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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

Labour's no problem, I've got tattoos...

Thursday, February 25, 2010
No not REALLY? Are you insane? Clearly I don't believe this for one moment, but the thought did cross my mind this week.

We had our doula come for a visit last week, and it was absolutely amazing. We talked about our birth plan, our hopes and fears, our hesitations, and we ended with a relaxation technique that had us both ready to go to bed before she even left. It was really awesome. And as it turns out, I am more of a control freak than once assumed (which is a bit of a scary revelation, because I already KNEW I was a freak in many ways).

When talking about our individual fears, mine all stemmed from losing control. Am I afraid my vag is going to tear from butt hole to clitoris? Sure am I, but that didn't come up once.  What did come up is how I'm afraid to pee on my floor, poop in front of the hubs and be totally naked in front of a room full of people, while trying to push a watermelon out a lemon hole (as an aside, when I compare my baby to a watermelon, all I can picture is Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, with that HUGE melon "uh uh I carried a watermelon". Now, I don't want my baby to be the size of that melon....but I'd take if it Patrick Swayze would come back to life as dear Johnny and teach me how to dance like that...just saying). I'm afraid of being able to let go and make the noises I need to effectively ease this babe from my loins, and I'm afraid that someone will judge me for any of it. I'm not a prude, or uptight in general, but there are a few things I'm less than comfortable with, and naked, sweating, grunting primal activities are tops on that list. I mean, obviously I am 36 weeks pregnant, so things like that have happened before, but this is different. I've said it before, getting this baby in there was a lot more fun than I anticipate getting her out will be.

I am also afraid of being able to ask for help, or relying on other people. Not afraid TO ask for help, afraid of not ALLOWING myself to ask for help. And I'm afraid I won't be able to turn off my mind long enough to realize certain things, like that the beard hairs around the bathroom sink just do not matter. Or that the baby won't notice if I haven't quite figured out which drawer I want her tiny baby socks to go in.

Mostly in labour, I envision myself trying to put the dirty dishes away or getting the doula a drink of water, while having a contraction. I anticipate stressing over the dust bunnies on the floor that the midwife might see, instead of reaching deep down inside and finding the strength to stay focused and breathe my way through the contractions. I suspect I will be seriously needing something, but be too afraid to ask for it, and will try to get it myself. I also suspect that my need to control will lead me right down the path to peeing on my living room floor as I try to make my way to bathroom without asking for help. And then? And then I will have to helplessly watch as some person I met only 8 short months ago wipes my urine from my 100 year old hardwood. And that's how control is going to make me her bitch, and slap me silly.

The good news about all these fears and worries is that the doula assures me, I won't have them. She gave me a lot of insight into the labour process, and how it works. She told me about the chemical changes in your brain that happen, which make you ditch your over thinking parts and access your more primal instincts. And I hope she is right. I will believe she is right, because I can't possibly control everything (I am coming to terms with this, I swear) and if there is one thing I should probably realize, it's that controlling control can only lead to bad things. That's like trying to microwave a microwave, it just won't work.

So what does this all have to do with my tattoos and labour? Absolutely nothing at all. However, all this talking with the doula led to something else, which was her asking me 2 questions:
  1. Have you ever experienced what you would consider a long period of pain or discomfort?
  2. What has been your greatest emotional challenge in life, and how did you deal with it?

The first one is pretty simple, and relates to the tattoo comparison. I've never broken a bone or had major surgery (knock on wood) so the ONLY thing I could come up with here, was the tattoo. The doula said this is good, since labour is nothing like a breaking a femur (which by the way, rates right up there with my top fears, after zombie apocalypse and biological warfare). It's not like getting a tattoo either, however, at least with a tattoo it's what you can consider "positive pain" in that, you put yourself in the situation and are looking forward to the end results. Much like labour. Only, last time I checked I didn't get to orgasm before my tattoos so making a baby scores one there.

Of course, with my tattoos (ok let's clarify, I have 1 on my upper back/neck that took about 15 minutes to do, so this does not count. I have one on my lower back, which I got when I was 19 and which took probably 2 hours, so almost counts. And I have 1 in the centre of my back, which took 2 sessions at 3 hours each, so this is the ONLY one I think is relevant in the pain department...and even that's questionable) I knew exactly what I was getting into, how long it would take and what I could expect. And this, I have NO idea. At least with this, the only man involved will be the hubs, and he won't be trying to shave any parts of my back, so that's a bonus.

The second question, well, I'm still trying to answer that one. Funny how it's taken my birth planning to have me realize exactly how great life has been. Not that I've ever taken that for granted. I've always know I was lucky to grow up in a beautiful place, with a wonderful supportive family and only a handful of douchebag "friends" over the years. However, until someone asked me to point out my biggest emotional challenge, I've never considered that I don't really have one. I mean sure, I've had my heartbroken by a parade of fuktards over the years, I've lost grandparents and felt the sadness that comes from watching my parents deal with the loss of their parent. But what's happened to ME that I would consider my greatest emotional challenge is hard to pinpoint. I know that she is asking me this so I can draw strength for it, because the next part of this question was, how did you deal with that. Unfortunately the short answer is drugs (no not cocaine or something, just wine, vodka and marijuana), and that is NOT how I want to deal with this challenge.

