I am just about ready to POP!

pregnant-cartoon-image 3.5 more weeks and counting. To be honest, I am so heavy and so uncomfortable, I am just about ready to let loose and push with or without contractions. There are nights where I think I am going into early labour then there are times when I know I am just wishfully thinking.

The last month is the most painful. It feels like forever ago that I shared my secret joy of another human being harvested in my belly with my spouse and wondered days and nights if my daughter who is only two will accept the fact that a sibling will share the spotlight. It feels like an eon ago when I anticipated the arrival of my first-born and now two years later, I am anticipating the arrival of my second.

We didn’t find out the gender. We just pray that it is healthy. I pray that it comes out. Soon.

Anyway, I think that much of the anticipation this time is centred on how will the baby look because quite honestly the first one looked just like my husband. I am hoping this one takes some of my dark hair and features but you know what – who cares…. as long as it comes OUT soon, I don’t care what it looks like really.

The other day I pushed myself off the bed to get up and go to the washroom and actually felt the baby shifting in my belly as if it is swimming from one side of the belly to the other. Just like people on the Titanic when the boat was sinking and they were clinging to dear life on one side of the ship. It was a comical visual until the baby kicked me so hard I had to do a super wobble to the washroom in order to avoid making a mess. Yes, I feel like the Titanic in size and stature.

I feel slow. I forget things. I am not really focussed. I fall asleep sporadically and at random times. I lost my toes. I think my nose is inflating to the point that I can’t see past it when I look down at my enormous tatas. I am uncomfortable sitting. I am uncomfortable standing. I am uncomfortable lying down. I am moody and sad. What did you just say? I am fine. I am happy, see? I am heartburning-stomachurning-forwardleaning-backpaining ALL THE TIME and worst of all, as aforementioned, I STILL HAVE 3.5 WEEKS LEFT….

I am also getting some wicked cravings. Root Beer floats, pistachios, Feta cheese, watermelon and that was just last night. Today it was Pizza Hut, garlic shrimp and Skittles (preferably together). Last week, no word of a lie, I was craving Cream Soda, blue cheese and red velvet cake. I am sick…help me!

I wake up in the morning thinking about food. I drive to work and think about going home and napping. I nap thinking about eating and eat thinking about napping – how am I supposed to have time to DO ANYTHING ELSE??

My poor husband must think I am nuts sometimes. He is so patient and kind but even I, looking from the outside in, think to myself “Who is this witch and why is she so mean all the time? What is her issue?”

I will tell me what my issue is… I am ripe.

Cooked.

Done.

I am ready for this baby to be picked, plucked, groomed and passed into my loving arms.

I want this wait and unnecessary painful stage to end. In a good way. I am praying that soon my body will catch up with my brain and say enough is enough, I am just too little to handle all this weight and all this action.

My fetus is practicing black belt karate in there. I swear there are nights where I think there is some sort of soccer game going on in the depths of my belly. Whatever it is, I know that it better be an athlete or dancer after all that action!

I think this is enough complaining for now but I do have one thing to say- if you approach me to tell me that you think I am adorable because I am huge- save the comment to yourself and “No” you cannot touch my belly and yes I am almost there and no we don’t know the gender and yes this is my second and of course we are excited and no- YOU ARE NOT JEALOUS because you have a sleek glass of wine in your right elegant hand which I would gladly guzzle down if I wasn’t carrying precious cargo. Got it?

I hope I will be able to blog again before Jellybean is born but if I don’t because it decides to come early then… HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY…

Keep me in your thoughts.

SMartignani

Third Trimester ain’t so sexy!

mama and j Listen, it is so nice that pregnant women are glorified in the media and some celebrities do look a lot better with some actual fat on their bony bodies but let me tell ya – the average woman don’t look too sexy in the final months. What’s worse, she really doesn’t feel sexy either, AT ALL!

Here is what I mean.

