Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Until further notice....

Friday, May 8, 2009


Oscar rolled over!

He was playing in his gymini on May 6 for some tummy time and I was marvelling at how strong he is and how far he could push himself up and how high his head was off the ground and all of a sudden he looked up at me and rolled over.

Or fell.

Either way...

The next day, yesterday, I put him in his crib after a diaper change so I could go wash my hands. I laid him flat on his back and ducked out of the room. When I peaked in, he was laying on his left side! He had rolled over on his own.

It's a whole new ball game now.

He's able to travel!

Only around his crib.

But still.....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Language. It's a funny thing.

In my household, we know 3 and are about to know 4.

  1. English
  2. Cantonese
  3. French
  4. Sign language (going to learn for/with Oscar)
But that's not the type of language I'm talking about. I'm talking languaging. How you say things. What you say. The power behind the words you choose.

I've got to watch mine. My languaging. I've got to be really present and conscious. I've got a little one to consider. I want to be as clear and clean as I can be with my languaging while in his presence. Because I don't ever want him to think that something that is going on with me is his fault. Or is because of him. I'm sure that there will be tonnes that is, lol, but I'm specifically talking about two things that are going on with me right now.
  1. not sure about more babies
  2. my shitty self-image
#1: We're all in the know that I'm not sure about more babies. But it's VERY IMPORTANT to me that Oscar never ever ever ever thinks that it's because he was a bad kid, or a rotten baby, or difficult, or cranky, or it was an awful birth experience, or that he was unloved. Because it's none of those (especially the last two). It's simply because I'm afraid that I won't be as lucky the second time around. And then even THAT could lead him to believe it's his "fault", you know? So that's where I'm at with that.

#2: We're all in the know that I'm not happy with the way I look right now.

And it's more than just bad hair.

It's low self-image from the inside. It's bad body-image. I've never looked like this. I've got EXTRA SKIN. Ewwwww. I've got a dull, patchy complexion. I've got DIMPLES ON MY ASS. I've got a weird-lookin' belly button. I've got, yes, bad hair. And don't even get me started on my vagina. (Why the f*ck didn't anyone tell me just what happens with one's vagina after birth? WHY??????) And yes, I know, I had a baby 3 months ago, give it time and I'll lose the baby fat. I know all that.

But I'm still allowed not to like it.

And it has nothing to do with Oscar.

It just has everything to do with the fact that I've looked good my whole adult life, and now I don't. And I don't like it. And I'm not comfortable with it. I don't know how to be this size. I don't know how not to fit into clothes. I don't know how to be this size/shape/way. I know that I'll get back to normal. But right now I'm not, and I can't stand it. I look at recent pictures of myself and I just delete them. All of them. I'm just a hot mess.

I don't blame anything for it. It's just the way it is.

And I'm allowed not to like it. I'm allowed to not be comfortable with the way I look right now.

And so saying all of that, I have to make sure I watch the languaging around Oscar. Again, I would just be devastated if he ever ever ever thought that it was because of him. That my unhappiness with my body-image was even remotely because of him. I mean, I was up to 123lbs before getting pregnant and I was upset about it then... and there was nobody to blame but myself. At least with this weight and EXTRA SKIN, there's a reason for it... a natural reason... a beautiful reason. And it's supposed to be like this. As far as I'm concerned, there's a reason it takes so much time to get rid of it... it means I'm busy taking care of my son; too busy to worry about hitting the gym to work it off (who can get to a gym 4 or 5 times a week when exclusively breastfeeding and unwilling to use the on-site daycare?).

And yet it still doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Look at this face... how could he possibly be the blame for anything?


S.

Friday, May 1, 2009


PS: Anyone still bleeding 3 months after giving birth?

I'm still having daily discharge of sorts, but thismorning I woke up to bright red. Not a whole lot, but enough to make me go "hmmmm....". (Update: FYI: I'm breastfeeding so it can't be my period... can it?)

Please leave a comment with your experience or knowledge!

(PPS: It just dawned on me that this blog is a mommy group of sorts! Maybe I AM a mommy-group mom afterall, lol!)

Thanks.


Change.

In case you didn't notice, I'm not good with change. (Actually, I'm great with change, as long as it doesn't affect me....)

I mean come on, did you really think I'm that much of a bitch?

But change is coming here at Pregnant Stephanie. We're moving, we're changing, we're growing. It's not going to happen over night (phew! I need at least a few weeks to panic!), but it's going to happen.

I'm a mom. But that doesn't mean that I'm your type of mom. I'm not a mom's mom. I'm not a mommies group mom. I'm just me.

Stephanie.

Oscar's mom.

Flying by the seat of my pants.

And having a blast doing it.

So if you want to come along to our new abode, send me a tweet and I'll keep you in the loop.

All for now... it's family day so me and mine are going out on the town!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I am SO not a Mommy Group person. Not at all. Not whatsoever.

I'll make idle chit chat with you during the program/group/session, but I won't go to coffee afterwards. Just not me.

Talk about uncomfortable. They're super-nice gals, truly. Just not my cup of tea. One gal (who sounded like she was about to crack) kept popping over to the side of the table where I was, putting her hands on her knees, bending down to me and saying, "How are you? Are you doing alright? How's it going?" I'm thinking, Fuck lady... I'm just feeding my son and having a latte. Chill the fuck out. (And I'm about 10 years her elder as well.) I know she was just being nice and welcoming and making the rounds. I know that. But people are still allowed to get on one's nerves, and this particular person at this particular moment in time, did just that. (Hindsight's 20/20, but I'm thinking she is a kindergarden teacher or something....)

So then it was off to walk back to the rec centre to weigh the little guy. I stayed at the coffee shop to grab one to go, so I got to walk back alone with Oscar. In the sunshine. In the fresh air. With the sidewalk to myself instead of trying to share with 8 other women and strollers (and carry on conversations). All the while, God must have been chuckling, because as luck karma would have it, I got back to the rec centre with chai tea latte ALL OVER ME.

And then, as luck karma would have it, I put Oscar on the scale and he PEED ALL OVER ME, and he PEED ALL OVER THE BLANKETS, and he PEED ALL OVER THE VOLUNTEERS. It was hilarious!


Hurricane Oscar strikes again.

So maybe I'll try the coffee shop one more time after all....


We're hitting the Mommy & Me session at the rec centre thismorning for something to do. I wish they served tea and cookies, but anyway....

They have it every Wednesday. I don't usually go (went once when Oscar was 4 weeks old) as the topics are not really in line with where he is right now, developmentally, etc, but thismorning's topic is TBA. When I called the Public Health unit to see if they have one yet, she said it's an open forum.

I was so excited! That's where you learn the most - when other moms are asking questions and talking about their own experiences! I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure there will be a few questions about the Swine Flu as well (like, should we be stocking up on diapers and water, lol!) (ok, I was getting a little Art Bell Conspiracy Theory there...). All in all, I'm looking forward to it. To meeting other mom's as well. Not that I'm looking for new friends (I already have two), but it's nice to chat with these ladies and get to know them as I see some of them on Wednesday afternoons when I go to the weigh-in. And they all have kids older than me (well they did four weeks ago...) (ok, and they still do, but there are also new mom's with the most darling newborns!) so they know more than me and I can learn alot. And not feel like a retard or a bad mom for poking my son in the eye twice.

During the same diaper change.

Because they've all done that too.

Hopefully I'll meet a mom who's poked her son in the eye three times so I'll feel better about myself.

S.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How could I have not posted since Tuesday? I swear, it was yesterday that I wrote about crystals in his diaper.

I hear him waking up for his last feed of the night. Either that, or one of the cats has his rattle.

Have a bunch of drafts written, will peek through them this weekend and get something up soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Something I've been noticing since Oscar got his first shot is little tiny crystals when he pees. They're like little tiny bits of clear jello. He's not in any pain when he urinates, he doesn't seem to be in any sort of pain or discomfort at all, ever. No fever. Nothing.

Just these little clear jello-like crystals.

He's 2.5 months old... what's going on?

