Sense of Humour
by Karla ° Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I like to think I have a sense of humour, despite the fact that I think Napoleon Dynamite is one of the funniest movies ever, which probably indicates that my sense of humour has never developed past that of a 12 year old.

But you know, my crazy zoo cats, mongrel of a mutt and hunka hunka burning love of a husband, along with plenty of buffoonery and banter are the spice of my life.

Sometimes I find snicker worthy amusement in the fact that I can walk around all day in a discombobulated hormonally-induced daze of pregnancy before I realize that if someone asked me the difference between my ass and my esophagus, I just may not be able to muster up enough intelligence for a coherent reply.

And I am finally starting to see the knee-slapper hilariousness in the fact that my belly now resembles a beach ball of flesh and veins that is blocking all visual and physical access to body parts below my hips where large algae blooms of hairiness are taking over.

I’ll even admit to the comicalness that can be found in the fact that I have put on 6lbs in two weeks, and since only one of those pounds went to the baby, the rest has invariable went straight to building a cantilever support system for my ass, which now looks like two Pringles hugging.

Where I fail to find comic relief however, is when I find myself slowly schlepping into a train station at 6:00 am the day after the time change because every clock was reset in the house except the one that really mattered - the cursed alarm clock.

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Gloriously Sleepy Sunday
by Karla ° Sunday, October 29, 2006

And a wickedly spoiled puppy that has evolved from a cute as a bug’s ear glutton of snuggles into a goliath-sized plunderer of pillows.


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Bubs due date
by Karla ° Friday, October 27, 2006
This Sunday would have been Bubs due date.

I don’t talk about my miscarriage a lot. It’s not because I don’t want to face the pain or because I find it uncomfortable to talk about, it’s because I’m afraid to come across as a dreadfully insensitive human being when I say it’s a totally different experience than losing full term newborn.

I do grieve Bubs loss. There was a life inside of me and although it was short lived, it still hurts knowing it failed. Only, it’s a different sort of hurt.

I never met the baby I miscarried. Unlike my experience with Ava, I never felt their soft warmth against my chest, never stroked the smooth innocence of their cheeks, never had a chance to sing them a lullaby, was never able to gaze in awe at their cherubium angelic face, caress a tiny foot or run my fingers through ringlets of feathery fine hair.

Losing Ava crippled me with bittersweet sadness and anger. I was bitter she never opened her eyes, I was bitter that as new parents we were forced to make the decision to take her off life support, I was bitter she never cried, I was bitter that my breasts were full of milk and I had no baby to nurse, I was bitter that my body went into labour so hard and fast that Ava wasn’t able to cope, I was bitter for the c-section, I was bitter I was put under a general anesthesia, I was bitter that my body failed Ava and I was bitter that the universe failed me in a way that I have never fully been able to understand.

When the miscarriage happened, I just didn’t have the same intensity of experiences to draw upon to be bitter and sad about. It’s not that it didn’t hurt; it hurt a lot, it was just a different kind of wound that required a different kind of healing.

I remember when the anniversary of Ava’s birth was approaching and how difficult that was. Not only were we mourning her loss, but also in the back of my mind, there was the loss of our second baby too.

I think as Bubs due date approaches that maybe, just maybe, the reason all this wretchedness feels bearable is because I am pregnant again, and the hopeful anticipation of meeting this baby has helped lift the despair lurking in the shadowy corners of my spirit.

How ironic that the life inside of me helps me endure through this process we call living.

For that, I am thankful.

Farewell and safe landings Bubs.


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A Nuptial Mystery
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I made it to 35 weeks in my first pregnancy before my hands swelled up and my wedding rings caused my finger to turn a deep shade of crimson from lack of circulation. Little did I know that when I took my rings off, it would be the last time I would be able to wear them pain free for any length of time until I became pregnant again.

Once I deflated back to my normal watery bodily proportions after Ava was born, I put my wedding rings back on and almost immediately my finger started to itch, burn, blister and scab, all in that exact order.

My rings are white gold, but because there really isn’t such thing as white gold, they are rhodium plated. Nickel is the most common alloy used for this process, and apparently, it is also quite common to have nickel allergies. At least that’s what the doctor said. Incidentally, I had been wearing my rings totally uneventfully for years. I couldn’t understand why I would suddenly develop an allergy, but because I was thisclose to cutting my finger off so I didn’t have to deal with the itchy/inflamed wound of blistery burning rawness, I safely tucked my rings away until I could figure out what to do with them.

