Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Pregnancy

January 18, 2009 was the day the morning sickness started. I am rarely sick beyond the occasional cold so this was very unusual. The nausea came on quickly and was so intense. I stayed on the futon most of the day. At some point I had a strong feeling that I was pregnant. I called Alex at work and asked him to bring home a pregnancy test. He brought one home and the next morning I tried it out. Sure enough, I got a positive result. I was in shock. I was in disbelief. I asked Alex to get another test. He brought home a box that contained two tests. I took both, and both were positive. It was true! I was pregnant! I made an appointment with a doctor, took a urine sample to confirm pregnancy, and referred me to an obstetrician.

Looks Like We're Havin' a Baby!

How exciting! I was now carrying a life inside of me! We were creating a new person! Our daughter or son! How amazing! On January 25th, I gave my camera to Alex so he could take my first belly photo.

5 Weeks

I found vegan prenatal vitamins and started taking them right away. It was especially important since my nausea was making it difficult to eat! I was having a hard time eating cooked foods during the first trimester of pregnancy. Even my beloved stir-fry and rice dishes were hard to stomach! I found myself eating mainly raw. Sometimes meals were just big plates of raw fruits and veggies!

Soon I went for an ultrasound. We could see a tiny pulsating speck, that was our baby's heart beating! It was an amazing thing to see! Our due date was set for September 30th.

Ultrasound at 6 Weeks

On February 7th, 2009, we made the first purchase for our baby, two packs of Kushies cloth diapers. We chose cloth diapers because of the harsh negative impact of disposable diapers on the environment and because of health concerns of chemicals used in disposable diapers. There was also the added benefit of cost.
We also went to a nearby thrift store where I bought two children's books and one parenting book. I had already been starting a book collection for our baby before I even got pregnant. Almost all of the books we buy are used, which is both beneficial for the environment and for the wallet!

Kushies Cotton Washable Diapers

February 18th was the day that food cravings started! It started out with cravings for spaghetti, and then watermelon, and then all sorts of fruit cravings! Some people have asked if I ever had cravings for any animal products, but I didn't have any during my entire pregnancy.

The nausea during my first trimester was so intense and constant that I spent most of my time at home laying on the futon. Eventually I had to quit my job at the Edmonton Humane Society because the pregnancy symptoms were so strong I was unable to do my job properly and fast enough.

Later, I decided to try eating foods with ginger, in an attempt to help ease the horrible nausea. Even though it is supposed to help, it actually made it so much worse! I realized that I was unable to eat foods with ginger. I couldn't stomach Ginger Ale either!

On March 5th, 2009, the belly photo for 10 weeks was taken, and from then on we were taking belly photos weekly.

15 Weeks Pregnant Now!
~*~15 Weeks~*~

On April 11, 2009, we moved into a new apartment. It was a lot smaller than our previous one, and we would be sharing our room with the baby, but it would save us a significant amount of money every month that could be used on our little one.

17 Weeks
~*~17 Weeks~*~

On April 28, 2009, we went to see the obsetrician. We got to hear our little one's heart beat for the first time! What an amazing sound! We could even hear the noise of our baby moving around! Later on in the day, I actually felt our baby's movement for the first time! What an awesome feeling! I told my obstetrician about my vegan diet and she was very supportive! I was relieved because I know that there are some doctors out there who are not very well informed about vegan diets and believe the outdated myth that vegan diets do not contain all the nutrients necessary to thrive.

As the baby grew bigger, the movements grew stronger and at times I would find my self laughing frequently, as I was being tickled from the inside! May 8th was the first day that I actually started seeing my belly move. I would try and get Alex to feel or watch but whenever he would, the movements would stop! A shy baby!

Eventually the movements were strong enough that they would sometimes hurt. I will never forget what it feels like to be kicked in the ribs from the inside! Or to be kicked or head-butted in the bladder!

21 Weeks
~*~21 Weeks~*~

On May 28th, at 22 weeks of pregnancy, we went in for another ultrasound. This time our little one looked more like a baby then a little dot! We wanted to find out the gender but our baby's legs were crossed!

Ultrasound at 22 Weeks!
~*~Our Baby!~*~

Later, during an appointment with the obstetrician, we found out that the ultrasound had revealed a problem. I had partial placenta previa, which means that the placenta was partially covering the cervix. I was told that if it did not move out of the way by the end of the pregnancy, I would have to have a c-section. I found out that it is potentially dangerous, to both my baby and me. I was put on bed rest and told I needed to avoid as much movement as I could, or I could tear the placenta and put my baby and I in danger. I was devastated and scared.

So I had to stop my walks outside. I even had to stop as much housework as I could. Alex helped me out a lot, while I did a whole lot of resting. As I got farther along in pregnancy I was getting more and more sore. My hip bones were loosening up and causing things to crack and pop while I would walk, causing a lot of discomfort and pain. As our little one grew bigger I was experiencing more rib pain and kicks in the bladder were getting strong enough to send me running straight to the bathroom!

24 Weeks
~*~24 Weeks~*~

Mid-June, Alex and I went out and picked up a crib. Alex put it together while I watched and took photos. Our room was finally starting to look like a good room for a baby!

