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

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

Merry Christmas

ImageHard to believe that this was us last Christmas. Now she is 17 months old and getting taller, louder and more temperamental by the day. I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for reading my blog and I also wish you a Merry Christmas.

I understand that “Happy Holidays” is a more politically correct statement but I believe that Christmas is a Christian holiday and we are celebrating the birth of a very important little person who grew up and died for our sin. We do not wish our Jewish friends “Happy Holidays” when its Hanukkah and we certainly don’t wish our Muslim friends “Happy Holidays” when it is their Eid el-Fitr. It is what it is. I know that in the States, they have decided to literally cross out the word Christ from Christmas (Xmas) in order to ensure the consistent growth of mass consumerism and optimize capitalistic gain from the sales of the most inane and unnecessary objects for gifts from “Santa”. However, even Santa is based on the life of St. Nicholas who is in fact a Christian saint that decided to bring needy and poor children gifts on Christmas Eve. So when we decide to celebrate a Christian holiday we should give it the respect and honour we give other religious feasts.

I am not offended when my neighbour wishes me a Happy Hanukkah because he has a right to celebrate his feasts and I have the privilege of honouring that by wishing him a Happy Hanukkah in turn. It does not mean my instantaneous and irreversible conversion to Judaism, it just means that I respect the reason for his celebration and respect his values. All I ask, as a Christian on Christmas, is the same respect.

I know for a fact that a lot of my colleagues who are not Christian still celebrate Christmas for its festive and loving underlying message. I also know so many who celebrate it properly. How you ask? Great question.

Christmas is not about how much we receive under the tree, it is about how much positive change we can bring around to the world we live in and for those who need all the help they can get. The true spirit of Christmas demands a “giving” of oneself to service and to charity. So instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money on gifts that will be discarded within the months, save a little through the year and buy a cow or a goat for a family in need (http://www.oxfamunwrapped.ca/) or sponsor a child in need (http://www.worldvision.ca/Pages/welcome.aspx) or save children from the heinous acts of sexual slavery and trafficking (http://www.traffickingproject.org/p/mission.html). If none of these options appeal to you, then maybe you can search the closest women’s shelter or food bank and volunteer there for Christmas Eve. They are always looking for people to come and serve the lonely, homeless, hopelessly addicted, mentally ill and abused men, women and teens who are strewn on the streets of your very city.

True Christmas is about the joy you receive by gifting your time and love to others. It is truly a time to raise your children to believe that it is not what we receive but what we give that matters. So I encourage you to buy one cool gift that they always wanted but get them to shop and choose a gift for a child in need. Get them to come with you and hand it out themselves so they can experience the true joy of giving, the true joy of Christmas.

Before I end this blog, there is one thing I would like us all to pray for whether we believe in God or not- Sandy Hook Elementary School parents. I am compiling these blog posts and one day my baby girl will read them (hopefully) and become aware of these events as they occurred. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, more horrendous than burying a child but burying a child who has been shot multiple times by a sick man with an assault rifle is a fate I do not wish on my worst enemy. The murdered was a mentally ill man who ‘lost’ it and shot 20 children. Twenty angels found their way to heaven that day and all I can think about are the parents. Since this blog is dedicated to parenting, I wish to say one thing- END THE ERA OF GUNS and ESTABLISH A WORLDWIDE BAN ON GUNS. Even when soldiers used knives and muskets, there were fewer fatalities among our troops. Everyone out there shooting or being shot is a son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister. When will it end? Let’s end it now!

 If you are doing nothing about it- do something. Personally, in reaction to this incident, I tweeted the president almost 50 times so far. I try for 10 tweets a day. It’s really not that much but it is something. I can’t count the amount of times that I shed tears as a result of this horrible travesty and all the other times that children (innocent, guileless and completely undeserving victims) are shot or abused. Funny enough, the day of this mass catastrophe, a friend told me that something similar happened in China but the perpetrator was using a knife instead of a gun- there was only one fatality and everyone else survived the madness.

I am sorry to end my blog on such a sombre note but my blogs reflect my feelings and I tell you what, this year my feelings of dread for my daughter growing up in such a cold, hurt, ill world that has decided to trade its soul for wealth and trade in its humanism for consumerism makes me wake up in cold sweats.

Let’s change that. It starts with me. It starts with you.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Mother Teresa

Thank you and God bless you and your family this season and every day. May you always be granted health, wealth and wisdom.

SMartignani

 

 

Be Still…

I find myself distanced from old friends, parties, gatherings and events. I don’t know why. I can’t explain my need to just be home and spend time with my family. I can’t fathom why I am tired all the time and why I’m always up for a long nap when I can get one.

My life is undoubtedly busy. I work full-time; own a business and I volunteer at my church. I am an avid reader, writer and I will start attending a kickboxing class soon to stay in shape and be healthy. Between all those commitments and activities, I find myself lost in a sea of ‘chaotic’ and ‘endless’ activities. When do people have time to be good to themselves, good to their spouses, good to their children AND good friends? Am I missing a portion of the formula? Where can I find the answer to this conundrum?

I am truly blessed with family and friends. But lately, I feel like I just want to be alone. I am not sure why. I just want to play with my baby girl, spend time with my husband then go to bed. If you knew me before I became a mom, I was a social butterfly. I thrived on being around people and my life consisted of the next party/gathering/event. I fed off others’ energy and I made a point of attending each and every event I was invited to because I didn’t want to ‘miss’ anything! I actually enjoyed making my rounds and making sure that I am one who will never be forgotten. Now though…not so much.

I would actually prefer to melt into the background and just observe what is going on around me. I still enjoy being around people so you can scratch depression off the list; I just don’t feel as engaged in everything. I just returned from a 5 day business trip away from my family and I all I wanted to do was get on the playroom floor with my daughter and see her smile at me as she shows me all her new moves and all the things she’d learned in the past week! I am glad to be back but October seems already packed with events to attend.

Between Thanksgiving, my mom’s birthday, three friend’s birthdays, my own birthday, my wedding anniversary, and Halloween; I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. We have commitments everywhere and all the time and I suddenly feel a little pressed for time and a lot empty on energy. It is also a challenge to find someone who can watch our baby girl. We don’t want to put the grandma’s out and use them left, right and centre. They do have their own life too. So it is definitely getting tricky! I need to navigate carefully because I care about all the people and all the events that result in our invitations but I also need to balance my life because I feel like it is spinning out of control.

I am not sure if it is the time of year or the ever growing need for my attention from my baby girl, but I think I need a break of some sort. I am not certain about all the changes taking place in our lives and I feel a little unstable. However, leaves are changing colours and falling to the ground to make way for snow and frost on the tree branches. With every season comes the constant need to ‘fall’ and ‘renew’. With my family by my side, I am always ready for change but sometimes I wish that everything can just pause for a while so I can just enjoy the stillness…

Smartignani

Is she walking yet…?

Is she walking yet…?.

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