Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Chickadee's Birth Part 2

If you missed Part 1 it's here.

So after leaving the ultrasound, we popped home quickly to move some clothes from the washer to dryer and let the dogs out for a pee. We were only home for about 10 minutes because we were anxious not to waste time. We were hoping to be able to have the baby before Paloma's daycare closed as we knew she'd be freaked out if someone else was picking her up. We went straight to the daycare and when I was carrying her in, some of the teachers were surprised I was still feeling so good right up until heading to the hospital. They asked "aren't you on your way to have a baby? How are you carrying her right now?" 

We arrived at the hospital around 10 and were greeted by the Charge Nurse who was expecing us. We were happy to see she was on duty as she also attended Paloma's birth. She said she remembered us, but who knows. We were immediately given a room in Labour & Delivery. It had no windows and I was disappointed because last time we had a beautiful, bright room. My doula texted and asked when I'd like her to come and I said as soon as possible. I was hooked up to the external monitors for half an hour just to confirm baby was healthy enough for a vaginal delivery. I felt her move more in that half hour than I had in the previous 24. I was so relieved because I was definitely hoping to avoid a c-section recovery while caring for my 2 kids. While they were monitoring me, they asked if I was okay with a practicum student attending my birth and inserting the IV. I said I was, so while I was being monitored, a student nurse inserted my IV. It was her first time and it took her a couple tries and she got a spurt of blood on her scrubs, but she managed to get it in without too much pain. I laughed with the teacher nurse when the student was diligently wiping all the blood off my hand from the IV mishap. I told her I wasn't concerned about a few tablespoons of blood considering what was about to come.

When I got the go ahead to start the Pitocin I was nervous. I'd read so many stories about intense pain from the get go. I was expecting the labour to go fast, and we were making bets on birth time. It was 10:30 am when they started the Pitocin and I guessed 2:00, Andino guessed 3:00 and my doula guessed 7:00 at night. For the next hour the three of us just chatted and I felt no pain. I was getting regular tightenings of my belly as I had been for weeks, but no pain whatsoever. The midwives had another 2 women in labour and I know they were busy, but they spent hardly any time in my room with me at all. They came in around noon and said they were going for lunch. My doula asked if they'd be doing an internal exam before leaving (considering I was already 4 cm the day before) but they said it wasn't necessary. I told them I was started to get some pain in my cervix like contractions but they were mild. 

For the next hour and a half, my doula and Andino were amazing. They really supported me during labour and made the experience the best it possibly could have been considering the circumstances. I was hooked up to the monitors the whole time and constricted to a 2 foot radius of my bed, but I was able to sit on the birthing ball, Andino gave me lots of water, they gave me back rubs and I really just felt supported. 

At no point during the hour and a half of labour did I see a midwife. About 10 minutes before chickadee was born and I was feeling the urge to push, one of the young nurses did an internal exam and said I was 6 cm. I was so confused as to how I could only be 6 when I was already pushing and at that point I started to feel overwhelmed with the experience. I couldn't stop myself from pushing and they called the charge nurse to come into my room. I felt so relieved when she came in and the other nurses told her the midwives weren't around and she said "We aren't waiting for them, this baby is coming now" She totally took control of the situation and had an assertive tone of voice which is exactly what I needed in that room full of new/student nurses. I remember her saying "open her legs, we aren't getting the baby out with them closed!" I turned on my side and just focused on her instructions as I was pushing. 

When I had Paloma, there were clearly defined times when I wanted to push and to rest. This time, I pushed hard during contractions, but then I felt confused and was also pushing between contractions too, which is probably why she came so fast. I remember my doula saying "are you having a contraction right now?" as I was pushing between contractions and me saying "ahhh maybe not..." and stopped pushing. It was just such a completely different experience this time. I know every labour & delivery is different and  I was expecting that, but I guess I wasn't expecting it to be as different as she was. 

Little chickadee came out and was put on my belly. She had a short cord (as did Paloma) so I couldn't really see her face for a few minutes until after the cord was cut. I was still feeling overwhelmed with the fact that she was actually out for a few hours after her birth. I held her for quite a while, the midwives (who finally arrived just in time to stitch me up) did her newborn check, the student nurse filled up the tub for me to take a bath and helped me get cleaned up and into my lovely mesh panties afterwards. Andino headed to pick Paloma up from daycare at 2:30, an hour after she was born. My doula went to grab me something to eat (I was starving!) and I asked her to hold chickadee until after Paloma got there, so that when she walked into the room, she wouldn't see Mommy holding the baby and could come right to me. 

