Swollen and Purple
by Karla ° Friday, September 29, 2006
This week, the spheroid extending outwards from my body has finally started taking its toll. I’m really starting to feel big, and swollen and blunderous.

When I sit, my stomach competes with my boobs in a competition of who gets to go where, and in what direction, and I am the big looser in it all because they really have no where to go but mash together in a crushingly uncomfortable encounter of protruding swollenness.

And oh my pulsating veins. My wrists are crawling with purple and blue veins so close to the surface that I look like I’ve been prepping for a needle poking triathlon. The skin above my boobs looks like a rocky mountain roadmap since my veins shifted into in blood pumping overdrive. They are even bulging all over the location on my body where a distant memory of a waist used to be.

As I fast approach my third trimester, Monday marks the beginning of a Biophysical Profile ultrasound regime to continue to monitor baby’s well being and heart rhythms.

This ultrasound will also reveal if the placenta that’s been completely covering my cervix has migrated northwards in my uterus. I am a throbbing pulsing swollen balloon of purpleness and if I can’t ever have sex again I might just explode.


Samson and Mom

Apparently, Samson finds the whole no sex thing absolutely hilarious. Surely he must be thinking payback is a bitch considering he can only dream of copulatory sex after his hulking nutsacks were chopped off at the doggy testicle chop chop.

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Remembering
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Last Friday I received quite possibly the saddest and most heart wrenching email I have ever read. It was a blatant reminder why I harbour such guarded emotions when it comes to pregnancy and babies and makes me want to hug my stomach tight and somehow guard my own baby against the harsh realities of the Universe.

A woman who I do not know in person, but share an intimate empathetic connection with, is currently pregnant with a precious baby boy named Ian. Although he is not ill, he will not survive after he is born. His brain stopped growing two months ago, and while she waits for labour to begin, she is forced to come to terms with birthing a child who has no chance of survival outside her body and the only reasonable option for her is palliative care.

As a mother who had no choice but to remove her own baby from life support, I can empathize and understand her agony. What I can’t even begin to understand is what it must be like spending the last few weeks of pregnancy planning a funeral for a baby still kicking and squirming in utero. My heart is heavy and throbbing and I wish her nothing but strength and courage as she embarks down the painful road ahead of her.

This Sunday I will be attending a very special Dove Release to remember and cherish the gentle cherubium babies who are no longer with us. I’ll be reading a poem called She Soars that I wrote for Ava shortly after she died. So many woman and families who have lost babies will be in my thoughts this weekend, but today especially, my heart weighs heavily for Heather and her sweet little boy Matthew who tiptoed in into this world silently six years ago today.

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The Orifice of Doom and Terror
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 26, 2006
If you asked someone close to me to describe my greatest incompetence, I can guarantee they would respond with a definitive pointedness that my cooking credentials lack finesse and palatability.

I’ve never taken an interest in cooking. I tend to lean more towards the “eat to live” adage rather than “live to eat”, and it’s long been a running joke amongst my friends that cereal is a dinner staple for me.

Since I’ve been home these past few months, I’ve started to notice a tiny hint of my inner Martha Stewart digging herself out of the thick culinary cobwebs wrapped around my anti broil/roast/sauté psyche.

Maybe it was partially out of boredom, or maybe I can attribute it to greater levels of maturity, or maybe I am just shamefully embarrassed how much I suck in the kitchen, but in any case, learning to cook, for me, means first learning to burn stuff. And burning stuff means the fire alarm goes off, and setting off the fire alarm sends the dog into a dizzying freak out frenzy.

My quest to learn the fine art of using an oven has essentially taught the dog that opening the oven door sets of waves of ear piercing shrieking fire alarm sounds often accompanied by a stenchful black cloud of incinerated food stuffs.

Although I have, for the most part, moved past the stage of assassinating everything I put in the oven, the dog has not forgotten the holy hell he’s been through while I perfected the art of temperature setting and using timers. To this day, the oven is a mysterious orifice of doom and terror that must be bounteously barked at and defended from the evil wrath of whatever lies behind its door – as sadly demonstrated in the video below.



Speaking of dogs, our friends just had a litter of the most magnetically adorable black and yellow labs. They live on a farm with wide open space and giant pond where the dogs swim and fetch sticks. They love their babies, and live with five of the most gorgeous and sweet champion purepred labs I have ever seen. Samson isn’t exactly a purebred, but when united with the blue bloods for a puppy playdate they shared their doggy snacks with him and humoured his boundless energy by running marathon laps around endless field space together.

