Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Handy Dandy Friends

The nursery! My friends! They came together in a blaze of glory last Friday night and the result is the baby's room actually looks like a baby has any business being there. There were three things to assemble: crib, hutch and dresser, all of which could have potentially destroyed my marriage to the Dude.

McPal was there, along with our college friend and her husband and her college roommate. We're a happy pack of people who enjoy good food and being crass together. Mostly I shake my head at the crassness. But who am I kidding? We enjoyed some tasty Indian food and cupcakes as well and when they went home we were all stuffed with yummy goodness and general satisfaction.

Here are the fruits of their labour. And I say their because I sat on the sidelines and ordered food and tried to stay comfortable while they made the magic happen.

IKEA dresser.

IKEA hutch.

Sears crib.

It's still in need of a gliding rocker, a bedside table (basically a nursing station) and a rug. McPal has offered us his old rug no longer in use, and I really think it'll tie the room together. Heh. That so never gets old. We also need some crib sheets, a toy box for the stuff you see in the crib, and I want some wall decals.

And in the window we have the handcrafted gift from the Dude's stepmom:


We spent the following Sunday organizing our baby things and putting them into the dresser and hutch.  The clothes and blankets and diapers are all put away. We got a lot of disposables at the shower, which will come in handy for a newborn. The BumGenius 4.0s I bought would be excessively bulky on a wee thing, and the disposables will leave room for the umbilical cord. So, once we run out of those, we'll transition over. And that'll save us laundry while we get used  to the ohmygodwe'reparents first couple weeks.

I'm officially at 34 weeks.

Taken in the bathroom at Windsor Arms a couple days ago.
Above is a picture I took courtesy of the full length mirror and flattering light of the Windsor Arms Hotel. My friends and I went to Twilight Tea there on Monday, which is essentially tea time for dinner, and as usual had a scrumptiously good time. Having a baby is definitely going to impact my now-easy ability to do these sorts of things. One, the expense may not work into the budget, and two I'd have to leave bebe with the Dude and some expressed milk, as I'm not the sort of person who'd bring a wee one to a quiet tea room. Three, no more Twilight tea, only Sunday tea because the Dude has a wonky work schedule that can't be relied upon on weeknights.

As you may imagine, I'm soaking up the freedom now.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Hello, 1:40 a.m. How you doing, old friend? Oh, I'm fine. Can't sleep as usual. I'll probably drop in on 2:15 a.m. tonight and possibly even 3:25 a.m. if the spirit moves me. And by moves me, I mean prevents me from retiring to sweet, sweet bed with a reasonable amount of fatigue to get the job done.

I've gotten maybe 10 hours of broken sleep the last two nights. This is mostly due to vomit and such creeping up my throat when I try to lie down. If I cough, that's all folks. Goodbye, stomach contents.

I have pretty much, like, no torso. I'm 5'2" and the Dude is 5'7" and our legs are the same length. Yeah.  He has five extra inches of torso than I do. He should be carrying this baby. He'd have room.

It's all out in front. I'm lucky about that, at least visually. It's cute looking. And I have no stretch marks (yet). But damn, if it's not a hassle to lug myself around and Jebus help me, getting comfortable is harder and harder all the time.

I'm fielding all kinds of guesses about the sex based on the way I'm carrying. It's a boy because I'm carrying high is the most popular. But I have really strong abdominal muscles, this is my first (only baby) so I'm not really stretched out anywhere from previous use, and frankly high is the only place for me to carry because there is no low. Any lower and I'd be hauling a fetus around in my actual vagina. Because I have no torso.

It's such an odd thing. I do look very healthy right now. I can see that. My skin is lightly flushed, my hair is thick and lustrous (though I have no hair talent and I'm rather overwhelmed by the immense volume of it), my weight is under control and I'm not swollen or anything. How very deceptive it all is. I kind of don't remember what it's like to feel good. Like, properly hungry and able to eat comfortably and be tired and able to sleep like a normal person, and all without aches and pains and spasms.

What is nice is that now that I'm in the home stretch, I'm getting excited about meeting my baby. Before it was all very abstract. Now at 33 weeks and change, my baby's movements are intense and hard. The nursery is coming together and we have about 80% of the stuff we need all ready to go. I'm going to hold a little person the Dude and I created, and continue to help him or her grow with my own body. I'm going to meet someone who's going to be deeply important to me. I'm going to meet someone I know I will love.

So it's not all grumpy pants.

A couple days ago our friends came over to assemble nursery furniture for us. I'll post about that in full really soon, with pictures, because it deserves its own post, and I haven't taken any snapshots yet. What I can say now is I have amazing friends.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nursery 1.0

You know how everyone says babies are expensive? Well, babies are expensive. I can actually see why people have more than one because the more use you get out of all the stuff you acquired, the cheaper each subsequent kid is going to feel. Ha!

Today the Dude and I organized our baby gifts, taking things off hangers, clipping tags, throwing away boxes and packaging. The room we're turning into the nursery had been slowly losing control, slowly being suffocated with baby things, looking like it was about to vomit a daycare any second. The closet, full of mostly the Dude's things, was spilling out and could no longer close. Basically total mayhem.

