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Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Is What It Is

I apologize in advance for what is sure to be a rambling ADD riddled post. After a week away, can you blame me? And you never know, this make take more than one post.

We got home Tuesday. I was never so glad to have my own bed and get our Bean back on a routine. Silly person that I am, I thought that having our own space agaon would be good. I am an idiot. Back into said routine, I'm trying to keep myself together and write without crying. I very nearly want to call my dear husband and tell him to come home. He's at the Library working on his Thesis. And I need him to work on his thesis so he can get a job so we don't end up homeless and begging on the street for money to buy formula and diapers. And besides, if we're lucky, R will be able to find a Wii on sale- if they're not all sold out.

Speaking of formula, Baby Girl is eating her third meal of the day. I swear she just ate and went down for a nap. We paused for a diaper change, I LOVE diaper changes!! I know, I'm nuts. But it's these moments when we're face-to-face and I have her undivided attention. She listens to whoever is talking to her and begins grinning like an idiot. She smiles like her Daddy and her Grandpa (my Dad)- right into her eyes. It melts not just my heart but every part of me.

As I was changing her just now she stared into my eyes smiling. I burst into tears. At the beginning of this post I had convinced myself that I could hold out, that I didn't need the medication. Staring at her, soaking up all her sweetness, I know I have to- for her, for R and for myself. The fibro is slight, the PPD deafening in it's roar. They feed off each other. I need to break the cycle.

So here we are on the eve of a new year. I will start it having had my heart full with more joy than I thought possible. And I will start it trying to fix the things that have gone wrong in my body and my mind.

I feel a bit like a failure by needing the meds. And you don't have to say it, I know there's nohting wrong with medication if you need it -I've heard it all. Right now this is how I feel. I'll get over it.

So I wish you a Happy New Year. I have much to catch you up on and much catching up to do myself. But tonight, I am going to curl up with my incredible husband and my baby. We're going to read a bedtime story to our dear girl, put her to bed and watch a movie (or play Wii if we're lucky).

And then I will take the step I need to to fix this.

See you in 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Anti-Scrooge

People can still surprise me.

I'm at my in-laws place for Christmas. My MIL and I run to the store to pick up a few things because I was going to make fudge tonight and dinner on Monday (mmm, Tagine). We had to run to a second store because the first was all out of the mini marshmallows needed to make the fudge. The second store didn't have it either so I opted for regular marshmallows and would cut them up.

I get in line to pay for them and put them behind the items for the guy in front of me. He looks at me, grabs the marshmallows and puts them with his order. He says that he'll grab them for me. I said I had change but he said not to worry about it, so I said okay, and thanked him for being so generous. They only costed $1.39 but it was the point that counts here.

An elderly lady gets in line behind us and puts her few items up on the conveyor belt. He looks at the cashier and asks how much she thinks her items costed. She said about $25.oo. He motions to her items and says, "these ones too". The elderly woman looked very confused at first but when he explained that he would pay for her groceries, well, you should have seen the look on her face. She gave him this big hug and even kissed him on the cheek. He laughed and then frantically rubbed his cheek to remove the bright red lipstick away. He asked us if he had gotten it all off and sure enough he did. I could just picture him going home to a wife or girlfriend and what would have happened if he didn't get it all off.

He wished us a Merry Christmas and there was a round of hugs. I think we all had a bounce to our step as we left.

I don't even think I bothered to put on my gloves. I didn't even notice the minus 5 degree Celsius chill.

It's nice to know that simple generosity still exists. I do wonder though, was it a random act on his part or did he plan it? Did he leave for the store saying, I've got a little extra money, why don't I pay for someone's stuff? I'll never know and you know what? I don't think it matters.

Merry Christmas. May we all find a little generosity this holiday season- whether financially or just in love and friendship.

Peace to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

If I look out my window, I can't see anything for the bank of fog that has descended into my neighborhood. I'll pretend it's snow for the Holidays. Not that I want the headache of trying to fly out through snow but maybe it would make me feel more Christmasy.

We leave tomorrow to spend a week with R's family. I am looking forward to it, but...

I feel like I have to put on a smile and enjoy things, even if I'm not up for it. Perhaps it's a suck it up situation.

In any case I'll be back on the 29th. I'm wishing everyone a lovely Holiday, if you're celebrating, and if you're not, I wish you well.

See you in a week! Now since I better go pack, I leave you with a photo of good tidings...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Perfect Moment Mondays: Glimmers for Soltice

I've long seen people's Perfect Moment Monday posts but this is the first time I've joined in. It's another way for me to force myself out of my Post-Partum Depression shell and engage in the world around me.

It's ironic that the day that is supposed to be the shortest (and therefore have more darkness) has bursted with light. It's a cloudy dark day that started out with dreary with rain and just now has a sun bursting over the sliver of ocean visible from my apartment ocean, lighting it up. I tried capturing it with my camera but I don't have a long enough lense to capture the sight I'm witnessing. Perhaps that's just as well.

So that is one Perfect Moment today. I was reminded of how the light can overcome the darkness.

A second moment came from my friend D who came for a visit today. He came with small gifts- vitamins (to help with the PPD), coffee and a hug. He also watched Bean while I had a shower, which I hadn't had a chance to do as Bean had been awake off and on all morning and had just finally fallen asleep.

Another moment came last night. Bean was wide awake after her bedtime feed (an unusual occurrence). So R decided to read her a bedtime story as I cuddled her in our bed. Picture the three of us curled up reading Dr. Suess. It was a balm on my saddened heart.

Stop by here to see the Perfect Moments for this week...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nothing a Glass of Wine and Sleep Couldn't Help a Little

So Friday night resulted in little sleep. After going back to bed , I lay awake for what seemed like forever. My dear husband decided that this was a good time to discuss something. Really, I just wanted to shut off my brain and sleep. I was tired. It wasn't the most productive conversation but it wasn't awful either. The last time I looked at the clock it was 3 am.

Baby woke up at 6:30. Husband got up to feed her. I crawled out of bed at 8:30 feeling numb. I then proceeded to get ready for the day and do something I loathe...

Christmas shopping at the mall in the week before Christmas.

It could have been worse. I did go by myself which allowed far more freedom in the crowds. But you should have seen it! A mall with over 400 stores can pack an insane amount of people in. The line-up at the bookstore was unbelievably long but the sales clerk in charge of the line-up was lovely. He made my day with his sense of humour. He told everyone that the line-up was only 7 minutes long. Someone asked him if he had timed it which he said that he actually did. He then proceeded to "bribe" us by passing out candy canes.

It was such a simple thing and it made my day. No one was shoving, stamping their foot or being generally irritable. A big difference from the Star.bucks line-up where I very nearly took off the head of the girl behind me because she decided that her huge designer purse required more space than she had in line and every time she moved she banged me with it. I almost became one of those grouchy people muttering under their breath, cursing the holidays.

Almost, but I restrained myself and took a couple deep breaths.

Last night I did something I wasn't sure I could... I went to a Chirstmas party. Hubby's co-worker and his wife were throwing an appys and drinks shindig and invited us out. So we went, baby in tow. There's nothing more amusing than meeting people and having them introduce themselves to the baby first and then the parents. People often apologize but I'm used to it by now so really don't think anything of it.

I knew several people there but it was hard for me. Normally, I could walk into a room of hundreds of people and mingle no problem. But these days a party of 20 people has me anxious. I get claustrophobic in small spaces right now. So most of the time, I sat in the Living Room by the fire and talked to people as they circulated. Sometimes I had the baby, other times she was circulating with Daddy. I should point out also that our lovely host came around and offered to fill my wine glass from time to time.

Two and half glasses later... I was really glad I only had the half glass and not a full third. Mildly drunk I changed Bean's diaper and got her dressed in her pajamas. She had had about enough of the loud place and strange people. She had been awesome (as she usually is) but after awhile, her tolerance dwindles. She was tired and needed to have herself a good cry. I didn't blame her, Mamma understood. So I took her to a quiet room, covered her with her blanket and rocked her to sleep. It's about the only time we will do this since she normally puts herself to sleep. We left soon after she settled down.

We all slept like babies last night. ;)

I think the hardest thing about last night was enduring the regular bout of questions... "How's Motherhood? Are you enjoying being at home? Getting more sleep these days? Are you breastfeeding" The funny thing is I really don't think people want to hear the real answer; they just ask the questions because it's convention. And let's not discuss what happens if you tell them something that is outside their comfort zone.

One woman there was a younger Mom like myself. She had an eighteen month old. She was really nice to talk to and refreshingly didn't try to give me every piece of advice that exists under the sun. While I didn't get into the PPD and I think she could sense I was a little bit "off" and was really sweet about it. She didn't push and let me say as much or as little as I felt. Her daughter was really cute as well and really interested in everything around her. I would look at her and then glance at Bean and try to imagine my little girl that big. Just can't quite do it yet.

