Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nip check

Ok, time for a nip update! (YAY!)

Still haven't seen my doctor. Things got a bit better, but now they're getting painful again. And it's a different pain. A deeper pain. One that makes me think that yeast is at work here. So, the plan is to see my dr Tuesday morning. (I can wait 3 more days, right?) and get a prescription for diflucan, an antifungal, as well as for the All Purpose Nipple Ointment. Plus, I'll pick up some Gentian Violet. Between those 3 things, and the probiotic and garlic supplements I'm taking along with not eating any sugar (you hear me, missy - NOT eating sugar) and things should be back under control within a few weeks. The pain should be cleared up within a week, the yeast will take a bit longer to be beaten into submission.

Now my nips have been discussed, lets move on to a funner subject. Christmas! We had a good one. The boys were excited - Elliot had. to. play. with. each. gift. after. it. was. unwrapped. And Felix wasn't really interested in unwrapping, but he would get fixated on certain gifts for 10-15 minutes (like a little whisk!) So things went rather slow.

Decorating, 2 weeks before Santa came

Christmas morning

His very own whisk!

D-E-V-O-N.... that says Elliot!!!!!! He knows how to spell his name, but when presents are involved, book-learnin' goes out the window!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bad case of Cinnamon Lung

Yesterday the boys and I got crafty. A friend was telling me about the cinnamon applesauce ornaments she made with her son and it seemed like a fun thing to try. And then the night before we'd planned to make them, I stumbled up on *a blog* where it was laid out in great detail. Talk about meant to be - I was doubly convinced this was the thing to do!

*The above mentioned blog post has since been archived and I can't find it anymore. The recipe is this: equal parts cinnamon and applesauce, depending on how much you want to make. Start small - half a cup of each. Mix together until a dough forms. (Add more cinnamon if the dough is too wet. Increase amounts based on how many ornaments you want to make.) Roll out, cut out shapes. Dry in a low oven. Don't forget to punch a hole in them for hanging! 

It was fun. Elliot had a great time. We both choked on the clouds of cinnamon that wafted up, no matter how carefully I tried to angle or cover things. We're still waiting on the ornaments to harden. I put them in the oven on 150 for a good 8 hours, then left them in the cooling oven while I went to bed (nervous about leaving it on overnight) then gave them another hour on low this morning and then they stayed in the oven all day today. They are stiff, but not as hard as I expected. Not sure if this is the normal property or if next time we need to adjust quantities.

Oh, and to go with the cinnamon lung, I had a wicked cinnamon headache. The house smelled so good, but after a while it started to get to me. But I think it was worth it. Hopefully these ornaments will be salvageable. I'd like to tie some of them to presents. Several of them broke (hammers and saws make very flimsy shapes!) So I think we'll set up a crumble basket to fill each room with scent. Ahhhh, holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diaper free, baby!

In early November, we jumped right into a potty training intervention for Elliot. Straight to big boy undies, too. He wasn't balking at the idea, but he wasn't showing much interest, either. By the end of day 1, we'd caught 5 pees and lost 1 on the couch. Day 2 he went to daycare, but there were 2 accidents before we got out of the house that morning and 2 more while at daycare. Day 3 was pretty good - but he was in a pull-up due to errands and a new babysitter. Day 4 was another daycare day and there were 4 accidents. And an elusive poop on the toilet! Poor boy had been holding it since day 1 and was pretty sore.

By day 5, he was starting to tell us when he needed to go pee. And then he pretty much became a bladder master - during awake hours, that is. He's still in a diaper at night and a pull-up at nap time.

Catching a poop is another issue entirely. There will be days where it seems that every 10 minutes he's frantically saying he needs to poop and we race to the potty or toilet and he sits there and tenses up and sucks in for anywhere from 10 seconds to 20 minutes and nothing comes out. And he'll do this for daaaaays until he has an "accident" in his underwear. And then he slyly says "Ohhhh, we missed it." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It's a work in progress - there's been much work and much progress. And it can only improve with age. I hope!