So I need to do some more thinking. Uncover something from my past that I believe challenged me, and think about how it was dealt with. Something more substantial then a couple of tattoos. Maybe that time when my pregnancy craving took me to the store for the Vanilla Carmel Latter Hagen Daz, and the store didn't have any....because that my friends, was VERY challenging ;)


Would you BELIEVE they reset our counters on Top Baby Blogs and that it actually HELPED me get onto page 1? I never thought I'd see the top 10 pages, let alone page 1. I've been there all week, and I know I can't hold on forever. But if you like me, even a little bit, or even if you just want to pretend to, or if you realize I've clicked the hell out of all those in the top 1-12 spots and want to thank me, then click below. I don't normally do this sort of shameless plug business, but everyone's doing it, and I would so jump off a bridge if they told me to (again, no not really). Anyway, just click this, that's how you vote. It would be swell. You can even do it twice, if you're that nice! 

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

I'd really love to blog tonight...

Monday, February 22, 2010
But I will be ass deep in cardboard and vaguely descriptive pictorial Swedish instructions. Also know as assembling IKEA furniture.

As mentioned on Twitter, I expect bloodshed, tears and epic bruising, with a side of curse words, confused facial expressions and screams of frustration.

Hopefully this time, we will only be missing non crucial parts. As opposed to that one time, when we put the dresser together, only to find out our box lacked the actual bottoms to the drawers. In case you are wondering, bottomless drawers are not as fantastic as they sound.

Unless I'm in jail for stabbing someone with a phillips head, I shall return tomorrow. Down a finger  nail or two, and somewhat defeated by particle board furniture. However, I will at least be able to hide some of my nursery mess behind overpriced red cupboard doors, and store all the wine I can't drink on our new kitchen cart for the non-kitchen.

Wish me luck. Or at least sanity.

This one time, I was 33.5 weeks preggo, and I let some girl take pictures of me...

Friday, February 19, 2010
And they turned out like this!!

Tomorrow I am 35 weeks, say WHAT NOW?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Yes, exactly. How in the hell did that happen? I remember those excruciating first 12 weeks like they were yesterday. And really, it was only 7 weeks since I was 5 weeks 1 day when I peed on the stick that told me we had finally made a baby. And yet NOW, I'm almost 35 weeks?!?!?!?!? That's a mere 5 weeks from due date, and an entire 1 week PAST when my niece arrived. Translation? This baby could technically choose to vacate the ute at ANY TIME NOW.

Ok so I suppose that's always a possibility, but let's think about this for a minute. Some people are keeners. You know, those early rising types who say things like "I just love running at 530 in the morning, it's so calm and peaceful". Yes, of course it is you nutbar, you're the ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET who willingly got out of bed at that time. Everyone else who is outside, it pretending to be awake, on their way somewhere they don't want to go, frantically looking for coffee. These are the kinds of people who consider "sleeping in" when their internal alarm clock (because these are also the people who don't need an alarm clock because they just "wake up naturally with the sun") has them sleeping past 8:00am on a Sunday. These are the people the hubs hates, and I don't wish to be.

Don't get me wrong. I will cease the day with the best of you, when there is something to be ceased. But I also enjoy those days where my internal clock can wake up, think "fuk fuk fuk I am late for work", then realize it's Saturday and I can roll over for another few hours. I still get up before noon, and generally in the single digit hours. The hubs on the other hand, he's the other end of the spectrum. He get's up in the single digit hours too, but they are not the ones that happen before noon.

Anyway, I digress as always. My point IS, my daughter may well be a keener, and think it's as good a time as any to be born. Carpe Diem and all that jazz. I mean, why not right? I am a go go go type. A never stop moving type. A "I can do it all and a bag of chips" type, who is always 10 seconds away from a completely overwhelmed breakdown, but who generally gets through things flawlessly and in good time. If she's got that streak, that part of her, that raging A-type side, there is nothing to say she won't channel it into a keener mentality, and decide to rocket out of my body ahead of schedule.

I am keenly aware of how not on a schedule a baby is, even from conception. And I realize that this "due date" is an arbitrary timeline put on me, so I have something concrete to obsess over. Obviously due dates are about norms and statistics, but of course, there are standard deviations in everything, and pregnancy is anything by normal. So I know that I am entering the grey area. That period of time where, fewer first time moms go into labour, but many second time and beyond moms do. The time where that pesky back ache or more intense Braxton Hicks may be something a little more serious. The time in which, my baby could decide she wants out. And there would be no reason to try to stop her.

In general, I am not scared of the prospect of having her in my arms. Petrified is probably a better word. Just kidding. While I am nervous about the first few moments of motherhood, I do strongly believe I possess the instincts that will allow me to keep her happy and healthy. And that's really all I can hope for at this point. Well adjusted and highly intelligent I will work out later. But just because I am not afraid does not mean I am prepared.

First of all, I am not DONE with pregnancy. Sure, I had a day last week where my feet swelled up to the size of tree trunks and I thought I may never walk normally again (I am now convinced the pregnancy waddle is not a result of widening hips, but of stumpy feet). Sleeping has started to become hit or miss. I have great sleeps still a lot of the time, but I also have nights where night sweats, bizarro dreams and burning excruciating hip pain join forces with needing to pee bi-hourly, to ensure I get a taste of newborn life in advance of her arrival. And sure, I am getting more and more comments about how huge I am, and the boys at work are starting to feel sorry for me for "carrying all that extra weight around". If only they knew HOW much. And maybe, between 33 weeks and 34 weeks, I gained an astonishing 4.5 POUNDS and almost passed OUT at the number, and have an insane amount of fear about what that scale will say tomorrow.And just perhaps I would enjoy a cold beer with my dinner, or a glass of wine before bed. However, with all these things going on, I am not done with being pregnant. I am still loving every moment of it. Even when she's got, from what I can tell, her big toe pushing out a rib and causing me pain, or she's practicing tai bo on my cervix, I enjoy it. Maybe I enjoy it less at that moment, but I still have not hit that wall of "I AM SO OVER BEING PREGNANT" yet.  I attribute this in a large part to the fact I am not 8 months preggo in the summer. Those with summer babies, you've got an entirely different experience on your hands.

