Friday, August 29, 2008


I have some time right now so I'm just going to post a little bit. We finally got the laptop back from the shop so I can sit in the living room or wherever and go online while the babe is sleeping. Alot has happened in the past two weeks so while I can't capture everything here, I'll do my best.

We were in the hospital until the Saturday (16th). That afternoon we had some friends come over who are due on September 1st (and as of this post have not gone into labour yet) and my brother and sister-in-law and niece came over as well. On the Sunday, John's dad came over to see the babe too.

The first week at home was relatively easy compared to the doom and gloom stories all of our friends with children keep on trying to impart on us (you know the whole "you'll never sleep again", "you're life is forever changed" crap). The MW came out twice to do home visits and to make sure the little one was well. On discharge from the hospital she was 6lb 12oz and by the end of the first week at home she was 7lb 4oz!!

~~ saved at this point as baby awoke ~~

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We had our two week appointment at the MW clinic this past Thursday - She's now weighing in at 7lb 12oz! On the not-so-funny side, apparently I cannot dissolve stitches so the MW had to go in and remove all the stitches I received after the birth. Talk about not fun. But I tell you, my comfort level increased almost immediately and the lochia I've been experiencing has drastically reduced itself since that appointment. So all in all, not a bad day.

On Thursday we also stopped by John's work to show off the babe and to the tattoo studio we frequent to show our friends the babe. Of course everyone forgets about mom and dad at this point and completely spoils the little one.

My parents also arrived in town this past week and have been visiting us the past few days. Today (Saturday) was the first day they didn't come by. Tomorrow we're going to my brother's for a BBQ (that's where the 'rents are staying)... I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be more people there too (my younger bro and some of my parents' friends.) Whatever: we have the perfect excuse for leaving when we want to. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birth Story

WOW! It's been a while! I guess the first and foremost exciting news is that we had our baby born on August 14 @ 1:08pm!! She is an absolute angel and I'm loving every minute of mommyhood so far!!

Her birth story is quite amazing and I am going to try and post it all right now... we'll see how successful I am as I'm on the computer while baby naps and I can't predict how much longer she'll be asleep right now.

So on August 13 around 10:30am, my water broke. It was not the soap opera-style gushing that you see on tv by any means, but more of a trickle. It honeslty felt like I was peeing my pants without the actual peeing feeling (if that makes sense). It was just a constant warm trickle. Of course this happened while I was taking a walk (back from Tim Horton's no less). I told John that I thought my water had broken but wasn't 100% sure... so I just put on a pad and decided to walk to the mailboxes to pick up our mail. By the time I got back, I was much more sure that it was definitely my water that had broken. So we chilled out for a bit and then I decided to page my midwife to let her know (around 1pm). The MW gave us the option to come into the clinic to get assessed or she would drive out to our place, so I decided that a drive into town wouldn't be too bad and arranged to meet with her at 2pm.

At the clinic the MW tested to make sure it was amniotic fluid that I was leaking (it was!) and did an internal - I was still only 3cm dilated but 80% effaced (up from 50% on Monday) so she said the best thing to do right now is to go home and she would come out after work to our place to assess me again. At this point I was having regular contractions about 5-6 minutes apart but they weren't productive according to the MW as they were more focused around my lower abdomen and not the top of my fundus.

The MW came out as promised at 7pm and assessed me again - still at 3cm dilated but 100% effaced! She also felt a contraction and said that they were getting stronger but still not true labour despite their regularity of being 4-5min apart now. So we agreed that she would go home, have dinner and come back around 11pm for another assessment.

Up to this point, the contractions were more than bearable and I didn't have to do any breathing or anything to get through them....

At 11pm the MW was back at our place and did another internal. And finally I had progressed and was between 4-5cm dilated! So she decided to stay and labour with me as part of my birth plan was to labour at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Around 11:30pm we decided to take a walk around the block and this turned into an hour and a half walk! It was quite nice though as it was warm out and almost a full moon. My contractions were definitely getting stronger at this point, but I could still breath and walk through them. Back at home I laboured on the exercise ball, on all fours, in any position that seemed comfortable.

