Jerome’s Birth Day

On Monday, April 27, I had my weekly appointments with the obgyn and the diabetes specialist at the obstetrics clinic. One of the two doctors told me : “Your blood pressure is high, but I think we’re okay for another week.” The other doctor said “I just checked your blood results and there are proteins in your urine. You have pre-eclampsia. Take your file and bring it to the third floor, you’re being admitted today.” She left the room so I could get dressed, and I just collapsed in tears in Julien’s arms. I was so terrified. I was only 35 weeks, it was too early for this baby to come! By the time I was admitted, they had me track every mililiter I drank and peed. I was barely peeing, retaining every drop. Baby was unusually large for a 35 week old baby, measuring around 8lbs. They were concerned with shoulder dystocia, which is common with babies of diabetic mothers. Baby was also breeched in a bad, transverse way. They said that if we attemped a vaginal delivery, chances were high that I would be one of those moms whose umbelical cord comes out dangling when her water breaks, which is dangerous for baby. They told me that they were shooting for a c-section on Friday, May 1. Holy crap.

On April 30th, one doctor came to see me around 11am and told me that my blood pressure was high but still manageable, and that it was better to keep baby baking in my ‘natural incubator’ (belly) as long as we could, and that the c-section wouldn’t happen the next day, that we would see on a day to day basis. At 2pm, the other doctor came in and said – Nope, your blood pressure is too high, we’re going to give you magnesium sulfate to bring down your blood pressure and protect your brain, and we’re doing the c-section RIGHT NOW, and you will have to go recover in intensive care after, because of the magnesium sulfate. Holy shit. She wasn’t even done her sentence that 5-6 medical professionals barge in with their IV’s and other things they needed to do to me. I burst crying and for once stood up for myself and said : “Woah, woah, woah. I need to call my husband, he needs to be here.” Julien was working, trying to finish everything in time for the next day’s possible c-section, although I had just told him that it wouldn’t be the net day after all.

Julien must have raced to the hospital, because as I had five or six nurses trying to insert IV’s into my stubborn veins, he walked in the room and gave me an encouraging look. It reassured me so much just to have him there next to me. One of the nurses went to get scrubs and instructed him to change into them. He came out of the washroom as that same nurse was shaving my vagina. (I was huuuuge and not expecting to be admitted. I was pretty hairy everywhere.) She asked if he had his camera. I said “For what? To take pictures of my vagina being shaved?” All the nurses errupted into laughter. I guess I can’t stop making jokes even when I’m freaking the fuck out.

They wheeled my bed into the pre-operation room, where we proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. There were 2 emergency c-sections that needed to happen before mine. At some point the nurse looks at my magnesium sulfate IV and says: “Oh no!”. I’m thinking “What? Oh no? Am I going to die?” Apparently one of the nurses had set the magnesium sulfate drip thing too fast and I got it in 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes. Turns out it wasn’t a big deal and I didn’t die. That nurse that was taking care of me in the pre-op room was set to finish her shift at 3pm, and because they were so short staffed, ended up having to stay by my side until the whole thing was over, around midnight. She happened to be the lactation consultant at the hospital. She asked if I wanted her to attempt manually extracting milk from my boobs for baby, as they were expecting baby to have a blood sugar low after birth, as is typical of diabetic moms, and breastmilk is the best thing for them to recover from that. She showed Julien how to manually extract milk from the other boob. I’m laying there, a bunch of stuff dripping in my IV, freaking the fuck out with anxiety, with Julien and the lactation consultant squeezing milk out of me. At some point I also had a blood sugar low, so they added some sugar in my IV.

When it was finally my turn to go in the operating room, they wheeled my bed next to the operation table, and male doctors or nurses, I don’t remember, transfered me from the bed to the cold, hard operating table. There was a cushion under my butt. With my huge belly up in the air like that, and my head several inches below my waist level, I could barely breathe. I was taking short, shallow breaths, felt like crying and freaking out. I could see Julien through the glass window, but he wasn’t allowed in the OR until I had received my epidural. The anaesthesist had scared the hell out of me earlier by talking to me about the risks of administering epidurals to obese women. When he saw my back, I heard him say “Oh, that’s not so bad”. I had another doctor holding me in his arms, to make sure I stayed still. He was telling me how much he liked my tattoos. Julien said that he had tattoos himself, but I don’t remember seeing any. The anaesthesist successfully inserted the epidural and said “You’ll soon start to feel numb.” My legs were already completely numb by the time he said that sentence. What a freaky feeling. They strapped my wrists down at 90 degree angles to my body, which also felt so weird, and then Julien was finally able to come and be by my side. I heard one doctor say : “Oh we forgot to put that cushion back under her butt, do you want me to insert it?” Another doctor said “No, it’s okay, she already has a…. natural wedge.” I think that was a polite way to say I have a fat ass. I could breathe so much easier without the cushion though. Just having Julien there touching me helped calm me down quite a bit too. But I was still so scared!

