Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Last Nursing

Well....Bupba is weaned...Not by his choice, but by mine. He is doing pretty good with it, he only has asked a couple of times and I have just offered hugs and kisses and cups of milk or juice. I decided with my doctor to wean him so I can start a new medication to help with my ADHD. Over 2 years of scatterbrained days is quite enough for ALL of our sanilty's sake.
We had our final nursing session the other day on the couch. It was nice, a peaceful moment between us as every one else was still sleeping. I grabbed the camera and took some photos of us with our last nursing to have them to remember our wonderful 20 months of breastfeeding.
Just wanted to share it here. I'm still feeling sad that we ended it now, but I'm feeling sastified with our 20 month run, and that we both ended it on a positive note. He is such a sweet child.
This is my favorite picture of the photos I took.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reach For The...

Sun... Flower! The only one of our 5 sunflower seeds that we planted grew into this! I don't know if there is enough time to get very many seeds before frost comes, though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Harvestin the goods :)

The first "large" harvest from our garden.

Happy Birthday Mom

The summer seems to have just flown by! But it always seems to be the end of sumemr for me after my birthday.. We had lots of fun all July and August so far...with beach days, playing in the backyard on the slide, guided walks in the parks, exploring life and the world around us, we have not had any time to stop and blog much at all.

The kids are getting old enough I have upgraded ( or down graded, I'm not sure?) to being called "Mom" they grow so fast!

My Birthday was on the 13th of August, and the boy fed me cheerios by hand ( and 18 monther's version of breakfast in bed) and Butterfly made me a cake. Her very first, of which she is very proud, as you can see by the smile in the pic below.! I did the gathering of ingredients and she did all the work ( aside from hot oven stuff)
The result was a delicious lemon poppyseed bunt cake with lemon icing, topped off with 32 sprinkles just for me :)

Helper boy got in on the action and licked the beater :)

It was a good birthday :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Onyx & Diamond ~ March 17th - June 1st~We miss you

We Only Wanted You They say memories are golden well maybe that is true. But, we never wanted memories, we only wanted you. In life we loved you dearly, In death we love you still. In our hearts you hold spaces no other could ever fill.
So new to the family we were unable to take picture of Diamond, our pure white, ruby eyed, Gerbil. Onyx, above was our black beauty. We will miss them both. Loved and missed as well by Topaz.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

breastfeeding = Love

Last night my 15 month old son was hugging his Linus Doll ( from the peanuts gang) and he gave him to me. I kissed Linus and gave him back and said to my son "Show Linus you love him" So, he took the doll and lifted up his shirt and put Linus to his chest and patted his bum like I do when breastfeeding him!! It was so sweet!!!! I near melted right there on the spot! Breastfeeding is showing your babies you love them :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's Day

The flowers DH and the kids picked for me :) Wild flowers are my favorite

It was kind of a mother's weekend for me.

On Saturday I attended a local fundraiser for a midwifery practise starting up, with a friend and our two babies in mae ties attached at the hip :) It was nice to get out and do a "women" thing together, as I don't often get the opportunity to do so with needing to care for my disabled husband daily.

When we walked into the banquet hall, It was a room filled with slung babies from ages 3 weeks to 3 years old. Breasts were unhindered and milk was flowing everywhere. It was a sight to see! We both looked at each other and said, "THIS is how it should be"!

It was magical for me to witness and be a part of. Along with the delightful squeals of babies, laughter and even a few cries, everyone smiled and acknowledged the baby. No one turned to "shhhh" the baby or complain that they could not hear the speaker when the baby cried, or yelled out in delight.

Everyone was understanding when a mom got up to walk to the back of the room. By the end of the keynote speakers presentation there was a line of moms and babies ( and even a dad) slinging and swaying back and forth in time with each other to sooth and calm their little ones. It was like a dance, and it was beautiful.

In fact with all the baby noises, the keynote speaker would often stop and address the child personally at times, smile and then go on with his speech.

And who was the perfect speaker to have at a midwifery fundraiser, in a room filled with breastfeeding, slung babies?

None other than Dr. Jack Newman.

We all listened as he joyfully and honestly shared of himself his knowledge of breastfeeding, how weighting babies for knowledge of growth is useless, how growth charts comparing children are redundant, on starting solids when the child shows signs of being ready instead of a certain age, and how baby cereal should be skipped going straight to real whole foods. We listened to his views on child birth and safety and how the medical establishments are holding us as mothers back, hindering our breastfeeding by forcing us to pump in early days to measure ounces etc. He was a delight to listen to. I could have sat there and listened to him all day long.

I spoke to him briefly before and after his speech and gave him some archived copies of Mother's Milk Magazine which he was happily a part of from the beginning for the "Ask The Doctor" segment. It was an honour to finally meet him in person after three years of email correspondence.

He never leaves you feeling like he is a doctor know it all, who must be listened to, he is a peer and an equal, though is still found it impossible to call him Jack. To me he is the example of what ALL doctors should be, regardless of which field of medicine they are in. He never stops learning and he freely admits he is not perfect or right all the time. That is what a doctor should be, a person who listens and shares what they know to allow you to make the right choices. I know many with an MD behind their name who could stand to learn from him.

If you have never heard Dr. Newman speak in person, don't miss the opportunity if it arises! He is a wonderful soul, teacher, and guide cutting a path through the jungle of misinformation and malpractice of women, babies and breastfeeding in our medical society today. He is cutting a path to allow us as women and mothers to see our way through it easier.

For me as a buddhist mother, it was fitting that on Wessack, a buddhist holiday to celebrate the life of buddha,who was a wonderful teacher and guide from centuries ago, that I was in the presence of such a wonderful teacher and guide willing to share his truth with us.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be there yesterday among such powerful, positive energy.

On Sunday Afternoon we went for a drive to our favorite spot by the lake and just explored. Dh and DD picked me a bunch of wile flowers and I sat and tried to identify them with our wildlife nd plants book.

