the codeine conundrum.

the codeine conundrum.

Painkillers
Mother’s little helper ain’t what it used to be.

Any relief I get from taking codeine and morphine is superseded by the guilt about the real or perceived damage I’m inflicting on my little one.

But I’m simply in too much pain to function, think, or even breathe. The halfway mark is approaching, and I don’t want to spend the next 20 weeks on narcotics. For the most part I try to hold off for as long as possible before I pop a pill, but I’m this ( – ) close to admitting myself back into hospital so I can get a dose of morphine to lower the volume on the pain from nerve-jangling throbbing to something a little less crazy-making.

When I’m playing superwoman (and opting out of downing a tab), my coping methods involve Lamaze-inspired breathing techniques and pacing. These don’t lessen the pain by any means, but they certainly distract.

There’s also the worry about the prolonged damage to my liver. Dr. Freedman assures me that it would take more than the occasional Tylenol 3 to ruin me, but it’s still a concern. No matter how beneficial these drugs are in the short term, the long-term implications weigh on my mind.

bucking superstition.

bucking superstition.

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Praying to St. Joseph, patron saint of pregnant ladies.

Even though I’ve made a point to blog fairly regularly about my pregnancy, IRL I’ve been fairly low-key about it, keeping it mostly mum among even my friends and off social media. That’s because I’m wildly superstitious.

In my first trimester, I refused to linger in the childrens’ aisles of clothing stores, never giving more than a passing glance to the adorably shrunken versions of adult items – hoodies, pea coats, cargo pants for boys, or leggings, tunics and blazers for girls. As if just gazing upon these items would trigger a miscarriage or some kind of uterine mishap. At that time, I didn’t even know whether Peanut was a he or a she, so it didn’t make much sense to purchase as much as a onesie in a gender-neutral green, grey or yellow.

I just figured it was bad luck to buy something so early in the pregnancy, when it’s been proved, time and time again, that anything can go wrong in the early days. Better to just wait until I got the all-clear, no?

And even then, there’s no real guarantee that I/we were “safe”… Read more

OT: one unhappy camper.

OT: one unhappy camper.

I went to visit the boy after surgery #2 this afternoon, and boy, what a difference from yesterday.

I picked the evening shift, as his mother had made him some soup and other comfort-food yummies. Upon delivering them, I was greeted by a grumpy, slightly bleary-eyed version of my beloved. I soon learned that while the second surgery was also a success, the pain of the first was starting to set in, coupled with the fresh discomfort of the second.

He was completely on edge today. And I tried not to let his surliness get to me, but when he’s miserable, he can be a downright mean and ornery SOB. I had to take a moment at one point to have a little cry in the bathroom (again, hormones. The un-pregnant me would have sucked my teeth and cussed him out, surgery or no).

The patient rooms bunk in twos, and he’d gotten a new roommate – a brown, Muslim guy from Trinidad whose name escapes me at the moment (meh. For story’s sake, I’ll call him Jamal). He was talkative and lively, in the way I find most Trinis to be, and I was thankful for his presence. Jamal had apparently come in the night before, and the boy had told him all about me and my Bajan background. Having him there today forced the boy to be social, and we spent the rest of the evening exchanging funny stories and bonding over our West Indian commonalities.

Still, I was relieved when 9 o’clock rolled around and visiting hours were over. It’s been an emotional week, and even though he’s in pain, I know the boy will be okay. He walked me to my car, and sent me off with a kiss and an apology for being so surly. He’s got one more full day in the hospital, and then he can come home to convalesce.

Thank God. He’ll be a LOT happier there. And then his mother can dote on him for a bit. I’m not cut out for this.

Grumpy-Cat-79r
Srsly? The boy makes Grumpy Cat look positively sunny.

TMI tuesdays: process of elimination.

TMI tuesdays: process of elimination.

One of the things that no one tells you about pregnancy is that you’re either constantly leaking fluid, or you’re bunged up.

Those who are/have been pregnant know what kinds of leaking can happen, but this is completely new and unexpected to me. Generally a sneeze/cough/laugh (or even trying to pass gas, for heaven’s sake – more on that in a second) elicits a bit o’pee. The pressure on the bladder from a growing bean is the reason, so I’m told.

Another set of organs affected by this pressure are the intestines. As the uterus expands, it squeezes and leans against the intestines, preventing the effective passage of food/waste through the body and out. Hence, constipation. I’ve tried everything from flax (as suggested by my friend Shellene), to dried fruits (which make me gassy – which in turn, makes me pee. Gah!) and water, water, water… Which makes me – oh, you get the idea.

I have suffered from IBS/Gastroparesis for a number of years, so I’m not squeamish about my BMs. However, it always surprises me just how much I miss them when they’re gone. A friend of mine seriously breaks out when she can’t go, so I’m thankful being constipated just makes me uncomfortable, as opposed to acneic.

Like I don’t have enough to deal with right now.

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(with apologies to Angel’s cupcakes in New Zealand.)

weekend wrap-up: mixed nuts.

weekend wrap-up: mixed nuts.

family tell
My clothes can’t keep a secret.

family…
We told the boy’s family yesterday. He’s going for hernia surgery on Monday, so he thought it’d be a good idea to get the fam together and announce the news of the pregnancy and see everyone before he went under the knife. Again, my choice of loose attire gave me away – who knew I was such a fangirl for tight clothing ? – his niece Christina sensed that I was about to drop the baby bomb after spying my blue dress. The news went over well, anyway. His mother congratulated us, claimed she already knew, and then was upset because we hadn’t told her before…her baby boy is having a baby. She was hurt. So emotional, that one. Sweet lady, though.

After the family reveal, I headed to Brampton to see my dear friend Radmila and her husband. They’re like family to me, and they were having their annual summer shindig on the same night as the boy’s family do. I’d originally said I wasn’t going to make it, but seeing that my afternoon ended early, and I had news to share, I hopped in the car and headed north.

As I pulled up, I could hear the music blaring. I opened the door unannounced and made my way to the kitchen, where I knew all of the wives and womenfolk would be congregated. Radmila and her friend Karla spotted me at the same time. Karla’s mouth dropped open, and Radmila said, “so, do you have something to tell us?” I spent the night sharing the news with various guests I haven’t seen in a while. I was truly warmed by all of the congratulations. Read more

prohibition.

prohibition.

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And so, we bid a sad adieu to my once-monthly treat of bloody cow flesh and other goodies. Pregnant ladies have no fun.

So, my bloodwork came back from the lab, and now it’s one hundred per cent official. I’m having a bean, and I’m due somewhere around the 28th of February.

After confirming the news and the estimated due date, my doctor gave me a little moms-to-be package to read when I got home, and a quick rundown of all the things I can and cannot do/eat/think/wear/imagine/try now that I am Officially With Child. She also made me my first appointment with an OB GYN. She asked if I wanted a male or female specialist, and to be honest, it really didn’t matter. So she chose Dr. Freedman – “You’ll like her, she’s good,” I was told – and rang up her receptionist to book me for the next month. During the call, she made mention of “patient’s AMA.” When she was done, I asked her what AMA stood for. “Advanced Maternal Age,” came the reply. Doctor-speak for “you’re old and your ovaries are dusty.”

I have a feeling I’m going to be hearing this acronym a lot over the next nine months.

Chez moi, I perused the whack of pamphlets and information that was given to me during my appointment. Read more