Thursday, February 17, 2011

Days, Weeks, Months

Today I am 31 years old and I have never been happier.
I love my life. I love my daughter and my husband more then words. I am currently on holiday with my in-laws who I love and who are unbelievably generous.

But I don't want to babble on about the love and gratiude I have for this beautiful life. Instead I wanted to talk about how fast this last year has gone by and how unfortunate it is that when I am at my happiest time seems to fly by so much faster. Why is that?

I currently have a crap camera and I'm just not that good of a photographer anyways so I have been disappointed with my eforts of digitally recording my daughters existance. I thought that I would write funny, cute and ridiculous antiodots a few times a months but the time just disappears. I woke up this morning to be 31 years old with a beautiful 7 month old baby lying next to be on vacation and I thought life is good but where is it going in such a hurry? I am trying (which takes no effort) to enjoy my time with my baby. I think that at least once a day that this is it! I stare at her sleeping, laughing, or just being and I think this is it! This is what life is all about. But how do I hold onto these moments? I take pictures but they pale, I try and write but when I sit down what can I say that will capture the moments in the day that mean so much. Last night for example she just wouldn't go down for the night. Hours of quiet time and feeding were going nowhere. Finally I took my moment to lay her in the crib and then I sang softly with my hand resting on her chest and in the dark she smiled at me and fell asleep. Melt. Sigh. Tear. I love you so much.

How can I bottle the moments? Today that I pulled her socks off and her tiny toes stretched out and I was forced to playfully bite her feet while waiting for a traffic light to change. It breaks my heart to think of how much I love her and that these moments can't be somehow stored for future visits.

For today I will just be gratiful for today and try and suck it all up and enjoy every minute.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Early Days

I feel that I am a little behind because of course I had a newborn baby and was not writing very often, but now my darling daughter is five months old and it's the middle of winter so I feel that I have more time to write. That being said I would prefer to write more about what Is going on in our lives now so I will sort of write a little bit of an overview of the last few years.

After coming home from the hospital I decided to set up with the baby in the living room so that my husband could get a good night sleep. He had to prepare to write his bar exams about two weeks after the baby was born, we also reasoned that it would be better for one of us to be well rested and 'sane' in the morning. We set up the sofa bed and bassinet, I had the TV, books and magazines. For the first couple weeks it seemed that I sleep very well when the baby slept but I was up every couple hours. In order to not get frustrated or too tired I usually put on a a movie or show when the baby ate. It was a good judge of how quickly she began to fed because although at first was able to watch an entire move in the middle of the night, soon enough I was only watching half and then even less.

I have a very clear memory of the moment each night when the dawn came and I sort of felt that had made it. Then little while later my husband would come out from his night and I would feel such a sense of success and relief as I passed baby duty to him and had a lovely deep two hours sleep.

Ten days after my little darling arrived one of my best friends arrived to help out while my husband studied. We had the absolute best time. The weather was beautiful, warm, sunny and we spent most days walking the seawall and finding nice shady trees to park ourselves under for the afternoon. We had picnics, talked, read and the baby just slept, ate and was absolutely adored by both of us. My recollection of
August was that it was an idyllic summer.

I must say a few words about my sweet friend who I will refer to as auntie nanny. She came and was the perfect friend and helper, she made those first few weeks so easy, by not only keeping me company but by being the domestic goddess that she is. She did laundry, tidied up, went shopping and cooked dinner (we had full-on sit down dinners with a two week old baby, amazing right?). An example of how amazing she was, was when we met up with one of my friends here in Vancouver who had a baby a few weeks before me and we all went
for a walk and auntie nanny was on it. I mean she was right there pulling out the carrier when my friends baby was sick of being in the stroller. When we stopped for a feeding break she had the privacy blanket in hand before my friend could even ask for it. I believe the consensus at the end of the day was that everyone should have an auntie nanny for the first couple weeks with a new born. There are no words for how ridiculously fantastic she was and is.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hooray Hospitals!

