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Bigger By The Belly

Gestating an alien from conception through birth...

Updated: 2018-03-02T08:46:15.602-08:00


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Breastfeeding from the world of a 2 week old mother....


Ok so here is the deal, the problem I see with breastfeeding is the complete lack of knowledge most of us have about it. Maybe not most of us, but at least me.When I was pregnant I assumed of course, like many other women, that I would breastfeed with no issue. I never really put any thought into the pros and cons of breast over formula feeding, and admittedly even now I haven't done the research necessary to effectively comment on either method. However, I know the drill. I know the benefits of giving your baby the boobie juice, and why so many of us just blindly enter motherhood with the assumption that we'll be feeding our babes from the very body they were created and grown inside of. I attended a child birth class, which included 3 hours on breastfeeding and walked out of there thinking "obviously" and never thought any further.And herein lies the problem. I, like many, assumed breastfeeding was a no brainer and I for one, was wrong. At least I was wrong for myself.The thing is, I do not recall anyone at anytime ever telling me that I would need to have my child attached to my body for at LEAST 6 hours of every day, or in the case of my child closer to 9. I don't remember hearing about latching troubles, or the fact that those first few weeks would be excruciating while your nipples toughened up. I don't think anyone talked much to me about bleeding nipples, or rock hard breasts that shy away from the delicate shower spray. And I definitely know no one told me about the guilt, stress and fatigue 1 bad breastfeeding day would create.Like I said, I went to 3 hours of breastfeeding class. I sat in a poorly lit community centre room, with photos circa 1967 spread across the walls of latched on chubby babies sucking happily from their mothers breast. Me, the hubs and 14 other sweaty soon to be families crammed into this room, to be enlightened about this thing they call breastfeeding. I listened to a hairy, crunchy woman excitedly detail every benefit of the boobie juice to us, while highlighting the bonding and loveyness that come from such an amazing time. I held a 4 ounce doll to my clothed breast, a doll who didn't move and didn't cry and didn't have a mind or insatiable hunger of her own, and practiced the different holds. I watched a video of 3 hour old babes bobbing their way over to their mothers breast and latching on like champs, just like that (I am now convinced they filmed 10,000 babies to get those 8 to do that so effortlessly, and just neglected to mention that part). I played a game in which we put a series of photos in order from start to finish, showing a successful feed. I got a pamphlet which showed me the holds again, and further reiterated why I am only a good mother if I feed from the breast.That was all well and good. At 37 weeks pregnant, perhaps that was all I could handle, but the class was seriously misleading. What it didn't tell me was the challenge of getting a dopey newborn to open her mouth wide enough for me to shove my cantaloupe sized breast into it. It didn't talk too much about how to get a good latch, just briefly showed what one looked like...and that shit isn't easy my friends. They told me how if done properly, breastfeeding doesn't hurt, but they didn't tell me what to do when it hurt like someone was holding a hot fire poker against my nipple. They told me to buy nipple cream, in case my nipples cracked but they didn't tell me that by crack they may mean bleed so heavily it would cause my 5 day old baby to vomit green chunks (of partially digested blood, I later learned), and send us on a trip through the emergency room.My point is this - those of us who choose and are able to feed from the breast need more than just support in the form of "it's good for your baby and your wallet", and more even than all the support we so desperately need to feed without ridicule in public. We need reality. We need lactation people at the hospital to come for a visit and show us what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong. Not just burnt out nurs[...]