We saw a quit large garter snake and Dh got some cool pics of him as well, Hopfully we'll post them on DD's blog sa she now has expressed an interest in blogging what she learns through homeschooling, in case other kids might like to learn too. The cool part of that is she will need to research the stuff to teach others about it in her blogs, so she will be learning too :) Gotta love how life works that way :)

Friday, May 05, 2006

First years BBQ Beach day

It was a nice day, so we packed up the mini BBQ and headed to the beach for a first bbq/beach day of the year.
The beach was quiet with just us. With the summer coming up fast we won't have many days like these, enjoying the beach and the sunset alone.
Dh hooked up the remote and tripod and caught a family picture.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Sun Set

Grabbed this photo of my beautiful Son, looking out the kitchen window watching his sister play outside suring the sun set.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sparks Jump Up

Our 5 year old daughter goes to Sparks (Girl Guides youngest division). For this weekend they were supposed to go on a two night camping trip, without parents...! YIKES... I was not comfortable with that at all, neither was DH; this would be DD's first overnight anywhere alone. I felt her first sleepover should be at home. We let her decide and she didn't want to go to the camp at all, she was too worried, too anxious, and wanted to be in her own bed.

So all week we talked it out, trying to prepare her, talking about what camp is really like so she could make her own decision not based on our feelings. We tried to be as neutral as possible in our info so as not to colour her decision either way. By Wednesday she was adamant she was still not going at all. We told her she had to face some of her anxieties and at least go for the day on Saturday, and I'd pick her up after supper on Saturday evening.

We planned a sleep over with her little girl friend a few doors down for Saturday night (tonight) so she'd have a similar experience to share with her Sparks troop at her next meeting and not feel like an outsider for deciding not to stay for the sleepover part. At first, she was mad that we were making her go at all, but that alternated with her being excited to go and have fun too.

Last night... the aforementioned friend's mom cancelled the sleepover. DD's little girl friend ended up with two ear infections and a flu so she had to postpone. But that then disappointed DD enough that she decided she would like to consider the camping trip sleep over as an option for tonight, since she was so excited about a sleepover at all. So last night at 10 pm, we packed up everything she would need to stay for the sleepover part, and got her ready to go to camp "just for the day" today to have fun and a "long Sparks meeting".

She was very anxious and nervous and stayed up until almost 1 am talking it out to me and working it all out in her mind and heart.

She woke up this AM tired (as am I) and we got dressed. We had a little behaviour incident during dressing where I think she was trying to act up to make me say she was grounded and she could not go (LOL), but I used humour to defuse the situation and got her dressed and in the truck with minimal issues, and off she, 13 month old baby brother and I drove to the camp.

I had to stop for gas, so the drive was about a half hour, although we have the advantage of living close to the camp used for all the Girl Guides of all ages across our region. We got there and she was excited to go inside to see her group. Then she got in and was afraid to sit down with her troop. Her leaders welcomed her, and everyone was glad to see her, and they took her coat - but she kept her gloves (security blanket issue in case she decided to bolt out the door I think LOL) and they got her comfy at the table. It was 8:30am and all the girls were eating breakfast. She refused their breakfast, which I knew she would do, since it was bacon and french toast, but agreed to apple juice.

The place was packed with all the local groups from Sparks, Brownies all the way up to Pathfinders and junior leaders... eating breakfast and chattering away. She ate her preplanned backup for breakfast - a granola bar she brought from home.

I got her stuff up into her bunk area and passed in permission slips, etc. while she ate her granola bar. I talked to the leaders about her anxiety and worries, and that if she needed to call home for reassurance that was ok, and that sleeping over was totally optional and up to her. They know that she is not planning to stay but she is prepared to if she wants to. I warned them about her need to be warned a lot in advance for changing activities or she'll dig in and such, and asked them to only call me if after a distraction of a new activity and some hugs and "you're safe" pep talk, she didn't settle if she started to want to come home. I told them about how when she gets really worked up, she might need help settling down, and that at home she asks for it, but she might be afraid there, and that settling down means a quiet room for 5 minutes, and holding hands counting to 10 and breathing deep with her. The area leader for all of guides was there as well, and I really like J a lot. She promised me she'd keep her eye on her and help out if needed, since when she joined Sparks, she and I had extensive talks about DD's issues and how Guides would help her overcome some of those and help her with her social growth in a safe environment. So, she has a more in depth grasp of DD's ways of thinking and what would help as well as the benefit of experience from being the longest running leader there. She is now guiding some of her past Girl Guide's daughters, so I'm sure she's come across a few more soft, tender-hearted anxious little girls before. Her Sparks leaders are a bit new to this and have demonstrated lack of responsibility in some areas that gave me and DH concerns, but with area leaders and long running leaders there, I felt better about her going.

I am proud of myself too. DD has never spent the night away from family, and only one without us - once when she was 18 months or so, and she stayed camping with her grandmother at Mazinaw Lake while we had to travel back to Toronto for a Dr.'s appointment. That was a hard time for attachment parents like us... so this is her first decision on her own to go way and possibly stay overnight somwhere.

I was a strong mama, I reassured her when she cried when I went to leave, when I just wanted to scoop her up and say, "Ok come on, lets go out for breakfast and have a cool mom/daughter (baby brother tagging along cause he needs boobies) day". But instead, I soothed and reassured and I answered all her questions. I told her about when I was a little girl and went to camp for 7 WHOLE days and cried when my mom left too, but then cried not to leave when she came to get me to go home!( I was 11) She giggled, then she cried again. I had to show her they had a telephone so she could call me if she needed to, and she had to check for a dial tone. She asked where the doors were in case of a fire to get out, so I showed her. I showed her the bathrooms and where her bedding was and where she might sleep if she decided to stay. She loved the bunk beds and was happy about that. I showed her the craft room, and J told her about the trail they would be going on a hike on. As I was telling them about the pack she had to take and that she liked to collect rocks to study, a Brownie leader piped up that she had a fanny pack to collect rocks and pretty sticks too, because she loved to do that as well. I said she could take home only what she could fit in her fanny pack to carry home, and it was ok with me, if it was ok with them. She was happy to see an adult who likes to collect rocks and they made plans to walk together.

She was smiling again, and then as I prepared to leave, she cried and begged me to stay, but I told her I had to come home to feed daddy and baby brother, and I promised her I'd come back to get her right away if she wanted to go home but only after supper. She had to stay for the day. I ended up staying for a half hour or so, preparing her for the transition of me leaving and her staying.

