Find the differences…

On the left, me on the morning my son was born three years ago, at 39 weeks and 3 days gestation. On the right, me on August 18 of this year, at 38 weeks and 2 days gestation.

The background has changed, but not much else. I thought I was a lot bigger this time around, but the difference is not that huge after all.

Now if only the baby could come out so I can post my two babies side by side :-)

39 weeks and 3 days

I have reached this milestone in my pregnancy: that is how long I was pregnant with my son. Now I was really hoping this baby would be out faster than that, so I’m starting to think he/she is taking their sweet time. Is it that comfy inside that he doesn’t want to come out? Today we told our son that he should talk the baby into coming out already, so he’s been talking to my belly saying “Come out, baby!” It’s really cute, but still not working.

The big thing now is that Zak and our son have tickets to go see a really cool show on Saturday morning. We bought only two tickets thinking that chances were I wouldn’t be in any shape to go, whether because I’d be 40 weeks pregnant or because we’d have a newborn. But what would suck is if the baby decided to come that same day. Because then Zak couldn’t go, and I’m not sure if we would find someone to take our boy. It would be a lot of money wasted if we cannot go. But there’s still hope. There’s time for the baby to be born tonight or tomorrow. Or he can stay inside until Saturday afternoon. But I vote for tomorrow. I’m ready.

I don’t like you!

It had to come at some point, although I didn’t think it would be that early. I don’t even remember what I was scolding my son about, but we were coming back from outside and he was refusing to wash his hands and telling me I wasn’t nice and then it came:
- I don’t like you. And I don’t like Papa either.

Well, at least it’s fair and balanced. I didn’t take it too seriously. My ego is not shattered. But boy, I’m looking forward to him being just a tad older and more reasonable. It will come, right?

The Business of Being Born

I was recommended this movie and decided to rent it last night. It is an interesting look at maternity care in the United States by a producer and a filmmaker who do not hide their pro-midwife and pro-homebirth biases. Although some of the facts of maternity care in the US does make your blood curl, I also see some flaws in their arguments.

For instance, they compare the mother and infant death mortality in the US to that of Europe and Japan, where midwives attend %70 to %80 of births. What they don’t mention is that the US is also the only one of those countries not to have universal health care. So the fact that there is more complications could also be due to the fact that lots of women don’t get the pre- and post-natal care they should for lack of money or insurance.

But there is also convincing evidence that there are problems in the American system. The fact that some hospitals have a %45 cesarean section rates is rather alarming, as is the fact that almost no one manages to have a natural birth at the hospital there. Of course we have only one side of the story, but it does really seem like when labor drags on a bit too much, doctors are very quick to prescribe pitocin to speed up contractions, which usually leads a woman to need an epidural, which then tends to slow down labor, which requires more pitocin, which ends up putting the baby in distress and leading the mother down the path to a c-section. All that, according to them, because hospitals are businesses and doctors want to empty beds as fast as possible. It is telling that the c-section rates spike around 4 pm and 10 pm, when doctors want to go home.

I have to admit that watching that movie made us reconsider homebirth. I’m still not overly comfortable with the idea, and I am pretty confident that a midwife will be able to help me have a natural birth at the hospital. But although my first birth with my doctor was completely natural, Zak is right when he points out that it was a super fast birth once we got to the hospital, and nothing says I would have been allowed to have that kind of birth if I had been in labor for hours. I will talk about it with the midwife on Tuesday out of curiosity. If I wasn’t convinced I can have a natural birth at the hospital, I would definitely consider a homebirth. But for now, I’ll stick to my hospital plan.

If you’re curious: The Business of Being Born, $6.99 rental on the Website but $4.99 rental on iTunes.

Word of the day

We were watching the PNE parade tonight. First off came a bunch of police motorcycles doing what they do at the beginning of a parade. After several passes, the exhaust smell started to catch up with us as we were sitting right on the sidewalk. Plugging his nose, my son exclaimed: “I think the motorcycles need a bath!”

Aaaah!

Did you feel that weight on my shoulders lifting?

I am 38 1/2 weeks pregnant. On Tuesday, the baby dropped. Well, I don’t know if it actually dropped – as in, getting in position for labor – but I started feeling much more pressure much lower, and a lot more random aches and pains. Wednesday the midwife confirmed that the baby’s head was very low. So we need to be pretty much ready for the baby to come at any time. And we are more and more ready, but there was one thing that really bothered me: the name issue.

Ever since I got pregnant I have been saying that I really didn’t care if we had a girl or a boy. And really, I didn’t. Except for one thing. I knew that we had pretty names in reserve for a girl. We had no clue how to name a boy. The only name we had talked about was a name I could live with, but I was not excited about, and it’s a name that is not over-common here, but is extremely popular in Quebec – like, among the top 5 names for the past several years. So I wasn’t %100 happy with it.

Today we actually took some time to browse a baby book name, and we found another name. It’s quite common here, but only on the top 25, and it is rare in Quebec although everyone would know how to spell it when they hear it. I quite like that name. I won’t tell you what it is yet because it’s top secret. And besides, we haven’t actually made a decision – there are other names we also like. But I would be happy to name a child that. And that lifted a weight off my shoulders. Now I really don’t care if we have a boy or a girl. I just want to have him or her soon.

As of tomorrow, it will have been been two weeks since my son’s birthday. I was hoping for at least that much space in between the births, for their sake. But as of tomorrow, I’m ready. Bring it on!

On good food and friends

We just came back from some friends of ours. They invited us to an Indian dinner. They made dahl, chicken, rice and naan bread… We (well, mostly Zak) made samosas and Indian spiced donuts. It was the first time either of us made donuts, and we were amazed with how easy it turned out to be. They are also relatively healthy because they are made with whole-wheat flour and absorb very little oil. But most of all, they are amazingly yummy! I mean, the other foods were also very good, but the donuts! Wow!

It’s really great to have those friends around because not only are they very nice and interesting, they have a son that ours loves to play with and who has lots of cool toys. So while we adults were having a meaningful conversation downstairs, the kids were playing upstairs in the boy’s bedroom, interrupting us only once every few minutes instead of the usual every few seconds. And best of all: they live in our building. So when the kids get too tired, when we realize it’s late and we should put everyone to bed, we are only an elevator ride away from home.

For quite a while after we moved to Vancouver we didn’t have many friends. We would meet people and then they would move away. It was very frustrating. And to be fair, my best friend is still the one I have had since sixth grade and who lives at the other end of the country. But in the last few years, we have met lots of nice people around here, some in prenatal classes or some other ways linked to our son, and many in our building. It’s people that we can have dinner or tea or a beer with once in a while, people we can trade recipes with, people we can count on to water our plants when we go away or to borrow an egg from when we realize we’re short one in the middle of baking something. More than that: I know I could count on them to take care of my child in an emergency.

So as I am reflecting upon my day, I am thinking that it’s good to have friends again…