Second of all, I am still working. I did this on purpose after friend upon friend shared with me their experience of being 8 days past due, and so insanely bored and frustrated. Taking off from work too early just means that if you DO go passed the illusive due date, you will go fuking bananas. Leaving work at say, 35 weeks, would leave me with a possible 7 weeks off, and no baby to care for, so I've chosen to leave at 37.5. This is great for saving me from that long stretch of anticipation and waiting, but not great for me feeling ready and prepared for her to come. I need to finish training my replacements. Yes, there is an S there because, we have hired 2 people to fill 1 pair of my worky shoes. The same shoes I could have used last week when my stump feet had me calling the hubs to bring me some runners. And I need to mentally separate work me from mom me before she comes. I had NO idea I identified with my job so much before I contemplated leaving it for an ENTIRE YEAR (yes I am SOOOOOOOO lucky to live in Canada!!!), nor did I realize how hard it would be to walk away from all the hard work I've put in, and leave it up to someone else to carry on. So, I need to get to that point, that date I set of March 12, to put my career on hold and enter the world of mom. I need it mentally more than anything. It's a milestone in my mind, and I think it's the only way I can get through this transition with any semblance of sanity.

And finally, I need a little ME time before she comes, so I can be the best mom to her from the moment she arrives. I need to have a little time and space between shelving work me, and becoming mom me, where I can sleep in, wash her clothes, do prenatal yoga and take in my life as I currently know it. It might sound selfish, and maybe it is, but I don't care. I just want to have a breather between the insanity that is my daily work life, and the complete unknown that will become my mom life. I need to take a little time to centre myself, before embarking on a new adventure. I need to clean the floors and prep the foods, and sip a decaf latte at the speed in which it was intended to be enjoyed. I need to hover in that free space, where I almost don't belong anymore.

So no, I am not ready. And hitting 35 weeks is causing me some angst and discomfort in the chest region. And not just from these giant C-cups I'm suddenly sporting (uh ya, when you fake a B cup your entire life, a C cup IS a huge deal...just saying). I am sure if we fast forward to the post that will come in 3 weeks, it will be "GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME WHY WON'T SHE JUST BE BORN I AM SO DONE WITH PREGNANCY" and I will revisit this and think, 34.6 week me, what WERE you THINKING?!?!

But for now, I'm enjoying my pregnancy and I just want her to hold on, for 5 more weeks (but not 7, ok?).

Birth Stories - The Arrival of OMyFamily's OBaby

Saturday, February 13, 2010
As we know, I'm scouring birth stories on the internet like a fiend. I am reading them, I am watching the videos, and I am borrowing books from the midwife, all to help me learn from other people's experience. I am trying to empower myself to believe that I am capable of doing this without drugs, and without fear. I am trying to surround myself with the positive stories, because as women we're forever told of the horror stories of labour. 

I think it's partly because misery loves company. People who have had crazy stories like to share them with anyone on the street. And don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of friends who have had plenty of different kinds of births. Hearing their stories is always welcome. I want to share in their lives, and hear about their experiences. I want to know how they brought their cute little bundles into this world, and whether it was short, long, natural or cesarean, I want all the details.

The details I don't want, are from the woman at the dollar store, whose cousin's best friends hair dresser tried to have a natural child birth, and ended up tearing so bad she had to have 15 stitches and 3 re-constructive surgeries. Or the waitress at the lunch place, asking me with a wince on her face when I'm due, and when I tell her, responding with "the good news is, once the baby is out, you have something to be thankful for, because labour is HELL and you want to die". 

These stories are not helpful, and they aren't productive. And some of my friends have had some pretty intense labour experiences, and not one of them has ever told me labour was hell or that they wanted to die. 

So when I read stories like the one from Allison at OMyFamily, I just melt. It's exactly the story I hope to be telling you all when we welcome our daughter into the world. 

Allison starts her 2-part story pretty much how I feel about this whole attempt at a natural child birth. You see, there is, for SOME REASON certain women who think those looking for a natural experience are either REALLY crunchy, or just plain smug. And neither has to be true. Sure either CAN be true, but let's face it, there is a huge grey area in there, where women like me and Allison (and a million others) sit. This is the area where we just want to try to let our bodies do what they were built for. And the area where we're afraid of big scary needles in our spines, temporarily paralyzing us from the waist down. 

In order to ensure you don't find her smug, Allison even prefaces her story with "If in the following story you perceive a twinge of smugness or any symptoms of i’msoholy-ididn’thaveanepidural-itis, please know that it was by no means intended"

She then goes on to say something you almost never hear, something so welcoming and unexpected, I've actually read it several times. Something I will be thinking about when I am in the dredges of labour and doubting myself. She said "You must believe me when I tell you that OBABY’S BIRTH WAS AMAZING. I want to shout it because I think that every sister, aunt, grandma, stranger, and otherwise well-intentioned woman who has ever intentionally or inadvertently scared the buh-geezus out of a first time mom regarding labor and delivery NEEDS TO HEAR THIS:


The rest of her story is a beautiful, heartfelt account of how birth can be a wonderful experience. I am 100% sure she experienced some level of pain, but she never even mentions it. The pain did not define the experience for her, and it is not the overall theme of her fairly long labour. She even manages to have a smile on her face in all the photos she's shared. From this story, I believe she truly enjoyed the process of bringing OBaby into this world, and I can only hope my experience is the same. Heck, I'd settle for almost as good. 