I know, I know, they grow so fast, time passes so quickly, blah blah blah. Let me just enjoy her as she is right now. It's a hard enough to do that one simple thing some days, let's not force time to get away from me. I want to just soak up her new smiles and let them heal what seems to be somewhat broken. Here's one of those precious smiles...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Only in the Wee Hours

The TV options available after midnight are limited. You've got a Late Show and then often a Late, Late Show. Which is silly really, since they all seem on time to me...

I know, I know, groan. Sorry about that. Occupational hazard of being married to a man who can spit out puns as easily as he breathes. After over 6 years together, it was bound to rub off eventually. Now where was I? Oh yes, TV.

I have to say that TV at the turn of the day is infinitely better than when I was usually getting up for a night feed: 3 am. At this time, most of the channels go off the air or have "Paid Programming" selling some ridiculous items that people really don't ne... oh wait, are you serious? You mean that gizmo, will give bottles AND change a diaper? I better write down that phone number. Wait no, I haven't gotten that phone number down yet!

Damn it! Oh well, maybe next time. But with my luck, it'll be yet another food chopper/mincer/slicer/knife sharpener/cutting board and storage contraption for only 3 easy payments of $19.99. Like I said, not much on at that time if the morning.

This particular morning sees the wife getting up instead of the husband because of course, she's been listening to the baby wake up for the last five minutes and knowing that the bottle in the fridge will take a few minutes to warm up, someone should get up NOW to place said bottle in hot water so that it's ready BEFORE the baby gets into a her "I'm so hungry, I'm going to perish" cry (which is a good one if you ask me). Anyway, so the wife gets up because her husband half asleep says he's not sure if he can get up, and promptly continues sleeping through Baby Girl's noises.

So the wife gets up, only mildly irritated at the whole exchange since she's now wide awake due to accidentally making regular coffee instead of decaf early that evening and drank it anyway since it's a crime to waste such a precious liquid that is coffee.

Stay tuned to see what time the wife actually gets back asleep and if the baby decides to sleep too. There are fair odds in her favour since the bout of hiccups that ensued while this was being written is over and Baby Girl is once again working on the last of her bottle.

Wish her luck...

Within Reach

A photo for the place in between...

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Have a Winner!

So the deadline for my contest came and went. I pretty much forgot about it- go figure.

BUT, we do have a winner. The lucky blogger is Mrs. Spock!! I submitted her suggestion for my Creme de la Creme post a day before the deadline. Whew, made it. So I'll be contacting her about her prize and she can share what it is when she gets it. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seriously? Almost Worth a Laugh

I was a little bit excited. This afternoon (and every Wednesday afternoon), my health unit, which is two blocks away has a Parent/ Baby Drop-in. I've yet to make it once. But today was supposed to be a holiday celebration/social. I figured I should go. Boy was I nervous! Normally I could walk into a room of 500 strangers and mingle no problem. But these days I become shy and unsure how to talk to people. Friends and family are hard enough, but strangers? It's a whole other battle.

But I fed Bean, ate something myself, got both of us dressed, put her in the stroller armed with a rain cover and headed out. It was pouring! I walked the five minutes in the rain only to find out that the baby group was cancelled for all of Nov and Dec due to the H1N1 Vaccination Clinic they were running.

It took all of my strength not to cry right there and then.

I dragged myself home. I did consider going for a walk. H*ll, going anywhere would have been nice, but between the rain and the fact that elevator at our Sky.train station is out till Jan.8, I didn't have the energy for the long expedition required to get anywhere I'd want to go.

Bean fell asleep for her nap soon after we got home. Then my friend K called. Both of us weren't having the best day. We vented and listened. It was nice. After we hung up, I took advantage of a sleeping baby and went for my own nap. 50 minutes before I woke up on my own! I'm not complaining.

Bean was still asleep when I got up so I git dinner going. It's simmering as I speak. Tonight, R and I are off to the holiday social for his Barber.shop chorus. I'm somewhat rested, am filling up on caffeine and actually calm.

Maybe today is a better day than I thought...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Show and Tell: A Place to Begin

*Baby mentioned

If there's one thing I've learned in my life so far, it's that when you hit the bottom, you have only one way to go but up. Depression is a fickle thing. Just when you think you've got a handle on it, it can throw you for a loop. But it can be dealt with. I think I'm starting to figure out how to deal with it this time. As someone reminded me yesterday, women who have experienced IF/Loss are more at risk for PPD. Given that I was high risk to begin with, it figures...

When I was in the depths of my fibro, I searched out ways to express what I was feeling and thinking. Words couldn't do it for me. I turned to my painting. Brushes and painting knives became my lips and tongue, forming the things I held inside.

Photography does the same. In one image carefully shot, I can sum up myself in the one moment.

It's been some time since I joined S&T. I was pregnant and stressed and tired. Now I have a 2 month old daughter and am not much better, in fact worse. But I figured I need to throw myself into things in order to find myself again.

So here we are. This week I'd like to show you a photo I took Sept 2008, after my second (and devastating) miscarriage. I was in Toronto, running a work charity event and working on a project. In my evenings free, I took the subway downtown and explored, camera in hand.

I love this photo, there's something about this man, hands in his pocket, head bent down, just walking his path, that resonated with me deeply. It still does...

Don't forget to stop by Mel's place and see what the rest of the class is showing...

A Tank Half Full, or Half Empty?

I was 30 minutes into a much needed nap. I was thinking to myself, "if I can just get a little sleep now, maybe I'll finally start to fill up the tank a little". It wasn't to be. The phone rang and it was yet another call about RESPs! I almost wanted to yell at the poor lady, "What makes you think that the middle of the afternoon is a good time to call new parents?" I spared her the lecture. But it was ironic when she asked if I was getting more sleep these days.

The tank (of energy) has obviously been running pretty low. Some of this is normal, but to be honest, when you have a chronic illness sitting on the back burner, it's a risky game to play. Still, I really thought in those first few weeks, that I was going to be fine. But tiny bit by tiny bit, I was using up the reserves. Then I tapped into the spare tank and eventually here I am with my little gas can wondering how I fill it back up. It's not like I can run to the magic gas station and fill 'er up for free. It costs something.

The cost is the balance I'm trying to find. To steal a little time to get some rest means I'm not doing something else I need to. Laundry, making dinner, writing Christmas cards, mailing said Christmas cards. Silly things, some of it, but I don't know about you but I like having clean underwear and I'm pretty sure my daughter likes her sleepers clean too. Oh yeah, and baby requires constant attention most of the time.

So at what point do you say "that costs too much"? What happens if you reach that point? I know what I need to do but it is daunting. Yes, I need to exercise. But when? Do I choose exercise over a nap? Socializing keeps me sane, keeps me going. But again, it's at the expense of time I could be sleeping. I imagine I could probably sleep all day given the option. How sad is that? Pretty typical of depression (I quite remember it from before), but still, I don't want to go there.

Intravenous caffeine? Hey, not a bad idea. Kidding, just kidding... well, partly.

So where is this all coming from? Baby girl slept 8 hours last night!! 8 beautiful hours. I slept 4 before getting up to check on her, since we "broke the rules" and let her sleep on her stomach last night. She had her 2 month vaccines and it was the most comfortable position for her at the moment and soothed her as she was cranky and fussy. So I got up and turned the heat down a bit and heard her sigh the sweetest sigh. I smiled and went back to bed.

My head hit the pillow. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned for a full hour. By 3 I was almost in tears. Exhausted tears. I felt a hand slowly rubbing my back. It calmed me a bit. At some point I fell asleep, I'm not sure when. Bean finally woke up at 5am hungry. R got up and feed her. We both got up for the morning around 7:30.

That brings me to now. I had a pretty good night's sleep all things considered. The tank was at minimum and I was hoping to fill it up a little. To be at a place to put the gas can back in the trunk for a rainy day. Then the phone rang. I crawled back into bed after hanging up and tried to go back to sleep. 10 minutes later I resigned myself to the inevitable and got up.

I'm hoping for a better tonight. And a better tomorrow. It will get there. I will get there. I've done it before- come back that is.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I had a lovely weekend. R and I took Bean to see my family for an early Christmas since my Dad was home on his week off. It was nice to visit with my parents, brother and Aunt. To see how everyone reacted to Bean after not seeing her for a whole month. It was a happy time.