First Trimester, I was like OH WOW, I am having a baby. So cool. Let me try my maternity clothes on and wear a cushion where the bump will be. Can people tell just by my glowing skin and shining mane? I feel so good, so energetic, so beautiful. Uh oh, do you think my mother can tell? I am not telling anyone until the third month. No way, no how. Ok, maybe just my mommy and daddy like c’mon they need to know. Oh, I slipped and told a few very very  close friends and co-workers. But that is it! No way, no how.  Ummmm, did I just tell that lady who is a complete stranger on the elevator? Why? Why did I do that? She doesn’t even know me? I am losing my mind- seriously- chill woman, you don’t even look pregnant! People will think you are making it up!

Second Trimester, oh yeah. Have you seen this little bump I am rocking in my tight tank top and “slimming-maternity” (oxymoron) pants?! That is right! The cat is out of the bag. The belly is out of the shirt too- I am officially preggo. I know. I look better than last time. It must be a boy/girl. Whatever. The energy is still somewhat there, I have my good days and my bad days (what is up with all these random zits?) Anyhow, I will not fret. I have an excuse not to have flawless skin anymore, besides, I am too busy drowning in people’s adoration/congratulations, I am sure they don’t notice the humungous whitehead on the top of my right cheek – right? Right! No one would say anything anyway because I can now cry about EVERYTHING. Say something, anything and that opens the floodgates. It’s like my tear ducts lost all control and are eternally open and ready. I cry when I am happy, sad, frustrated and even when I am hungry. This is insane, let’s go back and focus on the belly. That’s a nice belly 🙂 ooooh, are those little flutters I feel- yay, the baby is kicking!

Third Trimester. I have a headache. You are wearing too much perfume. The baby is karate-kicking me while I am mid-sentence and I am too tired to get up and eat. That doesn’t stop me of course but boy can’t I just catch a break. My bump isn’t cute anymore- it is HUGE. Stretch marks are indicating the paths to the various parts of my body like a little roadmap. I think it is a message but I can’t read it. I am a little gassy, I won’t lie and to be really, brutally honest (as if I haven’t been already), I think there is more facial hair growing in place of the hairs I wax almost instantly. I know that this is due to hormonal changes in my body but seriously, I have a five o’clock shadow at 10 am! (I am exaggerating a little but not by much) – I am forgetting things. My largest pants are too tight after I eat. I pee a little when I laugh. My legs are achy and my ankles are slowly disappearing. I have lost count of the sheer number of times I have to go pee at night and then trying to go back to sleep afterwards. My husband is so patient and so understanding and I am so not in the mood for anything. My waking thought revolves around what I will eat next and when my next nap or sleep will be. My belly is getting too heavy and my skin is itchy. I can’t sit comfortable anymore and I feel like I am suffocating when I lie down.

I want this baby out now.

I am done.

So yeah. Third trimester- ain’t so sexy sister.

 

Smartignani

 

Mother’s Day 2013

IMG_9299It is only appropriate since I have a mommy blog that I write something- no matter how brief about this momentous day in honour of women everywhere that are true mothers.

What? What are TRUE mothers you ask?

A mother is not someone who just delivered a baby or nursed him, a mother is much more than that. I know people who are closer to their step-mothers beyond any connection they have with their biological one. So here is my description of a true mother:

a) her heart flutters at the thought of harm to her child

b) her heart breaks with every tear her child cries

c) her mind wanders to the smallest expressions her child made that day or that week

d) her soul soars at the sound of her child’s laughter

e) her energy is directed towards making her child better, smarter and more successful than she ever dreamed to be

f) her dreams are focussed on the sole purpose of meeting her child’s need

g) her career, her ambition, her leisure comes second to her child’s needs

h) her heart sees the beauty radiating from her child no matter what he looks like or how old he is

i) her devotion is eternal, her love is unconditional and her desire to see her child happy is an obsession

 

So whether you are a mom by blood, or by adoption or a godmother or a step-mother of a mother-in-law or an inspiring woman to someone who sees you as a mom, if you feel the things I listed above- then I commend you and I know that you are making a difference in the world by your mere existence.

