Friday, November 16, 2007

4 Months – Life with Ellen

Simply wonderful.

She is a dream. Bones and I can’t believe how lucky we are with her. We are both so in love. Some people say that having a child can drift the parents apart, for us it has brought us closer. Bones & I are quite stubborn people so working together is somewhat of a challenge, with Ellen we are on the same page even when we disagree.

Breastfeeding has just not worked out for us. When she was born my breasts were too big for her mouth, so I pumped and tried to use a shield. That worked, my milk production went up then it came crashing down. So I tried some milk producing teas, and pumped like mad, got my milk production back up, got her off the shield and felt like the natural mama I wanted to be. I had a few weeks of breastfeeding bliss when my production once again went down. On to the pills, my production came back but Ellen was frustrated with the boob by this point so I pumped, once again I dried up. At this point I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. It was rejection like I had never felt before having her scream at the boob and each time I dried up I felt it was a personal failure.

My lowest point as a mom sounded something like this, ‘ I couldn’t get pregnant on my own, then my body wasn’t a good home for her anymore so I had to be induced, now I can’t even feed her’, said with the crying of a mom who is exhausted and feeling very guilty.

Thankfully I was able to move on, she is such a terrific baby and some of that has to do with my parenting.....right?!?

This little girl hates her car seat, hates her stroller so we carry her. This has brought on a carrier obsession. I have a stretchy wrap, great for when she was a newborn as it pulled her in so close, a pouch sling for the pool, a ring sling for when I am running errands and I loved Bones’ Mei Tai carrier so much that I ordered one for myself. My shoe obsession has been successfully transferred! Ellen loves being worn around.

In 4 months she has grown 5.5 inches and gained 7lbs 4oz, 2 teeth are coming in, she has been on a plane, gone on a long road trip, been to a wine tasting, (unfortunately there was not milk tastings going on for her), and fed a giraffe. She has taken all of this in stride.

Ellen has a few nicknames, Gussy Fussbucket for those days she decides that laid back is not the way to go, the 24 inch dictator, Droolly Malone, Stinky McFartsalot, Buttercup and Sweet Pea. At this rate it will be at the kindergarten role call when she will finally figure out her real name.

She loves to give kisses, which take the form of opening her drooly, teething mouth and rubbing it on your face. They are precious and you feel so special when you get her slobbery present, but it is best if you have a face cloth on hand. I now understand the need for 50 face cloths!

Ellen plays her own version of hide and go seek, she places her head in your chest then looks out into the world and gives out a cry of joy and places her head back into your chest. I love this game.

She prefers showers over baths, loves to sleep with mommy & daddy, hates to be alone, loves her playgroup, loves to look at pictures on the computer, loves her mobile and loves the dogs. She will even give them treats if they sit for her, such a generous girl.

Ellen is a true dream, we are so lucky to have this little girl.

Darch

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nipple confusion of a different sort.


Really early this morning Ellen didn’t want to be put down in her bassinette so I brought her in bed with me. She cuddled in close, I was on my side facing her, she was on her side facing me when she latched onto my nose. Once asleep she let it go.

These moments are the best.

Darch

Friday, August 31, 2007

They blame rapid population growth

It has been so long since I posted and so much has happened. I am going to start with a post I was working on before we left for Ottawa. It is about a heinous crime that occurred a block away from where we live so if you find it hard to read about such things skip this post.

Bones took the dogs out for a walk in the morning and noticed a tented off crime scene area. Listening to the news we found out a woman was murdered. Later that morning a police officer came by to see if we had heard anything. She was found a block and a half away from our house on a person’s lawn.

From the news we found out she was viciously raped and beaten in the outdoor hockey arena in our local park. It is where we have our community spring market, local artists, crafts persons and small business set up booths, there is an antique car exhibition and a calypso band belts out tunes on their steel drums. The neighbourhood kids play on the jungle gym, swings and slides, in the winter they go tobogganing if we are lucky enough to have a snowfall that sticks around for any length of time. After the hockey arena was threatened with being torn down the community rallied to keep it open. This is a community place.

She managed to leave the arena, bloodied and partially clad and make her way down the hill yelling for help. Three households admitted to hearing her but didn’t make any call. This all occurred between 3-5am.

Days later when they released her photo I recognized her. She was one of the local prostitutes who I often saw across the street at the 7-11. She was always getting the largest slurpee going and other sugary sweets while I was caving into my pregnancy craving of Oreo ice cream.

This happened during a week when there were 9 violent incidents and recently there was a car load of people who randomly stabbed 4 people, killing one. How can I raise a child here?

I am absolutely pissed off at my neighbours who heard her cries but did nothing. How loud where her screams to wake someone up when she was outside and they were inside? One excuse given, his property was where she was found, thought that it wouldn’t do any good to call 911 as he didn’t know where the cries were coming from. WHAT??? 911 – this is my address – I am hearing a woman screaming, ‘HELP ME’, (he did hear the words clearly), - not sure where the cries are coming from. How effing hard is that!

Some people believe she was a prostitute so it is separate, this isn’t really going to affect us, well I am affected. It really could have been anyone, I have been propositioned before. What if I was out walking Cody, he often whines to go out for a pee in the middle of the night.

It seems so easy for some to dismiss this occurrence because she was a prostitute, it doesn’t matter, she didn’t deserve it. Period.

Darch

Thursday, August 9, 2007

No words to describe

Bones, Ellen & I are heading home for the funeral of our little niece, 14 months old, a real tragedy. We have been holding Ellen a little closer, missing our niece and worrying about her parents.

Good-bye little one,

Darch

Monday, July 23, 2007

She’s Here – The Labour



After a week of Severe Restricted Activity where I was checked in on repeatedly by the Antenatal Community Care Program to monitor my blood pressure and being sent back and forth to the hospital the decision was made to induce. The decision was made on a Friday, Sunday July 15th the appointment was made. My mom flew out on Friday evening. It looked like everything was in place.

Sunday came and my blood pressures were high so off the hospital, before my appointment, and I received the suppository that would soften the cervix and hopefully start labour, early. Wow, I had such severe cramps that I didn’t sleep at all that night. The next morning I was checked and not dilated. So we tried again. Went home made some calls, paid some bills, the cramping got worse.

While talking to my sister-in-law I was in so much pain I had to get off the phone. Walked around a bit thinking that would ease the cramping but it didn’t, at this point I could barely take it anymore and thought I should go back to the hospital. While there it got more and more intense, I thought this was severe cramping, when I was finally checked, I was 3cm dilated. WHOA....I was in labour!?!?!?! How did that happen????

Within hours I dilated 3cm, hours later I dilated another 3, for those who are unfamiliar with induction, it is like running a marathon without the training. Pregnancy is an amazing thing, your body trains, Braxton-Hicks contractions, and will get your body prepared for labour, it may take days to weeks to dilate to 3cm, for example. Needless to say I was in so much pain I was screaming for drugs and became really disassociated with my body and even my baby.

I was stuck in Maternity Triage waiting for a labouring room so they gave me some morphine, it only took the edge off. I had little time between contractions to gain control, mostly I was out of control. Finally I got a labouring room, now the challenge would be staying still while getting the epidural. I had 4 contractions while the epidural was being administered. Thankfully the nurse was in my face like a drill sgt keeping me breathing and she had a firm grip on my arms.

The epidural was heavenly, I couldn’t feel a thing, labour was slowed down but that was a good thing, by that time I hadn’t slept for 40 hours so thought I could get some shut eye. Nope, I was too excited. By 7am Tuesday morning I was 9cm, still no sleep, 9am, fully dilated, still no sleep. Decided to wait a bit and let my contractions to push down the baby a bit. Plus I laid off the epidural, (I was in control of the drugs), so that I could feel the need to push.

At this point I was nervous, a bit dizzy and thinking, ‘holy crap I am going to have a baby?!?!?!’.

Around 10am I began to push. The first bit was great, then my left butt and lower back began to hurt. Thought I had pulled something. With each push it hurt more. Tried to readjust but nothing would ease. At this point the baby pooped and everything changed. She needed to come out now and I got a bit panicked, the discomfort turned to pain and I began to lose control.

As she was crowning there is a pain the nurse called the ring of fire, (not the ring of fire I usually associated with eating too many hot wings the night before if you get my drift), at this point I had to hold. The nurse here was amazing she was in my face helping me keep focus. This was horrendous pain, actually shouted out repeatedly that I couldn’t do this. All I could think in my head was, ‘she has to come out now’ and ‘I will never be able to have a second’. Then the pain eased, (I had torn), one final push and she was out. Feeling here come out was the most amazing thing I had ever felt. Total euphoria. She cried right away.

I can do this again.

Because she pooped she was taken to be looked at to make sure she didn’t aspirate anything. I couldn’t see her. All I could picture was her ultrasound photo where she looked like she had long legs so I asked, ‘Does she have legs?’. All the medical staff looked at me strangely, the doctor looked up from stitching me up, and laughed. At that point I realized what I had said and explained myself.

Bones was amazing throughout, there is no way I would have been able to get through it without him.