In which I talk about my nipples*

*Forewarned is forearmed, right?



It hurts so badly when I nurse.

Felix (currently 16 months) started cutting molars back in September, and shortly afterwards nursing started to get painful. I just assumed it was due to his highly increased nursing frequency and a clenched latch. I tried to ignore it, figuring it would go away once my body adjusted to the increase in nursing or when he cut the teeth or or or or... but the pain got worse and worse.

I started wondering about yeast, but I don't see any sign of thrush in Felix's mouth. For the past month, I haven't had any sugars - I expected that if the pain were yeast related, it would have started to dissipate once I stopped all sugars/yeast/etc from my diet. But yeast seems to be a big winner when I talk with my mama friends about the pain I'm experiencing. The fact that the pain seems to be more limited to my nipples rather than within the breast tells me it's latch related, not yeast. Or maybe it started as yeast and then turned extra nasty. Or the bad latch caused cracking which let in the yeast. Or it could be both. Or something else. Or a mysterious and random assortment of 9865413248624 different things and the kitchen sink.

I switched birth control pills (from Micronor to Alesse) in early October, so perhaps the different hormones are also contributing to whatever is causing the pain. (Pregnancy did cross my mind, but all the tests I've taken have been negative. Phew!) I understand the pill could have affected my milk supply, causing him to work hard to get nourishment, so that's another possible factor. I had problems with Raynaud's Syndrome after Elliot was born 3 years ago, but didn't have it with Felix. The pain feels similar, but is longer lasting. And sharper.

I've been using an organic Nipple Butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby for the last few days and I can see a small difference for the better, I *think* - the calloused looking spots on my nips have softened and started to come off. BUT it's leaving cracks and bleeding (oh joy!) - not sure if that's being uncovered by or created by the sloughing off of the hard skin. I'm still experiencing a lot of sensitivity - clothing rubbing on me is painful, but the pain upon nursing is *slightly* improved. It's not the same toe-curling-glass-being-shoved-into-me sensation as before.

I emailed Dr. Jack Newman, breastfeeding guru, and he gave me a bit of advice, but nothing that seemed really pertinent to my situation. I initially contacted him because all research I've done says his All Purpose Nipple Ointment is the best thing ever for sore nipples, whether the problem is yeast related or not. I went to the compounding pharmacy near me and they were familiar with the ointment but said I needed a prescription. Instead of schlepping the kids with me to the doctor, someone suggested I email Dr. Newman for the prescription. He sent it to me (lightening fast, I might add!) but cautioned that it probably would be useless since he's not licensed to practice here. But he suggested I get my doctor to co-sign the prescription to save time. So that's my next plan of attack. But at this point, it looks like I won't be able to get an appointment with my doctor until, hmmmm, maybe this weekend?? I'll have to call again tomorrow.

I've found that Felix has a better (ie: deeper) latch when he's hungry vs comfort nursing. I've played with different positions and latches but never get relief the same way twice. Over the last few nights, I've stopped going to him for night time feeds - Jay has been spending the night in Felix's room. So I'm getting a good 10 hour stretch in which I can heal (and sleep - who'da thunk it?!) We nurse (both sides) in the morning and before bed, and then he comfort/snack nurses on one side before his nap and then again in the late afternoon. Nursing 4x per day is better than the 8+ we were doing recently, and it's giving me relief. Just not fast enough.

Since the skin is currently broken & bleeding & stinging, I'm sure that if a yeast infection isn't the cause, that a bacterial infection is now (or soon to be) an issue. What fun! Until I get that ointment, I'm going to continue with the Nipple Butter I have, expressed milk and lots of air time... and work on deeper latches, I guess. I've contacted my local La Leche League leaders and we're working though some ideas, too.

ETA 12/17/09: this morning I pumped instead of nursing on the worst side, and behold - it didn't hurt!!!! Now if only pumping were as quick & brainless as nursing.

