Thursday, March 6

Friends.

Very Quickly, because it is VERY Late/Early.

Having friends is nice.

I've had friends before. But it was always so much work/frustrating. Not all the time or with everyone but yeah. We didn't connect, or I was a tiny bit embarrassed, or we had wildly different needs/expectations. Or (sadly) I just didn't like them, but fake liking them was better than having nobody so I stuck it out.

Maybe I should say I haven't been a really good friend before?

Anyway in October this group came together, and its been amazing. I don't resonate perfectly with everyone. There are differences of opinion and expectations and feelings. BUT holy crap there are 6 or 7 woman who i could spent indefinite amounts of time with, and love every frickin minute. Yes they challenge me, but they pick me up, and support me and I get to do that for them, and its an HONOR. Truly. Its been and continues to be an honor.

I didn't dream of this, of this many amazing inspiring like minded women who truly want to uplift those around them. I'm pretty sure united we could do anything. And I'm just so damn blessed to be a part of it. Tonight. I had a few of them over and we sat until midnight drinking wine, pulling cards and just chatting. At one point i went to the kitchen to get more dessert and realised....this is it. This is exactly what I would have asked for if I had dreamed it could exist.

Immense Gratitude.

Good Friends are Awesome.

Tuesday, March 4

Act 1

"phoooooooo" she softly blew the dust off her blog. Creak, creak as she types the first few words. So foreign yet so familiar.

This is my present to myself. In 23 mins I turn 33 years old (NOT 34 which I've been saying for six months, oops), my present is blogging with I miss terribly but have put at the bottom of the priority list. Coincidentally my birthday and Ash Wednesday are the same day this year...and 40acts...(link to follow) popped up on my FB feed. Act 1 was start a journal. Ok Universe, I'm listening.

I'd love to catch up and fill in the major blanks from the last...two? three years. But its already near midnight and I need some sleep. So lets do the bare minimum.

A gratitude list, Things I am thankful for today:
Tyler he has been home for a long time now and he is amazing both for me and the kids.
Hunter who embodys compassion and thoughtfulness
Sage who sprinkles magic dust where ever she goes
Mercurial Jasper, one minute has me in stitches and the next hes having a fit
Rowan who's hugs could melt a frozen heart.
My babysitters who flew in at the last min to save my evening
Great happy music to dance to
My sister who bought me a fabulous present (Hamsa Shirt, Lucky Necklace and Dark Chocolate), she came downtown to have a birthday dinner with me!
My mom. Who paid for dinner, took me to the hockey game and gave me a present!
It has been a long time since I had dinner with those two and the company was the best part.

OK.

Gratitude list done...

Act 2 tomorrow!

Night.


Tuesday, January 7

Thursday, October 24

Here we are!

The first years of my babies lives are unparalleled. It simultaneously takes forever and is gone in a blink. I am standing at the final precipice of his first year. Its over tomorrow at 9:10pm. Then he is One, and no longer my baby. They will all always be my babies, I know that, but there is just something different once that exact moment ticks by on the clock. I will never be this close to that moment again. It will never be so close to my grasp, while being so obviously far away.

From this moment, and truly every moment he has been here he is defining himself as himself. As separate and unique and delightful. That is how it should be, how it is meant to be. I love learning who my children are and what they think. It a wonderful unveiling. But. Because he is my last, this is harder.

A million coping strategies flew through my mind today; i considered cancelling the party (I am sick), I refused to get out of bed (made the oldest two an hour late for school). I wanted to eat all the wheat, and sugar and chocolate. I considered a nice glass of wine at 11am. I desperately wanted to go for a run. Anything to dull or numb the feelings. Anything to escape.

But instead (and evidence of my growth) I stood in my kitchen and felt it. I refused to run and finally turned into it. Let it be. I cried into a tiny sleeper. I wept by his crib. I got choked up when i read a story about a nursing mom. And then it was ok. Well and then I talked to my sister, who made me write out a to do list, to my friend who reminded me that great adventure lies ahead, to my Mom who even as i dialed reminded me that kids never really stop needing their moms.

I haven't braved the birth or newborn pictures. I also haven't cleaned the house. So don't take this as a complete success. Although I'm doing far better at letting go than any other time in my life. So I'm proud of myself.

In fact this needs to be said. At 32 and a half, I really like who I am. I'm damn strong. I stood up during labour...during transition. I caught Rowan as he was born, in a tub, in my bedroom. I did something I didn't believe i was capable of. He has given me an amazing gift, and idea of myself that I had never considered. I am worthy and capable and magnificent, and without his birth experience, I don't know if I would have gotten here.

It doesn't exist in a vacuum, Hunter's birth taught me that i was as strong and capable as I thought I might be. Sage ripped me wide open and forced me to find my comfort zone to push back against what wasn't me, and to be open to change and mystery and magic. Jasper taught me that I was the only thing holding me back. Limitation were of my own creation. Then Rowan blew the top off my self image and revealed a new idea of myself, greater, more giving, more balanced and just really really cool.

Part of my reluctance to step ahead into the future is that I can't see myself teaching full time. I have a degree waiting to be used, but I have many friends and relatives who teach, and my god it eats at their soul. I believe it is the hardest paid job on the planet. Because what they give up is so great. a few are finding balance...after 5 years on the job. But I like to completely absorb myself in what I'm doing and I have yet to see someone successfully do both and be happy, until they have many years under their belt. And those first years are just ugly.