Then the most bizarre thing happened. My husband and I had to go somewhere, and it was the type of somewhere that I wanted to look all nuptially unified and matrimonial. I could have put on a pair of June Cleaver pearls and an apron, but I opted for a more subtle and less demeaning approach and slipped my bedeviled wedding rings around my finger.

Days later I noticed that I had forgotten to take them off and had been wearing them without any itching/blistering episodes.

And then – many more days later – the itchy/scabby flaming inferno around my finger returned.

This went on for months and months. Sometimes I could wear them for weeks on end, and then suddenly, like my rings were possessed under the spell of a strange voodoo hex, the itchiness returned and I wanted to slowly peel the skin off my finger because that would have been less irritating than slipping into a coma induced neurosis of scratching the blisters around my finger.

And so the mysterious wedding ring saga continued. I’ve never been fully convinced that I am allergic to them, particularly now that I am pregnant again and they haven’t left my finger in over seven months. My highly unsubstantiated theory is that its hormone related, and I may just very well have discovered the ultimate PMS prediction device.

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The Proverbial Pregnancy Waddle
by Karla ° Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The part about pregnancy that hurts my ego the most has become a sauntering certainty. My ability to strut and stroll with gingerly grace has been replaced with a wobbly toddle and I now resemble something between that of a shuffling duck and a plumpish penguin when I walk.

My center of gravity has blasted off on an interstellar space travel mission leaving me with the challenging task of finding a steady equilibrium between balancing the giant pumpkin harvesting in my uterus and avoiding an extreme face plant amongst carpet fibers when tying a shoe.

And you would think with all the pregnancy hormones softening the ligaments in my pelvis and spreading my hips I would be spared the sensation of my meatier maternal thighs rubbing together with a enough vigor to build a campfire in my loins, but apparently finding comic relief from taking on the role of gestating goddess remains something to be found only in hindsight once the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man physique deflates.

But even though Hef won’t be inviting me to hang with him in the grotto any time soon - or ever - and I now have to muster up enough centrifugal force to defy gravity and break the sound barrier to hurl myself out of bed, I really am quite fond and attached to the spheroid shape protruding from my body. I’m going to miss this belly when it’s gone, particularly the champion worthy kick boxing skills my little boy insists on practicing every time I feed him a peach.

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by Karla ° Monday, October 23, 2006
There aren’t too many places in the world where you can walk around smelling like lube and eat ice cream served from cones in the shape of testicles and fit right in, unless you were at The Everything to do with Sex Show in Toronto last weekend.

It was fun, you know, considering there were Got Ass models parading around in stilettos and Brazilian panties cut just so for ample cheeky back-end exposure trying to steal the gazes of men with every sashay and swing of their hips.

The lingerie fashion show was entertaining, despite my split second of jealousy and wish for my lump free and toned pre-baby body back. When I noticed one model’s ass was covered in bumpy cottage cheese-like cellulite however, a sense of smug validation set in.

Always a sucker for the freebies, while passing a condom booth, Mark grabbed a handful of free samples. The man at the booth darted his eyes to my bulging stomach before looking back at Mark with an empathetic expression of “too little too late dude, but better luck next time with family planning thing.”

While quizzing Mark from one of the handouts we grabbed, I learned he thinks women’s nipples swell to 200% their normal size when aroused. I’m not sure where this number came from, but I can assure you my nipples have never swelled to expansive proportions large enough to balance a saucer and a tea cup.

A crowd pleaser seemed to be the porn stars signing autographs and posing for pictures., The highlight for me personally was watching Shaun Majumder from the famous Canadian political satire TV show, This Hour has 22 Minutes visit all the different sex booths and work his comical magic.

I might be on TV if they show the Oyster shucking segment and pan slightly to left. I am the one standing there in all my mountainous matronliness drinking a bottle of coke underneath the jumbo screen playing clips of college girls flashing their boobs.

Shaun Majumder from This Hour has 22 Minutes discussing the benefits of the Liberator Sex Ramp with a seasoned expert.


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Big Bad Belly Shots - 29 Weeks
by Karla ° Saturday, October 21, 2006

Big Bad Belly / Bored Dog

Big Bad Belly / Loving the Mammaries

Big Bad Belly Kiss / Big Bad Belly Gashes due to persistent belly itching.

Big Bad Muscle Head

Big Bad Dog Head

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by Karla ° Friday, October 20, 2006
This weekend my husband and I are going to The Everything to Do with Sex Show. I’m sure I’ll fit right in because nothing screams I am a sexual being better than walking around in an engorged knocked up state with a stomach the size of a first prize harvest festival pumpkin.

