Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Sunday Currently

This summer has been amazing.  My days are filled with everything baby!  I never thought that would be me.  Friends who have known me a long time will laugh if they read this :)  Taking care of Kaid is so much fun; I love hanging out with him and being as close to him as possible.  I'm actually not looking forward to going back to work possibly sometime this fall (but this is for another post). 

This photo was taken at a babywearing group meet-up I just joined this past week (a future post too!)


R E A D I N G : Reiki - The Healing Touch, by William Lee Rand.  I'll be reading this for the next few weeks since I'm taking Level 1 and 2 Reiki training.

W R I T I N G : I'm happy to finally be able to take care of my blog. 

L I S T E N I N G : I'm trying to be a better listener, in every sense of the word.  I read this quote on Facebook and it inspires me to listen better not just to others, but to myself too, and mostly to God: "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know, but when you listen, you may learn something new", Dalai Lama.

T H I N K I N G : I'm still thinking a lot about work/finances/new home renovations.  I need to go back to work to get our finances back on track and start our new home renovations.

S M E L L I N G : Sangria. It smells lovely.  I made sangria for our guest yesterday.  Somebody's got to finish it!

H O P I N G : Hoping baby falls asleep soon so I can finish my blogging for the day.  We keep having to go back to his room because he's waking up every 10 minutes.

W E A R I N G : I'm starting to fit better into my normal clothes. I thought I wasn't losing any  more weight a few weeks ago because I had plateau-ed at a certain weight.  But I've started losing again in the past couple of weeks.

L O V I N G : The summer.  My time with family at home while hubby is on parental leave and I'm jobless.

W A N T I N G : A poutine.

N E E D I N G : more sleep.

F E E L I N G : happy that I reconnected with an old friend today.  We met when I did my first degree in the late 90s.  We coincidentally saw ended up in the same translation courses during our 2nd degree these past 2 years!! and we were also pregnant at the same time and due just a week apart.  Our sons ended up being born 3 weeks apart.  So today we finally were able to get together.  It was so nice.  She gave me a bouquet of flowers from her garden.  I thought that was very sweet of her.

Here is the bouquet on my mantle in the living room.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding a church

Ever since we moved to our new town, I've been looking for a spiritual community.  Not an easy task!  
We moved from a big city where everything was available. I was part of a Christian church and I attended a Buddhist center/temple every once in awhile as well (I find Buddhist teachings and philosophy very helpful.)  There isn't as much variety here so I had to be a bit more thorough in my search.

I started with an online search and read about all the different options in our new town.  I've narrowed it down to two churches (Christian) that might be a good fit.  So I visited them.  Both have aspects I like and aspects I dislike.

First church
  • uses a somewhat more modern lexicon to speak about God (I can relate more)
  • openly and freely speaks about their acceptance of same-sex couples
  •  each time I visited (twice), the sermons were very inspiring
  • warm welcome by some people and they invited me to join the choir
  • when I mentioned I had a baby, I was told that baby was welcome to attend the service with me (also mentioned I could nurse!) and that if I chose to, there was also a sound proof nursery in the back where I could listen to the service on tv
  • nobody my age as far as I know (although I was only there twice); everyone looked over 50
  • was asked to "wait at the door" by a church attendant when I came in 30 seconds late and the congregation had just started singing the national anthem on Canada Day
  • no communion as far as I know
  • the 2 times I visited, the music was "meh"

 Second church
  • warm welcome, people smiled and chatted amongst themselves; they looked happy
  • it felt comfortable
  • half of the music was pleasant
  • a few people my age, one mom & kids
  • communion (I don't consider this a required criteria, but it is something I appreciate in a Christian church)
  • no mention of inclusivity anywhere
  • old-fashioned words/lexicon to speak about God
  • I was there once and the sermon was just not inspiring.  It also had way too much mention of how people should behave and how they shouldn't.  I couldn't relate to it at all.

It was a tough decision but an important one for me.  I just find that to give to my church/community, I kind of want my church to give to me too.  It's an energy exchange that is needed to keep things balanced in life (a spiritual principle I read a long time ago and that makes sense to me). 

I appreciate that church #1 inspires me and that members were quick to invite me to different activities.  I plan on going back to church #1 on Sunday, and if all goes well, this will become my new church. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Sunday Currently

This photo was taken just last week.  My family: husband Sean, sons Alex and Kaid, and me. It's at my favourite park in our new town.  How did I get the teenager to hang out with Mom?  Bribery, my friends.  I made a deal with him.  Each family outing involves a treat.  Last week's was ice cream.  Yep, that still work! (I'm a big fan of bribing my children.  It works.)


R E A D I N G : Reiki - The Healing Touch, by William Lee Rand.

W R I T I N G : my resume.  I've been working on updating my resume (post-graduation) since I will be looking for a job in the next few months.