The 3pm Mother vs. The 3am Mother


My darling daughter is 2 weeks today, and I feel the fog starting to lift. I know I am supposed to post a big long poetic piece about how in love I am with her. I know I'm supposed to talk about the sparkle in her eye, how warm and fuzzy she is and how totally in love I am. I know I'm supposed to be beaming with new mother pride, viewing the world through rose tinted glasses and reveling in every poop that comes rocketing out of my daughters soft little cutesy bum.And you know what? I am. I am so much in love with Everly it almost hurts. I cannot stop kissing her little face or staring at her while she sleeps. Even when I should be sleeping in the night, I get up to make sure she's breathing, and just to stare at her in wonderment. I cannot believe that only 2 short weeks ago, she was that faceless body that shook my belly all night long and made me have to pee every 15 mins. I cannot believe that she came from me and the hubs, that I grew that person from 2 pieces of DNA to a whole human, that she is part of us. I love her and I cannot get enough out of every single moment we spend together. She changes a bit every day and I feel as though time is already moving too fast. It really does happen, this instant love and I could not be more proud of my little girl. The love I feel for this child has shown me a kind of love I did not know existed, and my heart feels bigger and my life fuller just for having known her.All of that said, there is a dark side to the first few weeks of motherhood that I am sure everyone experiences. And maybe I've ignored the warnings, maybe I didn't think they would happen to me, maybe I thought people over exaggerated. Or maybe, most new mothers out there experience what I have just gone through and the guilt and shame of the situation keeps them from speaking out or being honest.It sounds like I going to confess a bunch of crazy thoughts full or rage and anxiety that I need to be medicated for. And I'm not. I have not felt the least bit angry this entire time, and at no point have I worried about my mental health or the safety of my child in my care. I have however sat, alone in the dark, while the hubs sleeps soundly, the baby fights me for a piece of the boob and I sob uncontrollably over her, tears streaking down and staining her precious new little head.It's new mommy guilt and it hurts. I am sure this is equal parts sleep deprivation and hormonal imbalance, but as you're living it, you cannot rationalize. It's amazing how different 3pm can feel versus 3am. At 3pm, I am confident, I am with it, I am changing my daughter, she is eating like a champ and we're totally in a groove. At 3pm I am happy. I am beyond delighted with my new life and I can't wait to take my daughter out to experience the world. But at 3am, it is dark. I am alone and things are infinitely harder. It is at this time that the sleep deprivation has killed my ability to be rational. It's this time of the night, where my darling is crying out of hunger, but will not WILL NOT just latch on and eat, even though she's done it 15 times (literally) before that very same day. It's around this time where the pain in my back rivals the pain in my breasts and I wonder how people do this. It's around this time I'm on Twitter, screaming profanities and thankfully being talked down from the ledge by a collection of other mommy's doing the same thing.This new mommy routine causes my chest to fill with tension and anxiety at 3am, to feel like I could scream, to look at my daughter and BEG her to just EAT like she's done so many times before. And this kicks in the guilt, which causes the tears, which exacerbates the guilt even further. How can I honestly expect my baby to do what I want, what I need? Life is about her now, and she deserves a kind mother, a patient mother, a mother who understands that she does not understand. And at 3pm, I am so that mother. We joke, I call her silly names and tell her she's being a goof when she's so busy cramming her hands in her mouth and screa[...]

Welcome to Mommyhood!


What a strange and unusual week it's been. It's been the most wonderful, more emotional and most exhilarating, and most exhausting 5 day stretch of my life. I'm so happy, I've felt so up and so down. I've had amazing successes and the crushing feeling of failure. I've had to so quickly learn a new kind of patience. I've had to succumb to the inability to control everything. I've had to realize that everyone is learning here and not instinctually just knowing how to be a mother doesn't not mean I cannot do it. Coming home from the hospital is a shock, and then you have to just learn as you go.

There is obviously a long story about our birth, the c-section, the recovery and the coming home. I want to share it and I will but right now is a small quiet moment and all I want to do is watch my daughter sleep and be.

I'm having the best time ever, and I cannot believe I have the most beautiful little daughter. And I have her almost all to myself.

Until I'm back with the rest of the story, here are some photos of our new addition Everly Delilah:

We're having a baby....TOMORROW!!!


Yes, tomorrow. I got a phone call this morning from the crazy receptionist at my OBGYN's office and we're scheduled for our c-section tomorrow!! (as an aside, the crazy receptionist really is crazy. Her name is Saffron and she multi-tasks like no one I've ever seen before. I've had the birth date of my daughter in the hands of a crazy lady who is named after a spice for the last few weeks).

The appointment is at 11am, so we need to be at the hospital at 9am.

I am scared, I am excited, I am all sorts of things. I don't know what to do with myself.

This is a short post, I just wanted to let you all know why I may be missing in blog land for awhile. Hopefully when I come back, we will have moved to our new URL (you can email me for that at

I will be updating on Twitter when I can, if you want to keep up!

And for fun, here is my 39 week belly shot (I am SO glad that I didn't get any stretch marks, so that my scar can shine alone in all it's glory, ugh).


Baby Girls Red and Aqua Nursery


My nursery looks so much better than I ever could have imagined! I REALLY wish I was capable of taking even half decent photos because this room deserves my better than my photo skills but, here it is:I'm not sure about my mobile? Is it too much?Our "no closet" solution. Also known as the shelf that tried to ruin my life:Books, blankets and other random things are well hidden in here :DDresser/change table, full of cloth diapers and a million tiny baby clothes :DView from her crib. The picture is level, the room/ceiling is not.Our awesome light!!On:Off:Just another view:Up close of our Vinyl Birds over the crib:I need to tidy this up a little bit, I think I need some baskets.Her view (ti's cloudy but there are mountains):[...]

Are you ready?