Pregnancy is (apparently) supposed to be one of the sauciest and sexiest times of a woman’s life. I have yet to meet a woman who agrees.

The only hot and heavy action going on in my body right now is a rise in body temperature and the growth of fat cells on a tiny human and my hips. My moaning and groaning is mainly due to backaches and the extent of any erotic swelling is focused solely on my feet, which would be great if my husband had a foot fetish, but he doesn’t, so it’s not sexy in the least.

My frequent grunting might sound more come-hither if it wasn’t in the context of trying to put on socks, and the constant state of breathlessness that I am in is because my lungs are pinned up somewhere against my esophagus and have the air volume capacity of a pin head. Although it sounds like I am always panting, the only thing I am screaming for more of is air.

You would think my diligent use of cocoa butter on my stomach to prevent stretch marks would be slightly erotic if I let my husband rub it on me, but I’m ticklish, so it’s kind of feels like he’s greasing up a pork loin that giggles and smells like a seed from the pod of a Theobroma tree mixed with wax and Yellow 5.

And who calls pregnant people saucy anyways? Sauce is something you put on food, which I constantly crave and eat a lot of. When I think of saucy, I think of alfredo and noodles, not sex.

That being said, it’s highly likely that there will come a day when I feel human again and actually want to grope my husband, so burgeoning belly or not, I’m curious to know what’s happening in the world of sex, so you know, I can be a better groper.

I hear Rubberella’s latex bondage balloon and kitty stage act is a hit and who doesn't want to see the choreographed dance and martial arts moves of Sexicana?

Like the prude that I am, however, I’ll be sure to skip the breakfast Strap-on Fun seminar and 3:30 talk on receiving it in the rear.

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Pumpkin Pie
by Karla ° Thursday, October 19, 2006
One of the greatest things about Toronto is its multiculturalism. We are second, (behind Miami) for our foreign born population.

I grew up in a very small town and was never exposed to a Multicultural Mecca like Toronto before moving here. It’s been the most fabulous, eye opening experience to meet, mingle, befriend and learn about humanity through the eyes of those who are far worldlier than me.

Sometimes though, it’s easy to forget that common celebrations or cultural norms here in our Western culture may come across as bizarrely peculiar to those who aren’t familiar with our traditions.

Take for example, a pumpkin. Although a horrific and gaudy shade of orange, it's innocent enough looking, the main ingredient in pumpkin pie and its an iconic Halloween tradition to carve them.

Every year my husband’s office holds a pumpkin carving contest. One year, a relatively new employee (who hadn’t been in Canada very long), participated in the festivities and like a good sport, helped his team members gut and carve their gourd.

After the judging, each team got to pick one lucky person to take home the disemboweled orange masterpiece. When Mark offered the pumpkin to the new guy, he hesitated and looked at the lopsided toothy grinning gourd in befuckled bewildered until finally he said, “I can’t possible take it home with me. I don’t know how to cook it!”

Can you imagine what that poor guy must have been thinking? He’s barely unpacked the boxes that have journeyed far and abroad to get to this country, and here his coworkers are sacrificing pumpkins gutted from a removable head piece in an assumingly frightful pie baking ritual.

Between fits of hysterical laughter I realized that along the way I must have had (and most likely still have) my share of cultural faux pas.

Care to share any of yours?

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Samson Speaks
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dear Grandma and Grandpa C and McGramma and McGrampa,

I’m really not happy that mom and dad have to leave soon to birth my baby brother without me, but I guess having some company to rub my ears and let me outside to potty beats shitting on the floor.

I’m not high maintenance, but I do have the following requests and facts to communicate to make sure my life of leisure and luxury remains as undisturbed as possible during my parent's absence.

Because I am a riotous rapscallion, and a cookie whore, I will ring my potty often. When this happens, I expect you to throw exactly one half of a congratulatory potty cookie onto the deck to coerce me outside. If you ignore the potty bell when I ring it, I will just ring it louder and more frequently. Please don’t ignore the goddam potty bell.

My kibble bowl must remain full because I am not a glutton and will not eat until I explode. I am a man of leisure and snack accordingly throughout the day. Apparently, the same rule applies for the cats. I think they are too fat however, and usually polish off their kibble and their water when no one is looking. I am not a sadist though, and if you choose to refill their food and water supply, their kibble dispenser is on top of the dryer. Dad always gives them filtered water, but mom’s lazy and just uses to rusty tap water from the basement sink.

I obey hand signals better than voice commands. There is a signal for stay, wait, down, leave it and sit. I don’t work well under pressure, but cookies can convince me to do pretty much anything.

