Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December Twenty Fifth

I hope that your Christmas was gentle. Or if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope that these holidays have been gentle. Times of family can be difficult to negotiate, no?

It was wonderful to watch my baby open his gifts - his innocent joy as he played with his new toys. The other part of it - the silent struggles in my heart and mind - well, they deserve something, a post maybe, but I am tired. It is time for me to rest.

Tomorrow we will travel to visit relatives and friends. And maybe spend money on electronics. Until the alarm rings - I will rest.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Season

The tears are never very far away these days. It isn't all deadbabystuff that sets me off. But the emotion is all stemming from my feelings of loss - where is my 3 year old. God. I think of all the things that 3 year olds do at Christmastime and I well up again.

I guess it is an emotional time of year. And it is seasonally imprinted on me. The last 4 years have been so emotional at Christmas. In 2004, it was complete and utter excitement. My husband talking to my belly, trying to convince C. to come early and be the New Year's baby . 2005 was agony. There were small, gentle moments of healing, but not many. Certain family members ignored our pain. We weren't pregnant. Our baby was dead. A horrible, horrible year. 2006 brought the hope of BB's arrival, but continued BH contractions, that terrifying (transient, turns out) arrythmia, and the polyhydramnios had us hardly daring to breathe.

This brings us to 2007. We have our boy. His brother isn't here. It is sometimes so complicated to live in my heart and soul, trying to reconcile those two sets of emotion. Joy, cuddles, and giggles. Silence, pain, longing, memory. I am so often amazed that I can and do continue on despite the torrent of conflict that I am bombarded with on such a regular basis.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Discovery

I have been over putting up new links on the Directory, something that I am not finding as much time for lately (my apologies to those who have to wait to get their links posted). However, I think it is important work, though small in the grand scheme of things, so I do it when I can. In the process of organizing the new submissions, I usually read the first few posts so that I know a little bit about the writer's background.

Today I came to a realization. I can't go backwards. I can't read the posts of these new mommies who only just had their hearts broken. I can't offer support. I can't leave any wise words of experience with them. I just can't.

I feel like I should. But I don't have it in me. I have worked too hard to get where I am. Something about dredging up all of those old emotions is too difficult and too painful. Because they are all still there, waiting for me, behind this precarious dam that that time and effort has built. And it would be all to easy for the dam to burst and the happiness I have struggled for would be swept away in the rush. I am not willing to let that happen.

So know that I wish I could be that person who offers the right words at the right time. But also know that it just isn't possible for me to do. There are too many hurting souls out there and there is not enough of me.

I will do what I can - with the people who are hurting in my offline life and by maintaining the Directory. But going back there is just not good for me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Photos

I updated the photo site.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Catching Up

Wow. This has completely become one of those once-a-week blogs. Sorry. Like I have any readership left.

I have found day care. It is a wonderful home situation, and the care provider has been doing it for 17 years. Also, she is a survivor of 6 miscarriages and her living children are both the product of fertility treatments. She works with babies and kids all day. That is heartening, somehow.

I am almost prepared for the holiday season. Gifts are purchased and will hopefully be all wrapped by the end of this evening. I am not doing any baking. I love to eat it too much and it the new suits I am buying for work will not look good with extra Christmas weight under them.

I had a very long and heavy moment where I was absolutely dumbstruck with the grief of doing Santa gifts for the first time. 3 years after the birth of my first child. Not what I pictured for my life.

I promise to add some photos of BB on the other site soon, and will notify.

I also will write a not-sucky post someday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

But he's MY baby

I return to work on January 7 (afternoons only). I don't want to; I am really struggling with the idea of leaving BB with someone else, especially considering his issues with sleep. However, if I want to keep this job (which I like well enough, and would be nearly impossibly to replace without adding a huge commute to another city), I need to return once my maternity leave is over.

So I need to find daycare. I know, I know, I am really into last-minute mode here. I have less than a month to find someone. It could prove to be very difficult.

We will definitely be using home daycare, as anything else is almost non-existent here. So we are relying on word-of-mouth to find someone.

What questions should I ask? Should I ask to come and spend an afternoon with BB to see if I think it will be a good fit? HELP! I know nothing about this.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clearing Out

My mother set impossible standards for cleanliness and tidiness in the home of our youth. Most tension and anger in our family revolved around housecleaning issues. As a result, I have impossible standards for my own home. I assure you that these standards are never met.

When the main floor is clean and tidy, the basement is a disaster. The reverse is true. It bothers me to the point of constant irritation. And spending all of my time in this messy/dirty house can make me a horrible person to live with.

All of this history makes it a little easier to understand why I am just so satisfied that my bedroom is clean and tidy. It has been vacuumed and dusted, the sheets are clean, and clean clothes are starting to make their way back into the closets and drawers.

The kitchen floor has no food stuck to it. The baby can crawl in the bathroom and suck on the toilet without causing me to disintegrate in panic (I disinfected the hell out of it today - and no I don't let him suck on the toilet, but he's getting really quick....).

Yesterday, I started this cleaning binge with a closet purge of momentous proportions. I ruthlessly disposed of anything that I don't wear and anything that I do wear but look horrible in. 5 large garbage bags of clothing were neatly piled into the trunk of my car and donated to the lovely people at the Salvation Army. (incidentally, as soon as I got back from the Salvation Army, I had to rush back to beg and plead with them to let me recover my husband's good coat, which was accidentally donated)

The most satisfying part of the whole thing is that this is something that I have been daydreaming about for a long time. Although it is always good to get rid of the clutter in our lives, this was the sort of clutter that carried extra weight with it. So many of these clothing items were ugly, and I knew it when I bought them. But these are the things that I bought between pregnancies. When I was looking for something cheap to get me through to next month, when I would surely be pregnant again. No use spending a lot of money on something you aren't going to wear for very long.

These clothing items spent too much time in my closet. And every time I put them on, I would remember wearing them when I didn't care about how I looked. When I gave up on appearances. When the only thing that mattered was my desperate charting of basil body temperature and cervical fluid.

These things carried with them the spectre of death. Yesterday, I purged my closet. In so doing, I moved even further away from a life of Death towards a life of Life.

Friday, November 30, 2007

On Sleep

Well, I can't post everything I want to on every topic that comes to mind. My Baby is too busy these days, and that is a blessing. But the blog suffers.

So, I will tell a tale of Ferb*er.

This is the system. Break the bad habit of nursing to sleep and get BB sleeping through the night, all in one fell swoop. This is how:

Nap 1: put baby in crib. When he cries, go in to comfort at 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 15 min, 15min, etc. If he doesn't fall asleep, get him up after an hour and skip that nap.

Nap 2: Repeat.

Bedtime: Pleasant bedtime routine, then into bed and the same method as the naps.

Day 2, etc.: add 5 minutes of cry time to each interval.

Baby should be responding after 3 days to a week and the cry times will have decreased.

What happened in our house:

Day 1

Nap 1: Nursed to sleep, as per usual.

Nap 2: Cried for the hour. Cried harder when I went in to comfort. Didn't nap.

Bedtime: Cried for 45 min, and gave up in exhaustion. Whimpered in his sleep for hours. Slept through the night. Hmmm, this might be working?

Day 2

Nap 1: Cried the hour. Cried harder when I went in to comfort. Didn't nap.

Nap 2: Cried for 45 min. Fell asleep for 20 min, then woke screaming.

Bedtime: Cried for 90 minutes, fell asleep for a few hours, whimpered in his sleep for hours, woke to nurse (kept him awake), cried an hour before going back to sleep.

Day 3

Nap 1: Cried the hour. When absolutely ballistic if I went in to comfort. Didn't nap.

Nap 2: Done. Back to nursing.



So why did I quit? On paper, it looks like it was working, that he was starting to learn to sleep on his own, right?

The change in his personality was horrible. He went from being the happiest, most easy-going baby in the world to the neediest, most anxious baby in the world, literally overnight. He would scream when I left the room. He would scream if we walked anywhere near his bedroom. He would lose his mind if I put him in the crib. He would scream if I lay him down to change his diaper. When he woke from his last Fer*ber nap, he would scream unless my husband and I were both holding him at the same time.

I realize that this could have been a temporary situation. That he might revert to that easygoing temperament in a couple of weeks. But the possibility that he would remain in this anxious state was there. And it seemed a sacrifice that wasn't acceptable to me.