But we don't get to see the whole path before we step, so with a Kleenex clutched firmly in hand...I'll take those first steps down a mostly foggy path, it starts with a birthday party.

Happy Birthday Rowan William Scott (16 mins early). You've changed my life in the most amazing unexpected way. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat You are an incredible blessing and I am so thankful you are my son.

.

 Ps...I'm real glad your head isn't that shape anymore.





Monday, September 23

Head nodding...

Ever found yourself straining to keep your eyes open on the road? Maybe head bobbing. And you think "Holy shit! I'm tired, I shouldn't be driving".

Well....i'm tired and overwhelmed and probably shouldn't be parenting. Its not full on driving off the road, but i'm definitely having some loooong blinks around here. Making decision I generally wouldn't, forgetting things that I never would. Today i ran upstairs to fix something with the tv, and then sat down and flipped through national geographic's 30 best animal picts of the year, twice. I had left Jasper mixing the banana bread. The whole time. There was no egg in the mix but I had totally forgot! While meandering back downstairs I actually thought ...what's Jasper doing right now? Where is he? Then came around the corner and it all rushed back...holy shit! I am constantly monitoring what each kid is doing...hyper vigilant...and here I had totally dropped the ball. And i know why, and its OK. But it tells me how far I am from optimal functioning.

After last night I decided that passively waiting for a reaction isn't cool so I took the plunge and started tackling my 'foods that might be a problem for Rowan' list. (Eggs, Chocolate, Corn, Pork, Strawberries, Raspberries, Peach, Cucumber, Goats milk, Dairy, non-peanut nuts, lentils, parsnips) I had the other three kids dressed in case we needed to go to the hospital, and the epipen ready and out of its case. I fried (without oil or butter or anything) an organic egg. And diced it, kicked the other kids out of the kitchen and fed it to him. he ate half then I cut him off. Some small hives on his chin appeared, then between his nose and mouth (where the egg had touched). I was hoping that would be the worst of it...then maybe 7-10mins after he ate it....his face just exploded. At one point there were 40 hives and his eyes were swollen shut.

And it bugs him, so he wants to cuddle into me or thrash away. he doesn't want to sit still and let me obsessively watch his breathing. Which is what i had to do. I HAD TO SIT AND WATCH TO MAKE SURE HE KEPT BREATHING. And there is no way for me to describe that feeling. Its just awful. You can't do anything but sit and watch and hope.  Phone in one hand, epipen in the other, wondering if and when and what will it look like and is that wheezing? or is he just congested? Will I know when? And knowing that I did this...I gave him the egg, even though i suspected it would be a problem.

It sucks.

I didn't move far enough out of the way when I closed the Van tailgate tonight. I slammed it into my temple. I have a goose egg.

Hunter had the stomach flu. .... this is an afterthought. He slept 13 hours last night, and I clean diarrhea up off the floor twice today. But in the face of Eggs and Hives! Stomach flu becomes a post script.

And i'm not asking for Vegas or a Beach....a few hours of silence and sleep would be a real treat right now.


Sunday, September 22

yet more hives

Baby food. Baby food. A jar of mixed vegetables, good for 6 months and up! I have been making Rowans food, or buying him those bags of food. But we were out of those things and i just grabbed the jar in the cupboard. Because it was mixed veggies! And he was hungry. If you haven't already guessed. HIVES! HIVES from baby food. (water, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, yellow split peas, lentils). Because Soy, Peanuts, and Garbanzo Beans have all caused a reaction I'm thinking the Lentils or peas are the culprit here. But I'll try parsnips this week when my cortisol levels drop and see how it goes.

I'm so freaking calm when the hives start...I"m all....strip the kid, put him in the tub fresh water rinse...wash incase its a topical reaction. Immediately review foods. Don't panic, stay calm. Watch hives make sure they peak and stop spreading. Record how bad it was, try to get a picture, try to match it with a new food. Is this a first reaction? a second exposure? How does it rank compared to his other reactions? Is there a pattern? figure it out, Figure It Out, FIGURE IT OUT! There is an answer I should be able to see it!

But i'm super calm on the outside.

Then when its all said and done...and everything is fine my system crashes. and then i get the shakes and panic and freak out. But! I'm calm when it happens. Thank god for cortisol I guess.

Actually thank god for Jasper he gently eased me into the idea of food allergies...with the eggs wheat dairy deal...then nicely grew out of them. Ive spent the last two and a half years modifying what we are eating i some way shape or form. Otherwise...I don't' know how i would be handling this.

Wednesday, September 18

Do you think its heavy.

ugh I'm sick of cleaning my glasses.

but things keep setting me off. The 'mothers milk' tea in the tea cupboard. Even the pain of engorgement. The two newborns at Sage's Sparks meeting. The idea of Rowan rooting, the song I sing him to sleep with. My nursing tops. Rowan crying.

These things, these things. These things crawl behind my stoic wall of not crying. Of being one of those strong people who don't get emotional over everything. They sneak in and I'm a pitiful ball on the floor. and I'm sitting here writing trying to get it out of me down onto paper or screen so that its not all whirling inside me like a toilet. Waiting, tamped down waiting for a crack.