 

Thank you for being our example and mentor, our life-line and inspiration. God bless you mom and on this day I hope you got spoiled and recognized for everything you are and everything you do and everything you feel.

Happy Mother’s Day all!

Until next time,

SMartignani

Here we go again!

IMG_9611I don’t know if it’s the right time for her, for me, for us. I don’t know if she will end up loving the privilege of being a big sister or if she will end up sitting on the baby because it is crying too loudly. She loves her stuffed toys but she also has a tendency to sit on them and squeeze them and throw them down the stairs!

I am feeling blessed to be having another but the fear accompanying the first pregnancy is gripping me again. Oftentimes, people assume that the second pregnancy is easier than the first but the same laundry list of things that can go wrong is still there and I am afraid to have complications again this pregnancy.

Last time I had high blood pressure and a host of other problems. My baby was born small and I had to see her in the NICU for about 5 days before I can bring her home. I am trying my best this time to avoid making the same mistakes including getting a new OB/GYN instead of the old one. I am also eating healthier, taking the stairs and just focussed on my little toddler who needs a lot of love, attention and energy. I am staying positive and I just know that it will be better this time but not easier.

Here is a common fear that is apparently common but not common knowledge. When women have a C-section then they get pregnant again, all the baby weight and bulging belly sit on the existing scar which irritates it and makes it hurt. I would have never known this if the lady at Quizno’s had not shared her story with me. This is why it is important to talk to other moms and this is why I write my blog. Moms around the world need to connect and share with each other the good, the bad and the ugly. This was valuable information for me. She went on to advise me of two ways to deal with the pain; one, buy the back straps that wrap around your belly to take some weight off your lower body and two, buy a huge yoga ball and sit on it instead of a regular chair to spread the weight around while you are working or just relaxing at home. This also stretches your muscles and keeps you relaxed. I will take advice wherever I can get it from whoever wants to give it to me and I will share advice with whoever wants it as well.

Before I sign off, here are some valuable lessons for new and second time mommies like me:

1) Do NOT give in to the guilt trips that others may give you – you do NOT have to nurse if you can’t, you do NOT need to apologize for a screaming baby who is hungry, you do NOT have to apologize for needing some time alone or with your girlfriends, you are NOT a bad mother if you ask the grandparents to babysit while you take a nap/shower/straighten your hair or do your nails.

2) Do follow your maternal instincts: People will tell you that your baby is hungry, or tired, or sick, or fat, or skinny, too red, too pale… listen to your heart. If you feel like there is nothing wrong then you are most likely right! God gave mothers (and dads) the “instincts” necessary to care for their children without previous knowledge, education or others’ advice. You will get to know your baby and recognize their screams, eventually. Until you do, try everything when they cry- feed them, change them, rub them (they might be itchy), or give them Tempra if the crying continues (they may have a headache). Above all, remember- YOU ARE THE PARENT… you DO know best!

3) DO remember this: Sometimes babies cry because they just want to cry, sometimes you will cry because you are frustrated, sometimes you will fight because you disagree and your nerves are frayed, sometimes you will think of the desire to disappear and take a break, sometimes you will sleep four hours and get up frantically thinking your baby must surely have stopped breathing only to realize that they are just deep asleep and you should be too. Sometimes, you will make mistakes or not understand why or when your baby got a rash. Sometimes you don’t have to follow the rules or the doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes you will just need to complain to another mom about how the lack of sleep is killing your appetite or how you cannot manage to lose one pound of the baby weight you gained. In the end, DO NOT FORGET one thing- enjoy your baby and coo over their little hands and feet. Kiss them when they are asleep and get your fill of their scent and feel because before you know it they are almost 21 months old and are little miss independent who doesn’t want me to carry her or hold her or… sorry, tangent.