Anyone else experience this with little boys?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Although sometimes I think I should be under the ADHD or Mental Health sections....

S.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Reason #1 for not wanting another child....

I don't want to push my luck.

I'm hearing SO much about babies being born prematurely (severely), with serious problems, or dying just before or just after birth. This is going on all around me. It's both totally freaking me out and also making me grateful that Oscar is so healthy.

I'm hearing SO much about complications during pregnancy. This, too, is going on all around me. My pregnancy was amazing. It was beautiful. It was easy. It was enjoyable. It was the best time of my life (until the little dude was born that is!). BUT... my previous two pregnancies were not so amazing as they both ended in miscarriages.

I'm hearing SO much about fussy babies. Crying babies. Babies that don't sleep. And again, this is going on all around me. Oscar? He totally rocks. He's not fussy. He's doesn't cry (that much). He sleeps no problem (except for the late afternoon nap and the first evening nap. He doesn't like those). He's all smiles and giggles and joy. Even when he cries, he stops and smiles when he sees me. He's he love of my life. Would I be so in love if he cried all the time? Would I be so in love if he fussed constantly? Would I be so in love if he was up every two hours at night? Or just didn't sleep?

Yes.

But I bet I'd be frustrated and cranky.

S.

Oh yeah, and I never want to go through the recovery I went through EVER AGAIN.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Yet another milestone!

I can't get over how quickly they grow and change and develop.

Oscar is playing by himself now. And when I say "play" I mean he's amusing himself in that sometimes when he wakes up, he's happy just to lay there and look around and coo and caw and stare at his hands. He's so friggin' well adjusted.

I'm learning so much from him already.

S.

Monday, April 13, 2009


A few things that have been happening:

  1. Oscar loves to lay between us. Sometimes in the mornings when he's ready to get up but we're not, one of us will put him in the bed between us. He's happy as a clam, smiling, giggling, waving his arms and legs (ok, so part of the arms and legs waving around is still involuntary... but I'm SURE that part of it is also pure joy!). We have such a great time with him! It's a wonderful way to wake up, with this beautiful little creature giggling and cooing and smiling and just loving for no reason other than to love.... really, it's magical. We ARE a bit nervous that we may be creating a problem down the road, with a little boy that wants to crawl into bed with us constantly, but I look at it this way: he won't be doing it forever. Am I creating a monster here? Comments?

  2. Yesterday he grabbed onto a toy... on purpose! He realized for the first time (or maybe it's just the first time I've noticed) that his hand is attached to him and if he hits at something... it moves! And sometimes it even makes a noise (other than his mother screaming and jumping for joy)! I put him down in his gymini for the first time in a few days and if he didn't focus on one of the hanging toys right away and start swiping at it! I couldn't believe it. Things are changing THAT FAST! He's growing and learning and developing THAT FAST! A friend of mine wrote me a note saying, "someday soon you will lose that wonderful infant yummy closeness... just revel in it as that is the true love of motherhood..." So you know what? I'm revelling in it.

  3. Today I noticed something white protruding from his upper gums. Just like a little tiny round thing. He's only 9 weeks. It can't be a tooth pushing through. Can it? Is it more of the Epstein Pearls, only this time not on the top of his gums, but on the part where your teeth go? Epstein Pearls are supposed to disappear 1-2 weeks after birth. Oscar is 2 months along now.... And what are milk buds? Anyone have experience with this stuff?

  4. In his 6th week he strung together his giggles to make a laugh. It was awesome! He was actually laughing! It only lasted for about 2 seconds... but Oscar laughed! He found me funny (or funny looking....)!

Just wanted to get some things down in writing before I forgot. There's not enough room in his baby book for all of this stuff!

Thank god for blogger.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three important milestones today.

1. Oscar slept through the night last night!


He has in the past (like when he was brand spankin' new and very lethargic from the IV) (and again when we had the Thrush), but this time it was different. It was a milestone. It wasn't nerve wracking (at 5 weeks it's kind of scary) at 9 weeks. Well, then again, when I woke up at 6:30 I was all confused. I was wondering why I woke up on my own and not to a fussing baby. I couldn't remember if I had fed him during the night. When I realized I hadn't, total panic set in and I rolled over and put my hand on his chest to see if he was breathing! (The thought of SIDS terrifies me.) When I got a good look at him, I had to laugh. He was EXACTLY as I had put him down at midnight. Hadn't moved an inch I don't think. usually he manages to get out of the swaddle and has blankets and swaddles all askew and he's sideways in his bassinet. But there he was, asleep, a little angel, exactly as he had drifted off. He must have sensed me staring at him because he immediately woke up RAVENOUS and it was on!

2. Oscar was a total trooper when he got his shot today.

We got the 6-in-1 and will go back each month now for the PCV 7 and Men-C and then the boosters up until 6 months, and then continue (again, only one each visit) with the rest of the schedule. I can breathe a sigh of relief. God, I SO worry over things that don't exist/haven't happened yet. What the hell has happened to me? I never used to be this high strung. And it's been since WAY before Oscar came along. I hate being so off-guard. That's how it feels sometimes. But I digress... I'm just so proud of my little guy for being such a trooper today.

3. I had a great hair day.

Trust me, this is a milestone. Remember, I'm not doing well on the self-esteem or body-image scale these days, so I'll take any small amount of outside validation that comes my way. And this one I believed because it wasn't a friend (because they HAVE to tell you you are gorgeous and look fantastic), this was a gal at the McDonald's drive through window (HAD to get a sundae!!).

So there you have it. A great day. Two important milestones, one... not so much. An all around good day!

S.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tomorrow Oscar has a playdate with Darwin.

I'm nervous.

Not because our children will be playing together (as much as an 8-week old plays, lol!), but because it will be the first day I will not be wearing maternity pants. I am going maternity-waistline-less for the first time since August, 2008.

I'm in that awkward stage where I've got about 10 lbs to go. My mat clothes don't fit. My normal clothes don't fit. I have low self-esteem and horrendously low body image right now.

I have a flabby belly and dimples on my ass.

For the first time in my life.

And I find it quite disgusting.

Worth it:


But still disgusting. I loved my body before pregnancy. I loved it EVEN MORE during pregnancy. But after?

Not so much.

I just want to fit into a size two four again.

I'd even take a six for a little while.

As much as I love yoga, it does nothing for the waistline. And I'm not into Bikram's. I'd die.

And my stroller is not made for speed walking - poor Oscar, it'd feel like he was on an amusement park ride!

I know it's only been 8 weeks, but God, I just want my body back. (Except the boobs... I'll keep these ones thank you!!)

s.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm just reading The Vaccine Book as we're scheduled for Oscar's shots on April 9.


We're definitely vaccinating the little dude, but the aluminum talk scares me. So much stuff in such a little person's system all at once!

I'm going to call Burnaby Public Health tomorrow to chat with someone about what brand of vaccine they use (not that I know anything about that but can research more with that particular info), and what levels of aluminum re in them and if I really have to worry here in Canada.

Basically, I'm just going to ask a lot of questions and probably call them a few dozen times.

Talk to me... anyone here in Vancouver/Burnaby staggered the vaccinations of their little ones, and why?

This is Picachu the Sea Turtle. He's my little friend.


Hey...how did he get there? Picachu the Sea Turtle kind of startled me!


Sometimes I forget Picachu exists, even when I'm holding onto him.


Oh My God! I'm holding him! Picachu the Sea Turtle is in my hand!

In case you couldn't tell, just a few minutes ago, Oscar learned how to hold something in his hand. On purpose even!


We were having some activity time and I put Picachu in his hand to see what he'd do. He closed his little fingers around him, threw his arm up in the air, and then followed it with his eyes! He knew what was going on!

YAY! Oscar learned how to hold onto something!

Next up? Times table.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We're off to the rec centre today to weigh Oscar again. He's gaining, he's healthy, all is good, just want to tap off this whole gong show with a final weigh in on the same scale for consistency.


Grampi and Nanny are in town visiting him so we're hitting the mall afterwards instead of sludging around Gastown and Robson in the rain.


