Weeks before finding out about our impending bundle of joy, I had sworn off alcohol after a shameful and unflattering performance on my part at an Orchid's Curse gig. I was going out to see the bands at least once a week, always with my trusty bottle of water. My jogging habit was reaching its seasonal low (nonexistent), my smoking consumption was average (about 10 cigs a day or more). I had recently moved in with Anson and that motley crew (altogether 3 boys, one dog, and two cats) beside the Armouries. Work at the hotel was fun and life was pretty smooth sailing.
Then, of course, I peed on a stick and the whole world changed. Anson and I sat over the test waiting, looking at each other, looking at the test, looking at each other, looking at the test, and to be honest with you we had a somewhat mixed reaction to the two pink lines. I guess we kind of pep talked each other: it's okay, we can do this, it's okay, this is great news, it's okay, we love each other. Both of us wanted kids, it was a happy surprise.
Our reaction grew from shock to excitement. We slowly told our families (Not nerve wracking at all). Right away I told my sister, whose reaction was not as positive or enthusiastic as I'd hoped for (which is funny because she was such a huge support during the later stages of the pregnancy and the labour, and now she is the proudest Auntie ever)... I was disappointed to get a pep-talk from her about my financial situation (lol). My Grandfather's sudden death threw off the timing of revealing our big news to my family, and I don't think anyone noticed that I wasn't drinking or smoking (I quit smoking the day of the pregnancy test). So of our parents we first told Tony, Anson's Dad, and his partner Dianna - they had the best reaction by far: jumping into the air with raised fists and a "Woo hooooo!". We told Anson's Mom Vicky whilst sitting at her kitchen table. My memory is fuzzy here but Anson says she said something funny when he told her the news. Next I told Mum (who was in town from Trinidad) after the funeral was done with and things had settled down, her reaction was tearful, tears of joy and worry. Dad was coming to town in November so we decided to wait until then to tell him in person. He was overjoyed.
With the big news finally out of the bag, we started to plan for the future. Animal house was not suitable for raising a baby. We started looking at two bedroom apartments. I disassembled my band, Grab That Gun, to save money for the upcoming expenses (gear and a jam spot aren't cheap!). We borrowed money to acquire a reliable vehicle. The flat that we ended up in was up three flights of stairs, part of which had no railing, which proved to be difficult and hazardous in the winter (we got out of the lease pretty quickly). We moved into Anson's Moms until we could find a new place. The Mazda Protege that we bought was a lemon, and we lost a lot of money on it. Two major setbacks, but we rose above them! The yet-unborn baby and I travelled to Trinidad in January for some R&R and time with Mum/Bill. Meanwhile, my clothes were getting awfully snug. We frequent the local maternity wear shops. An ultrasound revealed that we were having a baby girl - we were so excited! Work was becoming a challenge as my body was changing. Standing on my feet for 8 hours (at the front desk of the hotel) became painful and awkward. I was told that my pregnancy was "high risk" at the beginning of it because of a pituitary tumor, and a family history of pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension). However I suffered no complications in the first/second trimester. My weight gain was very slow at first. My obstetrician sang my praises on each visit: "You're beautiful! Keep doing what you're doing!" Which of course was eating whatever I wanted (in my defense, for every junky thing I ate, I ate something nutritious). My physical exercise was unfortunately down to yoga and swimming (no jogging). I didn't do too much of either. But she said that was alright too.
At the end of March, I started to pack on almost 5lbs a week, which is a sign of pregnancy induced hypertension, but I didn't have the other symptoms of swelling, protein in the urine, etc. As I got bigger and bigger ("How many babies ya got in there girl?!") I was feeling worse and worse, eventually my work was kind enough to move me to the back office where I worked on the phones, instead of being on my feet. If it weren't for that, I'd have been off work long before. We acquired a reliable Honda Accord, which kept me going into work - I lasted at work until late April, when my Doctor got a glimpse of my feet, which had rolls and by that point didn't fit into any of my shoes. I had to buy flip flops a size larger than I usually wear and they were the only things I could wedge on. So, I was put off work, eight weeks before my due date, just in time for us to move to our "dream apartment" in Clayton Park - so that I could "relax at home". I really should have done more relaxing - somehow my feet swelled to an impossible size and the rest of me (hands, face, legs, arms) kept ballooning. My blood pressure was slowly rising to borderline pre-eclampsia levels. I was feeling the pressure to get the new apartment ready for baby. Waddling around was especially uncomfortable as I had always carried pretty low. But I kept at it, which is why what happened next was not particularly shocking.....
.... to be continued!