If you’re looking for a puppy and live in the Toronto/Guelph area, one of these pudgy little munchkins will most definitely enamour and charm their way into your heart and captivate and inflame you with much puppy love.

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Blog Friends, Births and Birthdays
by Karla ° Monday, September 25, 2006
This weekend arrived, came and went with a cyclone force that’s left my six and half month state of pregnant rotundity feeling haggard and a weary.

Early Friday morning we were awakened to the sound of the phone ringing. Instinctively I knew the early morning wake up call was news announcing the arrival of Mark’s Sister-in-Law’s baby. With shameful sordidness and selfishness, I buried my head under the covers and remained in my safe shell of blankets and disgusting pouty selfishness that other people can birth babies that survive longer than seven hours outside the confines of their uterine abode while Mark received the gleeful news of baby Clark’s arrival.

On Friday night, with much excitement and a sleep deprived purple twinge of bleariness under my eyes, I dined with Kristin from
Debaucherous and Dishevelled. Every bit as charming and witty in person, her effortless charisma and eloquence made for a great evening of blogging camaraderie. As an added bonus, I got to meet a blogger I did not know, Ashley from Looking out the Window, who is so incredibly sweet and darling and has a fashion sense that put me to shame with her dazzling earrings and adorable shoes.

Saturday, Mark and I headed to our hometown of Penetanguishene to lunch with mom. My dad planned a surprise party for her 50th birthday, but unfortunately, my anal state of pregnancy protectiveness kicked in and I didn’t go because there would be people smoking and too many studies have proven time and time again the harmful effects of smoke (even second hand smoke) on babies and their development all the way into toddlerhood.

Later in the afternoon we visited baby Clark. As graceful as possible, I avoided holding him and distracted away tears and (hopefully) any offense taken by excitedly talking to his mom about her birth, the great drugs she was on, and how wickedly swollen the human body gets after a c-section.

Sunday was officially the birthday of both my mom and me. I turned 27 yesterday, and even though my mom turned 50, I swear up, down, left right and center that although she may be chronologically older than me, her biological age is that of a free spirit teeny bopper not afraid to dance on tables, sing off key karaoke and pass the afternoons away shaking booty and swinging her hips to the latest hip hop vibes. Like the old maid that I am, I spent my birthday enrolling the mucking futt in more training classes, walking four miles on the treadmill, and making a health conscious birthday pizza with whole wheat crust sprinkled with baby building protein packed wheat germ.

I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend pondering the shameless jealousy I am feeling surrounding Clark’s birth. I do not understand why I remain so hurt and cautiously guarded of my emotions over a new bundle of joy that remains so entirely innocent and purely free of pain and sadness. He deserves nothing but genuine wholehearted happiness surrounding him and welcoming him into this world, but my heart remains so gingerly delicate and fragile and I’m afraid it will shatter into a million little pieces if I don’t build barriers around it. The last baby I held took her last breath in my arms and I can’t help but feel emotionally overwhelmed as thoughts of Ava’s final minutes swirl frantically in my mind.

For reasons I do not understand, my mind is set making sure the next baby I hold is my own.

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Wedding Anniversary
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 20, 2006
On this day, exactly three years ago, I married a man that I have been head over heels in love with for over 10 years.

But it wasn’t always that way. The first time we met was the summer 1993 before high school was about to start (for me) and I thought he was a geek.

It wasn’t until almost two years later that our friendship blossomed and we quickly became inseparable buddies.

Our friendship prevailed, and a year and a half later, we were officially a couple after a night of drunken honesty and stolen kisses.

Our last year of high school together was a dizzying budding romance where we spent every waking moment together.

He wrote me beautiful poetry printed on an ancient dot matrix printer and I foreshadowed my depressing domestic diva capabilities by sewing him lousy looking heart shaped pillows and underwear equipped with a built in elephant trunk to stroke his penile ego.

At the tender age of 17 and 19 we graduated high school, moved away from home and went our separate ways to attend college. Our relationship remained strong, and in 2000, I crashed his bachelor pad and moved in with him. Three years later, on this very day, we were united as husband and wife. My wedding band was custom made with seven diamonds to symbolize the seven years of bonding, friendship and love we shared before tying the knot.