This experience taught me a lot about pain. Hopefully these lessons will remain in my memory if I ever am lucky enough to go through this again.

My daughter was born 10:57am July 17th, 6lbs 2oz, 19 inches.

She’s here, she’s beautiful, she’s perfect my little Ellen Dianne.

Darch

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Here we go again!

So it would appear that when I begin to breath a little easier all of the sudden I am thrown for a loop.

I am in the hospital. Went to my 36 week prenatal appointment yesterday and my blood pressure was 132/98, I was sent straight to the hospital. Getting into the car and driving there I was a bit of a robot thinking they are just going to do some tests and I would be on my way. I mean I had a Stampede Lunch to go to, (will eventually write a post on Stampede in Calgary, it is truly an experience!). As soon as I got to the triage desk, I started crying. As much as I wanted to meet the wee one, I want her to stay in to term.

Once I got a room in triage they had me hooked up to a fetal monitor. Thankfully this little girl is so active that I haven’t been too worried about her health. I also got hooked up to a blood pressure monitor that automatically checked my bp every 15 minutes. It when down for a bit but started rising again. The doctor looking after me wanted to induce.

After consulting the senior OB/GYN the decision was to do a 24 hour urine, (to check for protein in the urine), and to monitor my bp every 4 hours. My bp is still high. Today at 4pm the 24 hour urine ends and shortly after that I will find out what will happen.

So far these are the plans:

- If the urine comes back with too much protein, induce.

- If my bp is still high but urine ok, induce on Tuesday, (I will be 37 weeks and the baby will be considered term at that point).

- If my bp stabilizes, I will be at home on modified bed rest with a nurse coming by daily to check my bp and monitor the wee one. This is most likely what will occur.

All I know for sure at this point is there is no more work for me, which is distressing in itself as there are a few loose ends I would have preferred to tie up before leaving, and I am filled with mixed emotions. As much as I don’t want to have my baby now, I am so excited to meet her. Bones and I had some giggley bonding time as we contemplated being induced. I was excited and ready to go by the time the plug was pulled on that plan.

I did manage to head out for a walk today. The hospital is along a reservoir, check out the pic, so there is a nice path and I got to pet some pooches who were out for walks. Wish I thought of having my dogs meet me out there for a visit when Bones dropped by this morning.

Update: Had to stay a 2nd night, Bones brought the dogs, (that is me doing my best Jabba the Hutt impression, look at happy Cody), for a visit. I will be heading home with a nurse coming by everyday to make sure everything is still hunky dory.

Darch

Thursday, July 5, 2007

TMI – The boob update

Here are the stats:

I have gained 30lbs so far.
My chest size has gone from 36 to 38, not bad.
My cup size has gone from well let us just say that they have increased 4 cup sizes, (now this would not be so bad if I started at an A, B, or even C, but that was simply not the case…. ). No Joke. I could wear my bras as a toque, and they would fit quite comfortably.

Now the word out on the street is that they will increase 1 more cup size once the milk comes in. How high do cup sizes go again?????

If I have milk production issues I will be majorly pissed, I mean there is all this storage room created in there, don’t want it to go to waste!

On a more positive note, my expanding belly makes the boobs look smaller and the ever-expanding boobs make my belly look smaller.

It will be interesting when I lose the belly but am breastfeeding! Maybe I can make some extra bucks headlining as a stripper, at least my start-up costs would be low as I wouldn’t need the boob job.

Oh the possibilities!

Darch

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

36 down 4 to go!

So the excitement is mounting. Every time I think, this has to be a peak, there is no where left to go on the Excitement-Meter, I somehow do. I will try my best to write without the over-use of exclamation marks but please be patient with me if I don’t succeed.

Nearly peed my pants again, Bones & I were joking about something and of course he got me laughing – hard – thankfully I just gone to the bathroom so it was only a dribble. But that set the stage for later that night when we had friends over for dinner and the goal was to get me laughing hard enough that I would pee myself. I kept my dour expression and it didn’t work. How do I keep any semblance of dignity when so many are conspiring against me?!

Sunday we went out for breakfast and in this tiny little eatery, it seats about 30 max. What do you know but there were 3 hugely pregnant women there, including me. Well one of the women was in labour and I guess it was progressing a bit quicker than expected as they rushed out of there forgetting their jackets. Thankfully it was a neighbourhood restaurant and one of the other patrons knew them, she was the one who spilled the beans that her friend had gone into labour. I got quite weepy.

Last night was the last of my prenatal classes. I must say that most of what we learned was common sense, even so that classes have made me feel more prepared and confident. Again I left thinking, ‘ok I want to have my baby now!’

Just to let people know my home internet is down, haven’t had a chance yet to get it up and running so there may be a delay in returning emails or moderating comments. I do have internet at work but for some reason they appreciate it when I am working while at work – go figure.

Darch

Friday, June 29, 2007

Some days everything is just great!

Everything seems to have settled down in the House of Darch & Bones, here is a quick bullet form update:

- Cody is better, his cortisol levels are normal, at the moment, so now he gets ‘poisoned’ twice a week to keep his levels under control. He is back to his normal annoying self, he is a terrier and it is just part of living with a terrier, love him dearly for all that personality but man there are times he can annoy me to no end.

- I can actually DO stuff without pain and not feeling like my heart is going to beat out of my chest! This is not only good for my sanity but that of Bones as well. I am not so snippy, (I wasn’t frustrating with him, frustrated that I needed so much help to do really basic things like get up off the couch, yes I got stuck twice and don’t want to discuss it any further but feel free to tease), anymore.

- I have somehow achieved the miracle of only having the quilting paraphernalia in 3 areas of the house, hoping to have it down to 2 by the end of the weekend but I am not sure if I have enough karma points to pull that off!

- We have the change table area all set up with diapers washed and ready to go, a garden & bug inspired mobile above the change table, all conveniently located beside the toilet.

- All of Ellen’s clothes, bedding and bathing stuff has been washed and put away in her dresser, I have finished 2 quilts for her, have another 2 on the go, and another 3 in the planning stages, she is going to be one warm & padded baby.

- And just to clarify, Bones is not taking figure-skating lessons, I was hoping if I tell outlandish lies about him he would update you all on how he is doing as opposed to me letting you know. In reality Bones DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO SKATE!!!! I still don’t know how any Canadian grows up not knowing how to skate, what is even more surprising is that he grew up in Ottawa. Ottawa, home of the longest outdoor skating rink in the world, where every year during Winterlude, (a winter festival on the Rideau Canal, for those who don’t know), there were school trips to go skating along the canal. Sometimes the truth is more outlandish than the lies.

- Bones is doing well, he is really excited. Won’t be running too much this year, injured his Achilles and it has taken a while to recover. His 2 hiking buddies are going through divorces so he figures if he has to listen to them discuss the divorces all the time he is not going to feel too guilty about all the baby talk.

- Bones & I will be missing our friends at the 13th Annual Canada Party, this year with the added bonus of moose meat. It was 7 years ago at that very Canada Party that Bones & I threw caution to the wind and decided to have a wee fling, (we have known each other since I was 16 and he was 20, we worked at the Elgin theatre and were friends with many of the people who worked there but we didn’t really notice each other until I was 27, he crashed my 27th birthday party with his girlfriend at the time. I thought he was truly amazing but I am no man stealing ho and he lived in Edmonton, but the following year, at the Canada Day Party, he was single….). He was living in Edmonton at the time and I was about to end a relationship with someone, so it wasn’t like we thought it would be anything more than a wee fling. We were smitten. A month later we met up in Calgary, had some job interviews, looked for apartments, a month after that we were living in Calgary. A year later married. Needless to say, that Canada Day Party holds a special spot in our hearts, that and we miss our friends too.

Today has been a really great day.

Darch

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today is ma birthday!

So 35 years ago was the very best day of life, I was born, (it should be the best day for everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting me but apparently I am mistaken in this assumption). I have always celebrated the anniversary of this event with abandon, often lasting for days. Never really viewed it as getting older, more that none of the fabulous things that I have experienced would have happened without this day having occurred.

This year my celebration will be on the sober side, no swigging tequila straight from the bottle while sitting around a bonfire like at my 30th birthday, (have I ever mentioned what a classy chick I truly am!), my abandon might take the form of an extra piece of cake with all that sugar and caffeine and it might just last for today. No matter, there is something else happening that is more important than a week of drunken debauchery. I AM HAVING A BABY!!!! That is the very BEST gift in the world!

Speaking of having babies, there was a wee baby, only 4 days old at our prenatal class last night. He was born at 35 weeks and a few days, 6lbs 11 ounces. He was just precious and it was so difficult for the rest of us to pay attention to class. He was so good, slept mostly, every now and again let out some noises for a bit and went back to sleep.

Next week is the last class and I am really going to miss it, thinking we should have taken the extended classes. I am enjoying the company of the first time almost moms. There is another woman in the class who also struggled with achieving and maintaining her pregnancy so we have bonded a bit. I also find that it gives me a solid 2 hours a week where I focus solely on arrival of the wee pea, no thinking of what needs to be done, no thinking of work, chores, no distractions. Just Bones and I sharing this time, getting excited about our expanding family.