This is one of my favourite birth stories so far. So go, read it. Empower yourself to enjoy your birth, and get over the fear that's come from years of TLC programming, movie births and crazy people behind counters in retail locations. 

I'm not taking this pregnancy thing too seriously....

Friday, February 12, 2010
Ok before anyone reads the title, freaks out and tell me how I should cherish the life I am carrying and that pregnancy is very serious business, I just want to let you know I know that. And I am taking the serious parts very seriously. I have been taking prenatals since long before I got pregnant. I have been drinking my water, getting my exercise and trying to get enough sleep. I've put down the bong, stopped socially smoking and stopped proving that I am in fact, the skinny bitch who can out tequila shot any dude. I've upped my vegetable intake (which was hard, since I eat A LOT of veggies), I've begrudgingly given up negitoro rolls and salmon sashimi, steered clear of ham sandwiches and torn through piles of cheese, looking for the pasteurized brie. I have taken 1 tylenol, because I fell down the stairs and almost broke my ankle, and though I've been sick 3 times, I've only used my netipot to quell the symptoms. I've done all the things I can to make sure baby girl grows happy, healthy and strong and is not underdeveloped or ill when she is born.

At the same time, I'm having fun, enjoying life and reveling in my last few months as a wife, but not a mother. Well, I am a mother but for now, this baby is a breeze to care for. She does exactly what I want her to do at all times, never cries (well at least, I can't hear her) and allows me to sleep for extended periods of time with no disruption.

And I'd be lying if I told you all, that I've been a model pregnant lady, avoiding everything on that 17 page list of pregnancy don'ts. Sometimes a girl wants to cross her legs, or sit on her back or eat a hot dog. Sometimes she wants to stay up until 3am and eat a half a pizza before bed, or sit down to a tub of cream and refined sugar in the form of vanilla caramel latte hagen daz. And sometimes, just sometimes, she needs to clean the mothereffing bathroom, and the only products around have bleach in them.

I'd also be lying if I said I've had absolutely no alcohol since this baby was conceived. First of all, let's face the fact that I was off birth control for 14 months (and strangely on them for 14 years before) before we made this human. I was getting convinced making her was going to take more than a little bit of bumping uglies. So I went to my friends wedding the week before I peed on that 30th stick and had a few drinks. It was THE hottest day ever and I MC'd and we had my mom DD'ing us so....I partook in the frosty cold, free flowing MGDs. And I don't feel guilty. I know enough about this baby growing business to know that she suffered no harm from that evening. I also had no concept we might be pregnant. I may have been off the pill for 14 months, but as part of my Babe_Chilla style, I was being chill about the whole TTC thing. And that meant, we didn't save sex only during a window of 7 days per month, where I relentlessly stalked the Hubs around, thermometer in hand, yelling at him to impregnate me. No, that was the last thing I wanted. We just went off all forms of birth control, and let nature take it's course. And though 14 months SEEMED long at the time, it was actually perfect. It allowed us to buy and move into a house that could accommodate another person in this family, and really prepare ourselves to be parents (I mean, as prepared as one can be).

So there was that. And I didn't sweat it. I didn't do the thing many women do, which is panic, and Google like a fiend to ensure I hadn't caused FAS. Partly because I wrote a paper on FAS in school and I KNOW what causes it, and partly because I'd Googled that for friends already and knew the answer. And partly because I knew, there was nothing I could do about it anyway.

Let's also realize I got pregnant smack dab in the centre of summer. The first summer, in our new house, in which we have a FABULOUS deck. Many a cold, sweaty, limey corona were drank by my friends on that deck. Not to mention my favourite apricot beers and other fruit flavoured summer sensations. I made mojitos and sangria for guesst, and watched as they sipped them in relaxation. I lived through the Bud Lite lime phase (and side note: blech), when everyone was focused on finding some. I fake drank through a series of parties, when we hadn't told anyone yet. I did all that, and it would be a lie to say I wasn't dying to participate. And it's SO not about being drunk. It was just about being social. But I had my sparkling water, with a slice of lime, and 99.99% of the time, it did not phase me. But you know what? I've had a few sips. I've taken that newly cracked beer from the hubs, and taken a small swig. I've tasted a really great bottle of wine, and had a sip of champagne on new years. And quite frankly, I don't see the problem with that either.

And I'm not only lackadaisical about sipping (and I hope none of you are calling the local authorities on me, I haven't had more than a sip or two here or there). I've also had a few cups of REAL coffee. And this was a big one for me, because I like me some coffee. I'm not someone who will cease to exist without her morning Joe, but I do like it. And I've been having some pretty regular decafs. But I've also had the odd cup of real coffee, with caffeine and all. Because sometimes I wake up at my mommy's house on Christmas day, and she makes coffee and I want some.

And can we just talk about the birthing classes? Because honestly, what's with all the seriousness? I pride myself on being sarcastic, and sometimes even witty. I like to make light of every situation, and joke at inappropriate times (like when I made the joke to the ultrasound tech who told me to 'shake the baby into position', and I replied "Ha I guess this is the only time in my life it will be considered ok to shake my baby hey?". Apparently, that was not funny. Could of fooled me). So when it comes to sitting in a room for an ENTIRE weekend, talking about the journey my daughter will take to exit my body, via a hole which, by my calculations is never going to be as big as she is even now, one needs to make a few jokes. As we sat, watching videos made circa 1985, of scary mullet women with big bushy beavers screaming as they pushed a pruney little purple thing out (another side note: they sure don't look like cute little pudgy humans on the way out!!), holding our fake babies, one can't help but crack a few one liners. And half the class was right there with me, while the other half? Not so much.

