Sunday, 23 October 2016

Goodbye Mat Leave

So, today is my last day of maternity leave. Yup, I really only had one week off. 

Even though it's not a social smile at this point, little reflex smiles are still adorable. Even at 2am. 

I'm on accommodated attendance for the next two weeks. Basically I'm attending virtually but I may actually just go in person since I feel fine. My recovery this time has been great, aside from the late spinal headache I developed. Still waiting on that to resolve completely, but it's not as bad as some migraines I've had so it's manageable. Compared to how I felt after my other two, this is pretty fantastic. 

I'm nearly back in my prepregnancy clothes and expect I will be within the week. I'm down quite a bit from my prepregnancy weight as of this morning (the fact that I was below my prepregnancy weight the day I gave birth makes this somewhat less impressive) which is why this is the case. I expect I'll need new clothes once the postpartum tummy goes away, considering things are loose already, and I'm hoping to continue losing weight. 

What's surprising me most about my recovery so far is that I'm not having the massive emotional swings that I had after my others. I did not go through those horrible crying jags a few days after she was born. I'm not starting to feel depressed or anxious at all. My mood is completely normal. Moreso than it was during pregnancy. I feel like myself. While I know this might change, especially as stress mounts in the coming weeks (I have a tOSCE in two weeks and our second year OSCE on everything we've learned the week after that...) I'm considering it a very good sign that I'm feeling so good at this point. My OB starting me back on my medication during my third trimester seems to be doing as we'd hoped and helping prevent postpartum mood issues. 

Because I'll be away from baby/on Skype for several hours this week - 2 hours for clin skills, 3 hours each for tutorials and procomp - I've been pumping to get used to it. I've never been good at pumping milk but it's a necessity this time. Every ounce I pump is an ounce of formula we don't have to buy. She's actually my first kid to receive any formula at all, but we're using it as a placeholder while I build up a stash in the freezer and so that my husband can take over some feeds so I can study (since I'm not able to pump as much as she takes per feed.) The goal is to have her receiving only breastmilk since it's essentially free, aside from my time and the investment into the pump. I like free. 

The fact that I'm going back to school this week isn't making me feel anxious or sad or anything. I'm  quite okay with it; I've been missing the mental stimulation of tutorials and I feel like I'm getting behind and this is not a feeling I like. At the moment, I'm typing this while holding M, who is quite asleep, and I'm shortly going to go do my tutorial prep for tomorrow and go over the tutorials from last week. 

It's nice that Plan A is working out. While I know it was certainly a possibility it wouldn't, having things go exactly as hoped is a nice change. 

This kid makes the best faces while asleep. 

See how tiny she is?!

Monday, 17 October 2016

What I Did Today

When an anaesthesiologist is working on putting something into your spine and says "that's weird..." some anxiety is justifiable. 

But despite needing three attempts at an epi, plus a spinal (which all left my back looking rather like dog's meat) to actually get pain relief, things went great. I only had to push for five minutes and little miss M was born at 6:13pm. 

She's 6lbs3oz and so far quite calm. Nurses well. Sleeping decently so far. Got time for a nap and a shower and I'm feeling quite human now. Hopefully we'll have an okay night and the fact that she's had some formula on top of nursing will keep her bilirubin down so that we don't end up needing a prolonged stay. 

She looks very much like her siblings did. She's also my smallest but not by much. My son was only 6oz heavier at 40w. She's a dainty thing but strong and quite alert.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the days ahead go. Right now, I'm just enjoying seeing her sleep.

My kids are born fuzzy. 

Current view. Totally has the right idea here. Sleeeeeep. 

The Day

We're on our way to the hospital now. Miss M will hopefully be here later today (if it takes until tomorrow I'm going to be less than thrilled.)

I've decided that since she's the first baby for my class (I know she's not going to be the last - babies happen with a fair frequency in the age group of my peers) she gets to be called a Mac Mini. Wonder if I can get her a teeny maroon sweater...

Med school while pregnant has been a hell of a ride. I expect it's going to be quite a bit harder for the next little bit while I manage it with a newborn at home. 

But that's a bit distant. Right now, I need to get through today. That's the next big task. Today. And then all the days after. 

So far so good, anyway. Hopefully everything goes quickly and smoothly. That would be a nice change from the usual. 

Very last pregnant photo. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Better Days Ahead

Yesterday I began my Thanksgiving preparation. This is the last big amount of baking and cooking I'm going to do before the baby. We got a big turkey so that there will be a ton of leftovers for me to portion and freeze - being able to grab some pre-cooked turkey out of the freezer to throw in with some vegetables and rice, or into a pot of soup, makes for a really quick and simple meal and I want to keep things as simple as possible for the next little while. 

It's just the four of us for thanksgiving, but I'm still going all out because why not? Well, hopefully it'll be the four of us. My son's still in the hospital but he is able to come home on day pass today. I think part of why I'm putting so much effort in is to keep me distracted, to be honest. If I'm not cooking, I'm cleaning everything. I'm not sure how much is nesting vs. coping mechanisms. 

Right now I have two pumpkin pies (one for the neighbours) in the oven, made using the last of my pumpkin purée from last year. I have two more pumpkins to process (roast/purée) for this year, but I'll do that later this week. I just do not like canned pumpkin anymore. Yesterday I made two dozen pumpkin apple muffins and a batch of bread which makes either five loaves or three pans of rolls and one loaf. Pan rolls are awesome. 