L I S T E N I N G : to my pug scratching.  Poor thing has had skin issues for years.

T H I N K I N G : I've been quite creative lately with organizing our new home.  I keep thinking of new ways to make it more comfortable.  I am planning on doing a new home related post soon.  I can't believe it's been 6 month since we moved!

S M E L L I N G : The smell from the garbage in the boys' washroom is getting out of control.  I didn't want to get a Diaper Genie but I might have to.

H O P I N G : I find a church soon.  We moved in January and I've only now started to explore the churches in our new town.  So far, there are two that I think might be a good fit for me.  I wish there was a Buddhist centre close, or a place to group meditate, but I haven't found that yet either.

W I S H I N G : that I wish we had more money.  Enough said.

W E A R I N G : my wedding and engagement rings, FINALLY!!  I was so happy to put my rings back on!  It took 2 months post-pregnancy for them to fit back on my fingers.  Who gets fat fingers when pregnant??  This girl right here.

L O V I N G : the nice weather so far this summer.  I can't believe it's already July!?  I'm just dreading another winter.  Sean and I have actually talked about us possibly moving somewhere warmer *should* I get super job offer.  I guess this could go in "Wishing".

W A N T I N G : to see my friend Ang.  I haven't seen her in months.  She moved away because she's the one who got a good job offer.  I miss being able to make plans with her last minute, have brunch on Sundays or Thai food after work.  :(
N E E D I N G : a shower.  Now that I have a newborn, morning showers are pretty much luxury.  I shower at night, before bed. That being said, I totally need to wash my hair tonight.

F E E L I N G : grateful that my husband cooked up a wonderful meal tonight.  I was busy nursing baby all day (some days he wants to feed more often).  My teenage son had his girlfriend over and I really didn't have the energy to cook.  Thank you for cooking, Babe! Dinner was delicious!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Life post-delivery (This week's life lessons link-up)

The things we are most scared of in life rarely happen.  This past year, I lived my whole pregnancy with thoughts and feelings that pretty much made my life hell.  I don't like using the word "hell", I find it has a negative energy, but my reality was very sad a few months ago.  I guess we could call it "PRE-partum depression".  We hear a lot about post-partum depression, never had I heard of pre-partum depression.  My thoughts were filled with fears.  My reality was seen through a negative filter, except I didn't know the filter was there.  I was scared of everything: pregnancy, giving birth, my relationship changing, my life changing and mostly, losing my freedom that I had finally found again now that my (first) son is 16 years old.

See, without going into details, this was an unexpected pregnancy for me and my husband.  I'm 36 and Sean is 42.  I have a 16-year-old son whom I raised by myself up until Sean and I moved in together in 2010.  Sean never wanted kids of his own (but thankfully loves and takes care of my son as his own.)   Up until we got pregnant, I was on my way to starting a new career, we traveled every year, we went out a few times a week to nice restaurants, we received friends regularly or went out to visit friends, and just enjoyed the freedom of being "just us" most of the time.

I'm ashamed to say it, but I felt sorry for people with little kids sometimes.  I'd watch them struggle at restaurant trying to eat their food or have a conversation.  I know, I know... this sounds bad.  It's not meant in a bad way though.  It's just that I did it once (parenting) and didn't want to do it all over again. My son is only a few years away from college.

And then we got the news that I was pregnant.  How that happened is still a mystery to me.  Part of me was happy, part of me was devastated.  My whole pregnancy was a roller-coaster of emotions that's for sure!  We also moved houses and towns when I was 6 months pregnant so that made it even harder.  Not only was I going through the major transition of having a baby, but my home didn't feel like home yet and neither did our new town. 

It's been 2 months since I gave birth and it's been all uphill my friends!  (Read Kaid's birth story here.)  I'm not sure if it was the hormones, or the major changes (plural), or my mind.  Maybe all of those?  But I'm happy to say that I LOVE being a "new" mom again.  Ok, technically I'm not a "new" mom, but it's been 16 years since my first son was born, this feels mostly new.  Also, this time around is very different because I'm not alone.  

As soon as Chickpea was born and I realized that I hadn't bled to death and he was healthy too, I felt SO MUCH better.  Half of my fears were gone.

I was also lucky that I fell in love right away with my baby.  I know this doesn't happen to everyone.  Sometimes it can take a few months to bond.  I was overwhelmed with feelings of relief and love.  And to see my husband becoming a Dad just melted my heart.  There are no words to describe those beautiful first moments.

Slowly, I am starting to feel like my(new)self again.  It feels good.  My life has a new normal.

Some days, like today, I'm sitting in the nursery in our new home folding baby clothes, looking at my handsome little man and I feel so blessed.  To think that I was scared of this!  It's true that my life did not take the course I had planned; it's true that things have changed A LOT and we had to go through a transition.  But I am so grateful for what life/God/Universe has given me.  I feel this was all meant to be. 