As we split into our day 2 groups, to do some infant care stuff, with our fake babies, my group proceeded to laugh hysterically throughout the entire practice. We dropped our fake babies, mixed them up with each others and made them cry. We took the "wrap them like a burrito" comment literally, and rolled the baby up until she couldn't be seen. We joked about wearing ear plugs when they cry too much, and saving money on diapers by only changing them one time per day. We joked and my sides hurt I was laughing so hard. My sides hurt, my eyes were watering and I was getting dirty looks from the other side of the room. Apparently people, this is serious business and should not be taken lightly.

And I agree wholeheartedly but COME ON. If we can't have fun with our fake babies, as we all sit petrified of never having a working vag again, and scared we'll be that person who puts the baby down and drives away, then what's the point in living?

All in all, I've been enjoying my pregnancy, but I've been approaching it in the same way I approach life - not too seriously. And I am actually proud that part of this journey has been me really trying to let go of the stressypants parts of myself, and go with the flow more. I think this will only help me as a new mother. Because being wound up, up tight and overly stressed seems like the worst thing you can do to keep your child chillaxed. I want to have one of those babies who is seemingly un-phased by the world around them. Who just coo and smile and cry so seldom it's a complete non-issue. Many of my friends have these babies, and I want to so much. And the thing all the parents of these wonder babies have in common? The ability to just let it go. Sure, no two couples are exactly the same, but they all have a quality about them that exudes confidence and makes you feel relaxed about parenting. And I can't help but assume this is the reason their kids are not stressed out.

I just hope I can remember all that, after no sleep, when she's crying and I don't know what to do.

And then we were showered with gifts....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sunday was the big day - the Baby Babe_Chilla Baby shower! And some of you have been asking for photos.

Let me start with saying that there were probably close to 40 women in my living room. They descended on my house like aunts to a pile of sticky watermelon juice. As the hubs tried to sneak out, he was caught on the stairs as lady after lady stopped to ask him if he was excited, while they rushed by with bags of cute things wrapped in sparkley tissue paper. My once giant living room, that we barely ever use, turned into a hot box of pre-baby excitement. Between the smell of cheese plates, sushi platters, and bruschetta in the oven, and the heat rising off the bodies of 4 pregnant ladies, 2 great-grandma's to be, 1 grandma to be and about 25 other people who might as well be family, the air was intoxicating everyone. There were a thousand laughs, a million smiles and a couple of cries from my poor niece who is currently face to butt with everyone over 4 feet tall. Here she is in her Patutu; why? Because she epitomizes awesome:

We played the game where you can't cross your legs, or someone steals your pin. As an aside, pregnant ladies are dangerously good at such games, because they actually cannot (and probably should not) cross their legs. We played the one where you guess the baby food in the mysteriously unlabeled jars, in which TOO many people guessed a purple gelatinous substance to be beef (1, why are we feeding babies jarred beef? And 2, what kind of beef are you people eating that it's purple?).

And we had cake. Boy did we have cake. The MOST beautiful cake EVER, made by my even more beautiful (and painfully talented, to the point I am SO jealous) friend Christina. See exhibit A through C:

Yes, these are RED fondant shoes I'm keeping till baby's 1st birthday!

And then there were gifts galore. We were, WAY more spoiled than anyone deserves. I cannot begin to describe how overwhelmed I was by all the love I felt. Everyone seems genuinely happy for us, and I was so grateful to be surrounded by people who cherish and respect us for who we are. Having a baby teaches you one of those life lessons, like getting married or buying a house does, where you get to learn who your real friends and family are. And you also get to learn how selfish and two faced others are, but hey that's another story. I was just so happy to stand back, and look around the room, and know this baby will grow up loved to her very soul, by the people who have been such an important part of my entire life.

I will spare you 150 photos of me and my onsies, but I will share a select few. Mind my second chin. I told her she was not invited to the party, but that bitch is nosy and will not stay out of anything. She's totally the type would would show up uninvited and stick her fat self into places she does not belong. I digress...

Frilly BUM!:

Keep sake sweater from Great Grandma:

I LOVE it - I'm Kind Of New Around Here

Uh hello, red and aqua like her room? OK!

Me? Imma have the coolest kid on the block!

For ME, perrineal wash, 9 month tea, arnica and rescue remedy :D I HEART my bestie!

Our Mobile (and a RED bumbo!!)!!

So I kind of have a thing for peacocks...and this is a 2 handed peacock puppet...it took me awhile to figure it out.

And then? They made the preganese lady open the champagne for them:

And there you have it. 4 hours of estrogen filled joy, crammed briefly into this blog post :D

Thanks to everyone who came out! I can't wait to go through all the gifts while I'm filling in my thank-you cards (which are SO cute by the way....I'll have to show you later though!) and relive the entire day.

Beautiful Blogger

Monday, February 8, 2010
I know, I know, I should be doing a post regaling you with tales from my baby shower yesterday. Complete with how many women we crammed into my living room, and how absolutely freaktastically adorable my cake was (and sooooooooo yummy). And I will. I WILL do it. But I want to get some photos loaded and I've just plain run out of time and energy for some of these things lately. My shower deserves time. It was awesome, and a lot of fun. So it deserves the photos and anecdotes to make you all feel like you were there. And I'm at work, sans photos, with a cake hangover and 27 people asking me to do things so....I will save that for tomorrow.

