritual practice, usually some form of contemplative prayer. Our goal today was to meditate on a question that we had to come up with the night before revolving around being mentors in birth. It couldn't be a yes or no question, had to be in the present tense, and the answer couldn't be found in a book or anything. There's more to it, but I won't get into it all here.

Anyways, I actually had 2 questions. The first one was: How am I expanding? This question arises from letting go of my own ideals of birth and being willing to be open to other ideas. The second question was: How am I free? This one resonates very strongly in me, as it relates to the need for approval, or as some people call it, the fear of man.

So, I was first to pass the threshold and enter the labyrinth. If you don't know much about these, you should look them up. They are very interesting. They are not a maze. There is only one way in and one way out. You can't really tell where you are on your journey and at certain points it feels like you are very close to the centre, then all of a sudden you're on the outer edge again. The only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other and just keep walking. At the beginning of my walk today, I just kept repeating my questions over and over to myself. Nothing more was really coming to me. Definitely no answers or profound revelations. In fact, I found myself often distracted by trying not to step in all the goose poop! :) So, I EVENTUALLY made it to the centre, paused for a moment, and began to make my way out. It really does throw you for a bit of a loop and you sometimes wonder if you'll ever get there!

Anyways, on my way out, a light went off in my head. I realized that my 2 questions were actually quite connected! How can I possibly expand my ideas about birth (or anything really) if I am caught up in what other people think of me? The only way I can expand is if I am free! If I begin to let the truth sink in that the only person I should be worried about pleasing is God, then the rest will fall into place. I'm not sure if I can explain this so properly, but it really was a revelation for me! And the neat thing was, that as I began to understand it, I noticed my pace quickened. Not sure why, but it was definitely noticeable. I've never been much of a meditative or contemplative person, but I really enjoyed this entire process.

On a side note, I learned about "laborinths", basically the relationships that can be drawn between labyrinths and labour/birth. For example, not knowing how long things are going to take, just taking one step at a time, thinking you're close and discovering you're only 2 cm dilated, even being distracted by all the poop that's around! I think I may start incorporating this tool into my prenatal classes, after I refine it a bit in my mind!

That's all for now. I have one more day in this workshop so I better get some sleep now. Still having lots of prelabour stuff and the pressure is quite unbearable at times. I think the baby is posterior which may be why I'm experiencing so many "practice" contractions that start and stop every evening. And if he/she would just get in a better position, maybe my pelvis and sciatic nerve wouldn't hurt so much! Oh well, hopefully soon! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Today was a nice day. Two of my dear friends, Jocelyn and Ang, came over with their boys to bless me before the birth. They showed up with flowers and a vase, Starbucks drinks and treats, gave me a footbath/massage and a hand massage, and then prayed over me, the baby, the upcoming birth, and our family. It was very sweet. It was funny, too, because we seemed to have a red and black theme going (flowers and vase, what I was wearing, Joc was wearing, Ang was wearing and the birth ball). Guess you had to be there.

It's also so much fun to watch our guys interacting with each other. Jocelyn's oldest son, Isaiah, is the oldest of all of them at 2 3/4. Then there is her 2nd son, Luke, 10 months younger, who happens to be 1 day older than Simeon (22 months). Ang's son, Isaac, is the youngest by 4 1/2 months. They are all starting to talk and watching them play together is neat. A bit crazy at times, but still lots of fun!

Anyways, I was tired and hoping to catch a nap with Simeon, but I think my caramel macchiato had me too wired to sleep. Oh well, Sim ended up having a very short nap so it wouldn't have mattered.

I saw my midwife this afternoon. I told her about all the "prelabour" stuff I had last weekend, but that I also knew it could still be awhile. Baby sounds good and all my vitals are good. I don't even have any swelling, which is kind of nice! She seemed to think the baby had dropped by the new shape of my belly. I also thought this, especially with the increase in pressure I was feeling. Right now (today) the baby is facing my tummy, which is not good since I really don't want to experience "back labour". So, although he/she is still moving lots, I will make more of a conscious effort to spend time on my hands and knees to encourage a better position. Oh, and apparently I'm shrinking! Last week, my uterus was measuring 35cm (at 36+ weeks) and this week it only measured 30cm! This usually happens as the baby shifts position and moves down, but it can also mean low fluid levels. But I'm drinking lots, so hopefully this is not the case. And hopefully all of this points to a smaller baby this time! (Simeon weighed 9lbs 2oz!)