Also, the concern we both had for BB's well-being was putting major, worrisome strain on our marriage. It wasn't worth what was happening between the two of us.

It took me a week of comfort and gentleness with BB to get him over his fear of the bedroom. He is still crying when he wakes up, something he has never done in his life (he would usually just play or call out to me). He still sometimes cries when I lay him down to change him.

I think the problem is that I tried to go from full-on attachment parenting to this very detached style. I don't think it could have had much success. There needed to be an intermediate step. Though, most people say that you must stick with the CIO method for at least 3 days, and I (admittedly) did not do that. Who knows? It might have worked.

Incidentally, I also picked up Dr. Sears' book when I brought home Fe*rber's. It is all about attachment parenting and says that CIO isn't affective. Imagine my guilt when I picked it up and started to read that night.

So, the whole experience has taught me this: I am an attachment parent. The solution to my child's sleep problems isn't going to come from him CIO. I bent to the pressure all around me, from mothers swearing up and down that CIO was the "best thing they ever did". It doesn't suit me and it doesn't suit BB.

So how is the sleep now? It is going quite well, actually. I have stopped nighttime nursing; he has gone a week without middle of the night boobie. If he gets up in the night, I rock him to sleep or bring him to bed with me. And we are getting the best sleep we have for weeks. He even slept from 9:30pm-7:00am this week (in his crib, no waking).

It is a moving target. Naps aren't always of good length, but are improving. We are sticking with a daily schedule, religiously, and following the 2-3-4 rule (works like a charm).

And I have decided that the "problem" was always one of perception. Nursing to sleep is not necessarily a "bad habit". It is a parenting choice. I agree with Dr. Sears on this one - it can be a healthy, comfortable way for a baby to fall asleep. He will grow out of it as he starts to wean.

The major stressor in the whole situation is my return to work in January. However, I have managed (just this week) to arrange my part-time schedule so I work from 1:30-4:30 daily. I can put him down for his morning nap at home, his afternoon nap at the sitter's, and home for bedtime - he never needs to stop nursing! (Ha, Ha, little joke there....)

It just took me 10 months to figure this out. I'll let you know what happens if all my best-laid plans go the way of mice and men.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

As the days go by...

There is no point in making excuses. I took on too much at this point in my life and I am reaping the results of it. So no big, important, introspective post here.

But there is one brewing. Truly. And I intend to elaborate on my Fer*ber experience, you know, so others know a bit about it the way I see it.

Till then, I will be daydreaming about my upcoming visit to Toronto.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Doctor F,

I quit you. Sorry.*

Sincerely,
d

*How Canadian of me, this apology. I snicker at myself.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coming attractions

Well, I am excited that this will be our weekend away. A weekend away that is just for us, not going to visit the grandparents or going to a wedding or whatever. We are going to cheer on Our Team vs. their Arch Rivals.

It will be a heckova road trip, though. Google Maps tells me that our route encompasses 1,636 km. Perhaps that sounds daunting. It is, a little. But nothing in Western Canada is close to anything else. Which means these road trips are always long.

I am hoping that BB's cold will continue to improve, as it has seemed to over the past 24 hours. I am not sure how this all is going to work. He won't sleep in the car. Perhaps this road trip will cure him of that? I don't have high hopes.

If he is well when we return, I guess I am ready to go Fer*ber. I guess I should mention that the main problem we have is that he will not go to sleep on his own. On good days, he nurses to sleep. On bad days, it takes an hour of rocking and walking and bouncing and patting and hairpulling to get him to sleep. When you account for 2 daytime naps, bedtime, then 3-5 night wakings (thankfully, many of those wakings are before midnight), I spend around 6 hours every day helping him get to sleep. This must stop. If he can learn to fall asleep on his own, I will call it Nirvana, even if he does still need a middle-of-the-night feeding.

This inability to fall asleep on his own is a combination of his preference (what baby wouldn't want to cozy into Mommy to fall to sleep?) and my desire to be with him as much as possible. Frankly, he is irresistible when sleeping. I could sit and stare at him for hours, sleeping in my arms. But as nice at that was in the first few months of his life (and admittedly still is), it isn't very practical. I need to be able to get a few things done while he sleeps. And having to put him to sleep each time is an exercise in insanity.

Besides, I have too many hours inside my own head when sitting in a dark room, rocking my reluctant sleeper. My brain has travelled avenues of grief in those hours that I thought I had gently put behind me. Sleep deprivation + darkness + baby in my arms = too many thoughts of the baby who isn't here. Those thoughts just don't feel very healthy.

So, next week look for new photos of our road trip and tales of a Fer*berizing Mommy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

So. Tired.

BB teething + his sinus cold = I am going to die from sleep deprivation.

I fell asleep during the extraction portion of my facial today. Yes, the part where the esthetician digs blemishes out of my skin with sharp metal objects.

I intend to invite Dr. Fer*ber into our home in 10 days (after our weekend away). Good idea or not? Anyone have experience with the good Doctor? All I know is that Pant*ly isn't getting us anywhere, fast.

Talk amoungst yourselves. I'm going to sleep.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All Hallows Eve

Tomorrow.

So sad.

Why?

I was so excited that Halloween of 2004, walking through the local Walmart, forcing myself not to buy the little pumpkin costume that was winking beguilingly at me. I don't know what size to get, I thought, and convinced myself to wait until next year, when I knew how big he would be.

There was no Halloween costume next year.

The cyclical nature of our lives leaves a date/time stamp on the psyche, whether I like it or not. I had to stop today and figure out why I felt like bawling - even though I was holding the cutest little Monkey at the costume party. And there it was. No big brother to pull the Monkey's tail.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I wish my brain didn't work like this.

What kind of f------d up mother looks at the latest photos of her baby and thinks "That one would be a really good one for a memorial photo. It really captures his personality."

This kind of mother.

Oy.

I uploaded more pictures.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just when...

... I start thinking that it is time to jump off a cliff, if only to end up in the hospital for a few days of sleep, Baby has a decent nap.

What a sporadic good/bad sleeper I have on my hands.

All I could think of while I rocked him to sleep today was: SO WHAT if sleep experts think babies should fall asleep on their own. Even though my bad back is getting worse, even though I don't get anything done, and even though I am just as often resentful of having to put him to sleep - I get to hold his beautiful, sleeping little body in my arms and rock, rock, rock. Love, love, love.

Only about 90% of the time does my mind wander to another little boy who might have liked to rock.

Is it possible for the soul to burst with love for two boys; one very much the light of our lives and one the gaping hole in our hearts?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quite possibly the cutest baby in the entire world.

Just to clarify, I am not about to drop my drawers, shanghai my husband, and make a baby. Just getting ready to think about making a decision to board the roller coaster again. Because any pregnancy in this house still would qualify as A Very Big Deal.

Now, though I have mentioned that BB is indescribably cute, I feel that I must attempt to describe it anyway. Here's the thing: everywhere we go, people stop in their tracks, stare, and exclaim in tones of disbelief at how cute he is. They inform me that he has dimples and that he has teeth (because I most certainly hadn't noticed on my own). "How adorable! Is he always this happy?" they query. (Yes). They wax poetic at the blondness of his hair and the blueness of his eyes and the chubbiness of his hands and the sweetness of his expression. He flirts and he charms everyone he sees.

I almost feel guilty for not having tried to make him the next G*erber baby.

I have become convinced that he really is as cute as I think he is. Because I am, of course, his mother - thus, completely prejudiced on this particular subject. His grandmother agrees with me.

P.S. I added some video at the other site (you must email for the location). Please comment. I think that much of the cuteness is personality. It is hard to capture in a picture...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ready? Twitching...

Up until now, there has been no real necessity to make a decision. I wasn't ovulating, therefore, no need to choose a date.

I look at this incredibly perfect and indescribably cute boy that we have created and I know with a vast amount of certainty that there is going to have to be another child in this house. And I realize that there is only one way for us to get there.

Despite maintaining a public facade of having misgivings about the issue, my mind is actually made up. There will be another child. And I think that my husband would agree on that point - but we haven't spent a lot of time discussing it. No ovulation, no need to discuss.