I am very pro hospitals and giving birth in a hospital was yet another positive hospital experience. One of the nicest things about giving birth in a hospital (aside from the drugs which sadly I didn't get) was the level of care after the birth. First off, it was pretty great knowing that in those first hours after having my daughter I was surrounded by hospital staff that were there to support me. They provided food (okay it's not the best but it shows up three times a day), they have disposable underwear (sounds weird but comes in handy), the nurses are available to reassure you that all the strange things that you didn't know would happen to your body are normal (for all the reading that happens about pregnancy and childbirth, there is very little prep for what comes after). Most important however, was the knowledge that health care professionals were available to check up on and assist me and my husband with our new born baby. We had the most amazing nurses and I have a new level of respect and a little bit of awe thinking about what nurses do everyday. They helped with everything from learning to breastfed to the simple task of changing diapers. Overall there was a peace of mind knowing that we were in the safest possible place and getting the best care (I also enjoyed the face that everything is sterile but that's just me). So hooray for hospitals, doctors, nurses and modern medicine!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Looking down at my new baby daughter was unimaginably wonderful.

But the funny thing about childbirth is that during labour the world is a blur. A painful, messy blur or at least it was for me. Then when the baby is born it is amazing, the pain disappears, just like that and not just because you are staring down at your beautiful new child but if there are no complications and no drugs, the pain is just gone, just like that. However, with that comes a somewhat awkward moment. I'm referring to the wait...the waiting for the after-birth (placenta). All of a sudden I was all too aware of the people in the room; the doctors, nurses, the lights and my unabashed nakedness (I wasn't even wearing a bra). And of course as I come back to reality and time slows down, it almost seems to over compensate by being really slow. I am trying to enjoy my first moments with my daughter but it feels as though the entire room is staring at my legs spread and tapping at their watches. It required actual focus to ignore the room and just stare at my baby.

It finally came and no it didn't hurt. The doctor was downtown stitching me up (I don't think it was bad but I actually didn't want to know any details). While that was going on I was simply staring at my new daughter in stock and awe. Then I was shocked further when I noticed that my baby had two teeth. At first I thought I was seeing things but when the pediatrician took her to look her over she confirmed that no I was no crazy and yes my baby was born with teeth. Who knew that was even possible? The teeth were removed, they were not her baby teeth, they were a third set and would in no way interfere with her normal baby teeth developing (we'll see no teeth yet).

Soon after all that I was guided by the nurse to the shower and got cleaned up. When I got back the bed was put back together, with clean sheets and the room was quiet. It was hard to believe that we had been through such an ordeal, it was hard to believe that we had a baby. My husband and I felt that it was all too surreal. We keep looking at each other and our new baby in this peaceful, quiet room and sort of shaking our heads, not understanding the contrast between the perfect peace and joy of our daughter and the screaming insanity of an hour or so earlier.

There was however, nothing awkward about those first few hours, they were the most overwhelmingly beautiful moments of my life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birth Day!

Today is August 4th which was my due date, however, my daughter is now two and a half weeks old. She was born on July 17th at 4am (well 3:57).

My last day of work was Thursday, July 15th and it was a tough one. My husband had been driving me to work for over a month because I was so heavy and swollen. On Thursday morning I felt just awful, my body was done with working and I just started to cry when it was time for me to get out of the car. My husband thought I should call in sick but it was my last day and I just wanted to finish properly. Somehow I made it though the day and went home feeling relieved to be done with work. We had some friends from out of town staying with us for a couple nights, so we went out to dinner and the next day I was able to sleep in and hang out with them. They took me to see my OB and we went out for lunch. We spent the entire afternoon at the beach which was fabulous; I even had a nap. The day was relaxing and wonderful. We decided to go out for dinner and it was on the walk to the restaurant at eight o'clock that it all started. Basically I felt a little bit of water/liquid in my underwear, not a lot, just a little. I didn't say anything first at because I didn't really know what was happening and I thought that when we got the restaurant I would go to the bathroom and check it out. But then it happened again, more liquid and I thought this has to be it, this is my water breaking. I told my friends what was happening and my husband and I decided that we would forgo dinner and deal with this water breaking thing. I would like to make clear that I had no contractions and that as far as I knew it could take hours, maybe days before labour actually started after ones water breaks. As soon as we got in the car I got the whoosh; my water officially broke and I was now soaked. We got home and I changed clothes and called the hospital and they told me all the different things to look for and what to do if this or that happens. I was feeling very calm and decided to put on a movie and order a pizza. I figured it was going to be a long night and I should just try and relax and have some food. My husband was a little more anxious; he was running around packing the hospital bag and installing the car seat (things I thought I would do my first week off work).

