Category Archives: Digital Learning Project

Solidarity Throughout Pregnancy

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Between the 7th and 9th week of my pregnancy a blood test confirmed that I was pregnant and at this point the embryo is changing in size from a blueberry, to a raspberry (raspbaby), and again to a medium green olive – something actually tangible.

Symptoms include: breast tenderness, fatigue, headaches, dry heaving, nausea, constipation, gas, and bloating.

Development: heartbeat, lips, nose, eyelids, legs, and the head and muscles develop more. (Source: What to Expect When You Are Expecting, 5th Edn.)

Learning about it’s size and development was an important step in making the experience real. It is such a strange thing, transitioning from drinking a glass of wine and coffee on a semi-regular basis and playing competitive sports to instantly changing eating, drinking, and fitness habits.

I noticed right away how much anxiety I was having over the pregnancy because I started to drive well-below the speed limit and sleeping/resting probably more than I needed to. This realization that my life will no longer be the same came as such a surprise. As I watched my husband drink a cold beer, enjoy his morning coffee, go and play basketball with his friends, I started to feel jealous and lonely that I could no longer participate in the lifestyle we shared not too long ago. His life didn’t have to change instantly and he was able to just be excited about the idea of having a baby.                                    Photo Credit: DarnKid

These frustrations coupled with the intense feelings of isolation are scary and can be divisive. It is obvious that it is not his fault in any way for living his life, however, I needed some tools to help me understand how I was feeling about the changes in my lifestyle. I wanted to make sure that when I bring up the topic I don’t sound super hormonal, but it seems like that might be inevitable.

I searched some online blogs and came across a helpful article that identifies 15 Great Ways to Support her During Pregnancy, and the second point suggested,

“She may have given up smoking, stopped drinking alcohol, switched to a healthier diet and started doing more regular exercise. Help her out by making these changes too.”

I think it goes a long way to show your partner support by changing your lifestyle to match how her lifestyle has changed. In my relationship, we both wanted to have a baby and so this showing of solidarity throughout the experience seems like an important piece.

10 Weeks Pregnant

At 10 weeks pregnant the embryo is 1.5 inches – the size of a prune. At this stage it graduates from and embryo to a fetus.  Bones and cartilage are forming (indents for knees and elbows), teeth are forming under the gums, or the stomach begins producing digestive juices, kidneys produce more urine, and the male testes produce progesterone. (Source: What to Expect When You Are Expecting, 5th Edn.) What a busy week of development!

TIP: Here is a tip for anyone who just found out they are pregnant and are beginning to experience symptoms. My friend told me once that when she was pregnant and her husband asked her how she was feeling, she would describe it, as if it were a hangover. So, on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is can’t get out of bed for days hung over, you can relate how you are feeling in a way that might make some sense (food averse, gas, bloating, indigestion, nausea, etc.).

Thanks for reading!

Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For How I Feel in the First Trimester

Nothing could have prepared me for the first trimester of my first pregnancy. My husband and I were ready to have a baby, but didn’t know whether I was pregnant or just had the flu until my 5th week. I took a pregnancy test to confirm my suspicion and then immediately searched for information about what to expect in my first trimester.

After searching for a description that accurately reflects most of what I am experiencing I found a blog post written by Celeste Erlach on the blog site Pregnant Chicken. Her article, Symptoms of Pregnancy No One Wants to Talk About – 1st Trimester Edition resonates with me and entertainingly describes her experience of morning sickness, fatigue, constipation, bloating, and self-doubt. Check it out!

Friends and family had told me that all pregnancies are different and women will experience the symptoms differently. I learned very quickly that I would be one of those pregnant women experiencing all of the symptoms. It actually feels like the embryo is sucking the life out of you and as I near the end of the first trimester I am less hopeful the symptoms will subside. Sure, I am a bit grumpy about it. I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my body or my emotions, and my husband can hardly believe the mood swings and exhaustion. So far, pregnancy has been a frustrating experience because I am:

  • hungry, but have no interest in food;
  • unable to get as much done in a day;
  • disinterested in most things except for watching Netflix;
  • unfocused and forgetful;
  • utterly exhausted after doing what seems like nothing compared to pre-pregnancy;
  • uncomfortably able to fit into my clothes;
  • upset by unsolicited advice, mostly when it is from strangers;
  • uncertain and not feeling like myself;
  • temperamental; and feel like a baby in need of frequent naps, bathroom breaks, and consoling.