Naturally, I would prefer children close in age. Which implies that we shouldn't allow too many more eggs to go gently into that good night. Considering our history of "13th try's the charm", we will likely face a year or so of trying, anyway.

33 months and one successful subsequent pregnancy are having an insulating effect from the terror that I would expect to feel at the prospect of procreating again. We now need to decide when we feel that the timing would be right (and the comfort level high enough) to start walking this harrowing path yet again.

Maybe this is just the luteinizing hormone talking.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How the heck did we get here?

I am ovulating. And we are not going to do anything about it.

Weird.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Words for October 15th

What follows is the reflection that I shared on Saturday. I thank Julian's Mom for the Robert Frost poem. I will take down this post soon, so that no one who heard me speak will be able to link me to this blog.



[Email me for the text]

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Remembrance

Yesterday we went to our annual Walk to Remember. I cried more that I think I ever have at one of these functions. I am more of a private cryer. I spoke - through a surprising haze of tears. I might post a copy of what I said if I work up the courage...


Candles lit for C., for Julian, for Nicolas, for Stewart, for these twins, for these twins, for this baby. And one for every other baby that I read about, think about, and care about his/her parents. Frankly, if I lit a candle for every baby that I have held in my heart, there wouldn't have been any left for anyone else to light.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sarcasm

To the person who ran this search and arrived here:

Soooo sorry we couldn't help you with that.

I feel sick.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random

We have been awfully busy around our house. BB just finished his first set of swimming lessons, we went to visit family for the Thanksgiving long weekend, and I have reread the whole Harry Potter series.

Today I had to fill in a form for BB's music class.
"Child's Position in the Family: ____ of ____"

I put "1 of 1". Didn't feel like putting "2 of 2 but his brother is dead", for some reason. It took a lot of thought, though, before I filled it in. What do I want to do, where do I want to go with this?

I am starting to find myself feeling more frightened that BB is going to die in his sleep. I don't know why this is happening now - perhaps his preference for tummy sleeping? I don't know. It isn't very much fun, though.

Comment this weekend: "How nice we can all be together for Thanksgiving. It is just sad that Grandpa Bob couldn't be here - he is the only one missing!" Ummmmm?

BB looks so like his brother. A blessing and a curse.

I wish I had something more profound to write.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Elation?

After a week of sitting for hours a day in a darkened nursery, trying Method A mixed with a little Method B and a hearty dose of Advice-From-Mom-Who's-Been-There, it may be possible that I have cracked the sleep code.

I refuse to say more on the grounds that I may jinx it.

What the hell am I going to complain about if not times and measures of sleep??? Oh well, I am sure I will find something....

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Odds

This weekend, disaster struck again and my other cousin's wife miscarried. It seems that both brothers will be marking that April due date in the same way.

I sent a care package of books and a sympathy card to Cousin A. I will send a sympathy card to Cousin B tomorrow. I don't have more books to send, so will have to ask Cousin A to pass them to Cousin B when they are done with them.

I wish that I could say that I am surprised and shocked. But, like it or not, I live in a world where the surprise comes when a baby lives. I am so sad that my cousins now know this sorrow. I much preferred feeling jealous of their naivete to sharing in their sorrow.

Reminded again how fairness has nothing to do with it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Does this make you swoon?


It does me. It will look gorgeous in with my hydrangea (assuming she survives the winter). Phlox 'Sherbet Cocktail'. Sounds as yummy as it looks.

Did you know phlox will re-bloom if deadheaded? See what a little hail will teach you?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's the best game you can name...

We went to a preseason NHL game this week. It was great fun. I put a couple pictures on BB's photo site. It was not BB's first NHL game (we went as a family last year, but he was still in utero), but his enjoyment was a little easier to see this year. Also, this game was played in a city near us, rather than on home ice, so the travelling portion was a little easier. And, due to BB's unlimited cuteness, he was given one of the game pucks by a linesman. Too cool.

Why do some people feel it is okay to disrupt everyone around them with rude comments and loud, obnoxious behaviour? Irritating, but it was funny to watch BB give her dirty looks... my eight month old has a better sense of propriety than this 20-something.

Disappointingly, Our Team didn't win - but it is just preseason, right? We have tickets to see Our Team play the Arch Rivals in a couple of months. This upcoming game is in their home rink. I am dying to watch BB's reaction to the game in that exciting atmosphere. Our seats aren't nearly so good at this game, but I hope he will still be able to see enough to be involved in the on-ice activity.

It was fun - worth missing a nap and bedtime*. It feels so good to be able to have fun as a family. I couldn't imagine this a year ago. Sooooo good.


* We are pretty fortunate that BB gets hysterically giddy when tired, not fussy. He laughs and squeals and jumps and claps. Then he might whimper a bit, then back to the hysteria.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More loss for my family

My favourite cousin (paternal side) and his wife (SAHM) had an ultrasound on Friday that told them she was carrying twins. Saturday she miscarried them. She was around 10-12 wks. I just feel sick about the whole thing.

Firstly, I know the anguish they must be feeling. Her two previous pregnancies were fraught with pre-term labour angst. Their youngest (my shadow child for C., a month older than he would have been) has struggled with major breathing problems and has been hospitalized frequently. I know that my cousin was reluctant to try another pregnancy, but his wife was determined. I guess I can't blame her - I know what it is like to feel like your family is incomplete. I also understand his point of view - he likely felt like they were pushing their luck.

Secondly, as soon as the line turned pink, there was a message for all to see on Facebook. Every single one of her over 150 "Friends" would have read her status that she was "excited to be expecting their 3rd child." So now she has to somehow un-tell all of those people (plus anyone she told IRL). She either deleted or locked her profile instead. I certainly know why she did that. I wouldn't want to un-tell 150 people, most of them passing acquaintances or people from high school.

Thirdly, I am certain that both of their kids knew that Mommy had a baby in her tummy. They maybe even knew that they were expecting two babies. Now they face the horrible task of trying to make a 2.75 year old and 4 year old understand that they aren't going to have any new babies in the house.

Finally, my cousin's brother and his wife are expecting their first child. The brothers were really excited that their children were due in the same week. Cousins almost exactly the same age! Now the younger brother will probably bring home a baby from the hospital that week, while the older brother thinks of the babies that should also be there. Another shadow child for our family.

I tried calling my cousin's wife this afternoon, but there was no answer. We aren't really close, but we get on well enough when we are at family gatherings. I was going to offer to send her my collection of pregnancy loss books. I don't know if she wasn't home or didn't want to talk to me. I am a talker; some people don't want to "talk about it".

So I feel like I am caught - knowing that there is nothing to be done, but desperately wanting to do something. This is the first loss in my generation of our family since C. died. My cousin and I were once as close as two cousins possibly could be. Time, teen angst, and the boy/girl interest gap changed that, but I still love him as much as I did when I was 7 or 8 years old. I want to help him and his family if I can. I know that sending books in the mail isn't going to make anything better, but it would feel like I have done the very little that I could.

I hate this sh*t.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A shout out to the Universe

A very happy gal am I. M+S's baby J arrived in the wee hours of yesterday morning, a healthy 7 and a half pound baby boy. After two previous losses and a difficult struggle with PCOS (getting diagnosed, then getting treatment), not to mention the gestational diabetes, this is an absolute miracle. M doesn't read here (nor does anyone else who would relay the contents of this post to her), but I must have my shout out to the Universe. Finally!



Now, to resist buying everything in the baby department and carting it all to her hospital room. Instead, a vote... which colour should I get her for little J?


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Waiting

My RL support group friend is currently undergoing an induction of her 3rd baby. God-willing, her first living child. It is very distracting. I am quite desperate for good news.

In the mean time...

My mom keeps offering sleep "advice". She doesn't know what sleep techniques I am trying (and I honestly don't want to explain - it would not turn out well), so she thinks that I am making self-defeating decisions. I have resisted the urge to suggest, in the spirit of offering unsolicited advice, that she quit eating like a pig and she might lose that weight she keeps complaining about. Wouldn't it be cool if I had a functional relationship with my mother? I don't.

I attempted to find a quiet moment to discuss the problems of low-fluid and cord compression with Jen, the pregnant woman in the mom/tots group. Unfortunately, she is a larger-than-life person who does not regularly seem to experience quiet moments. I am not sure where to go with this. I guess I will continue to wait for an opportunity to talk with her and pray that all goes well, regardless.