So... last Wednesday when I went to weigh the little dude, The Warden was there. Interesting to watch the dynamics play out around her.





See, when she came for her visit with us when we brought Oscar home, she was a bully. She walked in with attitude (you could actually see it in her aura when she was pulling up the street!). I call it Power Over, Donald calls it Justifying her Job.


Either way, she was a bully. She was using fear to communicate with us.


It sucked.


For a new mother just home from the hospital with her baby, not getting sleep and not feeling well (by now you know O's birth story and my shitty recovery), it was overwhelming enough just breathing, let alone have this monster show up at your door.


Because I'm in a bit of a cranky mood right now, I could call her a b.i.t.c.h, but I won't. I'll stick with the Bully and Power Over dynamic. Because that's all it boils down to.


Anyway, to make a long story longer... walking into the rec centre last week was an interesting time.


She was sitting there with her folders and clip board, all alone in the corner. Interesting for sure.


After I took Oscar off the scale I wanted to chat with one of the nurses about his gain and chart it. Of course, as the universe is comical, I was assigned her, the Warden.


She had the nerve to motion "two minutes".


For what? She wasn't with another client. There was nobody waiting for her. She was sitting alone in the corner with her folders and clip board doing nothing. And yet she made me wait for two minutes.


I thought it was kind of funny then. I mean, I was in no rush at all, I had all afternoon. So I plopped down beside her and started to feed Oscar. After her two minutes were up, she turned to me and I SO WANTED TO ASK HER TO WAIT FOR A FEW MINUTES, but really, what was the point?


She wasn't such a bully this time. Surrounded by moms and babies who are now knowing more of what they are doing and are now more confident in their rolls as mothers, she had no power.


She knows babies in general, on paper only.


Moms know their babies.


Yes, it was very interesting.


I don't like people like that. Bullies. I have a few in my life that I've tried unsuccessfully for years to get rid of. Must mean I have more to learn from them I suppose....


Sigh.


S.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Update!

Not only has Oscar discovered his hands... he's discovered his own face! He spied himself in a mirror two days ago when we were playing and having some tummy time and he was transfixed. It was hilarious! I had such a proud mom moment and then panicked. Totally panicked.

My little boy is growing up.

So today for our afternoon activity time we played in front of the mirror. Not only did he stare at himself, but he stared at me... he totally recognized me in the mirror! I wasn't sure if he would or not (my cats don't) (not that I'm comparing my child to one of my cats) (but I totally am), but he did and he smiled and giggled and laughed and it was delightful!

He's also discovered Chicken. Not the food, the cat:

When she comes over to say hello, he catches sight of her and totally follows her with his eyes. Ling Ling on the other hand, won't really come close yet.

On another note.... I had my 6-week post partum check up yesterday. I'm apparently all healed. There is a scar though where I tore (or was cut. I'm pretty sure I was cut as they knew I would tear. I must ask Donald if he remembers). I don't care about a scar down there at all. It's a non-issue.

Then she asked the magic question, "Next baby?"

"No next baby. No baby. Not another. Not ever. No way."

And I started to well up!

I made a joke and said that the amnesia hormones haven't hit me yet. But then came clean with her and said it was hell, recovery was a bitch, and I never want to go through that pain again. EVER. (I feel as though my body failed me a bit. I have always bounced back from everything, but the hell that was my recovery? Not so easy to bounce back from. It's not just the baby fat. It's not just the ugly belly (although my bellybutton is turning back into an innie). It's not just the shitty post-partum hair. It's not only the uncontrollable gas. It's not the incontinence. It's not the hemorrhoids or the stitches. It's not the weird shape of my post-baby body or being in that weird stage of not fitting into anything and somebody making the comment about how "that shirt is ok for wearing around the house...". It's all of it. But especially the physical pain of recovery. The first four weeks. Pure hell. Pure pain and discomfort. I really should have paid attention to my intuition when I said no visitors please... because it wasn't just going to be about bonding as a family - it was also soon to be about physical pain and recovery.) (I love the visitors we did have over and I'm very grateful that they were so close to us (like family) that I wasn't embarrassed to be witnessed in such pain and sitting on my hemorrhoid cushion!) So no, I don't ever want to go through that again. And the birth experience is still so new and fresh in my mind that I remember it all like it was yesterday. Again, so no, I never want to go through that physical pain again. (It's kind of like quitting smoking. It's so difficult and so hard. And so hard on those around you. And the headaches and withdrawal symptoms...why would one want to go back to smoking when it is pure hell to quit?)

So we got chatting. She mentioned that 2nd births are usually much easier and quicker and less complicated (and less interventions needed) than first timers. I said I don't care. She then made a great point that really resonated with me. That it would be sad if I made the decision not to have more babies based on my experience this time. Based on the pain of this birth. Based on fear of it happening that way again. And would I be interested in speaking with someone to help with the birth trauma so I could make a clearer decision about another baby, NOT based on this experience only.

I'm always one for healing. Always. I want to be as healed and as clear as I can be.

So yes, count me in.

So I'm going to be seeing someone at the reproductive mental health clinic to work through this trauma. I'm also going to be seeing someone to help clear it on an energetic level so it really will be cleaned up. So I'll be able to make a decision without wearing the lens of fear and pain that I'm seeing through right now.

And it all feels right and good. I'll keep you posted.

Truth be told, when I look at Oscar and he grins up at me, I completely forget the pain.

And then I remember.

And then he pukes on me.

And grins.

And I forget the pain again.

s.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oscar has discovered his hands!

And I don't mean by mistake when one lands in his mouth... I mean I caught him holding it in front of his face and staring at it.

At least, I think he was staring at it... one of his eyes is still crisscrossy so he might have actually been looking at me. Or past me. Or at a piece of lint. Or at nothing.

But it LOOKED like he was staring at his hand....

s.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We've graduated from breastfeeding school!


Went to the clinic yesterday to follow up with O's thrush and weight gain.

He's gained properly, thank god! Now we only have to offer him 1oz of formula and monitor his weight gain over the next few weeks and that's that. He might need a bit of supplementation for a long time, or he might not. Good times.

And the thrush?

He didn't have it. He has Epstein Pearls. Jesus. So he had a week of meds without needing them. Just great.

On another note... something very cool a friend told me: When you're changing your child, the smell of his poo does something to your system (whether you can actually smell it or not) and your body changes the milk to be more of what your child needs.

All my the smell of his poop!

Groovy.

I love how the body is a mystery.

Another mystery that I'd prefer remain a mystery?

Happy Pi Day!

s.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breaking News!

Oscar smells like baby!

Not like just any baby, and not really that baby smell so to say.

But he smells like Oscar.

He has a little baby smell that's not throw up or formula poo.

It's all his own.

Finally!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How's this for laziness?

See latest blog post below in red.

And now, one for the road:


S.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alot to catch up on but too tired. Went out ALL DAY with Oscar and we're both zonked.

Except I'd sleep for 10 hours and he'd only sleep for 3!

In a nutshell:

  1. Have an appointment at Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic tomorrow morning. They should help with the thrush issue. Phew. Update: Oscar was prescribed Diflucan too.

  2. Oscar has lost a bit of weight due to bottle feeding for the 10 days that I had to pump one side due to the thrush and the blocked ducts. Pumping was not getting as much milk from the breast as if he had been breastfeeding from it, so he was basically getting less food. So he's one month old and only at his birth weight. I was HORRIFIED! But... Update: I'm still HORRIFIED that I didn't realize he was losing weight. Horrifed. Each day now I look him over to see if I can see anything. Any dehydration. Or, on the opposite side of the coin, any signs that he might be getting plumper. Just for a sign of anything. But I'm no doctor. I'm just a horrified first-time mother that didn't realize she was STARVING HER CHILD. Okay Okay, not really starving him... still, he's my first (and possibly only) and I feel horrendous that I didn't know he wasn't getting enough milk from the pumping.

