November 28, 2008

20 Weeks!

Tomorrow I will officially be 20 weeks. We’ve come along way baby.

Why is this interesting? Well 20 weeks is the half way mark of my pregnancy. In a way that dad-to-be would understand, we have just hit the 50 yard line. Or we clocked in at half time. Or… I don’t know any more sports analogies.

It is also the baby milestone that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. The baby is now the size of Cantaloupe. Is that not crazy people? I read that and looked down at my tummy. “You’re the size of a Cantaloupe down there?”

In honour of the half-way mark, I thought that it would be helpful for me to break down what’s happening so far and what still hasn’t happened. So here we go…

What’s happening:
- The baby is getting bigger. While I can’t verify what’s going on inside of my growing belly, I thought that I would share with you some information from the online baby experts. At 20 weeks, baby should measure about 5.6 to 6.4 inches and weigh about 9 ounces. The baby can hear sounds now, and it will cover its ears with its hands if a loud sound is made near you or "jump" if it is startled. Almost like a little person!!
- I read earlier today that at 20 weeks the baby is starting to grow hair! I guess we’ll see in another 20 weeks or so.
- I can say that the baby has been moving around a lot, but at this point it doesn’t feel like kicking. It’s more of a rumbling in the tummy feeling, a little bit stronger than when you have butterflies in your stomach.
- I have officially “popped”! The folks at work have said that they have started to notice my bump this week. Better late than never.

What’s not happening:
- I still haven’t started wearing any maternity clothes. I can still button up my pants but I try to wear them below my growing belly. I am still wearing my regular boots and heels to work everyday. Yeah, I’m stubborn.
- I have gone this far, relatively unscathed from morning sickness, as I mentioned in other posts. I am still super tired, but the extreme exhaustion is passing.
- I don’t have any stretch marks yet. I have been slathering on the Bio-Oil like nobody’s business hoping that will help a little bit. When I first found out that I was knocked up, my mother, in a wild display that can only happen in your parent’s kitchen, pulled up her top to reveal that she didn’t have any stretch marks. She then lectured me on the importance of moisturizer. Right. Check.
- New belly button. I still have an innie but don’t know at what point the development of my bump it will become an outtie. Dad-to-be has the perfect in-between belly button and is very anxious about this milestone. (Glad you think that’s funny, babe.)
- At this point, many parents know whether their little one will pee standing up or sitting down. If you’ve read this blog before, you may know that I’m still undecided about if we should find out. My ultrasound isn’t until a few weeks. I scheduled it for the tail-end of my 22 week.

So we’re half way there. I’m sure in the next few weeks my bump will make up for the last 20 weeks. My plan is to start posting my baby bump pictures, after my next Ultrasound. And try not to be too hard on me for living up to Hump & Baby Bump name. I’m having a baby!

November 27, 2008


Yesterday I lost a friend suddenly. He died of a brain aneurysm that was unexpected. It took all of us by surprise. He was only 34.

I was very fortunate to be at the hospital for most of the day yesterday to see him while in a coma, and to say goodbye after he was pronounced dead. He was in the hospital for less than 24 hours before he passed. I would say that there were over 50 people during the course of the day, from family, to friends, to coworkers who were lending their support and comforting each other. It was all very difficult and I still can’t believe what has happened.

How could I complain about a bad day at work, about not feeling well, about the trivial things in life when I am still here to see another day? How could I complain when there are people that are saying goodbye to brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers? As much I was upset, I could not imagine being in the shoes of his family.

I certainly don’t want to get into the details here. I feel like I have told fragments of the story so many times in the last 24 hours - trying to let various people know what happened.

The key reason why I wanted to write about this was, other than the fact that it so personally and deeply affected me, is that it really helped to reinforce how precious life is. You have to cherish the time that you have with those that you care about, because you never know how few moments that you will have with that person.

I feel so lucky in my life to have people that I love and to have people that love me. I am so lucky to be having this baby. What a miracle to be creating a life.

November 25, 2008

April Showers

How cute is this little button! Now we just need to give the prego mommy big curly hair and real diva pose. But that's just me.

November 24, 2008


I am having a baby. Yeah, I know that I'm saying the obvious here but I just wanted to write it in print. I. Am. Having. A. Baby.

There are times in my day when I almost forget. I am lost in returning emails, writing recommendations at work, addressing issues, even when I'm not really that preoccupied at all but my mind is wandering. I just like when you remember that you’re all out of toilet paper, or you might have left the radio on at home, or you haven’t paid your visa bill, it pops into my head. I’m having a baby! I almost forget there’s a baby growing inside of me.