If anyone had breathed a word 'maybe its time' 'you'll have to do it sometime' anything i could construe as an insinuation that i should wean. I wouldnt' be doing this. Any feather light push in that direction, real or imagined. And i would have fought back, held on, screw you.

But it was my decision. He doesn't need this any more. I need it. But he doesn't. Its been almost 24 hours and not once has he rooted, or looked to latch. He has laid on my breast, used it as a pillow and had the opportunity to latch. But he didn't.
thank god. This is hard enough.

le derniere fois.

the last time I'll be engorged. The last time I'll breastfeed. The last time he's all mine. The last time I'm needed.

I know.

I knew this was coming. That's why now. I'm never going to be OK with weaning. Give me 2 months or 2 years. I'll feel awkward but I don't think I'll be OK with weaning.

How selfish. How self centered. Its been a gift. Four gifts. I've been able to breastfeed for well over three years. Something i didn't even know i wanted. Seriously after Hunter was born the midwife suggested I try feeding him and i was dumbfounded...I hadn't planned on that.

Bleeding Nipples, cramps as bad as contractions, cluster feeds. Not keeping a shirt on, nursing a long baby on an airplane. Babies too congested to nurse. Rowan snorting and rooting like a baby pig. we called him TrufflePig. No periods! Not even to the very end. No periods the entire time i nursed. Food restrictions real or created. I've got magic boobs. My babies gained weight quickly, were very healthy. Moved through the meconium quick and were never hungry. I've soothed them when hurt, hungry, and over tired. The balm of Gilead and it was effortless. Watching those tiny heads grow big, their weight heavy on my lap. growing teeth...getting bitten! (not often) I've nursed on countless flights, in hotel rooms. In cars, tent and our trailer. I've nursed in malls, restaurants, and arenas. At the dinner table and hiding in the living room. I've watched hours and hours of tv while nursing, then pintrest. I've nursed one handed, while cooking and while sleeping through the night. Ive danced and entertained and sat in the dark just me and the babe. I've pumped, milk turned blue, red and green from food.

laughing budda grins at me from the other screen. heres hoping he knows something I don't.



Friday, September 6

walking and waffles

Where to start. Eh, just start.

From January to May I ate the foods that agree with my body and didn't eat the foods that cause mayhem or discomfort. My poop was green. I bought a juicer. I wasn't as tired and almost never had a stomach ache. I dropped all of my pregnancy weight and then some. Then a whiff of summer and damn hot dogs and buns and burgers and well hell lets just throw it out the window! So i have been. Waffles warm smothered in butter and whip cream and maple syrup. cookies, the most amazing lemon cookies made by my sister. Peaches! by the basket fresh from the field.

I love September. I have for as long as i remember loving a month. March runs a close second but ahhh September. I'm not a planner or scheduler by choice. I'd say I don't want a schedule just let it all ride. But then September rolls around and schedule is forced on me....the older the kids get the more scheduled we have to schedule. (wha??)  and its unadulterated bliss. Pure bliss. Because i know where i'm suppose to be and what i'm suppose to be doing and where i'm gong next. I know i have 45 mins with Jasper and Rowan while Sage and Hunter are in Taekwondo ....so we went for a walk. And because that was the extent of my 'to do' in that time frame. I gave it to Jasper. I let him lead and decide where we went. I stopped and looked at poop and rocks and walls and bugs. I listened when he spoke (the first time even!). I demanded he follow basic safety rules. That's it....I just had 45 mins to be with Jasper (Rowan was happy to sit in the stroller). And because I hadn't tried to pack three things into that time, Because i wasn't rushing or counting mins or writing lists in my head. Because i wasn't home where the to do list is never ending and i'm always feeling the kitchen and the next meal pull me like gravity away from any other activity.  It was wonderful. It was a break. Maybe its not that i need a break from the kids. But a break from the chaos. Apparently I can seperate the chaos from the kids...who knew?

I feel guilty when i'm at home. there is so much undone. right now. Its 10. I should be sleeping, i should be cleaning the kitchen, i should be folding laundry, I should be picking up toys. I should clean the toilets. And those ghosts chase me everywhere in this house they never leave me. So i try to get to all the ghosts....then i can play with the kids. Then I can sit and engage. Hell i rarely sit for meals now .... i'm trying to get the kitchen organized ... although that never happens. And i'm searching for serenity outside .... childcare, yoga, blah , escape. I thought i was running from the kids but i'm not. I'm running from the house. from the ever present job of maintaining it. Because if there is a job i'm very very bad at....its maintain the house. Raising babies, birthing babies, newborns? I'm really really good at those. scrubbing the floors? putting away the laundry? another story. Ha. Tyler once said to me "we will hire a nanny, then you can get everything done' . That thought horrified me. Why would you take away the best part of my job? and leave me with the shit parts? Gah.

I have a cleaning lady. She arrived shortly after i was told to be more self sufficient. she has only been once, and its September which in addition to order and schedule also means pure chaos and exhausted kids and i am allowing myself the time to readjust.

We were camping for the september long weekend. Everyone was exhausted in the best way, then right into school and an hour on the bus. Because I am crazy the kids also did two taekwondo classes and we went to the school open house. And sage started kindergarten.

Hunter before bed was about the get very worked up...he was just completely defeated by the pace of the last 10 days. I looked at him and asked him to give me all his worries. I'd hold them for the night and he could have them back in the morning, if he wanted them. It was good advice....I guess I'm leaving mine here for the night. Strange thing.....nobody seems to want them back in the morning.

see these always go unexpected places.

peace.