  3. We're supplementing with formula to get his weight up. That's the important thing right now, to make sure he gains weight. So we're supplementing for the next week until we see what he's gained at the next doctor's appointment. Jesus Christ. The poor little dude. So even though he's draining each breast at each feed, we still have to supplement to get that weight on, and get it on FAST. Update: Formula stinks. Seriously. It smells like metal. And tastes like metal. And makes baby poop stink. And runnier a bit. And green.

  4. The good news about all this is that he has NO TROUBLE at all going from breast to bottle and back to breast. He's established at breastfeeding so there is no nipple confusion at all. He's the breastfeeding monster. Update: And now that the thrush (mine) is clearing up, I'm feeding from both sides and totally enjoying it again. I only have a few stabbing pains up my back and neck now. And not every time. I love it again! So happy I stuck it out.

  5. Which is also why I was ok with using a pacifier after I didn't want to and rebelled against it. I had nightmares about nipple confusion... but when I researched more, I finally read the words "once breastfeeding is established..." and it dawned on me that he's great at it and so the pacifier has become my best friend when I have to have a shower or prepare lunch. Phew #2. Update: Just read the latest over at Wave The Stick. VERY funny.

  6. Will have more info after visiting clinic tomorrow about the thrush.

  7. Going to bed now.

  8. Goodnight.

S.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oscar's Birth Story. Part Three.

(Part One. Part Two.)

Midnight was right around the corner. I knew that we were going to have our baby at any time now.

Any time!

My God.

My whole life was about to change. I was overwhelmed. Completely overwhelmed.

I had spent the last 41 weeks researching pregnancy and what to expect with that and with the changes in the body. I had researched what to buy in advance to be prepared for the arrival of the little guy. I had gotten the chemical cleaners out of the house. I had researched the use of pacifiers, studied up on circumcision, started to learn about the aluminum in vaccinations, learned what is the best crib to buy and why not to get a change table.

But nothing could prepare me for this time in my life. That I was about to birth my baby. About to bring a life into this world.

I got so emotional. I felt sick to my stomach (and I don't think it was the epidural talkin'!), I just held Donald's hand and stared at him.

And promptly fell asleep.

Seriously, I completely dozed off.

10 minutes later I woke up, asked for some juice and a cold cloth for my forehead. I wanted to be WIDE AWAKE for this one, let me tell ya'.

Like on our wedding day. The only thing that really mattered to me was the church part. I wanted to make sure I was fully aware and conscious and present for our vows. And I was - I remember every single detail of those moments as though I'm living them again right now. That's how I wanted to be during my little boy's birth.

Present.

Conscious.

It was time to push.

Selena talked us through various positions (wild positions! My God, I never would have imagined!) and I tried them all. She had to coach me as to where exactly to focus my push on (can you believe that?! It's quite funny now, but at the time I was terribly embarrassed - I didn't know where to focus my pushing! Selena piped up, "Of course you don't - you've never done it before. That's why I'm here." And I immediately felt more at ease and was able to relax and just go for it.)

She was a gem. She totally rocked. It was so nice and intimate, just the three of us in the delivery room. I had a wicked headache by this time though. And it was stealing my attention away from the birth. All I could feel was my head pounding. It felt like the worse hangover headache ever in the history of the world. It was, suddenly, all I could focus on. That damned headache. And whenever the cold cloth fell off my forehead, which was every four seconds, I'd ask for it to be put back on.

And not always very politely.

And Donald would put it back on.

And Selena would coach me in pushing.

And I would push.

And the cloth would fall off.

And I'd lose my focus.

And I'd get cranky.

Until I can't remember what happened to the cloth. It just disappeared. Or my focus returned. Or I realized that my baby boy was *this* much closer to being on the "outside"!

Either way, we pushed and pushed and got into different positions and pushed some more.

My husband was so strong for me. Coaching me along with Selena. And it was so nice when she had to step out the odd time, for just him and I to be there alone, pushing, breathing, focusing, birthing our baby boy!

Those were amazing moments that I'll cherish forever. Like the moments we said our vows.

Donald stayed "up above" with me. He told me later on that one of the things that kept him focused was watching Selena's face; her reaction each time a push brought Oscar further down. Apparently she lit right up. She was so encouraging. So amazing.

Another gal that was born to do this.

It's now been two hours of solid pushing.

She went to get the OB for an assessment.

The two hours of pushing, his position in the birth canal, married with the previous 55 hours of labour, was cause for concern.

Apparently.

He wasn't far enough down and they didn't want me to push anymore. The "norm" is 2 to 2.5 hours before there's an intervention - in my case anyways. I was shocked. I didn't think that there would be a time limit of 2 hours on pushing. But I see why. Now.

Dr. Yu was fantastic. She said, in a nutshell, that mom and baby were tired. We had spent 55 hours trying to get to this point, and we were both too tired to push any more.

She said we were looking at forceps or c-section. And she really wanted to avoid c-section. As did we. But we also wanted to avoid forceps!

But not meant to be.

We asked her if we could push another 1/2 hour and that's what we did. We knew we wouldn't push enough for him to come out, but at least we could help to bring him down a little more.

Next thing I knew, the army came in. The wonderful people who surrounded us to bring Oscar here safely. I was frozen me even more (I was all good until I saw the stirrup-like things for my legs. Jesus Christ.), and given a few moments for it to take effect.

Dr. Yu was all set. She asked me to push. I looked at Donald. I pushed with everything I had in me. And out his head came! And I could feel it! I pushed one more time and his shoulders came out. And I could feel that too! He was here! And I felt it! (I was so happy that I got to feel it, that I could feel him being born, even just a little) (trust me... I only wanted to feel it a little!). Donald jumped up and said he's here and for me to look and there he was, they were lifting him up. He was huge! And he was so long! That was my son down there!

And then he started to cry. And then I started to cry. I totally freaked out. That's my baby! Oh my God. That's my baby. That's our Oscar. It was magical. I was looking at this little being who had been inside of me for 41 weeks and here he was, in front of me. He made it. We made it.

He was COVERED in meconium. Absolutely covered. They promptly placed him on my chest and then realized he had swallowed a bit of it and took him off to the side to suction. They work so fast! All hands on deck. It was amazing to watch really, in hindsight, how they operate. It's like a ballet. They work so well together and so in sync. Just awesome.

However, at the time it was terrifying. My little guy had to be suctioned. Again and again and again. Over and over and over. And given oxygen. But in between all this suctioning, he was placed back on my chest twice!

Until he started to spit up brown frothy stuff and they'd take him away again, to the side, to suction and check on.

Donald did manage to get quite a few photos though, of him being weighed (8.4 lbs!) and measured (21 3/4 inches!) and of him on my chest.

Not only did he swallow a bit of meconium, but his little lungs were filled with amniotic fluid. Apparently during a natural birth alot of the fluid gets squeezed out of him when he's being squeezed out through the birth canal. And also alot of fluid comes out with their crying. (Who knew?!). But not so in this case. Not so for Oscar.

The pediatrician was telling me all of this, I think, or she told Donald and he told me later. Either way, next thing I knew, he was being taken to the nursery for care.

Donald went with him.

I saw the placenta in a container and fell asleep crying.

Going into this, from the get go, I was ok with whatever had to happen during delivery as long as it meant my little guy would be ok. That he'd make it here. That we'd both be safe. I was in no way, however, prepared for the level of trauma I'd feel seeing my son in an emergency situation. Nor how alone I'd feel, how utterly alone in the world I'd feel as I watched him being wheeled out of the room and away from me. If I was going through this, I thought, imagine how alone HE must feel. Coming into this world in such an abrupt manner, having to be suctioned, taken away from his mom so quickly... that all made my trauma that much worse. I hated that fact that he was alone. Yes, his dad was with him, but for 41 weeks my heartbeat would comfort him, and now that he needed comfort more than ever, that precious sound wasn't there. It was awful. It was horrendous. The only thing that kept me sane was the fact that he was getting the medical care that he so needed. And that his Dad was with him and talking to him and holding his little hand when he could.