And I don’t want you to assume that I don’t think about this little one so much. I do. But in addition to all of the planning and preparation, list making and information absorbing that my mind is doing to get ready for this little miracle, I have to say to myself throughout the day – I’m having a baby. I still can’t believe that this isn’t a dream.


November 20, 2008

To know or not to know


Don’t know if it’s the hormones talking but lately I’ve had a change of heart. My whole life, or at least few years of it, I have thought that I would be the type of mom-to-be who would find out the sex of her baby at the ultrasound. You know, take advantage of modern technology, and have just that much more information.

Over the years when I heard from other delighted parents-to-be that they were keeping it a surprise, I was perplexed. I’m quite sure that I also was very transparent in my confusion. I wasn’t sure why someone would not want to know. To me it was like starting a job and not knowing where it was located – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” It was like going on a plane without a destination – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” It was like eating at a restaurant blindfolded – “Oh, it will be a surprise.” That was how I looked at the whole idea of being presented with the chance to find out what you were carrying and not taking it.

So far, for the first 18 weeks or so of my first pregnancy, I would happily reply when asked, that “Of course!” I wanted to find out. Dad-to-be felt the same. We had our first co-parenting decision.

This week however I woke up thinking that I don’t want to find out. We will be having that crucial ultrasound in a few weeks, which will likely be my last time on the ultrasound table. We need to make a decision about this, and fast. Dad-to-be thinks I’m nuts. He could be right.

So, in an effort to work this out, I’m making a list: The top 5 reasons to find out the sex and the top 5 reasons not to.

5 Reasons To Find Out

1. We’ll be able to buy the right things, in the right colour, and settle on a few names.
2. We can finally stop calling the baby “it” or “baby” and start using the appropriate pro-noun “he” or “she”.
3. Knowing whether it’s a girl or a boy may help in bonding.
4. I’ll be able to counter all those weird old wives tales about caring low, caring high, caring round, etc, etc. with clear evidence of what I am having.
5. Because I always said that I would want to find out.

5 Reasons Not To Find Out

1. Forces us to buy neutrals, which will help with baby number two. (If that ever happens!)
2. Avoid the whole switch-aroo – preparing for one sex and then when he/she is born finding that it was an ultrasound ‘misunderstanding’.
3. We will be emotionally prepared for either sex, versus focusing on boy or girl.
4. Other people can continue all those old wives tales, which makes for some great baby shower entertainment.
5. What’s another four months without knowing anyway?

A coworker of mine, father of three boys threw in another point – sometimes whether you like it or not, there will be no denying what your baby is packing in the ultrasound. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, look at that!”

This baby-making stuff is crazy.

November 19, 2008

My doc rocks!

Thanks to my fabulous doctor, I now have an OB/GYN!! I am reserving my happy dance until the first appointment with her in a couple of weeks, but this does look like my nightmares of giving birth in a hospital parking lot are behind me. Thank you, thank you.

Stay tuned for more…

November 17, 2008

You're in there!

For the first time this weekend, I felt the baby move and knew that it wasn't gas. It was baby!

I was driving my mom's car to a housewarming party. I stopped the conversation mid-sentence, held onto the steering wheel and exclaimed, "Baby milestone! Baby milestone! I just felt it move and I'm sure. I'm sure that it's baby!"

We celebrated for a few seconds and then I got right back to driving. Life's little, wonderful moments.

~ humps

November 14, 2008

Doulas in Disguise

Status Update: I am still without an OB/GYN, but since my previous post you can say that I am at peace with all of this. If you’ve known me before this blog, you may know that I believe that everything happens for a reason. What is meant to be for the birth of this baby and my health will be.

I have been doing some research this week on midwife options in Toronto, reading through websites about birthing classes, hypnobirthing and doulas. A whole new area from the clinical doctor with latex glove option that I was so sure was my fate. While I’m still unsure of I will go this route, I wanted to share with you something that I read this morning on a doula’s website:
"I’ve watched now, several times, a home video that a couple took whilst on honeymoon to Ulusaba – a private game reserve in South Africa. It is a video of a mother elephant giving birth in the wild to her baby. In a word, it was spectacular. Amazing. Mind-blowing. Breath-taking and unbelievably…. human. I was most impressed by the number of other (presumably) female elephants with their young; all the aunties, sisters, grandmothers, “DOULAS” supporting this new mother in her efforts. As the mother was preparing for her baby to come, she moved, swayed, back and forth, back and forth, walking and swinging her hips, tossing her head. The other elephants wrapped their trunks around her trunk, sweeping their trunks across her brow, stroking her shoulders. It was incredible. It was, in a perfect image, the embodiment of what we, as human doulas, do for our clients, mentors and friends.