It was at this point that I started to get contractions. They weren't bad at first but they quickly progressed. By the end of the movie I had moved into my bedroom and was just trying to breath through the pain. It was getting really intense, really fast. We were waiting for our friends to get back and grab their stuff cause clearly they wouldn't be staying with us this night. By the time they arrived and left I was ready to go to the hospital (I sort of felt like if we didn't go now I wasn't going to make it).

When we arrived at the hospital I could barely walk from the back parking lot to the door; I clutched my belly and barely made it into a wheelchair. We made it to the maturity ward and the nurse came to check on my progress; she told me I was 2 cm dilated and that I would probably have to go home because it could be awhile. I did not want to leave the hospital and in fact in my mind I knew that I was not leaving and that they would have to drag me out of the hospital kicking and screaming if they wanted me to leave at this point. The nurse offered me some morphine for the pain and told me that I could wait and see the doctor. The morphine didn't help, but it did bide me some time. I was feeling really nauseous while I waited and threw up a few times (something that is not uncommon during labour). About 90 minutes later the doctor came wanting to send me home too and I asked the nurse to please check me one more time. She did and I had progressed to over 3cm which was enough for the hospital to admit me. I was led down the hall to my room (walking was almost impossible at this point and I held onto my husbands back for support).

In my room the nurse gave me nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas). The nitrous oxide was pretty good, mostly because it helped me slow down and breath properly, something that despite my prenatal classes felt impossible. The nurses suggested I get into the shower or take a bath but I didn't/couldn't move. I felt in a daze, in and out of consciousness and in and out of pain. After a few hours the nitrous oxide was no longer working so I called for the nurse and asked for the epidural. The nurse needed to check my progress first and when she did she told me I was 9 1/2 cm and that the baby was coming now. She told me that there was no time for a epidural. This was not something that I wanted to hear. I was in pain and I had been promised relief and drugs. The nurse did her best to calm me down and help me get focused but the pain was seriously intense.

At this point the bottom half of the bed was taken away and lights and were brought in. Some other nurses came in to check me and the pain felt unbearable. I started labour lying on my side, then moved onto my hands and knees which had to be the most unflattering position possible, not that that was a concern. I remember sort of ramming my head into the bed and the nurse making suggestions about positions but all I wanted was out of my skin and away from the pain. I finally found my position on my back with the nurse and my husband holding each leg, this was it hard labour and pushing was about to start. Without even meaning too I was pushing, my body was pushing and I was screaming. The nurse told me I needed to use the energy of screaming and focus it into pushing (this was a prospect that seemed impossible). I listened to the nurses instructions and tried to do what she said and I did get better. When the contractions came I held my breath and pushed, I did this three times and it usually ended in a scream. My legs were shaking and I felt so weak. I could feel the head coming but it seemed impossible, it seemed like it was never going to come. The nurse reminded me that I was having a baby, that s/he would be here soon but all I could think of was the pain. I had a resident, with a doctor delivering the baby. They stretched me open which was the worst pain I have ever felt. The doctor at one point told me that "a voice would tell me to stop pushing soon." I of course asked if it would be his voice to which replied if you like the sound of my voice. A minor moment of humor during the most painful moment of me life. I knew about the slowing down, the stop pushing in order to prevent tearing.

Then it happened he said stop pushing and I couldn't, my body wouldn't stop. Then he yelled for me to stop and the next thing I knew the nurse was right in my face helping me breath in order to stop pushing. All I could see was her month breathing and I followed her led. Then I felt her come out and it was pure relief. The pain was over and my daughter was placed on my chest. I was shocked, it was pure disbelief. Eight hours earlier I was pregnant and bloated and now this screaming, beautiful baby was lying on my chest. It was completely surreal, just like that I was and am a mother. Just like that I was floated with the most love that I have ever felt. Just like my life was and is changed forever.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stares & Shares

Okay, so I'm big. There is no denying that I am pregnant and that I am far along pregnant but now I have to put up with the looks. Wherever I go, whatever I'm doing, I now attract looks from strangers. I waddle and sometimes hobble which only makes it worse. They look at me with love, affection and sometimes excitement. They look at me like there is nothing cuter then a really pregnant women waddling down the street and I must admit I used to do the same thing. How charming, how lovely, is what they think but let me set the record straight, there is nothing charming or lovely about adding to your weight by a third. There is nothing charming or lovely about the multitude of implications that that heaviness brings with it and when these strangers stare at me with love in their eyes, I kind of want to kill them.