I wish I could have been as happy as I knew I should be. Don't get me wrong, I laughed and enjoyed everyone's company. But there was a part of me that was quiet and a tiny numb. Friday afternoon, my Mom and I went to the mall and hung out and talked. She's been in my shoes and dealt with depression before. It was nice to talk to her, to put it all out there. It's also brought everything to the surface. Normally, I'd say that would be a good thing but I did find it hard to put it to the side completely so I could just simply enjoy myself. Perhaps it was getting only 3 hours of sleep Friday night due to Bean too noisy of a sleeper. Normally she sleeps in our Living Room in her bassinet since she keeps me awake. That wasn't an option since Bean likely would have had a cat joining her. She was also restless and a little fussy. We think it was because she's older and knew she was in a different place. It took a night for her to adjust.

Last night was better for both of us... thankfully. I feel a little better today.

I think the hardest thing about depression is the feeling of numbness. At some point you just disconnect from things around you, including your senses. I saw my GP on Thursday. I'd like to say we had a discussion about my PPD and fibro but that's not usually how it works. He hears what I say and will respond but often I'm not always sure if he actually listens of not. Probably not an unusual occurrence for Doctors. I'm at least used to him and how he works, so I know what to pull from what he doesn't say.

He gave me a one month supply of Lyr.ica to try if my fibro pain gets bad. He'd rather I not go on anything unless I really need it, because it can have side effects. The med will help me sleep and also help the depression. However it's a pain med not a depression med. So I can't just start it to help the PPD. He did ask if I was doing any stretching, which I haven't been. But I have been walking, which I told him. So hint, hint, I have things to do. In reality, it's all part of the lifestyle management that helps me cope with the fibromyalgia. I had a spark of real pain on Thursday and Friday but that's been it so far.

As for the depression, it was sort of put on the back burner if you ask me. Whether he thought it was a serious issue or not, I'm not sure. My Mom suggested I see my OB about it. I had my post-partum check-up a week ago, so I doubt it would be much of an issue to go back.

In a way I feel in limbo. In a place between handling things on my own and needing medical intervention. Do I start the meds, or wait for the fibro to get a bit more serious? Do I just do the lifestyle steps- diet, exercise and stress management and hope it's all it takes?

I'm not sure what the answer is. Despite not having family in my city, I do have a group of girlfriends from my online message board. We all have babies around the same age and one of the gals has a touch of PPD also. We went for a walk early last week to commiserate. It was really nice. Then another friend came over for a visit. Thursday, I was overwhelmed with all the prep I had to do for our weekend away, so my PPD buddy K came over and helped. She watched Bean while I went back and forth from the laundry room in our building, washed my tub, helped me pack, made lists of things to not forget to pack and was in general a lifesaver. Her company alone helped.

Perhaps that's the key. Just having people around. I'm such a social person that I have found parenting a newborn very isolating and lonely. I can talk on the phone and write here but sometimes you just need a physical presence beside you to remind you that you're not alone.

I'm in a strange place and we'll see what these next days bring. I have at least two visits with friends plus a visit to work on the agenda for this week. Also, Ben gets her first set of vaccinations. That should be interesting.

Time to go. Bean is still sleeping . Expecting her to wake up with in the next 30 minutes or so to eat; unless of course she pulls another bout of long sleep. That would make three in three weeks. Boy can I not wait for her to start sleeping through the night...

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Pit

I fell.

In a way I saw it coming but I missed the point where I hit the bottom. Now I'm sitting there wondering what the hell to do. I'm seeing my Dr this week for Bean's 2 month checkup and vaccinations. I also need to get my seasonal flu vaccine having already gotten the H1.N1 shot.

And having had depression before, I know he'll agree that I have PPD- Post-Partum Depression. I found the Edinburgh Post-Natal Depression Scale. It's out of 30. Anything over 10 is likely depression of some degree. I scored 20.

Well, there you go. I kinda figured.

We'll see what my GP has to say about it. I really don't want to go on medication unless I absolutely have to. I stocked up on vitamins. Hoping keeping my immune system healthy will help my fibro. I've felt painful aches in my hands and wrists and my left knee- usually when I'm really tired... which is often. The early morning feed is usually okay but it's been difficult these last couple of days.

Last night was particularly bad. She had been fussy all evening and was taking forever to finish her bottle. I'd take it away thinking she was done but then she'd get all upset. I woke up at 2am. I was still feeding her at 3:30 when someone knocked on our door. I thought it was next door but then it got louder. I went to the door, baby in my arms, and the person tried opening it. It was locked of course. Freaked out I asked who it was. A guy in a red coat said "Gunner". *Note: Who calls himself "Gunner"? Really?* I said I didn't know who he was. He said " of course you do". I said that I didn't know who the hell he was and that I didn't ring him up- that he had the wrong apartment. I went to go get R to deal with it and by the time we got back to the door "Gunner" was gone.

I went back to the couch to continue feeding my daughter. I started shaking. R sat with me until I was better and then went back to bed. The next feeding was his.

Tomorrow I'll be talking to our rental office to let them know what happened. Had I had our security number handy (the company has changed a couple times since we moved in), I would have called last night. I also lock my door at all times. I hate being paranoid but I have a baby to think about.

So I'm locked in my apartment and emotionally not quite stable. There's a good combo.

Lucky for me, the weather has been sunny and dry this last week and for the new few (I think). That means I can get out for walks. Fresh air and exercise helps.

All is not lost. I may have PPD but at least I know it. That means I can do something about it. Just need to have a place to start...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Elusive Prize and a Contest

Sleeping through the night. It's a coveted state. Really , it means 6 or 7 hours of consecutive sleep- for the baby that is. But that didn't stop us from getting 5 in a row last night. Plus another 2 after her early morning feed. She slept 9 pm- 4:30 am. That would be 7.5 hours folks.

Are we excited or what! Apparently, I slept through the night at 6 weeks too. She must take after me. ;) Here's hoping it wasn't a one time occurrence.

Now, I need your help. I'm going through my posts from this year and trying to pick one for Creme de la Creme 2009. Problem is that I have very little time to really do this properly right now. If you think there's one that is particularly worthy (i.e. my best post of the year), put the Date and Title in the comments section. If I pick the post you chose (first come, first serve), there's a prize. I need some finalists and the deadline is Dec.15th, so please help me out.

I'm going to pick the winning post two weeks from now on Dec.12th and if you're curious what the prize might be, the only hint I'll give is to remember that I'm a photographer...

Happy Hunting!

It's All in the Math


Nine hours of sleep that is! Obviously not consecutive but I'm not complaining.

We had a visit with Bean's pediatrician today.

9lbs, 9oz

Our girl is growing so quickly!

(And there seems to be something about nines...)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Balancing Act

She's sitting propped up in my nursing (ahem, "feeding") pillow. She might be still hungry but I'm not sure. One minute I think so, next I'm not so sure. So I'm waiting for her to make up her mind and let me know.

I have a six week old infant. Still trying to wrap my mind around it. I keep joking with people that I don't know where the weeks have gone and I know I didn't sleep through it. lol. But she's a pretty darn good baby- most of the time. She seems to be going through another growth spurt and is eating every two at times. It gets so tiring. Then I think about how it's be if I was still doing the breastfeeding & bottle regimen and I'm pretty sure I'd be clinically insane at this point. As it is I exist in a partially sleep-deprived state. Most of time I'm fine but there are days when I think I'm going to lose it.

Christmas is coming quickly and I can't wait. Hold On... hold that thought...

Oh, there she goes. Her hungry cry. It's actually really funny and I can't help laughing at it. She can really scream when she's hungry but I have a hard time taking it too seriously. She acts like she's going to perish if she doesn't get some food-right-this-VERY-minute. Even better is when she actually goes through the trouble of producing tears, although not enough to leave her eyes. Then she'll abruptly stop crying, pout her lips and look at me as if to say, "Well, wasn't that clear enough?"

She has changed my world so completely. Made it crazy and wonderful and made it so I don't know what is up or down. But I love it. Most days. Other times I feel myself on the edge. My limits change each day according to the amount of sleep I've had. It's at that breaking point when I need help.

I have a hard time asking for that help. It's hard to admit to people that you can't handle taking care of your child for another minute and need an extra hand. It's hard to say, please take her for me for a minute. But unfortunately, I don't have people on hand during the day to do so, so I usually settle for a phone conversation. Most often with my Mom.

So that was last night and I was going to post this then (when I was done of course) but Bean started crying and wouldn't stop. It was her first bout of crying for the sake of crying. It didn't last too long, maybe ten minute, and I was holding her in her favourite spot curled on my chest and shoulder. She fell asleep fairly quickly. She wasn't hungry after all.

So where was I? I have no idea. I think I'll have to go back and re-read what I've written. Hold on...