Tuesday, April 23

Ugh

Self awareness you are a bitch to gain. Today: I'm jittery, unfocused, anxious, confused, and mostly wound up. And the anxiety is all: it's the juice! No wait its Tyler! No it's that person over there! It's the sugar (in the juice)! It's not enough water! It's ALL THE THINGS!

Which usually means it is actually me and none of those other things. Which! If I had a little more self awareness I'd.... I'd.... I don't know I'd be smart enough to avoid getting myself into this situation.... Aren't i suppose to know better than this? Gah! I should have stayed in bed.


Thursday, April 18

Hi. angst into gratitude.

The food thing has been an adventure. It started out as something I was doing for Rowan, then as the days/weeks/months passed and his face refused to clear, it became something I did for myself.  It's been 112 days since I took Eggs, Wheat, and Diary out of my diet.  (also sugar although I used Agave/Maple/Unrefined sugar on occasion). By extension that also eliminated 90% of processed foods. The cravings are almost entirely gone, have been for awhile, and when they do come up...there is always an emotional trigger behind it. I have treats, but the are well spaced and portion controlled...yesterday i had trailmix with M&M's in it.

But I don't have super powers (self control included). I just made a decision to change what I ate, and yes there were cravings and yes i have weak moments (Birthday Cake of all things!). But ultimately I'm the one who decides what goes in my mouth, I have control over that...its one of the very few things in life that I truly control. And once I was able to disentangle myself from the cultural expectations around food (bread!pasta!melt cheese on that shit!)  It seems pretty clear. This is just one culture...I could go to other parts of the world and not feel like a complete weirdo for my choices.

This became very pointed to me while in Hawaii, I went into my first Whole Foods. Sweet Jesus...there were foods in every 6ft section that I could eat. There was a gigantic salad bar...and at the end of it a vat of cooked brown rice. I literally embraced the vat and said to my mom " I've found my people!" Its sad that I felt more at home and more comfortable in a grocery store surrounded by strangers an ocean away from my home than I do in my own town.

 But! I am very grateful for the supportive people I have in my life. When i started this post I was sure I would be complaining about the people who tear me down, who critics and judge. But as i was writing I started thinking about how  many people do the opposite and I'd rather focus on that:

 My Mom goes very far out of her way to prepare meals I can eat, and continues to invite me over.

My sister offers support daily, and also cooks for me.

Tyler thinks I'm completely nuts but also supports me (he bought me a juicer, and had them remake a salad for me when it came out with cheese... I wasn't even at the table),

My sister in law has made similar lifestyle changes, and is a great ally.

My friend Meghan dropped Gluten last week, and emails me recipes for chia pudding.

My cousin is a naturopath in Ontario who also shares great recipes. 

I have a friend in BC who gave up Sugar....18 months ago? And still reaps the benefits...she wouldn't go back.

So...there you go....

I'm blessed with a support system I didn't even acknowledge, and all the benefits of my new lifestyle. Its going pretty good around here.

Tuesday, January 29

One Month...

(oh yeah had a baby, Rowan. He's awesome but that's another post)

One Month. One month ago I realized the rash creeping up Rowans face was not (as my pediatrician insisted) baby acne, it was not a milk rash. It was the same rash Jasper had for the first 7 months of his life. Wow, was i excited to see it again.

At least this time I had an idea what was going on. On December 28 I cut out wheat, dairy and eggs. I limited sugar and switched to brown rice. I also limited corn and soy. As the days went on and Rowan cleared up a bit but not completely, then flared up again and again....I took more things out of my diet. Sure if i could just get the right combo (or avoid the right combo) all would be clear and pristine. Citrus, Bananas, Pork, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Peanuts, Bell Peppers, Melons, Dried Fruit, Deli meat, Sausage, Mushrooms, Oats. Absolutely no soy, or corn or any of the other things I limited. No sugar instead little bits of Maple Syrup.

Here we are the 29th of January and he is still rashy. Better than yesterday but I'm not sure what that means any more. Fortunately it has yet to get as bad as Jasper's. It weeps and flakes and is red and angry but doesn't climb above his temples so his forehead remains clear.

I have an appointment with the naturopath who discovered the mom diet-breastmilk-rash connection with Jasper. I had great plans to have my blood work tested during my appointment. Which is why i waited so long to get in. I wanted two weeks clean before testing. Then I discovered i need to have eaten all of the potential trigger foods within 24 hours of the test. I had a plan to binge tomorrow and eat all the things I have been avoiding (McMuffins! Burgers! Cinnamon buns!Cheese! everything else on the list above). I was going to experiment by putting Rowan on formula (and pumping) while the big reaction happened over the binging. But the closer that gets (tomorrow am) the more nauseated I am at the though of eating all those foods. Yes I would love to sit down and eat them, part of my brain now chants 'cinnabun, cinnabun. cinnabun' over and over and over. But the reality of reintroducing foods that made me bloat and feel sick and mood swingy, and just yuck out weights the voice of the cravings. So I'm going to take in my exhaustive food journal (every item eaten in the last month) and hope we can work from there. If the blood work is the best shot then I'll do it. But for now....well lets see where we get.

