Home » Pregnancy 2015 » 26 Weeks Pregnant

26 Weeks Pregnant

This week has been another busy one for us. On Friday we attended a small lesbian wedding reception in Guelph, where half of the guests were out-of-town East Coasters (Nova Scotian mostly) and the rest were either Greek or Hockey girls. It made for an interesting mix of people, all of whom enjoy the drink and conjure a bit of rowdiness. The food was delicious, and we even had enough for doggy bags. 

Saturday, we had a hockey team pool party at a teammate’s home about an hour and a half away. Her house backs onto a river, and is full of adorable antiques and custom-carpentry accents that she has made herself. The pool was amazing for this preggo on what has probably been the hottest day of the summer so far (feels like 43 degrees Celsius, full sun). I basically spent the entire time in the pool. We had a scrumptious BBQ, and joked around about how we’re all getting too old to continue playing hockey and should put together a softball team instead. Problem is, that I can’t throw nor catch. Damn. The hostess (who also happens to be our amazing goalie) made us a gift for Dumplin’: 

 Isn’t it beautiful? We haven’t hung it on the wall yet, but it will fit perfectly with the colours and slightly rustic look of his nursery. 

The next day, I attended a baby shower. I was shocked that of all the guests that came, I was one of two that were friends. Everyone else was family. Is this a common thing? Do friends not typically come to baby showers? Our baby shower guest list is almost entirely friends. My family lives far away on the west coast, and DW has a small family, so only her mom, her SIL, and her niece were invited. I’ve got one aunt that lives about an hour away, and she might come, but I’m sad to not have more family here. Also, it seems as if only a few people have RSVP’d to my friend who is hosting. Any tips on how to remind people to RSVP without being annoying? Anyways, the baby shower was nice, but I realized during it that I hate group baby shower games. Yup, that’s right. I hate them. I had already mentioned to my friend who is throwing our baby shower that if she wants to do games, they need to be at “stations” around the room, where they are optional. I think people mostly like to mingle and snack on treats anyways right? The shower venue was also excruciatingly hot. Twenty ladies crammed into a little townhouse with non-existent air-conditioning on the second hottest day of the summer, and two preggos radiating heat does not make for a very comfortable party. Sweat was literally beading down the side of my face. I was sticking to the white leather sofa seat, and opted to stand instead. Yuck. Cue the swollen feet too.

Monday we attended our pre-admission registration at the hospital. Now, homebirth or not, we have to register at the hospital anyway, and prior to lately, I was really preferring a home birth for Dumplin’. When it comes to states of discomfort, I much prefer to suffer alone. I have had two instances of ovarian cysts rupturing (intense pain warranting a morphine drip- luckily this is the worst physical pain I’ve ever experienced). The first time, I spent the duration curled up on the floor at home, crying and trying deep breathing exercises until it was over, and the second time my girlfriend at the time admitted me to the hospital emergency department, where they hooked me up to an IV of morphine and had me stay the night. Mentally and physically, I was more comfortable enduring the pain at home. The morphine didn’t make a dent in the pain, and having nurses and doctors poke and prod but not be available when we needed them was really frustrating. Anyways, long story short, I have always felt that I would fare better birthing at home- on my own time, self-empowering, rolling with each wave and contraction- I could do it. I am an athlete and have been keeping physically fit during this pregnancy. The birth would be attended by two experienced midwives. My dogs would help in keeping me calm, and DW would be able to support me without outside limitation. There would be no crappy hospital food, no mandatory 24 hour hospital stay, no anxious travelling in a car with a fresh newborn, and no nasty germs from being in a hospital. 

Problem is that I’ve got a major case of the “what if’s”. I know that my L&D will be supervised by two very well-trained midwives, but what if something should go terribly wrong, and we need to head to the hospital ASAP? We are about 15 minutes from the hospital, but is that enough time? I would never forgive myself if Dumplin’ was negatively affected by this. And after everything we’ve been through these past 3 years to get to this point, how could I risk it? 

Anyway, I flip flop on this a lot now. I keep thinking that maybe once we know how big he’ll be, closer to his due date, maybe I’ll be swayed one way over another. All I know is that wherever he is born, I will be supported by two midwives and my wife. I am not doing this alone. I like the freedom and greater sense of control that comes with a home birth, but I also like the access to greater safety interventions if they’re needed too.

