Day in the Life

First week ::

12am : feed baby & change diaper
1am : sleep
3:30am : feed baby & change diaper
4:30am : eat something and then sleep
7am : feed baby & change diaper
8am : drink something and then sleep
10:30am : feed baby & change diaper
11:30am : trying to get baby to nap
1:30pm : baby finally napping and you want to as well but are also really hungry so you eat and then sleep
4pm : feed baby & change diaper
5pm : remember to brush your teeth and then sleep
7:30pm : feed baby & change diaper
8:30pm : start eating dinner, feed baby & check diaper
9:30pm : feed baby & check diaper
10:30pm : finish eating dinner, feed baby & change diaper
11:30pm : feed baby & check diaper
12am : start all over again

I don’t think I managed to shower until day 6…sacrificed some sleep for that.

Things are better now, 6 weeks later ::

12am : feed baby & change diaper
1am : sleep
5am : feed baby & change diaper
6am : drink something and then sleep
9am : feed baby & change diaper
10am : eat a bite of breakfast or drink some milk, brush teeth and then sleep
12:30pm : feed baby & change diaper
1:30pm : try to get baby to nap, trying to eat lunch
2:30pm : still trying to get baby to nap, still eating lunch
3:30pm : feed baby & change diaper
4:30pm : baby finally napping so you finish lunch and also nap
7:30pm : feed baby & change diaper
8:30pm : start eating dinner but baby is fussing and not sleeping
9:30pm : feed baby & check diaper
10:30pm : finish eating dinner, feed baby & change diaper
11:30pm : feed baby & check diaper
12am : start all over again

Now during baby nap times I can either nap or eat or shower or check email or do laundry or cook something…whether in the morning or afternoon. But I have to get one good nap in myself to function else I’m exhausted. Supposedly babies can happily & healthily sleep through the night (8hr+) by around 7-10 weeks and that’s my goal! Crossing my fingers.

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Week 36 – Home stretch

Do you like how the bump is starting to hang below my pant line like a beer belly?
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It’s April, which means, in all likelihood, this is THE month that Baby will arrive. I’m due on the 29th so there is a slight chance of Baby being late. But coupled with the issues insulin dependent moms might face, I don’t know how likely it’ll be they’ll let me carry past the due date. We’ll see though. My sugars have been doing very well and fetal monitoring has shown Baby to be quite active and healthy. Praise God! The doctors are now saying it doesn’t look like they’ll need to induce me, but still caution that in this last month, anything can change. So, we keep trying to be healthy and praying for this last leg of the pregnancy to go well. (Thank you for all the prayers Baby and I have already received!!)

The hospital bag is pretty much packed. We still don’t have a nursery…but a bassinet will be arriving on Sunday. I told Skywalker I’d totally be okay if our baby slept in a cardboard box the first month. If the Finnish babies do it, so can we! =D We’ve been passed several bags of baby stuff, for which we are immensely thankful (my goal was to buy as little as possible), so I think we’ve got the minimum requirements for the next little while.

While the external preparations are coming together, Skywalker and my internal preparation doesn’t feel as ready. I know I know, you can never be totally ready to be parents. A girl friend reminded me that parenthood isn’t something you can study, take the exam and then pass. It’s a day by day, year by year journey of figuring things out and learning and making mistakes and trying again. We have questions like, “How do we develop good character in a child…even starting as an infant?” or “How do we keep being the best spouse we can be instead of making it all about the baby?” or “What reward/consequence model should we use to best prepare them for real life?” Another friend said while those were great questions, “How will I make it through the night with my sanity?” is probably more realistic for the next couple months. Wise friend. =)

A step at a time, a step at a time.

Endearing nicknames I grew up with

Have I told you my nicknames as I grew up?
These are the best I can do in terms of literal translations:

Big Cry Baby – My Dad reminds me, more and more now, of how they didn’t go out to eat for 2-3 years because I cried so much. I was colic for the first little while. And I had a big set of lungs apparently.

Bread Head – I have corners on my head making my head a little squarish. And with my chubby baby cheeks, I looked like a square loaf of bread. So…the name stuck. Thankfully, the squarish-ness has decreased over the years.

Big Head Yan – Yan is my Chinese name. It means “Happy”…which is a little ironic considering how I was also the Big Cry Baby. Anyways. My head was big. Think of a bobble head. That was me. As my Dad would comment, I had a big head with big eyes, a big nose, big mouth, big face and big protruding ears. So endearing.

Big Lazy Yan – This nickname was given in Junior High I think. Because I was lazy. I am. Well…sometimes I’m just trying to be efficient…but I’ll totally admit to being lazy.

