Saturday, March 21, 2009


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.


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....


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!


I love how the body is a mystery.

Another mystery that I'd prefer remain a mystery?

Happy Pi Day!


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.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

How's this for laziness?

See latest blog post below in red.

And now, one for the road:


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.


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.



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.


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.

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