Baby's Crib

30 Weeks
~*~30 Weeks~*~

On July 27th, we went for another ultrasound. This time it revealed some good news! The placenta previa was gone! My placenta has moved enough that it wasn't causing any more danger! I was taken off of bed rest, but unfortunately I was so sore by then that it didn't make a big difference. It was hard to walk! We learned something else from the ultrasound as well. We found out our baby's gender! A girl! We talked and came up with her name. We named her Rose!

~*~ It's a Girl!!! ~*~
~*~Getting Cramped in There!~*~

Soon I started feeling Rose's hiccups. That was something I didn't know I would feel. What a strange sensation! It felt really awkward! She would get them very often, sometimes in the morning, but a lot of times during the evening.

32 Weeks
~*~32 Weeks~*~

SuperDad!
~*~SuperDad!~*~

On August 11th, we went to an appointment with the obstetrician, where I learned that Rose was slightly above average in size, and that my iron was low (a very common problem during third trimester of pregnancy). I started taking iron supplements and increased my intake of foods high in iron - especially broccoli, which is my favourite vegetable!

On August 25th, another appointment revealed that Rose had flipped around and her head was down on the cervix. She was getting ready to come out and see the world!

Rose at 35 Weeks 3 Days
~*~Rose's face at 35.5 weeks!~*~

On the 31st of August, we bought a video camera so we can capture videos of Rose that we can treasure forever and show her when she is older! On September 1st, I caught one of her hiccup episodes on camera!


~*~Hiccups at 38 Weeks~*~

On September 3rd, I started packing for the hospital. Not much longer!

36 Weeks
~*~36 Weeks~*~

On September 20th, my mom flew here from Ontario, where her and my dad live. She wanted to be there for Rose's birth. Unfortunately my dad had to work and couldn't be there.

39 Weeks
~*~39 Weeks~*~

Five days later I started having irregular painless contractions. The next day they started getting more regular but they were still painless. They were actually difficult to notice and sometimes I would have to feel my belly just to see if I was actually having one. Three days later, on September 29th, I started having more frequent contractions. These ones were painful. I timed the contractions and decided they were close enough together to head to the hospital. We went to the hospital and after a little bit of monitoring and an examination I was told I was only 1 cm dilated and that it could still be quite a while before go into true labor so I was sent home. I was disappointed!

Dom and I
~*~First Hospital Visit~*~

The next day, at about 1:30 in the morning, the contractions were so painful that I was unable to sleep and so I grabbed a pen and paper and began timing the contractions. Eventually I went down for a nap and after I woke up the contractions were getting stronger and closer together so we left for the hospital. Unfortunately they sent me home again, only 1 cm dilated.

That evening, at about 7:30, the contractions became extremely painful. I spent the whole night tossing, turning, and crying. I didn't sleep, and was in terrible agony. I knew then that it must be time. We left for the hospital in the morning. The drive there felt like it was taking forever! After some monitoring and an examination it was determined that I was 3 cm dilated and was staying this time!

Together

I was given a nice big private room to deliver in, with a nice sized bed, a bathroom with a big shower, a rocking chair, and an birthing ball. The ball was the best thing there. Sitting on it helped A LOT with the pain of the contractions. I actually had a nap while sitting on it.

Me on the Birthing Ball
~*~Me on the Birthing Ball~*~

Dom and I, Waiting to Meet Rose
~*~Waiting to Meet Our Daughter~*~

Eventually I was put in bed and given an IV. The pain gradually got worse. I had previously planned that I wouldn't have any drugs, but the pain got so intense that it brought me to the point of BEGGING for an epidural! The difference afterward was amazing. I could feel the pressure, but not the pain. Well except for ONE place that the epidural seemed to have missed! My right hip was feeling large amounts of pain. I thought it was from laying on it so I switched sides and the pain continued. I continued to feel pain in that one hip for the entire time.

Mom and I

While waiting for the nurse to come in and see how dilated I was, I started feeling a strange pressure sensation that was very strong. Finally she came in and checked me. She was shocked to discover that Rose's head was already coming out so she ran to find the doctor. The process after that didn't last long. Just a few minutes! And then came that sound that touched my heart. The sound of our daughter's first cry! At 7:51 pm, our daughter was born! 7lbs 3oz! I had the biggest smile on my face and tears in my eyes. I said to my mom that this was the best day of my life. I held my precious Rose in my arms and was amazed at just how beautiful she was. She was gorgeous!

Happiest Day of My Life
~*~Happiest Day of My Life~*~

Our Darling Rose
~*~Our Precious Rose!~*~

Her daddy held her too, and he had the biggest smile on his face.
In his arms was someone who meant the world to him.

Rose and Her Daddy
~*~Rose and Her Daddy~*~

My mom and Alex's mom held her too, they both just met their first grand-child! It was a wonderful day for all of us!

And so began our life with our precious Rose! Our beautiful little baby who would continue to touch our lives and bring us so much joy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Introduction

My name is Melissa and my husband's name is Alex. We are the mother and father of a beautiful person named Rose. She is 1 year old and is a vegan. She is smart, playful, talkative, cheerful, and curious. She is our precious Rose.

Today I have decided to start a blog about her. I will follow this entry with two more, one about my pregnancy, and the other about her first year. So the first couple entries will be pretty big because I have a lot of catching up to do! After that I will continue to post about life with our little Rose! :)

If you would like to know why Rose and I are vegans please check out this slide show, "Theory of Animal Rights" by Professor Gary L. Francione.

Rose at the Window