Now? The Dude set to work after we finished sorting everything. It's finally starting to look like a proper room. Linens, toys, safety items, toiletries and clothes are all unpacked and separated. The scary closet is now a work of elegant Tetris. The floors are swept and mopped. It's prepped, and now I feel more at ease.

Some of our friends are coming over in several days to help us assemble our crib, dresser and hutch. And even then we still won't be done. We're still missing stuff we need, and I need to rent a birthing pool as I'll be giving birth at home. I'll get more into that later. It's definitely been a conversation starter and it'd be better to devote an entire blog post about it.

Anyhoo, pictures!

The organized closet,
and the unassembled crib & mattress in boxes.

All the stuffed animals, plus the hand-painted carousel horse.

We'll have to put gates up eventually.
The paint cans are temporary.

It's obviously going to be open-concept. Down the hall, past the closet, is the bathroom and then our bedroom. We're going to get a funky rug to go over this hard floor, and all those toys will likely go in the hutch. The dehumidifier keeps the temperature up and moisture down in there, not to mention it could easily double as a white noise machine. There's only the one small window, but it gets decent sunlight, unlike our bedroom, which despite a larger window, faces our neighbour's wall to the south. 

A part of me feels a little bummed we don't have our own house. But this is Toronto and homes are running for 600k and up these days for small places that likely wouldn't give us any more space than we currently have. Plus, you know, we can't afford 600k. We can't afford 400k. So here we stay for several years. We'll see what happens after that.

We have a room for our baby, we have a yard out back, our neighbourhood is safe and there are parks all over, daycares, easy access to the TTC, and the Dude can walk to work. Not owning a home when we start our family is more of an emotional bummer, not a practical concern.

I bet once I see the nursery finished I'll feel even better.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I'm 32 weeks pregnant today. I am huge. The Dude assures me I am not huge, but try actually being this size and hauling around my ass all day and tell me I'm not huge. Because I totally am. And, oh, sweet merciful crap is my back feeling it.

And my lower abdomen too. Yes, you can actually feel your uterus stretch out and it don't feel good, boy howdy. Sometimes I walk around with my hands under my belly as if to hold it up. The weight is surprisingly challenging to manage. How do fat people do it? Dude, seriously. Lugging around excess you is exhausting.

I went to my baby shower in my hometown last weekend. My aunt threw it for me and my family came, plus my friends in town and some of the Dude's relatives. It was really nice to see everyone. It was a laid back affair, the kind where there was enough seating for everyone, some sandwiches, no games and a tasty chocolate and vanilla cake. It lasted two hours. Frankly, it was the sort of shower that I like: simple, quick and with cake.

I received some lovely things, ranging from the nice-to-have to the need-to-have: Diaper bag, toiletries, toys, blankets, washcloths, books, teething rings, thermometer, harnessed baby carrier, change pad, monitor, bottles, and lots of clothes.  The nursery, still completely not put together, is stuffed with bags. We're going to have to get organizing or the delivery of more nursery furniture is going to be a pile of chaos.

We still need:
Breast pump
Play yard
Car seat adaptor for the stroller
Portable changing pads
Wrap baby carrier
Crib sheets
Nursing pillow

It's sort of wild to think about. I've been squirrelling away money for over a year, so we will able to manage all this, but good god. These upfront costs are crazy. And I'm eight weeks from my due date. Unbelievable. Nine months is a long time physically to be pregnant, but financially I could go for another three months to bulk my savings.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Goodbye Couch

I think on some level people get a little attached to things. And by things, I mean inanimate objects that are in no way alive, but have borne passive witness to our lives. The people on Hoarders obviously experience this, about everything that comes their way, but I think most people can feel a little sentimental about select stuff in their life. For instance, my mother's hutch is in the living room and I love it. I've had it with me for years and it will never leave my side.

I also have a vanity desk in the bedroom, which has become cumbersome and is better suited to a teenager than a 30-year-old woman. But it was the last thing my mom gave me before she died because she "always wanted one" herself. So try to make me sell it. It's missing a handle and the mirror is shaky and perhaps permanently forced in place after too many moves of hammering it out and then hammering it in. But it stays, impractical as it may be.

We recently bought a new couch from the Brick during their Boxing Week sale and thus had to arrange to get rid of our previous couch. It was a handy piece of work, actually. It was detachable for one, making it easier to move, and it had an attached ottoman which opened up for storage. Underneath the couch was a sliding shelf that opened into a double bed. The bed was wildly uncomfortable, but it got used all the same, though I lost sleep along with whoever was unfortunate enough to spend the night on that thing, worrying about their inevitable stiff back.

It was great for the giant living room we had upstairs, but down here, not so much. It sort of takes over. And with a baby coming and an influx of stuff, the Dude convinced me we needed to replace it with something less boat-like.

So this little number is being delivered today:

Isn't it pretty?
It's a little greyer in person and I think it'll be smashing against our red walls. It's also microsuade, or some equivalent, that's supposedly easy to clean. Our previous couch was fibrous and thus not so good in that category. This is more baby-friendly.