If I jump up in excitement, I know that a stern “Four feet on the floor mister!” means business and I shouldn’t do it anymore.

Please don’t spank or hit me. I am of elephantine proportions anyway, and regularly crash my head into random objects and rather enjoy it. To correct bad behavior, there are pop cans stuffed with pennies all over the house. Shaking one will freak the shit out of me, and cause me stop whatever bad behavior I am doing.

Sometimes, when you try to let me inside I play the statue game and stand there like an idiot when the door opens for me. If you try and grab my collar to drag me inside, I will think you are playing and run away. Even cookies lose their magic in this situation. Try counting to three (in English please). Because I am a mathematical genius, I know that three means the door will shut. I’m usually in by two, but if counting fails, tell me “Samson, in your crate,” while making exaggerated hand gestures towards my crate. I am more than happy to prance directly into my crate once I have convinced a human to act like a lowly doorman.

I do not jump on counters for food, but that is only because I am tall enough to rest my nose comfortably on the edge of the counter and extend my lizard tongue to taint your food with the remains of toilet bowl water and dog ass.

Please ensure toilets remain flushed at all times. I very much enjoy the crisp freshness of water served from a fine bowl of porcelain.

If I cry during the night, I probably have diarrhea and it’s in your best interest to get up and let me out if you don’t want a drippy mess of raunchiness to clean.

I like to eat the deck. Please randomly check on me when I'm outside to ensure I am not choking on splinters because I am too stupid to know that pressure treated wood is full of arsenic.

I have a thing for humping random women. Please note that I do not understand the concept of incest and that I am boy and I just can’t help myself sometimes.

I enjoy leisurely licking my nutsacks. Admit it, if you could, you would too.

I enjoy ice cubes and would appreciate if you obliged my cravings and offered them to me often.

At night, when I am out pottying, please turn the outside light on so the neighbours know I am outside. Their dog hates me and barks and charges against the fence like her ass is on fire when she see’s me. It makes the scruff of my neck all prickly. Sometimes we fight through the fence, but I am more than happy to be the bigger man and walk away if you offer me a cookie.

I have been told that my farts are the most horribly noxious smell in the whole wide world, but I enjoy them. Sorry if you feel differently.

I don’t beg for food often, but when I do, just cast the leave it spell on whatever it is that I am interested in. To cast the spell, simply say “Samson, Leave It” and wave your hand across the item. For the most part, unless said item is a cat or has cheese on it, I’ll listen.

When I wake up in the morning, Mom and Dad always sing me a good morning song. I usually stand between their legs and let them rub my ass while they sing it. The lyrics are simple and go as so: “It’s morning time for the pooch, it’s morning time for the pooch. It’s morning, it’s morning, it’s good morning time for the pooch.” Please memorize them.

I think that about covers it. Thank you in advance for agreeing to help sustain my level of comfort and well being during this difficult stage of transition in my life. I’m not so sure about this whole baby thing, but a little birdy told me that dirty diapers are enticing and entertaining to sniff, so at least that’s something to look forward too.


Samson the dog

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by Karla ° Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Before heading out the door for my prenatal appointment yesterday, I said a long and piteous farewell to my heels. My feet are swollen laterally, obliquely and transversely, and stuffing them into a pair of heels exasperates their painful cries of swollen distress.
I made peace with the unpleasantness of the situation and collected myself, my belly and a dirty pair of sneakers for my two grouchy appendages and was on my way.

Shockingly, I have lost weight over the past two weeks, but my little bubalubs is growing swimmingly swell. He scored a perfect 8/8 on his biophysical profile ultrasound and he is still measuring larger than average at 2.6 lbs, which is a wonderful thing.

The score, in case you are wondering, is used to measure fetal breathing, body movements, muscle tone and the volume of amniotic fluid. Each item receives a score from 0 – 2. Ava always scored perfect on all of her BPP exams as well, so although these can’t guarantee a positive outcome, I am trying to remain optimistic.

I watched my little macho man (whose name is Nate by the way, or Nathan when stern emphasis is required for hoodlumish behavior), proudly put his testicles on display and open and close his mouth as he prepares himself for the momentous day when he will need to breathe air.

I signed a c-section waver, and although it in no way means that the surgery is set in stone, it has definitely set the balls in motion for a delivery date only 66 days from now.
As my OB discussed the risks of undergoing a second c-section, I felt my heart leap out of my chest and my face shift from flushed to salt-pale while trying to absorb being told about the things I was already concerned about. My views on having another c-section shift like magma on the ocean floor with my feelings running just as deep. If I go through with it, I will not be able to attempt a VBAC ever again, and have to accept that having a womb with a view is the only option for further deliveries (at least while under the care of the medical staff at Mount Sinai, I’m sure there are plenty of Doula’s and Midwives who feel differently.) For reasons science does not understand, the risk of having a stillborn baby increases after each subsequent c-section, as does the risk of a uterine rupture, placenta previa or placenta accreta (where the placenta attached the c-section scar and will not detach, increasing the odds of a hysterectomy.)

