ANXIETY - 36 weeks pregnant

At 36 weeks I had 3 anxiety episodes I'm hesitant to call them attacks because I don't want to claim to be yet another person with an anxiety disorder who really has nothing on people who actually deal with this on regular basis. I'm not. I just have moments where I feel I can't control something at all and freak out.

Last week, I started panicking that nothing was ready and nothing was right, everything was dirty and disgusting and felt alone. I was scared. My heart was racing, my breathing was laboured, my head was reeling. I just couldn't stop. I couldn't get my heart rate down, the baby was freaking out and I couldn't get my breathing under control. I felt sick to my stomach and I more than emptied my bowls. I had a bath at 1am and woke up Matt just to get someone to talk to me about ANYTHING. I felt like I had no coping strategy and had lost it.  Eventually I relaxed enough to fall into a fitful sleep and start a new the next morning.


I was having contractions. Not birth contractions. But my uterus was definitely contracting and I could feel this new sensation which is actually a bit painful.. where I conceptualize it as the baby... tunneling her way down. I can only imagine in my head that that feeling is her making progress, getting further wedged in there preparing for her voyage. With this new sensation came the reality, we were not ready. I freaked. Admittedly, I'd been procrastinating as a way of passing the time before birth. It was time to get serious so I consulted my list and we started preparing. Car seats, signage, letters to the neighbours, emergency phone numbers, etc. Then I got excited. Oohh she could be coming soon. Then the excitement and fear all mixed together into a panicking out of control mess. On top of all the things that impending birth, parents going on holidays soon, my midwife on holiday right now, feeling the weight of birthing at home, I was also feeling the immense unknown of having two babies. I know it will work out, but I just don't know what it's going to be like and that's what scares me the most. I'm not worried about the new baby at all. My dreams confirmed it. I'm worried about Rowan's transition. 

tank top, outside, sunshine and gameboy
Since, I've had a midwife appointment where I talked about how I was feeling. I put my fears out there and I also made a list of the things within my control that I can get ready for our birth. The fact that the sun is shining and we're getting some nicer temperatures is lifting my spirits like crazy. In all honesty, there isn't much on the list that we NEED in order to give birth. I'm just waiting on the tub. I realized some of my thoughts were super irrational. Who cares if behind the stove isn't clean? I kinda care about the toilet being clean in case I'm stuck puking into it, but really, we can give birth in a house that isn't perfectly tidy and there's now way I can keep up the tidiness to my standard for birth every day and night. My midwife and student midwife reminded me there was a lot I could do to control things in the birth. 

The biggest reassurance for me was that they were there for me. If I needed help with breathing through contractions or if I was panicking, they would absolutely do that for me. I think that's all I needed to hear. With Rowan I hyperventilated and had a rough time getting through the pain of contractions without any extra drugs. Understandable, but not easy. I just have to keep channeling that this birth is a different birth and I'm going through it with a ton of supportive people around me. 

my birth mix, deliciously sweet, salty and packed full of protein! 
With that in mind, I've been much less panicky. I've been crossing things off my list and making sure to take time to just chill. I'd love to share about my birth closet, because I'm pretty excited about it, and of course, document with a few more photos the changes to my body. Matt is finished working with the university for a bit, so we'll have more time together which I think is essential. I've been missing him and I think he needs to rest up too. I'm not sure how much more blogging I'll do before Baby E arrives, as I do want to make sure to unplug and rest, but I'm hoping to squeak out a few more posts on this crazy crazy adventure.


First visit with the new Family Doctor

"....annnddddd you're comfortable with a home birth?" Said my new family doctor after I elatedly told her about my awesome home visit and that YES I was giving birth at home. Really? Did she just ask me that? Was it not written all over my face and in the part of our brief conversation that I just had with her that I was more than confident in my decision and super excited about it?

