Calming My Pregnancy Worries with Numbers

After a few weeks of excitement and taking in the fact I was pregnant, my worries began. Some were ridiculous. They were over things that were very unlikely and I couldn’t control anyway. Plus, I’ve been taking pre-natal vitamins religiously, eating healthily and exercising as much as possible so some of the worry was really unnecessary.

Regardless, I’ve been Googling and for the most part, I think that helped. I’m a math person. Considering I’m not doing anything harmful, the numbers should be enough to convince me that it’s more than likely that everything will be okay; so over the past few months, I’ve been learning to worry less.

But up until this point, here are the things that have worried me:

  1. Miscarriage
    Background: My first trimester was great – maybe too great, which caused me to worry. At about 7 weeks, my small amount of pregnancy symptoms had vanished: I didn’t have to go to the bathroom often, my breasts were no longer sore, my hunger level was back to normal, etc. I wasn’t scheduled for another appointment until 12 weeks. “Luckily” I felt a bit of cramping at 10 weeks, which prompted the doctor to send me in for an ultrasound. Lo and behold, there was an embryo in there. And it was doing just fine. At 12 weeks, I had a routine screening ultrasound and that further comforted me that baby will be fine.
    Fact: The chance of a miscarriage for women under 35 is 10-12%, and greatly reduces when the heartbeat is observed at 8-10 weeks. Also, remember that miscarriages occur because of chromosomal abnormalities, so it’s the body’s way of rejecting an unhealthy embryo.
  2. Gestational Diabetes
    Background: The only craving I’ve had so far is sugar. I love all things sweet. Especially during the holiday season, I’ve been eating a lot of cookies, cakes and chocolates. I haven’t been too concerned with the amount because my weight gain is normal, but I was just reminded that I’ll need to take a the gestational diabetes test soon (routinely performed at 24 weeks), and that started worry me. I’m cutting down on the chocolates not only for this test but for general health reasons. I’m scheduled to go in this week so we’ll see what the results tell me.
    Fact: Sugar intake does not cause gestational diabetes. It’s when your body does not produce enough insulin to break down the sugar. High levels of sugar right before the test may skew results but has little to do with your body’s ability to produce insulin. You’re at higher risk to develop gestational diabetes if you fall into any of these groups, e.g., are greater than 35 years of age, have strong family or previous history, have a BMI over 30, are non-Caucasian, etc. According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies.
  3. Premature Labour
    Background: This worry is a fairly new one for me. As I’m now in my 6th month, the baby’s movements are pretty distinct, so I start to worry when I don’t feel anything or if the sensations feel off.
    Fact: 88% of women deliver at full-term (or later), and of those premature deliveries, 70% occurs between weeks 34 and 37.
  4. Birth Defects
    Background: I think this one will always be at the back of my mind. I’m trying to consider anything that could possibly affect they baby’s development, from drinking purified water and regularly exercising to avoiding over-the-counter drugs, certain moisturizers, deli meats and some seafood.
    Fact: Only 3-4% of babies are born with major defects and many of them are treatable.

I’m sure that’s just the start to a list of other worries that will come as soon as the baby is born. Oh, I look forward to the many joys and stresses of motherhood :)

Do We Really Need That Expectant Mothers Spot?

On days like today (slushy, snowy, icy, etc.), YES!

Expectant_Mother_Reserved_Parking_Sign

I’ll start off with saying that I most likely have not hit my worst condition yet. I’m five months pregnant and definitely don’t feel like I’m physically challenged. I can still walk quite comfortably, so I don’t need that spot that’s a few meters closer. (I have to admit though that there are times I want to show off my belly just to get a seat on the train, but I am perfectly fine carrying the little extra weight and standing on my feet.)

I have no idea how I’ll be feeling in my eighth or ninth month, but I can’t imagine being too uncomfortable to walk through a parking lot yet fine enough to walk around the mall. The only reason I see is that you’d want to avoid any slips or falls as much as possible; during bad weather or if the lot is in a bad condition, that first spot definitely makes sense for pregnant women.

It’s extremely nice to be offered these perks but until I feel like I do really need it, I would feel guilty taking that seat or that parking spot. However, if that perfectly healthy young person is going to steal it… scratch that – I am a perfectly healthy young person. If you’re a perfectly healthy young person, leave the spot open for those who need it the most.

Getting Her (Acro) Dance On

My stepdaughter’s dance class had an open house last night, which meant parents were permitted to watch their regular class.

Michelle is in acro dance and is perfect for it. According to the wiki page, acro is a popular style for performances like the Cirque du Soleil, and that’s pretty cool! This type of dance requires a lot of strength and flexibility, and that’s definitely her. Here’s proof:

dance

It was also nice to see that she was a natural and enjoying doing it! I remember taking dance as a kid and not being a natural, to say the least. I played my part as a ballet-dancing fish and I was done.

Awesome job, Mich! I can’t wait to see your hip hop dance!

Cancer Sucks and Teaches Us Nothing

On the weekend, we went to visit my husband’s very good friend at Princess Margaret Hospital. He’s in his thirties, has a wife and and a baby, and optimistically fighting a battle with a very stubborn cancer.

My husband decided that we should also bring his 11-year old son with us to visit. I was hesitant at first because it is such a harsh reality to expose to someone his age. My stepson doesn’t know him very well, so why would you want to bring him into a sad environment when he doesn’t need to be there? Then I realized that hubby made a good call. He is old enough to understand the situation and it is good for him to see that cancer can affect anyone – young/old, athletes/non-athletes, nice guys/assholes; it didn’t matter. Now, did that teach him a lesson? Probably not. There’s no lesson to be learned with this cancer. It’s not a threat, punishment or consequence. It didn’t teach him that he needs to eat healthier or be a better person, but it did show him that shit happens and we need to learn how to deal with it.

I can’t even fathom what his wife is going through but I know she’ll do what she needs to do for him and for their baby. I see they have a very strong support network but I understand that nothing can ease her breaking heart, and that really sucks.

I’ve been lucky so far to not have cancer drastically affect my life but I have had a cancer scare a few years ago. At 29, I found a lump in my right breast. What young woman would have to worry about breast cancer? I went through the process anyway – ultrasounds, a mammogram and biopsies. Thankfully it was nothing serious, but just waiting for results was nerve racking and scary. Now I’ll just have to actively monitor things and wait for results every 6 months. That’s how I’m handling it.

So, yes, shit happens and cancer is a huge piece of it. Let’s try to kick its ass and, in the meantime, show our kids how we can deal with unexpected adversity.