Yesterday, DW went for her Day 3 bloodwork and full-bladder ultrasound. I am frustrated with the clinic again (oh, I was so happy to be done with them!), but I will write about that in another post. We then took transit (GO train and TTC subway) downtown to watch two Pan Am games- Women’s field hockey: Argentina vs. Chile, and Canada vs. USA. All I can say is, Argentina is in a class of its own- their team was fantastic. 

  We bumped into a couple of old friends there, and DW’s coach from her varsity days. Afterwards, we hit up Sushi on Bloor where I “shared” (translation: I ate 80% of) the platinum sashimi platter, a salmon roll, and ikayaki with DW. My wife is so giving. When we got home, I was the most swollen I’ve ever been this far. A day of commuting, walking, and playing downtown in the hot sun took its toll on my pregnant body. I must say though, our day trip downtown rekindled my love for the city and for the TTC. Before bed, I took a cool shower, which was lovely.

Overall, this week, I have been feeling a lot more tired. I’m sure that part of it has to do with being out and about everyday, but I’m seriously starting to feel the 1st trimester exhaustion again. I’m also eating more again, and find that I can’t eat too much in one sitting or else I get indigestion. This basically means that I’m eating every two to three hours… Which feels like a part-time job! I am managing to get to the gym 3 days a week for weight training, which is less than previous weeks where I was making it to the gym 4 or 5 times. My workouts consist only of weights though, and run about 45 minutes in total. I’m not bothering with cardio because it’ll just burn calories that I need and I’ll have to compensate by eating even more food. 

I will leave you with pictures of some crafts. This past week, in the times in between events, I did a little more sewing. 

  Chevron wet bag (filled with 20-ish cloth diapers) that we will hang off a rod on the wall beside the change table: for soiled cloth diapers and cloth wipes.


Newborn- 3 month sleep sac made out of bamboo velour.


Wool kimono sweater.

57 thoughts on “26 Weeks Pregnant

  1. First, that wool kimono sweater is adorable! And so is the sleeper!
    Second, I like that you are giving yourself time to decide on what type of birth experience you want. I think it’s great that you know yourself well enough to know your fears and anxieties and to know that you aren’t ready to make the decision. I do believe, no matter what other say, you need to do what’s best for you (which is why I’m not going to give you my opinion, just support you in whatever you and DW decide).
    Third, you day in the city sounded wonderful!!
    And that gift from you friend, it’s stunning!

    • Thanks! Yes, I am happy with my sewing projects too. I’ve seen my skills improve so much since setting up my sewing machine again. YouTube has been amazing for teaching me new skills too! I am so torn with respect to this birthing location issue. Luckily, I don’t have to decide anytime soon. Both are options to me and I can change my mind if I want last minute too. Thanks for your support and for reminding me that whatever I choose, it will be what’s best for me and Dumplin’. And that gift is even more beautiful in real life- photos don’t do it justice.

  2. The sweater is adorable. Hospitals aren’t pleasant, but they can literally do all that can be done to fix any problems as soon as is possible. Most births don’t have significant dangerous complications that require much, but there’s no way to know for sure if you’re going to be one of those cases or not. I’d pick a hospital birth myself, but I know that’s not a super popular opinion these days.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I find it’s the opposite here. Home births seem to be shunned a bit by everyone around me lol. They seem to think its wreck less and dangerous, something only hippies do.

      • It seems like it’s idealized in some areas after The Business of Being Born came out. Can your midwives supervise your delivery if it’s in a hospital? My roommate’s sister got an intervention-free drug-free birth by going that route. It’ll provide fewer interventions suggested, but if things go bad, you and the baby will be able to get everything fixed up as quickly as possible.

      • Yup that’s what our hospital birth would be- low-intervention midwife-led. It’s just a matter of venue. I’m sensitive to my surroundings, so the ideal would be to be at home, but the hospital is good too because of the extra help if anything should go wrong. I’m leaning toward a hospital birth, to be safe, but labouring as much as possible at home. We’ll see what happens.

  3. Definitely discuss your concerns with your midwives on your next visit. They should go over what they do for different issues and what they transfer to the hospital for. They can handle a lot of things! Bonus for not having to deal with all the the complications interventions can cause though some midwives push some interventions.

      • Keep asking questions and researching on your own until you feel like you understand things. I didn’t because of money but I should have. I really didn’t want to have a hospital birth and my best option was a hosptial CNM. I totally concur with dealing with pain alone and at home better than in a hospital. I have had migraines my whole life and had one of those rupturing cysts from hell. Happened on a first day of work, alone with a high needs 3 month old. When I was pregnant, I kept picturing myself laboring walking around in the woods. Totally not possible in March but so far from the hospital birth I will not repeat.