Suddenly last night, I got this overwhelming need to meet my baby. I don't know what it was. I've been feeling cautiously optimistic the entire time I've been pregnant. I know for a fact I am going to love her with every ounce of my soul and not one part of me has any regret or hesitation about becoming a mother. That said, this whole process is still scary as hell and the idea that I will soon be solely responsible for a precious new life can give me a little anxiety.People ask you the same questions when you're pregnant, especially at this stage. They ask you how you're feeling (and for some reason 'fine' is not a satisfactory answer, because if you don't elaborate, you are then asked how you are sleeping, if you've got energy and if your back is sore, if your breasts are sore ). They ask you if you're excited (nah, whatever, it's just A BABY I HAVE GROWN FOR 10 MONTHS YO!), and they ask you if you are ready. That last question has admittedly been hard for me, and for the hubs. He gets away with it as new dad jitters, and people tend not to push him for fear of making him feel bad or awkward. I, on the other hand, am expected to perform some sort or preggo cartwheeling miracle, complete with pompoms and the shrill voice of a high school cheerleader - "I AM READY. R.E.A.D.Y. READY!!!!" And if I don't, I get the sympathetic side glance, with the "you'll do just fine" chaser.I know I will do just fine. I am confident that the hubs and I will not be the first couple in the history of the world to simply implode from an inability to handle our new life. Sure things will be hard and I will cry when the baby won't latch on but is screaming from hunger and he can't help me so he get's frustrated and all we want is to go back to Saturday nights when the biggest problem was that I had to pee and the line up for $0.99 pizza was 20 mins long. I know things are about to change so epically that there is no way for us to fully be prepared for it. And I also know that my little sister, my BFF and countless other friends have managed this process, and all of them still have all their hair.What is hard to answer, or at least has been, is 'ready' part of the question. Not because I am not ready, but because who is ever ready? And what the hell is ready? Is it having enough diapers? Is it having no fear (because then honestly, no ones ever ready)? Is it giving up all selfishness? What is ready? Sure I tried for 14 months to make this human. Sure I've had the last 35 weeks to wrap my head around it. Sure we've bought every. single. baby. item. EVER. And sure, putting my shoes on without a head in my ribs will be a welcome change, but to say I'm ready would be a lie.I am not ready to share her with the world at all. She has been with me, experiencing every up and down I've had for the better part of a year. I was the first person to know what it felt like when she moved, and the first person to feel her hiccup. I know what it's like to get a punch to the cervix by a frustrated little girl who just wants to flip around (her hands are under her butt in this breech position, so my cervix is still ripe for the kicking). I know when she is awake and when she is asleep, and I know that she is safe. There is no risk of her falling to the floor, or getting a cold. She's safely living in my body, and to date, caring for her only requires I care for myself. And that I got the hang of over the last 29 years.I've just been feeling this sense of apprehension about having a real live baby, in my house, that I am responsible for 100% of the time. And I am pretty sure this is all normal. Then last night, a weight lifted and all I can think about now is holding her (but just me, I'm still not ready to share).I could take this as some sort of cosmic sign that she is on her way shortly. That this calm that has come over me is her way of signalling she is also ready, and tha[...]

So far, I've got a dog but not a baby....


Alright, let's get back to having our eyes on the prize here less than a week (ok well the exact time is STILL undetermined but, we'll assume) this baby will be here. In my ARMS, relying 100% on me to care for her. I will be responsible for someone else's entire life, and that quite frankly it both exciting and terrifying.Let's think about this from my point of view, remembering of course that I may be certifiably insane. The only other "life" I've ever been solely responsible for maintaining thus far is my little monkey Tuker. Ok, he's a dog but I call him monkey. And I can't say I've always been great at that. Forget for a moment that I revel in the fact that I can feed him for 3 months on only $100, or that on particularly lazy days I forgo walking him in exchange for yelling "go poop" from the porch and hoping he chooses to do it outside and not in. Forget that I throw bacon flavoured treats down the hall so I can sneak out unnoticed every morning, or that I lie CONSTANTLY by telling him I'll be "back in 5 minutes". We can forget that sometimes, I bring him along for the day on errands, so he can sit in the car, in hopes he again, won't poop inside. Also, let's forget that he has no only been saved 1 time from certain drowning death, but 4 different times, for different reasons and NONE of which I've done on my own. Forget all that, and let's look at some of the serious issues my Boston faces.For one, the dog lacks a certain survival instinct that I can't help but wonder if I should have taught him. Seriously, if left unattended for more than 30 seconds, this dog would be dead. He sees large shiny objects, moving towards him on wheels and thinks he should go play with them. Roller bladers, skateboarders, cars, trucks, bikers, this dog will throw himself in the path of any rolling object, tongue out butt wagging, in hopes of some love. Ai ya. I've seen him put his entire face underwater, trying to get a ball (stick, rock, barnacle) and breath in. Eyes wide open, he dives under, and breathes as usual. And if he's not almost drowning that way, it's because he's jumped into a raging river and it's sweeping him out to sea. And if a bear wandered into my yard with her cubs right now, he's be licking them in the face faster than you can say "THE DOG!". One time, the hubs threw a GIANT piece of driftwood, but it slipped from his hand and instead of the dog moving from it, he watched it as it came at his head and clocked him so hard, he dropped and was actually paralyzed for a moment. He trusts everything and everybody (EXCEPT the sound of fireworks, which makes him put his head under the bed because, you know, if he can't see you he must have gone invisible) with a completely open heart. He loves everything in life, and I've not taught him to fear anything, even the scary stuff.And beyond all these things, let's think about the fact that just this past January, my dog had the ENTIRE FRONT SET of his teeth REMOVED. Not 1 or 2 teeth, but 6; and the only reason there weren't MORE, is because he'd already lost most of them. How you ask? Well let's see, there are the times at the cabin where he drags giant driftwood 3x his size up the beach, and then proceeds to eat it. And there is his OBSESSION with tug of war, and my husbands obsession with doing parlour tricks with a dog lock jawed on the end of a rope toy - passing him through his legs and over his shoulder. There is also the simple fact that 2 grown adults and a tube of chicken flavoured toothpaste (which is perfectly disgusting by the way) cannot brush the 11 teeth of a 10 pound dog.Anyway, I realize I will have a baby and not a dog, and that hopefully my child will grow up with a slightly more enhanced sense of reason and comprehension than my fartastic Boston, but it's what I've got for now. And while my dog is fundamentally healthy, overly [...]