Darch

35 weeks down….5 to go

Wow, I am in complete awe and wonderment. My body has been fully taken over, and at the moment I love the sense of surrender to it.

Had a doctor’s appointment yesterday to check up on my blood pressure issues and it is down, still slightly elevated but it isn’t a cause for concern anymore. Plus my blood work came back good too. My iron count is a little low but higher than before. And I am not in pain anymore, in a fair bit of discomfort but not pain and I am alright with the discomfort.

I am so relieved. It isn’t that I was too worried about her survival, sure thoughts of a child with respiratory problems in a small house, in dusty Calgary with 3 shedding dogs gave me fears but that could happen if she is a preemie or not really. It is more that I want her to be as healthy as she can be and I want to have her naturally if I can.

So many people think I am nuts, it would seem like everyone in my prenatal class is all about the drugs, but I want to experience it all, fully. This may sound a bit airy fairy but it is not only about her birth but my transformation into mommyhood. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you have to have a natural birth to transform or be fully complete as a mom or anything. It is how I am viewing my personal desired experience. In the end I am not going to beat myself up if I can’t go through it without the drugs or if for some reason an intervention is required. Oddly though, most of my friends, those who have gone through home births and hospital births have done so drug free. I am at least as tough as them right?

Darch

Friday, June 22, 2007

The honeymoon is over…

…I am not talking about in the marriage, that was over a while ago, we seemed to be firmly entrenched in the it is really too easy to take each other for granted so we try hard not to but it doesn’t always turn out that way phase.

I am talking about the pregnancy. These past couple of weeks I think I have been denying the inevitable, things are not going as smoothly as before.

This pregnancy hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park but it hasn’t been difficult either. I got 18 quilts finished, can you believe it –18. Crazy! I never got really sick, just a bit queasy here and there and had some food aversions. Somehow I managed to weed my garden, plant my pots and it all looks stunning or at least to me. I am a daisy, brown eyed susan and poppy fanatic so if you like those flowers, you too will love my garden. It is so casual and colourful, plus it blooms all season, but I digress…the only thing that has been really difficult has been the headaches or should I say migraines and they have been really bad. All and all though, I’ve had it pretty easy.

Well the tides have changed. I am in pain. A lot of pain. I am alright while sitting or lying down, going between sitting and lying down not so much. Anything in the upright position, really painful and walking has me counting in my head as a distraction from the pain. My walking seems to have caused no end of amusement for others though, at least there is a positive?!?! The pain is all normal, for this pregnancy anyway, she is making her way down and causing quite a commotion while doing so.

The worrisome aspect is my blood pressure. Yesterday it was 140/90, I felt like total crap all day, moody, nauseas, hot/cold sweats, this morning 136/92, not feeling as bad. Had some blood tests run, will find out the results tomorrow. Should I feel the way I did yesterday again I am to head straight to the hospital. If the blood pressure doesn’t come down I will be permanently off work, if it still doesn’t come down they will induce me early. I guess my body is not the hospitable home it once was for my wee pea. My next appointment is on Tuesday.

Now I long for the days where all I had to worry about was whether or not I was going to pee my pants…..it only happened once but man it was really freeing!

Darch

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gas & Oil Expo had a visit from the Yes Men

And boy do I feel all giddy inside!

The Yes Men, if you don’t already know, are globalization activists, they are against globalization just to clarify. To really boil down into an over-simplified version, their message would be that in the way globalization is being used by most corporations, it is just another form of slave labour, stealing natural resources using methodologies that would not be tolerated in their home country and the taking of these resources to an extent that drastically undermines or kills the environmental health of a region. Honestly I couldn’t agree more with them.

Needless to say these past few days watching the Yes Men on TV has made me a little star struck *sigh*

In Calgary they claimed they were members of the Natural Petroleum Council, advisors to the White House on oil & gas issues. The expectation is that they would announce findings on a joint US-Canadian energy policy. Instead they got to hear about how due to impending global disasters that would adversely affect the oil supply, we could supplement it buy transforming all those who died into oil. They even lit candles claiming to be “Vivoleum”, people, or specifically a poor Exxon janitor who died from cleaning a toxic spill. It wasn’t until a video was shown of the janitor talking about how he wanted to be made into candles when he died, that the guys were taken off stage.

In the end they were each fined about $300.00.

If you haven’t checked out their documentary I would recommend it. In fact if you are interested in anti-globalization/corporation documentaries the following are some real eye-openers:

The Corporation – high production value and really easy to watch, listened to a follow-up interview on the CBC of the guy who owns the carpet company, he was looking to use more sustainable technology to manufacture his carpets and he is on target and has found that the although the initial investment was high he was able to recoup costs in a shorter timeframe than expected.

The Yes Men – medium production value, still really easy to watch. Here they are ‘representing’ the WTO, watch their shenanigans that are both disturbing and roll on your ass funny but you just can’t believe that people are taking in what they are saying, especially at the textile event.

Darwin’s Nightmare – low production value, can be difficult to watch but it is utterly interesting. Be prepared to be thoroughly disturbed, it really touches in a very personal way, the loss of humanity that can so be easily tossed aside when making corporate decisions. This is a very honest portrayal of the influence of Western Society’s need for fish and devastation it causes a region in Africa. I do warn you though it is very disturbing, had me crying for quite awhile.

Who Killed the Electric Car – Good production value, easy to watch. Just leaves your shaking your head.

Almost anything by Noam Chomsky, this is one brilliant man who can easily explain complex situations in simple terms. I must confess I have a HUGE brain crush on this guy, have since I watched Manufacturing Consent, (not to be mistaken with Manufacturing Dissent, a documentary showcasing the manipulative tactics used by Michael Moore).

I know there are others but they just aren’t coming to my mind at the moment. We watch a lot of documentaries about a variety of subjects. One way to exercise our minds as we chug along with the day-to-day, and believe me we do, Bones and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on topics and you always have to take into consideration the source. I would not expect unbiased commentary by Ann Coulter or Michael Moore but they sure interesting to watch!

Darch

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bed Rest Clarification

Sometimes when I know what is going on I have a tendency to talk about stuff like everyone should know. Can’t people read my mind yet???

The bed rest was precautionary, the contractions ended without medication so the bed rest was just to make sure that I didn’t require further intervention. So today I am back to work at work. I definitely have to take things easier though.

After 1 day of bed rest I can truly say it was enough, yes I am a wimp but man it was a struggle, fell asleep so many times, even though I was trying to get some work done. Plus I was watching TV. We don’t have cable so there isn’t that much selection. Basically there were talk shows and soaps.

The Bold and the Beautiful has a great storyline that includes infertility treatments, In-vitro Fertilization with donor eggs to be exact. It would seem that one set of eggs set for research were accidently fertilized, instead of the donor eggs, and implanted in the mother to be. The mother to be is figuring this all out because there is so much nausea this pregnancy where there wasn’t any in previous ones????? Huh??? Now excuse me if I have it wrong, I don’t watch the show, it was on as background but had to pay attention because IVF & donor eggs were being discussed. Just wish it would be done so with accuracy. But I guess any show that is not portraying us infertiles as baby-stealing crazy women is a good thing?!?!

Must admit, I did go out in the garden for a bit, I am not well suited for bed rest. I feel for anybody who has to suffer through it, like my cousin Julie. Wish I could travel to Ottawa and keep you entertained. I do a mean disco dance these days will ma belly bouncing all around!

Darch

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

This 'n' That

Here is a quick rundown on the happenings within the house of Darch & Bones:

- Cody is not does not have blood in his urine anymore! Start his meds for Cushing’s this upcoming Saturday.

- I had contractions yesterday, fine today, on bed rest and working from home. Thankfully the little one has been extremely active, the reassurance has helped to keep me calm.

- Saturday I got most of my gardening done, have to take some photos but for now I am stuck in bed.

- Putting our house hunting in Nanaimo on hold until the fall, too much on our plate right now.

- Can’t get enough Oreo ice cream or asparagus & cheese ravioli. Good thing there are prenatal vitamins!

- Bones is absolutely loving his figure skating classes, not only can he now skate backwards and use the pick to stop, he can do some lovely turns. He is hoping that Blades of Glory will bring legitimacy to male figure skating.

I have to get out of bed to have lunch now, asparagus ravioli sounds about right!
Darch

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It is confirmed….Cushing’s

Well it has been confirmed, my wee poop, Cody, has Cushing’s.

The poor guy here’s a list of his symptoms:

Hair loss, mostly around his ass
Dry coat
Dry skin, (so dry that his poor nose has cracked….it looks so painful!)
Hard calloused skin, on his tail and legs
Laboured breathing, snorts a ton
Drinks a lot of water
Urinates a lot
Ravenous appetite, eats his own poop which is a new behaviour, he is so hungry
Fat redistribution, wasting on legs and big in the belly

Basically he is a mess.