I heard Julien say: “Do you hear him?” Me: “Who?” Julien: “The baby! They took him out!” I didn’t hear him. I was focussed on breathing and not panicking. A few seconds after that they asked Julien if he wanted to come see the baby and cut the cord. They told him to be careful to not slip on all the blood on the floor. A few seconds after that they placed baby Jerome on my chest. Julien and another doctor were holding him there in place, as I couldn’t because my hands were still strapped down. I looked at my baby’s tiny crying face and thought: “Wow, he’s beautiful. I can’t believe we made such a beautiful little human being!”

I know they told me previously that the closing me up procedures should take about one hour, but to me it felt like it lasted five minutes. Baby Jerome had to be taken to the NICU because his temperature was a little too low, and also he ended up indeed having a low blood sugar episode. I was wheeled downstairs into intensive care to recover. As my one-on-one intensive care nurse was pushing on my uterus, cleaning the blood out of my vagina, and seeing me fully naked, we were chit chatting, and turns out I went to school with her and knew exactly who she was. Gah. I hadn’t seen her in 20 years, so hopefully I don’t see her for another 20. That was a little embarrassing.

A lot of people say that the day their child(ren) were born was the most beautiful/best day of their whole life. For me, it was more like the scariest day of my life. I was honestly scared I was going to die right there, and terrified that something would go wrong with the baby. We stayed at the hospital for 11 days after baby’s birth. They wanted to make sure that Jerome was okay, since he was born at 35 weeks and 2 days. Everyone kept forgetting that he was a preemie, because he is so big! Then on day five, my c-section incision burst open. I bled all over the floor. That was scary.

I gained 101lbs during my pregnancy. 37lbs just during the last three weeks. In the long, hard, eleven days that we had to stay in the hospital after Jerome’s birth, I lost 65lbs of that. Holy water retention!

Today I am 15 days post-partum, and I am still recovering at home. Extra mural nurses come to our house every day to change my bandage and fabric strips they insert into  my big gaping hole, aka shotgun wound as Julien calls it. I am extremely lucky to have my mother in law. She’s been coming every single day to help with chores and baby while I sleep and recover during the day. I take the night shift with baby. With feeding my sleepy baby and pumping breast milk, I get to sleep in 2 hour increments, if all goes according to plan. During the day between the extra mural nurse calls and visit, and other things, I get to sleep a couple of two hour increments since my awsome mother in law is here to help.

I have never had so little energy in my whole life. I can’t even explain it. Just walking from the car to the house and I’m positively drained. I can’t even lift my arms up.

But when I look at my son’s beautiful face, I know this is all worth it. I know I will eventually recover, my big belly hole will eventually close, and I will eventually get my energy back and will enjoy going for walks with my son in his stroller and I will get to enjoy the nice ‘almost summer’ temperatures we’ve been having. It’s hard to believe it was snowing on the day I was admitted in the hospital!

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Baby, we’re so lucky!

Baby and I are so lucky to have such an amazing baby daddy. I could write a whole blog post about everything he does for us, the delicious food he’s been cooking for us, the baby furniture he’s assembling, how he’s been to every single one of my many many prenatal medical appointments, starting at week 6! I won’t even get into the embarrassing stuff.

I had another ultrasound this week to check on baby’s growth. He’s a big big baby. Bigger than the 97th percentile. It’s been a concern all along, as I’m a diabetic. Baby Jerome, at 32 weeks, weighs 6lbs 2oz, according to their calculations. He has a big belly and broad shoulders. At the next ultrasound they will be able to determine if this baby should be born via c-section or not. I’m hoping for not. I’ve been trying to keep my blood sugars super strict, but it’s hard. Even just stress affects blood sugars when you’re a diabetic. I am having a much better control now that my wedding weekend, baby shower weekend, and easter weekend all in a row are in the past. I’m ridiculously looking forward to NOTHING this weekend. Next weekend J’s band has a show downtown on the Saturday night, and Sunday we have a full 9-5 day of prenatal classes. I have learned my lesson, I’m packing snacks for the prenatal classes; the woman sitting near me during breastfeeding classes made me so hungry with all of her snacking!