There have been benefits, despite the rash still making an appearance....I'm not bloating! I'm much more comfortable. only two stomach aches in a month! I lost 12 lbs in a month. I have more energy and less snapping. I've proven my ability to be disciplined about what i'm eating and to record every single thing.

I'm a complete pain in the ass if i'm coming over for a meal though....Mom has made two delicious soups that were totally legit, but it is a huge inconvenience. I fortunately haven't been eating out at all.

Wednesday, October 24

Overshare # 642

Totally lost my mucous about 9 o'clock last night.

Despite it being a relatively minor change, and not something that signals imminent labor like say....water breaking. It shouldn't really mean much. BUT! It completely changed my perspective. I was spontaneously smiling through the grocery store. LAUGHING! laughing at Tyler when I got home.

It was such a relief to have some physical confirmation that labor would actually happened. For the first time in two? three? weeks I was excited to meet the baby. Wasn't apathetic towards the tiny outfits in the nursery. Or secretly wondering if a) four was really worth it, maybe i should have just stuck with three..esp if it meant I didn't have to be pregnant any more and b) If i truly would be pregnant forever. It doesn't feel good to think those things. I know I shouldn't, I feel guilty for it. But I just couldnt' get over the feeling that i was just going to continue to deteriorate to infinity, and no baby.

So....whew. I will likely have this baby sometime in the imminent future. Imminent meaning less than two weeks.

s!



Monday, October 22

so then today happened...

I broke today.

I pushed through back spasms, an irritable almost two year old, an hour and a half in the car. I sat in the uncomfortable seats at dance, I smiled and made small talk with the moms. I carried/rocked/consoled an upset 30lb Jasper for most of last night. I (blessedly) ate a delicious lunch prepared by my mom, and let my kids tear her house apart. I got home and faced dinner, after school squabbling, and more fits by Jasper. I talked to my grandmother on the phone, who suggested i have the baby tonight, I agreed and told her I would call her tomorrow with the details. Then I was cheeky and posted a picture on FB of the App on my phone that counts down to the due date by announcing...X days until Baby. Today it said One day until Baby.

 I'm sure the friend meant well, we haven't talked for a long time. She has no idea what this pregnancy has been like or what it feels like to go full term, much less full term four times. (161 weeks pregnant tomorrow). So if I had the space in my head I would have shaken off her comment that said "I hope you go two weeks over, so you are not tempted to have another one."

However. Given my already....overwhelmed state. It felt like a curse. And it broke me. Tyler came home and I retreated to the garage. Instead of explaining what was going on and why i was upset, I just hid. Which isn't the mature thing to do. And didn't tell him what i was feeling or what i needed. After a heated discussion about using my words. I hid in the bedroom and had a really good cry. Tyler and the kids sat and ate dinner, Tyler tucked the kids in, and cleaned up.

I had a bath in which i fantasised about delivering the baby.  

So I asked for help.

I asked him to pack the lunches for tomorrow, to have tomorrow be his last day at work, to take over dinner and lunches and soccer and chauffeuring. Meal planning, decision making, all of it. Because I can't do it anymore, I can't handle it and I need help.

It sort of kills me to admit that. I want desperately to be able to power through this, to make it happen because it needs to. Because the other kids need it, I need to feel  like i can handle it. Instead I feel guilty, and a bit relieved. The million dollar question is if i will be able to follow through. To stay the hell out of it, to let him do it. Because that's pretty much been my life for the last 6 years, and as much as i recognize the need to back off and let him take over. It is scary.

Saturday, October 20

checking in...

I feel like i should check in after that last post.

I'm ok! I haven't had any anxiety or depressive symptoms since that day. Yay!

I need to record days like that. Otherwise I don't remember how many times I've had them, how many times I've dismissed it as a one time thing. Tyler and I overhauled the house today. The kitchen is so clean that we went out to eat :)

And did you know....October 23 is the cut off for a Libra. Otherwise this baby is going to be a Scorpio? I didn't know that I thought it was later. I already have a Scorpio! Interesting.

Oh...and....why do people check in everyday. Not the people who want to check in and see how I'm doing (i like those phone calls) , the people who clearly are only invested in the arrival of the child. Have you had the baby yet? Are you contracting? No. Thanks. Seriously...do you think I'm going to have this baby and just not tell anyone? Really? There are a few people with whom I was closer during my other pregnancies. Friends who I'm just more distant with now. And...well what do you expect. If we every conversation we have is awkward...of course I'm not going to call to chat just because I'm pregnant. I understand 'have you had the baby' as an ice breaker, but ....UGH. sorry venting over.

Ok....I think everyone is asleep in the house...I'm going to bed.

Oh...I finally managed to get the walls scrubbed!

S

Thursday, October 18

Zombies..

Of course it was Zombies.

I don't 'do' zombies. I don't read books involving them, I don't watch movies. All my supernatural energy goes into Vampires. So of course when anxiety strikes....of course it would be zombies.

Last night as i was trying to fall asleep, it suddenly occured to me...I didn't have a plan if Zombies attack.

I'll let that sink in for awhile.....

from here on out I will be using italics to indicate my rational thoughts.

Zombies? really?

But what if? What if they were trying to get into the house? What would I do...how would I protect the kids? How much ammo does tyler have in the house? (For the Hunting guns)

But really, we should be sleeping here. Zombies?  

I don't know how to shoot a gun, how much help could I be? Omg...it would just be Tyler.....can you even shoot a zombie? Does that work?

