Split Milk
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Sometimes I wonder how I am going to deal with sticky fingers, spilt milk and rotten food items under the sofa cushions when my in-utero baby enters the kingdom of toddlerhood and mastering the fork.

I have a tendency to like un-child proofed things. Actually, add un-animal proofed things to that.

Take my $500 gold threaded red velvet quilt, for example. Why in the world I thought it would be a good idea when I have a yellow dog, a white cat and black cat going gray is beyond me. But it was so fabulous and luxurious and Ava had just died and my head wasn’t on straight. Of course there’s the fact that all my bed sheets are black. Nothing screams a barnyard’s worth of animals live in this house than black sheets with a vigorous coating of cat and dog fur.

And then there’s the 52 inch big screen TV. The kind where you don’t want your dog’s nose prints plastered all over the delicate screen, but your dog does it anyways when the yapping mutts from the Purina commercial come on TV. I shudder at all the finger prints I’ll be discovering later on that!

Of course there’s the wooden surface of my one year old new Pier One bedroom suite that has been rendered to a sad state of butcheredness from my cats performing their trademark Flintstones take off in chase of ghostly things no one else can see but them.

Oh, and let’s not forget my suede place mats. Who in the world has kids and suede place mats? I just don’t know if I am ready to switch to flowery rubberized-easy-to-wipe table clothes.

The most distressing thing was when my ultra-hyper still teething puppy jumped up and tore a hole in the back of my rather pricey lamb skin leather jacket. I’m still a bit traumatized over that.

I guess living in this animal farm has somewhat prepared me for the messiness and destructiveness of toddlerhood. I have finally accepted that my carpets forever look filthy because of my dog’s bizarre desire to drag individual kibbles on it to eat. I’ve learned to embrace the warmth of the fuzzy fur plastered to all of my sheets and my TV is big enough to look at other parts of the screen to avoid the dog snot.

I’m just not sure how I’m going to feel about discovering rotting chicken fingers behind the couch and dead frogs in the toy box. Surely, suede place mats won’t fare well when faced with the wrath of ground in apple sauce and ketchup stains.

At least I have a few years still to allow these inevitable changes to sink in slowly.


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Big Bad Belly Shots - 16 Weeks
by Karla ° Monday, July 24, 2006
For the love of cheese and a ceaseless supply of cantaloupe and pineapples, I have ballooned to a total of nine pounds of pure elephantine stomach stretching proportions.

If this pregnancy progresses anything like my first (which it seems to be), then packing on the pounds up front seems to be the way my body likes to gestate and carry the ankle-biters of the future.

Speaking of the future, on December 22nd of this year, I will be welcoming little bubs into this world via an elective c-section. I couldn’t ask for a more memorable or cherished Christmas gift. Really, I’m weepy at the thought of being discharged and bringing baby home on Christmas day.

Because I am actually feeling rather good today, I braved the camera and in keeping with tradition from Ava’s Pregnancy Blog, the Big Belly Belly shots are back.

Yes, that's how my cami actually fits now, and yes, I actually walk around the house like that.

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by Karla ° Thursday, July 13, 2006
I was in maternity clothes by this point in my first pregnancy. I remember feeling like such a schmuck too, because it’s not like I had a ginormous belly (yet), but walking around with the buttons on all my pants open was starting to feel a little smutty for the realms of corporate dress code.

This time around it’s a bit different. Besides the fact that my old maternity clothes are all the wrong season, I’m not working. That basically translates into a very frugal Karla where style and cutesy-chic options have gone out the window with my salary.

When I finally lost all the baby weight from Ava, I celebrated by buying a ridiculously expensive ass-fabulous pair of jeans that made me feel like Shera, Princess of Power with the added bonus of making my inner thigh fat disappear. Those jeans have essentially been my only clothing purchase because the thought of spending money on new clothes when all I wanted was to be pregnant again seemed pointless.

While out for dinner with Mark the other night, I went to town on a loaf of bread. I’ve always been a lover of carbs, but pregnancy increases that love ten-fold and my inability to restrain from eating volumes and volumes of crackers has become a bit ridiculous. I think Mark finds my new appetite amusing, and wanting to sustain constant nourishment for his unborn child, kept slicing and insisting I eat more bread. Being ever so lady like before scarfing down every slice, I would insist I was full while he persisted I was not. The last slice did it though. While reaching over to grab a chunk of carbalicious goodness, a button popped off my pants.

It’s funny how times have changed. The last time we were at that restaurant we were severely inebriated and I rode Mark piggy back style on the way home while cars full of late-night drunken kids screeched by yelling, “ride ‘em cowboy”. That’s a far cry from waddling down the street with your pants half open, not from drunken-under-the-table-restaurant-hanky-panky, but from a stomach full of milk, bread and baby.

Apparently, I am going to need some clothing. And apparently, they need to be cheap.

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Issues Revisited
by Karla ° Monday, July 10, 2006
On July 5th, while visiting my OB’s office, I received information that has left me in a state of confused anguish.