As I'm writing this, Oscar is lying in his Amby next to me, snoring away, happy as a clam and healthy as a horse. And I make sure we have lots of skin-on-skin time. And he still falls asleep on my chest to the sound of my heartbeat. My little guy. He made it.

But the trauma was far from over. The emotional trauma was just setting in. We still had DAYS to go.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

So just imagine that 24 hours out of TWENTY-FOUR HOURS it feels as though you are being cut by a few HUNDRED razor blades on your NIPPLES.

That's what I'm going through.

It hurts so much I'm walking around crying. EVEN WHEN I'M NOT BREASTFEEDING.

So I'm hunkered down for a few days, hiding from everyone, probably not going to answer the phone or check email or blog. Too Much Pain.

Went to BC Women's again thismorning to the lactation consultant. Had a different lady today - she told me to stop both the topical and liquid Nystatin as it's simply not strong enough for the Thrush anymore and to get Miconazole instead (Which is pretty much Monistat). Put it on before and after feeding (apparently he won't spit this up as he doesn't ingest it or whatever) (can't really explain much right now as I'm in too much pain to think), like I was originally doing with the Nystatin.

If I don't see an improvement in 48 hours, I'm to pick up a prescription for Diflucan (Fluconazole). That's the big-assed pill you get when you have a yeast infection... it's pulling out the big guns. No messing around.

I'm calling my GP tomorrow to see if she will call it in for me to have on reserve.

This has just got to end. I can't believe the pain. Let alone the time it takes to feed my little guy.

20 minutes right breast (seriosuly, like clockwork he pulls off after 20 minutes most of the time), two seconds to gulp down the pumped milk (usually about 20-30 ml only), then 20 minutes back on right breast. Then 30-40 minutes to burp, clean, change, and try to sooth to sleep. Then 30 mintues to pump 10 ml for crying out loud. Then I get to sleep for 1/2 hour and it starts all over.

All in a day's work as a mom I suppose! And it's only just starting. Wait till he starts to drive!!!! :)
Once this clears up everything will seem more hopeful as I won't have to pump, which takes SO MUCH TIME (also have to sterilize everything afterwards - the pumping and maintenance takes about 40 mintues which I'll be incredibly grateful to get back!), just right now it's extremely stressful because of the blinding pain.

Oy.

S.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


That picture is a much prettier thrush than the one I've got going on. Well, the only site of it is in Oscar's mouth and it's not that bad, but still.....

So, just how long does it take to get rid of thrush anyways? I've been on the meds since Friday but my nipples are still on FIRE and the white spots are still all over Oscar's gums and tongue. They haven't lessened at all.

Here's the scoop on the medication:

I was told by the lactation consultant to put the Nystatin topical cream on nipples and areola before and after each feeding until symptoms clear (plus 2 more days).

I also have to give Oscar 1 ml of the liquid Nystatin four times a day after nursing (which he loves).

BUT, he's spit up globs of the Nystatin cream twice now and it's making me very nervous. Seriously, it comes up in a big GLOB. A big yellow glob.

The doctor's prescription noted to only apply the cream twice a day after a feeding, so that's what I'm going to do to avoid my little guy having it sitting in his stomach. It just can't be that good for him if it's sitting there in a pile until he throws it up.

I'm going to see a community nurse in the morning (and hopefully meet other new moms!) and will ask her what she thinks. I'm also going back to the lactation consultant on Thursday so I'll bring it up during our visit as well. After all, her directions for the remedy and application are on BC Women's Hospital letterhead, so they've got to be on to something, but I really would like to know why they recommend one method and my GP recommends another.

I want it to clear up, and soon but I don't want to see Oscar sick with the stuff.

Any suggestions?

In the meantime, Donald has just brought me back some cabbage to put in my bra to ease some of the soreness and burning. I shall report back.


S.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar's Birth Story. Part Two.
(Go to Part One.)

So I had the morphine shot and was in and out (mostly in) of sleep until about 3am or so. This is now February 5. I woke up at one point and saw Donald making is "bed" on the floor and heard a bit of another birth (horrifying: the part I heard was, "Get this fucking thing out of me." It scared me because it just sounded so violent.)

Michelle and a new resident, Dr. Dunn, came in to check on me. The cervidil was removed, my cervix was checked and I was now dilated 2 centimetres! Success! A bit of sadness that it was only 2 cm, also a bit of relief that I didn't really feel any of it. Phew.

Dr. Dunn (nice doctor - very technical but also personable) inserted another cervidil and it didn't hurt this time. I was all tense ready for the discomfort, but there was none. She wasn't yanking me around in there and twisting and turning. Or, if she was, she had more practice.

And much better bedside manners than the previous resident that was monitoring me. She had been nice and everything, but was not really, uh, gentle.

Anyway, 2nd cervidil in and back to sleep for a while, until the contractions started again and Donald brought me Timmies:



Donald then went for lunch and we had a new nurse on... Sarah. She was delightful! She also teaches a prenatal class that my girlfriend took, Belly to Baby. I was so excited to hear that this RN was the same gal. My girlfriend was SO hoping she'd be on my team in the hospital. And she was! Donald and I both just loved her. She has a magic touch. And she's funny as hell. I was in great hands, once again. I could rest easy knowing that I was being looked after in the best way possible. I had no worries.

Sarah rocked so much that she found me a room to shower. I tell you, it felt sooooooo good.

Until the contractions started again.

Fast and furious. From 0 to 60. Just. Like. That.

Ouch.

I somehow made it back to my room in one piece, grabbed the birthing ball, and prayed for Donald to get back from having a bite to eat before I died.

And he did!

He walked in to this:


That was it. It was now about noon I think. I just couldn't do it freestyle any more. One second I was saying No to Sarah for the drugs and the next second, right now, I was hollering for her on the little bell thing. And she entered the room like an angel. I swear I heard harps and trumpets! I told her I didn't think I could do it anymore. Just. Too. Much. Pain.

That was it. That's all it took. She was in motion. I was moved to Delivery Room #8 (we had the number 8 all around us during this time. It was bizarre. It means fortune apparently. Just thought I'd mention it...), and the IV and epidural were administered right away.

Ahhhhh.

Here's how good I felt about the decision:


And just so you know, the epidural doesn't hurt at all. They put a little prior freezing in, which stings for a second, but the epidural? No pain. At all. The worse part of it was AFTER the fact when they are taking it out.

Let me rephrase... taking it out doesn't hurt either, but it's removing the huge bandage that has it stuck to your back, THAT hurts. You know, the whole ripping a band aid off thing. And it doesn't hurt that bad really, but it just goes to show...

So, epidural in, I'm relaxed and feel no pain. Donald was watching the monitor and a huge contraction just hit and I felt nothing. I was smiling and talking.

Ahhhh. I'm in good hands.

Oxytocin drip on the go now too. Then my water was broken (holy cow... talk about the biggest pair of chopsticks known to man!).



And now?

Sarah's shift was over. Boo hoo. But she had told us that she'd try to find us a rockin' nurse, and in walked Selena! My god, they were good to us. These are three ladies that I'd love to have lunch with downtown. Lunch and martinis. We were so impressed with them and just fell in love with them all! Delightful gals, wonderful nurses, and great human beings.

So, back to the labour... I hope I have the details right, but I think they put the oxytocin drip on 6 right away and that got the contractions going a bit more, but when they moved it up to 8, Oscar's heart rate dropped so they stopped and were monitoring very closely. They tried it again a bit later but it dropped once more, so back to 6 it was.

As 6 wasn't doing much (I think it's 6 ml they're talking about to get the contractions moving faster and closer together) and 8 seemed to put distress on Oscar, they started talking about inserting something through my cervix, past his head and down his side. I can't for the life of me remember what this was but it sounded horrendously invasive. But, if it was necessary, it was necessary.

But it wasn't!

When Selena was on a break and I was napping the nurse had put the oxytocin drip up to 10 and Oscar was fine. And things were a movin' and a shakin'. Everything started to come together. I was dilated to 4 now. It was about 8pm or so.

Next thing it's 11pm and I'm dilated 9 cm.

Holy Shit.

I'm about to have a baby.