She's having a baby....


Yup, that's me. I'm having a baby. In fact, my doctor thought I was going to have her tomorrow. Because his completely banana's receptionist (her name is Suffron) called me at 10:00am to inform me that my "surgery" is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:45am.First of all, please do not refer to the birth of my daughter as surgery. I may have been referring to it as "gutting me" and "cutting her out of me" for the last 2 weeks, but I'm allowed. You are not. And second of all, please give me slightly more than 24 hours NOTICE about said surgery. Not 21.25. And third of all, you're insane and I know you can multi-task like no ones business, but could you pretend to listen to me?I realize that my baby could, at any point, decide today is the day and we'd be off to the races, but that is OK. This is her birth, so she can dictate the time. But in absence of being afforded that possibility, I will control it and that means keeping her in my womb until the latest possible moment. And the latest possible moment is not 7 entire days before she is DUE! So no, she will not be born at 7:45am tomorrow, despite it being St Patrick's Day, and everyone thinking I should have jumped at that chance. I cancelled that appointment, and asked to be placed BACK on the wait list. She thought I was crazy (along with a few other people in my life) but thankfully obliged. I will now be waiting for a phone call, giving me less than 24 hours, but at least occurring, for my daughters BIRTH on Friday or Monday.I am feeling much better these days. We met with the midwives this morning, and she was very optimistic about the c-section, and said something I hadn't really thought about properly. She said "no matter how this baby comes into the world, this is still her birth and a moment to be cherished. Whether she is born vaginally, or through an incision, it is her birthday, it is still special and we will still celebrate it". And she is RIGHT! And I am happy to hear that she will be there, doing many things to help this experience be positive, wonderful and exciting.I also need to give mad props (yes I just said that) to 3 bloggy women who have helped me immensely over the last 3 weeks. I had to explain to the hubs that while he might not GET this whole blog/Twitter world I have found myself living in as of late, he should appreciate it. If not for all of my Twitter friends, and these 3 in particular, I definitely would have wallowed longer in my self pity than I did. I needed someone to help me pull my fat head from my tiny ass. And none of my real life friends have had an experience like this that could empathize and then kick my butt into gear. My real friends are awesome, and have helped me just get through the last weeks on a personal level, but in terms of getting out of my head and learning to keep my eyes on the prize, I need to say THANK-YOU to 3 very special people.First of all, Mae from Parenting in Progress. She has spent a ridiculous amount of time emailing me, and really making me THINK about all my issues with the c-section process. It's 1 part tough love and 3 parts sincere desire to help me have a wonderful birth experience like she did with her daughter Piper. Due to a medical condition, Mae needed to choose between a c-section for her daughter, or a labour which would potentially leave her blind (to read Mae's story, go here: The Story and then here: The Slice...The Yank ). So while the catalyst for her decision was different than mine, she shares my experience of having to make this choice. And she has done wonders for helping me get over myself. So thank you Mae, because you have certainly stopped the flood of tears I was previously experiencing. And she is the first one to tell me that this birth will be special, no matter how she arrives, and she even beat the midwife to making me real[...]