Oh, yes. Breaking points. Motherhood is far more difficult than I could have imagined but amazing also. Sometimes it's just the way she looks at me. It makes all the difference most ways.

I think I'm still at risk for Post-Partum Depression. Sometimes the reality smacks me in the face. But on the other hand, I know I'm coping pretty darn well. When I start having too many "bad days", then I know it'll be time to take action but for now, I know I'm fine and that everything will be alright.

Christmas is approaching. Our tree is up with lights but we still need to finish decorating. Tonight hopefully. I'm excited for the Holidays and winter too (does that make me nuts or what?). We're going to my parent's place in two weeks for our Christmas with my family since that's when my Dad is home from working up North. Then we'll be with R's family for a week at Christmas time.
And if you can't quite believe it's coming up on Christmas, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is on TV right now. This also means it's Thanksgiving Day for you folks in the United States. Happy Holidays to you!

As I sign off, I thought I'd leave you a photo of Bean. She's this photographer's favourite new model...

Monday, November 09, 2009

10 Ways...

... You Know You're a Sleep Deprived Mother of a Newborn:

10. You don't remember the day or the date.

9. You've worn the same pants 3 or 4 days this week because you still don't fit into anything else and are too tired to do laundry yet again.

8. The 3/4 am feed doesn't seem so odd any more.

7. You are able to fall asleep wihtin minutes of hitting the pillow (where it took you 3o minutes before).

6. The bed is never made until moments before you crawl into it and even then it's a half-hearted attempt. All you really need is covers for warmth.

5. You can change a diaper or give the baby a bottle without turning lights on. Lights would only wake you up completely.

4. A shirt is considered "clean" if the spit-up marks aren't too obvious.

3. Caffeine no longer wakes you up.

2. You've just blanked out for the thousandth time in a 24 hour period.

1. And my favourite... You go to reheat your cup of coffee in the microwave only to find cup in there from 2 or 3 days including a nice pool of old milk. Yum!

Truly though, as funny as all that is (I have a good sense of humour about it), I am loving this new journey. That being said, I am now actually enjoying my little girl. I decided on Friday to finally give up breastfeeding and just do formula. I would love to say that it was a difficult decision, but it wasn't. Bittersweet maybe but definitely not difficult. There have been too many tears, too much pain and too much guilt. Well enough was enough. I had come too close to the edge of post-partum depression. Much longer and I could have easily fallen into a pit. How horrible would that have been? But how simple the solution.

We're all much happier now. And I actually enjoy feeding her. There's just as much bonding- more so since there's no stress anymore. I can gaze into her eyes when she's working on her bottle. We connect. And that my friends is the priceless moment I've been waiting for.

So as we approach the end of our first month, we've figured out a few things and are still learning other things. But this I do know, no matter what, it is so worth it. More than I ever knew.

Now only if my milk will dry up and go away. The leaking is more than a little annoying...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Memoirs of a Baby-Lost Mama

It was the cloud that circled closely, hovering, teasing, saying "here's what you want but you can't have it just yet". Not now, maybe later. Maybe if you're lucky.

In the darkness, the cloud seemed to comsume whatever light there was. But it was a sliver of hope that punched through. Tales of an optimist, determined not to give up, who believed that everything would work out in the end, somehow.

Truthfully, it was not expected to happen so soon. A third chance in a year became a bit of a taunting joke. Even with the first flickers, thumps, rolls and melting heart, the cloud hung back just waiting to come in a burst the happiest of moments. The doubt would surface again, convincing the Optimist that perhaps it was all some twisted dream, never real.

Slapped back into reality, the cloud is pushed back a little, just barely out of sight. It's presence still felt. Hushed maybe but it's whispers still screamed for attention.

And then it happened. The cloud changed from a dark thunderhead into something less sinister, more tangibly happy. Perhaps it could stay this way? Can it happen like that?

Nothing prepared the Optimist for this particular event. They say that nothing prepares you for when you create life and welcome it into this world but did "they" ever have a cloud hovering waiting to steal your sunshine? Were they made to doubt and in the weaker moments, give up in despair? Sometimes I think "they" are stating the obvious but also the greatest understatement there ever was.

Optimism may not have prepared the Optimist for this, but it surely didn't leave me desitiute and alone. Harder to hold on to than anything else in the world, hope is our blanket, our comfort. Today, it takes the form of a tiny soul casting newness, naivete and worldy wisdom all in the loving gaze of deep eyes.

Lessons: Part 2

I started this post on Friday. It's occurred to me that I really need to write in short snippets if I ever want to complete a darn post. So this is a collection of snippets...

Friday, October 31st, 2009:
I am perfecting the "new mommy one-handed type" as Bean sleeps curled up on my chest, head resting on my collarbone.

I am so glad I waited till today to write this post. Yesterday was one of a few bad "baby blues" days. I was irritable, emotional, exhausted beyond belief and feeling on the edge of my ability to cope. But I am so much better today. Still tired but at least I'm functioning and coping with her cluster feeding. Saw her pediatrician this morning. She was not impressed because the timing meant that we were an hour and a half late for her feeding. She was hungry and let everybody know it! (She's found her "voice" in the last couple of days)

The good news is that she has finally reached her birth weight. Which means we don't have to wake her up to feed and can wiat for her to let us know when she's hungry. This exhausted Mom was ever so happy to hear that!

And so, in this content state I will continue where I left off about lessons. In this case, these are lessons I learning right now:

Lessons Being Learned:

-Breastfeeding is far more difficult than I ever imagined! After going to a breastfeeding class as part of my prenatal series, I knew things may not be easy but I never anticipated the tears and frustration. Here's this tiny creature who when's she's feeding well fills me with love and contentment; but so quickly things can go downhill and I can be so upset with her. Which of course doesn't help my supply and we continue in a vicious cycle until something breaks it. But I'm determined to make it work! I want her to have the best I can give her. Formula doesn't cut it in my opinion but I've resigned myself to the fact that it's necessary to supplement in order to keep her growing. But I have an appt on Monday with the Lactation Consultants at the hospital where I delivered. Crossing my fingers we can fix some of the problems.

Mon Update: Lactation Consultant discovered that no matter how long she feeds on each side, she gets everything she's going to in the first 10 minutes- which, when it takes 15 minutes to get to the good fatty stuff, it's no wonder we have to supplement. We're working on things still and are going back next week to see where we're at.

-Your best is really good enough. It's so hard as a Mother not to blame yourself when things aren't going well. You have a bad day and are exhausted from lack of sleep. All these negative thoughts go through your head and you think you're doing things wrong when in fact, you're just like every other mother of a newborn who's just trying to figure it all out. In fact, gee, I think we might be human like everyone else. I think I need to dash all dreams of the "Supermom" status. No cape for me. I'd settle for a baby who is happy and knows she's loved. As R tells her, it's our job to give her everything she needs to grow and it's her job to grow. Simple or what?

More later. As I said, we're doing things in bits despite my having lots to say.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lessons - Part 1

She's two weeks old already and in my sleep deprived haze I can't recall where those days went. Not suprising really but then again, I never imagined just how tired I was going to find myself. Here and there I have a moment to reflect on all the things I've learned about pregnancy, labour and birth and am learning about Motherhood. Here's a few:

Lessons learned:

-birth, even if it goes according to your plan (which mine didn't of course), it is nothing like you expect

-I never knew how much I was going to miss feeling her move inside of me but I also never knew how much I was going to love holding her in my arms and gazing at her beautiful face.

-The two most amazing moments during the birth were touching her head between pushing and realizing that I was in fact pushing her out and the moment they first laid her on my chest- pure magic.

-Her first cries made me cry. I didn't think I would be a crier. But I was.

-The first thought I had when she came out was, "What a real baby?!?"

When I was still pregnant, I would have made a comment about how pregnancy loss affects every moment of your life. Now, I say that it informs these moments- not taking over, just adding a level of reflection that might not have been there before. I am not just a lost-baby mama anymore, I'm a Mom to a real in-the-flesh creature. As I felt her move inside me, even at the end, I still had moments where I couldn't quite believe it was going to happen. But it did. It's still surreal but the emotions that run through me are very real and strong and poignant.

A beautiful end to a sad story and a happy beginning of another. More later when I get a little more sleep...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting there...

Saw the pediatrician on Tues and got a prescription to help bring my milk in. It seems to be working and baby is feeding longer and getting more out of me. We're close to her birth weight (hopefully will be there today) and once we are, we can wean her off the formula and let her feed on demand.

Crossing fingers for a great weight today! (and a h*ll of a lot more sleep than I got last night)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bean's Grand Arrival!

I am in love! It's hard to describe all the things flowing through me as I look at my daughter. She's already testing our parent's worry skills but we don't mind one bit. R commented a little while ago today, "She really is lovely, isn''t she?"