Next Saturday we will be going back to the vet to find out all about monitoring and treating Cushing’s. The meds he will be taking will attack his adrenal gland, we will have to monitor him for possible toxicity issues during this phase as he will be on a high induction dose. Once his symptoms calm down and his cortisol levels are normal he will be on a maintenance dose and every 3 months we will have to take him in for testing to make sure his cortisol levels are not rising again.

The difficult part will be separating him from his bitches so we can monitor him properly during the induction phase. He has separation issues and being around the girls keeps him calm and occupied.

Oh well, you do what you gotta do. Poor little bugger.

And now he is peeing blood, worrying....

Darch

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My romantic evening....

Tonight was our first prenatal class and I fell a little bit more in love in Bones.

One of the exercises the instructor got the partners to do was to make a list about their biggest concerns during labour and delivery. So I asked him Bones what his concern was. Bones doesn’t want say something completely insensitive and that will be the one thing I hear, (it isn’t that he is an ass or anything, his sarcasm can sometimes lean in the inappropriate direction). He was serious, it is a real concern. My heart melted.

So I capped off the evening with a 30 second fart in the car and while attempting to ask Bones if he heard it between squeals of uncontrollable laughter I started to pee my pants. Bones kept yelling, ‘stop!’, which only made me laugh harder. I really did try to hold it in but the laughter, shock and shear ridiculousness of the situation seemed to make it impossible....

Bones, my knight in shining armour, ran to the house to get me a jacket to wrap around me so I could get into the house with minimal embarrassment. While running to the house I was still laughing so hard that I started snorting, I don’t normally snort when I laugh. Bones starts yelling, ‘dead puppies’. Again it only made me laugh harder, thankfully there was nothing left in my bladder....

Looks like regular Kegels workout will part of my future!

...and they say romance is dead. Love you babe,

Darch

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Changes.....part 1

There are just things you go through in life that change you, makes you re-evaluate your priorities, goals, the type of person you wish to be and who you want to surround yourself with. I am knee deep in the middle of one of these changes.

One of the hardest things I have gone through these past 7 years living in Calgary is being away from family and friends. So much has happened that I have missed. I haven’t been there for the celebrations, cries on the shoulder or just the day-to-day.

In this time a great friend of mine came out. Another close friend found the woman of his dreams and Bones & I barely know her, (and I am sure she is as great as she seems during the short visits back to Ottawa), plus she just had a baby and how cool it would be if we were on maternity leave together. A close friend has been dealing with her mother having cancer. One friend gave his brother, who is also a friend, a kidney. One of our friend’s little girls are big girls now. Friends went through a separation, not sure if they are divorced but you see we are way out of the loop. These are friends that I have known for a while, some for over half my life, I miss them. It isn’t like we sit down and have deep conversations or anything, we are just part of each other’s lives, we know our idiosyncrasies and accept each other despite them, we can even tease each other about them. I really miss them, did I mention that?

Then there is family. I wasn’t the easiest kid to raise, I took teenage angst to a whole new level. I had some stuff I was working out and didn’t open up to anyone so it came out it in anger, avoidance by way of heavy pot use and other self destructive tendencies. For a long time my parents, who are both brilliant people that I should have listened to, trusted enough to open up to and am damn lucky they never gave up on me, couldn’t say anything right. Fortunately I did have close relationships with their siblings and parents and for some reason I was able to listen or take guidance from them. I can look to each of my uncles, aunts and grandparents and attribute a life lesson or part of who I have become to them. Now I feel so disconnected from them, like I am an outsider in my own family. As much as we try to stay in touch and get together when Bones and I get back to Ottawa every year, it isn’t the same. My cousins are adults now, it is so freaky, I think of most of them as children, but they are all adults now.

Every time I head back to Ottawa I visit my Grandma & Grandpa Darch, and every time I leave after the visit I cry, partially because I think this may be the last time I see them, partially because I just miss them so much. My Grandma has Alzheimer’s and each time I leave I think how much of my Grandma will be left for the next visit, if I am lucky enough to have a next visit.

One of my uncles has AIDS, again I never know if this visit will be the last time I see him. He is just a neat individual, there is truly no one like him anywhere. There is a lot of strength in him but also a vulnerability. He lives his life so unapologetically himself, he is a rather flamboyant queer on heavy duty drugs, lets just say that he can sometimes be a little graphic about his lifestyle or his illness at times. But at the same time you can’t help but see his struggle to simple exist each day. Even before the AIDS took hold he struggled, then it was for acceptance for who he is. When I need to find some inner strength it is him that I think of.

My mother also lost her last parent. I wasn’t there. I distanced myself as I felt awful about not being there. She told me some of the stories of trying to settle his estate and such after the fact and all I could think of was that I wasn’t there. I don’t expect that she would have opened up to me as she believes in not giving your children your own emotional baggage so to speak. I could have taken her out for brunch, gone over to watch movies, walked the dogs together, I could have just been there.

During this time I dealt with infertility and finally a successful pregnancy *knock on wood*. Sure there has been crying, bitching, squeals of excitement and joy on the phone, but in the end it isn’t the same as going out for beers with friends after a failed cycle to just be around people who care about you, or shopping for baby stuff with my mom, my father won’t have seen my baby belly at all.

I guess it is the old not appreciating what you have until it is gone situation.

There is nothing I can do about the past, I am not crying over spilt milk about it. It is just something I am thinking about a lot these days, mostly because I have a child coming and it is making me re-evaluate…well everything.

Darch

Friday, May 11, 2007

2 down 1 to go

So now I am well into the third trimester, unbelievable. What is great about this moment in the pregnancy is that there is no way I can forget that in around 12 weeks I am having a baby!

I am full on into nesting mode, the only energy I seem to have is to organize and get these quilts completed, (still working on the quilt log). Sometimes it seems like there is still so much time left, other times it feels like July 31st is right around the corner.

There have been other changes, can’t stand at the Big Ass Machine as long as I could before, my feet often hurt but my brother & sister in-law came to my rescue with a massaging foot bath for Christmas, thanks guys, LOVE IT! No back, hip or joint pain – yet. Have crazy anxious dreams, my dogs jumping off our balcony, being in a prisoner of war camp where I risk life and limb to let Bones know I want to name our son Maynard, (that is my grandfather’s name and I have no desire to name our son that in real life), and then there are the dreams of giving birth to a stillborn child. My headaches are now continual, they vary from mild to really frickin’ painful, but the idea of narcotics doesn’t appeal to me, plus they can make the dreams worse.

My prenatal appointments have gone from every 4 weeks to every 2.

And finally my baby girl, she has some strange habits. Every morning she does her callisthenics to get the day started. It lasts for about an hour, she is in constant motion, and although it isn’t painful, it leaves me rather tender for about 20-30 minutes when she is done and a bit nauseous as well. After that she is relatively calm for the rest of the day, moves occasionally, usually after I eat there are some spurts of activity. Between dinner and bed she is also quite active, just not with the same intensity of her morning callisthenics.

So far pregnancy has been full of ups and downs, mostly ups. There are definite annoyances but feeling her move, even when she is beating me up from the inside out, and listening to her heart beat, which was 155 this morning, brings a smile to my face and dissolves any negative thought.

Darch

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Housekeeping - Quilt Log Issues

Well I tried to split the quilt log into what is compled and what still has to be done. It was a great idea, I thought but blogger is giving me issues in trying to get it all together without 50 billion extra carriage returns in the code. It is driving my nuts!

I will get it sorted out in the next few days, have to get working with Big-Ass Machine now before the Quilt Foreman whips my butt. She is driving me nuts!

Darch

Monday, April 30, 2007

How my heart breaks when a poopie is sick

Bones rounded up the poopies and brought them to the vet last Friday. Sam had 2 lumps tested, and Cody, well Cody has had a slew of issues lately.

Cody has been losing hair around his butt, his regular breathing has sounded like an old man snoring, he has been drinking tons of water, having accidents in the house and lastly has gained weight. We thought it was diabetes, the vet felt like it was hypothyroidism, the tests came back as Cushing’s. Now I feel really guilty every time I got irritated when Cody had an accident. He also has a urinary tract infection, which he will be more susceptible to because of the Cushing’s.

Cushing’s is an increase in cortisol levels within the bloodstream. Normally the hypothalamus directs the pituitary glad to produce ACTH, (a hormone), that will stimulate the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol into the bloodstream. Once the cortisol levels are high enough, the pituitary stops secreting ACTH. With Cushing’s this delicate balance of hormone stimulation doesn’t work properly.

For our little guy the cause would either be a tumour in the pituitary gland, causing more ACTH being produced than necessary or a tumour in an adrenal gland, causing the adrenal gland to over produce cortisol. It is relatively common and often mistaken as the normal aging process due to how the symptoms of Cushing’s manifest itself.

Now little Cody will have to go the vet to get further tests done. He will have to stay there for the day. The poor guy, we can’t even explain to him what is going on, plus he won’t have the girls. Cody is a nervous dog with separation issues, having the girls around keeps his anxieties at bay.

