Surprise Baby Shower!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Today, this group of people threw a surprise baby shower for Gonz and I.

The majority of the ladies in this photo used to come and stay with my family every weekend because when they first arrived to Canada, they worked as nannies. During the week, they would work and stay with the families they worked with, but on the weekends they were expected to find their own places to stay. So, instead of that my parents invited them to come and stay with us - just as long as they don't mind squishing with their daughters. We sure didn't mind - we had SO MANY PEOPLE to play with us!

Now, these ladies are all independent - married, have children, work as lab technicians and other skilled jobs. It's so awesome to see them all doing so well when life can start out as so tough sometimes.

And today, these ladies turned around and blessed Gonz and I so much because they love my parents so dearly. I feel so ridiculously provided for that I really didn't (and don't) know what to say.

Margaret appears in Ottawa

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This morning, my parents, Margaret and I drove to Ottawa to attend an exhibition opening that was showing Margaret's work (the Kites) with many other amazing jewellery artists at The Lafreniere & Pai Gallery. It's so crazy to think that my sister's work is being shown, AND SOLD, in a whole 'nother city! (that evening, while we were there, she sold one piece!)

So, obviously, we're all very proud of her. You can see her name listed on their website, and if you click on Jewellery, you can see a tiny sample of her work. Margaret is being shown at La Freniere and Pai Gallery until December 31.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Tonight, In a span about 15 minutes, I had 4 contractions.
A little scary. Even though I know what they are...

Okay, so as you near the end of pregnancy, you can get what are called, "Braxton Hicks Contractions." And they are some sort of practice contractions that get you ready for real labour. They can hurt - but right now, they're just unsettling and uncomfortable.

Freaky! More signs that the end is near (or the beginning... whichever way you'd like to look at it.)

First Snow

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First Snow
Originally uploaded by kathy photo

I LOVE the first snow of the season. Particularly if I get to wake up to it.

I am even more excited that it happened in November. Like, I remember it as a child. Last few years, the first snow happened like late December, and even January (last year). I think. Anyhow, I know that it was horribly late.

Bell's, Bell's, Go Away

Today, I can wink!
Now... to fix my crooked smile.

35 weeks

35 weeks, side view
Originally uploaded by kathy photo

Today, November 21, marks one month away from major transition: MATERNITY LEAVE.

One whole year of not going to work. Pressing the snooze button at least 4 times. Typing as fast as I can. Mass producing artwork. Working alongside fantastic people...

It's going to be a big, big change.

Many days it's gonna be baby and me. And that's all.
Gonzo said with all that time I'd better make a roast everyday.

Subtle Progress

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today, I can whistle! My lips are forming a more uniform "o" finally.
That's pretty fast recovery - since statistically people do not see an improvement until, at the earliest, two weeks after the symptoms initially set in.

Thanks for the prayers everyone.

Pregnancy - 6 weeks left

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One month + 2 weeks.
This is going by very, very quickly.

Update: I am tired. I am feeling very pregnant. It's hard to roll over to the other side when I'm in bed. Baby's kicks are getting ridiculous - even painful. Especially when s/he gets her/his toes into my ribs.

The most eventful thing happened last Monday, November 5. I came down with Bell's Palsy. Bell's Palsy is a temporary paralysis on the one side of the face. Okay, it sounds way scarier than it is (at least for me). Most people can't tell that I have it - it's really only obvious when I laugh. I do have trouble blinking in my left eye completely, and have trouble swishing water in my mouth when I am brushing my teeth. Some people have it so badly that people can't really understand what they are saying because they slur their speech so much, and they actually can lose their eyesight if they don't care for it properly since the eye can dry out and ulcer.

