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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