Unfortunately, one of the things we discovered is that the little one was "sunny side up" in my pelvis so the back labour I started experiencing around 2am was not fun. The back pain seemed to intensify as my contractions became more progressive. The MW talked to me about sterile water injections which at first I declined to help with the back labour. At 3am the MW did another internal - in four hours I had progressed to 8cm!! So at this time, we had to make the decision to transfer to the hospital to continue (part of my original birth plan) or to continue labouring at home and try for a home birth! We talked about the pros and cons of both really quickly and decided to stay at home and try for the home birth. At this point I asked for the sterile water injection because the back pain was becoming close to unbearable. I have to mention that the stinging of the injections (there are 4) was undescribable. And I'm not a wuss or a stranger to needles and pain by any means seeing as how I have subjected myself to hours and hours of tattoo work... but seriously, this sterile water injection hurt!! But it definitely did provide a tonne of relief within 30 sec if not less. I'll be honest, I think I was a different person for a while and the MW even commented that she's never seen someone in Transition who was this calm. I was able to easily breath through my contractions and actually watch some tv!

Since we had decided to try for a home birth, the MW started setting everything up. I had received the home birth kit at my appointment on Monday and the MW had brought her equipment as well. We got our bedroom ready and were set up for a home birth! At this point, I was quite excited at the prospect of delivering at home and having a baby before 7am (MW's prediction). Around 4:30am, we decided to move to the bedroom and my MW started making phonecalls to get my secondary MW to our place. Unfortunately, the MW who was actually designated as my second had been up all night at a home birth herself, so she was unavailable. Same with my backup MW. So we ended up meeting a fourth MW who was wonderful!

Around 5am I entered second stage labour and started having the urge to push. I laboured in almost every position imaginable: on all fours, on the birthing stool, in the McRoberts' position, on my side. Unfortunately, the little one was having different ideas and she continued to remain high in my pelvis (around +1 station) and was not descending whatsoever. From what the MWs could tell, in addition to being posterior (sunny side up), the baby had her head cocked a bit which resulted in her cheek being caught up in my pelvis. Not fun. So that is why we tried all the different positions we could to try and open up my pelvic cavity and dislodge her. Unfortunately, after two hours of pushing, it just wasn't happening.

So at 7am (Aug 14) we decided to transfer to the hospital. This was not fun. By this point, my urge to push at each contraction was so overwhelming that it just completely overtook my body. I was actually quite worried as to how I would survive the car ride to the hospital as I was physically and emotionally exhausted and just ready for this baby to be born. I have to mention here too that the car ride to the hospital from our place is about 25 minutes so this made the idea of the impending transfer just that much more daunting. I was also secretly kicking myself for not opting to stick to my original birth plan and going to the hospital at 8cm.

But it had to be done. At this point, my primary MW, having been up for more than 24 hours tagged out and the secondary MW accompanied us to the hospital and would remain with us through the delivery. We came up with a plan which involved her following behind us in her car, just in case my labour progressed and the baby descended more (and would be delivered!). Luckily nothing happened on the way to the hospital - except for five or six contractions which had me crawling up the walls in the car.

I was admitted to the hospital and luckily, the anesthetist on call was readily available and was able to give me an epidural quite quickly. Equally amazing was the fact that I only had one contraction while he was administering the epidural and it was mild enough that I could breath through it and prevent my body from pushing. The epidural itself was a godsend at this point. I was so exhausted and ready to take a break. However, the OB on call still had to examine me (not a pleasant experience even while on a epidural due to the amount of internal swelling I had by this point) and he managed to flip the baby while doing his exam so that she was now facing the proper (anterior) position. The game plan at this point was to allow my uterus to do some work and hopefully get the baby lower in my pelvis to try for a vaginal delivery. However, most of the medical team were pretty convinced that I'd end up with a c-section birth.

The epidural let me rest and I actually caught some sleep from 9am - 11am. This was wonderful! At 11am, the MW and one of the residents encouraged me to start pushing with the contractions and upped my pitocin drip. The experience in pushing without the epidural and now with the epidural really helped in knowing what muscles to use. The epidural really dulled any sense of pain and all I could feel throughout was some pressure.