Selena called in the OB and the rest of the team for me to meet everyone. They were wonderful. The room was set up in no time. Donald was by my side. At midnight we started to push.

Everything up to this point felt surreal. More like a process. I had to remove myself from it all, in a way, to preserve my sanity, all the while staying connected to my son. And telling him what was going on every step of the way. Feeling that heart connection (also to preserve my sanity!). But I couldn't allow myself to really FEEL the weight of what was happening. I'd be a crying hysterical mess if I did. Just the trauma wrapped around it all (of the induction and the poking and prodding and his heart rate dropping and and and....). It was difficult to stay grounded, but I had to, so it was easy as well. Bizarre, hey? This was about a human being that needed to be safe and cared for so he'd be born ok. When you take it down to that primal level, staying grounded was easy. When I focussed on HIM. When I focussed on ME, it was another story. That's when the panic would have set in.

But now? We were about to have a baby! Oscar was about to be born! Things were happening, not passively but actively! I was present, I was involved, my husband was ready and holding me and encouraging me and this was our last few moments, EVER, as "just us". In a very short while, our whole life would change. So I stepped out of my grogginess and jumped in with both feet.

Oscar was on his way.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Oscar doesn't smell.

I mean, he sure does when he poops, and his head does after he spits up (boy does it ever), but he doesn't have that baby smell.

I was looking forward to that smell. My friend's babies all have that smell. Why not Oscar? Where does the baby smell come from?

Or is it simply the Johnson & Johnson that makes babies smell, and Oscar doesn't because I don't use those products?

What's going on? Why doesn't my baby smell like baby?
S.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I've been having a horrendous time breastfeeding. Sore nipples galore. Like, horribly sore. Especially one side. But I was pushing through, somehow, until thismorning.

It was the 4am feed that pushed me over the edge.

Usually, the pain passes in a few minutes. Not this time. Oscar's little bottom lip just grazed my nipple and I screamed out in pain. And the tears started.

Mine, not Oscar's.

And didn't stop until I was on my way to the lactation specialist at BC Women's at 10:30.

It was just awful. I knew the latch was ok, in my heart I knew it. Everything was a go. He was set up well. He was latched well. So why the pain? And especially on the one breast? I mean, seering, seething pain that was so incredible it actually ran up my left arm and down my back.

That sort of pain.

Why can't I get this breastfeeding thing down? The latch seems ok, why can't I do it? Why can't I feed my son properly? I'm a bad mother. I suck. I'm a wimp. Everyone else does it, why can't I? Why the pain? What's wrong with me?

So that was it. I called my girlfriends for help. One of them recommended that I call the Lactation consultant at BC Women's and let them know about the pain and that I was ready to throw in the towel and hopefully they'd get me in to see them thismorning.

And they did.

And it was a success.

I have thrush.

Me and Oscar both have thrush.

I'm so grateful that it's something. That we can put our finger on it and treat it and I can continue to breastfeed.

I was *this* close to ending it all and turning to pumping & bottle feeding, that's how bad the pain was. And that's saying something as I was so looking forward to exclusive breastfeeding.

And I still can! I am feeding Oscar from the right breast only for now, pumping the left and feeding Oscar that milk through a bottle. Putting a topical cream (antifungal) on the right breast before feeding so he gets it too, and putting it on again (both breasts though) after feeding so I continue to get the medication. And, Oscar gets even more in liquid form after feeding via a q-tip soaked in it and rubbed all over his lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, basically all throughout his mouth.

And he's such a trooper that he doesn't mind. He doesn't mind the ointment on my nipple, the liquid in his mouth, he took to the bottle no problem and continues to enjoy the breast.

He's such a good boy. I'm blessed really. I can handle two weeks of this. My little guy is thriving and I will again too.

You have no idea how relieved I am that it's only a yeast infection and not the end of breastfeeding.

Phew.

One thing I do wish, however, is that the hospital would have let me know that the antibiotics I received during delivery may lead to thrush and what to look out for. That would have saved me alot of tears and terror over the last 24 hours.

S.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oscar's Birth Story. Part One.

I don't know how many "parts" to this story there will be. Could be three only, as we were in the hospital for three days leading up to his birth. Could be four or five parts, as there are many instances in between that deserve telling. Could be a few more as there are also a few moments days following his birth (while still in hospital) that need to be mentioned in order to do him (and me) justice. And may aid in healing and clearing for both mom and son.

It wasn't an easy ordeal. Oscar's actual birth and the following days were quite traumatic for both of us, and for Dad too, to see his wife in such pain - the physical pain of, well, labour, induction and delivery, forceps, episiotomy and hemorrhoids, as well as (and much more painful) the emotional pain of being separated from her child for what seemed like an eternity.

It was joyous though, I mean, my son was born. He made it! He's healthy. He's safe. He has 10 fingers and 10 toes (although his big toe is so HUGE I think it counts as two). And looking back, it was a beautiful experience, bringing a child into the world. A little being. A glorious creature (and such a gorgeous boy!)

So off we go with Oscar's Birth Story....

On February 3 we had an appointment at BC Women's for an ultrasound an monitoring as we were officially one week overdue.

First up was the monitoring. A fetal heart monitor was strapped to my belly to hear his heartbeat. It was all good. It was in the 130's. I had to click a button when I felt him move - they wanted to count the movements within a certain time frame (an hour I think). So that was all good as well. No problems, all was well. (Although Donald and I did find that the nurse who was working with us treated him like a moron. Trying to talk all "sporty" to him... comparing the uterus to a football, then something else to a baseball game, just ridiculous and rather insulting actually. She must be used to men/husbands/partners who aren't as involved or as knowledgeable maybe.).

Next up was the ultrasound. What they found with this was that the amniotic fluid was low. "Moderately" low. Enough to get another opinion and send us to admitting to chat with the OB on call.

I was more curious than nervous. I knew that if there was a panic, we were in the right place!

Off we went to admitting and were greeted by a fantastic nurse, Selena. (who factors into Oscar's birth much later...)

Now, Donald and I are HUGE on customer service and so the way Selena was attentive to us and popped her head out into the waiting room to tell us she was heading for lunch and that Dr. Rosengarden would be out after he finishes up with a c-section meant the world to two people who weren't quite sure what came next. We fell in love with her then and there!

Next up, Dr. Rosengarden came out and met us and off we went behind curtain #3. He explained that they weren't overly concerned with rushing an induction that very day because the fluid was only moderately low and that we could wait until our scheduled induction on Friday Feb 6 OR, we could be admitted the next day to start the induction. He checked my cervix and it was shut tight (I do believe it was because I could hear a woman labouring behind curtain #2.... but I digress.)

Donald and I took a few minutes to ourselves and opted for being admitted the following day, Wednesday Feb 4.

At this point Oscar was safer on the outside than the inside. And two additional days of stressing would be worse on all of us.

So we went home, repacked our hospital bag, ordered take out, snuggled down for the night knowing that it would be our last night at home as just us. At about 8:00pm Donald ran to Safeway to grab something. I was curled up on the couch reading.

And I had a contraction.

At first I didn't know what it was, but 15 minutes later another one came. And it hurt. And 15 minutes later another one came.

And it hurt bad.

I was going to call Donald to come home when he walked through the door. We waited and watched for about another hour before we admitted to ourselves that I was actually in labour. Finally! Labour started naturally! YAY!

OUCH!

YAY! It was starting! I might not need to be induced!

They got more frequent, stronger, and closer together. By the time they were 6 minutes apart, we were completely convinced we'd be in the hospital by midnight. So we got ready:



(All dressed and ready to go. One of the last pictures of me pregnant.)


And then they slowed down.

To 12 minutes apart. 15 minutes apart. 20 minutes apart. So we got undressed and crawled into bed. I managed to get snippets of 10 minutes of sleep in between contractions (it's pretty stressful just waiting for the next one!), and next thing you know it's morning and the hospital called and wanted us to come in for the induction.

So off we went, contractions speeding up again to about 10 minutes apart.