I find myself feeling panicked when I imagine BB as an older child. I imagine that some of that feeling is related to typical "my baby is growing up so fast" angst. But, I realized today that imagining BB as an older child forces my brain to grapple with the continuing reality that C. will not reach those ages or milestones. It never ends, people. I just don't bawl my face off much anymore.

BB looks like a toddler now. It is so amazing and frightening, all at the same time. I love him past the point of coherent description. If I could, I would pause my life during our daily game of "Kisses and Cuddles". Baby giggles, inquisitive hands searching my face, laying on our bed, sweet milk breath, wet kisses, squirmy arms and legs. Perfection.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Electioneering

Are you from Ontario, Canada? Please read this and follow Aurelia's advice re: lobbying.

Thanks!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Stuff 'n Rambles

He just passed the one hour mark in his nap. Glory be. Please let this be a trend. The whole sleep thing is still kicking my butt.

We start swimming lessons next week. I can't wait. We ended up in the tub together this morning after an explosive diaper incident and BB played and splashed and generally had a good time. (Hey, I wonder if this accounts for the longer nap - bath then bedtime. Does he think it is nighttime? Do I have to bath him before every nap?).

I took him to a mom/tot playgroup yesterday. So fun. It is amazing (if a little sad, considering) to see how much he loves watching the older kids play. Soon, he will be mobile enough to get right in there. He is doing that army-crawl on his tummy now.

Whilst at the playgroup, a very pregnant mom-of-three was discussing her current pregnancy. She had what she referred to as "dry births" with her other two (oligohydramnios, no doubt from her description). Both of those pregnancies went post-term and the babies were 10 pounds+. Her doctor has no plans to induce until at least 10 days past her due date (current Canadian guidelines, she says). Listening to her talk, she is annoyed (because of the continuing discomfort of late pregnancy), but not afraid. I felt sick listening to her.

Should I have interjected, telling her that C.'s death due to cord compression was probably as much to do with the oligohydramnios as the cord around his neck? Should I have told her that lack of fluid presents a real danger relating to cord compression? Should I have told her the warning signs of cord compression? Should I have tried to convince her to insist on a BPP to verify fluid levels and continuing NSTs if they are on the low side? Should I have told her that she has to do regular BPPs, because fluid levels can change without warning? Should I have told her to lie to her doctor if she had to (telling him the baby hasn't been moving much) to get these tests?

Because those are the things I know and those are the things I would do.

I didn't say anything. How do you yell "danger! dead baby alert" across a crowed room of playing toddlers and obliviously, sweetly niave moms?

I will just hate myself if something bad happens. I wonder if I can talk to her about it next week. I know it isn't my responsibility, but I feel the weight of my knowledge like an anvil around my neck.

I guess I don't trust doctors as much as I pretend to when it comes to pregnancy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mommy's fault?

I am just not quite keeping up with my blogging. On the other hand, my house is semi-presentable, no one is threatened by piles of laundry toppling over on top of them, and several snuffly noses seem to be on the mend. So, all in all, not a loss of a week.

Sleep issues abound. Currently coping by doing some co-sleeping. Trying to do that as safely as possible.

However, the other night, nothing would comfort BB. He went to bed at 7:30, but was up again several times. At 10:30, I tried everything. NOTHING. Not pacing, rocking, or (the sure-fire solution) nursing. So, I popped him in the sling and presto! he was immediately calm. It took but 10 minutes of combined pacing and rocking and he was out.

So there I sat, in my rocker, in the dark thinking why didn't I think of this sooner? Worked like a charm? I hope he is comfortable; he barely fits the sling anymore. I hope he can breathe okay with his head in this position. He sure seems settled. etc.

In this midst of this self-congratulation, I realized that I could no longer hear him breathe (he has been kind of wheezy with this cold).

At that moment, I knew I had killed him. Knew it. There was no moment of fear; it was the full rush of responsibility for my child's death, planning the funeral, the aftermath. It took no more than an ear to his face to hear his little breaths, but the damage to my psyche was done. He was fine, actually breathing better than he had in a week. I was not. I bawled.

Apparently, I am harbouring a very powerful fear-of-killing-my-child phobia. Jeez, wonder where that comes from.


---

P.S. Email if you need the photo site link again.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pssssst

I updated BB's photo site.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mulling

When I saw this piece on CTV News*net the other day, I knew I should turn the station before I knew the details. Because a story where a shrimp-boat captain delivers a breach baby at sea with improvised equipment and manages to keep the baby alive by performing CPR while following instructions in a first aid guide is really not something that I need to hear.* It makes me feel like a failure for not being able to bring C. safely into the world (despite much better circumstances) and a jerk for feeling so jealous, bitter, and spiteful.

And I don't need extra reasons to feel those emotions.

*how do you like that run-0n sentence?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Of Mice And Men

The best laid plans for sleep-training and a clean house are waylaid by Baby's first cold.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What a jerk. Updated

Sleep. Sigh.

Okay, here are my problems:

BB was just nursing to sleep, but that seems to be tapering off with the introduction of more solids. He will now walk to sleep or rock to sleep. I am working on the nirvana of getting him to fall asleep on his own in his crib, using The No-Cry Sleep Sol*ution. I don't know if I am getting anywhere. I am still on Phase 1 (of 6 or 7).

His naps are still brutally short (20-30 min.). If I catch him at just the right time, I can get him back to sleep, but then I have to hold him through a dream session or he wakes himself up in his crib. Essentially, I think the problem is that he wakes when he dreams. He doesn't seem to do this at night, though. So what's the difference? He can stay asleep for several hours at night but not during the day. The result is a baby that isn't getting enough daytime sleep = not enough total sleep.

He also has developed a problem with hypnic jer*ks. He falls asleep nicely, but as soon as I put him in his crib he starts jer*king awake, falling asleep, jerking awake, falling asleep - about every 30 seconds or so. He arms slam down on the bed and he gasps. After about 5 minutes of that, he doesn't fall back asleep. The only solution is for me to hold him. I can lay down with him on the futon in his room, holding him in the laying-down nursing position. He still jer*ks (I can feel him), but he doesn't wake. I don't know if this is a particularly safe way for him to sleep, though. Especially when I accidentally fall asleep with him. Oh, and swaddling doesn't help.

I know that time may be all that he needs to resolve the short-nap issue. Any interim solutions? Any ideas for the hypnic jer*king? I can't start a pattern of co-sleeping with him every time he needs to sleep; as much as I like the idea of getting 14-15 hours of sleep every day, I think that I may have to make a meal or shower occasionally. And the no-sleep-poop issue? I am grasping at straws to imagine that anyone might have a solution for that one.

Here's the real kicker. He doesn't get fussy or upset when he is tired. He yawns and rubs his eyes and stares and maybe whimpers a bit. When I try to get him to sleep, though, he cries and carries on. Does he just need less sleep than average? Hard for me to imagine. He is tired, he just isn't a fussy baby (I think).

I miss my 3 mon*th-old who napped so easily and slept 10 hours though the night. Stupid teething. Poor baby.

Update: I forgot to add that he also has mastered the art of rolling over and therefore must roll over at every opportunity. Which means that he does it in his sleep. And his sleepy brain thinks that someone is tossing him over on his tummy and then he wakes up and cries. Or sometimes he likes to sleep on his side, loses his balance and ends up on his tummy. On rare occasions, he will then sleep on his tummy for a while (thank god for my Angel Care monitor, or I would not be able to stomach it). Most of the time, he needs me to go in and help him fall back asleep.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vigilance, thy name is "Mother"?

It took me a while to get my bearings this week - we came home on Saturday night. Early. It was my fault - I turned my back on BB and he fell off the bed in the RV and landed on his head. We took him to the ER (since it was after hours) and the doctor pronounced him "fine". Really, I knew that, but it seemed prudent to have an official verdict on his goose-egg.

I can't believe that I was so complacent to allow something like that to happen. It was like I was living in that "la la la bad stuff happens to other people" land. How many thousands of times has everyone said not to take your eyes off a baby when he is on an elevated surface? I saw him fall. It was horrifying. It still makes me feel sick when I think of it. Not because of the "what might have been" (which is terrifying, in and of itself), but because it was my fault that he fell. I wasn't being vigilant.