My doctor has a unique way of putting the odds into perspective, but in the back of my mind I can’t help but feel like I am already part of the rare statistical club of Neonatal deaths. Although miscarriages are more common, if lightening struck twice in the form of infant death and miscarriage, it can certainly strike again.

I am weighing my options very carefully.

In the meantime, I’m just happy my baby is doing just fine as he practices those important skills that are apparently crucial to human survival, like learning to breathe, flexing his big bad baby muscles and prominently showboating his testicles.

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by Karla ° Sunday, October 15, 2006
This weekend my husband and I headed northbound to visit my little brother and his girlfriend and the cute and cozy little abode that they just purchased together called home.

I don’t get to see my brother often, mostly because we don’t live close to each other, but also because my mom kicked him out her house for allegedly possessing mass quantities of a certain illegal substance for the alleged purpose of inhaling. All alleged of course.

Before agreeing to any sort of sleepover these days however, I must unleash my inner Neonatal Nazi and squander any and all forms of self respecting politeness to find out about the indoor smoking habits of the homes I visit.

I don’t think one can delicately dance around such a question without risking offending someone, but I’m pregnant and a total radical fascist when it comes to second hand smoke and my baby, so when my brother called me to confirm our plans, I tried to sound as aloof as possible and said, “so Jay, do you smoke in your house or what?” To which he responded that they smoke outdoors. “So you smoke that outside too right, and can we bring doggis the pooch with us?”

With confirmation that baby’s lungs would not be set ablaze on second hand smoke or the alleged fumes of an illegal substance; my husband and I piled the dog, his crate, and our two bodies into our tiny little car

The dogs crate is supposedly portable, as in; it collapses and folds flat, like my pre-pregnancy chest, for easy transportation. Easy that is, as long as you don’t need to cram it into a car built for hobbits and dwarfs. To fit the four foot long crate in the trunk car, we had to lower the back seats, and because my dog is probably taller than Nicole Richie, and most definitely weighs more than her, he basically rode the whole way there half in and half out of the trunk. If the same laws for child abuse applied to dogs, I may very well have found my self in a solitary confinement cell called jail by now.

My brother and his girlfriend, who he met back in high school while behaving belligerently at a bush party while harassing the poor girl because her last name contains the word “cock” and “head” are a total blast to hang out with. They are two of the happiest go-lucky people I know, even though I suspect their endless orbs of energy come from their never-ending supply of gummy sour keys, nerds and reeses pieces.

I am home now, with a candy high hangover and a wicked headache that will not go away. I have been getting headaches every since being rear ended, but I also contracted a nasally cold around the same time, so perhaps the pressure in my head has something to do with blowing my nose 4907 times a day. I also spent a day last week clutching and heaving into a porcelain bowl after being awakened out of my sleep at 3:00 am to forcefully gag into the toilet. If I didn’t already look like a wobbling weeble, I might have suspected that I was pregnant.

I must remember to mention this tomorrow when I visit to my OB because I’m afraid I might have to eat my own words about pregnancy being easy for me - physically speaking. This time around, I sound and feel like a crusty 100 year old biddy.

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by Karla ° Friday, October 13, 2006
Being pregnant, and knowing that the birth of this child is looming closer and closer have caused the memories of Ava’s delivery to return with a vengeance. Like oil on stormy water, thoughts of her birth experience and the birth of this baby are not mingling well together. Especially frightening, is trying to envision going through labour (or an elective c-section), without the baby dying, particularly when all the technology in the universe can’t predict if this baby has the same heart issue, or garantee he won't die if it could.

So now I feel stuck. If my placenta continues it migratory travels posteriorly north, the choice between going through with labour and attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) or having a c-section is mine. Knowing Ava’s history, her heart, her distress from labour and that she aspirated meconium and was never able to breath on her own after all was said and done, I have been leaning more towards the c-section route, with the goal of avoiding labour completely. The thought behind that, although not a medically necessary surgery, is to avoid tempting fate and the circumstances that already led to the death of one baby.