Reveling in my non-success.....


So I've tried a lot of things over the last 2 weeks to get this baby to flip. And although she has yet to flip, I feel proud of all the things I have done. I won't say I failed, because I don't really believe this is a failing or succeeding thing. Sure I tried, and sure she didn't flip, but this isn't a black or white situation. We don't know why she flipped, and in fact many a medical professional have studied this phenomenon and have yet to truly settle on why some kids do this. It could be an issue with my pelvis, it could have been a cord in the way, or she might just be that stubborn. Whatever it was is keeping her locked and loaded into the butt down position, and after 2 weeks of insanity, I need to just settle in and accept that my daughter would like to start her life mooning you all.So, because I am proud of how hard I've tried to turn my little one, I am going to brag about it to the internets. And I do this not for reassurance, but because I really am happy with what I've tried and I think putting it out there will help me remember that. We've decided that unless she turns, which isn't that likely, we will be having a scheduled c-section....when we don't know, because we're currently on a c-section wait list, if you can believe that. This is probably a whole other post, so I'll save that for Monday; because Monday folks is my first official day of maternity leave. Which is another post of it's own.But today, I revel in my non-success to boost my confidence, and remind me I did everything in my power to get back to the original birth plan. She was clearly not on board with it, and I refuse to believe she's upside down...I think she's just exercising her individuality already. I can be proud of her for that.So here is the list of all the things I've done. And while I am not insane, I have been about 1 step from calling in a Voodoo witch doctor for the past 2 weeks. I figure if all these things don't work, maybe that will?Acupuncture. I've sat through a total of 3 acupuncture appointments, and I have 2 others coming up. Total cost so far - $210. Total cost for all 5 - $350.Chiropractor. I've been to a total of 3 chiropractic appointments, attempting the Webster Technique, and I've got 2 more coming up. Total cost so far - $145. Total cost for all 5 - $225. Moxibustion. If you don't know what this is, it's the act of taking a stick of mugwort root, lighting it like a cigar until you get a hot end, and then circling it over the acupuncture points for 15 mins 3 times per day. I told you, I'm 1 step away from calling the voodoo doctor. Pool Handstands. I've spent 4 evenings, floating around my girlfriends common pool area in my 2 piece swimsuit, doing at minimum 15 handstands per occasion. (I'll give you a moment to picture that, because honestly there isn't much about a 9 month preggo in her tiny pre-preggo bikini doing pool handstands that isn't hilarious). I've tried somersaults (and failed...all I accomplished was water up my nose. Apparently I am no longer 10), I've tried crawling in the pool, and I've tried to cat/cow in the shallow end. I swam laps, I did pelvic tilts, and I even hung upside down off the side of the pool for a few minutes until my bestie got nervous. Inversions and positions. Holy gawd have I done inversions. Whatever one I can find time for, for as long as I could do it. I've put my butt up on a pillow, I've leaned on my elbows on the floor, with my knees on the couch. I've done the cat-cow all over the house. I've crawled, I've done the knee to chest position. I have all hardwood and my knees and elbows are bruised to shit. I have inverted and positioned myself in every way imaginable. I have not slouched or sat comfortably in 2 weeks. My back aches from my stellar posture. I have exclusively used the yoga ball at work,[...]

She didn't flip over, so I'm flipping out...