As I was leaving, I had to sort of not let her hug me and verbally reassure her and just walk out like it was the most normal thing in the world to give your kid over to perfect strangers! She started to cry a bit and went to the table to sit like I told her to go do and have fun. She went to sit at her table and put her head down to cry, an I thought my heart would break. All I could wonder was.. "is she thinking right then that I am abandoning her...!?" Just then a junior leader came up to the table and got her troop to clean their table off and to go do their dishes and she got involved in that, so she forgot to get really deeply upset :)

I waited in the truck for about 10 minutes, and snuck back in to see her playing in the craft room with her troop and a junior leader, doing ok. So I snuck back out and I drove home...and I cried the whole way home......I cried for relief that she was having fun, I cried cause I missed her already. I cried cause I remember my mom making me stay at camp and thinking she was mean to make me stay, and I cried because I realized that I bet she cried on the way home too from dropping me off at camp, too. I cried because she wasn't missing me, I cried because I was worried for her, and I hope that she will really enjoy this visit, and not let her anxieties ruin a possible fun experience for her. I cried cause I don't want her to want to stay for the night, but I know that if she does I'm going to have to deal with it. I cried because I WANT her to stay for the night, and I'm afraid she won't. I cried because she's my baby and no one can take care of her like I can, and I cried for relief for the break this sleepover will provide me, if I don't get too anxious, and I can make myself actually relax.

I'm pretty cried out now, and I'm just tired. So, I'm going to go back to bed and have a nap, since baby boy just fell back asleep. I just called the camp and they are playing games and getting ready to head out for a hike and she is doing good. I knew she would be fine... and then I cried, because I sort of wished she wouldn't be "fine" too.

Sigh.... mama never told me there'd be days like these.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The perfect Winter day

Having acquired cheap cross country ski equipment to outfit the whole family recently, we decided to go out for a day of cross country skiing in a wooded conservation area and have a winter picnic.

The Weather Network's forcast of today being the perfect winter day for outdoor play was our motivator to go for sure, given we're not likely to see enough snow from now on till spring to go out again.

With baby in back pack, and lunch and a blanket on the sled I hauled behind me, we headed off into the back woods.

After about 45 minutes we stopped and had a snack of hummus and crackers, hot chicken stew, baguettes and koolaid. Dh took some photos of the cute litte creek running beside us while we got set to eat. As I was putting stuff away, Dh and DD trommped off to go lok at the creek and a dead racoon. DD put her foot through the cute little creek and got a really wet foot.
I gave her one of my second socks and the zip lock bag from the baugette to put in her boot, so she could ski back out.Dh did the best he could to make her dry and warm for the trip back out. Still given our solutions she was cold and wet, which sucks for anyone...but for the most part she was a trooper and is a great little skier for 5 years old.

The baby had fun in the back pack, and slept all the way back out to the truck where we parked.

Once home hot chocolate, warm baths and naps were in order. Dh will be paying for this perfect winter day for weeks now with his CFS, but I'd say it was worth it. It was a nice afternoon. I hope he feels the same.

Here's a few photos of the day.

Dh is the photographer, so I snapped this as we started out. The only photo of him, since he took all the rest

Saturday, February 04, 2006


So I leave my one year old son ( turned one on Thursday) in the living room with my daughter while I run upstairs to use the washroom. Not unusual event, as I've done it a million times before he started walking and climbing.

I sat him on the couch as he can now walk well alone and knows how to get down from furniture without hurting himself, and where do I find him when I get back downstairs?

SURFING THE COFFEE TABLE like he's in the ocean! with a huge grin on his face, laughing along with his sister, who's 5 and cheering him on!

never boring... never

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Son's Birth Story

Between the birth of our daughter and the conception of our son, my husband became seriously disabled, so though we truly believe in Unabirth and desired to do things our way, we had decided to hire a hands off midwife to do my prenatal care for the pregnancy, and for back up at the birth.

We wanted urine checks, heart tone checks, and one ultrasound to determine placement of placenta etc, which I feel is personally important when planning a possible unassisted birth t rule out things that can cause variations from normal in births, like trying to deal with placenta previa.

We also wanted a back up plan in case DH was feeling to tired or in pain to be my complete support for the birth. There were many things that made us both uncomfortable about hiring a midwife at all, but it was the best compromise we could come to in order to ensure that I felt supported in case he wasn't able to support me, and still have our home water birth.

His illness causes him to need to spend a lot of time in bed due to severe pain and fatigue to the extent that he cannot lift his head off the pillow and we never know when those days will be. But thanks to adrenalin on his part when I went into labour he was a super dad and my perfect and full support through the 3 days of labouring. ( for which he paid dearly for health wise afterwards for over a month)

On Monday, January the 31st, 2005, 38 weeks pregnant, I woke up sore and in pain as usual for the end of this pregnancy, my hips were so loose and in pain now I could hardly walk upright. My swollen belly was very large and very much entering the room before I did. My feet were swollen with edema and looked like fat flinstone feet. With being only 4 foot 11, there is no where else to carry baby but OUT IN FRONT, so I looked like a living and breathing weeble, and felt pretty crappy at this point. Along with my already existing carpel tunnel in my right wrist, my hands were cramped and swollen and in severe pain with pregnancy induced tendonitits from hormones loosening everything to get ready for this birth since the 6th month, and I could barely function on daily basis from heart burn. I would cry the pain in my hands were so unbearable at times. I was falling asleep whenever I sat down on the couch from pure exhaustion from not being able to sleep comfortably all night long. Sleeping sitting up on the couch with ice packs on my hands on my chest was the only place I could get any comfort for short periods of time. DH has told me that how I was feeling through this pregnancy was very similar to how he feels every day with his illness. I just don't know how he manages that kind of pain daily. It gave me a new appreciation for his illness.

Early that afternoon, I called my neighbour, S to say hi and just chat as usual. Though she just lived across the hall, literally less than 6 feet away, we chatted on the phone to allow us to get other things done at the same time. In the last few weeks of this pregnancy she was coming over daily to do my dishes, help me clean up and organize the living area of the apartment for the birth, and help me feed my daughter as I could barley even butter and cut toast my hands were so bad. She was an absolute savior to me! I couldn't ask for a better friend.