Yes she is. Birth details to follow but what I'll say right now is that I went to the hospital to be induced but ended up not needing to. Ha! Take that! My body decided to one up the Dr's and do things on it's own. Go figure.

We've decided as a couple that we don't want her to have an internet profile so soon in her life, so we won't use her real name and continue to call her Bean. Meet our beautiful girl...
Born- Oct.14th, 1:50am (due Oct.15)
Weight- 6lbs, 15 oz (3125 grams)
Length- 18.5 inches

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Being Induced!!

Had my OB appt this afternoon. Blood pressure is 150/90, have a massive headache, protein in my urine and pain in my upper abdomen. Dr made the decision to send me to be induced. I'm already 2-3 cm dilated and cervix is 1cm, so I'm just favourable to be induced. She also swept my membranes to help. Just waiting for DH to get home, then we'll have a little dinner and go on in. Going to have a quick nap and see if I can get rid of the headache.

It's baby time!

I am Slowly Going Crazy...

123456 Switch! Crazy am I slowly going, 654321 Switch!

No baby. Still in pre-labour, not even early labour. I get one good contraction per day just to remind me of what I am not having. The rest are braxton-hicks contractions that go away as soon as I lie down.

My due date is technically Thursday, so it's not like I'm late but I am more than ready! Have my appt this afternoon. Was thinking my blood pressure might be up again after this Thanksgiving Weekend but we'll see. Isn't it sad that I'm sort of hoing it's up so they'll just induce me already! (and I really don't want to be induced, so you know I'm running out of patience!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nesting 101

You should see our apartment! We rearranged everything, sorted through crap, got rid of a big garbage bag full and two paper recycling bins full of stuff. Good thing dinner was a re-heat affair! I had a huge surge of energy this afternoon and having worked my butt off, I'm wiped.

Bean has been oddly quiet today. She'll move now and again but not as energetically as she normally is.

The quiet before the storm? Time will tell...

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Last Belly Pic?

Maybe? Hopefully!

I swear it's not possible to get any bigger!

My Body Plays Tricks on Me

Not that this is a new phenomenon for myself or for many of you but really, this is getting ridiculous. So... had my follow-up appointment today:

-Blood pressure- 135/75! Back down again. :)
-Still protein in urine.
-Blood test results- uric acid a little high like the other week but still considered "normal"

So, as my OB told me, everytime she thought I'd have pre-eclampsia, I don't. But, at this point it's not so much a matter of if I'll get pre-eclampsia, but when. She did say that if I don't have the baby sooner rather than later, I'll get it eventually. Well let me tell you, I don't plan on waiting too long! (hint hint baby girl)

So no induction just yet. She told me to have a good weekend and that she'll see me at my next appointment (which is Tuesday). I'm not sure what to think of this. I had gotten used to the idea of a set date for her to come, but now we're back to waiting. I can handle it, I just don't like the flip-flopping.

Meanwhile, Bean has been really active today. Another sign I likely won't be going into labour tonight or tomorrow. Something people have been telling me about the "calm before the storm"- babies tend to be quiet right before labour because they're conserving energy. Sounds like a good plan if you ask me! So while my body is obviously gearing up for labour, it's not happening just yet.

I'm 39 weeks today. If I get a chance, I'll get R to take pic and I'll try to post it. But I'm tired right now. If it wasn't so late in the afternoon, I'd have a nap.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Really? Seriously?

My current motto is that I'm trying to take things in stride.

Just a quick update from my OB appt yesterday:

-Blood pressure- up again to 150/80, even higher than before.
-Protein in urine
-Baby's head no longer fully engaged but floating. If I should have my water break, I'm supposed to go in right away due the risk of the cord coming first (cord prolapse).
-I lost weight again. Not much, but probably just her fluid reducing. Still, having had gained an average amount of weight (which I was happy about), it was sort of nice seeing the number go down a bit considering I was heavier to begin with.

Went for more blood work and should get that back tomorrow afternoon when I go back to have my blood pressure checked. Likely, unless the protein and bp magically fix themselves, I'll be considered to have mild pre-eclampsia and will be induced. While not for sure, it is very highly likely that I will be having my baby on Friday.

You think I could get through these last few days easily but no, not me. That would be how everyone else does things. I've been told to take it easy and keep my activity low-key.

It could be worse. At least things aren't at dangerous levels and Bean seems to be doing fine. I just want her in my arms safe and sound. The reality is that that could be in just a couple of days!!

Will post tomorrow what the plan is, unless my blood pressure spikes so high that they send me to Labour & Delivery right away.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Speaking of...

... Anniversaries..

I missed my Blogoversary!! Five years as of Sept. 25th! Can you believe it? I can't. Even though in the early days I sometimes wasn't sure where I was going with the writing, I enjoy reading back and watching the evolution of my life. It's an interesting practice.

It's a sunny a gorgeous fall Saturday and while I went out for a bit, I'm tired and looking to just relax in the apartment. As I try to catch up on blog reading, Bean is having one of her many bouts of daily hiccups while I listen to Jan.n Ar.den's and Dav.id Gr.ay's new albums. Bean seems to be enjoying them. She's bouncing to them through the hiccups.

It's sort of making me nauseous! lol.

Enjoy your weekend! I think I shall celebrate my blogoversary with a nap. Unless I come up with something better.

Friday, October 02, 2009

In Remembrance

Today my family is remembering my brother, D. 16 years ago today, he lost his final battle with cancer after bravely fighting for so many years.

In 2003, we finally did the thing I had been needing, even craving... to put to rest his ashes. We scattered them as a family into the ocean at a park he and my Mom had spent a lot of time at when he was little.Back to the earth from which he came. To hold these ashes and set them free was cathartic, healing. I had spent 10 years grieving without ever really coming to grips with it. In that moment, everything became clear and calm.

6 years later since we put him to rest, I have only good memories. The intense pain replaced with a calm remembrance. It doesn't hurt the same way, just a little sadness. I miss him.

We had our prenatal classes at the hospital where I'll deliver Bean. It's a part of this complex of hospitals that also includes our Children's Hospital. This is the hospital where David was. To get to the building where our class was I had to walk around the outside (before I discovered the shortcut) past Children's. On one of the last classes, I was walking past the side of the hospital and then I heard it... the sound of children playing. I paused and looked up. I smiled. Outside on the 3rd floor between the 3A and 3B wards is a playground. There's a playroom just inside too. My younger brother and I played in both these places when we were visiting D.

I was hit by a flood of memories. Some happy, some sad but always lovely memories of a time that not only was incredibly difficult for my family but also brought us together in the most amazing way.

As I listened to the kids playing I thought about how resilient they are. They could be going through the scariest disease but somehow remain optimistic about life. The laughter of those kids on the playground that day still rings in my head and makes me smile.

In honour of D, with love from your sister, may you always remind me to live each moment as it is and make the most of everything I'm given. A lesson I hope to pass on to Bean as well.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A New Season

Well if there was any doubt that fall is here, the foggy rainy weather outside will confirm it. Some people groan and complain about our fall and winter weather here on the "Wet Coast" but the rain is in my blood. I grew up in it and it somehow makes everything seem fresh and clean afterwards. I will admit that often I can do without the record-setting multiple days (I think 40 in a row was the last time it got really bad), but all-in-all it sort of makes me happy.

It however doesn't make me productive; all I want to do is curl up in a blanket and read a book or watch TV. After posting yesterday's list I laughed at the comments since you should see the list I still have to do. However, aside from a couple of priorities, everything else is on the "would be nice" list. At this point, we have our hospital bags packed, room for the bassinet when it gets here (my parents are bringing it) and her clothes washed. Everything and anything else is just gravy. If she were to come early, we're set enough to get by. Even the newborn cloth diaper rental kit we're getting on Oct.9th may or may not be here but worse come to worse, the drug store is up the street and has a whole aisle of diapers. It think we'll be just fine.

We'll be just fine. Those words are something else. It's the mantra I've repeated in my head over and over and over in the last year. It's the ultimate truth in a way because things always have a way of working themselves out. Which leads me to my favourite quote of all time:

"Everything will be alright in the end; if it's not alright, it's not the end". (Anon)

As the misting rain continues to fall I glance at the maple trees lining the playing field across the street from our apartment. The leaves are different shades of red, orange and green. You can tell by these colours that the maples are not native to the area because they don't go yellow and then brown like all the rest around here. :)

The leaves are turning; change is ever present. Things carry on. So do we. We'll be just fine.

The Laundry List

The list of things to do was daunting but I'm making my way through it slowly but surely. Had my weekly appt and I have good news! My blood pressure is down a bit and closer to normal! Looks like the worries about pre-e are moot at this point.