Speaking of Sim, have I mentioned that he is convinced the baby is a girl? He tells me everyday that it's a girl baby and her name is Esther. So...I know he's into Veggie Tales and all, and it could be that's where he picked up the name, but it's odd that he's stuck with it for so long and not chosen another name or sex. He is known to be rather prophetic! And Esther's not a bad name, really. Oh well, we'll see soon enough! It would help if we felt strongly about a name for either sex, since we're still so undecided!

Julia, I will hopefully post a few pregnancy pics in the next few days!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Arrival

No, not the baby (I wish) and not my mother-in-law (at least not until midnight tonight), but my birth pool has arrived! Yay! This is what it looks like. I've been anxiously awaiting this for some time now and was beginning to get a bit nervous that it wouldn't get here in time. Well, it's here, and now we have to figure out how to set it up and where! Our place is not very big so it's not like we can get it ready and put it in a room somewhere until the birth. There is no such room. We may set it up and fill it for a "practice" run, though. It would be nice to get in some water, even just to feel buoyant for awhile! And I'm sure Simeon would be pretty excited to take a swim in his living room! So, now that it's here, I'm sure one of two things will happen:

a) All of the prelabour stuff I've been feeling the past couple of days will intensify and I will go into labour tonight, knowing the pool is available.
b) Knowing the pool is here, my mind and body will relax and I won't go into labour for another few weeks!

Personally, I'm hoping for option A!

Let's see what else is new...I had a sleepover party with some girlfriends at the church last night. It was really fun! We ate lots, played games, got to know a few new faces, and watched a movie. Okay, so the movie wasn't awesome or anything, but it was still a great time. The only downside to the event was the air mattress I had borrowed had a slow leak. Waking up at 5:30am because my hip bone was embedded into the hardwood floors didn't feel too good. I actually got up and pumped the mattress up again! But by 9am it was flat all over. Oh well, it's not like I'm sleeping that great these days anyway! Deyan and Simeon had some fun times together at home too.

My MIL is arriving tonight for a couple of weeks. This was an unexpected visit, but a definite answer to prayers. My mom was supposed to come here in November for a few weeks and it fell through last minute. I was a bit apprehensive about how I was going to find the energy to do all the preparations I needed to do before the birth, and find the postpartum support for afterwards. Well, with Ionka here, I'm sure we will get lots done and hopefully she will even get to meet her grandchild before she goes back to the Ukraine!

That's all for now, I guess. I still don't have any new pregnancy pics or even recent shots of Simeon. I've got to steal Dey's camera one of these days when I know he won't need it at school!
Keep checking often for baby news! Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later! :)

Friday, October 07, 2005


Rough night last night. I'm having a hard enough time sleeping at night due to pregnancy discomfort. Then add Simeon into the mix and I don't even know why I bother. Normally, he sleeps through the night until ~ 6-7am when he joins us in bed, nurses, and goes back to sleep until ~ 8-8:30. Occasionally he will wake up at some point through the night, but I tell him it's still night time and that he needs to lie back down and go to sleep. He may protest for a minute or two, but generally he is cooperative.

After yesterday, I'm beginning to think someone is slipping him some chocolate covered espresso beans or something. He refused to nap, which is highly unusual and really didn't even seem tired until 6 that evening. So he did go to bed a bit earlier (~7pm) than his usual 8pm, but I figured he was making up for the lack of nap. Then at 2am he woke up and for reasons unbeknownst to me, I pulled him into bed with us. I don't think I was fully conscious since I had finally just fallen to sleep myself around 1am. So he nursed, and then began to talk and sing as if it were morning. I was surprised, but figured this would only last for a few minutes before he fell back asleep. The last time I noticed the clock it was 4:45 and he was still awake! He especially wanted to cuddle, which I love to do, but again, it's not helpful when I'm trying to sleep and I have him snuggling up to me (which usually involves head banging and feet kicking my stomach) and the baby doing somersaults inside. I kept pushing Simeon over to Deyan's side of the bed, which would work for a little while. Anyways, I think he eventually fell back asleep ~ 5. This is when I was trying desperately to get all the Veggie Tales songs out of my head! Did I mention how much he LOVES those veggies? Well, he shows no signs of fatigue today. I, on the other hand, am dragging my feet even more than usual and my mothering patience is very thin at the moment! I need some grace!!!