I love my husband fiercely and intensely. My wish is for the gentle breeze of our love to continue embracing us with its intimacy and warmth, and that the gentle whispers of that love continue building strength and resilience to weather the familiar, the ordinary and the extraordinary adventures that await us in the years ahead.



Here is a video version our story from high school until our wedding day, September 20th, 2003. Mark put this together to play at our wedding.

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Mucking Futt
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The Mucking Futt is a ball of disgraceful filth at the moment. He has recently developed a new hobby I like to call Project: Back Yard Excavation. He’s been strip mining and burrowing holes with bottomless depths for a few weeks now and my yard is riddled with ankle twisting voids that suggest he may be trying to bore his way to china, unearth hidden treasures that hold the secret to our existence, or find a way to get wretchedly squalid – because he is a dog, and that is what makes him happy.

Unfortunately, the ratio of his innocent borehole glee to mine is way off because the yard now resembles a landmine graveyard that is still riddled with unexploded ordnance just waiting to detonate another canyon sized gorge to trip over.

Backyard craters aside, all his heroic hole digging efforts leaves him looking downright dirty. Once Samson is satisfied with his digging efforts, he proceeds to allow himself the pleasure of an enthusiastic full body jitterbug shimmy with all four legs in the air wiggling and jiggling in the depths of his crater creations. The dirt here has quite a heavy clay content and this seems to help the black streaks bind with plenty of spotted staying power to his yellow fur.

Once boredom from his filth follies starts to set in, he comes hammering on the door with a sly mantis gleam in his eye, dirt still free falling from his jowls and a body so filthy that it magically transforms my vocabulary into that of a scummy brothel owner specializing in services to sailors with Tourettes syndrome.

We bathed him on Sunday, but today, obviously not content with his crisp and beaming state of poochly cleanliness, he has gone and recreated the stinky elegance that is his fur coat covered in black clay dirt again.

Maybe he is having a racial identity crisis. I mean, his distant relatives come in a stunning black and brown variety. Or then again, maybe he truly does prefer himself with hint of putrid dirty stench of worm and other earthly things that live in the ground.

Or maybe it’s just a phase.

Anyone?

To keep his embarrassing dirtiness under wraps, I’ve adorned him in this sartorial splendor. The fact that he is wearing my shirt and we appear to be almost the same size seems a bit buffoonish. No?


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Who's Your Daddy?
by Karla ° Friday, September 15, 2006
My dog is completely trained on his potty bell now. He loves it, so much so in fact, that he now manipulates the system for free cookies.

It’s tricky. If he rings it, he must be praised and treated and let outside, otherwise, without the consistency, he’d never get it. Now however, he’ll ding dong on that bedeviled thing all day for cookies. It’s annoying and tiring really, but it’s so d
amn cute that my big blundering lug of a dog makes it go ding-a-ling-a-ling every time he has to (fake) tinkle that I can’t bring myself to take it away.

He’s a big boy now. He’s not yet 10 months old, but he is already 75lbs and still growing. If you stand him up on his hind legs, his paws reach my eyeballs. Sometimes he doesn’t even realize what a brawny beefcake he is. There could be 7mm of sofa space left and he’ll try with every last speck of tenacity in him to squeeze his big puppy ass into it, flattening any living human like a pancake in the process. His energy levels remain at a consistent and breakneck speed of bustling hyper. His enthusiasm is quite endearing, but his attention span leaves something to be desired. When excited and asked to sit, he’ll hover in a squat position and quiver on his hind legs. He can hold this position for about 4.2 seconds before his desire to break the sound barrier is unleashed and he runs laps at mach speed around a table, a human or a shoe.

We have recently started working on increasing his Sit and Stay attention span - for a c
ouple of reasons. First being that he needs to learn to stay by the door when his feet are wet, and the second, most important reason, is for him to learn to sit still and keep his drooly tongue and hypersonically swift whiplashy wagging tail out of my face when I am holding or changing the baby.

His all time record is a three minute stay – with me in a different room. For a dog, that’s half a lifetime and I’m happy with our progress. He has eaten many cookies to come this far.

Sometimes he amazes me with how smart he seems, and other times, like when he pirouettes in figure eights around the room to chase his tail; his intelligence leaves something to be desired. He is however, always good for a laugh when he cocks head before breaking out in a full chorus of deep excited woof woof bellows and bays when asked “Who’s your Daddy?”