We did some paperwork and were discharged from the hospital at 4:30, only 3 hours after she was born. We stopped on the way home from the hospital for bubble tea which totally hit the spot. It was so nice to be able to have an early discharge, considering we weren't able to have the home birth. It's just so much more relaxing in the comfort of your home.

*(I don't have time to proof read this, so hopefully it reads okay)

Some photos:

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Chickadee's Birth Part 1

My little chickadee was born on July 5th at 1:37 p.m. She was lazy to get labour started, but once contractions started, she wasted no time! I felt the first little twinge of a contraction at 12:00 and she was out an hour and a half later after only 5 urges to push! The labour and birth experience was nothing like Paloma's and nothing like what I expected.

I had been planning a home birth and the birth pool was set up for a couple weeks, just waiting. All the supplies were ready. A dozen towels, a dozen receiving blankets, paper towels and other odds and ends. The mini fridge downstairs was plugged in and stocked with cold drinks and snacks. For at least a week, I'd been feeling baby start to press down on my cervix and I'd feel some twinges and think "this is it for sure" only to have her stop after 10 minutes or so and go back to feeling normal. For a few weeks I'd go to bed wondering if I'd wake up in the middle of the night in labour (as I had with Paloma). After the month of June ended and I had no daycare arranged for Paloma, I started to worry about what I'd do with her while I was in labour. (Her daycare ended up taking her for free on that day)  My doula was away until July 3rd and we joked about me waiting to go into labour when she got back. I never thought that would really happen when she left on June 24th.

I went in for a midwife appointment on Monday morning and after checking me she said I was already 4cm dilated and had a "bulging bag of water". I also found out that my regular midwife was away on vacation and the new midwife would be delivering me. An ultrasound was scheduled for the following morning, just as a check up since I was 10 days overdue. After leaving the office, my waters broke at home at 10:30 a.m. It was a steady leak and I called the midwife office to let them know. They thought I'd go into labour naturally within 24 hours but advised me that after 24 hours, a home birth was no longer advised. I was home with Paloma and we went on with our day as usual. We didn't leave the house, but we played outside in the yard a lot. I was feeling completely fine with no pain whatsoever - just the regular discomfort that comes with the last few weeks of pregnancy. I noticed, however, that baby wasn't really moving. I went inside and had some ice cream which usually got her going, but still nothing. I was concerned but put it out of my mind as I figured labour was imminent. When I woke up the following morning still feeling fine - and baby still not moving much - I was worried. I decided then that I really wanted to be induced.

We called Paloma's daycare and let them know we'd be dropping her off. I packed my hospital bag and left for the ultrasound. I called the midwife to let her know I'd be heading to hospital for an induction after the ultrasound. When she told me that wasn't possible unless the ultrasound revealed something that indicated an induction, I got pretty upset. She said she could put my name on the list for induction but the hospital then triages the list and calls me when it's my turn.

I went in for the ultrasound and wasn't looking at the screen as we still didn't know the baby's sex and I sure as hell didn't want to find out then after waiting 41.5 weeks for the surprise. Andino and Paloma were in the room too and after a little while, the ultrasound tech asked me if baby had been sluggish. At that point I choked up and asked Andino to take Paloma out of the room because I didn't want her to see me upset. After they left, I told the ultrasound tech the whole story and how I felt that the midwife didn't really believe me that the baby wasn't moving. She went and got me some water and the baby still didn't react. At that point she brought in the Doctor and he said they weren't seeing what they wanted to see and I would be heading straight to the Labour & Delivery Unit for an induction. I was so relieved (and surprisingly not overly worried about baby. My intuition told me she'd be fine.) Up until that point I'd been really nervous about being induced but when the time came, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Part 2 will be written as soon as possible about what happened once I got to hospital

Monday, 4 July 2016


41 weeks + 2 days today. Come on baby, what are you waiting for? It's looking increasingly likely that my hippie home birth will not be possible and instead I'll be hooked up to oxytocin in hospital. I am so scared of the intensity of induced contractions! Will I be able to do it without an epidural like last time? I didn't realise how lucky I was that Paloma came on her due date...

I have another midwife appointment this morning for my 4th stretch and sweep and an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow to check if everything is still okay. I've been 2cm and 50% effaced for weeks. I've tried EVERYTHING to get things moving but not even one contraction. The whole house came down with the flu when I was 40 weeks. I was scared to go into labour so dehydrated so I popped into hospital one morning for an iv just in case. We're all better now,  just waiting for baby.