So the version was horrible, painful and didn't work. They laid me out on a bed, after having me to the hospital 1.5 hours earlier than I needed. The nurse was fantastic, and I was really happy with my care. Too bad that didn't eliminate the pain of the procedure. I knew it wasn't going to be good, and to be honest, it was no worse than I thought. But at the end of the day, it was awful.I laid on a bed in a small room, and after being monitored for an hour, the doctor (who is awesome) arrived and jumped right in. After a failed IV attempt, where it popped out of my hand vein, and a re-insertion into my arm, we were under way. She was reconfirmed breech for the 47th time, and the doctor talked his resident through the procedure. They flipped the bed, so I was once again upside down (which I have been ALL weekend in the pool, doing handstands in hopes I could help her flip). Then they made a fluid pocket by pressing with enough pressure to make a diamond, directly above my pelvic bone and he began.At first, we went right, She's been getting herself transverse this entire weekend so I thought it might be a good option. They pushed, the midwife and the hubs rubbed my legs and feet to distract me, and I felt immense pain and pressure in my abdomen. I tried to breathe through it. Closed my eyes and envisioned being on a warm Hawaiian beach with my baby. They told me to relax, and I really thought I was but apparently I was tensing up all my muscles, including the leg ones. I tried to stop, but it wasn't me doing it, it was my body.Right didn't work. We took a break, they put something in my IV to relax my muscles. I began to feel like a jello version of my former self, and we tried to go left. Left wasn't working. One more shot to the right, because 3rd time is always the charm. Except, it wasn't.I tried to stay calm. I tried to stay quiet. I tried not to let the tears welling up in my eyes stream down my cheeks, but I failed on all accounts. The doctor simply said "I don't think this is going to work, and I don't think we should keep trying". Fair enough, he is the expert. He is the man who has been called "the breech guru", he is the person I'm putting all my faith and trust into right now. And to be honest, the feeling that my stomach cavity was going to snap off in my body, or that they were going to break my poor sweet child's neck was far too much to bare. I conceded. I gave in. I gave up.Up I went, back into a flat position, so I could lay for an hour while they monitored contractions and fetal heart rate to make sure they didn't do anything to either of us. Luckily, we are both fine. Her more so than I am. We talked to the midwives, we talked to the nurses, I laid there and waited and then it was time to go. My lovely nurse came back in to let me go, and gave me a rose she'd been given for International Women's Day. She said I was strong and that any decision I made would be the right one. She told me to listen to the baby, and not to feel guilty.Now I'm at home. Resting. Sitting here pouring over statistics about cord compression and baby brain damage in vaginal breech delivery, and feeling an insane amount of guilt about potentially choosing the c-section route. I am also insanely petrified of the c-section.I could rationalize being told I didn't have the option for vaginal breech, I could feel ok saying I had a 'medically required C-section', but having to CHOOSE to go this route is killing me. I don't even know for sure what my hang up is entirely. I don't know WHY I am so adverse to the C/S but I can't feel good about choosing it. And it's making this all too hard. I feel like I'm not going to be able to bond with her if she comes up via an incision. I feel like I am not going to be able to take care of her or my family after it's over[...]

When right side up is upside down...


36.6 weeks into this pregnancy, the hubs and I headed to our midwife appointment...blissfully unaware that things had changed with our baby girl. We sat, we talked, we covered the basics. How am I feeling, were we ready, and hey did you want to have a vaginal swab (GBS test)? Sure, what girl doesn't want a 6 inch swab up her vajay at 9:45am?!?!?!All that was normal, and then the midwife did the heartbeat and position check, and my heart sort of sunk. Luckily her heart beat was clomping along like a little horsey at 130 bmp, so I knew she was ok. But the midwife was having a hard time verifying position. But hey, she's the student midwife so no problemo, let's get one of the pro's. Problem is, the pro couldn't tell baby girls head from her butt either. Egads!Now we KNOW for a fact she's been head down for a long time. At 33.6 weeks, we confirmed she was head down. The midwife felt her "nestled perfectly in the pelvis. Head down ready to go". So I am not worried. No baby in their right mind would flip the wrong way this close to their birthday, that would be crazy, and stubborn and just plain difficult. Then again, this is my kid, who is already demonstrating just how much like me she is.So I go for my "emergency ultrasound" at the most hilarious little clinic. It's in the heart of our Chinatown, on the 2nd floor of perhaps the most confused mall ever. Chinese food, herbs and cell phone providers all in one place... conveniently located next to the medical clinics of Wong and Wong. Whatever I'll take it, they had an appointment for me 2 short hours after the visit with the midwife. My darling friend G joined me, as the hubs was not able to, and waited patiently for me in the waiting room...I was 100% sure the tiny little woman performing my scan would tell me that lump under my ribs was my kids bony butt and away we'd go. That was right up until she put the doppler on my lump and said "and that's her head"."Excuse me, pardon, fuk the what, how stupid are you, did your degree come from a Fruit Loops box, you've gotta be wrong you insane women my kid would not flip like that" was sorta what went through my mind. There may have been a few more expletives involved.As I lay there, choking back tears, sure this woman would not "get' why I was upset, I tried to wrap my head around this thought. My child is heads up, which is actually upside down in fetus world.We left the appointment, I called the hubs and we stopped to get Chinese food, because really, when in Rome...Back to the office me and my friend go, and I sit in my office the rest of the day, choking back the tears, whining incessantly on Twitter (but getting AMAZING support) and wondering what went wrong.I also remembered back to the previous Thursday, when in retrospect is when the baby flipped. At 36 weeks 1 day, in the evening at my BFFs house, my baby flipped out. Literally. I had felt funny all afternoon. I'd been crampy, and feeling a tad on the nauseated side. I was starving by the time we put her daughter to bed and ate our dinner, and I knew something was going on. My belly had jetted out so far for a moment, on the opposite side that she'd ever been, that my bestie even commented. I felt crampy in my legs and even had a hard time walking back to my car when I left. It was certainly strange and I actually thought for a minute or 200 I might be going into labour. But it all went away and I thought nothing more of it. Now I know, that was her pulling a gymnastics move.I spent the better part of Tuesday night crying uncontrollably. This is equal parts fear and confusion, and 9 month pregnant hormones. It is cruel and unusual punishment that your 10 months of sobriety has to end with a shit show of excess hormones. If a girl ever n[...]