So, all in all, this is a big whiny post about my poor nipples. Aren't you glad you found it?! Maybe I should complain about something more global... like, um... I don't know. I don't keep up with current events. I should do that, too. Something else to put away for a RainyDay.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This way lies danger!

I spent the day tackling some Christmas baking. Chocolate brown sugar fudge. Skor squares. Milk chocolate almond bark. White chocolate candy cane bark. Mmmmmmm. Delish, right? Nope. I'm not allowed to eat ANY of it. And not just because it's promised to various sweet exchanges and as gifts. *sigh* For a variety of health reasons, 2.5 weeks ago I started the Candida Diet. Now, this isn't a 'diet' in the weight loss meaning of the word. It's a way of life, a dramatic altering of the way one eats for a set amount of time. In the past, I've done 2, 4 and 6 week stints. This time, my naturopathic doctor says I need to avoid sugar, dairy, wheat, gluten & yeast for 6 months. Oh what fun! But I know it's necessary and I'm already feeling the change in my body. I know it's working and that's the encouragement I need to keep going.

So, here, please let me live vicariously through photographs. These are today's goodies!

Bubbling fudge

6 lbs - 1 large pan, 5 mini

Skor Squares - made with Ritz Crackers, condensed milk, skor bits & frosting - YUM!

Chocolate almond bark

Candy cane bark

Then, I nearly got my boys seriously hurt. We came home after daycare tonight and I parked the double jogger in front of the steps and put the brake on, like always. I grabbed all our stuff and ran up the stairs to unlock the door and disengage the alarm. I heard Elliot yell "Mama, mama!" and called back to him that I was coming (without looking). I tossed our stuff in the hall and then turned around to go get the boys. They weren't there.

I heard Elliot yelling for me again as I flew out the door. He sounded panicked. I couldn't see them at first, then I did - they were on the other side of the street, flipped up backwards, handlebar on the ground. They'd hit the curb and narrowly missed crashing into a parked car. Thank god there wasn't any traffic. I didn't even check for cars as I flew across the street to them. Elliot was yelling, Felix was crying, but they were both strapped in so hadn't gotten hurt, only jostled and scared.

I asked Elliot what happened and he said that Felix was bouncing again. Felix has taken to throwing his body weight back and forth in strollers lately - something he does allllllll the time in the high chair that drives Jay and I crazy. I guess his bouncing today dislodged the brake. It's a dodgy brake, but I didn't think it was that bad.

I was so scared. The boys were fine, but my mind keeps going to the 'what if' scenarios. Sooooo, lesson learned: park stroller sideways or take the boys out with me.

Man, I need chocolate and wine. But wahhhhhhhhhhh I can't have any!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time's a wasting!

Not feeling much like writing today, but feel the urge to be creative. Felix is napping, Elliot is at daycare and I can't decide if I want to nap, read, or watch last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Time is running out for me to decide - he'll probably be awake within the hour.

What I really should do is get off my butt and do some yoga or stretches or go outside and rake up the thick rug of leaves that's currently covering the lawn and part of the driveway. Our usual excuse for not raking is that we want to keep the grass (except it's mostly moss) on our front lawn and any plants in the flower bed insulated from the harsh winter. But we generally do a preliminary rake up, before all the leaves have fallen. But now they're all down and the kids are having a blast tromping through them - I think that's the new excuse. It's fun for the children. We're thinking of the children. When I came home from class yesterday, the sitter had the boys playing out front in the uncharacteristically warm for November sunshine. They were laughing and squealing and running around and tossing leaves back and forth. I just sat and watched them. So much fun!

Ok. Time to make a decision...... Grey's Anatomy it is. But I promise to do some stretches while watching it. Yes indeed! Gotta get moving before this little guy wakes up, ready to join me in the tax office.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Behind the 8 ball

So much catching up to do, snowed in under housework (and a literal dusting of the white stuff on the ground outside), wrestling with root canals and practicing good pottying.