I have had to work through what my role was in C.'s death. Of course, this is hindsight, so what I see now is a different picture than what I saw that night. When I went into labour at midnight, I dug out my What To Expect book. Bloody show - check. Cramping - check. Stomach hard to the touch - check. OK, so I am in labour. What did I do? Sort of half-assed timed contractions and tried to sleep. Didn't wake my husband. I waited until his alarm went off and told him I thought that "today is the day". Sent him to work. Did laundry. Called my friend. Phoned in sick to work. Waited until 10:30 a.m. to call him home. Went into L&D. Was informed that my baby was dead.

I was complacent. I assumed that everything was okay. I didn't know to pay attention to his movements. I honestly don't know if I felt him move while I was in labour. I might have. I just don't know. Might things have turned out differently if I had gone to L&D the moment I suspected I was in labour? Maybe. I will never know.

But I thought that I had learned the hard way that complacency and motherhood could not exist safely together. That it was dangerous to allow arrogance to creep in. He's fine, nothing can hurt him.

My mother was from the school of hard knocks (don't cry, that didn't hurt, you're okay), so I know that my parenting style is borne of that model. I know that I am much more cautious by nature than my mother. But, I don't feel like I have been vigilant enough.

This may seem self-indulgent, and it is a little. After all, little boys will fall and bump their heads. They will skin their knees and break bones. They will get hurt and cry dirty tears. And, usually, they will get right back out there - back to the business of being little boys - as soon as their tears are dried.

But for now, while he is so small, and still such a baby, it is my responsibility to keep him safe. I didn't do that on Saturday. I'm sorry, Baby.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Holiday

We are gone to the lake for the next week. Sunshine and swimming (let's hope the weather complies).

'Till then, be well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just About Bedtime

So.... The exam went very well. The funny thing about these sorts of things is that you never really know if you are prepared or not. I said my fair share of prayers that I studied the right stuff. I did.

Which brings up something that I have been giving a lot of thought. I feel like I am a real novice at prayer. That statement is more complicated than I can really explain right now. To sum up; I think that my prayers are more like wishes than prayers. And the whole dead-baby thing kind of blew up my whole belief system (currently attempting to rebuild).

Nonetheless my prayers/wishes have been granted recently. Stupid, little, unimportant prayers like asking for good weather when I am having a backyard BBQ. See how that is more like a wish than a prayer? But I asked, and it happened.

Is it all just a whole lot of coincidence that these little "prayers" of mine have been answered (I am still uncomfortable referring to them that way)? Or is it a little olive branch being offered, like "see? I can be there when you ask me to be, you just have to ask for the right things..."

The prayers that I prayed when I was trying to get pregnant were body, mind, and soul. I begged and cried. Yet, for 13 cycles, nothing happened. Then, last week, I ask for sunshine and it comes my way. It's confusing.

I guess I sort of feel like I didn't get my Prayer for Dummies manual. I need rules. This what you do, this is what you say, and then (if you have followed the rules) you get what you want. Obviously that is not how prayer works. But so many people make it seem that way. It is hard to believe in something that you don't understand and that you don't feel like you are doing "right". What are the rules????

And yet, I still pray. In my juvenile "God bless Mommy and Daddy and Kitty, and please let Janie be my friend" kind of way. Perhaps I need to see my priest about some prayer lessons.

Maybe I am too concerned about doing it "right".

OK. Enough for tonight.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ungrateful???

This is me complaining that I have the privilege to write an exam on Friday that will earn me a degree purely because I love the subject. This will not relate to my job. It will not earn me an increase in pay. It will not make our lives easier in any way. A vanity degree, of sorts.

Studying is hard. Whinge, whinge, whinge. Sob, sob, woe is me. Doesn't everyone feel sorry for little old me?

I will, however, get to put a new set of initials behind my name. And I do love the subject matter, even though I don't like memorizing it.

Friday. I think I know enough to pass.

P.S. The Daddy has been really super at helping BB sleep - with a little mid-nap rocking, he will sometimes nap for 1.5 hours. It seems he wakes himself up when he starts dreaming...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Update

The studying is going relatively well. The passing grade is 60%. That's what I am aiming for, folks. I bought packages of practice exams that I will likely not use. Hopefully, I can sell them to someone I know who is doing this in the fall.

Soooo... nursing to sleep. Real problem in our house. An overtired baby who only sleeps 30 min. at a time is also a problem. I am dying to get this exam over and help get the sleep thing back on track. Everything went to pot when those teeth arrived.

I have been mulling over this sensation that I have that BB isn't here to stay. Like when I think of future plans, I almost have to remind myself that he will still be here. I will explore this further. Apr├Ęs l'examen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Quickly, quickly

Still here. Just saw new Harry Potter movie. Loved it. Must study.

No time for nouns/long sentences.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Feed me.

So what do you use? I am thinking of subscribing to Blog*lines, but don't know much about it. I am still all old-school; clicking down the links on the right. Seems like it would be smarter to subscribe to a service that compiles everyone's feeds.

Smarten me up - what do you know? Do you prefer web-based or client-based aggregators?

BTW, I run on Windows XP. Because I use my work laptop. (Yes, they sent it with me on my mat. leave. Awesome for me. Weirdly congenial on their part.)

So - I am studying for my last exam that will earn me a degree that I started years ago. Related to these exams (which I passed, btw). Next Friday. I couldn't be less prepared. Only a nut-job tries to finish a degree with a 6 month old attached to her breast. And here I am blogging.

I am going to bed now. And I am getting up early to study, swear to god.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Holiday Photos

If you would like to view my holiday photos, leave me a comment here and I will email you a link. Do make sure that I have your email address.

Found Her


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Getting There

I am working on getting a photo site set up for me to show off my holiday photos.

In the mean time, think on this:

Waitress: My SIL is having triplets. I can't wait. It will be so cool. She will be bed ridden for the last couple of months, but still, it's exciting.

Just curious; does your inner voice add "Yeah, if she's really lucky" to any of that? Mine does.

------

In other news, I am about to get a start on the laundry. Hopefully, I will find my kitty under one of the piles.... she's been missing for several days now....

P.P.S. It is 39.7 degrees C out there. That's past tropical, my friends.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Home

We are here. Craziness ensues. Both vehicles are in the shop getting needed (and likely expensive) repairs, laundry threatens to topple over and kill me at every turn, BB has decided that naps are for losers, and there is no food in our house.

What am I doing? Eating leftover Chinese take-out and catching up on blogs. Good times. They should drum me out of the Mommy Union.

Oh well. It's hot out. BB can get by wearing only diapers, right?

Upcoming: Pictures and thoughts from our holiday.

P.S. If you had a post remarkably similar to this one come across your feed from the Babyloss Directory, well, blame it on sleep deprivation. I'm a Duh.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

See you in 12 Days

We are leaving tomorrow on holiday. We are visiting one of our country's beautiful National Parks. I might have some pictures when we get back.

I wish I had more time for a decent post, but packing the RV for the first time is a huge undertaking. And laundry. If we are to leave any time tomorrow, I have to get back to work.

Be well for the next 12 days. I will be thinking of you.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Plans?

I love that I have gotten back to a point where I can think and plan for the future. Take next summer, for example. What if we did a Great Canadian Road Trip? That might be fun.

Of course, this is the stuff of daydreams. We will probably not make any concrete plans until next spring. But it is great to imagine what a person would need to pack when RVing with a 18 month old.

I no longer just imagine what it would have been like, I get to imagine what it will be like. That makes me one of the most blessed people on the face of this earth.

So, let's say you were going to cross this great country of ours, heading east on the No. 1 and maybe returning west through northern USA. What would you want to see?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Off the Mini Mommy Ledge

Thank you for talking me down, people. And making me laugh. Of course he is fine - he's better than that. Part of my trouble here is mental: he kept reaching milestones ahead of schedule in the early days, so I sort of have it in my head that he is a highly advanced child. Which he of course is. ;) But his tummy muscles don't know that.

Interestingly, after I wrote this post, he starting rolling over like gangbusters. He's done it half a dozen times since then. Like he is saying "See Mommy? No big deal."

He did that in the womb, too. Every time I would convince myself that he had stopped moving, he would start doing the Cha Cha Cha. I thanked him a lot during those days.