Oh come on....this is anxiety talking, this is clearly not rational or real....we are not letting anxiety control us...lets go to sleep

Maybe I should learn to shoot a gun. There aren't too many windows at the front we should be ok...only the half glass door to contend with....

My god woman, please let it go. Don't fixate on this.


BUT THE BACK! what if zombies tried to get into the back? three windows! how could we possibly contend with three windows?? OMG, we are screwed.

Sweet jesus, its turning into a movie sequence. This isn't going anywhere good.

What if we all holed up in our bedroom....then there would be only one door. Tyler could totally manage that. Could we outlast them? What if there were hordes of Zombies walking down are street? What would we do?


OK! ENOUGH! ENOUGH! STOP RIGHT THERE!  And i got up and got a drink and calmed down then went back to bed. 

fin.

I'm not sure if I'm pleased that I managed to shut it off, or upset because it got so far. Or upset because it started at all.  I had some pretty creative anxiety during the PPD, it was never zombies (unilateral government control, and aliens but no zombies) and it got a lot worse, and I didn't recognize what was happening....but still. It isn't fun, to know part of my brain is back there. Yes of course I'm a little worried about the post partum period. This pregnancy having been so... .psychologically and emotionally challenging. How could I not?

And while i managed to shake it and fall asleep I woke with it still hanging on. Worried not about getting through today, but blowing little things wildly out of proportion. It was an awesome day to go on a field trip with the preschool...to the fire hall. "a bedroom door left open allows the fire (and toxic gas! and smoke!) to spread at this accelerated rate." "What if the parents died and the kids survived..." "bunk beds, cause children to be directly in the line of the hottest toxic air!"
Don't forget I'm already in the throws of some serious anxiety, and I'm trying to listen to a fireman talk about our house going up in flames.

awesome morning!

I was 20 mins late for the field trip, and upon arriving my excuse was 'I managed to get out of bed this morning, that alone deserves a gold star."

This isn't 'normal' this was by far the worst anxiety episode I've had this pregnancy....really since the post partum. The days before it were pretty good. Now the three days before that were...as you can read...not my best. But it was more depression instead of anxiety. Yes I'm splitting hairs.

So whats my point? I don't know. This sucks.

Will (like the food aversion problems with the 3rd pregnancy) this all go away after I have the baby? I think so? Hope so? am counting on it?

Am i ok? Yes. I still have that very clear consistent rational voice , and clearly am able to turn it off when I choose.

Am i being honest with those around me? Yes. This is like a little lesson in mental health for Tyler..."if I'm acting like this (enter symptoms of anxiety or depression) for more than a little while...you need to tell me, we need talk about it. Sometimes I don't recognize the depression part until I'm through it...and I need to you watch me, to tell me if i'm getting...foggy.

Should I be taking something? Yes I should be meditating, taking my B complex vitamins, and seeing both my acupuncturist and probably therapist. But some of those things need to wait. And one of those things gives me heartburn. As for legit pharmaceuticals.... my body has a really, really hard time processing most 'medications'. I take half a regular strength Tylenol for a headache on occasion. But anything stronger....well the symptoms so far have been worse than the problem. So antidepressants or anti anxiety meds are sort of a last resort. And again...this was one day. One really shitty thank god its over day. I think hormonally I'm owed at least a few really good days starting...in 17 minutes, when it is officially tomorrow.

so....can i go into labour now? please?

39weeks 3 days...going to bed.

S
 

Sunday, October 14

Woke up this morning with some energy, and a list of stuff i wanted to do. The kids and Tyler were fabulous helpers. Managed about half the list. I felt so good when i woke up. Last night was 'thanksgiving' dinner with my in laws. I've been craving turkey for three weeks, I was pretty excited. Then...just before dinner I got sick. I don't even know how to describe it.  The first couple hours it was just dizzy and pain and I needed to lay down. Then I couldn't stop burping (so classy) and when I stood up i was very nauseous. Threw up twice on the drive home.

So...gross. But as i said i felt way better this morning, best morning in awhile. Its funny how quickly wanting to spend all day sleeping and weeping becomes your normal.

Tomorrow Tyler is going to work in the office, they asked him to go out of town (MANITOBA) for a week. For real? It has been a very long time since Tyler has worked locally it's a little weird. But better than MANITOBA. Again, Manitoba.

Busy week. My Dad comes out to visit tomorrow night (and brings us dinner, YAY!). Hunter has School, Sage dance.  Tuesday is school, soccer and preschool.

I don't have anymore guess dates for babies arrival on my calendar...it was getting to depressing motoring right by all those possibilities. My sister delivered both her kids on or before 38 weeks 5 days. Sage was born at 38 weeks 6 days (I think.). So at least we are moving into the realm of possibilities.

Ok....one night without wandering the house, pretty please. One night.

Saturday, October 13

38 weeks 3days

I went to an acupuncture appointment today.

Instead of hearing:

Wow! Look how well you are progressing, here let me adjust a few things and I'm sure you'll be holding this baby in no time!

She said:

Wow! Baby seems really comfortable in there, really happy to stay there. Don't get your hopes up on him leaving early.

Which...follows the previously set pattern for the boys. We are not leaving without a membrane sweep and an 'extra' week in the womb.

Now in her defense in one session she also completely took the swelling in my ankles down. It was getting a bit intimidating, they were purple and swollen right up to the knee. Absolutely remarkable what two needles and an hour could do (in the right hands).