First off, the boys had a good Halloween. Elliot was a bit rude - demanding candy instead of saying "Trick or treat!" and screaming "NO!" or "I DON'T KNOW" when asked what his costume was or if he was having fun - pretty much if anyone spoke to him at all. A bit shy and overwhelmed, I guess. Felix had a blast running up and down the dark sidewalk, playing in all the fallen leaves. He also got a big kick out of climbing the stairs to all the different houses - something we are pretty strict about not letting him do when we're out walking.

Spiderboy and Lofty

Bob the Builder's Lofty the crane

Enjoying some loot at the end of the night

Verrrrry tired boy

This past week has been full of ups and downs. We jumped right into a potty training intervention for Elliot on Tuesday. Straight to big boy undies, too. He wasn't balking at the idea, but he wasn't showing much interest, either. By the end of day 1, we'd caught 5 pees and lost 1 on the couch. Day 2 he went to daycare, but there were 2 accidents before we got out of the house that morning and 2 more while at daycare. Day 3 was pretty good - but he was in a pull-up due to errands and a new babysitter. But he kept the pull-ups mostly dry! Day 4 was another daycare day and there were 4 accidents. And an elusive poop! Poor boy had been holding it the entire time we were training and was pretty sore. Today is day 5, and so far so good. He's still in a diaper at night and a pull-up at nap time. But that will all come with time. He doesn't quite say that he needs to go to the potty yet, but he doesn't fight (much) when we ask him to go sit on it every hour or so.

And for me... well, I finally had that dental surgery this week. The day totally snuck up on me. I really, really didn't want to go. I figured I would be fine, but the big panic-freak out I had on the way to the appointment and the shakes/tears I had while waiting for the freezing to kick in surprised me. Luckily, it ended up being a straightforward appointment. They drilled through the crown and then through the metal covering and were able to clean out the roots. Despite the freezing, I was able to feel them punch through the root into the abscess, but that was more disconcerting than painful.

The dentist is confident he got the infection all cleaned out and made it to the end of the root (short story: the emergency root canal I had 3 years ago was incomplete - my roots are longer than normal and one curves a bit - so it wasn't cleaned well and has been festering all along. Joy.) It's cleaned out and packed and temporarily filled.

Have I mentioned I hate this fricken tooth???

So I had 2 days of extra strength Motrin and now I'm alternating that with regular strength. I also started an antibiotic. We leave everything as it is and I go back for them to open it up, clean it out, and permanently cap it in another month. And hopefully that ends the saga of the stupid tooth.

So today we're all at home, peeing on the potty and preparing grocery lists. Tomorrow we take the boys for their H1N1 vaccination. Should be interesting.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Memories of past Halloweens...

2004... it was a multi-costume year.

The geisha and the samurai hand out treats.

Little Red Riding Hood has a drink.

Genetic experiment gone a-fly.


Iron Man




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The tether

As I gazed lovingly down into my nursing son's eyes, I smiled, and felt the bond between us. And then I looked further to see the thick rope of snot physically binding us together. Ahhh, love!

Monday, October 19, 2009

CD older child update

Sooooo, we started using either 2 regular inserts or 1 new Green Acres Designs OS insert with Elliot's Fuzzi Bunz, and hey, what do you know? No more leaks! It's pretty cool.
Now, if only he'd show an interest in potty training. Link

Catching up on nothing

Raining. Want chocolate. Trying to be healthy but it's not working so well. Felix has been awake and screaming every 2 hours for the last 2 weeks. He's cutting 6 teeth right now, poor boy. And nothing soothes him other than nursing. I'm raw and drained and exhausted. I did nothing but nap this weekend - thankfully, Jay was home from work and able to keep an eye on the kids while I was useless. It was decadent!