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This pregnancy thing is HARD. Having to switch from controlling my diabetes with pills to having to inject myself with insulin 5 needles a day, one painful lovenox injection at every bedtime to prevent blood clots, trying to fight cravings and being hungry constantly, yet gaining, gaining, and gaining weight. So much weight. I feel like a hairy, out of breath beach ball. My feet swell up like balloons. I only have a pair of unlaced merrels that fit. I finally caved in this week and bought 2 wrist braces to wear at night, because of horrible pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. I don’t feel pretty at all. But it’s all so worth it. It’s amazing that my body is manufacturing this little human that we’ve created together. At 8 months pregnant I still can’t believe that it happened to me. I’m going to be a mother!

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March 21, 2015 : Our Wedding

It was just me and my husband, slow dancing in the room that was filled with our closest friends and family just a few minutes before, dancing our private first dance as a married couple. Nothing Else Matters has always kind of been our song. At first we held each other tight, my cheek pressed hard against his. My husband smells so good. When he pulled away to look into my eyes, they were filled to the brim with tears of so much happiness and gratefulness.

As exhausted as I was, it took me hours to finally fall asleep last night because I was literally too happy to sleep. I kept thinking about my beautiful wedding day, my amazing in laws, the big open room in our basement all decked out in black and white, flickering with candlelight, my father walking me down the ‘aisle’ towards my handsome groom, Ingrid Michaelson’s I can’t help falling in love, echoing the truth. As I laid there, smiling too much to fall asleep, I looked at my husband sleeping next to me, and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. This beautiful season in my life? It makes me feel like everything, every struggle, every very bad past season of my life, has been worth it. I’m so glad I never gave up on being happy.

Although the last few minutes seemed to drag by, because of 7.5 months pregnant induced exhaustion and also because of introvertedness induced exhaustion, our wedding day few by so quick. We slept in until 10:30am, his mom and I ate McDonald’s together in the kitchen while getting our hair and make-up done, my mom showed up to get her make-up done too while I was getting my hair done. I completely forgot to paint my nails pink to match my bouquet, but it didn’t matter in the end because my fingers were so swollen that my wedding band only went up to my knuckle. I also somehow forgot to have pictures taken of me and my bridesmaids, that’s how fast everything felt! Our officiant gave us exactly what we asked for by taking his shortest ceremony and shortening it even more. The entire ceremony, including the very cute 3 year old flower girl bringing her basket of petals to the front, without quite gasping the concept of throwing them, which increased the cuteness factor, lasted probably 5 minutes. Maybe it was 3 minutes. I should ask someone who wasn’t as ‘in the moment’. It was perfect for us.

We had three tables of close friends and family: Julien and I, our parents, and my brother and his fiancée, the band, and my friends. Oh and a last minute kids table. People seemed to love the hodge podge of food served buffet style. Our parents were having a good time and they loved the ‘all generations’ playlist we had put together for the wedding so much that they requested we burn a CD of it for them. I can’t wait to see pictures! Here’s the only picture we have, an after private first dance selfie:

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25 Days 5 Hours 15 Minutes 11 Seconds

That is the amount of time left, according to my countdown app, until I become Mrs. L! Our 4 year anniversary is about 1 month after our wedding. If you were reading my blog 5 years ago, can you believe this? 5ish years ago, while browsing the streets of St. John’s, NL during my first business meeting trip following my separation from my ex, even though I was so stressed financially, I bought myself a big ole, simple, black and white fridge magnet. This is weird, because I’ve always been so anti fridge magnet. I can’t stand fridge clutter, or any clutter. But somehow, this fridge magnet spoke to me. I stuck it to the side of the fridge in my ex marital home, I then stuck it on the side of the fridge of my little apartment, and now it’s stuck on the side of the fridge in my home. The home that is perfect for us, despite its shortcomings, and fits in our budget. That last part is to important to me; lessons learned. The home that will warm us and our 19 guests when we get married in 25 days. The home that will shelter our soon to be born son. The fridge magnet says : “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” Every time I lay eyes on that magnet, I thank my lucky stars for my life. I think that I am going confidently-ish in the direction of my dreams, and living the life I’ve imagined. Sometimes it’s even better than the life I’ve imagined in my dreams.

Speaking of dreams, does anyone else get emotional and love this Kraft peanut butter commercial and song, or is it just the pregnancy hormones? I love that song. Here’s the whole song.