Ughhhhhhhh... I'm glad we rarely have to go to the doctor. I felt so disrespected and unsupported in my choices and my method of decision making. She was very confused about where I worked, why we were in Peterborough, where Matt worked. It was an odd conversation, but she did acknowledge how busy we are, which is always validating in those moments of vulnerability. The rest of my brief time with her she spent pushing vaccines and making me feel super uncomfortable about choosing to think about it instead of just blindly accepting her drug cocktail right then and there. Here's a good post from another blogger that mimics my feelings on why I would always choose a midwife over a doctor. The short list borrowed from that is....

(1) Midwives are nurses, and they behave as such
(2) Midwives seem to focus foremost on you, your choices and your comfort whereas a doctor is more solely focused on the goal or the problem*
(3) Midwives think naturally if possible, intervention if strictly necessary.
(4) Midwives don’t do things without asking.

*I added this

What an enormous difference in approach, respect, and bedside manner compared to the midwives. Why can't all midwives just continue to care for us after birth? I went home almost in tears, so frustrated by the Canadian health care system. I feel stuck. We had to wait on a list for three months to be assigned to this practice. I'm highly doubtful there's another doctor out there, within walking distance, that would match my lifestyle choices and approach to health care who is accepting new patients. Let's be honest.

Baring that in mind, it wasn't all super terrible. I know this is just the way of the doctor. So focusing on the positive.....

  • she was nice enough as a person and shared with me a bit about her personal life
  • she was totally open to prescribing me medicine that didn't break the bank because we she made an effort to ask about our drug plan options - aka no coverage. I liked that part. 
  • the office was clean and bright
  • it only took 20 minutes of very slow walking to get there (whoohoo!)
  • the pharmacy downstairs took great care to make sure we could pay for the medicine before they just dished it out and worked with a dose that was easier to manage throughout the day (less pills)
  • if we needed drugs, she'd prescribe 'em!

In the end I walked away with $186.00 worth of pills that may or may not even work. A decision I made after talking with my midwives. Oh shit, I have to remember to take those today.

Savour the midwife.



delicious veggie burger from our date night 
First of all, did you celebrate Earth Hour? I can honestly say it's been one of my favourite moments of every year. My first Earth Hour I learned and practiced a ukulele song by candlelight. I seriously think it should be an entire day or official holiday, not just an hour in the dark.  This year, our friends Jon and Jenn came over for some candlelit scrabble. Jenn made delicious triple chocolate cookies that I think I've craved every day since we gobbled them up.

Speaking of delicious food stuff, the past two weeks in my going green challenge have been all about food.

Week #1: I think we're doing a great job with our vegetarianism and I don't think we can take it any further into vegetarian land, other than working on our meal planning to reduce our food waste. This week I made a much better grocery list and planned 4/7 dinners which cut down on what we were throwing away and helped us eat a more balanced meal. 

 my homemade oat cake
Week #2: Less cheese and white sugar. This has been something that's been nagging at me for years. I feel like in many ways, we just substituted meat for cheese. So instead of buying several different blocks/containers/tubes  of cheese, I bought one thing of goats cheese. I focused on meals like veggie shepherd's pie, wraps, burritos, naan pizza, etc. that didn't need a pile of cheese or any cheese at all to make them delicious. I'd say at least 50% of our main meals did not include cheese, which is at least a 25% drop in cheese consumption. It forced me to get creative in the kitchen and I think my body benefited from it too. 

Sugar is a tricky one. This week I didn't buy oreos or any other sugary snacks. Instead I made chocolate chip muffins using an awesome eggless, yogourt recipe with honey instead of sugar, and made amazing oat cakes which remind me of England but resemble a starbucks variety. Overall, I'm still craving sugar in a big way, so not great, but eventually I'll get there.

As a result of this week's challenge, I'm going to push forward with these changes and see what other meals we can come up with and ways I can sweeten without using white sugar which means I'm going to need to increase my calcium and protein in another way and find alternatives to sugar which I still have to figure out.  

getting organized in the kitchen
Long term Goal: Meal Planning. Having a binder or an online resource that I can access with known favourites for all of our meals. Using that to make a solid meal plan for every day of the week (at least for our dinners) which will break out into a grocery list that keeps me on track. I'd also love to buy local cheese and yogurt for those meals that we do want to indulge in some cheesy goodness.
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