Elliot and I have been going to a weekly library program, just the 2 of us. Well, actually, just him - we travel there together, but the program is for 3-5 year olds and they go in the room by themselves. Wheeee! A half hour of freedom for mama!!! I sit out in the hall reading my book, or I wander around the library and stock up on new DVDs for the kids. When he's done, we go for "muffins and tea" together at one of the local coffee shops and read books. It's fun. Last week, our usual program was canceled, so we hopped on a different bus, transfered to the ferry, and went to the library across the harbour. The traveling was the best part - he didn't care for the program when we got there - it was a sing-a-long with a couple of members of Symphony Nova Scotia and some instruments.

Last weekend, we rented a car and went to the Valley for the day. Rode on miniature trains, traversed a corn maze, picked our own pumpkins, visited a sleepy little petting zoo. Went on a hayride. Elliot had a great time and I'm so happy to have been able to give him that experience. A family day like that is how I "see" family interaction in my head.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Climber II

Felix is working hard at perfecting the art of chair climbing, so this is how we must leave things now... otherwise, he climbs up, does a little dance, then walks right off the other side!

Friday, October 2, 2009


We were gifted several tomato plants over the summer. Elliot and I transplanted them into pots on the back deck, and there the poor things remained. Through the blistering heat wave in July, a hurricane and a tropical storm in August and a near frost in September. Elliot loved to water them, which was good, since I nearly always forgot. We had about 7 plants in 4 pots. They were a random mix - some cherry, some plum, some full size -and none were identified with the type of plant. Such a mystery! Only 1 flowered and produced fruit, which we were been keeping a haphazard eye on.

There was a second risk of frost last week, so we decided to harvest the few green tomatoes the plant had produced. They were small and hard. Elliot wanted to eat them right away, but was eventually convinced that they needed to ripen and turn red first. We brought them in the house and they've been sitting in a bowl on the counter, forgotten behind the dishes and bread crumbs.

This morning, this is what we found:

Elliot has claimed the tiny one in the centre and is anxiously awaiting it to ripen.

What fun! Elliot is very excited about this cycle. I love that I can share it with him. It's too bad that the sunflowers and pumpkins we planted from seeds didn't grow. Ah well, maybe next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bad mojo

Soooooooo, I'm a stay at home mama who doesn't feel like cooking, cleaning or taking care of the kids. And this is how I feel most of the time. I'm inherently lazy and just want to sleep or read or watch TV. I'd love to snuggle with the boys, but they're too active for that.

Elliot is mean. He won't listen and it's escalating and I just want to smack him. I get so angry with him. And most of his acting out is from boredom. But I just don't have the energy to give him the attention and stimulation he needs. And that makes me angry with myself and incredibly sad. And Felix's separation anxiety is smothering me. When the babysitter comes over, he clings to me and starts crying the second he sees her. His night time sleeping sucks.

So yeah, been having an extra emotional few days. Crying a lot. Yelling a lot. Losing my patience a lot. Blech. I don't like the kind of mother/wife/person I am at the moment.

Yep, I recognize that I'm slipping into a depressive phase. I'm still on my meds, and on the minimum dose due to still breastfeeding. I should have known - I was just starting to feel good and thinking to myself "Gee, self, in another 6 months you can start weaning off of them!" (My dr wants there to be a 6 month window where I feel like myself again before attempting a wean - but I'm thinking that I wouldn't even recognize myself if said self walked up and slapped me in the face.) And then BOOM a week later, I feels like shite.

The temper I have inside is scary. I yell at the boys. I leave the house for class, come home 3 hours later, the boys scream and climb all over me like I've been gone for a year and I just can't be excited to see them - I need down time for a few minutes, not instant crazyville. And heaven forbid I need to step back outside to get something (groceries) off the porch. Felix freaks out to the point of black dot & nearly passes out. I really don't need to be dealing with that.