All of this is really great for me. But I am (only slightly) concerned about this constant reassurance that he is providing. What if it turns into the dysfunctional cycle of co-dependency that I share with my own mother? I do want him to be like me in other ways, but it would be great if he didn't require the mother-related therapy that I do. Or maybe I should just start a savings account right now. How many 6 month olds have a piggy bank in their rooms labeled "Future Therapy Bills"?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mini Mommy Freak Out

Would someone please tell me that it is normal for BB to choose laying there rather than all that strenuous rolling over? It's not like he can't; he's done it several times. He just doesn't want to.

But he's nearly 6 months old. Everyone asks about it. Some 4 monthers roll.

In other news, he is nearly 20 lbs heavy and almost 2.5' tall. Huge, people, huge.

He is the proud owner of 2 front teeth.

But he doesn't sit up on his own either. And he gags on his rice cereal and mashed bananas.

Okay, deep breath. All is good. Normal. Healthy.... right??? right???

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nobody Told Me

In an effort to make prayer a more regular part of my life, I try to remember to pray when I am nursing. But instead, I often find myself trying to think of the perfect name for our next child.

Another pregnancy? Who made that decision without telling me?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Things are better

Sometimes all it takes is a couple of days. I am feeling better about my garden. Sure, it's destroyed. But, on careful inspection, it appears to still be alive. We are definitely in next-year territory. But that's just gardening in Canada.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sad and Angry

Its all gone. Well, not gone. Destroyed.

You are looking at is what used to be a 4' tall rhubarb plant. Hail. Bloody Toonie-sized hail.

My garden is destroyed. Shredded. If I am really, really lucky, the perennials and shrubs will survive with some careful pruning. No, I won't get any blooms or anything this year. But I hope they won't die.

My car will probably be written off. And we will have to buy a new one - while I am on mat. leave. A great time to spend thousands and thousands of dollars.

But this loss is what makes me want to cry my eyes out. Once something is dead, it's always dead. Which is why I am more upset about my hydrangea than my car.

Worse things have happened. To me and to you, my friends. But my garden was a source of happiness to me. To have it so instantly destroyed really, really hurts.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Unexpected and Strange Sight

Tonight my husband took care of BB while I had a much-needed nap. When I woke up, the house was empty. So I walked over to my in-law's, where I knew they would be visiting.

On the way, I fought the urge to hurl my body at the ground, flail my limbs, and scream my agony for my dead son. He should be at Grandma's, too.

It's a bust (ha, ha, a little breastfeeding humour there)

So there were only 3 mother women at the Breastfeeding Mom's group this morning. I didn't really connect with any of them. One was particularly annoying. And there were no formal introductions, so no simple way to bring C. into the conversation.

I don't mind talking about C. when it is natural to bring him into the conversation. But I don't think that I am going to get to the point where I say "So.... I had a dead baby. How 'bout you?" when there is a lull in conversation.

It was a little sad, though, to watch their older children play. There is about the same difference between my two kids and their two kids. And that is something that my heart notices.

-----

Thanks to everyone for popping in to say "hi." Especially those of you who lurk or don't comment much. Sometimes I feel like I send words out into the ether and no one notices. Now I am certain that someone notices. Thank you, my friends.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Do you see what I see?

Okay. Now go leave me a note on the post below. Or I will send the horrifying Toothy Monster after you. I'll warn you: he drools.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm just plain snoopy

So I got a couple of (really nice) anonymous comments. Which is cool. But not knowing who you are or where you are from makes me SOOOOO curious. Who are you? Why do you read? Are you a regular or did you just happen to come across my blog and found you could offer something to the conversation?

Rather than pick on my very sweet anonymous friends, let's play a game. According to my stats, I get about 40-50 visits a day. So I would love to know who you are. Leave me a comment. Like this:

Hi, Siku the polar bear here. From Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.*** I'm not a regular reader. I'm a bear. Bears can't read.

Or something like that. Just a few words. You can remain anonymous, I'm okay with that. Just leave me a little "I wuz here" note. To satisfy my curiosity.


P.S. This game can be played by lurkers and non-lurkers alike. Just so you know.

***You may want to get out to Churchill and see the polar bears before they're all gone. Just a thought.

3... 2... 1... JUMP!

OK. So I have been too chicken to go to any Mom's groups. You know the anxiety. But I have decided that I will get my sh*t together, pack a diaper bag, and go to the Mom's group that is run by Public Health. On Friday.

God, it makes me nervous. I am hoping that we do that thing where everyone sits in a circle and introduces themselves and their child. If this happens, I am planning on saying "Hi, I'm [delphi]. I have two children. Our oldest son, C. died during labour in 2005. This is his younger brother, [BB]. He is five and a half months old." Get it out of the way, you know? Because I would hate having to answer the questions over and over with each woman individually.

But maybe I am imagining this group to be more like a support group than a Mom's group. I don't know what happens at Mom's groups. Maybe they don't go around a circle and introduce themselves. Since this one is run by Public Health, I do know that they often get people in to speak to the group. Smart doctory-type people. So maybe there isn't as much interaction between the women. I don't know.

I do know that I have no REAL friends in my city - only women that are high-level acquaintances. There aren't going to be any real friends unless I get off my tukas and do something about it.

And C. can't be an excuse.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Even when you think you are "safe"

My darling husband helped out with a local memorial ceremony this weekend. After it was over, we went for pizza with some of the other people who helped. One (sort of weird) older gentleman asked "Is this your first?"

I bet that was the first time my grief counsellor watched one of her clients field that dreaded question. And I did it with class.

Updated to add: This wasn't a Babyloss Memorial. Just a general memorial. Or else the above would be TOO idiotic!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gratuitous Babywearing Conversation with Myself

So I have a rather addictive personality. In that I easily become obsessed with certain things. I come from a long line of actual addicts, so it doesn't surprise me. So I have always had an aversion to all compounds that could hurt me if I became addicted (i.e. drugs, alcohol). Sure, I enjoy a bottle of wine now and then. But I don't make a habit of it.

Currently, I am obsessed with baby carriers. I already own this ring-sling.
It is a great option, but it is better with a smaller baby. I find the single-shoulder carry starts to get uncomfortable after 20 min. with my 18 lbs boy. And I stand with one hip jutting out to counterbalance, and that hurts my back.


So I think that I want a wrap carrier. The local store sells this one. My concern is that it is made of a cotton jersey knit. I have heard that the more stretch the fabric has, the more you have to adjust it while wearing (the weight of the baby stretches it out and then it isn't tight enough). Wraps are also kind of cumbersome for quick trips - it takes time to tie them. And the ends will drag on the ground while you are tying it (bummer if you are trying to put it on outside without getting it dirty). But it completely distributes the weight of the baby around your torso, which I love. I bought a length of cheapo fabric from Walmart to try some carries and loved the concept.


It is quite obvious, however, that my husband is NOT going to wear BB like the guy pictured above. I have yet to convince him that slings are manly attire. On the advice of a friend, I am considering the Er.go carrier. She drools over it, and she is the owner of everything from a Baby Bjorn (she hated it) to an organic cotton mei tai. The Er.go is rather manly, don't you think? So, if I am going to spend another $100 on a baby carrier, I should consider getting something he would wear too, right?

Anyone have any experience with the Trek.ker? The sales people at the Baby Gear store are pretty pushy about those, but my friend claims that the Er.go is better. But then again, the Trek.ker is Canadian (buy local, people!).







Does anyone have any preferences they want to share with me? I can't justify getting another ring sling (i.e. the beloved Ma.ya Wrap). But I am interested in opinions regarding the other options.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Following Niobe's lead

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • dead (2x)
  • crap (1x)

Assuming those words were scanned from the post below.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yikes

I had a gave birth to a dead baby in a hospital after a well-monitored pregnancy, so this scares the crap out of me. Any perspective I ever had on the idea flew out the window January 2005.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I just can't stand her.

I don't know why.