As excitable and entertaining as Samson is though, I’m a little worried how crushed his spirit will be when we bring the baby home. His boundless energy can be trying at times, but I know I would miss it if it were gone.

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bebop
by Karla ° Thursday, September 14, 2006
If there is one thing about this pregnancy that is kind of nice, it’s the close monitoring and compassionate care of those involved in my prenatal care. I know with my first pregnancy I really struggled with the whole midwife vs OB debate. Here in Ontario, women have the choice of either as both options are completely funded by our government.

In any case, I remember thinking that for my first baby, I would proceed under the care of an Obstetrician, and if all went well; consider midwifery care with subsequent pregnancies. Of course, not all went well, and here I am today, under the care of a Perinatologist (I feel like a pylon calling her that, but if I had to go through all that extra schooling to get a bumped up title from Obstetrician, I would want people to refer to me by that designation too).

In all honesty though, she is wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She came to visit me in the hospital and cried with me when Ava died, has never pushed any tests or procedures on me, supports me if I choose the VBAC route, is patient, and most important of all, demonstrates true compassion for me and this baby and is flexible and willing to work with my wants, needs, fears and concerns throughout this pregnancy.

Together we outlined how this pregnancy will be monitored and followed. She sought my input on tests and procedures and asked how I felt about the intensity of visits and told me I could increase them if I felt it was necessary or helpful. She has a unique way of involving me in the decision making process around this baby and my birth and for that I am grateful.

On Monday I happened to mention to her my concern around the activity level of this baby. I distinctly remember this point in my pregnancy with Ava because it was Christmas and my family was visiting. I could sit with my tummy exposed as my mom and I watched it ripple and undulate as Ava’s little body squirmed and rolled beneath the surface. This baby isn’t nearly as feisty. He’ll give the occasional gentle tap to remind me he's still with me, but his movement patterns still left me worried, despite the fact that every baby is different and behaves differently in the womb.

To ease my concerns, she sent me in for an ultrasound scan. Although I had in fact heard his heart beating a steady 150 bpm a few minutes earlier, her genuine concern for me in that situation was just awesome. I feel better now, and of course, little bubalubs is doing just fine. His growth is right on track and he even waved hello.

The kicker? (no pun indented), yesterday my stomach started rolling and bebopping around with a startling intensity as this little one pound heavy weight suddenly decided to start training for his first all night baby cryathlon.

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Truthiness
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I don’t know what’s worse, having gained 16 pounds with most of it showing in my face followed by my butterball belly, followed by my distended belly button, or the fact that my husband told me I look good in his fat clothes.

Because I don’t fit in any of my t-shirts without exposing a bulging belly button anymore, I have been forced to raid my husband’s clothes in search of accoutrements suitable for bumming around the house. My husband has lost a lot of weight recently (between 60/70 lbs -- its hard to say for sure because he lifts weights and has added a lot of muscle to replace fat), and that has left me with a vast selection of balloonishly bulky clothing to drape over my convexly shape.

Digging through his fat clothes drawer, I found a smashingly trashy free with purchase of a case of Budweiser beer t-shirt that was most appropriately sized for ginormous beer bellies, although perhaps not so appropriately suitable for my pregnancy bump. Feeling light and airy and freed from the constrictions of my less than desirable over exposed belly baring threads, I graced my stomach down the stairs and proudly proclaimed to my husband that I was taking over his fat clothes.

In a moment of awkward truthiness, my husband glanced over at me and said, “Hey that looks really good on you.”

And in my befuckled state from hearing that tent shaped beer labeled clothing that has been sitting in drawer collecting dust under the label of fat clothes was suddenly becoming on me, I scowled and grimaced and shot daggers with my eyes until he realized the horrible mistake he had made.

In a failed attempt to emancipate himself from the wrath of my darkening hormonal sensitivity, he quickly retracted his statement and pulled out the boob card with, “I mean your boobs look great in that shirt.”

Glancing in the hallway mirror I realized that the parachute draping over my shoulders curtained out any womanly signs of boobiliciousness that may be hiding underneath. His attempt to bullshit his way out of the dog house by complimenting my new C cup chest had failed.

My sex appeal factor has officially been downgraded and plutoed to zilch, but at least this 16lbs hasn’t found it’s way to my ass yet. I’m not ready to give in and start wearing granny panties.

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