26 July 2013


Tadpole Jones has left the womb. With a bullet.

As a baby-cooker goes, I'm only mediocre. I get sick a lot, and things get complicated. As a baby deliverer though, I am a rock star. My hips are specialized machinery designed specifically for the shooting out of babies. And I proved it again with Tadpole Jones' arrival. In one and one half pushes.

The specifics of the labour and delivery are pretty typical. I had contractions, I went to the hospital, I wasn't progressing, I came home, I progressed like crazy all of a sudden, we went back, my doctor hurried things along a little, and SHAZAAM! Baby in my arms.

He is beautiful. And snuggly. And so incredibly wee. We are slowly (very slowly) transitioning from disposable diapers into cloth - trying one or two a day, to see fit, and absorption and all that stuff. But he is so tiny that even his newborn diapers are kind of huge on him. Fortunately, we scored a crapload of free disposables from a 'new baby' program at a drug store, so he should bulk up a little (particularly his chicken legs) before we run out.

Our poor cat is terrified of him. She is emotionally aggressive though, so she should be terrified. She routinely tries to smother Manthing in his sleep, which I find unacceptable and disgusting (she's learned that it can only happen if I am not in the bed), so I think I have a warranted concern that she might smother Tadpole Jones. So far she is keeping a safe distance, but she's become more emotionally aggressive with Girlchild, and when Girlchild tried to put an end to it, she scratched her. Guys, this is a cat that didn't react when Girlchild was 2 and anally violated her. And she scratched Girlchild because she was moving her out of her bed. So cat-watch is on. I think she remembers that her previous family turfed her because of a new baby though because she is terrified of me right now as well.

Anyhow. Back to Tadpole Jones, who is currently glaring at me like I'm deliberately starving him even though he just had a huge meal. He's had terrible gas and is a little jaundiced, so sleep has been rare. I had my baby-blues meltdown on day 3 and it lasted until day 5, when he started to improve. He's been less fussy (although right now is super fussy) and has been sleeping better, eating better and all that jazz. I have high hopes that I may sleep sometime before the year is out.

But he is everything that a miracle baby should be, just like my first. So now I have 2 miracles. Despite the temptation to go for one more and become a saint, I think I'll stay right where I am.

14 July 2013


My heart is aching and there is nothing I can do.

A few years ago, a couple I knew through the medieval group we belong to moved to town. I didn't know them well, but I kept bumping into the wife while out shopping, and eventually we became facebook friends. And then slightly more - we would chat regularly on facebook, even though we had that curious friendship where we never got together. Good intentions to get together so often, and we just never did. It was the same with her husband, we always meant to get our families together, and it never quite happened.

As luck would have it, just after Christmas I was able to visit them, and we enjoyed ourselves, and promised one another we would do it again soon. The husband had so much in common with Manthing, and the wife had also recently discovered she was pregnant again. There was a more common tie.

Her pregnancy immediately was difficult. She was unwell, the baby was unwell. More and more things went wrong, and soon she was off to Vancouver, where she would get the intense medical attention they both needed. I felt helpless to help. My own pregnancy has not been wonderful, but what I have gone through pales in comparison to what their family was enduring.

I received news last night that she and the baby have passed. My heart is just sick. They were that beautiful couple who is affectionate in public, and called each other 'lover' and 'angel'. They were so devoted to one another, and their devotion filled their family - their children are clearly well loved and sweet little babes. Why would something like this happen to them.

She was so young - the same age as me. She had so much more life to live. She had 4 children who still needed their mother. I feel helpless and sad and heartbroken. My friend has lost the love of his life. His children have lost their mother. They've all lost a son and brother in this wee babe that they were fighting so hard to save.

On days like these, I question the entire world. And I pray for my friend, and his children, and their whole family, that somehow they will find peace, and comfort and make it through.

10 July 2013

Maybe soon

I visited my doctor yesterday. We chatted, he laughed at me (he thinks I'm really funny), and he checked me out and did an S&S (google it if you must, but I won't be using my usual graphic descriptors to explain.) Needless to say, I've been uncomfortable ever since.