Oh, I have to mention here too that the MW gave me a catheter upon admission to the hospital but took it out before I started pushing. Surprisingly the catheter was not painful at all and really just uncomfortable (I had a huge fear of the catheter prior to this experience).

From 11am onwards, I pushed with each contraction I felt. Apparently I was making some small progress and the resident reported back to the OB on-call every 30 minutes or so on how I was doing. I don't know at what time but I'm guessing around 12:30pm or so, he came in and did another exam and decided that he could do a vacuum-assisted delivery. So more medical staff were laid on (staff from pediatrics had to be called) and they prepped for a vaccuum delivery. I don't know what time the vaccuum was attached to the baby's head but after that, quite a tug of war ensued. I know I pushed through two or three contractions with the help of the vaccuum and after a while, the OB told me just to continue pushing.

He kept on pulling and at 1:08pm our little one was born!!!

She screamed right away, was wiped down and placed on my chest. It was absolutely amazing staring into her eyes and seeing how alert she was after such an arduous birth.

I delivered the placenta shortly afterwards (and even got to take a look at it!) and then the repair work began. According to the hospital notes, I had second degree lacerations but the OB also gave me a medio-lateral episiotomy to accommodate the delivery by vaccuum. The MW and resident stitched me up (took about a good 30+ minutes or so I think) and I got moved up to the maternity ward about 1.5 hours after giving birth.

~~ and baby awakes so I'll write more later

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And it begins!!! (I hope)

My MW appointment yesterday was awesome as far as I'm concerned. She asked me if I wanted an internal to see if things were progressing and it was everything I could do to restrain myself from saying "hell ya!!" So she did an internal and lo and behold - 3cm dilated, 50% effaced! I was secretly hoping for some good news like this but wasn't too optimistic because honestly, all I've really been feeling up to that point were period-like cramps. So the MW offered to do a stretch and sweep to help speed things along if I wanted... and of course I wanted! I had a bit of bloody show after the S&S and surprisingly, it (the S&S) was uncomfortable but not unbearable by any means.

So between yesterday and today, I've noticed a definite increase in crampiness and backpain and I can honestly say I'm losing my mucuous plug. It's not one lumpy mucuousy thing but just ongoing increased CM... still blood-tinged but no soaking of pads or anything like that. I think I was having contractions while I was driving around today but they seemed to have subsided for now.

I still have my fingers crossed that this baby will be here sooner rather than later! John is hoping so too - he wants to go to Fan Expo 2008 next weekend if the baby is born. LOL!

The MW is coming to do a home visit tomorrow and she gave me the homebirthing kit yesterday just in case labour progresses quickly and the babe is born at home. I have all the stuff on the list - I just have to put it together in one place. Today I went to Walmart and picked up some munchies for when I'm in labour - Mr Freeze's and granola bars. Yummy. LOL

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A whole bunch of randomness...

So I'm officially on mat leave! Crazy! It feels weird not going to work but nice and refreshing at the same time to not have the stress of having to wake up at a specific time. Needless to say though, there's no such thing as sleeping in right now - I'm just not comfortable enough. But it's nice having the flexibility to take a nap if I want to!

So I'm down to 17 more days till my EDD. I'm secretly hoping that she'll be early but we'll see. I'm back to having some mother issues - she hasn't listened to what I asked before (like months ago) and is ignoring what we had discussed (that they'll come down to visit about a week after the little one is born) and are now planning on arriving on August 25! A day after my due date!! WTH!?!?!? Allegedly my parents have arranged to stay with my brother instead of at my place (thank gawd) but still. She is insistent that she wants to be at the hospital when this LO is born (once again not mentioning the delivery room but who knows if she'd try and muscle her way in there too). So saying that I'm frustrated is an understatement. I really feel like she has not listened to what I had asked before and had mislead me because she was paying me lipservice and said that she would do whatever I asked. So instead of just being honest and saying "no, this is what I would like" she just agreed to what I was asking and has gone and made her own plans. I don't know what to do anymore. John says that it might come down to me having to be just out and out rude and blunt and saying "no, this is what is going to happen." I would love to be able to do that but I can't be rude to my mother to save my life. I guess that's one of my shortcomings. I'm thinking of being equally passive agressive as she has been and just not calling her until after the baby is born and we're ready for visitors - even if she is already in town and at my brother's. Seriously. It's my birth experience that I want to share with my husband and child. Not hers. She's had two. So yeah, I'm a bit frustrated and stressed over this one but I guess we'll see how that goes.