That being said, I went into labour with Ava at 38 weeks. The plan, if I choose the c-section route, would be to deliver the baby before I go into labour, which in this case, assuming there is a chance I could go into labour at the same point in this pregnancy, would be before the 38 week mark. Most elective c-sections are done at 39 weeks. Mine would be done at 37 weeks and 5 days. Here is where my hesitation begins. Although most babies are considered full term by 37 weeks, there have been instances where lungs have not yet fully matured by this point, hence the reason a full term pregnancy can be anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. I’ve harped on my doctor at every visit about my concern for lung maturity and the timing of the c-section.

I know with my first pregnancy I took on a holier than though attitude about unnecessary testing and procedures, but this time around, I’m all for tests that can help prepare us and keep us informed about the state and health of this baby.

For example, there is a test called, fetal fibronectin, that can predict premature labour in those at who are at risk. I thought this test was great. A quick swab of the naughty bits and I would be given a heads up notice if labour was about to start within two weeks. The problem here is that I have a typical pregnancy with no atypical symptoms of premature labour. This test would do nothing for me because there is no benchmark to measure it against. Also, the ultrasound technology at Mount Sinai measures the length of the cervix, which, according to my doctor, is just as good indication of impending labour.

Still not satisfied though, I asked about an amnio. Typically done at around 16 weeks to test for fetal abnormalities, this test can also be used to predict lung maturity. At such a late stage in the pregnancy, although there is no risk of triggering a miscarriage like in early pregnancy, it can trigger labour, which of course, is what I am trying to avoid.

A catch 22, no?

The choice is mine. My OB is flexible and will work with whatever decision I make.

What does the mighty internet think about this? Am I crazy for electing to have a c-section (sometimes I feel like I am), and, do I go through with an amnio “just to be sure?” I know it’s unlikely, but what if this little nestling newborn’s lungs aren’t strong enough to breathe on their own?

And, because the internet is an evil web of information overload, what if I have a c-section and they can’t stop me from bleeding and I end up needing a hysterectomy?

I sort of wish humans were more like robots and had secret traps doors all over their body to replace, update or remove stuff. If that were the case, I think I’d opt for a boob upgrade during the baby removal process for good measure.

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by Karla ° Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Excluding my moments of naughtiness, pregnancy has a way of turning me into a deeply devoted pregnancy police watch dog.

(I am also deeply devoted to my husband and Rice Krispie squares. Does that make me swooning romantic wrapped in an enigma of gooey marshmallow with chapeau wearing brothers, Snap! Crackle! and Pop!?)

Looking back, I don’t know how I would have lived with myself after losing Ava if I didn’t do everything in my power to be as healthy and responsible as possible while caring for little life form incubating inside of me.

Because I live in a land of ribbons and puppy dog tails and want to ensure a perfect Disney textbook rendition of pregnancy, I have some weaknesses when it comes to the image I obviously portray when looking so bulgingly pregnant.

Take for example, the liquor store. I won’t set foot in one, and even though I wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol while pregnant, I would be afraid of the susurrus whispers of nosy onlookers, or worse, having a judgmental finger of shame waved in my face while being chastised about fetal alcohol syndrome verbatim that is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone who can skip and chew gum.

Perhaps it is a tad on the anal side, but I just can’t bring myself to lumber down aisles filled with wine and fruity drink coolers with an apparent pregnant belly emblazoning my torso. It just feels so déclassé.

I know, I sound like a fusty hausfrau.

It frightens me too that I would make June Cleaver proud.


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Food and a Stomach on the Verge of Exploding
by Karla ° Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Having a stuffy nose, germ cooties erecting sandpaper skyscrapers in the lining of my esophagus and a uterus the size of a beach ball all the same time makes the seemingly simple act of eating and breathing one hell of a challenge.

When I chew, I cannot breathe and am left gasping for air between mouthfuls of food.

Even though I can manage to get enough oxygen to make it through a meal, my uterus hogs all the room that my stomach used to have to accommodate food, and what little space is left in my stomach causes my lungs to flatten up against my left rib in a suffocating struggle for roominess.

All of this has left me with a terrible terrible dilemma.

My stomach has so little room for food these days that the bag of chips I bought to eat last Friday remains uneaten. That’s five days of tantalizing temptation that I haven’t been able to give into. It’s a gruesome tragedy really, but every time I think about devouring them, I realize that I haven’t eaten enough fruit yet or I still have a serving of veggies to pack away. And just when I think I’ve actually squeezed enough nutrition into my belly for the baby, I’ll realize that I still have to cram some calcium in there for good measure.