He recommended I get a yoga ball to sit on, as Tadpole Jones isn't quite low enough, but I am dilating, so that's good. As I sat on my yoga ball last night, wishing I'd bought the slightly larger one, I reflected on how my doc is a bit of a mystery. He knows a lot of midwife secrets, and is totally putting them into good use with me, which I appreciate.

When I told him I was 'totally done' yesterday, he laughed at me and said 'oh, you've been done for a while,' and continued his assessment. The entire nature of his bedside manner was one of understanding - I got the sense that some of the stuff he's done for me in the last couple of weeks has been entirely because he knows that I've reached my coping maximum, and he's sort of stretching some rules for me.

It's difficult being pregnant with chronic depression and anxiety. Particularly after a spectacularly crappy pregnancy like the Girlchild, when I pretty much thought I would lose her at any point after 14 weeks until she was born 22 weeks later. Those fears haunt me, and I constantly am waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the pre-term labour, or the weird unexplainable spotting, or the lost doppler heart rate that can't be found, or being told that this particular ultrasound is to determine fetal viability. And I'm not on my meds, to help manage to anxiety attacks, or hold the monster that is depression at bay. I constantly apologize for being short-tempered, impatient, sad, crabby, emotional. And yeah, there's a certain amount of this that I can blame on crazy pregnant lady hormones, but the reality is that this depression disorder is forever, and the crazy hormonal pregnant lady moments make me feel almost bipolar because they are the moments when something strikes me as absurd and I can't stop laughing. I pity Manthing and Girlchild. Manthing says this pregnancy has been much more even keeled than my previous pregnancy. But Girlchild is being subjected to the Mommy Terrorist with the absolutely uncontrollable temper, right at a time when she's most vulnerable - she's questioning her place in our family, is worried about being a big sister, and doesn't understand why Mommy is so grouchy one minute and so nice the next. I'm nice because I'm making a huge effort to not completely destroy her. I suppose that will count somewhere, sometime.

We walked over to a friend's yesterday (I'm really trying to get this labour thing happening), and Girlchild played with her wee children. She loved the three-year-old, even with accompanying 3-year-old behaviours. The wee toddler wasn't as interesting mostly because she wasn't into playing or sitting or anything. But she just walked into the house and sat down and played with the 3 year old. Totally vindicating my belief that she is going to be an amazing sister, and building her confidence as well. Her mood was entirely different on the way home - she felt like she was going to have an important role in our family finally. Who would have thought an hour with a 3 year old would do that?

So we got halfway home and I started feeling some very definite pulling in my abdomen. Enough that we had to stop for a minute so I could catch my breath. Ever since, things have been moving along, although slowly. I had steady contractions all evening, but they stayed at about 8 minutes apart. I had a lot of pain in my lower abdomen and pubic area, but nothing seems to have changed this morning. Except the contractions stopped. So I'm going to take it easy today, and putter in my house. I have a meeting tonight. After that, whatever happens can. Until then I'm crossing my legs.

Maybe next time I post, I'll be introducing Tadpole Jones to the world.

03 July 2013

The temptation of Verbena

I found this today whilst tidying. Girlchild painted it for me on a canvas that is about 1.5"x1.5", so that is quite a detailed little painting. "Big Butt Kitty with Wings"
I am now in the 'weekly' visit stage of my pregnancy, so I trooped my immenseness and Girlchild into the doctor's office today for my check up, and GBS swab. Girlchild was a champ. I told her I did not want her looking at the doctor swabbing my ladybits, and she promised she would stare just at my face. Then she said, slyly, "Orrrrrrr, you could let me play with your phone....." My phone is usually forbidden to her, so I thought this was actually brilliant. She didn't look up once from it.

During my visit with the doctor, we discussed how the next 3 weeks will go. I am tentatively scheduled for induction on 24 July, but hey, if I can get going sooner, I'm all over that. He told me about this crazy concoction of lemon verbena, apricot juice, almond butter and castor oil that the local midwives have been using. Gave me just enough info, in fact, that I am totally capable of figuring this out on my own, thanks to Google.