Then there are the talkers. Strangers are now continually striking up conversations with me in elevators, while waiting for lights or in lineups and again it's annoying. I don't want to talk to every person on the street about my 'state' and say the same things over and over again. Yep my due date is coming up (obviously I'm huge), no I don't know if it's a boy or a girl, yes I'm really excited and yeah I heard it's life changing having a child. One guy asked me at a light if I was having twins and I almost told him to f-himself but I took the higher road, smiled and kept walking. I don't mean to sound harsh but one of the things I love about living in the city is that you are surrounded by people and are still relatively anonymous. I like walking down the street and not making eye contact and saying hi to everyone. So call me what you will but I do not need the stares or the shares from complete strangers over the private matter of my procreation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let It Out

I have had my fair share of whining on this blog and I continually tell myself to focus on the good and stop whining because I am lucky in so many ways. But I just need to let it out so here are a few things that are starting to drive me crazy...

My swollen feet which are way more swollen then before. I have full on cankles and they are not pretty. They also hurt to walk on and of course I don't fit into shoes. This is all old news so I won't belabour it but yeah it's been a long time and a lot of swelling so it's getting old to me too.

My sore back which overall has been pretty good considering I have a history of mild/medium back pain. However, I am not able to do the stretches and/or lie in the positions that make it feel better.

My poor numb hands. Okay so I know I mentioned that I went to the doctor and got a sleeping brace for my wrist which has been working, sort of. I switch is back and forth during the night depending on which hand is really feeling the pain and overall sleep is happening so that's good. However, during the day my hands no longer wake up completely which is extremely annoying. Basically it feels like when you have your mouth frozen at the dentist and then the freezing starts to wear off but it's still sort of tingling, that's where I'm at permanently. I can no longer lift anything heavier then a coffee cup, cutting bread is a challenge and tying my shoes is no longer an option. It sort of feels like I have some kind of degenerative disease and everyday I have less control over my limbs.

Oh and I almost forgot my skin has been terrible and seems to be getting worse. I have awful acne on my face and chest and it drives me crazy. It's just one more thing to make me feel ugly as I balloon into a whale. No glowing for me, unless you count red, irritated skin as glowing which most people do not.

Okay, I think those are my list of complaints most of which are not new but just getting worse and starting to make me feel helpless which in turn makes me crazy.

Let's focus on the good...

I have an amazing husband who despite having a tone of things going on in his life helps me put my shoes on in the morning, rubs my swollen feet at night, takes care of pretty much all things domestics along with all things moving/unpacking related and seems to do all this without any bitterness. What would I do without him?

I am also lucky to be on my feet. I have spoken to a number of women who have been ordered to go on bed rest for 6 weeks, sometimes longer and who have had premature babies (which can bring health complications). I feel very happy that I am still mobile (a relative term) and that the baby is healthy and developing nicely.

I am very thankful to not have any stretch marks (yet). Supposedly 80% of women will get stretch marks but so far my skin is all clear (not including zits which I'm hoping are not permanent).

I have wonderful supportive friends both here and in Ontario. Friends who have been excited and amazing throughout my pregnancy. Friends who have had sympathy and given me a shoulder when needed. Friends who have had babies and who I have been able to learn through. Amazing, amazing friends.

I have an outstanding family both biological and through marriage. They are extremely excited to be adding a new member to the clan. They have all been emotionally and sometimes financially supportive and I am forever grateful. They have also been respectful of me as a person, not pushing anything on me but rather offering me options which is to me the best gift a family could offer.

And of course I am so thankful to be pregnant and that this pregnancy has gone off without complications. That in a few weeks I'll have a baby that will be a part of my life forever and all these silly little symptoms will be quickly forgotten.

Clearly the things I have to be thankful for far outweigh the negatives but sometimes you just got to let it out.