Bean is still growing. Fundal height measuring 40 cm, up a centimeter from last week and still measuring just over 2 weeks ahead; funny enough, I actually lost a little weight since last week. Go figure! Dr also confirmed what I already knew... baby is engaged in my pelvis.

As I type, dinner is in the oven. Mmm, chicken fajitas...

So here's what I've got accomplished off my to-do list these last couple of weeks:

-Cleaned up the balcony and dealt with the plants.
-Washed the metal shelf from the balcony and moved it into our coat closet as a makeshift "pantry".
-Washed 4 loads of baby clothes, blankets and other assorted items.
-Put washed baby stuff away in the closet in her room.
-Packed bags for hospital!!! (Sitting by the front door)
-Vacuumed! (Is it just me or is this a particularly odd word in the English language?)
-Sorted through non-maternity clothes and started another donation pile.
-Sorted through bookcase in our bedroom and moved it to the other side of the dresser to make room for the bassinet (with hubby's help of course).
-Ironed the pile of clothes and other items that have sat there far too long.
-Ironed and hung the curtains that my Mom made for the baby's room.
-Applied for mat leave benefits.
-Stockpiled on meat for the freezer and some canned goods for the pantry.
-Baked: banana bread and cookies. Was supposed to put some in the freezer but well...

Amongst all my appointments, I think I've done pretty well! Today I went on a cooking spree making meals for the freezer for after baby comes. I made:
-Chilli (enough for two meals)
-Spaghetti Sauce with veggies and italian sausage (again enough for two meals)
-Turkey patties (enough for three meals)

I also made tomorrow's dinner (stuffed red bell peppers) while I was at it since it used several ingredients I was already using.

Suffice to say, I'm popped!! Think I'll just chill tonight and clean the kitchen and bathroom tomorrow...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sometimes you just need a pick me up...

... so I got my hair done while I could. I call it "sun-dried tomatoes". :) Oh, and this is 37 Weeks. I'm term and hoping to make it a couple of more weeks (fingers crossed), so my Dad can make it home in time. She is however "engaged. Woke up this morning, and yes, I could tell! Ouch! not sure if this means anything since she could stay that way till my due date. Hmmm, a question for my OB.

Had my appt on Mon. Blood work came back. Everything was normal except my uric acid was a little above normal. Between that and the blood pressure, we're keeping close tabs on things to make sure it doesn't turn into pre-eclampsia. Trying to just go with things and stay clam and relaxed. If things get significantly worse, there'll be talk of induction but I'm hoping it won't go that way.

Meanwhile, I'm actually getting things done around the apartment. It's helping keep me focused right now. The more I accomplish, the more I want to keep going. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2 Years and Counting

2 Years ago I married my best friend and soul mate. When I think of everything we've been through in those two years alone, I know without a doubt that we have something that endures. November will be 6 years since we met and if you include what has happened since then, well, I think you'd agree that we've got what it takes to make it through pretty much anything. Afterall, we've faced chronic illness and loss together. It's given us a reserve of strength that we can call on whenever we need it.

So today I raise a glass (it's regular orange juice this morning) to my Love. Here's to another year and many, many more to come.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

36 Weeks

So with 4 weeks (give or take) to go, I'm trying to get everything together. One thing on the list was to buy a small digital camera. I'm a SLR girl. I like my big honking camera. I can feel the weight of it, feel the steadiness of it. These little tiny cameras usually annoy me.
But... I wasn't about to bring my big camera into the delivery room or throw it in my diaper bag, so I gave in and decided to buy one of the new pretty things.
I went in to a local drug store that has an awesome photography department and had a great chat with the sales clerk. He was awesome. He totally understood what I was looking for and my comfort with my old camera (he's a Pen.tax fan too). In the end I got a Ni.kon Cool.pix in an amethyst purple colour. It's a fun little camera with video to boot!

Now if I can only figure out how to take steady pictures up close. Farther away seems fine but when I zoom in, it starts to blur. Guess I'll just have to play over the next weeks.

Anyway, had my weekly OB appointment today. Everything went well except that my blood pressure is a little high. Nothing crazy but since it was a little over last week as well, she sent me for blood work to rule out early pre-eclampsia. I see her on Monday again, so I'll find out then. She's pretty confident that it'll be negative but she'd rather be safe than sorry. I love her. Have I mentioned that?

My hip/muscle pain is doing a bit better. Had a massage on Tuesday. It was painful. Anyone who has seen an RMT for real treatment knows that this kind of massage isn't the peaceful massage you get at a spa. I feel bruised. But I also know he did real work in there. A previous RMT equated this kind of massage with weight lifting at the gym. I go back on Tuesday for another one. I can walk a bit again now. Maybe by next week I will actually be able to go for a walk with out any pain.

Okay, I've rambled enough now. Here's some pics. :)

P.S. Note I'm still wearing my rings. Trying really hard to keep them all the way through but they do get really snug some days. That's when I know to guzzle the water. Works every time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day One of So-Called Freedom

A day with endless possibilities. Whatever will I do? There are lists of things that need to be accomplished and yet, I feel like savouring the idea that I can choose to do it in my own time.

So this is what this is like...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

No she's not here yet...

...in case my absence had you wondering.

5 weeks to go! Sorry to have been AWOL, but work has been nuts this last week and I've been having really bad pain in my left hip. Hoping to see a RMT this week and have it taken care of. Walking, sitting and sleeping has been incredibly difficult and painful.

But on happier news, I'm finally on mat leave!! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. The only that would have made it better would be if I could have walked out yesterday and not still had things to do. I ended up emailing myself stuff that I needed to explain in emails or else I'd worry all the time or end up expecting phone calls at home (which I really don't want unless absolutely necessary). I also stayed late. So late that my friend and I were the last ones there and we had to set the alarm. My last day and I couldn't even keep it to business hours. Go figure.

Today is a beautiful warm fall day, with a touch of crispness, just the way I like it. Off to see what I'm up to doing (not much I think) and then to dinner at our friend's place.

Promise not to disappear for too long unless I'm going into labour in which case I may or may not be able to give you a head's up. :)

Enjoy your Saturday everyone.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

34 Weeks!

This is from today. 34w, 1d. 6 or less weeks to go! See how I've dropped? That was Tuesday night. It hurts to walk now. Compared to most of the other women in my childbirth class, I'm feeling small even though I'm still measuring over 2 weeks ahead. Go figure!

Reflections on a Year

I was sent home from work early today. A perk when your birthday lands on a Friday. "Go, get out of here!" Okay then, don't have to ask me twice!

I was reflecting on this day on my train ride into work this morning. In fact, I was composing this blog post in my head. It was thoughtful and eloquent.

Then I got to work and well, it was nuts.

So here I am, finally taking a moment to truly reflect on where I was a year ago and where I am now. If you have no idea about last year's b-day, click HERE for a re-cap. Re-reading my entry, I sound so calm about it, even though I wrote the Sept.4th entry mere days after the fact. I sound distant, cut-off. Probably a self-defensive mechanism.

Today wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Bittersweet for sure though. When I look back, I am surprised by how strong I am now. I have come so far and grown in so many ways. I am truly a different person than I used to be. I am more mellow. I am learning better ways of taking things in stride.

I had been through difficult times but I don't think anything could have prepared me for the back-to-back heartbreak both R and I endured this last year. Life is so fleeting and fragile. I have understood this well before from going through fibro and watching my brother battle cancer but until losing my babies I never truly comprehended how something so natural, so basic to the human race, could go so wrong. It's a reality that puts life into perspective.

But a year later, our journey has gone places I never would have dreamed. A marriage hit the rocks and bounced back stronger than ever, a wounded mother found her strength tested in the appearance once again of a second line and that same couple now is bracing themselves for the most wonderful, joyful and frightening experience they have yet to encounter thus far. It's the end of a life chapter and the beginning of so many more. Our last childbirth class last night helped us see just how emotional the birth of our little girl really will be for us. How we'll be tested. What is to come cannot be known and I am okay with that because at the end of the day, nothing is set in stone. For better or for worse, this is our path; we shall walk it together and accept whatever comes our way.

That is simply life.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Show and Tell: My B-Day Gift

So, in anticipation of my b-day on Friday, I got my b-day gift early. Last week actually. I had seen it when I was visiting my Mom the weekend before and HAD to have it. But I had to wait for money to come in.
It's my hubby's gift to me... that I bought myself. lol. I thanked him for it. He laughed. It worked for him, he didn't have to guess and he was glad I got something I wanted and needed.