So for the last 3 hours I've been trying to figure out where I would buy apricot juice. Let me just tell you, women are horrible to one another, and should never ever share their birth stories. I've heard more horror stories about labouring at our local hospital than I care to recall, and all of them start with 'I went in to be induced'. So I'm nervous. Everything I read about the verbena thing today sounded very very positive with regards to going-into-labour-instantly.

At any rate, baby is guaranteed a NICU stay, I will get whichever pediatrician is on call (I've mentioned I'm a nurse, right? I have very very strong opinions on this), induction date is agreed upon by my doc and I, GBS swab is in the lab, I'm having a sizing ultrasound on Friday (taking Girlchild so she can see Tadpole Jones) and my blood sugars were awesome today!

In other news, I had a couple of girlfriends over today for some medieval crafting. It was awesome. We laughed, and joked, and talked about men, and were generally good girlfriends being inappropriate. Just what my heart needed. Of course, I totally forgot to take pictures of any of the finished projects, but let me just take a photo of what I did.


I did not make the beads on this festoon. I just strung the top strand. There is a huge amount of bells because people should be warned that Girlchild is approaching. The trefoil in the centre I made. The other two danglers are awards she's received. I also did not make the brooches. And the  black thread on the left side there, that's for her to make another festoon tomorrow because I promised her a medieval crafts day.

02 July 2013

How to lose weight...

So I mentioned that I have gallstones and gestational diabetes. I believe way back at the beginning of this blog, I also mentioned I'd lost some weight of my own volition. One of the hardest parts of this pregnancy has been wrapping my brain around allowing myself to gain weight. With Girlchild, I was so sick I lost 70 pounds. Of the 3 different doctors involved in my care, not one was concerned, as 'I had it to lose'. So in the back of my mind, while I wasn't wishing for another pregnancy as miserable as that one, I was hoping for the magic weight loss again.

I maintained my current weight (which is at a 60 pound weight loss) for the first 4 or so months, and then some pounds started creeping on. I managed to convince myself that some weight gain was good because it is, and slowly, I put on between 15-20 pounds. And that's totally perfect for weight gain because when you have a baby, you lose between 15 and 20 pounds in the first weeks post-partum. So I wrestled with my own body image issues, and won a valiant victory over that demon, only to start looking like I'd gained all 60 pounds back. Even though it was only 20.

Now, I struggle with depression and anxiety on top of everything as it is, and I recognize a trigger when I see one, so I knew this baby belly was triggering some insane anxiety in me. And I also was very well aware that it was a really ridiculous angst. You're supposed to grow when you are incubating another life inside you. It's natural. But my brain was so locked into 'healthy eating means weight loss follows' mode that I truly understood what people with eating disorders must go through.

And just as I managed to defeat another demon, and really recognize that my body is in a temporary place right now, the pain started. And the gestational diabetes was diagnosed, and I lost all my comfort foods in one fell swoop - they're too carby. So I made those changes, and saw a dip in the scale and shrugged it off. I could still have a BBQ'd hamburger, so long as it wasn't in a puffy white bun, so life was good. And then the pain continued, and we discovered this pile of gallstones. Which has eliminated the last of the comfort foods.

Needless to say, I wasn't really surprised this morning when I hopped on the scale and found that I am 1.2 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. So now the obsessing starts anew. Am I eating enough to nourish Tadpole Jones? Is this sudden weight loss harmful? Probably nothing to worry about - after all - I 'have the weight to lose', but with 4 weeks left to this endless pregnancy, I have to have something to worry about. It's in my nature.

I wouldn't recommend the gestational diabetes/gallstones diet, by the way. It's painful, involves poking your fingers 4 times a day and occasionally jabbing yourself in the belly, and it can get pretty boring if you're not feeling well enough to cook. But for now, I'm going to roll with it.