I was feeling crampy low in my pelvic area that day like premenstrual cramps, and I mentioned it to her and told her I was feeling close and not sure I wanted to go anywhere that day. I knew that feeling was cervical changes happening. She said I should stay home if I felt that way, but I knew that I had to go out, because it was the last day of our family swim pass at the rec centre and throughout this pregnancy we went swimming as a family as much as possible, for fun and exercise. My 4 year old daughter was looking forward to swimming that night. I could not let her down.

I puttered about the apartment for a few hours trying to cook us some food and then got dressed to go. I was still feeling crampy, but not any contractions. We got ready to go at about 4 pm. DH wanted to go to the Zellers first as he and our daughter were looking for a "bear bear" like her's that she could give the baby when he/she would finally arrive. ( a musical soothing sounds bear with a light in his tummy, that she still sleeps with, since birth)

As we were getting in the truck I felt some stronger twinges like contractions, but I dismissed them and kept getting ready to go, warming up and clearing snow off the truck on a cold snowy day... While sitting and driving things felt fine. I had already told DH I was feeling closer, but because I had been saying it was getting close for 3 weeks he didn't believe me. I was 38 weeks that day and knew from about 35 weeks that I would not make it to see 39 or more weeks of pregnancy.

We got to the store and went in to look around, I was lagging behind as I had to go slow with the swaying hips and fat feet. I walked half way of the length of the store isle and I was really having starting to have a lot of front contractions.They were so strong, it took my concentration away and I could barley walk 6 feet without getting hit by one and needing to hold on to a store shelf and breathe! They looked at a few things but didn't buy anything, as I was feeling pretty urgent at wanting to get home where I was safe.

Though he was irritated that I was adamant we go home, DH agreed it seemed like we needed to go. We got back to the truck and drove across town in rush hour afternoon traffic. I was doing the driving since DH cannot drive well with his disability and contractions were about 10 minutes apart. I kept thinking as I looked at cars passing me, or sitting at red lights beside me.." I'm in labour here...drive careful!" You never know under what conditions people on the road are driving under do you!

All the way home, as we explained that the baby was making mommy's body have the belly waves we talked about, and we needed to get home, my 4 year old daughter was getting mad that it was still January and we told her the baby was coming in February, so he just had to wait and we still had to go swimming! LOL

We got home and I knocked on S's door. She was surprised to see us back so soon. I told her this was likely "it" and she needed to clear her calender, and come on over when she was prepped. Having your daughter's "doula" living 6 feet across the hall, only separated by two apartment doors was a great advantage. The next few hours was a buzz of action of setting up the pool, running water in it and getting comfortable. The contractions seemed to slow down when I was sitting still, so I hung out on the ball and then in the pool. DD ran and got her bathing suit on and joined me in the pool. It helped her feel less upset about missing swimming I think. She stayed until it bothered me to have her in there and she was splashing around too much while I tried to breathe through a contraction.

This began the marathon of the 3 days of labour.Yes THREE day... I'm living proof that "Failure to progress" DOES NOT EXIST if your patient :)

During the three days, much refilling of the pool went on, getting out to pee, to walk, and bounce on the birthing ball. DH was timing contractions and it seemed like I was having clusters of contractions and then it would stop for an hour or more. We ordered Swiss Chalet Chicken dinner to be delivered ( my favourite) and stuck " knock quietly- birth in progress" on the door for the delivery man. Then switched it to "DO NOT DISTURB- Birth In Progress" afterwards.

Through the first evening we called my brother in law (I call them BIL1, or 2, or 3, or 4, starting with the oldest behind my DH being BIL1 and down to differentiate from the 4 of them)

We asked BIL2 to pick up some things for us and drop them off since the only driver in our home was a bit busy contracting in the pool. ( S didn't drive either) We needed diapers for the early days as I didn't want to use cloth for the mec poops and pulling out a washer to wash them in my babymoon was not my idea of fun. We also needed a few groceries we had not picked up. We were fairly certain that BIL2 was the only family member we could call who wouldn't want to stay and would not tell anyone else we were in labour.We wanted peace and quiet and no calls of " did you have it yet" ... We were right :) Though he emailed for the three days to see how things were doing and then was the first family member to visit afterwards when the baby was just hours old, he was happy to leave us be.

I had called my midwife through the evening to let her know that I was having intermittent contractions so she would be aware that I may call her at any time to come if and when we wanted her.

We hung out for a while.. me in the pool, hubby on the couch, my daughter being cared for by S for food and bedtime routines etc.. and keeping her occupied and away from us so DH and I could have some time alone in the living room/kitchen where the pool was set up. S was amazing and I don't think it would have been the same without her there.

IT was rather nice 3 days, being cut off from world news, just being there in the moment. The water was so great I LOVED just lazing in the pool. Between contractions I slept in the pool, watched tv from the pool, talked on the phone from the pool. I was enjoying this part, the contractions were handle-able at this point though I had to breathe through them. I had all back labour with my daughter and front contractions were nice to feel. I was getting to labour finally, as I had missed out with my daughter's birth 4 and bit years earlier not knowing I was in real labour until my water broke and her arriving 17 minutes later.

I got on Monday night chat with some internet birthing sisters and sat on my birthing ball naked at the computer just reading and snacking and talking about the labour so far. It helped to pass the time as the contractions were still coming throughout the whole time, every 10, then every 15, then every 5, in small clusters. I'd have longer breaks of nothing as well. and that would be when I would pace the apartment or get back in the pool hoping walking would bring things back a bit.

By midnight with nothing really happening, but contractions still coming every 10 minutes... I called my midwife to see what she was thinking ( should we try to bring on some more labour, or just rest) She advised I just try to get some rest if possible and let things take it's time. Just what I wanted to hear :)

I got about 4 hours of sleep, and apparently DH got none, because he said that through my sleep I started contracting and moaned and rocked through them in my sleep. He timed every one of them.The darling

Day two and now at about hour 16, my midwife called to see how I was doing, and I said pretty much the same, clusters of contractions then times of not much at all, I said I was good for now and she advised me that her back up would have to come if I called anytime soon as she was having some personal family emergency issues going on.