I've been needing a new wallet for awhile as mine is bulky and falling apart. I wanted something easy to organize and well, was pretty. I like colour. It's buttery soft leather. Here's what I got:

Here's to things that are practical AND stylish!!!
Now pop over to Mel's and see what others are flaunting...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Early Morning Ramblings

I'm sitting here on my couch eating a small bowl of cereal. What's wrong with this picture?

It's 2:35 in the morning and I should be asleep. I woke up at 2 am for my early morning pee break and haven't been able to go back to sleep. Maybe it's the random thoughts going through my head that I can't seem to ignore. And I was hungry- like growling stomach hungry. That's what I get for eating weird all day yesterday. And when my work colleagues threw me a late afternoon shower, I wasn't up for dinner until around 8pm, at which point all I could manage was toast with peanut butter and pear butter (jelly).

Oh, and Bean woke up when I did and decided it was playtime. So I'm here instead of in bed. Go figure.

I have a list of things we need to buy before this baby comes. That will probably happen this weekend, which if course is conveniently a Long Weekend. Which means my last week at work next week will be a short one. Hopefully one involving a lot of wrap up and office cleaning. I'd like my poor replacement not to inherit the choas that is the tornado dump I've been working in lately. Well, all this year, really.

Friday is my 26th b-day. It also happens to be my Mom's b-day as well. Did you know that? I was born on my Mom's b-day. :)

It's also the day I was rushed to the hospital from massive bleeding and complications from my induced miscarriage of Kenneth last year. Days on one hand, I'd like to forget, but ones I otherwise cling to as reminders of the second life we created that couldn't stay with us.

I was talking with a friend at work a few hours before the shower. She knows all about our losses. I made a comment that still hovers around me like a shroud.

"We're parents to three children, not just one. Most people don't get that. But it's how we both feel."

Maybe it's what we cling to. Afterall, to just forget about Alex and Kenneth in the wake of our dear Bean's approaching appearance is to erase a year of joy, heartache and personal growth and learnings.

Today, I am not the woman I was before our losses. I am glad for that. It seems that fate gave me a second warning about choosing priorities in life and knowing when to declare your boundaries. It was a hard lesson the first time when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It broke my heart the second time last year.

But the heart is mending, ever still, as it beats strong inside me beside along with my own.

Monday, August 31, 2009

And other things...

I went back to my old email finally to clean things up. I don't seem to have the option of simply canceling account, which annoys me to no end. But I did finally unsubscribe myself from all the emails I used to receive.

It's funny... now that I started with a fresh new email, I never even missed all that crap I used to get. Those I wanted to keep (like my Air.miles updates) , I changed over to the new email. When I went into the old account, take a guess how many unread emails I had in there since April...


That's insane. It took me 3 hours to clean it out and makes all the changes. 3 hours I needlessly gave away to junk. How very sad. Luckily it's over.

In other random news, I had my OB appt on Thursday. All is well with both Bean and I. We got the results of our growth scan from a couple of weeks ago. The official word from my OB is that (and these were her exact words):

"You are not going to have a 12lb ginormous baby!"

I am thrilled to no end as you can well imagine. Bean's head measured in the 5oth to 90th percentile (hence the techs talking about being ahead in measurements) and her abdomen is 50th percentile. Completely average.

An "average" sized baby at 40 weeks term is 7.5 lbs. I'll go with average! I told my Ob about my gut feeling about going early and everyone else going really early around me. She didn't say much except that we aim for 37th weeks. Really didn't expect her to say anything else. Guess we just see what happens after all.

Meanwhile I feel like my body is breaking down on me. I have had such excruciating hip pain. I know I've gotten off easy with this pregnancy but I feel like my body is breaking down on me. Not a comfy feeling for someone with a chronic pain condition in Remission. It scares me a little.

Which reminds me that it is 9:15pm and past my bedtime. My hands need a break since they seems to ache along with my wrists when I type too long. Yay for hints of pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. I've had issues due to the fibro before so I know how to deal with it.

On a funny but not so funny note. I lost one pair of maternity pants on Friday. I have 3 that actually fit me right now. Somehow I had worn them out in the inner thigh enough that they ripped 6 inches widthwise across my thigh. Boy was I lucky no one could really see it unless I showed them. I'm 7 bloody weeks from having a baby and I had to go buy more pants this weekend to get through 2 more weeks of work! Agghhh! Very very annoying. And yes, I have laughed at this. It's too ridiculous

It makes me very very glad to be off work soon. 9 work days and counting.

Alright, I'm done. I apologize for any typos you may encounter; I'm exhausted. Night.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

I always seem to be catching up. So much is happening that when I go away, it takes me a bit to get back in the groove. Days go by so fast!

So, Friday turned out to be an interesting day. I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders as I handed in my official Maternity Leave notice. I am officially done on Sept.11, in less than 3 weeks!! This gives me 3-5 weeks to rest up a bit and get ready for Bean. Meanwhile, I'm busy at work trying to get everything in order. My replacement started today. I am SO happy to see her! She's taking over the work for the major event we're doing in September, so that's one less worry off my plate. Now I'm trying to wrap up the final stuff from our event in June and then train this lovely lady on the rest of my job. No easy feat I tell you. I've been with the company 4 years and have had 3 different positions. I'm a veteran. Lucky for her, she was an internal applicant, so she already knows the company, which makes things so much easier!

As you can imagine, I was in high spirits when I left the office on Friday. My trip to Victoria was lovely. The ride into Victoria from the ferry was awful and I was miserable but I've decided not to dwell on that. The easy trip home made up for it.

I got to see a bunch of friends at the dinner on Saturday- there were 8 adults and 2 kids. We had a blast. A couple of the gals stayed out with me after and we went for coffee. Then on Sunday I met another friend for coffee before heading back for the ferry. All in all, a relaxing and lovely weekend.

I came home with treasures too. My Mom, love her to bits, has been to Val.ue Vill.age and kids consignment stores and I boarded the ferry with a large bag of assorted baby things, mostly clothes. Thanks Mom! The best part? She already washed them for me. :) My laundry card thanks her. As it is, I have several loads to do in the next while.

I got to work Monday morning and got in the elevator with one of my bosses. He had heard I was leaving early and told me, "Good for you!" Didn't see that coming. Then he tells me that a co-worker in our Toronto Office (who was 2 weeks ahead of me) had her baby that morning around 1 am. 5 weeks early.

There seems to be a trend in our company of people going into labour quite early. Does that make me nervous? A little. BUT, I have some clothes and a laundry basket she could worse come to worse, sleep in. We may not be ready, but we'd all be fine.

This weekend involved a lot of reflection and trips down memory lane. More of which I'll share later. For now, it's time for bed.

Before you go, Mrs. Gamgee has had a family emergency and could use your thoughts and best wishes. Go stop by, read her last couple of posts and leave her a note.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8 Months

Tomorrow I'll be 32 weeks! What? 8 weeks to go? Really?

I took a pic today since Thursday evenings right now are gobbled up by our childbirth class for another 3 weeks.

The funny bit about this picture is how I just had to clean the mirror first because there was a streak. Ummm, I think I'm starting to nest...
Wiseguy asked for more pics so in addition to the above bi-weekly belly pic, I though I'd show you another... with my face. As a photographer, I rarely get pic of myself. So when I took some maternity pics for some friends, I got some of myself in return (he's good with a camera too). So here we go, you get to see what I look like. :)

Meanwhile as I type, Bean is having a major case of the hiccups. Poor thing. I know it's good practice for her lungs, but it's rough on my organs. lol.
Still under the weather with this head cold but it's getting there. I tried to go back to work today but only lasted 2 1/2 (very unproductive) hours before admitting defeat and going home to sleep on the couch. If only I could take something, I would be much happier, but alas, it's just Tyl.enol on the list.
I'm off to Victoria this weekend. My last trip before Bean's arrival. Having a big dinner get-together with as many people as can make it. It's becomes a bit of a party and saves me from running all over town trying to connect with people.
Catch you when I get back.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Under the Weather

I hate being sick at the best of times, but being sick and pregnant just plain sucks. Day 2 of being home from work sick. It;s a beautiful sunny day outside and that just depresses me.

Luckily for me, it's not the flu. Just a really bad head cold.

But I'm on the mend and should be back to work tomorrow.

On a more positive note, R and I finally filed our taxes. Oops, did I just admit that? Yes, we never did get around to filing by the April deadline. But we did know we were getting a refund. What we didn't know was how much.

R went and got everything done yesterday. He called me on his way home.

When he told me the amount, I nearly fainted. I know I swore afterwards. It's not an insane amount but definitely more money than we've ever had at one time. Just in time for Bean.

I'm breathing a little easier about mat leave now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Bean Update

We went for our growth scan today.