Hopefully we have caught it soon enough that he will just need hormone therapy, otherwise they use radiation to try and kill a part of the adrenal gland. Either way we will try hormone therapy first to see if that makes a difference before doing anything like radiation. I am not so keen on the radiation idea, I will have to research it and talk to the vet a lot before feeling fully comfortable with deciding for or against it. Then again it isn’t really my decision, Cody is Bones’ dog.

Jack & Sam are happy & healthy, Sam's lumps are just fat deposits and despite Cody’s condition, he is a pretty happy dog.

Darch

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Housekeeping & other news

I added a link to a Quilt Log so you can see the quilts I have completed while trying to achieve my insane goal of 28 quilts by June 11th. If you have been really keeping track that is one more than my goal from last week.

And in other news, Bones has finally seen the baby kick!

Darch

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going to Vancouver with a baby in ma belly

Friday I head off to BC to visit my sister. Together we are ‘The Wild Seesters’, (you have to say the phrase in the worst, cheesy Mexican accent possible). We made famous PukeFest ’93, if you are really lucky maybe I will tell you the story of our sisterly bonding over a bottle of rye, (yes we are classy chicks), but for now I will leave it to your imagination.

To say we have a great time together would be an understatement. We relax, laugh, giggle and try our best not to pee our pants, (which will be a trial for me this visit I am sure). Wish I had some type of cute anecdote to add in here, (that isn’t too embarrassing, I mean our parents are reading and I would hate for them to lose their Angelic impression of us). Together we just make the mundane into a fun adventure.

The quilt you see here is made from fabrics that my sister brought back for me from Central America when she went travelling there a couple of years ago, finally finished it last week. The fabrics, scrap material, leftovers from shirt makers, were so stretchy that I didn’t want to do anything too complicated with it. So I cut it up into various sized squares and put them back together in a planned type of chaos. The extra pieces were placed on the backing. I didn’t do anything too fancy with the quilting, the fabrics are so vibrant on their own that I didn’t want anything to compete with them.

Only 3 more sleeps until the Wild Seesters are together again, Vancouver will never be the same!

Darch

Monday, April 23, 2007

A measure of time

I have waited so long to have a pregnancy to stick around, now it feels so long until I get to meet this wee pea, somewhere along the line I have started measuring time in increments of can’t wait untils.

It started off innocently enough, can’t wait until my period is over, can’t wait until I detect my LH surge, can’t wait until I get my period, (that is if that cycle was a bust), can’t wait until I see the fertility doctor, can’t wait until I start meds, can’t wait until the next ultrasound, how many follicles will there be, eventually my life was defined, not in weeks or days but the next can’t wait until. It wasn’t all conception and fertility related, there were the can’t wait until we go to Ottawa, can’t wait until so and so visits etc.

Each time a can’t wait until passes there is a momentary let down as the build-up to next event begins. Bipolar time management I guess. The thing is when you look back it almost feels like wishing your life away between events.

This month has been filled with great can’t wait untils. My mom came to visit, I went to a quilt retreat, Bones’ sister came down this past weekend from Edmonton, and this weekend I am off to Vancouver to visit my sister. All a lead up to the ultimate Can’t Wait Until, can’t wait until I meet Ellen.

But I can’t help wonder if I am not missing something, a little something called the moment perhaps?

Darch

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quick update on Bones.....

The quilt shown here is Comfy Lap Quilt, it is the first quilt I have made Bones, finished it a few weeks ago. I guess I just think of all of the quilts as ours but apparently he did not so this one is his. I purchased the fabric squares a year ago at a quilt show, they were just small charm squares of the entire fabric line. I put them together and ordered some extra fabrics for the border and a soft brushed cotton plaid for the backing. It is quite subdued for my tastes but Bones likes it and now he has a comfy quilt to keep him warm on these cold April nights, (it is freaking winter here no word of a lie, mid-April with snowfall warnings!).

I do swear that when I set up this little blog Bones said he would post every now and again. He even sounded quite interested in doing so but alas he has remained mum and so now it is up to me to give you a low down on the life of Bones. Just remember this is through the Darch filter so there is no guarantee of accuracy…maybe if I make up outlandish lies he will at least comment?

Bones is doing great, for the most part that is. He is tired most days. Quite frankly dealing with a pregnant lady who has can’t speak properly, has forgotten how to dress, can’t find anything and late evening speaks in a nails-on-the-chalkboard type whine, hasn’t helped. To his friends and family, give him a kind word when you speak or email him next. There seems to be so much support for the pregnant one out there that the partner can sometimes be left in the wings and he is doing a ton to support me as well as keeping the household from falling apart, especially now that The Quilt Factory is in full swing.

He is running and is starting to sign-up for the runs he will participate in this race season. I will join him in a couple where there is a 5k option, my run 10 minutes, walk 1 routine will be replaced by the waddle, wheeze and sit routine. He’ll be participating in his 5th marathon this July, hopefully I can watch him finish as opposed to a friend being there to whiz him off to the hospital to join me.

He is really excited about the baby. He will be an excellent father, and I am not just saying that because I chose to breed with him or trying to score points with the in-laws. It wasn’t until after we were married that I saw him around children. He is definitely a rough and tumble playmate to the neighbour’s children. In fact the older boy, he is 5, occasionally comes over to ‘help’ Steve walk the dogs, not too sure how much help he truly is but they both enjoy it. When I go over to visit I get the ol’, “where’s Steve?”, question, way to make a girl feel welcome!

Bones doesn’t want to be known as Bones anymore on the blog. Instead something like Stan the Man. For those who don’t know him, Bones is the first 5, out of 13, characters of his last name. His first name is not Stan, but he is a man so I guess that relates to him somewhat. Personally I don’t care except that Stan the Man is so much more to type than Bones. But seeing as we don’t have cable, (limited access to sports viewing) and he lives in a quilter’s dream house, I think I should cave to this latest whim of his. What do you think?

Oh ya and he has taken up ice skating to fulfill his life-long dream of Figure Skating!

Darch

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Busy, busy busy

Oh my little blog, how I have neglected you so….

This month is a busy one, I thought life was to slow down during pregnancy but mine seems to have hit over-drive. I have so many posts started, they are really profound too, I am doing humanity a disservice by not finishing them they are that profound…..

My mom came out for a nearly a week during Easter. We had a great time. Probably one of the best visits I have ever had with my mom. Unfortunately we have one of those difficult mother-daughter relationships, fortunately we have so many similar interests and pastimes that we can find something to relate to one another about. That and we can both be tenacious buggers, there is no way we could not try when we care about one another so much. She likes to remind me that I will now be getting my just desserts with Ellen. Oh no, what if she is right!?!?!

While she was here we went to get a 3-D ultrasound done. Ellen was once again uncooperative, (giving only more validity to my mom’s theory). I can now see her kicks and movements on my tummy, so far Bones has not been around when she is heavily into soccer practice but I am sure he will see it soon. It is quite freaky and really cool.

In other news I have a new evening job at The Quilt Factory, my boss is a slave-driver let me tell you. She has no concern I am pregnant it is just all about getting those quilts done. My goal is 27 quilts completed by June 11th, so far 7 are fully finished and 2 need to have their bindings finished, will post some new quilt photos soon.

Darch

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Can't dress myself - Redux

Do you remember this post? Well it has gotten worse, a lot worse, I put a pair of pyjama pants on backwards. Not a pair of the pj pants with an elastic waist, these were a draw string pair.

Oh Ellen, I love you dearly, I am so amazed at how much I can love a person I have yet to meet, but please isn’t using my tummy as a punching bag enough, can’t you leave me some brain power?

Darch

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I’m an idiot & a shameless plug

This morning I wanted to get into work early to get a lot of stuff done as I will be off gallivanting around town with my mom for the next 6 days. She arrives this evening, so excited! Anyway, I successfully got up early, started a load of laundry, did some tidying up, checked my email and what do you know I am still on track to get to work early. Awesome!

That is until I go to grab my keys, not at the front door, back door, in my jacket, check the wash as my pants I wore yesterday are in there, so now I start tearing apart the house in a mad frenzy. Half an hour later, I call my neighbour to see if I left my keys at her place when I went over for tea last night. Nope, but she, Tnik, would drive me to work.

While in the car she asks, ‘did you check your door?’ ‘Crap, no I didn’t can you check when you get home for me?’, was my answer.

She calls me at work, ‘What do your keys look like?’, here I am thinking she found them at her place, ‘they are on a hook by the door on your front porch’, (my front porch is enclosed, that is it to the right). My only thought, man am I a loser. One of my co-workers, between sending me emails only containing ‘HA HA HA’ repeatedly, emailed, ‘you are a loser she found your keys without even having to go into your house.’

I am the worst when it comes to forgetting where my keys are, to be honest, not just keys, wallet, glasses, (that is always fun, a person with really bad eyesight trying to find their glasses), etc. But today was far worse than usual. It was 45 minutes of me tearing apart my house, including the front porch, but never noticed them there hanging on a hook.

I didn’t make it in early today but thanks to Tnik, I did make it in.