      • A horrificly painful forced pitocin induction for no reason other than my water had broken. It was clean and replenishing and my body was moving slowly. I was also forced to have antibiotics. After my son was born, I was left alone to the point of neglected. I would have been better at home but know I had to make a decision for my care.

      • Good to know. Thank you for sharing. Those are exactly the things I worry about. The water breaking and induction thing seems to be common- are they that scared of broken waters leading to infection?

      • Yes they really are scared of it! Especially in a hospital and with frequent vaginally checks (increase risk of infection). If I had stayed home and gone to bed, I probably would have woken up in full labor. Instead I went into a stressful and unknown situation and my body stopped doing its thing on their timeline. My water was in no way at risk of running out. I would sit on the yoga ball and cause a waterfall all over the room!

      • I think that the most common dissatisfaction I hear from women is their experience with being induced. I know that not everyone is so lucky to go into labour naturally, but it sounds like more and more people are being induced because labour doesn’t start fast enough for health care professionals to feel safe about.

      • It’s this timeline they put women on for no medical reason. Another one is length of gestation. Long gestation is hereditary. I was born at 42w2d as a vbac home birth. My son was born at 41w5d and was perfectly fine. Women’s bodies are different and the labor and birth process will go smoother if there is trust and communication and a calm, secure environment. It’s like the ultimate white coat syndrome – put a laboring mother in the hospital and watch her body balk.

      • I agree. I think we should just let women go into labour naturally and on their own time, but then I also know two people whose babies were still born at 42 weeks, and that freaks the hell out of me. I was 3 days late, and my sister was 2 weeks late… So I suspect that I will have to face this induction dilemma myself eventually. Plus there’s also the issue of maternal discomfort towards the end, and how sometimes you just want them out.

      • Late is technically after 42 weeks. I had regular monitoring after 40 weeks as well as a doplar at home. I agree with being cautious when going past 41 weeks. Induction has its own set of risks and complications as well. My discomfort was plenty but wasn’t going to change anything. I am a tiny 4’11.5″ and 105lbs pre pregnancy. My belly was huge! We all get impatiant but as long as everything is medically fine then induction risks outweigh the benefits in my mind. There are lots of more natural ways to help the body get ready that doctors could be utilizing.

      • Interesting to hear about your waters too – mine had broke at home and I thought I lost a ton, but I still lost a ton more at the hospital over the next several hours.

      • No kidding! I felt like superwoman after my baby was born. I was in awe of what I grew inside me and what I endured, then how great I felt moments after she was delivered!

      • Glad yours wasn’t difficult. I think mine was 60 hours and 6 of that was really hard and painful pitocin labor. I could have gone days with how my body was progressing on its own.

      • Ugh I’m so glad I forcefully refused to be induced after my water broke at 35w4d. I was also forced to do antibiotics though, as I hadn’t had the strep test yet by then.

      • Um… It broke around 530am and we went to the hospital right away because of how premature she was I freaked instead of waiting at home. They left me for a couple hrs I think before pushing, and I managed to get them to agree to not induce for as long as possible because I knew my mom’s two labours were fast. I think it was around 9 or 10 am when I had good real contractions but like zero dilation, by noon they were strong but I was only a couple cm dilated but fully effaced. I decided to go for the hot tub whirlpool thing to relax, but my contractions got so intense I just felt like vomiting in there, so I got out. I had a couple more contractions on my way back to the room, and when I got I did the ball for a bit, tried to just breathe past it all, then I felt like i had to poo… The contractions were so intense that I actually asked for pain killers by then. I mentioned the poo feeling to my doula and she immediately called the nurse back so the doc could check again. It was around 215pm by then and I was 10 cm dilated, fully effaced,so they got me ready to push and said “too bad, too late for pain killers!” by 3pm she was born.

      • In Europe, they do the strep tear when labor starts. It’s brilliant since between 35 and 40/41/42 weeks it could come or go and the earlier results wouldn’t matter. They also have a protocol for douching during labor to prevent the possible transmission of gbs if they test positive. I had a negative gbs tear because I treated myself with garlic cloves and probiotics the week before the test.

      • Yeh we haven’t caught up here yet. The or else part of the scenario is denying the antibiotics, being treated like a criminal, and your child being monitored for infection for 2-3 days before being allowed to leave.