And for the record it was a bit of a relief to hear her say that i really didn't have any say in the matter. That baby* will pick the time and I can stop...obsessing over possible 'encouraging' tricks. I'm an analytical person to start with, and having a midwife who plays to my...evaluative self-reflective tendencies has been a lot of fun. Except when it hasn't because i can get a bit ....obsessed about it and that's not really productive at all.

eg: What fears and thought patterns are holding me back from having an early delivery? What self work can i do to 'clear' the way for an efficient easy delivery. And if i dont' do that work what kind of delivery am i setting myself up for? (aye there is the rub). Do the work or suffer the delivery!

* I find it really interesting (unsettling) that I am still referring to the baby as Baby. Despite being relatively sure we are going with Rowan William. When i say relatively I mean Tyler is completely 100% sure and I am still vaguely searching baby name books, without finding anything else. I said to my most wonderful acupuncturist....do you think it's because I'm not settled on his name ?

I just...I don't know! Its my favorite but it just doesn't feel....like it clicks. Like a puzzle piece that physically fits the spot but the colors don't exactly line up. Or it almost fits but you just have to push a bit. I dont' remember exactly how I felt about "Hunter" for Hunter. I know that people around me were far more sure than I was. And I'll say now...Hunter can be an aggressive name, and that kid doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body.

Sage? fits it hits her unique personality but isn't so far out there she can't pull it off. Jasper, Jasper is like the pinnacle of perfect baby naming. It never fails to draw (almost always good) comments and he suits it to a tee. And i was so sure, SO SURE about the middle two. And yes, I was so sure about Willow.

In other news:
Eating has been weird. I don't really want anything in the mornings, but by 2 or 3 I want to eat everything in the entire world! Today it was burgers, but good big burgers. So I hauled everyone into the city to have burgers, which i inhaled, along with two baskets of fries and half of Jasper's noodles.

Sleeping has also been fun. Instead of this 'large burst of energy at the end of term' I'm frickin exhausted. All I want to do is sleep, or cry as of two days ago. Just let me cry. I think that has helped with all the naps. Tyler would rather i be unconscious than sobbing. Tonight i was exhausted at 8, so I was asleep by 8:30. Jasper was up crying an hour ago and I've been up since. Physically i'm still exhausted but mentally i can't shut it off again. So here I am purging my brain on the internet. (He just woke crying again, so i guess it hasn't been a compete waste...I was already up and functioning. He laughed through a diaper change that he insisted on? Pulled out the change pad and laid down on it ?? Diaper was clean. Anyway Changed him then he climbed back into bed and promptly fell asleeep.)

Tonight was Hunters first indoor soccer practise/game. It was amazing. He still hasn't hit is stride at the new school (tamped down maternal anxiety and fear), but last night he just flew. It was a structure he is used to, and skills he knows he excels at. To see him...confidant and flying around that field did my heart really good. Now...Jasper also wanted to  run around  (the blessedly indoor) activity center, and Sage was sick and just wanted to sit on my lap. But! Tyler was there and so I was able to sit and watch Hunter glow. It was also nice to visit with a few of the Moms I haven't seen since spring (or earlier). Upon seeing my somewhat pregnant looking belly the common response seems to be "I didnt know you were pregnant again! Do you know how that happens?" My deadpan response "No, but don't worry i'm taking a class after this one." It doesn't bother me nearly as much as it would have previously.

Ok...now that an unnecessary diaper change is out of the way, and my head cleared a bit. I'm going to try to go back to sleep.

Night people.
s



Sunday, October 7

le sigh.

Yesterday morning started wtih super intense leg/foot cramps (4-5am). The pain was amazing.
When i found relief from those i went to bed to have four or five consistent (non painful) contractions. Which i debated timing but decided against. And it didn't stop. All day despite a bath, nap, super fluid intake, bananas and cal/mag. All day I had these decently spaced 'stop and take a breath' noticeable but not 'double you over in pain' contractions. At first i was...woah! whats going on here? I'm pretty sure there is a list on the wall in there that says:

To exit:
1) break bag of waters 
2) labour will start.

But! Then i realized it is a long weekend, there is no pressing schedule to keep up. The kids have complete flexibility in their schedule. We've got people here, Tyler is home. Today would be a great day to have a baby! Except I didnt'. I just had contractions all day. The first part of the day I got the house picked up from the massive awesome play date we had Friday (and Wednesday), while drinking water constantly and started the laundry. Then napped and tried to move things along by going to the Corn Maze and walking. I did have three contractions in the maze, but those only one of those stopped me from walking.

Then we went to my in laws for dinner. Best thing ever at this moment, cook me dinner BTW I essentially invited myself out for dinner and I still cried with joy when they confirmed we could come.. It must have been right after dinner i started getting frustrated. So many contractions, no closer to baby. I was tired, I was still contracting. It wasn't pretty.

I know Braxton Hicks or practise contractions, or false labour is suppose to get more intense with subsequent pregnancies. I know it is suppose to start earlier (although this is the first bout for me this round).