"When I am asked by potential clients, friends, family what I do, and what the benefits are of what I do, I often pause and reflect upon the image of the elephants. What is the purpose of what we, as birth doulas do? What is the value?

"If we were in a different time, place, culture, we as doulas would be the sisters, mothers, aunties, and friends of the labouring woman – we would be the women of experience, the women to whom the labouring woman could turn to for continuous emotional, physical, informational and spiritual support as she transitions from maiden to mother… A doula’s role is one of continuous support that is far reaching: she provides informational support, emotional support, physical support and spiritual support when required and/or requested…

"A doula’s role is to provide a client with the best information possible so that when a couple is asked to make decisions regarding the course of their baby’s birth, they can make those decisions from a completely informed place, without ever having to experience the ‘I wish I had known that before I…’ or ‘if only someone had told us that before we chose to….’ "
It was a great description of the role doula’s play in the lives of some many mommies and daddies. But it made me realize that I have so many doula’s in my life. So many people who have been there before me, that I can turn to with my questions and my fears and my concerns. So many people are will be celebrating with my when this baby meets the world.

They say that it takes a village. I am so grateful to my village - those people in my family, those friends, those mothers who have I met recently, the incredible people I have met online, the people that I work with. Thanks so all of the world’s doulas in disguise.

November 12, 2008

Give me a bucket, I'll do this myself.

As I write this post, I am on hold with another doctor’s office. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am undergoing maybe one of the most painful procedures so far in my pregnancy – finding an OB/GYN.

How could I have come this far you ask when the pregnancy bible “What To Expect… “ expects you to start reading that book and interviewing doctors way before the baby is conceived? Who does that! Am I crazy here?!

I have been religious about my doctor’s appointments but so far only going to my general practitioner. I love my doctor, think he is doing a great job, and somewhere in the bottom of my heart thought that I could talk him into delivering my baby. (Not sure if I’m ready for a stranger to be that intimate with my va-ja-ja.) No such luck.

And up to this point doc has been pretty easy going about the OB thing. This is the easy going-ness that I have come to appreciate it. I am going in for regular visits every three weeks. I am up to date on my tests. He has left the choice of OB/GYN and hospital up to me, because he knows that I will research the hell out of it. The plan was to continue semi-regular appointments even when I have my other doctor, which didn’t seem to be a big rush.

Not until yesterday…

I went in for my appointment yesterday and wanted to get his opinion on some local hospitals. To my surprise he did a bit of a freak out. Seemingly astonished that I still haven’t secured the coveted OB/GYN, he remarks that I may have run out of time. What?! There is a good chance that I won’t be able to find a doctor that is available for my April due date.

You’ve got to be f@#king kidding me. Why did you not tell me this before? Three weeks ago, six weeks ago? Now I’m having full body convulsions. I settled on the hospital and have been cold calling associated doctors all day. One by one by one, the rejection is slapping me in the face. I have the receptionists laughing at me. “April? Oh no. We’re booking July deliveries now.” You realize that is almost nine months from now. So I really should have put down the stick with the double line and called you. Is that what you’re saying to me? Am I the only one that needs some time? Who do I have to call to have a baby around here??

To make matters worse, one office of the ten that I spoke with may be able to swing having me as a patient. My appointment with them is the end of December! And I am reading the worst online reviews from this doctor. No wonder.

This could be going downhill fast.

November 11, 2008

Tribute to the "While I Still Can" Wardrobe

The fact that my pregnancy so far has been pretty uneventful – read no projectile vomiting or complications – is truly a blessing. What may be even more of a gift from God is that after 17 weeks, I’m still fitting into my typical clothes.

So far I have only had to retire a pair of high-waisted, skinny jeans that were so tight before I got knocked up that I thought they may cut the circulation to my developing baby. (I’m so darn maternal!)

Knowing that I will only be able to squeeze myself into these clothes for a couple of weeks, at most, I have decided to cherish my last moments with these pieces until it’s time to say goodbye. I affectionately call these things the “While I Still Can” Wardrobe. So while I still can, I will be rocking the hell out of:
- my fitted blazers
- my button down dress shirts
- my pencil skirts
- my fitted dresses
- my sky high heels
- my leather boots that only see the walk from parking lot to office

Every morning while I am getting ready to face the world, I say a few words to the “While I Still Can” Wardrobe. “We have been through a lot together, and thanks for sticking in there with me for one more day. We can do this!” Unless I get adopted as the real woman spokesperson for some fabulous maternity line (call me!) these well loved items will be a distant memory. When I think about the baby something tells me that I won’t care, one bit…

November 10, 2008

Doing the Two-Step in My Tummy

I am now just over 17 weeks, which according to the fruit-size comparisons that seems to thrive on baby websites throughout cyberspace – my “fruit” in the oven is the size of a large pear. There are two critical achievements of the large pear that is occurring now. I am excited!