Through the day we filled the pool again and again, taking out small amounts through the water bed kit and then adding back in hot water to warm it up again, I chatted on the computer, talked to S, laughed and listened to Mozart, let my daughter come in the pool with me for a bit again.

The backup midwife called at about 3 in the afternoon and asked how I was doing and I requested that she come out when she could to check the heart tones. She was in the city and would not be able to make it until later in the evening, to which I agreed was ok as I felt fine, I just wanted some reassurance the baby was ok with so long a labour so far.

During the evening about an hour before she came, DH checked my cervix for dilation and I was still well dilated but the baby's head had not moved down any further. He could feel the bag of waters bulging a bit through the cervix and the baby's head behind it. I reminded him to leave the waters be to break on their own when they decided to.

He remarked that he could feel the suture lines of the baby's skull plates more to the side when he probed and he thought the baby was perhaps stuck acynclitic. We needed to wiggle him out of that position and let him re engage in my pelvis more straight on in order to see some progress beyond this point. It felt right to me, so we got on the bed on a pillow wedge for sitting up in bed, and put my butt way up in the air and my head down on the mattress and DH used his hands to wiggle the baby up and out of my pelvis. I got up and I felt more "full" right away so we determine that it worked. The back pain started after we unstuck him. DH then checked dilation again and felt like I was half way dilated now as compared to before.

The back up midwife showed up a little after this and did a doppler check and the heart tones were good and strong. Contractions at the moment were not happening, she asked if she could do a dilation check and stomach palpitation to see position of the baby. She felt the bottom of my stomach above my pelvis and told me where his head was. I told her " ya I know, we just put it there" LOL. She confirmed that the baby's was head down and I was about 5 centimetres dilated now. She told me it would be a while yet as I was not progressed very far, and there was a ways to go yet... LOL. I'm sure they think I was a early labouring complainer LOL, when I was really having active bouts of labour with the baby trying to get down farther to come out but couldn't.

The acynclitic position was not documented on my records since we did this ourselves and they didn't witness it. I'm not sure to this day if they really believe he was crooked, though his little ear was smooshed and he had a sore neck and a preferred side to nurse on for the first week, from the contractions trying to push him out crooked all that time. It is kind of funny that they didn't witness this, and we diagnosed this minor stall in progress ourselves, but to prove that stuck babies don't need c sections, I wish they had of seen it before we unstuck him. I am so proud of my mid-husband for caring for me and his baby the way he did, he truly was an amazing birth companion and support.

The midwife went out for coffee for an hour and said she would come back to see how things were progressing and to see if we wanted anything to speed the process. She was an amazing gentle woman from England, and I just felt so calm in her presence. She remarked how beautiful I was standing there naked swaying my hips from side to side as we talked, and she remarked at how the body is an amazing thing and a mother in labour is an amazing thing to see when they follow their instincts.

We ordered Boston Pizza's BBQ Chicken Pizza for a late dinner and it arrived when she had come back to check again. There was no progress, but baby's tones were well, and I was glad for the reassurance. I refused any interventions to which she was happy to comply with, she was just letting me know what was at my disposal if I wanted it. She suggested just getting some rest for when transition hit and things would be fine. After she left we ate pizza and hung out until after midnight, timing contractions , sitting in the pool, getting on the birth ball.

I had a prenatal appointment the next day so she or my primary care midwife would be there at that time to do a check up.

We stayed up late talking, laughing, labouring in the pool, taking labour pictures, emailing, timing contractions ( DH needed something to do) When the contractions came on they were intense, but they were still in clusters and the cervical progress was slow, very very slow.

Somewhere around this point now we started saying that I'd had enough labouring to make up for none with the first baby and anytime now would be nice to see some progress. I figured it would be while yet as DH had jinxed me early on Monday evening when labour first started, saying that a ground hog day baby would be cool. BY this point is was looking like it would be!

I got about 6 hours of sleep, and DH, once again could not sleep. I got up early the next day, and called S and she came back over across the hall to help with Anj and have breakfast with me. A local fellow AP mom friend was chatting on MSN with me and I as telling her I was in labour. I asked her if she could do me a favour and run to the store for me and I'd pay her when she got here. I asked for a few things and she said she'd drop it off on her way to the zoo with the kids. She ended up bringing over a care package of much more then I asked for, and refused any money. What a doll! I was thankful for the fast snacks like yogurt and fruit, and the pads I realized I'd need once the baby came. DH was thankful for the pick me up of a case of coke, he needed some caffeine he was so tired. She wished me good labour vibes and went on her way.

I convinced DH to go lay down for a few hours around noon as he was exhausted. It was hard to convince him, but he eventually went and I sat on the birthing ball chatting and writing email to pass the time. I snacked and chit chatted with S who was an amazing "doula" and helper through the whole 3 days flitting about cleaning things and keeping our daughter entertained.

By about 1 I started to feel stronger contractions that I had to really concentrate through. S would watch as I would stop talking and lean over the ball and put my hands on it, in a standing cat yoga pose arching my back and breathe deeply and moan. We would then continue on between contractions with our idle chat as if it were any other regular day... I loved that!

After a while I couldn't them handle alone anymore and I knew we were actually getting somewhere. Only after 45 minutes of sleep I went to talk to DH and asked him to get up and be with me now, as I couldn't handle them alone anymore and I needed him. He knew I was serious as I was crying as I begged him to get up and then he witnessed me have another on the side of our bed.

He was getting back up and I got back in the pool and about 15 minutes later my primary midwife knocked on the door. As she came in and asked how I was doing, I told her we were finally getting somewhere as I just had a few contractions that made me emotional and cry.

At our last appointment we agreed that she'd bring the student midwife with her to meet me to prepare for her to attend my birth. Believing in helping home birth revolution again, I agreed to have a student attend my birth so they could count it as one of the many births they need to witness for their training.