We got there at about 10am, were admitted and in our temporary room by 10:30am, consulted with the induction nurse, then the Resident, then my OB popped in to chat with me about what to expect that day.

I thought I'd have my little guy in my arms by the end of the day! Boy, was I wrong. I had researched induction and all the drugs they use and options there are... but I neglected to research what to expect on the physical side of things, and the time frame.

I'm glad I went into it blind in that respect.

Really glad.

At noon, Dr. Yin (Resident) came in and inserted the cervidil.


Not a pleasant experience. AT ALL. It's a wafer-like thing with a string. It felt like she was wrapping the string around my cervix for crying out loud - and she may have been (according to the pic?) - whatever she was doing was really uncomfortable (only to find out later that it doesn't have to be so - or not nearly as bad anyway).

And then the waiting game started.

And the waiting game was over very very quickly as contractions started very soon following. At first slowly, only a few an hour, but they were so incredibly painful. I couldn't even open my eyes. Donald turning the pages of the newspaper was driving me over the edge. And then a friend popped in and when I asked for quiet and she started whispering (hello.. quiet means QUIET to a woman in labour, lol!!!), THAT was driving me over the edge. I think Donald must have motioned for her to shhhhh until the contraction was over, because then he was describing to her what I had been going through with each contraction so far. By now it was about 5:00pm. I laid there for another few hours until a FANTASTIC new nurse, Michelle, came on.

Delightful gal. We both just loved her. She was born to do this. She gave us options to move around, walk the halls, use the birthing ball, do whatever I wanted to ease the pain. My OB popped in again before she left for the day offering me drugs to ease the pain.

I turned them down.

Until I didn't.

So off Donald and I went, roaming the halls, listening to all the women either in labour or actually giving birth.

Totally freaky.

Walking around brought on more contractions. Fast and Furious. Ouch Ouch Ouch. We went back to our room and tried out the birthing ball. Michelle popped in to see if I wanted any meds to ease the pain, and once again I declined.

Until I didn't.

So the only thing that seemed to help at this point was leaning over the ball and rocking/swaying my hips a bit.

Until that didn't help any more. Until the contractions were every 3 minutes. Until it felt like my lower body was being ripped in half.

By now it was 9pm. Cervidil had been in for 9 hours. I was in so much pain my knees were buckling. We called for Michelle and she called for Dr. Yin who checked my cervix. I was dilated! YAY!

ONE FREAKIN' CENTIMETRE!

All that pain and I was only 1 cm. Oh my God.

I felt like a failure. A total failure. I mean, if I was screaming for morphine at 1 cm and I still had NINE to go... what does that say about my pain threshold? That I'm a wimp? And here I thought I always had a high threshold for pain? WTF? I seriously felt like a failure.

Until Michelle, bless her, explained induction to me. That contractions were being forced on me, on my body. That the pain of inductions was 3 times that of natural labour (don't get pissed off now, I'm not minimizing natural labour, just telling it like it is, medically, as it was told to me).

When she explained the process and what the cervidil was doing to my body and at the force it was happening, I was back to being myself and got over the failure bit. I felt more like a trooper for lasting that long without drugs. But that was short lived as I realized it was unnecessary and I might be in this pain for another 39 hours. The next contraction felt like the end of my life so I hollared for Michelle and was administered a shot of morphine and gravol and slept for a few hours. (BTW? Getting a needle in the butt was funny in a painful way. I felt like a cartoon strip. Go figure.)

That was pretty much Day 1. Donald and I survived Day 1 of induction. Thanks in a great part to our nurse, Michelle. And our patience with each other and his encouragement of me.

I've never had to lean on someone so much in my life. To be able to just let go and not worry about judgement as I got cranky (turning pages of newspaper!!), was completely new to me. To totally let go and just be how I needed to be, let the organic process happen with my emotions, have someone as patient and strong as Donald to hold me up when I felt like I was falling... is the ultimate of unconditional love. We could have moved mountains that day, I swear. Nobody else mattered. It was just me and him bringing our baby into this world.

S.

(Read Part 2)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So I thought Oscar just hated diaper changes, but we noticed tonight that his bum is getting red.

Seems to be the start of diaper rash.

He just screams when we put him on the change table, let alone try to clean his bum.

Oh my heart.

Any suggestions? More baths? Less baths? Diaper rash cream when butt wet or dry?

We're pretty much doing what "they" tell us to do (air dry, diaper cream, soft cloth (no wipes), etc) but are looking for any advice, wisdom and/or remedies.

Help!

S.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day.

Donald and I usually celebrate on Feb 15; we find today to be SO overrated. Long waits at the restaurants, COLD FOOD, over-priced flowers, the list goes on. So we've made Feb 15 our day.

I'm thinking steamed ginger chicken from our favourite take-out joint and just basking in our home with our new family.

It doesn't get better than that.

***
Something I've discovered about newborns? When they pass gas it feels like a volcano erupting and I swear they can hear him in Whistler and smell him in Nunavut.

S.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Seriously.... how cute is this dude?


Oscar in his Amby. Think we're going to keep to use in the living room area. He likes it more than the bassinet.

Closer up in his Amby.

In daddy's arms. No matter how tired I am at 3:00am and just want to crawl right back into bed when feeding and changing is over, I look into his eyes and I just kiss him and kiss him and chat with him and go on and on and on and I no longer feel tired in those moments. I mean, just LOOK at him!

Milk drunk. We laughed our heads off as he slipped off the nipple and ended up in this pose. I'm thinking a child prodigy model.

The little dude was up alot last night. He's one hungry monkey! So today will be trying to catch up on sleep while he naps, and while Donald is off buying a shelving unit for his room. We've got so much stuff and nowhere to put it. For example... where in the world do you store pacifiers you aren't planning on using but want to keep as a "just in case"? And same with the teether things that you stick in the freezer. You know, the plastic ones? I'm not comfy putting something plastic in my sons mouth (unless it's clearly marked BPA-free, phthalate-free, etc) (and not even then really), but want to hang on (to the BPA-free ones!) just in case a frozen washcloth doesn't do the trick. We're all about going with the flow and doing what's necessary to ensure Oscar is as healthy and as safe as possible.

We're simply trying to do our best as parents and make conscious decisions where our son is involved.

Personally, I think that's a good thing!

So we have all these little things..... all piling up in Oscar's room (in his crib actually. So where are we going to put them when we finally buy a mattress????)

Ikea rocks for storage solutions so off Daddy goes today.

Had to wear a bra to bed last night. Nipple is still really sore (only one really hurts. And when I say "hurts" I mean, "shoot me now".).

We have received a few baskets from my husband's colleagues that we have yet to open. And a few cute things from friends. No time for thank you cards yet - I haven't even had the time to brush my teeth yet today! - but we have everything piled up in YET ANOTHER corner of Oscar's room and will get to that when we get to it.

Off we go, one day at a time.

S.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The community nurse came by yesterday for "the visit". I had high hopes. It's a great program run by the Fraser Health Authority. I was so looking forward to getting community information, breastfeeding tips and advice, weighing Oscar (he's back up to 8.1!), and finding out just what services are offered through the Health Authority.


Boy, was I sadly disappointed.

See, it's all in the delivery. And this particular nurse had no bedside manners whatsoever.

Basically, we were interrupting her lunch hour. She was a warden.

The whole time I was thinking, "I bet she's a cat lady". And she was! She has no children, 2 pets, worked at BC Women's in the ICU (babies) a loooooooong time ago, and is a public educator basically.

(I have two cats myself that I'm crazy about and am not meaning this to piss anyone off again.... I just mean the stereotypical "cat lady".)

She was just SO not a people-person.

She did, however, have some great tips and information to pass along. So it IS a great program, but she is just brutal. She was bashing the hospital and the advice we received there (breastfeeding), and totally turned me off of the whole program until I realized it's her, not the program that's broken. So that switched the energetics around the visit and it sailed along after that.

Today Oscar has his first doctor's appointment with my GP. Not sure what to expect with this first visit, other than a general check up, weighing again and perhaps just passing along his discharge papers. I just know it's only been six days since he was born and I'm not ready to take him out of the house yet and into a doctor's office full of sick people! But off we go. It's my issue, not his.