How it started was on the Saturday previous I set up myself for a ridiculous day:
  • 6:30am - woke, made my hubby his lunch at work, then worked on finishing up titling and editing for a video project we had started back in September.
  • 10:30am - took nap
  • 11:30am - got up, got ready, had lunch
  • 12:15pm - arrived at church to run media for a wedding
  • 2:00pm - went home and had a nap
  • 4:00pm - woke up and went to church for rehearsal and service
  • 8:00pm - went to my parents' for dinner, but checked on the internet to findout Christine's flight arrived early
  • 9:30pm - got back to my parents' home for dinner, and then hung out with Christine to get all the news from her trip
  • 1:00am - in bed to sleep

  • All the while, probably starting at around 6:30pm, I got a headache and an earache - which is usually the indicator that Bell's Palsy is coming to get you. With other people I know who have had it, they had the paralysis in their face settle in within a few hours. I continued to have the headache and earache on and off on Sunday as well as Monday.

    Monday night is when I started seeing the symptoms. I swished water in my mouth after brushing my teeth and the water spouted out of my mouth. I laughed. It surprised me. So, I tried it again. I didn't laugh. I was like, "WHAT IS UP WITH ME?" Then the thought crossed my mind: I am getting Bell's Palsy. I've had a close friend have it, and my cousin's wife had it... so I am familiar with how this comes on. Gonzo told me not to worry. In the morning, I couldn't blink my eyelids the same - and the thing with my mouth was the same.

    Fortunately, we were on holidays so I called my doctor to see him and he confirmed that it was indeed Bell's Palsy, but because I am pregnant he couldn't prescribe the usual medication for it. He suggested that I go for physiotherapy.

    I had never been for physiotherapy for anything before so I asked my doctor for a suggestion for someone to see. He gave me the names of three offices and the first one I called said they had experience with clients who have Bell's, so I went there. When I got there, my impression that it was a bit 'ghetto', but I didn't know what to really expect... maybe something a little more 'spa-ish'?

    Well, I didn't like the physiotherapist. He was very abrupt and seemed like he was trying to scare me into more appointments: "You have to come in every day until you are better or your face may stay like that for the rest of your life." Well, I very well know it will NOT stay like that for the rest of my life. I am an informed individual! Then he proceed to give me electro-stimulation, where he placed electrodes on the side of my face and a couple on my neck to cause the nerves to ... 'contract'? Not unlike what Dr. Ho's will do for your abs.

    Anyway, a few of problems: I DO NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF THIS - delicate nerves in my face stimulated by electricity. But he's the physiotherapist, he should know what he is doing. Second: he used MASKING TAPE to affix the electrode to the side of my face. What is wrong with medical tape? Too expensive for you? I now have ezcema there where the tape was on my face. Third: i was checking out the battery-pack or whatever the thing was that was sending the electricity to my face, and saw on the label that it had been "reconditioned".

    I went home and felt okay about the experience, but unconvinced that it was beneficial. At least I didn't have to see him again right away because we were leaving for Batavia the next day. When Gonzo saw me he thought that my lip drooped a little more.

    I was devastated.
    I cried.

    See, I don't have it that bad - I am okay with it healing even only a little. I am NOT okay with it getting worse.

    On the internet (which I realize isn't the portal of all truth) I found some research that stated that electro-stimulation may even cause damage. Most sites recommend just leaving it alone, at the most applying hot compresses. The next morning, I cancelled all my appointments that I had booked the following week for further therapy.

    My doctor, at that initial appointment, told me that the best I can do to treat the Bell's is just to take it easy - get lots of rest, and I confessed the Saturday that I had stacked up for myself. It's basically the problem I have: I have been having such a fantastic pregnancy that I just don't feel pregnant. However, I think that at this point: 34 weeks, it's time that I start to act pregnant. And listen to my body when I am tired.

    It's amazing how tired I actually am.

    So - ALLLL of that to say that is that I am even kind of grateful for getting this. God's kicking me in the butt to tell me to slow down. I think that if I hadn't gotten this I would have been on the go-go-go right up until I go into labour - and if labour is anything like the pre-natal class videos have been showing me, it's that I'll need all the energy I can get.