On another wonderful family dynamic note, my younger brother has made contact with me after about two years. Quick background on him - he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2003 after a psychotic episode had him hospitalized. Now this is what I have been told... I'm sure there is more to this story because my mother and him have enabled each other throughout the years and have twisted this story many times (I think he's had more than one psychotic episode prior to this one). For example, when my mom called me to tell me he was hospitalized, I was told that he had a panic attack. It wasn't until further digging that I found out it was an actual psychotic episode. Big difference IMO. And she would not have told me the truth unless I had "caught" her: she told me the medication he had been prescribed and it was definitely an antipsychotic prescribed for people with schizophrenia... not an antianxiety or antidepressant. So anyways, it took me a while but I did wrangle the truth from her. That was five years ago. Prior to his diagnosis, my brother did abuse substances and was active in the rave scene - so honestly, I don't know if his schizophrenia is due to pre-existing biological conditions or if it was triggered by his substance abuse. Either way, he now has it. So fast forward five years... He's going to be 27 this year and is still strongly dependent on our mother despite the fact that he lives 8 hours from the parents. They have a weird, enabling relationship that (from what I can see) really effects my parents' relationship with each other and really bothers me. My parents are retired and should be spending time together enjoying each other, travelling, whatever. Instead, my mom spends hours on the phone each day with my brother doing whatever - helping him with his school papers (he's in univ), talking about what he's doing, whatever. What really binds them is their religion (we were raised Catholic but I no longer practice). My mom is what you would call right-wing conservative in her beliefs and now my younger brother has really followed in her footsteps. So much so that it has had the effect of him becoming quite judgemental of other peoples' lifestyles if they don't mesh with his beliefs.

Anyways, enough rambling. Long story short, I am still quite upset as to the way things have turned out over the last decade or so. Both my older brother and I were expected to fend for ourselves when we left the home for univ. and never once did we receive even a bit of the financial suppport my younger brother has. Not that we ever wanted it or asked for it. We both paid our own way through univ. and have gone onto having (what we would like to view as) successful lives. Then there's the youngest - he was coddled through highschool and now univ. (seriously, my mom should be getting the BA, not him) with alot of his expenses paid for. My mom had opened a joint account and he would call her at all hours of the night and she would run and deposit money so he could party. He used drugs the first few years away from home and got himself into a world of poop. But my mom keeps on rescuing him.

over and over and over

Codependence (or codependency) is a popular psychology concept popularized by Twelve-Step program advocates. A "codependent" is loosely defined as someone who exhibits too much, and often inappropriate, caring for persons who depend on him or her. A "codependent" is one side of a relationship between mutually needy people. The dependent, or obviously needy party(s) may have emotional, physical, financial difficulties, or addictions they seemingly are unable to surmount. The "codependent" party exhibits behaviour which controls, makes excuses for, pities, and takes other actions to perpetuate the obviously needy party's condition, because of their desire to be needed and fear of doing anything that would change the relationship.

Yup, that describes my mom to a tee.

So ANYWAYS , my brother has now contacted me and wants to communicate. I'm very leary about sending emails back and forth because my mom has told me previously that he shares his email account with her and she's privy to his emails. So I feel like I cannot be completely honest and open with him in the emails as she is going to read it. So I've been pretty vague in my responses to-date. He also wants to come and visit and I'm not sure if I'm ready for that by any stretch of the imagination.

All that and I'm 37 weeks pregnant. LMAO

The sad part is, I would love for my daughter to know both her uncles. I don't want to start her life out in the middle of this weird family that has "the crazy uncle" and everything else to boot. Seriously. But what else am I supposed to do? I will not risk exposing her to someone who is not completely healthy yet (which he isn't at all) and who has some very skewed views of the world that don't correspond to our beliefs.