But let me regale you with tales of how done I am.
I cannot manage three children well right now. I am easily overwhelmed by two simultaneous request, much less three. It isn't as much the physical part that's got me to the end of my rope, its the mental part. I understand now how people could look at me, fully functional with three and be confused how i could handle it. I didnt' understand before, I didn't get it. It just didn't phase me. I don't know why...but now? Now it makes me want to run to my room and hide. And thank God Tyler is home. Because dinner is the worst time. You need to be two steps ahead with dinner or its Pb and J every, single. night. And I'm pleased managing to be somewhat not that far behind, much less two steps ahead. I've prided myself for so long being able to say "no...its ok...I've got this" that I'm not sure people hear the difference when i say "I dont' have this. I need help".

 Yes I can meet their basic needs, yes I can get them to school on time, and keep up with a schedule. But i used to do it really, really well. I used to excel. Now? Now i get flustered, I dont' take that breath before getting mad or overwhelmed. I just react. And then I'm swamped with guilt because...i know i can do better than this. Because it was my (and Tyler's) decision to have a fourth. Not the kids. They shouldn't be carrying the brunt of the consequences for our decision. Yes there would have to be changes, and there will continue to be changes when Rowan is here. But this? This snappy unpredictable, reactionary mother? This should not be part of the package. I can accept that there will be physical things i cannot/should not do, limitations they will just have to accept. But to loose space mentally? To loose that step back, the pause that allows me to think than act....that's too much.

I dont' think having a newborn and total lack of sleep will be a magic bullet that will fix everything. I dont' think everything Will get better immediately. That i will regain sanity at a time of intense hormonal fluctuation. But I DO know that it doesn't get better until after that. The interrupted sleep, the nursing hormones, the post partum roller coaster, all of that is going to happened it just won't start until after the birth. I'm not sitting here begging for two more weeks of this as if it were sanity before embarking on the newborn ride.

My frustration coming through?
I'm clinging to the knowledge that this isn't who I am. This isn't how i parent and that I will get that breath back, I will get the mental space back. Because moments where I loose that, when i forget that  (and am tired). I freak right out. I get stuck in 'what have I done?' What have i given up for this?

I'm still contracting. My back is aching. I know things must be moving ahead somewhat. I'm going back to bed. hmmm....wonder if my acupuncturist could help encourage things? Or at least give me back some balance....of course its a long weekend.


S

Sunday, September 30

Last day of September!

Well,

Tyler isn't in Kamloops anymore. He is in Provost but because he controls his own travel (get in the car and go, instead of go to airport wait for plane, connection, ect) there is some extra...comfort in that fact. We picked him up at 8pm and he drove out at 9am the following morning.

This week is crazy. Hunter has swim lessons with his class every day, which pushes back his lunch time by an hour and negates the joy of hot lunch. Sage has sweet talked her Nana into taking her swimming on Tuesday after preschool. Dance on Monday and her second day of school is Thursday. We hare having a play date with two moms on Wednesday, and another on Friday. Thank god for the bus! Let me say it again, thank god for the bus!

I met with my (our? the?) doula tonight. We knew each other through the midwife program I used with Jasper but it was nice to show her around the new house and reconnect before delivery. I am 37 weeks on tuesday, which is great.

Baby is allegedly putting on .5-1 lb a week at this point.

I had crazy dream last night about delivery, and a wildly emotional moment a few days ago when I was all "Boo, hooo, my last pregnancy, boo hoo" So i've let go of some of the pressure to have the baby RIGHT NOW! I still rather not go late, but if the very beginning of the month doesnt' work out I won't be pacing madly.

I have to say this has been the best physical pregnancy so far. Unless i sit on the ikea sectional couch my hips are fine, I can roll over in bed, I can get up and squat down. I can even pick Jasper (30lbs) up from a deep squat. I dont' do it often but i can if i need to. Now there are a few things I don't tempt fate with. Going tot he park with all three kids is out, taking Hunter bike riding (he still needs a push to start), shopping. Jasper enjoys the bolting and while i can pick him up and carry him if he is compliant. When he does not want to...I choose not to fight him. Or chase him. So i minimize the time i need to do those things. We really need groceries though.

Saturday, September 22

whew!

Between the dropping, and the weird feelings. I was a little worried that yesterday was early labour. Worried you ask? Worried? when for the last 35 weeks you've been gently reminding the growing fetus that earlier would be better than later? Well....he really needs to wait 3 more sleeps. 3 measly sleeps! Otherwise it going to be all...hospital and stuff and despite having many, many lists made in preparation for many different scenarios....going into a hospital because I'm not 36 weeks is not a plan I have. Well I woke up to his little butt pushed against my ribs (see no longer engaged), and feeling more normal that the day before. So...you know...whew.

Today was not my best morning. I woke up tired (Jasper up through the night crying), and irritable. Instead of doing the thing I knew would be good for the long run: healthy breakfast. I ate three (four?) enough haystack cookies to feel the buzz. This was not a good decision...but I could have told you that as i was chewing. I, predictably, spiked then crashed HARD. Hard enough that i was snappy, irritable and called Tyler crying. It was just too much this morning. The hormones totally started it but I definitely didn't help with the sugar and caffeine and sugar. Having a good cry helped, having a two hour nap really helped.

People sometimes look at me skeptically and say 'i just don't know how you do it'

I could not possibly do it, could not be having a fourth if not for my three amazing kids. Hunter and Sage are so responsible, so mature. Jasper is fairly independent. They are all very social and outgoing. They play together (for the most part) exceptionally well, and they look out for each other.
I am wildly blessed.