Now for the shameless plug. Tnik sells premium loose tea, click on Tnik, and you come to the Tnik website. The teas are amazing. My favourites are the rooiboses, they are naturally decaffeinated and you can get almost any flavour. What is amazing about these teas too is that they are great iced. So a nice organic peach rooibos iced tea while gardening just hits the spot.

Tnik also carries a wide variety of Green teas, black & white teas. Many of the teas you can get organic or not. Really I have to dedicate a whole post on how amazing these teas are, in order to do them justice. In the meantime, check out the website.

Darch

Monday, April 2, 2007

Circumcision as AIDS prevention...huh?

While listening to the CBC this morning I got to learn some really useful information from an interview with the Executive Director of HIV Edmonton, an organization that helps people with AIDS and HIV. Circumcising males can reduce the possibility of getting AIDS up to 60%, so parents should circumcise their baby boys.

Click here to read an article on it.

The only response I had was huh?

As the day wore on much more came to mind, like how the hell was this study done. Did they take 100 non-HIV positive males, some circumcised, some not, and have them engage in bareback relations with partners who may or may not be HIV positive? For some reason I think not. More than likely it was a more survey style study. Take a snapshot of the male population, ask a series of questions and find similarities and trends based on the gathered information. There are problems inherent in these types of studies, the trends could be interpreted incorrectly.

But I am going to argue as though it is true, and the following statement takes the cake:
“If we are not going to be comfortable speaking with our children about sex and sexuality then circumcision is another way to prevent [HIV]."

Deborah Jakubec, the executive director of HIV Edmonton

So instead of arming our children with knowledge, we will arm them with less foreskin. Just a thought but maybe it could be recommended that parents become more comfortable discussing sex and sexuality, as opposed to automatically going for a surgical solution.

After reading the article this afternoon I am dumbfounded. The various UN Health agencies recommended heterosexual males get circumcisions, homosexual men are just screwed I guess, (no pun intended), as AIDS prevention. It also goes on to say that this should be used in conjunction with male/female condoms, abstinence, reducing the number of partners or in other words, safer sex practices.

Within the article is appears as though the recommendation was for males in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now that makes more sense, there are different cultural attitudes towards sex, sexuality and a different equality balance between the sexes. Even within Sub-Saharan Africa male circumcision should only be used as a stop-gap measure while education on safer-sex practices continues.

In the end the best preventative measure on the spread of AIDS through sexual contact is to arm people with knowledge so they can make the best decision for themselves.
As for our bias, we will not be circumcising our son should we ever have one. Either way it is a personal decision each parent has to make.

Darch

Friday, March 30, 2007

my little quilting habit

One of my little habits, is cutting up large pieces of fabric and sewing them back together. It is a fun little habit, exciting to see the different fabrics sewn together to make interesting shapes and patterns. If you ask Bones it is a nasty habit of mine, it has taken over our house – literally.

Take this photo, this Big-Ass Machine. That is what I have named her after years of not knowing what to call her. It seems appropriate. She currently resides in what should be a dining room. In fact the living room is smaller than this room so we crowd into a furniture-stuffed room so Big-Ass Machine has room to breath.

Our second bedroom in our little house was supposed to be a sewing/office/guest room. It has the guest bed, the dining room table and the computer in there but, the bed is covered in fabrics that require washing, (I am an old school girl that washes all her cottons before using them, something that isn’t quite needed anymore with the higher end fabrics, unless you are making clothes), the table is covered in piles of little bits of fabrics from various projects that have yet to be sewn together and the computer is in pieces and has yet to be put together since we moved into the house almost 2 years ago. Oh ya, and there are the bookcases that hold my fabric stash, piles of financial paperwork that should be filed and my UnFinished Objects, (projects), UFOs, over 80 of them in total. This will eventually be the babies room. I would have a snazzy photo to show you all but am a little embarrassed at the disastrous state of the room. If I had to stand there and take a photo I may wind up setting my hair on fire and running through the neighbourhood naked, no wants to see that.

But it doesn’t end there. Both of my sewing machines are in the furniture-stuffed living room, one only does straight stitch really fast, the other has the utility stitches that I use to attach labels to the backings of my projects. There is a piece of fibre board I put on the ottoman so I can cut my big pieces of fabrics into little pieces, and there is an ironing board & iron in the front hallway.

Currently there is no quilting stuff, except for the occasional bit of thread or fabric that got stuck to someone’s sock or fur, in the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. Oh wait, there are my big rolls of batting in the bathroom.

Needless to say I have clean this up, and the best way I know how is to complete some UFOs. Here is a photo of one of latest finished projects, it was donated for a Breast Cancer fundraiser that one of Bones’ friends had. It is a crib quilt with Black & Whites with colourful bug fabric thrown in.

This spring we are rebuilding our garage to make a quilt studio.

Now what do I do with all of these beautiful creations? Mostly I hang them on the wall, our personal padded cell. Allows us to get as crazy as we like and saves on the heating bill too!
Darch

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Till September my athletes!

Tonight was the last night for the Beginner Special Olympics Swimming. Even though it was only 5 sessions in total that I coached, I’m going to miss it. I even got a couple of Thank-you gifts which totally blew me away. We celebrated the season with games, Achievement Certificates, snacks and juice boxes.

The most touching moment was when one of the athletes touched my belly and said she was worried about me, she didn’t want me to die in the hospital. I promised that I wouldn’t and that I would see her next season. She said that she would miss me, gave me a hug and admitted that she didn’t want to cry.

AND BONES JUST FELT THE BABY KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes we are excited.

Darch

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who knew buying ginger ale could be so complicated?

Bones and I live in central Calgary, in a neighbourhood in transition. Houses are being bought up to renovate or tear-down and rebuild. There are high-end million dollar executive homes, run down crack houses and everything in between. It isn’t a bad neighbourhood but it is interesting and because we live across from a 7-11 we get front row seats to the more colourful aspects of the neighbourhood.

Today I went to the 7-11 to get some ginger ale, (these days I can’t get enough ginger ale, never been a pop drinker and now I am like a strung out junkie for ginger ale, I limit myself because of the sugar), and a drunk native offered to buy it for me and once I declined he insisted, then he started to get belligerent with the staff. Once he paid I high-tailed it out of there and ran into my house and hid hoping that he didn’t see where I lived.

It kinda made me feel like shit to be so worried. This person does something generous and in return he gets a quick thank-you as I am running out the door to hide in my house.
While living in Halifax and Ottawa I didn’t really see the ‘drunk native’ stereotype that much. In fact I was more used to seeing the opposite having worked alongside many natives. Calgary is a bit different. Walk the paths along the river and the ‘drunk native’ stereotype is everywhere. Today was the first time I can say that I reacted to my fear of that stereotype as opposed to the individual. A lot of people are belligerent when they are drunk and I wouldn’t run and hide from them.

I am not friends with a lot of the people I first got to know when I moved to Calgary, there was an assumption that if we found enough common ground to be friends that we would have similar attitudes. Slowly I would begin to notice negative comments on different cultures and alternate lifestyles that I found offensive. And I am one of those people who believe that if someone makes a prejudice comment that I am just at fault if I don’t speak up. Obviously not every Albertan has these attitudes; it is just more predominant in comparison to where I have previously lived.

One of the things that scares me about raising a child in Alberta is the ‘conservative’ attitudes of most of the population. Sure they will be raised by Bones and I, will be part our friends lives who not all white or heterosexual and hopefully that will be their predominant influence. But they will go to school within a province that is not as accepting of diversity.

It is difficult to not be affected by their surrounding environment and today I proved that.

Darch

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My furry babies

Thought it was about time to introduce everyone to my lovely poopies. That is not a typo, they are poopies, because they love to poop. I have even made up a little song about how they love to poop. One silly thing I love to do is change the lyrics to songs and sing little Odes to them. Such as Jack is Every Inch a Sailor has been changed to Jack is Every Inch a Puppy.

Jack Trouble was the first of the Darch Dogs. She is border collie/golden mix, with a heart of gold who will protect her family in a heartbeat and still be able to roll around on her back and let puppies crawl all over her. I often joke that I can only aspire to be as emotionally well-adjusted as she is. She is a therapy dog who used to visit the psychiatric and palliative care wards. Jack is the best one to get down on all fours with and wrestle. She is happiest when the pack is all together and she is cuddling up to one of her humans. Jack is the one I go to when I need comfort from a furry friend.

Samson Grunt came next and she turned my household upside down. Jack was house trained so quickly and Sam through a huge wrench into that. Sam is the runt, a 90lb runt but a runt none the less, and had many issues, one being house training. And if Sam could do it, Jack figured she might as well too. It was a tough go at the beginning but you can’t help but love Sam. She is a Dane/Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, a true athletic retriever in the dog park and cuddly dane in the house. She is a real princess, can’t lie on the floor, must have something soft to lie on. She is the most self-centered of the Darch Dogs, she has to get the ball, must have the toy anyone else wants etc. Regardless we love her, I mean she is the best cuddler out of the bunch.