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


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 d[...]

I'd really love to blog tonight...


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.

Tomorrow I am 35 weeks, say WHAT NOW?


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 agai[...]

Birth Stories - The Arrival of OMyFamily's OBaby


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:BIRTH CAN BE WONDERFUL"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[...]

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


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 [...]

And then we were showered with gifts....


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 HereUh 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 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 :DThanks 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 t[...]

Beautiful Blogger


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 award2. copy the award & place it on my blog3. link to the person who nominated me for this award4. share 7 interesting things about myself5. nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers1 - 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, chole[...]

"Remember, you're not a martyr"


Martyr: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, etcWe 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, becaus[...]

Birth Stories: Starting with Baby Rabies


In an attempt to get my vajay to unclamp itself and allow my darling daughter to exit without a spaghetti head (as an aside, the hubs has often said, since long before we were even married let alone pregnant, that we were going to have spaghetti children...I'll let that gem sit with you while you continue to read...or while you quickly run to the "unfollow" button and close this browser), I have decided to collect, read and record birth stories. The fact of the matter is, most of the labour stuff I know is coming from you people anyways. From women (and 1 man so far) who I know only since starting to blog, whose lives I've learned about 140 characters at a time, and in some cases, whose real names I don't actually know. This is not to say I don't have friends with children, I do. But for some reason, sitting down and trying to talk to them about their experiences rarely gets us anywhere. There are a lot of reasons for this. Often, they don't want to talk so intimately about the time they pooped on their husbands. We get easily distracted. I feel awkward asking them to detail the exit of their children from their bodies. And their kids are here, and are a lot of fun, so I'd rather play with those babes than discuss their arrivals. Also, of the people I know who have had babies, some have had medical interventions based on necessity, some have had early arrivals and some have spent the majority of their labour in a car, praying to make it to the hospital. And my goal here is to surround myself with as many natural, positive birth stories as possible, so I can, as mentioned above, convince my vajay it should unclamp. And finally, most if not all my mama friends don't remember their labour in the amount of detail I feel like I need. They never wrote it down, and it's been 4 years, or 1 year or 10 months or even 6 months, and they just can't recall. So I put the word out to the Twitter world, and got a little help from my friends. Before I knew it, I had offers for birth stories coming from people I'd never spoken to. I had offers for natural birth stories, planned and emergency c-sections, hypnobirths and water births and almost every kind of birth I can imagine (I also learned about something called a Lotus Birth from Mandy at Harpers Happenings, and well, ick). . So I decided, I'm going to read and post them all (or as many as I can before I go into labour, because birth stories will end with the arrival of my daughter). I feel like everyones story can contribute equally well to my experience. And at the end of the day, I have no idea what kind of experience I am going to have just yet, so I might as well be open minded and get prepared.I start my "birth story recap to get my vajay ready" reporting business with Jill from Baby Rabies. I start here for 2 reasons. 1 being that she is single handedly responsible for about 75% of the stories I received. She has a HUGE following (and for good reason, she's downright hysterical) and she put it out on her twitter and in they came (when Jill tells you to do something, you do it). The second reason is that anyone who has the guts to put the word "Baby" and the word "Rabies" in the same sentence, let alone build their internet persona around it, is a person I want to be best friends with. Jill's story is perfect. She thinks it's long winded, but as you can tell from my ever loquacious nature, you can never use too many words for me. In her usual style, she combines the right amount of [...]

Belly Shot Preview


I've just seen a few on Facebook from my photographer. I loooooooove this one:

Almost 32 weeks and a little freak out....