1. Quickening: According to the websites that I obsess over (see sidebar to the left) it’s around this time that moms-to-be start feeling the rumblings in her tummy. The baby’s movement. I’ve heard that it feels like fluttering, or wings. I also heard that I will know it when it happens.

Have I felt anything yet? No. Well, I don’t know. I have been paying really close attention to the tummy. I have felt lots of things that I can’t guarantee was not gas. Forgive me, but I’m new to this whole having a baby thing! As much as I am looking forward to feeling the baby move, I don’t want to rush it. In a few months I may be wishing that baby wasn’t tap dancing on my bladder and kicking a field goal first thing in the morning. All in due time…

2. Hearing: In the next few weeks baby will be able to hear outside of the tummy voices, and if we’re lucky respond to music. I was reminded of this when I went to visit a fellow blogging mom-to-be (shout out to ‘chancesmommy’). While her bun in the oven is ten weeks ahead of mine, the little one was responding to the Classical music that she played to her tummy with headphones.

The headphones and stacks of CDs got me thinking about all the other playlists I can put together to break up the Mozart monotony. Maybe we throw in a little Luther Vandross, or Cold Play?! What about some Bob Marley and New Kids On The Block, or some Euro House from Tricky? Definitely some Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. No playlist of mine would be complete without a little Beyonce. That will surely get this baby moving in no time.

Only more baby fun to come!

November 4, 2008

Anything is Possible

It wouldn’t be a blog on November 4, 2008 without mention of the historic US Presidential Election. If you thought that reading a baby blog would give you some relief, hate to say it people but you came to the wrong place.

But I will spare you some political posturing and talk about my personal experience, as always.

I am a proud Canadian, born and raised. My parents both came to this country from the Caribbean. They met here, fell in love here, got married here and had me. I’m an only child. My boyfriend, father of my unborn baby, and often referenced in this blog as “dad-to-be” is a proud American. His family is from Ghana in western African. He was born there and came to the US as a child. We met and fell in love in Canada.

What I love about Canada, Toronto specifically is that it is such an open and multi-cultural place. I grew up in very diverse schools where people’s cultures were celebrated. One of my best elementary school memories was a world map with hundreds of pins, representing each child’s family origins. You could put as many pins as you wanted. When I was older I remember watching the Olympics with my dad, and in my basement, where we had a smaller world map on the wall with corresponding flags, trying to pinpoint the location of countries that I never heard of. As a teenager, going to downtown Chinatown, uptown Chinatown, Little Indiana on Gerrard St, Little Italy on College St, Greek town, watching Brazilian soccer with the Portuguese, picking up some West Indian food on Eglinton West. My friends were different religions and backgrounds, and we all loved each other.

This is what made it so interesting to grow up the way I did. My friends and family in the US though, didn’t seem to have an experience like mine. The black kids at school didn’t talk to the white kids. Neighbourhoods were segregated, for the most part. I was astonished when I learned about black colleges! Race seemed to a “bigger deal” south of the border than it was for me north of the border.

And here we are now. Without getting into the Democrat versus Republican debate, without analyzing the Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin platforms, and discussing the campaigns they have run, and without talking politics here, did anyone really see this happening a few years ago? Did anyone expect that the US would be this close to electing their first black President?

I have always been engaged in US politics, before I was even old enough to vote in Canada. I’d like to think that this election is much more than race, it was about the economy, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is about family rights, about a number of issues. But it is still incredible to see how far we have come.

Dad-to-be is in Chicago right now, where he grew up. He will be at the Obama rally in Grant Park, while I am at work, watching CNN online, heavily distracted by the US election, so much so that I can’t get any work done. I am excited that he will have one hell of a story to tell our kids.

I started to get teary-eyed on the way to work this morning, listening to the news. And yeah, I’m 16 weeks pregnant so really people I get teary-eyed grocery shopping. But I couldn’t stop daydreaming about telling the baby that is growing inside me that mommy was carrying you during this exciting time. And maybe, just maybe that the year you were born, was the year that the US had their first black President.

Follow your dreams little one. Anything is possible.
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