4) As they grow: It does NOT matter when your baby starts to roll over, or crawl, or walk, or talk or potty train or stop with the pacifier or stop the bottle. It only matters that they are healthy- EVERYTHING WILL HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN TIME. Please do not compare them to children their age, you will drive yourself crazy and maybe drive them crazy too!

5) DO NOT give up: on teaching your baby the alphabet, numbers, a second language, manners, songs, affection, about God or angels, who their family are and what important people do in the world. Don’t give up being a good wife/husband, taking care of yourself, trying to lose the baby weight, dying your gray hair or dressing well. DO not give up on visiting with friends or your volunteer activities. Your children will learn tenacity and perseverance only as you live them.

And that is all the humble advice I can give tonight. Maybe in my next blog, I will go on to explain how this pregnancy is so different than my first and the epic debate my husband and I are having about whether or not to find out the gender of our baby. That is all I am going to say about that for now!

Until next time,

SMartignani

One year Birthday Party- Dream AND Disaster!

 

Picture this:

About 45 people standing/sitting/slouching/leaning around three rooms including the kitchen. The buzz of conversation is so loud and it echoes off my hardwood floors. Half the side is Italian and the other half/third is Egyptian with a sprinkle of French, Canadian and Other. The matriarchs and my father-in-law have ceased the oven and are avidly heating beautifully prepared dishes. There is Cannelloni alongside the Goulash and cake alongside the Baklava. The crowd is friendly and all the while, the object and reason for their gathering is skillfully crawling between their unsuspecting limbs. My baby might only be turning one but this fete reviled the Film Festival in both fun and decor. With a theme like Dr. Seuss, really, how can you go wrong?

There were decals on the walls and cool looking balloons floating around. There was delicious fare (as mentioned earlier) and a Keurig that boasted an array of flavoured coffees and teas. This was a time to be jovial, a time to sing, a time for me to record all with my camera so I can prove my superior capacity as an attentive and wonderful parent!

That party was supposed to be over at 4 pm (started at noon) so that my next party for friends and their children can start at 5 pm. However, the last person from party one left at 5 pm and the first couple from party two arrived promptly at 5 pm. Thank goodness, upon the insistence of my all-knowing and always-right mother, we had cleared the remains of the earlier feast and set the table for the next party with a host of new appetizers, re-heated home-made platters and succulent finger-foods. We were ready to receive our new batch of guests.

My baby had decided to abandon ship at 1:30 and didn’t wake again until 3:00 which helped because I needed to attend to the unending stream of questions, requests and concerns as I tried to serve out my sentence, ahem, I mean act as a gracious hostess!

At 5, I decided it was time to feed my daughter linner (lunch and dinner together) because she needed to eat apparently and I may have forgotten to feed her in the crazy frenzy. She was happy and content with the lull and quiet for 15 minutes until more friends arrived with their offspring. The sheer number of kids ranging from the age of 0 (less than a year old) to nine years of age had me wishing for the earlier party with the boisterous and loving Italian/Egyptian family members.

There were screeches, yelps, whining, crying, screaming, yelling, banging and some other unidentifiable, somewhat inhuman sounds coming out of the playroom. My friends are amazing and I love them and they were always watching out for their kids but boy, it was more than evident that I NEEDED to get carpets installed to block some of the reverberating sounds. Conversations were also loudly held but everyone seemed to be having a great time. There was enough food, change tables, diapers, Band-Aids, cupcakes and toys for everyone to enjoy. Gone were the days where I needed to only worry about set-up then I can have a glass of wine or a cocktail. I realized I needed to be constantly on my toes because of the number of crawling babies in the area. So literally, on my toes.

The last small group of friends left at 10:30 and my baby was still up because God forbids she misses ANY of the action! We said our goodbyes and once the house was empty, I gave her a bottle and I am not kidding when I tell you she was asleep as soon as she began sucking on the latex nipple. She was gone within seconds and I don’t mean lightly dozing, I mean- SNAP- gone! Deep asleep, snoring- gone. It was actually quite funny to watch.