I'm very jazzed about it, though actually making the purchase was a pain in the ass because the salesman was Pushy McBadListener. He followed us around the whole store giving us the same flyer and telling us he was "right over there" if we needed him, only giving us a few minutes at a time to look on our own.

When we settled on what we wanted he kept trying to encourage us to buy more.

"We don't need anything else."
"We have love seat, ottoman, chairs..."
"We have no more room in our home for other furniture."
"Oh, okay. But in case you want to buy anything else, coffee table--"
"No, no, just the couch, please."
"Okay, let me set up your account with us. Have you got everything you want? There's a matching set for the couch."
"No, nothing else. We have no space. We can afford one thing. We're getting only the couch."
"Oh, okay. Alright, you're set up, but until the date of delivery, you can add more to your purchase for no extra delivery charge. Would you like to keep looking around?"
"Dude, anything else we buy would go in the backyard. There's no room. Just. The. Couch. Please."

To make room for just the couch we had to send off our previous one to a new home. We settled on the Furniture Bank, a charity that places used furniture with households in need. We emptied and cleaned the couch, only three years old, and some men came yesterday and hauled it off. It's going to be evaluated and I'll be sent a charity donation receipt for its determined value.

I felt a little bummed out watching it go. I'm not sure why either. I bought it only because it detached. The stairwell upstairs won't accept a full-sized couch. It wasn't as comfy as I wanted, it was never my style either. I mean, it was nice but not really something I'd have chosen normally. But as I saw it go, I felt slightly nostalgic. Perhaps it's the pregnancy hormones. Or maybe I was just lamenting the loss of living room storage.

At least it wasn't thrown away. It's going somewhere it'll be of use to people who need it. And my home is opening up more and becoming a wee bit more pretty.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

30 weeks

Vomiting is slightly traumatic. Some people can do it unceremoniously and others... can't. I chucked my cookies for the first time this pregnancy last night. It came on hard and sudden while I laid down for bed and I barely made it to the bathroom. The Dude rushed in to hold my hair and cleaned up the mess I made. He's good. I mean, the man loves me.

I cried last night before bed. My ribcage was aching. Turns out it's expanded three inches already, which was alarming even if it was expected. My lower back was in pain. My sour heartburn was around as per usual and I had a constant gas bubble sitting inside my chest. I would pound it out and another would reappear. I was just so damn fed up with feeling subpar.

The Dude had a McDonalds craving and so that was what I ate last night and subsequently lost to the porcelain express. The only good thing that happened after the tears and the upchucking was that the McD's seemed to absorb all the acid and take it along for the mass stomach eviction. I had the best night's sleep I can remember in a long time. It was six hours of broken sleep, but heartburn-free. Of course it was back in the morning, but I had a reprieve from one of my most trying symptoms.

I have roughy 10 weeks left of this nonsense. I went to the midwives yesterday. Blood pressure? Perfect. Weight? On target. Measurements? Normal. Glucose? Healthy. My healthful, uncomplicated pregnancy still comes with all these quality of life issues. Gotta say, I'm not feeling the glow. I'm told I have the glow, which is great, but I feel old. Like, creaky with bouts of bodily failures.

My cloth diapers arrived in the mail today. They're really cute and high quality. The colours are nifty too. The fact they don't become instant garbage as soon as they're used gives me a sense of satisfaction. I always thought that was gross, the disposable nature of diapers. I'm grateful to live in an era with sensible (and adorable) alternatives.

I wonder if my child will ever want to read my blog. If so, let me tell you, kid, this sucks. If nothing tells you how much I want to be your mother, going through this crappy pregnancy should give you an idea. Also, I reserve the right to throw my suffering in your face if you give me lip. Ha!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

6:21 and all is well

Nearly 6:00 a.m. I've been up since 10:00 p.m. Yes, that sounds incredibly odd, but there you are. I'm now sleeping in roughly four-hour increments. I fall asleep quick and randomly when my body allows for it, when my stomach isn't sour and acid isn't shooting up my esophagus. Sometimes it's in my bed, other times on the couch when I had no intention of napping.

There is a weird guilt about being up all night. Despite it not being a choice and regardless of the fact I'm just doing what I can to rest and keep going, it makes me feel immature somehow, as if I'm unemployed and spending my nights watching infomercials.

I am really looking forward to having my body back. My sleep is not likely to improve while caring for an infant, but not having heartburn ruining my every day and all my rest, I think it'll be a welcome relief to just have my baby already. It'll be a joy to hold and interact with the reason I'm doing all this for.

The Dude and I spent New Year's eve at the McPal house. It was right up our alley. Quiet and intimate with friends and food. It was our last year being childless. Next New Years will not likely see us going out. We don't go out too much now, being homebodies, but what going out we do will soon be significantly curbed.

I shaved my legs for the first time in months yesterday. What an ordeal. I think I'm just going to quit with that whole thing till it becomes sensible to bother again. There certainly is a temptation in general to just let my whole self go to seed. Broken sleep makes one feel slovenly.