Well this is the end of week 31. Tomorrow I'll wake up, 32 weeks pregnant, 2 lbs. heavier and that much closer to meeting our daughter. That seems scary to me. To say things like "8 weeks to go" or "56 days", or to realize that my baby shower is coming up soon all makes this very real. Not that it hasn't been real, but I'm rapidly running out of time and all I can think is "have I done enough?" which the answer is always an emphatic NO!I have not saved enough money, and this is stressing me out. The hubs and I are equal in our income, and we have a nice little system set out where we pay the bills together, and enjoy liberty with our spending money. I don't complain about the 4th video game he's bought this month, and he does not complain about my 68th pair of shoes. I shop for food out of convenience sometimes, which only means it's more expensive, and I am ALL too familiar with the old take out regime.But I'm about to go to 45% of my income for an ENTIRE year, and add another life to care for. EEECK! The power is going to shift, and I'm not sure I like it.Now, it's not like the hubs is going to hoard his money and laugh manically at me as I shuffle around in my holey shoes. Obviously we're going to be working it out, but my issue is that I'm not going to be contributing my equal share, and that makes me feel, awkward. I am sure we'll find a balance, and I know it won't be held against me in any fashion. I've just worked for 15 years, and always taken care of myself. I'm an independent, self sufficient lady who has trouble asking for help for even the simplest things - what's it going to be like to have someone else caring for me? I've never relied on anyone else for much, and while I've had help from the parentals along my life path, I've otherwise been sufficient.Whoa this baby business is changing more than just my silhouette! Tone down the seriousness would you?  Who knew all these things would come to play when we decided to have a family."When we decided" makes it sound like we sat down, weighed the pro's and con's and developed a plan. Instead it's more like, we got married and that somehow kicked my clock into gear (previously, I thought I had been born devoid of a clock) and we threw caution to the wind (and birth control pills out the window) to see what would happen. I'd like to tell you all that I was patient and completely zen throughout the following 14 months but, it's a lie. I temped, I charted, I checked my "fertile signs" (I'm leaving it at that...those of you who KNOW what EWCM is get it, and those who don't, probably don't need to). I slyly seduced the hubs when it suited the timing, and impatiently suffered the excruciating 2WW to see if I got a visit from good old AF. And FINALLY one time, she didn't show up...and finally, when I peed on that $16 STICK I saw 2 lines.......And 32 weeks later (well 27 I guess) here we are. And I'm getting a little sweaty thinking about all the things I know I don't know. Well, if I knew that I guess I'd know them, so I am thinking about all the things I can imagine I don't know, and am going to have to learn. I really hope this whole mommy thing as intuitive as people keep saying, because I was sure not a good puppy mommy at the beginning (it's the only frame of reference ok?). And nothing else has ever come that natural to me either. I'm not a natural anything. I'm not good at singing or playing[...]

The Cloth Diaper Edition


The hubs and I are considering cloth diapering. I'd like to go on about all the statistics that relate to how that will positively impact the earth, but I don't know them. I know they exist, and I know they are important, but what's good enough for me is knowing that I will not be contributing (at least on a massive scale) to the diapers plaguing our landfills. I did learn the other day that on average, you'll use 7200 cloth diapers in your child's life time. And I don't need math to tell me that's an awful lot of fecal filled plastic sacks to add to an already epic waste management problem.I also don't need to do the math to understand what that will cost us. A fuk lot. Math doesn't give you ballparks like that, but who needs them. For those of you who are into math and junk, I did a rough calculation and we're looking at about $2000. This is assuming your kid is an average crapper, that you don't have more than 1 child, and that you are shopping around for discount diapers. Converesly, you can get cloth ones for around $500, with all sorts of selling your old ones, buying used ones, borrowing from people or looking for sales. Not to mention, when I think about buying the "cheapest disposable diaper" I envision myself, my hubs and my daughter covered in crap. Literally. I mean, I'm no expert, but I've had the lovely experience of lifting up a baby and finding urine, or worse turds, on my leg or arm. And as it turns out, I'm having a baby which means I will be covered in both those things (and more, because we all know no matter what kind of diaper you have, it does not protect against projectile breast milk in reverse) often as it stands. So to limit the leakage, I doubt I'd be bargain basement diaper shopping. No, I'd totally coupon clip my way to saving on the ones that are the best defense, but I suspect those ones start at a heftier price.And then of course, there is the fact that this is my child and her BRAND NEW skin I'm swaddling up in plastic and whatever else they make a diaper out of (I don't know, but I'm somehow sure it didn't start out that fluffy white colour). One of the best things I read when researching cloth diapers was "I don't wear plastic panties, why should my kids?". And I think maybe, that's true. I mean sure, I've never TRIED plastic panties, at least, not in my adult years (oh come on, we ALL had those little training pants), but I assume they aren't as comfortable and breathable as Pampers would have you think. And frankly, I half expect to find out diapers aren't BPA free sometime soon, or that they are laced with some other sort of life sucking chemical. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because last time I checked, everything we do is being put on the "this is going to kill you dead" list.For these reasons, and the simple fact that this WHOLE thing is so new and foreign to me, so I figure why the hell not try it out, we're looking into cloth diapering. No promises though. If I find out they are, in fact, the worst things ever in life, I will consider going back to disposables. And I am SO not against disposables on certain occasions. Like when you've got a baby sitter coming by or, you know, you haven't done laundry because it was laundry or sleeping and sleeping of course wins (yup, naps already win over my daughters butt. Mother of the year award coming my way!). My approach to this whole pregnancy/delivery/motherhood thing is at[...]