Well, thinking I was not really going to have this baby any time soon the student came as well,expecting to do a prenatal visit. So, there I am naked in a pool, inviting a stranger into my home while I'm in labour about to birth my child. being it was Feb, I couldn't see asking her to wait in the car, and at this point I didn't really care anyway, I'm not shy, so I talked to her and grilled her between contractions about why she wanted to be a midwife, and how she got interested in birth at such a young age etc. I asked her what the most important thing about being a midwife was to her etc. I told her she was lucky that I liked her answers so I she could stay LOL.

The Midwife prepared her birthing supplies and started charting my progress and called other clients while I was in the pool to cancel appointments. My midwife asked if I would allow the student to do a heart tone check, as they need to record that every 15 minutes in active labour, I allowed her to do two checks, but then requested they stop monitoring anymore, as I was finding it intrusive.

Having such a small apartment with me, dh, S, a midwife, a student midwife, a back up midwife and my daughter was a bit cramped feeling. I found myself paying attention to the goings on around me more then going inward and concentrating, though they were trying to be quiet. I asked for some Mozart to be put back on the stereo. While sitting in the pool, I was having more and more back pain and I could not find a comfortable position any more. DH was starting to get annoyed as well with the buzz in the air and we were just about to ask them to leave the apartment for a while to go to S's for some tea until we called them back in, and I got a really strong contraction. As I was pulling up to get on my hands and knees my water broke- a very neat pop under the water of the pool, my amniotic fluid, clean and clear mixed with the water of the pool between my legs. Though I could not see it, I could feel it happen.

There was no asking them to leave now since immediately the back pain came screaming at me with such intensity I though I was going to die! DH went to get on his swim shorts and shirt ( we wanted to be alone and naked.. but oh well.) while I asked the student midwife to use counter pressure on my hips while on my knees but she could not push hard enough to make any relief , and her touching my just annoyed me that I snapped at her to stop, it wasn't working.

As with my daughters birth I thrashed around in the pool trying to find a comfortable position for when the urge to push would come.The contractions were on top of each other right away, the same as when my daughter was born. DH climbed in the pool with me and I was still on my hands and knees. He got in beside me and I grabbed onto him around his shoulders and neck. The contractions were so strong , and much more intense than my daughters birth, and I was grasping to concentrate through them. I growled like an animal with each one and complained about how much it was killing my back. With the next contraction I still was not feeling any desire to really push come on it's own and my midwife gently suggested that I try to do an efforted push rather then wait for the urge. Though I believe in letting the body do it's own work in it's own time even if it takes a few extra contractions, with the back pain I was having I thought this was a good idea to me.Fewer minutes of this back pain would be ok with me! On my hands and knees again, I pushed a bit with the next contractions and pooped in the pool as I was pushing. I told them I was doing so , so they were aware of it, as I was worried about the baby being born in crappy water. They reassured me it was ok and normal. I couldn't make my mouth say what I was thinking anymore at this point but I was thinking." You don't need to make me feel better about it, I don't care that I just shit in the pool, that's normal, just clean it out!"

Someone took care of scooping and I decide the hands and knees was not working well so I flipped over onto my butt and leaned into the sides of the wall of the pool. With the next contractions I yelled, groaned and screamed through the pain again, and I scared our daughter with the noises though we had prepared her so much for the event with roll playing and watching videos. She walked away upset and a bit scared wanting me to stop now. S assured her that mommy was fine and working hard to bring the baby out. This was exactly why I wanted S there and she did everything right! She followed our daughter's lead and supported her and made her feel ok with things and with doing whatever she decided to do.With a hug and a reassurance she decided that she wanted to go back and see mommy some more and became my coach. I remember feeling so much pain and pushing so hard and in the same time feeling her small hand on my arm rubbing me softly and her small sweet voice telling me it would be ok. It gave me strength she'll never know.

DH got between my legs and felt for the head. When this happened, the midwife started to try and use the doppler on my stomach to monitor heart beats with the baby and I was MAJOURLY annoyed, but in such pain I could not even speak. After four trys without success I snapped at her " Stop doing that!" It felt like every time she touched me with the doppler between contractions, she would bring on another contraction. It would start on top of the last one, and I didn't want to be touched.

We had discussed so much in advance about if she were to be at the birth, that I though we covered everything, but I was not aware that it was procedure to do fetal heart tones during the pushing stage, had I known I would have made it very clear that I didn't want that at all to start with. I made them aware of it in the assessment survey of their care I did, and suggested they mention that to all clients so they are aware that that will happen if they don't opt out of it a head of time.

DH could feel the baby's head coming but descending back in a bit between each contraction. He asked if I was having any burning sensation but I didn't. He applied support with his hand against my perineum to prevent tearingas I pushed again.

The secondary back up midwife told me when I growled and yelled again that I was putting my energy into pushing vocally and I should try to push the energy down deep to make it more effective and to save my voice if I wanted. I loved her gentle approach to coaching, where it made it my decision rather then a command from her. Still though I was a bit annoyed that she suggested it at all, but only because I KNOW that and in that moment wasn't thinking of that, I was just DOING.I was annoyed with myself for not thinking that on my own. When I did what she reminded me of, pushing became more effective and the baby's head came out farther in this one push than all the others.

Another contraction, and I pushed again.

It is funny that having such an easy first birth, I never really anticipated how much work this birth would be and I was thankful for the verbal cheering the midwives were doing as I pushed and held onto DH for dear life. I don't remember saying it but apparently I said this was the last time I was ever going to do this again. I remember the back pain was so intense, i felt like I was going crazy. Feeling like a trapped caged animal unable to get away from impending death within your own body is insane. Though I was very annoyed at the lack of privacy and the buzzing about, the heart tone checks, I was thankful in this moment for the midwives being there, for without their voices to concentrate on at one point I thought I was going to slip out of this realm into a realm of insanity I would never be able to come back from. The pain was so intense everything was blacking out around the edges and I felt like I was looking at stuff in black and white, but they spoke the right words at the right times, and I concentrated on their voices telling me I was doing amazing, and listening to DH give details of where the head was.

I gave another push and finally the hardest part ended. The baby's head popped out. DH felt for a cord around the neck, and confirmed that there was nothing there. But he said " I can't feel anything" and the midwife took that to mean he didn't know what he was feeling and she stuck her hands in to feel. This annoyed DH beyond belief, and still makes him mad to this day. She felt his neck as DH pulled the baby up and out of the water onto my chest.