Do I have a support system in place, you ask, sweet reader.... Well, sort of - I have a library program I take Felix to on Wednesday afternoons. The parents all participate, but there's not a lot of independent, grown-up interaction. I did make myself go to my Mommies in Motion stroller fitness class yesterday. Only 2 of us showed up, but it was good to get out and get moving. And a friend works in the same building so I called her and we went for coffee afterwards. That was nice. And I have a wonderful hubby who is my whole world, in the few short hours per day I see him, and the maybe 10 minutes I get to curl up next to him in our bed at night before Felix wakes up and needs to be soothed and I fall asleep in his room until Elliot wakes us all up by yelling "Mama! MAMA HUGGGGGGGGGGGGY!!!"

Just need to push myself through it, I guess.

Yep, just keep pushing and chanting "It can't last forever. It won't last forever." Hey - that mantra got me through Elliot's birth. And after getting through that, I should be able to get through damn near anything.

And yes, it hasn't escaped my attention that all the links in this post have come from posts I made last month. I guess it was all boiling down to this point, huh!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Agressive regression

Well, it seems that Elliot is regressing. He's always been aggressive - towards us, his friends, in particular towards Felix... even as a baby, Elliot would bite and hit. For him, it seemed to have an air of "What happens when I do this? Oooooh, I like to do this - I'm good at it!" about it. Felix has picked it up, despite efforts at intervention. But with Felix, it's more of a "Heeeey, this is normal!" attitude, especially when meeting new friends.

We worked hard with Elliot and had it mostly corrected by time he went to daycare. Then it came back, full steam. Felix was 6 weeks old, and really getting the brunt of it at home, but Elliot's classmates soon learned not to mess with him. It settled down after Elliot missed a week of daycare due to the chicken pox last March. Upon his return, he actually stared asking his friends if he could hug and kiss them, and they, finally realizing what Elliot was up to, eagerly stood in a line for some Elliot love! It was adorable.

As time went on, Elliot saw many of his daycare friends moving up to the senior toddler room. This meant that his room was filling up with newbies. Fresh meat! The pushing and biting started up again, but wasn't as long-lived. Elliot is now in the senior room. And guess what's back?! Jay had a quickie meeting with the teachers this morning due to some incidents that occurred last week - very deliberate pushing of his friends. And a repeat performance after a talking to from one of the teachers.

Elliot was very insistent at his birthday that only 2 little girls from his class attend. No one else. (Well, we managed to sneak in a few family friends...) And then at his party, he seemed to be on a mission to hurt them. Pushing, screaming, biting, kicking.... Time outs and warnings didn't help - he'd just start all over again.

*sigh* This parenting thing is hard. We try to teach by example, but then we set bad examples. We try to be consistent, but that never lasts. We try to offer unconditional love, but it's hard when it seems one child is dead set on harming the other. I know, I know, punish the behavior, not the child. It's a tricky line to walk.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Felix and the giant peach.

The weather is cold and gray. There was *almost* frost last night. I feel sluggish and cold and useless. Spent the day doing laundry, eating pudding, and trying not to make fudge. I have some bookkeeping I need to be doing, but I can't get the time to do it, since everyone else is sluggish and useless, too. What a fine bunch we are!

I do love the crispness and freshness in the air. Fall is my favourite time of year. But I do miss the warmth of t-shirt weather.

And since I'm feeling so useless today, here's a series of pictures from yesterday. "Saturday Snapshots", we'll call it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Birthdays and bouncy castles

Today is Elliot's 3rd birthday. We had a party. Ate some cake. Had a toddler cage match in the bouncy castle (yep, instigated by my son. He ended up in time out for deliberately jumping on his friends and dragging them to the ground. And upon being allowed back in the bouncer, in quick succession, he shoved one friend, kicked another and bit a third. Fun times at Elliot's house today!)

Elliot's birth story, in honour of the day...

The first contractions started at 9am on my due date, September 18th. They didn't really hurt, but they were coming every 30 minutes. I went on with my day (a chiropractic appointment and lunch with friends) and they got more intense. By 4pm, they started to hurt. By 8pm we called our doula, Karen, and she said she would stop by to check on me at 9. From 9-1, I spent my time throwing up and labouring in the tub, on the exercise ball and in bed, the contractions coming irregularly but still getting closer together. By 1:30, they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 30-60 seconds, and I heard Karen say quietly to Jay "I think we should start making our way to the hospital."