It took the hubby and me two hours to clean the house and then it was time for bed at 12:30 am. It was an exhausting and exhilarating experience but would I ever do it again?

Absolutely. Not. Never. Ever.

That’s what Chuck ‘E’ Cheeses and grandparents are for.

Enough said.

Smartignani

Stop the madness!

I blinked and before you know it my little baby is turning ONE! What?! Whoa!

And…and…and…I am back to work full-time while she gets dropped off by daddy to daycare- I know right. INSANE!

We also took off for 11 days to Europe and left here with family (see earlier blog for context). How was it you ask? AWFUL!

Ok. I really loved being with my hubby and I love Europe but the constant feeling of melancholy and sadness stemming from missing her was unbearable. Half way through the cruise I felt a sudden and strange urge to abandon ship and swim across the Mediterranean to the sandy, polluted shores of Lake Ontario just to see and hold my baby girl. It was INSANE how much I missed her. I missed her scent, her voice, her expressions, her movements, her eyes, her smile, her drool, her farts and even poopy diapers. I missed it all. I kept texting home to see if she learned to walk or talk or giggle or stand unassisted. I was like a mad woman and it must have seemed to my family as if I don’t trust them but in truth, I was just feeling God awful for leaving. So how was my trip? How about you answer that!

I got back and I imagined a reunion with Chariot of fire playing in the background, slow mo running towards each other (well she crawls, I run) and she is finally saying “mama” and meaning me (she calls everything mama some days). Reality: She was napping. I waited by her crib. She opened her eyes. Smiled and tried to go back to sleep. I carried her out of the crib and kissed her until she started screaming. My husband gave her hugs and kisses as well. We go downstairs and I could swear she crawled from me to him and back almost 50 times. Laughing each way. It was better than I imagined. Magical. Almost made me want to leave her again just to relive it- almost but not quite!

Back to the madness happening right now. She still only has two teeth. It’s almost like she just got lazy and decided two were enough. She speed crawls as if she’s in an Olympic event except my daughter likes to produce extremely unfeminine grunting noises as she moves. So attractive. She also says uh-oh like it’s nobody’s business. She drops something “Uh-oh”, she is about to drop something “uh-oh”, she loses a toy “uh-oh”, she looks at her daddy’s laptop and “uh-oh”. The other day she fell over as she was trying to stand and… you guessed it- “Uh-oh”. So cute! I love it.

I am missing out on her development because I went back to work and I hate it. My husband wakes up in the morning and feeds her breakfast then takes her to daycare. He wrote me an e-mail telling me that she learned to no uh-uh (no) through pursed lips when he tried to feed her an unfavourable cereal. That made me laugh and cry. I laughed because I could just see her trying to push daddy’s buttons and I cried because I wasn’t there taking 15 million photos and a video as well. I know that going back to work was a necessary decision and that most likely I will try for another child and go on mat leave again but this sucks.

High points: I enjoy waking up in the morning and wearing my grown-up clothes with real accessories and dangly earrings and everything! I even wear perfume and heels! Dude…how cool is that?

Low point: I really envy the daycare provider for Julia because she gets to do the full-time job I desperately vie for!

So the verdict: live another day ad enjoy the remaining hours of the day with my baby girl after I pick her up from daycare. Two points here: one, I LOVE the smile on her face when she sees me and two, she makes it so much fun to leave work because I really look forward to picking her up.

I love my co-workers and they have been so sweet and caring. They each sense my struggle to be back at work. They ask if I am ok and they ask me about Julia. It’s like I’m a recovering addict and they’re trying to support me in quitting the habit. I guess in a way I am addicted to her. I am just glad that she is content and well-cared for while I contribute to society!

Next blog– a one year old’s birthday party (dream or disaster) STAY TUNED!

By the way, Nice in France- GORGEOUS! I really hope we go there again one day to vacation and not just as a port of call!

Good night,

SMartignani

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