The wedding preparations are well underway, although the scope of the project keeps changing. When initially planning our wedding, it was only going to be a handful of people (like, under 10), the officiant, and us. 10 minutes, then we all go out to eat in our regular clothes. It is now candles, and tulle, and boutonnieres and corsages, a bouquet, a cake, chairs, a home made feast, two bridesmaids, two groomsmen, a little flowergirl, and 14 other guests. 19 guests in total. Plus the officiant, and the photographer, and the make up girl, and the hair stylist. Oh yeah. Although my tiny wedding budet has quadrupled so far, I love it. It’s the wedding of my dreams, and I’m going to marry the man of my dreams. On Thursday, we go out to lunch with my future mother in law, and then we’re going to a decorating boutique to see about wedding decorations. I’m glad that even though we’re having a tiny wedding, I get to experience a lot of the fun wedding planning stuff. And I couldn’t imagine a more awesome future mother in law to plan all these life events with. I feel like his family truly is my family too.

Speaking of life events and family, our 3D Ultrasound is in 5 Days 1 Hour 38 Minutes 14 Seconds. I can’t wait to see Jerome’s little face! At my last ultrasound… 4 weeks ago I think? They said that he is now measuring 1 pound and 8 ounces. I’m excited that I get to see him in 3D, hear his heart, and make sure he’s okay, with his father and his four grand parents in the room. The 3D place even provides up to 10 links so people can view the ultrasound live from their home computer. It means that my brother and his fiancee, the god parents, get to watch the ultrasound live from Bathurst. How crazy is that? I love technology!

The question of the day, every day, I assume to all pregnant women is: “How do you feel?” So here it is. When someone inevitably asks me how I feel, my default answer is : Tired. It’s true, and in my mind it justifies at least a little bit, why I look like such a blah version of myself… but the complete answer, because this is my blog: I am having a string of feeling ugly and fat days. I have gained too much weight, I am swollen so sometimes I wear J’s mens boots out and about, I am hairy, so damn hairy, and I move slow. I have more zits than when I was a teenager, however I have dry flaky dinosaur spots. I have been stuffy and had bloody noses the whole time, with resulting bleeding, crusty nose sores that hurt like motherfuckers. I have worn make up exactly three times since I found out I was pregnant. Last weekent, on Valentines Day <3, we had our engagement photo session. The more I look at the proofs, the more I like them, but my initial reaction to them was: Holy shit I’m so fat. I honestly googled a picture of Granda Ethyl from Dinosaurs to show Julien, because I felt like there was a huge resemblance there. Me and her are twinsies. I know I’m carrying a baby, but he’s not in my double chin. I am trying to not get too discouraged, and tell myself that once baby is here the weather will be perfect for nice walks in the park, and the weight will come off again. As much as I’m pissed at my body for gaining so much weight in the past 26 weeks, I can’t get too pissed at it. After 10 years of struggling with infertility in my ex-life, my body rocks for having helped create this child I’m carrying, and keeping him healthy so far! Also, the fact that my fiance discovered in our first trimester a new budding passion for cooking is probably more than partly to blame. This mama and baby are in heaven! Daddy’s chocolate cake is amazing.

Good Things This Winter.

I’ve started feeling the baby move more consistently this week, and it’s kind of amazing. I have an anterior placenta which was preventing me from feeling baby’s movements earlier. The crib is assembled and in baby’s yellow nursery. The dresser and changing table will be delivered Monday. Then, I’ll put the jungle animal decals and the nursery will start to take shape!

We’re going back to The Keg on Valentine’s day, and I’m going to eat the exact same thing I did on New Year’s Eve! I can’t wait! Then it must be love – he’s bringing me to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m trying to be more mindful of calories in lately though, because I’m gaining way too much weight way too fast. I have started prenatal yoga at the school of youtube last week, but I think I need to schedule it because I haven’t done it enough.

I have the most awesome fiance I could ever dream of. He has been to every single one of my doctors appointments, and there have been many, many, weekly or bi-weekly since week 6. He has gone to the store at 11pm to buy me a fruit tray. He bakes brownies, he shovels the insane amounts of snow, he comforts me when I cry because I’ve dropped my 2nd large decaf coffee on the ground, he tells me I’m beautiful even though I’m rounder, zittier, and hairier. Next month I finally get to be married to him, and my heart melts in anticipation.

