Skunk walks and other miscelleny

July 23, 2009. Thursday. Maybe. Jack is happy and healthy. And inside, the little bugger. D-minus six days to due date.

Today was a lovely day, if not restful. Have I had a truly restful day since going on maternity leave? Maybe two? But I have gotten a heck of a lot done. We went to a midwife appointment at 10:00 am… too bad it was actually for 2:30pm today. Oh well. Steve and I wandered down to Chinatown and took advantage of our annual Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden passes to admire the blooming lily pads and calico carp and drink many tiny paper cups of green tea. It was very relaxing. I would like keep the image of the blooming lotus in mind during labour… we’ll see how that goes.

A quick trip around Home Depot later plus one large fight with a local furniture store (they did not make what I wanted and they took their sweet time about it, but it appears I won the battle) later, Steve’s parents met us at our house in time to put up the last shelf in Jack’s room which, BTW, looks freaking awesome, especially with the cow hide on the floor. They also put together the (organic cotton) bouncy chair which made me a tiny but more relaxed.

We then hit up the new downtown Costco where, among other things, I bought a Costco-sized multi-pack of wet wipes. Now I REALLY feel prepared 🙂 Andie came by after all that and refolded Jack’s clothes in the change table/dresser she refinished for us. She used to work for Gap, so the girl sure knows how to fold a onesie. We packed a few outfits in the diaper bag along with one of the receiving blankets Gayle made and now Jack is packed. Steve and I just need to get our crap together and we’ll be all ready for labour… well, as much as you can be ready for labour, anyway.

Somewhere in there I made it to the midwife appointment where I saw Grace, who I like a great deal. Well, I like all the midwives, but I like the Kootenay connection with Grace especially. She poked Jack a bunch and reassured me that he was actually probably not huge, but I have lots of amniotic fluid. Whew!

I had previously been told by the midwife student from Iran (cool, huh?) that I was having a “big boy.” I said that was fine, so long as he was tall and thin. The student looked at me and said in a deadpan tone, “he’s not thin.” Did I mention whew? Yeah.

Anyway, Grace is a tiny bit concerned over where the heartbeat was found, in that they’ve had a run on breach and semi-breach babies this July, and his heart location indicates a slight chance that he has moved to be head up… which would suck. She figures it’s a 10% chance of breach since she thought she could still feel his head lower down in the pelvis. In any case, I have a quick ultrasound tomorrow to check his position and then we’ll know for sure. Grace also reassured me that some women just aren’t waddlers, and my lack of duck-walk does not indicate that I’m miles away from giving birth. Not that I’m anxious or anything…

We finally took the dog for her evening walk just after nine. Initially my back was quite sore, so we took the flat walk along 5th, or at least until I saw a small black-and-white striped creature stomping across a lawn in our direction — skunk! We backtracked pretty rapidly (especially for a pregnant woman) and decided to go up and around the block instead. Steve hesitated as he thought that we’d be heading right past where we last saw the skunk, but I told him that the skunk was in the bushes on the other side of the street from where we could walk. No problem, right?

Yeah, right until we almost literally ran into skunk #2 around the end of the block. Fortunately Angel was on leash at that point, since she seemed mighty interested in investigating the little black ‘kitty’. We tried to get ahead of the skunk in order to walk down the street without running up behind him and getting sprayed, but that little guy could move! After a few tense moments (being within ten feet of an urban skunk makes me nervous), we passed the little stinker and hustled up the sidewalk to home.

That makes two skunks and a coyote that we/Steve have seen in our neighbourhood so far this week. We like the urban wildlife, so this is a good thing. During the full moon in June, when we had just moved in, I heard coyotes laughing and howling down on the empty lots near the train yard. It seemed auspicious. So far the portents have proven true — we love our neighbourhood, and can’t wait to bring our baby home. I’m looking forward to sitting in the comfy chair in Jack’s sunroom during full moon nights and listening to coyotes, and to having dusk walks where we run away from skunks with our stroller, and watching sunsets where we can stand on the north balcony and see the crows swoop right past our home on their way to their mysterious crow moot over in Burnaby.

So come soon, ‘k? We’re waiting for you.

Week two? three? Wow, do Saturdays ever fly by…

July 22, 2009. We have a Leo. I turned 39 weeks on Tuesday, and still no Jack in sight. I’m not even sure he’ll be here by his due date, if the distinct lack of waddling on my part is any indication. Sucky. Maybe the midwife can give me a hint tomorrow.

I really can’t complain, but I will anyway. I have had a ridiculously easy pregnancy so far — no morning sickness a cupcake couldn’t shift, no frightening weight gain, and very little of that terrible malaise some pregnant women seem to feel after about week 32. You know the kind — the GET IT OUT women — I have not been one of those. Until Monday, when all of a sudden I realized I was a little bored of being pregnant. Not sick, not cankle’d (or worse yet, thigh-kled), not crampy, discharge-y or any other nasty thing. Just bored. Bored of taking two or more minutes to get off the couch, bored of not being able to pick stuff off the floor, bored of my limited wardrobe.

The time has come to meet this baby, so come on out any time now, ‘k Jack? Please?

Today I took advantage of my last few baby-free days to go to SFU and hand in the paperwork necessary to maybe, possibly, potentially graduate in October. What a trip that would be! It took what, eight years? but I finally completed my BA course requirements in April. Mind you, had I known exactly how difficult it would be to take full-time courses, work full time AND grow a baby, I might have made a different decision back in November when registering in three courses seemed like a peachy-keen idea. The perspective is different on the other side of two pink lines, I assure you. That said, it was hard, but not quite too hard, as I managed to complete all three courses AND nailed the first A+ of my university career.

See, I told you I can’t complain.

Jack’s room is almost done. One more shelf to put up, and the art, and a portable package of baby wipes for my (new, shiny red Columbia TM) diaper bag! Oh, and I need to pack him some outfits to come home in, plus mine and Steve’s hospital bag, and THEN he can come. Please?

I’m ready to meet my little man. I’m ready to see Steve become the amazing father he is going to be. I’m ready to see Angel wag her heart out when we finally bring home her very own baby to love.

I am damn ready to drink that glass of wine in early labour.

So, please come soon. Please?

First week of Saturdays

July 14, 2009. I think it’s a Tuesday. Baby Jack (John Ryan Quattrocchi) has been reassuringly active and I feel great, as usual. D-minus 15 days until due date.

So. Last Monday was my last day of work, as I started Maternity Leave a few weeks earlier than expected. I commented to my husband, Steve, that it felt like the first Friday of an entire year of Saturdays. Since then, he has nagged me unmercifully to spend some of my pre-baby time blogging my ‘holiday’ experience. So fine — I will. I’m not entirely sure this will end up being a holiday. All things considered, no sleep and being at the complete beck and call of an eight pound, hungry, non-verbal tyrant doesn’t seem very restful, but I sure am enjoying this first, feet-up part of my year off.

I am deeply grateful to live in Canada, where, with maternity and parental benefits together, I can be off work for 365 days in order to give our son the best start in life. I’m also grateful to Steve for letting me take the full year, instead of splitting the parental leave up between us (though he works part time, so he’ll be at home with us lots of time with us anyway).

In any case, the laptop is getting sleepy, and I should probably not laze about on the couch ALL day, so this will be a short first post. I’m off to look for a diaper bag as I’ve been told babies poop a lot and I’ll need one of those.