And I will move on to something else TOTALLY exciting.

On Saturday night I laid in bed, iPhone in hand, wishing I had the energy to boot my laptop and catch up on all the bloggy goodness I've been missing out on the last week. I knew I needed to get some sleep because there was a lot to do before my shower the next morning, but I was a little on the excited side, so I was checking in on Twitter. And one of my FAVOURITE "friends who I've never actually met, but who I want to be my BFF because she seems SO cool online" bloggers put up a link to her most recent blog post....actually, that's a lie. Another equally cool person, who also falls into the above category (KristiMaristi) posted a reply to her blog, and I just had to go check out what it meant. Cause I'm an internet stalked like that ok?

Emmie B of This is the First day of My Life (an AWESOME Bright Eyes song...and if you don't know who Bright Eyes is then, well I feel sorry for you), got an award from another bloggy friend of hers...and that award meant she had to give it out to 7 more people (I'm getting to that soon), and ZOMG she gave one to ME! And not ONLY did she give MY BLOG one (she reads it, she really reads it!), she did mine FIRST! Like as in, #1, like, I am the FIRST one all her bloggy friends will see. It was exciting!

To those of you who read and don't blog, you might thing this is silly. But, it's really not. The thing is, no one blogs for validation (ok, I shouldn't say no one, there are some people who truly do blog for that reason alone) but it's always nice to know that not only is someone reading, someone is enjoying. I mean, I enjoy it, and that's enough for me, but it's always fun for someone to recognize.

So now onto the real stuff. Here it is, the Beautiful Blogger Award:

And now, the rules (we aren't all unstructured out here in the world of blogging you know. There are rules and shit):

1. thank the person who nominated me for this award
2. copy the award & place it on my blog
3. link to the person who nominated me for this award
4. share 7 interesting things about myself
5. nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers

1 - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I was seriously excited, and if my hubs cared at all about blogging, I'd of jumped out of bed to tell him I got an award in the #1 spot but, you know, he doesn't. He'd just look at my like I was insane, tell me it was nice and go back to his video games. But hey, I don't get the appeal of hours of time spent on a game that seems to infuriate you so, we're even.

2 - Done that!

3 - In case you missed it the first time, you can find Emmie Bee's adorable blog, about her son Hudson and soon to be TWINS (another boy AND a girl), who are arriving on March 3rd (keep them in there Em!!) here: This is the First Day of My Life . I love this blog. She's honest, open and heartfelt. Even with all the things going on in her life (and there is A LOT - hello, cholestasis), she manages to post something worth reading on a very regular basis. I can't remember how I found her to be honest, but I'm so glad I did. Visit her. Do it. But not until we get to the end of this :D

4 - 7 Interesting things about ME? I'm so not that interesting but let me try:

  1. I hate soggy foods, like HATE them. And not just in that way where I think it's gross when things sit too long, but in that way that makes me like a crazy person. I eat cereal faster than anyone should, and I am not someone who can take a sandwich made in the morning, and eat it in the afternoon. I DO NOT dip my garlic bread in my pasta sauce, I hate the whole concept of croutons or crackers in soup, and I don't put gravy on anything but meat. And this has transformed into a full on hatred for my foods touching. When I put ketchup on my KD, I individually dip each forkful into it, and I NEVER cover my fries in ketchup either (the only time I break this rule is for poutine...don't ask). My idea gift would be a plate with several compartments for my foods, so they never had to touch. 
  2. I was allergic to chocolate until I was like, 14. I used to cry a lot when I was a kid, and get hives. So they did an allergy test and found out it was chocolate. I didn't eat any for something like 9 or 10 long years. I went to a lot of birthday parties where I couldn't eat the cake, and the Easter Bunny always brought me jelly beans and white chocolate. I discovered sometime in my teenage years I could eat it again, but I attribute this hiatus to my lack of a chocolate obsession. Sure I like it, it's tasty, but I'm not one of those people who would die to have some. I'm also so over white chocolate, probably forever. 
  3. I met my husband when he first moved to Vancouver from his home town. I think I was about 19-20 years old (which would make him 23). I was dating this guy (as in, for 4 years, we owned a house), and I was close friends with said guys brother. Said guys brother was roommates with the hubs. We used to hang out, and I knew the hubs had a little crush on me then, because said guys brother told me so. But it wasn't until 5 or so years later, that we ran into each other after I'd just broken up with another guy (and he was dating someone, ehm), that we got anywhere close to romantic. Technically, I've known him for almost 10 years now I think. If you asked 20 year old me if 28 year old me would marry the hubs, I would have laughed. Not because he's not awesome, but because how that scenario would ever play itself out would be impossible to imagine. But I am so glad it did! 
  4. I've only eaten 1 Big Mac in my entire life. I was 27 years old, it was 4:30am and we were in Winnipeg with the hubs family after our wedding social (if you don't know what that is, it's ok. I didn't either until I had one). I was so proud of myself for never having eaten one, but I caved. I don't remember it being any good, and I'll probably never have one again. 
  5. I barely ever use the microwave. I lived in an apartment for 7 years in which, using the microwave would cause the fuse to blow. If we wanted microwave popcorn, we use to turn off EVERYTHING in the ENTIRE apartment, including lights, and hang out in the dark while it popped. And sometimes even then the fuse would blow. Now we have a perfectly capable microwave in our house. I use it to store frying pans in. 
  6. I dig vacuuming but HATE emptying the dishwasher. I don't know what it is. I will vacuum all afternoon, and feel like I've accomplished something, but trying to get me to empty out the dishwasher requires a major mental kick in the ass. It's tedious. The dishes are sometimes wet, and it just seems so futile. That said, after spending the last 7 years with NO dishwasher, I'll take emptying it over hand washing any time any day. 
  7. I'm a faker. Not in a super bad way or anything. I just like to pretend a lot of things don't get to me, when they really do. People's insensitivities, callous behaviour and bad talking non-sense make me cry alone in the shower, even when it's not directed at me. I don't like to show that to other people. It's not because I think I need to be strong, but because I think mostly, crying over someone else's stupidity is an epic waste of time. I just need to let it out, and then I'm over it. Show me an SPCA commercial, or a movie in which an animal is mistreated however, and I will cry out loud over it for hours. Seriously, at the end of Kong, I could not hold myself together. I was a sobbing mess for an hour...because Kong really DIDN'T KNOW why they were being so mean!
Ok, that's 7. I told you, I am not that interesting. 