There is bad stuff. My mother, her cancer, money… but life can’t be too perfect, I guess, and I’d rather write about the good stuff. That’s what I want to remember down the road when I re-read this.

Good things are going to happen!

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I have this print bookmarked, and I’m going to buy it someday, or maybe paint it myself.

I feel much better since my last post. I have decided that my coworker’s attitude is not my problem, it’s hers. Yes I am overly sensitive, but she is probably going through some stuff that makes her be a bitch to more people than just me. She is currently on stress leave from work, which re-affirms my sentiment. I hope she feels better soon, and I hope that she takes it out on me less, because I just like when we can all get along. My new boss called me this morning to let me know that he has accepted a different position in a different city, in our satellite office, so more changes to come! Good things are going to happen.

More good things that are going to happen :

On December 23 we learned that this little miracle growing in my belly is growing a little wee-wee. It’s a boy! We bought ‘insert-your-own-photo’ snowglobes, and inserted an ultrasound photo with an “Hello, I’m a boy!” caption, and gave each set of parents one for Christmas, with the instruction to open that gift last. They were a hit! My mother was bawling. We also gave my brother and his fiancee Amanda these, which were also a hit :

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Then on New Year’s Eve we went to eat at The Keg, and it was so damn delicious!

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I wish I had taken pictures of every dish, but I was enjoying the moment too much. I had escargot stuffed mushroom caps for an apetizer, this NY strip in the picture for my entree, with a delicious spinach salad, and creme brulee for dessert. I can’t wait ’till I get to eat this again – on Valentine’s day. Reservations made!

And this also happened on New Year’s Eve! <3

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The love of my life proposed on New Year’s Eve, making that day even more special for me. I’ve always loved NYE so much for being full of promise and hope. This Saturday we’re picking up my ring from the jewelers, who took two long weeks to resize it for me. It’s his grandmother’s ring, which means so much to me. We are getting married on March 21, the first full day of spring this year! We will have a civil wedding, in our new house, with 18 of our closest friends and family. We both wanted a no-stress day, and with a baby on the way, it makes complete sense to us to have our wedding fit in our budget. I can’t wait to be Mrs. LeBlanc!

I spent Sunday with my mother and his mother, going out to eat, shopping, and planning our wedding. They are so excited! Both our fathers really want to wear suits, and our mothers both bought beautiful black dresses. I am letting my mom go crazy with her tulle and white lights, and all of the food they have planned. I think it’s going to be a beautiful spring day :)

People

What is wrong with people?

What I ended up doing was taking 1 week off sick, and working 1 week from home last week. I felt that was a good compromise. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for some people.

I had a good stretch of about four nights where I slept for the entire night. It felt amazing. I felt like a had a much better handle over my emotions, life didn’t seem so gloomy, and I felt like life wasn’t too hard. That I could do this.

Yesterday, we finally got some news about my mom biopsies. It’s not good. On top of her returned lymphoma cancer, she now has stomach cancer, and that has propagated to her liver. She is in the hospital for another transfusion today, and Thursday she has a meeting with her oncologist to hear what course of treatment they have decided on, etc.

Last night I layed in bed, staring at the ceiling, for the whole night. I did not sleep one minute. I knew that the three coworkers who have been giving me sly attitude would have something to say about my working from home today again. I had an appointment with my specialist yesterday, and he agreed that working from home is a good compromise. (As opposed to going on medical leave straight out.) He wrote me a doctor’s note. I sent the note to my manager as an attachment in an e-mail, and wrote down a list of reasons why I think that due to the nature of my position, I think that I am an ideal candidate for working from home. I stared at the ceiling all night, worrying about what those two people would say about my working from home. I don’t think I even fell asleep for one minute.

When my alarm rang at 7:30, I was nauseous and shaky. I was having a blood sugar low. I got ready and came downstairs to my work set-up. 30 minutes after my start time, it started.

“Are you coming in the office today?????”

“Are you working from home for the whole week????”

“Wow, must be nice.”

Me, to one of the two : “Is that okay with you?”

Her : “Is what okay?”

Me : “My working from home for the week.”

Her : “Does it matter? It’s none of my business”

Me : “It matters to me.” (She was my very closest coworker, for years!) 

Her : “If your doctor tells you to work from home, it doesn’t matter what we think about it.”

What would you do? Is my baby safer with my working from home, where I’m stressed about what those women are saying about me, possibly ruining my professional reputation, or should I suck it up and go bleed and go be hypoglycemic at work, 3 feet away from them, to make them happy?