      • I feel like these are really personal decisions. We have to make them on our own because we are the ones to live through and with them. I think if your in a place to be able to have a homebirth and feel like it would be good for you, then go for it. Transferring can and does happen for emergencies and non emergencies so know what your threshold and plans are. I think it is good to research what are actual medical reasons for a c-section or other assistance during birth. There are a lot of myths out there that get perpuated like “big baby” and “not progressing” on an imaginary timeline. Also research what things you might encounter and decide where you stand on them so you don’t have to decide in the moment. Stripping membranes, induction with medication, forceps, homeopathic or acupuncture induction, are just a few things to think about.

  4. My home birth was wonderful and peaceful and everything I could ever dream of and more. I felt confident having Evelyn at home because I had already had two vaginal births and felt like I knew myself and my body well enough to know all would be well. Sarah was leaning towards having a home birth, but then decided in her last trimester to have a hospital birth. It was a true blessing that she chose this, because Henry needed resuscitation after being born, and he needed equipment at the hospital! You just never know…but I DO believe that following your intuition is the best thing to do. Talk to Dumplin’ and see how you feel about it (I know that sounds hippie but hey – that’s me.;0)

    That reminds me – I need to figure out logistics and RSVP ASAP! I love the things you’ve made for Dumplin’ so far!

    • Lol. You’re funny. I didn’t mean you in particular needed to RSVP (ps- I would love if EJ could come too. Her name should’ve been on the invite).

      It sounds like you were made to have and deliver babies! Your home birth experience sounds like what I am hoping for. But yeah, I wonder how Sarah’s experience would’ve gone if she had given birth at home. I think my gut (and Dumplin’) are telling me to do most of the work at home, and then rush to the hospital when he’s almost here. Friends of mine from chiro school just had a baby- gave birth in the elevator on the way to L&D! They delivered her on their own haha.

  5. Way to go on the sewing & continued gym workouts! You look great, as always. I’d love to see you and DW dressed up for that wedding reception. Awesome growth chart! We’ve been meaning to get one for DD, because so far we just write on one wall but it isn’t a forever thing. The hospital home thing, I’m totally with you on that – though I’m not uncomfortable with the labouring around others outside my home. I love the idea of a home birth, but it scares me way too much to think of what could go wrong. If it changes anything for your comfort in the hospital setting, I found my experience to be pretty reasonable with nurses not being in my face all the time. I had DW & my doula with me the whole time, and nurses would come & go as they needed to but I was in my own bubble so much of the time that they didn’t bother me. DW & the doula intercepted a lot of it too. You’ll find your own way with time, and it’ll be great! It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says. You’ll know.

  6. Ok firstly you look incredible! You have such a gorgeous bump!
    Also how crafty are you guys, I adore all those things you have made! Dumplin’ is going to be a very cool kiddo 😊

    • Thanks! My bump has been growing lots recently. I love sewing, and get a kick out of transforming old clothes into stuff for him 🙂 DW is very good with her hands too, and we hope to make him lots more cool stuff like a climbing wall and a mechanism board. We just have so many ideas!

  7. Wow – you suddenly look very pregnant! That baby has been doing some growing 🙂 I hate baby showers full stop – they are not so big over here but are becoming the norm. I’ve never had one. And the games are awful. Chocolate smeared in nappies and all sorts – just no! Home birth – sigh. I could talk about this for hours. I booked a home birth with my first, but after 24 hours of hard labour at home we transferred to hosp when I started to get some bleeding. It wasn’t what I planned at all. I’m booked into the hospital this time, no questions, but it’s simply because of my haemorrhage history. You are fit and healthy, so a great candidate for a home birth, but I totally understand the “what ifs”. And to be honest, I stated clearly that I wanted as natural a birth as possible on my plan and my hospital birth with number 2 was really lovely. Low lights, relaxed midwife, no pain relief needed, a very good experience. Hospitals can be a very good second best. You might find nearer the time you are clearer on what you want to do. No rush 🙂 I can’t believe how this is flying by – Dumplin will be here before you know it! X

    • Thank you for sharing both of your birth experiences with me. Your positive experience with a hospital birth is what I hope to have if we go that way. And you’re right, I think that with time, the decision will be clearer to me. So far, I’m leaning more hospital birth because I can do most of the labouring at home before heading to the hospital. Of course, that is, if all goes off without a hitch.