Now for 7 bloggers that I am nominating. This is hard. I haven't been at this too long, and I sometimes think the ones I nominate for these things don't need my support. I follow a lot of blogs with a bazillion other followers, and I'm just one little Canadian. My 35 followers (hello I love you all) probably already follow these others, because they have upwards of 500 followers, and I've mostly found people by stalking their sites. So let me try to do this in a different sort of way. And I can't really nominate Emmie Bee again, or else she'll be back trying to find 7 more and it'll never end. So, ya, just know you'd be on this list if it wasn't for the whole circular awarding thing :D

1 - The Mommyologist - I nominate her for two reasons. Firstly, she is hilarious. I laugh out loud every time I read her posts. So much so, I've stopped reading them at work. Secondly, she's always there to support a fellow blogger. I've received 2 awards from her, and never had one I can give back. I am SO happy to be able to give her one in return, because she so deserves it. She cracks me up, and I do so love her approach to life with her son, and her husband. Thanks to her, I will never think of Q-tips the same way again. 

2 - The Pursuit of Mommyness - This lady spends a lot of time coming up with great idea about how you can improve your blog world. I love the MondayMEME , and her tips and tricks for helping newbies like me. It's also very full of resources AND she just found out she is pregnant with her first. so I bet things are going to get a lot more interesting :D

3 - Maybe If You Just Relax - Jen is SO SO funny. I wish I could be half that funny in a blog, let alone in real life. I love reading her posts because I KNOW I will giggle all the way through. Even when her poor little baybee Olivia was experiencing feberal seizures due to fever, she managed to make me smile. Not a light hearted subject, but she handled it SO well. 

4 - Parenting in Progress - I stalk Mae because she guest posted on another blog I love, and it was hilarious. I also stalk her because she has some pee in your pants hilarious tweets going on, and I love to watch her pop up in my feed. Her daughter Piper is oh so adorable, and her website is full of more than just parenting. From the things she's made, to the things she's going to do more of, Mae is out there, telling it how it is. And I love it. 

5 - smonk you - The dudes a daddy blogger and I have the utmost respect for him. He hangs out in a world of mommy bloggers, and keeps up. He's hilarious, supportive and totally speaking from the often forgotten side of this parenting equation. I sadly didn't find him until very shortly before his son Miloh was born, but the play by play Tweets of the labour were all I needed to want to read more. He's super hilarious, and I LOVE to hear things from the daddy perspective. It just does not happen often enough. 

6 - The Wifey Blog - Ok Gabrielle is the kind of girl you sort of want to be, but are afraid to. This woman holds nothing back. She tells it like it is, from her marriage, to her friends to her annoying party animal neighbours. She has her weekend irks, which are always a good read. She seems like she'd be an excellent person to have on your side, and kind of a scary on to have against you. I love that she changes her blog look on a weekly basis, and I'm sad to see she's been discovered by those "IRL" and is considering censoring herself, because her blog is awesomeness. 

7 - Things I Can't Say - Shell is another one of those hilarious, say it how it is ladies. Are you sensing my pattern? Make me laugh, make me want to be you, make me jealous that you're so free with your words and so uncensored, and I will apparently follow you like a lost puppy. Except, chances are high I won't hump your leg (certainly not when I'm giaganto like I am right now). She's defined "Motherbitch" and it's probably one of my favourite phrases. I like this lady, a lot. 

So there you have it. 7 not-that-interesting facts about me, and 7 blogs I like to read. You should visit them all, and follow them, and tell them where you heard of them so they know I have some pull in this bloggy world. Even if it's only a small force. 

Thanks again Emmie!

"Remember, you're not a martyr"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause; a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering; a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc

We went to our Child Birth preparation class this weekend, and I took a lot away from it. Of course I learned the process of labour - first stage, second stage, third stage. I learned some tactics for dealing with pain, some relaxation techniques and some detailed information about why women poop when they birth. The hubs learned to not take it personally when I tell him I hate him or smack his hand away from my body. He learned how to best help me, and what he should do if I start to vomit (the answer is, keep my hair out of my face, provide mouth wash and tell me I'm pretty). I learned 3 uses for a can of coke (or your chosen canned beverage) that do not include drinking, I learned how to massage my perineum (not sure I can go there) and why sex can induce labour (it's not just because it rocks your world, it's because of the prostaglandin) .

It was all very useful information...very useful information that we will promptly forget at the first sign of a contraction. And that's ok, because at least we did it. And even knowing what we know now will make us that much more confident, especially in these last 7-9 weeks.

The most important things I took away were a little less technical. I'm going to start with her reminding us that if we choose to try for a natural childbirth, we are not martyrs (and end with how labour is like an erection....see now you have to read on, because you want to know that one).