The School of Life

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kaid's birth story

My due date was April 26.  This date came and went with no baby.  Not surprising since my first son (16 years ago) was also born after his due date.  I guess my babies like to bake in my belly for as long as possible!  As with my first son, I didn't particularly enjoy the wait during the last couple of weeks.  I mean, it was nice to be home and catch up on some Netflix shows but the last month of waiting for baby just seems SO LONG!!  Every day, I was thinking "will it be today?".   Also, I started the latent phase of labour on April 25.  I had mild irregular contractions and mucus with light spotting which made me think the birth was very close...but no.   This latent phase lasted (on and off) for 9 days.  I did see my midwife a couple of times during this time and she assured me all was normal.   I didn't have such a long latent phase with my first pregnancy (I gave birth a few days after losing the mucus).

On Sunday morning, May 4, I woke up with water leaking.  It was around 6 AM.  It wasn't a big gush, however, it was enough to make me think that this was my water breaking.  I woke up Sean because there was also some blood and we called the midwife.  She said the blood was normal, but because this was likely amniotic fluid and it was my 2nd child, to meet her at the hospital.  So we took our time getting ready and met her at the hospital around 9 am.

The midwife took some routine blood test when we got there.

I was at 4 cm when we got to the hospital.  Such a big relief for me because my first labour was 24 hours long and was very painful from the beginning with contractions every 2-5 minutes.  I was hoping that this time around, I would have an easier labour (and I did, kinda).  By the time we arrived at the hospital around 9 am, active labour had started and my contractions had picked up quite a bit and were about every 5 minutes and painful.  My husband and I had decided to "go with the flow" and see how labour would unfold before deciding on an epidural.  Since things were progressing well, we decided to keep going natural.  Using the yoga ball and with the help of a TENS machine brought by my midwife, I started working through the contractions.
After awhile, I needed a change so I did a couple of hours of labour in the tub which was very helpful.  Each birthing room at the hospital has a big bath with jets.  This was one of the best part.  Hot water is amazing during contractions.  Yes, it was all VERY painful but it was also so special to be labouring peacefully, without any distractions... just husband and I working through each contraction while the midwife sat outside and came in only to check on the baby's heartbeat.  I remember still smiling at hubby through the pain at that point haha!  We were so excited and happy (and nervous) about meeting our son.

When I got out of the tub, I was about 7 cm dilated.  Again, I felt so relieved.  My first birthing experience had not gone as smoothly (after 8 hours I was only at 2 cm).

After the tub, the contractions got even more painful (like unbearable).  I can't remember how much time it took, but I'm guessing about an hour to an hour and a half of these unbearable contractions got me to 8 cm. Unfortunately, after 8 cm, things got very hard and stressful.  At this point my son's heartbeat started to slow down.  I mean, like slow down a lot.  I could sense people were getting worried.  This went on for awhile and each time his heartbeat took longer to return to normal (I only found this out after).  I was almost delirious with pain by this point and remember hearing "we need to get the baby out NOW".   They said no time for c-section.  I was only at 8-9 cm so the midwife had to go in me with her hand and open my cervix to 10 cm.   This was the most pain I have ever felt in my whole life.  The midwife also called in a obstetrician for backup as well as the resuscitation team.  I knew something was going on but I was too much in pain to understand or listen.  They told me to push as hard as I could and that the baby needed out now.  The doctor helped me out with a suction vacuum and I pushed like hell.  Once the head started to come out, they noticed the baby had turned and his shoulder was possibly stuck so my midwife pushed on my belly with her elbow and my son came out.  I also felt a big gush.  It was blood :(   A piece of my placenta had torn off.  All this took less than 10 minutes.  I remember starting to pray (out loud) at this point.  I was exhausted and scared.  Husband was worried about the blood and that I was going to get wheeled out and into surgery or something.  But the blood stopped right away.

Kaid was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck a few times as well as his arms (like a purse the midwife said).  THANK GOD he came out crying.  The resuscitation team got on him right away and cleared his passageway because he had also swallowed meconium and they were scared he inhaled some (he hadn't). 

After all this, Kaid is perfectly fine.  Again, thank you God.  I am forever grateful that I have my healthy baby with me.  He even scored very high on his Apgar testing.  His vitals were/are perfect.

All in all, even after all the drama at the end, I can say that the birth was an overall positive experience and I keep good memories from it.  Of course, ideally there would've been no emergency  and I could've "taken my time" to transition into the pushing phase.  But like a good friend of mine told me, birth is unpredictable.  I'm just grateful my son is ok and healthy. And besides, active labour only lasted 4 hours!

Kaid William was born at 1:15 pm weighing 7 lbs 14 oz and measuring 21.5 inches long.

Here are a couple of photos after the emergency.  I don't look my best but hey, I had just given birth.  This was the student midwife accompanying my midwife.