My house smells pretty awesome at the moment, really. 

Once the pies are done, the turkey is going in and I'll get started on the cranberry sauce, since it takes around 4 hours to cool (I make my own.) Once I'm done this post, actually, I'll be making the stuffing. Then starts the vegetable prep. Squash, sweet potato, mashed potato, turnip, carrots.

Should be enough that I won't really need to cook for several days, and I'll have lots of turkey meat to freeze. 

With one week left until the baby is here - assuming all is favourable, I'll be induced on the 17th - and with my son in the hospital, I'm just trying my best to keep life as normal as possible while things seem to spin wildly away from any sense of normalcy. All I can do is try, though, and get through the hard days while enjoying the happier ones. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Life Continues, Interrupted

I am very, very tired. 

Had an early ultrasound yesterday, so I was up quite early after a whole night of tossing and turning and ultimately getting little sleep. Got a chance to lie down a bit in the afternoon and I got just a few minutes of light sleep before I left for clinical skills in the late evening but I was still exhausted. During clin skills I started having some irregular, but rather strong contractions. Left a bit early to go home and lie down to get them to stop (they usually will.) But when I got home, something else demanded my attention. 

My son is currently in the hospital. We got to the hospital around 10pm. Ended up in a room without a bed for several hours. My son got a mattress pad to lie on. I couldn't stay upright, so I just tried to sleep on the floor for a few hours, but didn't really manage it. Around 3am we were moved. My son got a proper bed, and I got a chair to sleep in. The contractions kept waking me so I didn't end up really getting any restorative sleep, though fortunately my son did. He was assessed in the morning, and admitted around noon. 

As soon as we (my husband called off from work for the day) got him settled and my husband was heading home to pack up some stuff for our son since he'll be there a while, I headed to tutorial. Fortunately, just the next building over. I actually arrived on time.

Unfortunately, I'd not had any time to prepare for tutorial and I was... more than a little fraught given the circumstances. My wonderful group members and incredibly kind tutor were very understanding which was very much appreciated. My group is very lighthearted so it was nice to actually just do something normal for a few hours, my inability to contribute to the tutorial aside. I hate being the teary pregnant woman, but I just couldn't control it today. Tired, stressed, dealing with contractions still... my coping abilities only go so far. 

For what it's worth, while I am now dealing with what I'd probably describe as 'practice' labour. I dealt with this for over two weeks with my (first) daughter so I think it's along the same lines and don't think it means anything is imminent. I get a stretch of quite painful contractions, not just Braxton hicks, but while they can cluster a bit, they don't really get regular and they may ease a bit if I lie down. It's not labour but it's enough to make sleeping difficult unless I take an antihistamine that works fairly well to encourage sleep. 

The next eleven days are going to be the biggest challenge of med school so far, so I'm breaking it up into pieces. Just get through a few days at a time. Get to the next milestone, the next tutorial, the next appointment. If I keep doing that, we'll get through it. We always do. 

Tomorrow, I'll meet with my son's care team and we'll plan things. That will make it easier to get through the next few days. 

But first step first. Sleep. Good, restorative sleep. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Inevitable Onset of Nesting

Towards the end of pregnancy, women sometimes get a burst of energy and develop this almost frantic need to clean, organize, and otherwise prepare things. It's called nesting. I don't know if it's a social conditioning thing or actually has a physiological basis to it, but it certainly wouldn't be the oddest behaviour we've evolved as a species.

Anyway, this is basically me right now. This weekend, I desperately needed to clean and organize things. The hall closet, the bathroom cupboards, everything in the master bedroom. I am not the world's most enthusiastic housekeeper, but in late pregnancy, all bets are off.

So I'm nesting. Finding the energy to do my tutorial preparation was difficult, but there was no challenge in finding the energy to go through our medicine cabinet, reorganize all of our first aid supplies to make sure we have a well-stocked kit, or go through the general pile of cosmetics, lotions, and whatnot that seem to accumulate over the years.

With two weeks to go until I'm induced, it suddenly feels very pressing to do all of this. The car seat is now installed in the SUV. My hospital bag and the diaper bag are packed and ready to grab. While I have a scheduled delivery, there's always the possibility of going earlier, so I want to be ready.

I have also, in the last week or so, become incredibly prone to going "awwwww" about everything, which is rather unlike me. I am not normally the type to lose my head over tiny things, but hormones seem to have an effect on this aspect of my personality. Seriously, look at these little itty bitty teddy slippers.

That I have so little time left until the baby is here is making it very difficult to focus on school. With my son, I stopped working 4 weeks before he was born. With my daughter, I had stopped work at 26 weeks because I'd had preterm labour issues (it stopped, but my OB felt it best putting me off work until the end.) I have mandatory stuff at school until the 14th so this is the busiest that I've ever had to be immediately prior to having a baby.

While I currently have a bit more energy than I have had over the last few months, my ability to focus really is quite reduced at the moment, and that's making the necessary brain work of medical school quite challenging.

I can focus a great deal on organizing and cleaning, but neuroanatomy is proving a challenge.

Just a couple more weeks, though, then she'll be here, I can recover, and we can settle into the somewhat crazy first few months as a family of five. Hopefully the work I'm putting in now to get the house into a more organized state will make that initial transition a bit easier, anyway.