A family member popped by yesterday in an absolute whirlwind. It was good that they got to visit as she only got to hold him once in the hospital before he had to rest for 2 days, and then she got some sort of infection. The rest of the family is probably going to start coming by the end of next week. I need some time to recover physically. I mean, nobody (family or not) needs to see me struggling with my hemorrhoid cushion or getting glimpse of the sitz bath hiding behind my sink. And we're still getting into the groove of things, no need to worry about making tea for company and cleaning up the house before they arrive! We have a little guy to get settled (and his mom!).

Some exciting news: his Great-Godmother is visiting next week! I don't know if there really is such a title, but there you go, there is now. I'm so excited to see her! And so excited for Oscar to meet her! She's a fantastic woman who let me eat sugar cereal growing up when the cereal we had at home was supplemented with WHEAT GERM! (God Mom, what were you thinking?! I mean, I use it now myself, but still.....)

Haven't downloaded any pictures yet, but my brother's girlfriend has some good ones that I'm waiting for so hopefully one of us will get to it shortly!

S.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I swear to God, Oscar DOES exist and we'll be posting pictures of him soon.

The ones we have are of him in the incubator and I don't want that energy perpetuated through this blog. Only healthy thoughts here! Some will be emailed to me soon and I'll post a few up here.

He's just too gorgeous not to.

On another note: Oscar pooped on the floor last night. Well, first he pooped all down my robe and then onto the floor. How do they do this? He had already gone and I had cleaned him and had to pick him up from the change table to reach for something and there it was.

Poop all over mom.

And the floor.

I can't remember for the life of me why I didn't have a diaper on him. Oh, wait, I know.... because HE HAD JUST POOPED FIVE MINUTES PRIOR.

S.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You know what's absolutely magical?

Sitting up late at night when the house is quiet, the neighbourhood even quieter, and the only sound you hear is the sound of your son quietly feeding at your breast.

Night #1 at home was fantastic. We're finding our way. Coordinating the diaper change is the funniest (and most time-consuming) thing. Oscar is not a fan. Babies are so squirmy!

Poor Donald... when O's poop started to change from the black tar of meconium to the green "stuff" that it now is (that STICKS to his bottom), I thought he was going to have a heart attack. I've never seen it either, but I mean, poop is poop. What's the deal?

And speaking of poop....

I do believe the universe is getting back at me for choosing to have an epidural for childbirth, by making me go through absolute hell in the pain that comes with the first bowel movement post-birth.

Not good times.

Perhaps tonight we can order take-out from The Banana Leaf.

Works every time.

And now? Time to wake up Oscar for his snacky.

S.

PS: LOVE your comments! Love the positivity behind all of them! Thanks so much for thinking of us enough to leave a note.

S.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oscar's home!

We came home from hospital today. FINALLY!

Feels wonderful to be a family in our home. Feels so different. Feels right.

Oscar Joshua Yen-Jo Lee was born on February 6 at 3:05am at BC Women's Hospital. He was a very surprising weight of 8.4 lbs and was 21 & 3/4 inches. Long baby.

Big baby.

Laboured for 55 hours. Loved every minute of it. It simply meant that he was that much closer to being here! (Don't get me wrong, the labour pains were something fierce.. but much more on that later.)

It was quite the traumatic birth for the little guy, and very traumatic for me as I couldn't be with him right away, and couldn't start feeding him until about 36 hours later... but he's ok, (he was the "Big Kid on Campus" in the intermediate nursery!), he's home, he's healthy, he's a monster at breastfeeding, he's a devil at peeing on his own face, he has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen, and he is, quite simply, Love.

More, much more, later. For now, it's time to nap with my little guy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Off to the hospital!

12 hours of early labour in the "comfort" of my own home and the induction nurse just called. I told her that labour actually started on it's own and she recommended we come in right away all the same as we're 8 days over. As labour has quieted down a bit for me, I might need some help to get it moving again (drip perhaps). Which means.... We'll be admitted!

Won't have to worry about being sent home. Phew! Somewhere to lay my hat until our son is here!

And another fantastic piece of news... my OB is on today! Looks like she'll deliver if things go well.

S.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Labour has started. Contractions are fast and furious. Can't get comfortable. I guess just the mere thought of being induced, induced me! :)

Oh God, here comes another one....
s.

*Update*

Very briefly as we're having a quiet night together at home.... We're being induced tomorrow. The Non-Stress Test was all good, but when I had the ultrasound, it showed the amniotic fluid was a bit low (moderately low). So, after a consult with the on-call OB, it was left to us whether we wanted to go ahead with induction tomorrow, or wait until Friday.

We chose tomorrow.

For a few reasons.

  • He's ready. He's 41 weeks in there!
  • We don't want to take a chance that we're doing him any harm at all by leaving him alone in there for 3 more days. Might be only three days, but still.... (with this going on, it's better he comes out than stays in)
  • Waiting until Friday to induce would mean constant bed rest for me and also back and forth to the hospital for monitoring (so I guess not constant bed rest!)
  • My stress about the above point would, in our opinion, be worse on him.
  • It is, simply, time.

Cervix is still not dilated. I think it might have been but when we were in the Assessment area, there was a woman in labour and it friggin' freaked me out so much that my cervix immediately closed!!! :)

The induction will start with a pill called Cervidol. It apparently softens the cervix. It's also on a string, so if things move along too fast, it can be removed. The OB called it, wait for it now.... "soap on a rope". I thought that was hilarious.

Anyway, they'll insert that, watch me for an hour or so, and if nothing, send me home for a while. Then I'll go back 6 hours later for another one. If that one doesn't take I think the oxytocin starts. OR, if I'm finally dilated a bit they'll break the water or do the membrane sweep. I'm not a candidate for oxytocin at this point because the cervix isn't ripe enough for it.

Or something.

Can't remember it all right now, nor the exact order of things, just that it's all starting tomorrow!

As upsetting as it may be that labour is being induced, it also means that my son is that much closer to being safely in my arms. As a friend once said when talking about bringing children into this world, "It doesn't matter HOW they get here... just that they do."

Exactly.

I may post in the morning, or when we come home/IF we come home to wait for the Cervidol to kick in, but who knows how the next day or so will go.

Best bet is to stay tuned via twitter!


One week overdue.

Off to hospital in a few minutes for ultrasound and monitoring... to make sure all is well with him in there. Hopefully my OB will be there and we can chat about the tentative induction on Friday - what the procedures are, what they'll start with (ie: membrane sweep if I'm dilated at all? Prostaglandin gel? Oxytocin?), how it all works.

If all is well with everything today; if placenta looks good, fluid looks good, heart is beating at whatever rate is normal at this point, all that good stuff.... then we'll be sent home with a date and time for induction IF it doesn't start on it's own.

And on my side... if that's the case, I'm meeting up with Dr. Tanya again this week, and I've been chatting with a bodyworker to look into Bowen Therapy and if it can help induce labour naturally. I'm still fighting the good fight to have things happen naturally! (Hmmmm, I used the word "fighting"... perhaps I should change the languaging!)

Having bizarre dreams still. But it's good: they're showing me places I still have to work on before baby comes. For example? Two nights ago I dreamt that a woman wouldn't give me by son back. She was holding him and when I went to get him, she turned away with him in her arms and did not want to give him to me.

Not good. I woke up completely panicked and mad and really upset. And remained that way for a few hours until I got a bit of advice via Twitter.

And then last night I dreamt that I was fighting a female vampire. Woke up thismorning wondering who is sucking the energy out of me. Who's the energetic vampire in my life?

Good news?

I won the battle.

So I know I'm on solid ground with myself.

By the way, I've set up Twitter on my cell phone so I can text in updates along the way. If you want to follow along with the labour and delivery (well, I dare say I won't be texting during delivery!), you can follow me on Twitter, or check this blog often and look on the right sidebar to the Twitter update box.

All for now, time to hit the road!

S.

 
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