Every time I feel a bit frustrated by my current state I read in my What to Expect When You Are Expecting book, by Heidi E. Murkoff, about what parts of the embryo are developing and re-connect with the miracle of creating another human. At week 5 the heart and circulatory system begin to take shape and in just two weeks the embryo has developed a heartbeat, kidneys, liver, and lungs, lips, nose, eyelids, jaws, cheeks, chin, ear canals, mouth and tongue, arm and leg buds.

Photo: credit via Ed Uthman

Amazing! This humbling experience teaches me to be patient with myself and hope that my husband, family, and friends will be too.


Technology Loyalty

In my previous post I discussed how I would be creating a Google Classroom for better connections, organization and enhancements of in-class learning with my two ELA 9 classes. As it turns out our school system has invested resources into Microsoft cloud programs, Moodle and other online classroom learning based programs, and would therefore prefer for us as teachers to use those. This is not to say that I am not allowed to use GC, just that if I did and something went wrong as far as the technology side of things our technology department would not assist me as it would be out of their realm.

I am kind of disappointed as I was excited about GC, and the prospect of the user friendliness of it. Additionally, I have already invested a small amount of time in creating a GC. I admit it was not a tonne of time, but I was looking forward to having my students join me in the “classroom” soon and be my test subjects, offering some feedback and possibly some insight.

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I feel torn as I typically do what is expected of me, but I feel like it will be a tonne of more work to use an alternate program. Not as though I am looking to avoid a heavy workload, however it would be more of a learning curve for the students and myself. Either way here is what I know and need to achieve in this week:

  • Online sites and learning tools are time sensitive. We are already one month into the semester, if I do not get this up and running at least with a minimal amount of content it will not reach my desired level of usefulness for students.
  • I need to contact someone who has created an online space for their classroom using the resources available to me so that I can learn firsthand about their experiences.
  • In need to poll the learners and their use and experience with Google tools. Maybe I am overestimating the amount of students who use google.
  • I need to attempt to create an online classroom on the Microsoft cloud based system that I currently have access to for my email and my documents.

 

If you are reading this I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and input. I really am dismayed and thought I had my Digital Learning Project on the go.

 


What can pregnancy teach me about myself, my community, my world?

In the first EC&I 831 class I learned about all of the ways I would be challenged to become tech and social media literate. One of these challenges involves a semester-long commitment to a digital learning project.

Over the course of the last two weeks I have thoughtfully considered and weighed the importance and outcomes of studying various topics of interest. Some of these topics include: yoga, vegetarian cooking, the ukulele, or photography. Though studying any one of these topics would be interesting and enjoyable, I have recently learned that I am pregnant and am finding it difficult to think of much else. I have so many questions about what I am experiencing, and from the little research I have done I am learning that there are so many perspectives on pregnancy and how to raise a good person.

It’s going to get quite personal, and I am prepared for that. Are you?

Some questions that I have been asking so far include:

  • What is happening in my body that makes me feel so bone-tired?
  • Am I really showing early or is that just bloating? How do you know? I guess you know when you know?
  • I haven’t had my first ultrasound yet, but on days where I feel like myself, is it possible that I have lost the baby?
  • What if I don’t do this whole pregnancy thing right? I know there isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ way to do it, but what if I screw it up somehow?

I have decided to track and explore my pregnancy and all of the questions that arise as I prepare for childbirth and becoming a mother. Each week I will explore aspects of my relationship with an issue, topic, theory, or practice involved in pregnancy.

Some of the online learning resources that I am aware of and will explore include:

I am grateful for the opportunity to integrate important elements of my life that are not profession driven, into my learning throughout this master’s course.

If you are someone who has insight into learning about pregnancy and parenthood I welcome your suggestions for online learning resources that I can explore throughout the semester.