Here is a list of possible reasons why:
  1. the first time we met, it was 10 months after C. died. She was on mat. leave. She talked about her son the whole time. Then verbally stumbled through the minefield when she asked about my kids.
  2. she is covering my mat. leave and people like her.
  3. she took her schooling through a correspondence course (it shows in her work, too) and seems to believe it is the equivalent to a degree earned at a reputable university.
  4. she dresses inappropriately for her figure and for a professional environment.
  5. she is overly familiar with clients.
  6. she felt it appropriate to discuss her high school drinking binges at the corporate Christmas party - A Series of Unfortunate (and Unfunny) Anecdotes.
  7. she didn't kowtow to me at all when she was my underling.
  8. she is just a person that I wouldn't ever like, no matter what life circumstances were involved.

If it is reason 1, then I should just accept that I won't ever forgive her the injury to my soul when I was at my most vulnerable.

If it is reason 2-7, I should just get over myself already. So she works where I work. She won't replace me and she isn't better than me. I shouldn't feel so threatened.

If it is reason 8, I should just be happy that I only have to work with her, not live with her.

Sadly, it is very likely that she will still be employed in my department when I return to work next January. And, also sadly, I sort of wish that we could be friends. How often do you meet women the same age as you with similar interests?

It frustrates me when I can't tell if something is a grief response or just plain old cattiness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The babies are here! The babies are here!

Catherine, I am doing my happy dance around my living room. You should see the butt wiggle!

Hooray!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Firsts?

We went out to a gathering of my work colleagues on Friday. It was generally enjoyable. But there was a conversation that has been eating at me.

"Is this your parents' first grandchild?" she asked. The woman who sat with her husband in the pew at C.'s funeral.

I didn't know what to say. So I chickened out and answered, "Yes."

Trying to turn the conversation I mentioned my husband's nieces.

"So this is [your husband's parents] first grandson?" asked another woman. The woman who wrote C.'s obituary.

I nodded half-heartedly.

They were trying to be nice. They put up with me gushing on and on about BB for 3 hours. They were just trying to make conversation.

But why couldn't they remember that BB is NOT our first child? And choose their words accordingly? And why couldn't I muster up the courage and find the right words to gently remind them about our perfect son C.?

So, from now on, when someone asks me if BB is the first grandchild, I will say "C. was their first grandchild and BB is their second." For my sanity.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Okay, I admit it (again)

I hear of other people having their first babies and I want to cry. My heart races and my stomach drops.

This is old, people, really old. Can't 2.5 years of this be enough? Why do I relive my trauma every time some high school friend's boyfriend's sister has a baby?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blogger is possessed

Where is my post? Where is it?


***UPDATE**** There it is.

Lest we lose focus...

...I have nothing but the highest respect for stay-at-home-moms. I'm doing it right now. It ain't easy, my friends.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Here I am.. No, over here!!

Sorry. Signed up for facebook and got distracted from blogging. Now I am settled over there. I finally gave in to the demon, since my family has taken to communicating this way. I'm not happy about it (now how am I going to feel superior? - I don't facebook, thanks.), but it's done.

The wedding was bearable. I was surprised at how many times my heart tugged in C.'s direction. There really is something about a wedding, isn't there? Surrounded by all your family, but one. A day of hope and expectations. Jokes about how many kids the happy couple will have. Cooing over my living child. Many, many missed opportunities to say "BB looks like C."

Happily, there were few clueless comments to report.

Do you have women in your life who's only topics of conversation are their kids and the general state of procreation around them? The ones I know are stay-at-home-moms, but I wouldn't pin that as a general characteristic for all SAHMs.

Anyway, one particular SAHM had a grand old time laughingly describing her last labour in intimate detail. That was fun to listen to. I didn't join in - since no one is really that interested in hearing about C.'s labour (they get that look on their faces) and I am not going to talk about BB's labour like it was my only experience.

Then conversation turned to the noise level and how BB couldn't sleep with the DJ screaming (yep) into the microphone. SAHM told me that I should try having a 4 year old and 2.5 year old at home - then I would know noise. I resisted the urge to remind her that my 2.5 is just exceptionally quiet for his age.

All-in-all, not bad. Not bad at all.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Love is...

...when, despite the blinding headache you are left with due to sleep deprivation, you think of the 3:30 a.m. booby call with a smile. Because your silly little baby was laying there, kicking his feet on his mattress so hard that his little butt was bouncing everywhere, smiling the biggest gummy smile imaginable, and reaching his hands up to you.



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Thank you for all the moral support re: the previous post. I would like to have the guts to correct people, and I should. It just gets tiring, though, you know? But then when I am in the privacy of my own home, it really hurts that people would forget C. so easily. So it seems that I protect the people that hurt me at the expense of my own peace of mind. Really, I should stop letting others have so much control over my emotions. Easier said than done.

We are off to a wedding for the weekend. I will attempt to keep a list of all the well-intentioned but clueless comments so that I can share them with you come Monday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Irking me

I know why people give me "new mom" advice. This is the first time a baby has lived in my house under my care. But when I get all this commentary about how "the first one is always easy to take care of - just wait until the second one", I want to scream "THIS IS MY SECOND ONE!!!!"

But where would that get us?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Random Thoughts

My baby has given up pooping. And sleeping during the day. Otherwise, he is perfect. He giggles. My heart fills when he giggles.
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I just googled a friend from high school. Gotta love that google. Lets you find out where people are and what they are doing without actually having to talk to them. Now I know where/what to avoid to not see this person again. Hurrah!
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Lori's piece here is amazing.
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Should I facebook?
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Should I go to my high school class reunion?
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Do you grow your own herbs? Why? What?
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I am going to wash sheets and hang them on the line to dry. It is a beautiful sunny day. I cannot wait to sleep in those sheets.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

As Promised

Here are the pretty pictures.

My labour of love. My Love's labour (though he hates all things landscaping related - except if it involves a pressure washer). He indulged my need to landscape in that Summer of 2005. Good for the property value, good for water consumption (mostly it is a drought tolerant landscape), and good for my soul.

P.S. It is my intention to add pictures from Summer 2006, then on to 2007. We'll see if that happens. First, I need to do a LOT of weeding.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tidbits

Have you read this Globe and Mail article yet? Because you should. Don't look at the reader comments, though. I think that the only people who comment on these types of discussion boards are zealots. And zealots are never worth listening to. But do leave a comment on the Directory post, because I am quite certain that the author of the piece will see it there. I think it is an amazingly brave piece of writing, deserving of as much kudos as I can give. Thank you for using such a nation wide forum to be active on behalf of bereaved parents.

P.S. The Globe and Mail is as wide read and important in Canada as the New York Times is in the US.

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No news from the gallbladder front. One of the down-sides to public health care is that you have to wait for days to get "urgent" medical tests. The up-side to public health care is that the only bill I will have to pay for my little hospital stay will be for the ambulance ride (came in the mail today).

I can't eat any fat without chancing another attack. Oh, chocolate, how I love you. Cheese, my friend, what is life without you? Pastries? Bacon?

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I have something of a memory garden. It is and it isn't. Most of the plants that I put in as ornamentals are chosen for some significant reason (i.e. "baby" in the cultivar title). But then, some of them are simply there for functionality (i.e. the Pavement roses along the sidewalk who's sole purpose is to poke the dickens out of any wayward schoolchild who thinks that s/he should walk in my perennial garden instead of on the sidewalk). The point being this: I am going to try and get some pictures on here. Because they are pretty.

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BB looks like his brother. I don't know how I feel about that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Messages for Rosepetal

I heard from Rosepetal this morning via email. She is okay, but would prefer to keep her blog personal for the time being. She assures me that the choice to make her blog private was not because of any hurtful comments. She will still be reading blogs.

I know that many, many people are thinking of her. If you would like to leave a message for her, please do so here.

Updated to add: Rosepetal is aware of this post.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

BB has a baby brother!

I would like to bid a warm family welcome to the gall stone I passed on Saturday night. I have decided to call him Stonechild. Not a very interesting name, I admit, but I was a little high on Demerol when I came up with it.

My only wish is that none of you ever have the pleasure.

Updated to add: When under the influence of narcotics, I did not recall that Little Stonechild would share his name with an infamous local personality. It is for that reason that I am officially changing his name to Mick.

Friday, May 25, 2007

No more? Prove it!

Of course, despite this rant, I cannot stop the incessent drone pounding through my head. Will we tempt fate and try another pregnancy? Ultimately, I think the answer will be yes, but it is going to take some time before I can even contemplate that.

