The Rule of Threes


What's that ancient Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times? Things have been SO INTERESTING lately you guys. So very, very interesting. What I wouldn't give for a little boredom right about now. Been sort of preoccupied the last couple of weeks not just with work (I only have a month left before mat leave! What?!) but with local politics (the G20 debacle) and shooting pictures at the Jazz Festival. More on those things later...they're for different blog posts altogether. How about an Art Vandelay update though? Seriously, if I don't update now it'll be the kid's first birthday before I fill you in on the Third Trimester Madness. Third Trimester Madness is like Midnight Madness at your local mall but with less shoe sales and more hormone induced loose joints. That's right. Loose joints. All over your body. Thanks to a, I am sure sarcastically named hormone, "relaxin". No, you go ahead and refill your birth control prescription, I'll wait right here.

Let's go back about a month to May 30th when my Facebook status read "Well, one day in and the third trimester has been just as uneventful as the second. Hope it stays that way." Famous. Last. Words.

I had a midwife appointment scheduled for the next day and I called ahead of time to let them know that I had been dealing with severe itching in my hands and feet. Not only that, I had done a bad thing and I had googled "itchy hands and feet in pregnancy" and discovered that it could be a symptom of something more serious. Something liver related that could be ruled out with a blood test. So I called from my desk at lunch time to tell them that I had been a bad girl and had googled and could I please have that blood test tomorrow when I come in for my appointment. Just to rule it out. And by the way, had I mentioned I was sorry for googling? And my calm midwife says to me, over the phone, "how soon can you meet me at the hospital?"

Oh. I see. This is karma for not having thrown up at all during the first trimester. I had just learned about my friend's sister who threw up so violently and so often that she cracked a rib during her first trimester. I dry heaved once. And as a result I was now faced with "how soon can you meet me at the hospital?"

One absolutely hellish hour later The Robeau and I were at the hospital and I was strapped into some sort of fetal monitor thing undergoing the ironically named "non-stress test". After three hours in OB Triage we were assured that the condition, ICP, which sadly does not stand for Insane Clown Posse but for Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy was very serious but manageable if monitored...and that they weren't sure yet if I even had it. The definitive yes or no would have to wait three weeks, as it turns out, because there is only one lab in the entire province that can do the necessary blood test.

I will omit the angsty hand and feet itching that went on for the next three weeks and tell you that all is well and Vandelay and I are Insane Clown Posse free. Apparently the test came back 100% normal. Sometimes you just have itchy hands and feet. I have to say though, how lucky I feel that we are getting the kind of care we are from our midwives and from the doctor who was on call at the hospital that afternoon (it took me a while to warm up to him, but in the end he was really great). The frustrating part was dealing with hospital bureaucracy. The day after the initial tests we were ordered to come in for an ultrasound and holy hell, what a bunch of finger pointing, do nothing right, take no responsibility a-holes we had to deal with. What should have taken maybe 30 minutes took all day. I love our health care system in Canada, I really do, but wow, that was an exercise in frustration.

Since that time things have been uneventful. There is the swelling and the heartburn and the loose joints and the lovely summer cold I've had for over a week - but really, I signed up for all of that. And at least I haven't cracked a rib.


  1. I have to say, I am so glad I went through all of that six or seven years ago with my wife and won't have to do it again (unless of course there is some tragic contraception accident).

    My wife struggled with nausea for the first three months, then in the second trimester started getting elevated blood pressure, by the third trimester the blood pressure was an issue (non pre-eclampsia) and this led to her being induced. About four hours into the delivery, they went for the epidural which proceeded to numb her so well that labour stopped.

    Three hours later it resumed without the sedatives, but the little guy was wedged in and his shoulder caught on her pelvis. They needed to go for suction. So now the doctor doing the delivery literally has both her feet off the ground on the end of the bed, her full weight is suspended two feet off the ground by my unborn son's head and neck and device that looks like a glorified plunger.

    Suddenly a popping sound, the doctor is on her bum on the floor, device in hand and I am thinking she's pulled the little bugger's head off. Thankfully the vacuum broke and nothing but the female doctor's pride was hurt. Round two on the suction and after some twisting and fiddling out come the little fella with a massive conehead. Remember those rubber things people would wear when David Cone pitched for the Jays, that was what my newborn son looked like.

    I made the fatal error of going to get the camera and had to walk down past the "business end" of the bed. It was like something out of a war movie - it was more trauma than anything I've ever seen in my life. And I hate other people's blood, so I nearly took a header.

    Anyway, all ended up fine - my wife was showering within twenty minutes and little conehead was normal in about an hour or so.

    I'm sure everything will be fine though - well as fine as that whole process can be. My one piece of advice for Rob is, don't eat anything leading into the event if he can help it and for the love of God, don't venture down to the business end of the bed until AFTER they clean it all up. That's a thing that sticks with you!

  2. Jen Andreae10:53 PM

    Holy crap. I totally forgive you for not returning my call! please feel less itchy!

  3. Oh my. We have to meet for coffee. I had a KA-RAY-ZEE story with the itching of the hands and the feet, and the googling, and the calling of the midwife etc. etc. but all only AFTER I had had Hewson! I still sometimes get itchy feet while nursing but let me tell you, at the time, there was major drama. Too tiring to write it all out. We must meet. Red Rocket sometime soon? I need to lasso your busy self before you have this baby!

  4. Hi Pretty Momma! Glad it was just plain itchiness and it turned out Insane Clown Posse FREE!! (I know there are frustrations but let me tell you how envious we are over your healthcare up there!)

  5. They start out as they intend to go on - driving you crazy!!!


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