Since my regular OB was away, I saw a stand in. He was actually really kind and compassionate. Of course, being new to my file, he asked a lot of questions about my history, what happened to Ava, the subsequent miscarriage, how this pregnancy is progressing, etc.

When I explained what happened to Ava, (precipitous labour, aspirated meconium, small structural defect that may have made it difficult for her to cope with the quick progression of labour where contractions where literally on top of one another), he basically delivered a blow that I wasn’t expecting.

He indicated that this supposed “structural defect” was so insignificant there was no way he could see how it would impact her during labour. Basically, he was shocked it was even added as a “possible” contributing factor.

To take a step back, the issue with her heart was originally explained as something very minor that you or I may even have without knowing it. It was also explained that it may or may not have been a contributing factor to her death because the thought was that she very well could have led a completely normal life and never have known about what the autopsy called “Prominent Endocardial Blood Vessels in the Region of the Limbus of the Foremen Ovale”. This still begs the questions however, why this new OB felt compelled to completely dismiss it.
I’ve tried googling the heart issue many a times. Not being the least bit knowledgeable about the intricacies of a heart, I have never fully understood exactly what it means.

So now, I feel like a complete jackass because a) the closure we thought we had has been completely shattered. If her heart couldn't have been a factor, then basically her death is unexplained and b) I never did get a second opinion on the matter.

I never got a second opinion because in Canada, without sounding like I an arrogant snob here, the hospitals I was dealing with are among the best in the country. Ava’s autopsy was performed at The Hospital for Sick Children. I believe this is one of the top six pediatric centres in the world, certainly the best in Canada. I delivered at Mount Sinai hospital, which has the largest obstetrical program in this country, as well as the finest high-risk birth centres and Neonatal Intensive Care Units in this country. Even a book entitled “The Best Hospitals in America” acclaims this teaching hospital as “the best all-around hospital in the country”. If I am dealing with the best of the best (and I am grateful I live in Toronto for that reason), there really wasn’t anywhere to go for a second opinion. Besides, I never once believed I was in the midst of anything that could be considered malpractice, negligent or wrong doing.

So what do I do? Revisiting and opening up such an emotional issue right now when it’s so important for me to stay calm and stress free during this pregnancy seems like such a bad idea. On the same hand, I feel like this new information is important to pursue because that closure I once felt is gone, and the hole left behind feels large and ominous.

I’m just so confused. This news was a big shock on top of my already fragile mindset.

I’m finally considering seeking professional help. I think it’s time. I never sought any help or support, either professionally or from family after Ava died, and I suddenly feel like I am crumbling. Nightmares have started creeping into my daily thoughts and I can’t stop reliving the trauma of the day Ava was born and died and I can't seem to stop replaying over and over the day I collapsed by her tiny little lambskin coffin wishing she would miraculously come back to me. I feel like I am reliving those terrible days following her death where the second I had a moment to myself to think, flashback memories caused my heart to pound and made breathing difficult. To cope I did mindless other things to keep my mind busy until I literally crashed from sheer exhaustion.

I knew being pregnant again wouldn’t be a cure-all, but I never expected it to reopen the wounds I thought had long ago begun to heal. And I certainly never expected to have to reconsider why my first baby is dead.

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McDonald's Meltdown
by Karla ° Sunday, July 2, 2006
Yesterday was a rather warm day, and like any pregnant woman not overly concerned about her caloric intake anymore, I decided I wanted a big fat milkshake.

Now before continuing, I should probably provide a preamble to give this story context. I have not been to a McDonald’s, or eaten at a fast food restaurant in years.

Anyhow, I immediately vetoed ice cream from the category of fast food to satisfy the vessel that is my ballooning midsection and made haste for the nearest McDonalds to obtain said frosty goodness.

When it was my turn to order, I politely asked for a vanilla milkshake. The woman taking my order responded, “What size?”

“Ummm…how big is a medium?” I asked, unsure of their cup sizes.

And it was at that moment the universe came to a screeching halt while the susurrus murmurs of disbelief echoed in the background of disgrace and shocking disbelief. The woman taking my order looked at me with one of those - what in the name of are you there God, it’s me Margaret don’t you understand - type of glares. Apparently, I am the last of our species that can skip and chew gum that needs to ask about the volume, dimensions and total mass of a McDonald’s cup.

In hindsight, I suppose it was a guffaw-inducing moment - all at the expense of a confused pregnant woman who (apparently) doesn’t understand the fundamentals of McDonald’s. But seriously, there has to be other people out there who don’t eat fast food? I am I really that anal retentive that I may just very well qualify for the last remaining human on the planet who doesn’t like grease? Is the fact that I make my own whole wheat pizza dough so I don’t have to eat refined carbs and fatty oil from take out pizza really that weird? Surely it can’t be all that strange that I prefer chopping up potatoes and baking my own French fries.

Actually, the fact that I felt so strangely out of place at a McDonald’s probably speaks volumes about my social shortcomings when it comes to food aversions.

And so the awkward life of the nit-picky vegetarian continues. At least next time I venture into the unfamiliar territory of fast food, I’ll know to ask for medium.


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