By the time I get all the bare minimums out the way, I’ve either fallen asleep or I'm so full I can't even fathom wobbling to the cupboard to get them. I do however, have a keen chip thief radar and have caught my husband more than once riffling through the cupboards in search of them. They are mine, and I will eat them, just as soon as a I figure out a way to stuff them inside of me without bursting.

Is it just me, or does it look like even the dog is lusting after my salty snacks?


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Pansy - and a toothbrush
by Karla ° Monday, October 9, 2006
It’s been almost a week now since a self-righteous cabbie had a “slip of the pedal” and rear ended me while I was stopped at a red light.

At first I didn’t really think too much of the incident because it wasn’t like it was a high speed car crash or anything, and in all egotistical honesty, because it’s not uncommon for me to live in waist expanding yoga pants and baggy sweatshirts, day and night, and then to fail to run a brush through my hair or sweep a toothbrush across the fuzz on my teeth in the morning before dropping my husband off at the train station, I was catastrophically mortified by the fact that I had to actually get out my car looking like a rumply mess of knocked up haggardness at one of the busiest intersections in the city during morning rush hour.

Once I arrived home however, and my adrenalin started to subside, I realized that my neck hurt a bit and that I had a throbbing headache. I googled “pregnancy + car accident” and was sent into immediate waves of panic and fear because after any sudden impact or jolt during pregnancy, there is a risk the placenta can separate from the uterus.

With trembling fingers, I phone my OB. I live only about 45km from the Toronto hospital where I am being followed for this pregnancy and the nurse insisted I head over for immediate assessment. That would have been fine if it wasn’t at least a two hour drive through rush hour traffic to get downtown and I wasn’t a quivering ball of frazzled nerves and a potential hazard to other drivers on the road at this point.

What to do? What to do? Go to nearest local hospital that, to the best of my knowledge, is staffed with grumpy chimps, or travel two hours through rush hour with a quivery bottom lip and unsteady footing downtown Toronto to a hospital that has a reputation for world class health care, technology that isn’t from circa 1943 and competent staff?

I haven’t exactly had pleasant experiences at our local hospital and have yet to meet an emergency department staff member that isn’t a heartless and cold asshole. Take the Neanderthal for example, who had to x-ray my ass for a bowel obstruction a week after a crash c-section and the death of my baby and insisted on reminding me that I have no children, or the time when my naughy bits became a satanic fire breathing pit of hell that urinated razor blades of infectious bladder organism and I had to wait 5½ hours for a doctor to prescribe antibiotics for relief. The worse though, was when I had to wait 6 hours in a busy emergency waiting room on a Saturday afternoon and miscarry my second baby in a room full of people who witnessed me turn blue in the face from hyperventilating and crying. Eventually, in the privacy of an exam room, after blood work and ultrasound I was finally told that, “officially, I was no longer pregnant,” without even a hint of a face softening spasm of compassion.

Despite harboring a lot of resentment towards that hospital, I felt like I didn’t have a choice in the matter after the car accident but to go back there. It was close and my husband was stuck on a train commuting into the city, and I was alone and had to get myself to a hospital right away.

Surprisingly, it really wasn’t an overly unpleasant experience, mostly because the triage nurse was gracious and gossamer and a little kindness goes a long way. Despite the fact that the bathroom in my room had an unidentifiable puddle of wetness on the floor and whoever was in the room before me forgot to flush the toilet, mostly, I was lonely. It didn’t make sense for my husband to leave the city and come and be with me because I would have been transferred downtown Toronto (where he works) in an emergency situation anyways, but dammit, I’m a pansy, and I bore easily and I was scared and I wanted someone to bring me a toothbrush.

This incident has been a bit of a wake up call that we have no one here who can help us if something happens to me or the baby while Mark is away at work. Rush hour prevents any sort of break speed ability for Mark to get home quickly, and I have a heaving pregnant belly that could very well burst into labour with the same cervix dilating intensity and frequency of contractions as when I was pregnant with Ava.

What do people do in situations like this?


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Big Bad Belly Shots - 27 Weeks
by Karla ° Saturday, October 7, 2006
Celebrating baby, belly and the beginning of my third trimester. Because really, there isn't enough smut on the internet as it is.

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Florescent Tomb
by Karla ° Thursday, October 5, 2006
When the vibrations of the universe send me crashing head first in a new direction of unexpected uncertainties, I cling more tightly to the comforts of apple juice and persevering hope.

With the most critical 24 hours behind us, I am starting to relax a little more and breathe a little easier - despite the stuffiness in my nose and the scratchiness in my throat that I woke up with this morning.

I really don’t love hospitals. They are like a florescent tomb of sickness where the pungent smells of antiseptic vapors cause your nose to wrinkle involuntarily and sneezy achoo mists of germs invade your personal space with their unwelcoming presence.

