The time has come (no, not THAT time! Not in labour, don’t panic)

ragweed

Back in the day when I thought I could actually time when I was going to get pregnant (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. ahahaha… ha), I had this master plan of getting knocked up in November, after the first frost, and then delivering a baby by mid-August, which would mean I’d avoid being preggo during ragweed season. This may seem a bit over-the-top to you non-allergy-sufferers who think late summer and fall is the most glorious time of the year, but in my case, I don’t just get a few sniffles, I get ITCHING OF SATANIC PROPORTIONS up in my nose, in my eyes, basically everywhere, before my body then decides that one mucus plug really isn’t enough — EVERYTHING NEEDS MUCUS, NOW. If I don’t take any meds, it’s torture; I once did a ragweed study at a hospital to make some extra cash, and when I realized I’d been dealt the placebo, I had to drop out early because it was impossible to sleep unless my face was submerged in a vat of Visine and nasal steroids. When they did the prick test on my wrist and waited to see if a spot of redness showed up, my ENTIRE ARM ended up in a huge rash.

For a while, I was on prescription-strength antihistamines, but I kept having to increase the dosage to the point where my doctor-mom actually seemed concerned about the potential for cardiac arrest. Then, in desperation, I decided to go out on a limb, do the all-natural thing, and try this nettle extract. Miraculously, it worked!

But now, it’s kind of up in the air whether or not I should be taking it. A lot of naturopaths insist it’s totally safe during pregnancy — and, in fact, is even used in hippie-oriented fertility treatments. And yet, as with many herbal remedies, there hasn’t been much in the way of real, concrete, double-blind studies to determine that it has no effect on the fetus. So I’m a bit hesitant to start taking it now.

I’ve read that Benadryl is OK for pregnant women (this site says “Benadryl is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby,” and my mom says it’s fine), so I guess that’s what I’ll be taking, but I’m pretty sure it can also make you super drowsy. Any of you guys have advice?? The ragweed season has begun and I’m feeling like the odds are stacked against me. I did a nasal rinse last night and woke up this morning with nostrils chock-full of grossness.

P.S. On an unrelated note, I finally heard back from the organization that accepts donated cord blood and apparently I didn’t qualify as a candidate because I’d been to Kenya. Once. For less than a week, many years ago. Apparently some weird HIV strain that doesn’t show up on blood tests (??) is prevalent there, so that’s that. Kinda bummed, but on the up side, it means we don’t have to rush to cut the umbilical cord, hence a bit more oxygen for the babe.

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Un-birth planning, un-diaper bagging and loving that glucose!

7mthbump

Just to prove I don’t only wear white dress shirts and black yoga pants, here’s a photo of me at a friend’s wedding last week in Nova Scotia (yes, it’s taken in a bathroom).

A’ight, so first off, I’ve updated the Bump Pics page — technically, I’m 30 weeks but have just lied (to myself, to my baby, to the blogging world) and listed the pic as “28 weeks” because I like to keep things consistent. You may notice that while my belly is finally starting to grow and my bathroom is renovated, my frigging hair is determined to remain short. I thought pregnancy was supposed to make your hair all thick and luscious and whatever?! Ugh. Maybe I should just accept that ponytails are not in my near future.

Another note, before I get into all the ENTHRALLING updates about my uterine contents: I’ve been reading your blogs and trying to comment but stupid Open ID or WordPress will mess up 50% of the time, meaning my precious advice and witty remarks end up disappearing into an Internet black hole. So if you’re all, “What the eff, Yeah, Science!” know that I am, indeed, reading and attempting to comment (even if it’s telepathically).

Now, exciting news item #1: Someone I don’t know finally commented on my bump! It took nearly 7 months, but my god, it felt good — as soon as the waitress said, “How far along are you?”, I nearly jumped up and hugged her. Of course, it turned out that she is also expecting and therefore slightly more attuned to other women’s bellies, but I’ll take it. (OK, actually, I’m lying yet again — I did have one other person comment on my pregnancy about a month ago; it was a homeless guy in our local park who just pointed at me and yelled “PREGNANT!”… somewhat less endearing).

Exciting news item #2: I passed my glucose test! No idea what the results were, but it doesn’t really matter. And I must say, despite everyone’s warnings about the disgusting solution they make you guzzle, I kind of enjoyed it — the clinic keeps it extra-chilled and it tasted like a melty popsicle. Mmmm… glucose solution…

Exciting news item #3: Hubs and I just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We’ve been ridiculously faithful in adhering to the rules about what gifts to give one another — first anniversary is paper; second anniversary is cotton; etc. — and your third anniversary is apparently leather. While I considered giving him the obvious gift (butt-less leather chaps), I instead played it safe with a new bike seat and a man-candle that smells of leather and cardamom. He got me some fruit leathers (I told him not to get me anything because he outdid himself last year). And we also treated ourselves to … drumroll please … a diaper bag! Actually, it’s just a regular bag that we will stuff diapers into, but I’ve been eyeing it for a while now because it accomplishes two things most diaper bags do not: 1. It’s gender-neutral, so hubby won’t feel like he’s carrying a giant purse; and 2. It transforms from a tote bag into a backpack in about one second. It’s made by this Swiss company called Qwstion; here’s a pretty picture:

tote

Exciting news item #4: MY BOOBS MAKE LIQUID GOLD! I was sitting around the other day, picking at my nipples (as you do), pretty certain there was a tiny bit of weird yellow stuff lurking on ol’ lefty. Then I saw what appeared to be something wet on my finger. Then I did what any rational person does in this situation — I squeezed my boob, and watched in amazement as some gross snotty-looking stuff colostrum, aka LIQUID GOLD, came out. Huzzah! This can only bode well, right? Please tell me it bodes well.

Exciting news item #5: Obviously, we like to take the path less taken and avoid doing what everyone else does, even if they are being completely logical (see: excuse to buy a designer bag “diaper bag”), so we are doing something totally crazy when it comes to our birth plan. In fact, it’s so crazy that I’m a little hesitant to write about it here because I’m sure it’ll provoke horrible comments about me being a bad mother/pregnant lady. It’s a decision that I have yet to see another blogger ever make, so I understand it may be controversial, but here goes: We aren’t going to have a birth plan. (This is your time to holler profanities at the screen… I’ll just wait here for a sec.)

OK, so I know this sounds cavalier and makes it seem as if I don’t care about things like delayed cord-clamping and skin-to-skin contact and whether I want drugs or not and who’s allowed in the room with me and whatever else — that’s not true, I do care about these things. But having spoken with my OB this morning, it seems birth plans go according to plan maybe 1% of the time. Also, we’ll be at a hospital where it’s standard practice to put mother and baby’s health first, so stuff like skin-to-skin and delayed cord clamping are really a given unless something comes up that prevents this (like the baby needing resuscitation or if I start losing too much blood or whatever the case may be). Everything is explained to me at the time, so I won’t be given meds unnecessarily. To make a long story short, I trust my OB, I trust my hospital, and I am not one of those women who gets emotionally attached to labour — I want this kid out of me as quickly as possible without endangering either of us. I want to make decisions only when they need to be made, and I don’t want to try and anticipate every little thing that may or may not come up.

All right, let the criticism loose!