However, when I said "I don't know if we will try to have another" to my massage therapist yesterday, she looked at me as if I had sprouted another head. "oh," she said in slightly incredulous tone of voice.

"How come? Because of what happened to C.?"

OK, seriously, isn't that a good enough reason? Having one baby die was bad enough. Then considering that I am not infertile, but also not particularly fertile. Take into consideration polyhydramnios and BB's heart arrhythmia equalling a high-risk delivery. Yep. A little gun-shy on the repeat.

But why did I feel the need to justify myself to her. And why do I always feel like I have to justify the number of children I have to other people?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Looking Back

The uninitiated think that your troubles disappear when the subsequent baby arrives. Really, that is a horrifying thought. Because the idea that one child can replace another is absurd. And it would be to the uninitiated, too, if they gave it any thought.

But life is different now. I need to try to put that difference in words.
When C. died, I saw my world through the fog of grief. For the first six months, I could barely breathe through it. Every single thought/word/step/action was made in the context of grief. I had a son. He died. My heart thumped out that rhythm over and over.

It was as if I was living on some Newfoundland outcrop, enveloped by that pervasive sea fog. Breath in the dampness. Feel it on your skin. Strain your eyes into that whiteness.

You know that something exists on the other side of the fog, but there is no way for you to reach it. You are frozen in time and place.

As time passed, it was easier to bear. There were good people along side of me, peering off the edge of the cliff into the mist. Maybe it was clearing a bit.



As we went through our year of trying to conceive, it was like a smoggy Toronto day. I could see where I was trying to go. But the thick air still hung around me. It wasn't great, but you can live in Toronto. There are good people there. They can be friendly and caring.


Since BB came into our lives, it is so much easier to see through the fog. More like living in the Prairies. Beautiful sunsets. Wide open vistas. The occasional foggy day.

What this doesn't describe is the intensity of pain that I feel. The intensity hasn't diminished much. What has left is the feeling of walking around in a fog of grief all the time. I have a bit of mental clarity back.

Our second child has given me that gift. The gift of clarity, purpose, and joy in my world that was previously defined by mists of confusion and pain.

A Canadian perspective on my current state of grief as we go into this long Victoria Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

200

I have to admit that I feel the weight of this task quite heavily. My 200th post. I was going to write a silly little post about the amazing cucumber sandwich that I made (with a photo, even), but decided that I should take things a little more seriously and make this one count.

So what I have decided to do is a Thank You post. To all the wonderful women and men in BlogLand that have helped me deal with some ugly sh*t and kept coming back to support me more. Obviously, I can't manage to honour everyone (I just know I am going to make someone feel left out with this... sigh... please don't hate me...). So I will stick to those amazing women who have Been There, Done That. ------->

To the most amazing Mothers (and fathers) I know.

Julian's Mom: Well, frankly, I think that you know that you pulled me through the early stages of grief by the bootstraps. Or maybe we pulled each other. I don't know. But thank god that somehow we managed to connect through this information superhighway. Life is crazy and busy and we don't manage to email as much as we did before. But I definitely think of you, Natalie, Julian and Robert every day.

IMA: You know what I want to say.

Kate: I love that you are so open and caring. I love that you share so much of your experience and empathy with every bereaved mother you come across. I love that you look at pictures of my garden and give me the appropriate oooo's and aaahhh's. You are someone that I call "friend".

Laura: You know that we have a lot in common, beyond this horrible loss. I think of you often and I am holding my breath for your happy ending. You are such a strong woman.

Msfitzita: It is so obvious that you are a writer. You have this amazing talent of distilling your life experience into words in a way that cuts to the heart of it all. Sometimes I can't even manage to leave you a comment because your words say everything. You inspire me in ways you will never imagine.

Catherine: I truly believe that you have saved lives with the words you write in your blog. I truly believe that women who come to your blog, where you so openly share the best and worst emotions in your soul, leave with a sense of belonging. It is like you are in the same room, opening your arms wide and offering a hug. Because you feel our pain just as we feel yours. I think that you are the Blogging world equivalent to our communal best friend.

Sarah: Your honesty regarding your grief and struggles with depression have been a source of great inspiration to me. I have (as much as virtually possible) been riding the highs and lows of your path to this pregnancy. And lordy me! am I counting down the days to your due date! Your comments on my posts have always been so supportive and thoughtful - I only hope that I managed to offer something of the same to you.

dbm - I really doubt you will read this: you are a busy mama! However, for posterity, I want you to know that the day I sat and read your blog from beginning to end was one of the first times that I felt like there was someone in the world that had lived through what I was dealing with. Your honesty and wicked sense of humour connected to my soul in a way you will never know.

Treggles - Good grief, a man writing a blog! It blew my mind. Thank you for your insight on those posts that no one else wanted to comment on. I am so glad that you have gotten your happy ending.

Mad Mommy - in your previous blog, we were treated to amazing new terminology, like "the gd gd" and "m*l*liciousness". Your humanity, your sense of humour, your truth. I think we were/are in it with you 100%. I still look forward to whatever you get around to posting.

Julie: You always take the time to comment and that means so much to me. I am always glad to read your blog, since you are just a little further down the path than I am. I found strength in numbers, since our recent pregnancies were so close in dates. Thank you for always being so thoughtful.

Rosepetal: I hardly know what to tell you. So I will concentrate on the good for the moment. You were so hugely supportive during my pregnancy with BB. I think you are an amazing person. And now, with all of what you face, I hope that I am half the friend to you that you have been to me.

WTF: I doubt anyone was more supportive than you when I was pregnant. You are a crazy gal with a huge heart and quick wit. You always say what you think and I love that. No mincing words from you, thank god. As soon as I have the good news, a little something will be in the mail to you...

Rach: I love that you are so strong in all of your beliefs, yet you manage to be open to the beliefs of those around you. You teach me something every day - be it OCD related, faith related, or mothering related. I love that our boys are so close in age. I don't have to use too much imagination when wondering what A. is like! I think you are a fabulous, open-hearted, wonderful mom.

I think that I have to quit there, before I sprain a finger from all this typing. I chose to highlight these amazing women, which meant that there are literally dozens of others that I left off. There are so many more that I deeply respect: Niobe's profundity, Sherry's courage, Karla's wicked sense of humour, anam cara's perspective... and the amazing, supportive comments from Bronwyn, Lori, Kathy McC, Emma's Mum, mommy2miracles, three minute palaver, Erin, my Australian friend Kate, and everyone else!!!

I hope that all of you who faced Mother's Day without your child(ren) had a peaceful day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shades of good.

We went away this weekend to visit relatives and it was good.

The sun is shining and it is 29 degrees out there. Ohhhh, that's good.

And I went on a trip down memory lane yesterday. Not so good (though not really bad).

I stopped by my old place of employment to show off BB. They were great employers, but it was a 80 km commute, with kind of crummy pay and no benefits. So I found a 2 km commute with great pay and great benefits about 5 years ago.

I was introduced to the woman who is doing the job I used to do. I said "pleased to meet you" and she said "we went to school together" in a snotty tone of voice. Like she was annoyed I didn't remember her.

She was in first year when I was in second year. We weren't friends. I doubt we ever had a conversation. And honestly, I was slightly depressed and considering dropping out of school at that time. I didn't go out with friends to meet new people; I stayed in on weekends, went to the library, played dark music and explored the local arts scene. I auditioned for a play*, and was in rehearsal several nights a week.

I felt bad for not remembering her. Then I gave my head a shake and thought why should I remember her? It was 8 years ago. I had my own life at the time. Why do I always feel guilty for not remembering people AND guilty when I expect other people to remember me? What sort of inferiority complex am I dragging around?

So I have decided that I am NOT going to feel guilty about this and I am going to marvel at her ego in being so annoyed at my faulty memory.

And, if you can believe this, she has the audacity to cast snotty, derisive looks at me and be 5 months pregnant with her second child. The nerve.

So that was slightly upsetting. But what hurt even more was remembering the person that I was when I worked there. I spent the drive home doing a little mourning for the person that I was before. I realized that I don't really want to keep going back there to visit, even to have them coo over my perfect baby. Because it just reminds me of NOT visiting 2 years ago. And makes me miss that naivete.

There is a hole in my soul. I live with it, but it doesn't let me forget it is there.


*where I met my husband and life has been sunshine and butterflies ever since... ;)