We got to the hospital by 2:30 and they checked me - only a fingertip dilated and still a lot of thinning needed to be done! I was crushed - I had been having very hard pains (especially in my low back) for almost 12 hours and made no "real" progress.

The nurse took pity on us and asked if we wanted to stay in assessment, as my contractions were still coming regularly. I told them I was not going home without my baby! They put us into a birthing room to labour but did not admit us to the hospital. (Turns out I was part of a research study – should they let women in early labour wait it out at the hospital or send them home – and how would it effect baby.)

The nurses pretty much left us alone all night - we were checked on a few times, but since we were not admitted, they stayed away. I threw up more, walked the halls, had baths and tried sitting on the ball. My back was so sore - Jay and Karen took turns pressing on my sacrum during contractions to ease the pressure. I was terrified I was having back labour.

The next morning, the new early labour assessment nurse came in to check me and said I was only 2-3 cm dilated, and still needed to thin quite a bit. She started saying that I might be stalled and that I should go home. She pushed that I should also let them break my water and get induced.

Around 3pm, she checked me again and there was no change. She told me that if she had been on duty the night before that she wouldn't have let us stay. (I guess she did not know about the study.) She asked if I wanted to be admitted and start getting medications. I was exhausted at this point, but knew that despite the slow progress, I was making SOME progress, and that I wouldn't have been able to cope at home.

I asked not to be admitted, but requested a shot of Demerol to help me relax, hoping I could get some sleep. It relaxed me, but there was no sleep to be had - the contractions picked up and became very regular and I was then in active labour!

The nurse checked me around 6pm and said I was at 3 cm and that they would start the admissions procedures. Around 7, they moved us to a new room closer to the nurses station, assigned us a nurse, and started monitoring my blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate every 30 minutes.

The back pains and pains shooting down my thighs had greatly intensified. I needed someone to rub my thighs and press on my back during each contraction. Around midnight, I was checked again and heard 4-5 cm, still not completely effaced. I was so discouraged! Somewhere in the middle of the night I started asking about medications - but I knew that Demerol likely wouldn't work again, that I didn't want an epidural and that the Nitrous Oxide gas could only be used for a limited time, and I wanted to save that for transition. I decided to keep going without anything. I had found a position in the rocking chair that helped control the pain, and I was really focusing on a light socket above the bed. Usually I could manage the contractions, but every 3rd or 4th one was super-intense.

Finally around 2am, I was 7 cm. YAY! I laboured for a while longer, and nearly gave up a few more times. They checked and felt bulging membranes, as my water still had not broken. I agreed to have them broken and we waited 30 minutes for my doctor to arrive. When they broke, it was only a small amount, but baby's head came down a bit further.

After a while, I felt strong urges to push so they checked me again - still only 7cm - NOT good! They started me on the gas to try to control the urge, and we tried different positions - walking, hands & knees, the ball - but I still badly wanted to push. A new nurse came in to let the other one have a break and she put me on the toilet so gravity could help. I fought her on this, since I was scared that my natural instinct to push would be much stronger on the toilet! She found a longer hose for the gas machine so I could sit there and suck back the gas…

They checked me again at nearly 6:30 am and said I was completely effaced and dilated and gave me the go ahead to start pushing! Sitting on the toilet worked! They called my doctor in. After an hour of ineffective pushes, they checked and found that I still had a lip of cervix!! They pushed against it while I contracted and pushed (PAINFUL!) and it stayed back out of the way.

I pushed for almost 2 more hours before our son was born. We had requested that the sex of the baby not be announced to the room. I wanted Jay to be the first to look and see and then tell me. after the baby came out (with Jay watching everything from the first tufts of hair trying to be born, to crowning, to the explosion of the baby quickly slithering out) he came up to my head and kissed me, telling me "you did it, you were great" and we had a moment.... then I noticed the room was quiet (other than baby cries) and I had to ask Jay to check to see if it was a boy or a girl. He looked and came back to kiss me again, all teary eyed, and tell me we had a son. Then he finally remembered to get the camera and take some pictures!