It was wonderful. No fear all day. I was completely calm. I drank just enough water to fill my bladder but not so much that I couldn't sit. Doesn't mean it was comfortable but after all the ultrasounds I've had, I have this whole shtick figured out. It took quite a long time to get the measurements. She wasn't cooperative at times and at one point the tech had me roll partially on my size and stay there, which was difficult and not very confortable. Apparently, the placenta was hard to image. Too much baby in the way- all that tight space.

The techs (a second was brought in to get a couple more measurements) of course couldn't tell us much of anything but I did overhear them say she was measuring 32w3d or 32w4d, depending on a couple measurements. That puts her a week and half ahead.

Ha! I was right. Instincts are good for something it seems! ;) When I see my OB on the 27th, I'll find out if that indicates she could come early like I've been thinking she will. Also curious to know how much they think she weighed. She's head down and facing sideways. Hoping she stays there for now. I get nauseous when she flips.

In any case, she is doing well. And we got a photo. Considering I felt jipped out of the good ones at the 20 week scan, this was nice. It's not very clear so while I did think about posting it, you really have to know what you're looking at, so I decided not too.

Eager to get the results and know more, but I'm calm knowing that our little girl is doing fine.

Less than 9 weeks to go. Even less if she does in fact go early...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Show and Tell: An Amazing Dance

I'm a So You Think You Can Dance fan. Both the Americana nd Canadian shows. I think what they do is really special. I love to dance myself and am i awe of these dancers all the time.

Towards the end of the last American season, there was a breathtaking dance about breast cancer. It left me in tears. My friend, J, recently finished treatment for breast cancer. This is for her and so many others who have battled cancer. Those who won, those who lost.

Clheck it out HERE!

Take a couple minutes to watch and then pop over to Mel's for more inspiration.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've been trying to get a grasp on the fear that I have about Friday. I have a growth scan to check Bean's size and her home and make sure all is it should be. Although I'm measuring 3 weeks ahead still, I'm not too worried. Enough people have shared their large baby birth stories to ease my mind, should she look to be going that route..

But it's the place where the ultrasound takes place I'm struggling with. All my ultrasounds to date have taken place in hospitals or my OB's office.

This scan is going to be at the same place where all my ultrasounds from the last pregnancy took place. All of them were awful heartbreaking experiences. The first was the one where there was no heartbeat and the measurements were two weeks behind. The second showed no change.

Maybe I'm so emotional about this because I'm coming ever closer to the date where we induced the miscarriage. Where I spent my 25th birthday in the hospital from massive hemorraging. September 4th is a hard day for me this year.

I have no rational reason to think that this scan will be anything but routine and normal. But this pregnancy has gone so smoothly. Too smoothly, the deepest parts of my mind say. I in no way want something to be wrong but I can't help the fear. I've had my heart ripped out, broken apart and pieced back together too much to not have the fear. I wish I could escape it completely, but I know until she's safely in my arms, I just can't. And then there's a whole new host of fears as a new parent. Those I know I can deal with. This is unexplicably different.

So I'm holding my breath up to and during the scan. As my insides feel like they are being rearranged, I hold ever so tightly to her, to the dream, the future.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Random Exchange

He bounds into the apartment last week with a big smile on his face.

"How's my baby?"

"Which one?"

"I only have one baby... you're my Woman."

Oh, I see. I'll have to remember that. Suffice to say that the statement got a good laugh from me.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

30 Weeks, 2 Days

Measuring 3 weeks ahead. I have an ultrasound next Friday to check Bean's growth and see how big she really is. It could just be more fluid than normal, or she could be a big girl.

I may need to rethink my birth plan.

Meanwhile my beach ball and I are feeling like it's the homestretch. Oh, and having my inside rearranged on a whim is getting to be a little nauseating. Literally. I've never been someone prone to motion sickness, but that was when the motion was my own...

Trying to not panic over all the things that need to be done in the next 9-ish weeks.

Although I'm guessing I may only have 8-9 weeks. You heard it here first. I think this girl may come early. Just a deep hunch, rather than wishful thinking.

The Harry Potter marks are well, large. Makes me wonder how much more one can actually stretch. It's absoutely fascinating, I mean awe inspiring what is actually happening to my body.

Maybe, Just Maybe?

I think I've managed to get rid of the viruses that have plagued my computer! Can I get some cheers? But maybe hold off until the virus scan is finished- it's running as I type...

Here's hoping they're gone. Then my email will stop spamming people, my blog will not be taken over and I can get back to writing lovely posts.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Unspoken Dialogue

I am drifting along,
Tired yet bright eyed,
Almost lethargic in my thoughts.

Roll, swish, thump goes my other heart.

I am anxious for this impending future laid before me.

But not allowed to tread on it just yet.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I've been lost in the heat this week. When your daily low is 23.7 at 6am, it's a wonder I slept at all this week. Oh wait, I didn't. Well some, but not really enough to be function properly.

My fibro aches were present a little but I'm doing okay. It's the weekend and I can sleep in. The days of record breaking heat are thankfully over and we're heading into a more typical West Coast summer weather pattern.

I have some blog reading to do and posts to write. Likely in that order. I've been writing posts in my head all week. Time to get them down. It's like a craving sometimes.

Sort of like the pizza I just HAD to have for dinner tonight...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Calm After the Storm

The humidity was so thick it almost stole your breath. The dense summer heat building throughout the day until it cannot contain itself any longer. In a brilliant show, it breaks.

Streaks cut the sky. In the distance, rumbles echo. The gathered clouds release the collective breath they had been holding. The scent of damp earth permeates our apartment. The scent of fresh clean air is everywhere.

Pounding thunder over the building takes me back to my childhood. The fascination of the lightning, the fear of the loud sounds that followed.

As the evening draws closer the sky begins to change.

The hot day displayed in the hazy fiery reds and oranges.

Violet bleeds into indigo.

Indigo to black.

The convergence of hot and cold air lights up the night sky in streaks and sheets, like the flash of my camera. When it's over, the cool damp will remain until the new day's sun dries it. But the scent clings in my memory.

Friday Date Nights and Sunny Saturdays

So I'm playing ICLW catch-up from yesterday. I was going to do my posting, reading and comments later in the day but I ended up out. R and I grabbed a quick bite to eat and went and saw Harry Pott.er.

I agree with others that they did leave stuff out and modified other parts but really, we shouldn't have been surprised, considering the length and depth of the book. I won't spoil it for anyone who wants to go see it but it really was a good movie and we enjoyed it. It was nice to have a date night. Bean enjoyed the soundtrack I think.

The only downside was having to get up and go pee about 45 minutes in the film. Not unusual these days, just annoying. Oh, and there's nothing worse that the post-movie race for the bathrooms and the line-ups that ensue. Add being 28 weeks on top of that and I dearly wish I could summon a "pregnant lady" queue on demand.

Today I spent a lovely afternoon with a friend. She and I actually met on the forum I'm on and found out we live in the same city. We bonded, commiserated really, over our shared loss experiences. They've had it rough. After 2 miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy, they recently experienced another chemical pregnancy, bringing their total to four losses. This last loss happened when I was around 15 weeks I think. My heart just breaks for them.

After weeks of juggling schedules, we were finally able to find a day we could get together. She picked me up from a central place and then we hit the road for a girls' day. We were chatting casually. She asked how I was doing and I said well. While she has been amazingly supportive during my pregnancy (she's genuinely happy for me), I always let her lead the conversation and if she wants to bring up pregnancy or babies, then we chat. Otherwise I let her be. I know how it is.

So here we are, driving along looking for the fish and chips place she wanted to take me to, when she ever so calmly replies to my inquiry on how she was doing and what was new with her. "Oh I'm great!"

"Really?" I say.

"Yeah. Especially since I'm 4 weeks pregnant today." She looks over at me a grins. I told her that I'd give her a big hug later since I didn't think it was a good ideal to tackle the driver.

I was so excited for her because her betas have been great so far. She found out at 8dpo! She's under the care of the Recurrent Loss Clinic here in Vancouver and they are just fantastic. She has her first ultrasound in two weeks and her and her husband, for the first time since they started to try for a baby, are calm about everything.

Calm is a wonderful place to be. All I can say is that in this, her fifth pregnancy, I am sending them every good vibe I can. They are such a wonderful couple and I'm so lucky to have met her, even if it was because we met on a Loss Board.

Help me out and send your good thoughts to E and J, who have gotten their miracle and now just need a little luck...

P.S. I was clicking on tags for this post, it occurred to me how rare it was to see the words "infertility" and "joys" side-by-side. Hmmmm.

Friday, July 24, 2009

28 Weeks

As someone commented yesterday, I'm in the homestretch.


I am finally getting round. Almost...