Big Fat Piggy – I’ve never actually been “fat”. My heaviest looking days were around age 13/14, first year university with the whole Freshman Fifteen thing and then a couple years into taking an office job where I just sit all day every day…with regular access to Tim Hortons. When I travel to hot/humid climates, I also tend to retain water…so whenever my Dad sees pictures from such vacations, he’ll comment. But, meh. I know when I’m not looking as healthy as I could be. And I mean this in the realistic sense of “healthy”…with no comparisons to what I “could” be looking if I had a personal trainer, personal chef and cosmetic procedures done.

And there you go. Yes, all nicknames were coined by my Dad. Yes it means you develop some thicker skin growing up. =) But it’s totally endearing to hear my Dad call me by these nicknames still.

Week 27: End of 2nd Tri!!

OMG…it’s the end of my second trimester already. Can’t say I’m ready. At all. Except for having a car seat and stroller purchased. And having a bassinet and crib lined up from generous ladies in my community. But that’s it. We don’t even know where we might be living in three months because we’re trying to sell our current place and buy a new home right now. Timing’s a little tight. I know. Maybe even a little crazy…but I’ve heard it’s been done. And everyone survived.

The exciting part is that when the situation looks crazy or almost impossible…it’s a greater opportunity to see God at work. So that’s where I’m hanging my hope. Or trying to.

So, some updates…
I’m getting used to the finger poking four times daily and the insulin three times daily. But I’m still not as good with getting my prescribed snacks ingested on time. Sometimes I just don’t feel like snacking! And then I get bored of my choices…but we’re working on expanding the healthy snack repository in the kitchen. With any food restriction, I find myself thinking about the things I can’t or shouldn’t eat: chips, fruit yogurt, cereal, dessert, etc. I’m also reading how many grams of sugar per serving is in everything I buy. Unbelievable how much sugar is in so many products out there!

Thyroid is steady on normal. Praise God!

I FINALLY have a prenatal doctor. I was seeing a GP up til now and she was trying to get me into an OB GYN group to deliver in Vancouver since that’s where we plan to move…and because that particular hospital is fully set up for any potential complications. Considering my thyroid issue, gestational diabetes…AND marginal placenta previa…I’m not exactly low risk. But hospital politics man. I didn’t have a Vcr address and was shut out. Thankfully my GP was able to connect me with a family doctor in Vcr who does obstetrics and she could take out of city patients for Vcr delivery. OB GYN’s can’t.

At my latest appointment, the Dr said the fundal height was measuring a little on the big side. (This is probably why Skywalker thinks I’m already huge. “If you’re this huge now, what are you going to be like in three months?” he asks. “A manatee,” I say.) So the size could be account the gestational diabetes…though once sugars are controlled, baby growth should normalize. I really hope I don’t have a big baby….like six pounds at birth would be perfect. There are complications with big babies and it’s a little scary. I’m also thinking about the pain/tearing because I also hope to do a natural birth. But, can’t hold onto these preferences….things are often not in my control so best to manage my expectations early. Still though, I’m a little nervous.

So…here we go…next week starts the THIRD TRIMESTER!

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“Be Good”

I recently read “Bringing Up Bébé” by Pamela Druckerman and found it a very enlightening and entertaining read. She’s an American woman bringing up babies in Paris and notes the differences between parenting styles as well as the resulting child’s behavior. Where North American children tend to behave like tyrannical kings and queens, the French children seem to be functionally integrated into the adult world around them. I love it.

One of the points she brought out was in the diverse vocabulary French parents use with their infants and children. Here, we hear a lot of “Be good!” spoken to our kiddies. Even the Chinese have the equivalent with asking the child to be “guai”. Or if they do something pleasant, we heap on the praises of “Oh you’re so good” or “You’re so guai”. And once you’ve praised them for “being good”….well, are they not apt to think that everything they do is “good”? We haven’t exactly addressed what was so praise worthy in the first place. What does “good” mean anyways? It’s so ambiguous.

The French on the other hand, tell or praise their children for being “sage” …which is like saying “being calm.” Think about it…there’s a whole lot more going on for a child to be calm. That’s asking the child to quiet down their hearts and minds. To deal with the inner frustration of not getting their way or their timing. To be master over their impulses instead of being mastered by it. And that they are PART of a bigger world, and not THE world.

Yes I think we under-estimate what our infants and children can understand. The more diversity in the words we use with them, the more tools they’re given to understand and choose behavior. With ALL children in my life, I’m trying, even now, to change my words to build up good character and good behavior and specifically address negative behavior. Saying “You’re a good girl/boy” or “that’s bad” really doesn’t say much at all. I would much rather my child hear “What you did was very kind” or “Thanks for being patient” or “That attitude is selfish” or “Don’t be rude“. Even from infancy.

So in four months…this social experiment will start. haha. I invite you to join in. =)