Cody was the last to arrive in our household, the only one that came after Bones and I were together. He was only to stay at our place a few months but his original owner moved, didn’t forward their phone number and never got in touch with us. He wasn’t very well trained but had such a great personality he won me over quickly, with Bones it took awhile. Cody the little Boston Terrier, (he is not a mutt, we have his papers, he is just a genetic throw-back), thought he would run the show in our house, he would hop up on our couch and try to mount the girls, (Jack & Sam), they put him in his place pretty quick. Cody is definitely Bones’ dog. I don’t exist unless Bones isn’t around. Bones adores him too. We have managed to get him trained enough to live with us, (it is hard with 3 dogs as they feed off each other, so we like them to have manners in the house and on the leash, in the dog park, they are dogs), and the girls seem to be ok with his shenanigans. Cody’s big personality has won him many nicknames, Cheech, Batboy, (his long hair from his ears makes a bit of a bat look when they are up, Cody-Sore-Ass, (one time on a camping trip he had an impacted anal gland, it looked so sore....) and Grandpa, (he snores like an old man).

The dogs all get along great. Sometimes I refer to them as Cody and his Bitches. Thankfully they are great with kids but of course aren’t allowed alone with young children. We have started reducing their access to the house and the attention they receive so they don’t associate any changes to the arrival of a child. It is hard because it is their house too but with 3 shedding dogs in dusty Calgary you have to take some measures so that you just have to worry about eating, sleeping and feeding the baby for the first few months. Or at least that is my theory.
There you go, that’s the furry portion of the Darch/Bones family.

Darch

Monday, March 19, 2007

Advice wanted

So I got some unsolicited advice today as I ordered my medium sugar-free, soy latte. “You should stay away from caffeine for the baby”, the stranger told me. I smiled and replied, “Thank-you for your concern for my baby.” For those who don’t know me this is quite a tame response, I am not a good advice taker, especially from strangers.

I am one of those people from the School of Hard Knocks. We don’t learn from other’s people’s mistakes, we have to jump off that cliff before we truly believe it will be a bad idea. It isn’t a pleasant trait of mine that is for sure, it made parenting me quite difficult. Sorry mom & dad. No matter how hard I try, and I really do try, I need to work it out for myself. Now with age I like to think I have mellowed somewhat, if those who are close to me, (family, good friends), give me some unsolicited advice I listen, may not take it but I listen and appreciate that it is given because they care. As for strangers or acquaintances well that is a different story.

Every pregnancy and parenting book I have read touches on the unsolicited advice issue, and most of my friends have ranted to me about it at one point. The thing is, when I look at my friends, who have differing parenting styles, their kids are all amazing so who is right? Why does there even have to be a right? The books suggest to be polite and smile, and I couldn’t agree more, but and here is my problem, the big but, BUT at about the 50 billionth time I get some unsolicited advice I am sure the polite option would be a distant memory.

When I relayed this bit of advice-getting to my good friend and co-worker she thought I should have said, “oh I am just so tired from being up all night drinking….”, then I had to add, “….and eating unpasturized cheeses with raw tuna sushi.” But at the moment it seemed easier to just be polite and not bring out the sarcasm, that and I didn’t think of it at the time.

So my blog readers I am looking for some advice here….suggest some strategies to help me chose the polite option when all I want to do is cover my ears yelling, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU”, while stomping my feet up and down.

Hey I just realized that the advice-giver thought I looked pregnant! Awesome, now I am not feeling so prickly, a stranger saw I was pregnant and not just fat.

Darch

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thoughts on a disturbing documentary

I really didn’t want to get into politics or religion on this blog but it looks like I am now about to. It still has to do with parenting though.

A couple of weekends ago Bones and I watched the documentary Jesus Camp. Wow, disturbing. If you haven’t heard of the film this is what it is about:

‘A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement. JESUS CAMP follows a group of young children to Pastor Becky Fischer’s “Kids on Fire Summer Camp”, where kids are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God’s army and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America’s political future.”

Here are some key things I have ‘learned’ from the movie:

  • Dancing for fun is dancing for the flesh, but should you dance for Jesus it is ok.
  • Muslims are sending their kids to camps in Palestine at the age of 5 to learn how to use hand grenades.
  • Science can be used to prove the literal interpretation of the bible such as Creationism, and disprove the theories the majority of the scientific community accept, such as Evolution. Oh ya and global warming is crap, something made up to cause fear that can be used to manipulate the masses.
  • An Embryo looks like a ‘baby’ at 7 weeks gestation.
  • Children are more open so God or Jesus actually talks to them.

See what I mean about disturbing. Every statement above is either an out and out lie or filled with such hypocrisy that I can’t believe someone could say it with a straight face or that someone else could truly believe the message.

What I did appreciate about the movie was the opposing voice used was from a Methodist. So it isn’t some agnostic challenging the religious right when they have no appreciation of their faith or don’t find their moral compass within Christianity. The children were shown as intelligent, articulate and confident. The Youth Pastor obviously loves the children in her ministry and cares a lot for their future. Again it is quite disturbing, it would be so much easier to not relate to them at all, (I related mostly to their fears about the future, their children’s well-being etc, not the religious fervour), and just see them as religious zealots.

Now I am not a religion hater. Bones has faith, me I am up in the air, sometimes I definitely do, other times it is hard for me to believe. I do believe that attending church and being part of a religious community brings many benefits. I am totally in love with a man who was raised within a religious family and many of the qualities I admire in him I attribute to that upbringing. So this is not about Religion as a whole.

This is more about raising children in an environment that likens brainwashing and does not allow in any way shape or form a differing thought. This is ensured by using the fear of going to Hell or the threat of rejection from family and community. An ‘enemy’ or ‘war’ is created to shift focus from challenging the messages being sent to fighting the scourge that threatens their way of life. The old, ‘you are either with us or against us’, mentality. There is no room for difference, no room for tolerance. The hate continues.

Check out the trailer:



Apologies to any of my religious friends and family that I may have offended. That was not my intent. I feel lucky to have such diversity in my life where we can care and accept one another regardless of our differences.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Yes I do speak english....supposedly

Over halfway there and only a bit of a brain to spare!

Pregnancy brain has been a real joy. I have always had a tendency to screw up my words, replace a word with something that sounds like it. As an example I went to the doctor as I was concerned that I had a urinal tract infection. The doctor being ever so professional didn’t even crack a smile and I only realized my error when the doctor asked why I thought I had a urinary tract infection. At which point I turned beat red with embarrassment, and started laughing pretty hard.

Well this tendency has grown to new proportions. I still replace words with something that sounds like it. Like this little snippet from lunch:

Discussing a concern I had, I said, “…well I consulted with my daughter last week…”, my baby Ellen is so brilliant that she giving medical advice from the womb, I meant to say doctor.

But you see now it doesn’t matter if the words sound alike or not:

Last weekend we had all 3 dogs in the car and I rolled down the window a bit to give them some air. We were headed to the car wash eventually and I turned to Bones and said, “remind me turn up the light before going in the carwash”. He was so kind with his response, “sure but I might call it a window.” Now the whole reason I had to ask for the reminder is that that one time recently, going through the car wash I did not have my window rolled up completely. As the water poured in I was in a crazy panic, “the soap, the water, my pants, the seat….” After a few moments I realized there was nothing I could do, one of the downfalls of power windows, and accepted the little shower I was receiving. At least we were headed home.

And finally, it doesn’t even matter if it is a word, as is can be a combo:

After teasing a co-worker I said, “…just harasling you..” It was a combo of harass and hassle. She knows me so well she knew what I meant.

So communicating with me can be quite a chore these days, have a drink, bring some patience and don’t worry if you have a wee chuckle at my expense. I am getting used to it.

Darch

Thursday, March 8, 2007

More details on the detailed scan.

Sorry for the brief update yesterday, it has been quite hectic these past few weeks. Well maybe not exactly hectic, more I really can’t get done in a day everything I want to get done.

The ultrasound was a huge relief yesterday. It has been difficult to really think this pregnancy will all work out. We have gone through so much to get here, so much loss that I needed to protect myself from any possibility of hurt. Not that it is an achievable goal, each step has brought reassurance and hope. What started as a way to inform our family and friends of our pregnancy, has turned into a way for me to let the positive experiences and feelings in. Try and shed the hurt and anger that has built up over the last few years and that I have been wearing around as a shield.

The last few days before the ultrasound, I woke up from intense nightmares that the baby was dead. Yesterday I woke up at 4am, full of excitement and dread. It is so hard to explain the opposing emotions, it was all quite confusing, even to me. As the scan began she didn’t move at all, then there was a twitch and we began to see definite movement. A wash of calm passed over me that hasn’t left.

We are so excited, it is a lot more real now; she looks like a baby. Head-on she looks more like Skeletor but that is just the nature of ultrasound imaging. Her profile is delicate and simply beautiful.