  8. If you decide on a hospital – can you talk to your midwifes about one of them taking some sort of watchdog position against disruptions and unneccessary medical interventions, like vaginal checks? To get an as naturaly experience as possible?
    We had a fairly detailed bith plan worked out with my midwife that we discussed in depth with the hospital before deciding to sign up there and on the day my wife (heroically imo) fought for me to get the labor I wanted. Our hospital experience was good, much better than I expected after deciding against an homebirth for similar reasons you stated. We did need some interventions in the end unfortunately when his heart rate kept dropping because of the cord twice around his neck (which we didn’t know). I think that in the hypothetical case of a second birth, I would want to do the more intensive ultrasound/ doppler check close to delivery, that really looks at the chord structure, placenta and such, just to make sure, there are no such unforseen issues.
    Another thought, how much are you into techniques that help you zone out of your environment, so that if you go to the hospital, you can be in your own mental space? Self-hypnosis, meditation, visualization and such. There are several hours of my labor that I have no memory of except the presence of DW and the contractions happinging. Hospital, at home or on Mars – didn’t really matter.

    • That’s a great idea. I think that first I need to research different birth plans and figure out what I want and don’t want. Our midwives are very good at respecting our wishes, and will probably do what we request. Are vaginal checks mostly for figuring out dilation and effacement? Do you know a good website that explains all of the procedures and interventions? I have a copy of Hypnobirthing that I need to start reading. I think it will be possible for me to zone out through self-hypnosis.

      • My main source of info was naturalbirthandbabycare.com I still really enjoy Kristen’s podcast, did some of her excercises and also some from the Pink Kit. I loved being the Hermione Granger of birthing preparedness 😇

      • Forgot sth. If you want to check out a nice soothing guided imagery on the Kaiser Permanente insurance website under the health & wellness sevtion/ health videos and podcasts, there are a couple of free audio files.

    • Oh, and one more point – I have two friends who just made their plan to labor at home as long as possible. They decided that they would know if she needed to go to the hospital. They ended up delivering at home, and were very happy about it. I totally understand the fear of possible complications, but I think you can trust yourself to know what you need at the time. Good luck!

  9. Getting people to RSVP to things is such a pain! My shower was mostly friends, but some family too. I guess it depends on the person and the size of their family!

    I would have wanted to consider a home birth last time, but when we found out that it was twins, that idea was squashed. All though, honestly, it was squashed before that because Jenn never would have gone for it. I would really like to go to the birth centre for this baby. Would you consider that? Although it sounds like you live in the west end so it probably isn’t the most convenient.

    And I hear you on the hockey! I played through university. I played for a few years in Boston, just for fun. As I got older, it got more tiring. I would love to get back into it, but don’t know if my body and all of my injuries could take it. As an athlete too, I would need to go all out! No holding back! So instead, I’ve got the girls signed up for hockey this fall. 4-year olds in hockey equipment has to be the cutest thing ever.

    • Omg, 4-year-olds in hockey equipment would be the cutest thing!! Yay! Yeah it’s been hard taking the season off and watching my team play. Kinda feels like being a dog watching other dogs play fetch in your front window. I am a bit younger than most of my teammates, so I’ve got a couple more years of playing left in me. It’s just sad if they all retire (which they do plan on doing after this season), and I’ll have to play with another team. We’ve played together for several years now. If you’re downtown, there’s a great queer ladies league that plays out of Moss Park on Saturdays. We used to play there when I lived downtown. The level is rec, but teams have a variety of levels amongst their players.

      Yeah, I would totally love to give birth at the new birthing centre, but it’s a bit far for us. We’re way out in the 905, and our midwives only have privileges at Etobicoke General. I would hate to be in labour and having to fight through traffic on the Gardiner at the same time lol.

      • I’ll have to get the Moss Park info from you. I would love to get back into it. I really miss it. Is it year round? I seem to remember it just being spring/summer?

  10. Your crafts are freaking awesome!! The little kimono is just so cute!

    Sounds like you’ve had a busy few days! I also ayes field hockey and loved every second of it. My poor team was the worst in the league (a travel league) but my teammates were amazing and I still keep in touch with a lot of them.

    I still go back and forth deciding where I wanna have this little Biscuit. I always wanted to have a home birth, but like you mentioned, after Callie’s pregnancy, I am a lot more aware (and totally ok with) of complications and things that could happen…so I’m sticking with the hospital. We had a great experience, we love our doctor, so why mess with a good thing right?! Glad to hear you guys are both doing Well, and im interested to hear about your experience with your clinic this time!

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