(A few hours old)

He came out screaming and didn't stop for 20 minutes! His head came out with no problems, but he decided to be like superman and have his fist up next to his shoulder (explained all the back pain) and I ended up with a 3rd degree tear. They had to call in an OB to determine which way to best stitch the muscles back together.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poor Baby.

Making supper this evening was, as usual, a gong show. I tried not to give in to the TV demands and was doing well, despite the whining and hitting going on at my feet. As I casually scooped Felix out of the way with my foot to open the fridge door, he cranked up his protest. Drew upon the dark powers that be to turn his hemangioma deep purple. Then black. Blacker than I'd ever seen it before. He wasn't breathing - just stuck in that silent inhale kids do just before they let loose a scream so loud it makes you drop everything and run through fire to rescue them from whatever horror must be ripping them limb from limb.

I expected him to snap out of it and wail, but he didn't. He was sitting at my feet, looking up at me and spinning himself around in circles, gasping. I told him gently to breathe, then picked him up and blew in his face. That got through to him, he inhaled and then his eyes rolled shut and he collapsed against me. I think he actually may have fainted for a second. It was rather alarming.

So then the TV came on, while I tried to calm myself down and snuggle with the suddenly limp noodle in my arms. His hemangioma shriveled up and looked like a prune for a few minutes, then started to plump back up. Weird. Poor baby. Poor mama! Elliot was happy, though - the TV was back on!

Speaking of poor babies... I was saddened to hear that Patrick Swayze passed away last night. Who's gonna get poor Baby out of that corner now? Many great memories from that movie. Thank you, Mr. Swayze. RIP.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

4 years

I could say that I haven't had a moment in the last week to sit down and blog about my life, but that would be a lie. Yes, it's been crazy hectic and I've been taking every minute of down time I could get, but I've just been putting things off.

Last week, Jay and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Ok, celebrated is too strong a word - we made eyes at each other over breakfast and then didn't see each other again until after midnight when he came home again. I was asleep in Elliot's bed, having dozed off while putting him to bed. At least Jay came home with chocolate in hand!

A few fave pics from our beautiful day...

And a silly one that makes me laugh everytime I see it - I can't remember the context, but I wasn't really afraid of the poster!

This past weekend, we went to a wedding. The happy couple were radiant - understandably! They met over 10 years ago and were friends all along, nothing more, until about 3 years ago when she became single and then he wooed and pursued her. I was in tears many, many times during their ceremony. And during the speeches. And so on. It was beautiful. Congrats H&N!

Also this weekend, a play Jay's been working on for the last 2 months opened as part of the local Fringe Festival. A close friend wrote & directed it, a rock musical called The Overlord. Jay was the A/V guy and voiced the computer's role. What an amazing job everyone did. I'm looking forward to seeing it again on closing night! They've had 2 shows already, and 5 more to go. And possibly 1 more, if they win the Fringe Favourite vote!

New in my life as of next week is school! I'm heading back to class. Just two afternoon's per week for 12 weeks, in preparation for going back to work in January. Elliot is in daycare one of those days. Felix is too young for the daycare (18 months, minimum), so we had to find a caregiver. She starts tomorrow. I'll be here, but we'll try to do an actual run-through. Fingers crossed it all goes well!

Felix started walking. He goes back and forth between the furniture and is hesitant to do much else, but it's so cute. He throws his arms up in the air and does a vampire-hiss of glee and then does the death lunge at his target: the couch, a cushion, the cat, my leg.... I would love to capture this all on camera, but ours is toast. Silly me - I was taking pictures in a sand box. Oops. Now the lens goes grrrrrrrittttttttt if you try to use it.

Thus is life, I guess!
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