We have been asked so many times if we have a preference, my answer has always been, ‘a live baby’. Even though Bones was convinced it was a girl, he would have been ecstatic with a boy. It would appear that I was one of the few who didn’t have a clue as to the sex. My neighbour saw some 0-6 month old tights on sale and bought me some, most of Bones’s coworkers thought it would be a girl and my girlfriend’s husband thought it would be a girl because he could see me as a mom to a girl. Maybe my fears got in the way.

Thank-you so much for the well wishes.

Darch

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The detailed scan....

.....and it is a girl......my wee pea is a wee she!

Darch

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

About last night.....

Coaching Special Olympics was amazing last night. Must admit I don’t have that much experience with the Developmentally Delayed crowd, most of my experience has been through Bones, (he works with Developmentally Delayed adults), so it took a bit of adjusting. Basically I have to be more vocal about my personal space and remind a few of the ladies to pull their suits up, other than that it was pretty easy and quite enjoyable.

For the next 4 weeks, (this season ends in 4 weeks, starts again in September), I will be working in the shallow end with those that are uncomfortable in the deep end. Last night we were working on pushing off from the side of the pool, gliding and blowing bubbles while you have your head in the water, pretty basic stuff. One of the ladies just wanted to relax, but every now and again she would show off by swimming across the pool.

The coaches and participants were very friendly. During free swim some of the participants were quite goofy which had me laughing pretty hard, and that only encouraged them more and on it goes. Looking forward to the next 4 weeks.

On a side note, the detailed scan is in exactly 1 week, care to make any wagers as to the sex? So far I have no leanings, Bones is convinced it is a girl. And you?

Darch

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TMI - All about the mammaries....

So what is worst than bathing suit shopping, pregnant bathing suit shopping. I had to run out at lunch today to grab a maternity bathing suit. Basically it was an exercise in humility, or should I say being humiliated.

There was this assumption on my part that once I got pregnant it would be easier to find clothing. Not sure where it came from but it was there. Boy was I smoking crack!

Back to the dressing room, not only is there little to choose from, nothing could properly contain my bordering on obscene mammaries. Bones likes to remind me that women pay good money to be this well-endowed, I think they are called strippers and porn-stars and honestly don’t feel like being compared. But again I digress. Nothing could hold the suckers up, so I had to get a size larger, in a not-so-cute looking suit.

Now you must be asking what the urgency of requiring a suit so badly that I would only dedicate a lunch hour to the pursuit, well this is when the story takes a bit of an up turn…..

I AM COACHING SPECIAL OLYMPICS SWIMMING!!!!!!! ....tonight....

Yes I am excited. So excited that I can look past my humiliation of a saggy suit with breasts-a-bursting, (I think I will wear a t-shirt, it really is getting obscene).

Darch

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stupid conversations.....

…you know those times when someone catches a snippet and makes a comment, then someone else assumes their comment is judgemental and next thing you know both parties are so involved in being right they are creating what if scenarios that are bordering ridiculous and the original snippet, the possibility of common ground is lost and all that is left is the ridiculous what if scenario and the need to be right…..

…..ya those conversations, man they are just stupid.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Diapering decisions

We’ve decided to use cloth diapers. After tons of research we are most likely to go with the standard old pre-folds. They are the least expensive and both of us were raised with them and not only are we fully potty trained, our butts are quite superb. So we figured it should work well for our Wee Pea.

Yesterday we went to look at nursery furniture and check-out strollers. You know, diligently doing our research with the added benefit of getting us really excited about our family addition. We came across a display of cloth diapers. Bones started practicing how to fold them, different ways for a boy vs a girl. Who knew, something I missed in my tons of research.

There was a couple next to us and this was the conversation overheard:

NewMom: Oh look at the cloth diapers……

NewDad: Why would anyone use cloth diapers?

NewMom: ummmm they are good for the environment…

NewDad: *grunt*

Bones was focused on his folding practice and I was proud.

When we go on these excursions I am always struck with how involved Bones is. He has researched and declared what type of baby carrier he wants. He examines the baby gear, asks questions about it and talks to friends and family about what has worked for them. Most of the dads we know are very involved and are similar to Bones, it has been easy to sometimes overlook that this is not the case for all new moms. Can’t tell you how grateful I am that he is.

Darch

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day everyone

My parents always included my sister and I in Valentines Day. Even as we grew older I would get a Valentines Day card from them. When I went away to university my mom made me a crazy-quilt style heart that I still treasure, it hangs in my sewing room.

A couple of years ago, around Valentines Day, I asked Bones if he was going to give our children Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. He looked at me like I was nuts. I told him how it made me feel, it was a small reminder of just how much they cared. I went on to tell him that I was unsure when I had stopped getting cards, but that wasn’t all that important, it was more how it made me feel as child, especially after they separated and when I moved away. A few days later a letter arrived in the mail. A Valentine from my father, I was so excited. After seeing me, Bones just may have changed his mind.

Happy Valentine’s Day Wee Pea.

Darch

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Honey, can you dress me?

It seems the latest little bit of ‘pregnancy brain’ that I am dealing with is putting my clothes on backwards. Well not the pants, not that bad….yet. Just the shirts, the pullover style to be specific. So far I can still figure out the button up variety.

The first time I noticed this odd behaviour was on Friday, at the Doctor’s office. After the nurse took my blood pressure and left, I was checking out my wee bump when I realized, ‘this shirt looks odd’. So I pull up the collar to make a little check and sure enough, it was on backwards. I quickly straightened it out, lest the doctor notice and think I am batty. Surely it would only be a one-time faux pas.

Nope, since then it has happened everyday, today it happened twice, my shirt, then my sweater. I kid you not.

Darch

Monday, February 12, 2007

....waiting.............

Today I am wearing a real maternity blouse. Normally I can look more casual at work but this afternoon I have an off-site meeting so I had to look more professional. The thing is, I am not that big yet so the blouse is a little bit of over-kill. I don’t have the belly to fill it out!

People keep telling me the pregnancy will go by so quickly. Right now every day feels like a week. I am sure when I look back it will all seem like it was over in a blink of an eye. Until then I just wish my belly was large enough to fill out this blouse. (Remind me of this if I ever complain about feeling fat!).

Darch

Friday, February 9, 2007

Water, an old friend of mine.

Have gotten a few emails from family about how much they enjoy the blog, thanks, I have really enjoyed writing on it. I have turned off word verification to make it easier to leave comments should you wish to. I do have comment moderation on so that if trolls want to leave nasty comments they won’t see the light of day.

Had a visit with Dr T, she is my OB and will hopefully delivering the Wee Pea if everything goes well. Now the reason I say if everything goes well is that 4 women with high-risk pregnancies have been sent to Grand Falls, Montana as there was no room within the NICU. Last year some women in early labour were asked to make the trip to Canmore or Banff, as there were no beds in Calgary. Scary. After telling my mom about these stories she said that I should have a home-birth, not such a bad idea, my mom was a maternity nurse.

The thing is when we first started trying to get pregnant, I thought my ideal birth plan would be, an at-home, water birth with a doula and mid-wives. Her suggestion brought me back there, a nostalgic look back to when I thought it would be all so easy. My attitudes and thoughts seem so na├»ve to me now. But women do it. A few weeks ago I read Lily’s birth story, part 1 & 2, it was an at-home, water birth. I can’t tell you how much my heart ached to be able to still see that as an option. But I don’t.

My new birth plan is to have a healthy baby, preferably a vaginal delivery unless it will be unsafe for the baby, no drugs unless I can’t take it anymore, no episiotomy unless it looks like I am going to tear. To relax me, Bones can remind me of one of our first dates, swimming together up at my father’s farm. We sat on the dock in the middle of the lake, talking, getting to know each other in that new love kind of way, also trying to figure out how we were going to get back to the other dock without being drowned by Sam, (one of my dogs that would be so worried about us in the water she would whine and try to climb on top of us). One way or another, water will be in the room.

Back to my visit with Dr T, hearing the heartbeat is the very best thing about these visits. The heartbeat is healthy and strong, 150.

Darch

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hormones - Check

Well I have always been on the emotional side, to put it mildly. I gesture away wildly when talking about the most mundane issue. One time, while driving and not even speaking a word, my hands where moving. Bones inquired as to what I was doing. Thinking about things in my head, of course.

These days it has gone to a whole new level. Last week driving into work I started crying, about nothing, felt crazy, but I couldn’t stop. By the time I had pulled into work it had stopped. Thankfully I caught a glance of myself in the mirror before getting out of the car. I had been wiping away my tears with my black leather gloves. I looked like a drag queen at a funeral and I wasn’t even wearing make-up! The solution: start crying again and wipe the tears away with my hands. Totally forgot about the wet naps we keep in the car.

In contrast, yesterday I was driving home from work with such excitement I felt like I couldn’t contain it. I had a grin from ear to ear that nothing could touch. I even went to fill up the car with gas, after leaving work 1.5 hours late, it was night, cold and really snowy, nothing could mess with my mood. It may not sound like such a feat to most, but for a cold wimp who is usually exhausted by the end of the day, it was quite an accomplishment.

Today the good mood continues. When I went to clean the snow off my car, I also cleaned off the neighbour’s car.

Hormones – check!

Darch