Also unwelcoming is the food. My lunch consisted of a menagerie of beef barf goulash, butterscotch pudding and lukewarm tea. Turning on the vegetarian dramatics, my mashed beef mess was returned in favour of cheddar cheese slapped between two slices of overly buttered whole wheat bread. Sadly, they forgot to bring the pudding back with it.

Even more unwelcoming is the horrible civvies they make you wear. Every time someone came to poke, prod or press the parts of my body loosely covered in haute couture hospital fashion, I had to resist an inner jackass urge to bend my knees and curtsy. For the love of our lady of Guadeloupe, who thought exposing so much ass was a good idea anyways?


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The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The Good

On Monday of this week, my baby scored perfectly on his biophysical profile ultrasound and it’s been determined that he weighs in ahead of his unborn peers at a staggering 2lbs already. Also, my placenta has shimmied every so slightly from the opening of my cervix.

On Tuesday, I met
Heather downtown Toronto for a morning gab fest over hot chocolate veiled in savory whip cream and chai lattes. The first thing I noticed about her was her serene ocean blue eyes. Emanating warmth and kindness, they captivate your heart and wrap it in a blanket of warm fuzziness. Her spoken words are rich and meaningful, and she is so grounded and level headed that she makes me look like a babbling bubble of hot air floating the skies in aimless circles to nowhere by comparison. I’m so happy she was able to find the time in her busy schedule to meet up with me.

The Bad

My placenta is still too close to my cervix to make labour or delivery safe at this point. A c-section is still medically required so I don’t hemorrhage and lose my body’s blood supply faster than the collapse of Enron on the stock market.

My home scale is a deceitful bastard and I have gained more weight than it has let on.

The Very Ugly

A taxi cab rear ended me early this morning while I was stopped a red light. After a scary morning of monitoring at the hospital, I am now on high alert for signs of a placental abruption. My neck is a bit sore, and I have a headache that won’t go away, but the part that hurts the worst is my crushed heart. My baby has such a slight chance of survival outside the womb at this point if he needs to be born. The next few hours and days will either reveal nothing is wrong, or become a living nightmare of a premature baby’s struggle for survival.

This incident is yet another football kick in the temple to remind me how motherfucking frightening pregnancy can be and how helplessly out of control I feel.

I just hope the legacy of this, my third baby, does not end in a third loss.

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In Remembrance
by Karla ° Monday, October 2, 2006
In 1988, President Reagan proclaimed October as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month” in the USA. Today however, many cities across North America hold a Walk to Remember to memorialize the brief, but significant lives of our babies.

On Sunday, my husband and I attended such a walk. The skies fittingly obliged to the atmosphere of heavily somber emotions by opening the floodgates and unleashing an overflow of tears from above.

We stood amidst the breezy chill of October rain and watched as four delicate porcelain white baskets of doves were set free in a fleeting symbol of peace, gentleness and purity.

I’m glad we went and I’m grateful for my memories of Ava.

I will always remember her.

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Big Bad Belly Shots – 26 Weeks
by Karla ° Sunday, October 1, 2006
Considering how much more immobile I am with this pregnancy, and how I am just as ravishingly hungry and gluttonous, I’m a bit surprised that I have only gained 18 lbs. That is the exact same amount of weight that I had gained by this point in my pregnancy with Ava - a time when I had a busy career, commuted, and bustled my butt out of the house more.

Last night I was whining and complaining to my husband how my legs feel like swollen lumps of bread dough that have spent the past 6 ½ months becoming calcified and petrified into inflated tree trunks while being subjected to the continuous pressures of pregnancy.

Ever so delicately, he tiptoed around the subject of bulginess and bloatedness and reminded me that I still look cute and tiny – you know – considering I’ve gained 20lbs.

Without divulging the gruesome details, lets just say he learned that the art of rounding numbers does not apply to pregnancy weight gain – unless one fibs and rounds down – because no matter how much the pregnant population loves gestating the tiny life form in their stomach for 40 weeks and watching their tummies grow as a result, becoming a gassy and distended mass of orbicular heftiness is no cake walk. Especially considering no walkways lined with cake could ever exist in the first place with the uncontrollable hunger and ravenous appetite that comes with the pregnancy parcel.

In case you've always wondered - I am completely aware how ghastly unmatched the colour of my walls are to the carpet. We had great intentions to put in hardwood floors, but a bathroom renovation project was more expensive than we thought, and now I am stuck with this pink tinged shag of a carpet.

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