AHHH total BLISS and no more pain.The instant it is over, you don't even really remember it as it was.

John looked and asked me if I wanted to guess at what the baby was, I said, " a boy right?" and he turned him over to me to reveal his little baby boy parts. He laid on my chest with his cord in tack pulsing away. He was sleepy and just peeked up at me as if to say " oh mom, it's you, ok, I'm going back to sleep now." I rubbed him and talked to him and we wrapped him in a blanket to keep him warm.

I guess the midwife was worried that he was sleepy and not being active, so she took a small tube of oxygen right away and started to put it to the baby's face, which annoyed me, as he didn't need it, his color was fine. He didn't cry much as most water babies don't. I felt an air of panic about the midwife at this point and that bothered me as I felt it was intrusive and I didn't want to be feeling her emotions, I had enough of my own to be processing at that moment. I guess she thought he looked like he needed some attention?

The hustle and bustle of documenting times and her giving him oxygen leaning over the pool, while the secondary midwife checked his heart tones from behind and above me was intrusive, as they moved our daughter out of the way to get them. The primary midwife snapped at the secondary for not giving her the stats right away when she was trying to get a heart tone.. but was being quiet for us to have our moment with our new baby. I was annoyed at that.

Sometimes people don't realize the impact their presence has on a situation or moment. this is why I prefer to birth alone.

Shortly after the cord stopped pulsing, we let our daughter cut the cord and introduce our son to the world as a separate being.He was officially named and introduced to the family. DH took the baby out of the pool with the help of the midwife, and they cleaned him up, weighed him and took his measurements. He weighed in at 8 pounds 13 ounces.

The back pain for me was coming back and any thought of not being with my baby went away and were replaced with "Get me out of this pool". We headed to the shower hoping the hot hot water could help on the back. While this was going on, DH, S and our daughter got some first of many pictures of our daughter holding her baby brother and beaming down at him.

The midwife was trying to help me in the shower and kept talking about the placenta as it was coming on a half hour since I had the baby. Though we had talked about it prior and I wanted to let the placenta come in her own time, I felt she was being anxious and pushy to get it out. She reminded me that it was protocol to transfer to a hospital for a "retained placenta" after 30 minutes. The standing in the shower was so painful on my hips and lower back that I could not tolerate it anymore so I asked to be helped to my bed. With much assistance, I managed to sit up in bed in a reclined position and tried some ice packs on my back to no avail. The Midwife wanted to check my vagina for any tears that may need attention, and when she checked I was completely intact. When she went back to the living room to document her findings she remarked to DH that he should be a midwife because his pressure and support during pushing was successful and there was not one tear. I finally was settling to a comfortable position on the bed for my back to not be in such pain, as DH handed me the baby, when the midwife asked the secondary midwife for the syringe and Pitocen.

I have an INTENSE fear of needles or anything that breaks the skin. So prior to birth we had discussed that if I started to hemmorrage or anything and they felt it was necessary to stick me that I'd want it done fast and not in my eyes view. I didn't want to know it was coming. I didn't like how uncomfortable she was getting about the placenta not coming and how close the needle was getting to the bedside table next to me, so DH asked for some quiet time alone and they went to the living room. DH and I and the baby just sat and rested and talked and took pictures and tried to breastfeed for about an hour.

Birthing was exhausting for the baby as well as me... as he just fell asleep on my breast for a pillow rather then nurse at all. :) DH held the baby for a while and at the two hour mark I stood up, felt a contraction, did a small push and our placenta was born into my bread baking bowl, the very same one my daughter's was born into. She was so much smaller then my daughter's had been, her's near filled the bowl and his was only 1/4 the size with a really long cord.

We went out to the living room to let them know she had arrived. They were happy, and the secondary midwife was so gentle and commented "see,she just needed some time to come on her own too." It felt so good to hear her say that. She then asked me for my permission to check the placenta over, and she was so gentle and wonderful, she treated it so gentle as she would have treated my newborn son. When she turned over the placenta she showed the student midwife the veins on the exterior of the placenta that attaches to the uterine wall and remarked in a breathless tone " oh such a beautiful tree of life Ril, good job!"

She asked me what I wanted to do with her and I mentioned doing placenta prints and she asked if I wanted some help. I was relieved to not have to do it myself, as I was still so sore. I asked her if she would do them for me herself while I watched and she said she would be honored. This too, made me feel so good I got teary eyed as I watched her make 4 prints of our placenta. The best one now hangs framed in my son's room, the cord had made a heart shape at the end when she printed it so I chose that one. The treatment of my placenta was important to me as I had lost the opportunity to do anything with my daughter's Placenta, and it was thrown away as hazardous materials in the hospital when we went in after our Unabirth for a check.

The choices in this birth was in many ways, a healing process for the things in my daughter birth that I regretted.

I decided that I would go have a much needed HOT shower and clean up get dressed, and then eat as I was starving! S came and helped me get clothes and into the shower. The secondary midwife came to say she was leaving now and thanked me for letting her be there for the birth and told me I was an amazing birther and she wished all her clients birthed so well. I hugged her and thanked her for everything and after a little longer the other midwives left and S did some cleaning up while my little man started to wake up and want to nurse. I put him to my breast and though his first suckle attempt caused a blister on my nipple which blocked some ducts and caused a bit of pain and heat on day three, he latched on thereafter like a pro and has been going strong ever since.

A few hours after the birth, we had our first visitors. BIL2 ad his wife came for a visit. They were amazed that I was fully dressed showered and visiting only mere hours after a birth. :)

After they left, I emptied the pool and cleared out the leftovers of the pooping in the pool that had settled to the bottom. I felt that no one else should have to see that and the pool care was my responsibility anyway, the midwives didn't do any of that care, though they will attend water births, the client is responsible for the set up and take down.

While cleaning up the pool I noticed a weird long piece of some biolocial matter and wasn't sure what it was... I examined it without touching it and just assumed it must be a waterlogged blood clot or something. 5 days later when Bupba still had not had his first mec poop, and the midwife was getting concerned, we realized that that was what that was. He pooped in the pool too when he was born.