I found this martyr comment very interesting. As I continue down the path of preparing myself for the birth of our daughter, I can't believe how often I'm made to feel this way. Actually, that's wrong. No one can make me feel anything, but I can't believe how many times I'm faced with someone's snide remarks or backhanded comments about my choices. And frankly, it's pathetic.

I get it. Everyone's reactions of WHY would you CHOOSE to put yourself through all that pain and suffering for no good reason makes sense. Because to them, there is no good reason. And to them, it is pain and suffering.

Don't get me wrong. I am pretty damn sure this whole thing is going to hurt. I've read a lot of stories about women who claim they had pain free childbirth, and I only DREAM I could be one of them. But that takes a certain level of confidence, self trust and focus that I'm not sure I've got in me. But what I'm not so convinced of is the suffering part. I believe that feeling and experiencing this is something I should do to bring my daughter into the world. I believe the birth of your child should be dramatic. It should be memorable, and it should be intense. And granted I am in the 80% of people who have a "normal" child birth, without any major medical interventions or emergencies, I should be able to tolerate it. And if I'm in the other 20%, then I'll deal with that as it comes.

Sure, I know there are a lot of drugs I can take to make the experience less painful. And I may choose to go that route, I'm leaving myself open to that possibility. But just because I KNOW it could be less painful, does not make me a martyr for choosing to try it without the drugs. And frankly, I am sick of the attitudes about people who choose to birth the way they do.

There are a lot of things that aren't necessarily my style. I don't think a home birth is right for us, because I think I would be too worried about the "what ifs" to let go and surrender to the experience. I don't think a lotus birth is right for us, because, well ick. I am sure there are reasons for this, and good ones, but it's just not for me, sorry. I also don't think a scheduled, non-medically required c-section is the way to go for us. But what I DO think, is any woman choosing these things, should be given the opportunity to do so without ridicule from the people around her. Unfortunately, in my experience, this is not always the way.

I do get a lot of support from other people who have managed a natural experience and lived to tell about it. I also get a lot of support from people who went the medicated route, but understand it's an individual choice. However, it's the negative, snide underhanded remarks, to myself and those around me, that start to get to a person. And by get to me, I mean, make me want to scratch some eyes out (what, I never said I wasn't petty).

What makes me a martyr exactly? What's wrong with trying to do it without drugs? Who cares if I read a hypnobirthing book? I just don't understand. Why are my choices up for ridicule and debate? Is it jealousy? Is it anger? Or is it just plain ignorance? I am not pretentious, I don't think I am better than anyone, and I certainly don't think that getting medicated means you're any less of a person. I just know what I want for my personal experience, and I think I've gained the right to focus on that goal.

I'm ranting and not getting anywhere, but this is one of those things that's been irking me for weeks. People have opinions on everything, and they are entitled to them. And I have more than anyone out there. But they are not entitled to tell me about them negatively, and they are not entitled to put their assumptions onto me either.

At the end of the day I'm very thankful for that comment by the instructor. I am happy she put it out there because it means I am not alone. I certainly knew I wasn't the only one contemplating a natural birth, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who hears the comments. But at least I know it's not something exclusively about ME that prompts people to talk so poorly about the choices I'm making for my body, and our birth experience. The fact that she said that means there are a lot of us there, feeling excited about the arrival of our babies, while simultaneously feeling stupid or guilty or ridiculed for the choices we're making.

I wish I was a stronger person. One who didn't care what other people thought, and could just let it roll off her back. And I'm getting better at it. But sometimes, someone shocks you with their true feelings about your birth choices, and well, it shakes you up a little.

But that's enough of that. I am not a martyr, and I am not going to let anyone make me feel like I am from now on. Screw it, I've only got somewhere between 5 and 9 weeks until this baby arrives, and it's time to build my confidence.

So what else did I learn?

Well, I learned that I can do anything for a minute, and that piece of advice I'm going to take to the grave. She did an exercise with an ice cube to simulate the differences between focusing on the pain, using distraction and working with your breathing, and you really could tell. I learned that I like to focus on the countdown, and breathe through it, and that if the Hubs was in labour, he'd choose to simply embrace the feeling and know it would end soon. I'm pretty sure contractions will be harder to tolerate than an ice cube tightly gripped in my palm, but it demonstrated that I can in fact, do anything for a minute.

I learned that the 2 steps forward, 1 step back of baby's exit routine is not some cruel joke designed to punish me for Eve's mistakes (AHAHAHAHA). No, instead it's a favour she is doing for me, so that her dad may in fact get joy out of my body again at some point in life. Nothing like your daughter giving you the gift of an intact vag, and not a tear from hole to hole.

I learned that some people like contractions more than pushing, but that most women find relief in the pushing process (UH YAY! Something to focus on and work towards!).

I learned what a fully grown woman of around 50 years old sounds like when she simulates the different types of contractions, and what that simulation will do to a room full of men.

And finally, I learned that my vaginal opening was designed to stretch to exactly the size of a babies head, and that the stretching itself does not hurt. In fact, it stretches the same percentage as a mans flaccid self (yup, I said flaccid, twice!) stretches when he get's an erection. And since that does not hurt, neither does this. I also learned that I think that comparison is a bit of a stretch.

At the end of the day, I am really glad we did the class. Sure, lots of people told us we didn't need it, and I am sure we would have coped if we hadn't. Like my sister who was in labour during the time her birth class was occurring. However, I think confidence is a big part of this, for both me and the hubs. And I think anything we can do to help us build that confidence, is worth a few hours on a weekend.

Now, I'm off to find something else to be a martyr for........