After bleaching out the pool and sticking it in the tub to dry out, we all decided we were still hungry at about 10 pm, so S, DD and I went to go grab take out while DH got to stay home and rested on the couch with his son alone for their first bonding session. We ate and S helped get DD down to bed for the night and then headed across the hall to home.

Then my two men and I crawled into bed together and I slept on my stomach after we nursed laying down, for the first time in what felt like forever. AHH I'd missed that so much!

AS an unassisted birther choosing to have a birth attendant present, there were things that annoyed me and bugged me, but a year later the good moments are what I remember the most and it took a lot of time in the last year to be ok with our decision in retrospect.

All the important things we wanted to happen did, and I got to prove that failure to progress doesn't exist. Throughout the labouring three days , many times we sat there talking about how if we had been in a hospital I would have been c-sectioned by then.

I got to experience and enjoy being in labour, my son was born at home in water, his daddy caught him, his sister cut the cord, my placenta came in her own time, and she was respected for her job well done, and we spent our first days after the birth at home in bed as a family, were we were meant to be.

This birth healed a lot of pains for me from my daughter's first days of life. It also taught me some things as well. I found I could put trust in women again, something that was due to a bad relationship with my mother and shutting myself off from female friendships due to being so hurt by friends in my young teen years. I learned that from being with my friend S for three whole days, and having her come through completely for everything we needed in those three days, and many afterwards. She is a true blessing to us and our daughter. I also learned that by allowing two complete strangers at my birth in the student and the secondary midwife, who respected my space and me, and made me feel safe and secure in their silence and awe of my birth.

Looking back though, I believe that for such private people as ourselves, going from unassisted to assisted was a hard transition for us, and though we admire and are thankful for everything the midwives did for us and for letting us call the shots mostly without interference. I'd never birth with anyone there again. Though we feel quite finished with our family, if we ever have the unforeseen opportunity to welcome another child into our family she or he will be birthed at home with just mom, dad and big sister and brother there... It is how I birth best and how I and my husband are both most comfortable.

In the days after Bupba's birth, DH and DD painted "it's a boy" on the window of our balcony door to let the neighbours know about his birth.

Thank you to my DH for being my soft place to fall and my hard rock to lean on at the same time. Thank you,to my 4 year old daughter for her sweet and tender touch when I needed it most and thank you Bupba for your presence in our lives since that day, this year has been an amazing one, watching you grow to a delightful toddling comedian. Your smile and infectious laughter fills my heart minute by minute. I am blessed Mama Ril Written February 2nd 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Toddlerhood Achieved

Here are a couple versions of a video we put together of our son's first steps:

Low Res, Lower Bandwidth

High-Res, High Bandwidth

They are in wide format so you might want to change the playback setting to wide or original so everyone does not look squished upwards.

It happened 2 weeks ago but we forgot to put a link to them here. At this point he walks all around the house, proud as a peacock.

Well, maybe a little bit of a drunken peacock.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mother's Helper

My 5 year old DD has become wonderful mothers helper for me...this has become such an enormous help to me , I find I am less stressed, and I am finding it is a positive thing for her too.

For those of you who don't know the background ( if anyone even reads this LOL)we have a unique dynamic in our family.

My husbands' illness ( CFIDS/ME) and his inability to do much in the way of physical parenting with me, leaves me holding the torch. I care of him and the extra needs his disability entails, and I do all of the physical parenting routines with the kids, as well as the housework and most fo the exterior yard work all myself. This can leave me at my whits end on not so good days!

Turns out a mother's Helper was a great idea, but affording one is another story. My daughter and I have made a working deal.

I am so glad we waited the 4 years between children, like we initially planned when we got pregnant with DD ( to give each child in infancy and baby hood as much baby attention as possible without neglecting the other child)

At their age differences the attention they require or desire are so different that it is much easier ( for ME) to parent a 11 month old and a 5 year old then say a 2 year old still much in the baby stage and an under 1 baby as well, like my siblings are doing.

Out of pure exhaustion, and a headache a few weeks ago, I asked DD if she would play with DS in her bedroom on the floor with the large Lego and I'd put the baby gate on the doorway so I could go lay down on the bed in our room, right beside and I could keep an ear out for them if they needed me. I told her she would be like my "mother's helper" and I would pay her a toonie for a half hour, so she would not have to do other chores to earn her Sparks dues and ride money to her meeting the next week. She was very willing and excited to help.

I went in and laid down after they got settled and I actually fell asleep and rested for about 45 minutes! They were quiet and having lots of fun ( mostly parallel playing and some of her guiding him teaching him colors and counting with him. DS just loves his big sister, and when mommy cannot give love and kisses and snuggles, big sister is the next best thing:) and she loves how much he idolizes her LOL. ( even now at this age they have their "leave me alone" moments with each other, but for the most part they get along great!

She has now proclaimed that she wants to be a "professional baby sitter" and this is her beginning training. She says she is going to have 5 babies when she grows up and marries a dump truck/ cement truck driver LOL. Oh and they are all going to be breastfed, slung, cloth diapers, home schooled and born at home in a fishy pool, just like her and DS were, she tells me LOL...but she'll let HER kids eat different things then the rest of the family for dinner if they want to instead of force them to eat HER food like I do to her LOL. ( she is on a "only cheese and crackers" kick right now)

Now, If I am getting stressed and over touched and frazzelled from DS's high need for affection I will ask her if she would mind helping me and playing with DS for a little while. She is usually more then happy to, but if she is not, I accept her answer happily and back pack him or sling him. I always make sure to ask in a question form so she has the opportunity to say no ( I remember not being given the choice as the oldest sibling, when my parents wanted a break, I was just told I was, and it didn't matter what I had planned or was doing at the time.)

Also though, very often she will come to me about 10 minutes after a no and ask if she can play with him up in her baby safe room, and I allow her to do so and thank her for her offer, though on occasion I will turn her offer down JUST in case she is offering because in a 5 year old way she feels guilty.

It has helped a lot, give me a much needed break now and again, and not need to hire a babysitter from outside the family I don't know, and also so I don't have to leave the house to get a break.

Larger age gaps are great :)