Paloma finished daycare in July. It never even crossed my mind that baby might not be here when she finished. Now we have to figure out what to do with her if I go into labour during the day as my sister in law doesn't think she can leave work. Andino is going to talk to daycare about taking her for 1 day if need be. Fingers crossed.

I've been googling like crazy trying to find out why labour hasn't started and if there's anything I can do, but no new information can be found. Please send labour vibes my way and/or positive stories.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Is This The Last Time?

Last night, Paloma and I went through her totes full of baby stuff, looking for the things we'll need for Baby #2. I felt kind of emotional going through the baby stuff again. When I put that stuff away after Paloma was done with it, I didn't feel very bad because I was pretty confident we'd have a second baby. But now, I keep thinking that this baby may be my last and it makes me sad. Last night may have been the last time I dig through boxes looking for newborn items to wash and get ready for a new arrival.

I just wrote 2 paragraphs full of reasons why I want more kids, but deleted them because, to make a long story short - it's what I've always imagined. If I don't have my third kid, will my dinner table always feel like it's missing a place?

But there are good reasons why I should probably stop after 2 kids. We have to pay a gazillion dollars for daycare. And how would we ever afford to travel as a family of 5? I love to travel...  Andino has mentioned on more than one occasion that he is done after 2. That he is "too old for this". I have to take his feelings into account.

Recently, I did a tour of children's shelters as a Board Engagement activity through the YWCA. I always knew there was an overcrowding of foster children in this city, but seeing them and meeting them really hit my heart. I have talked to Andino many times about fostering and he's not sold on the idea. If we did, I'd probably only foster newborns and small babies. I know it's a few years away before I'd be able to do it but it's certainly on my mind. The only problem with fostering newborns is that I wouldn't get maternity leave as a foster Mom and as a Canadian, I can't imagine putting a newborn in daycare... although I suppose it really wouldn't be that bad.

I'll be 35 weeks this Sunday. I decided that since this is possibly my last pregnancy and therefore my last delivery, I'm going ahead with a home birth. I have always been intrigued by the idea and my midwives assure me I'm an ideal candidate. I've decided against a water birth though. I don't want to be bothered with all that set up and take down. I want everything to be simple. I won a doula and birth photography package though a local babywearing facebook group I am part of. It's valued at $1500 but we got it for $250. It would be amazing if we got some beautiful pictures from the delivery.

I'm still feeling quite comfortable. The baby has dropped (which never happened last time at all, not even when I was in active labour) so my ribs aren't hurting any more, which was one of my major discomforts over the last few weeks. I've been having some braxton hicks, especially if I over exert myself, but nothing major. No swelling or other discomfort other than the obvious discomfort from bending over or trying to wrangle a toddler while heavily pregnant.

We have more or less decided on names. We have 2 boys names and 2 girls names we agree on and we will probably just wait until the baby comes and see what he or she looks like. I have 3 weeks left of work and then I'm off for 14 months which makes me incredibly happy.

And now I will leave you with a few photos:

It was unseasonably chilly a few mornings last week

Playing with her cousin

homemade banana ice cream!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Gypsy Mama Potty Training

Paloma has been doing so well potty training. I've been doing everything backwards from what the "experts" recommend and it's been going amazing. I started out following the rules in the 3 day potty training method, but halfway into day 3 I got too frustrated and decided to throw in the towel. I called my parents to vent about how frustrating potty training is and Dad told me how they potty trained us. - Slowly, no pressure, over time. I figured it was worth a try since the 3 day method was too intense for my personality/parenting style. Now, she wears diapers at daycare and when there are a lot of people around to distract her, but otherwise when she's home with us she wears her underwear. We never ask her if she needs to go, because she knows. She'll run down the hall with her pants down saying "peee! peee!" and a few seconds later we'll hear the music playing on the potty to signal that she's peed. She doesn't like pooping on the potty, but she has done it and is getting better at it. She does sometimes have accidents, especially if she is playing outside, but rarely. We even took her out of the house in underwear the other day to run some errands and no accidents! we kept the potty in the car and she used it once. I call my potty training method the Gypsy Mama method. Basically it's the same as all my other parenting methods, do it in a relaxed style that is easiest on the parents. The most important thing with my method is to keep track of when she last peed so I can put her on the potty if it's been a couple hours. I never force her to sit down if she doesn't want to though. We don't give her rewards because she love emptying the potty in the toilet so much that she doesn't seem to need a reward. She also really loves wearing her big girl underwear. The other day, I'd put her in her diaper and pyjamas for bedtime and went to the bathroom to braid my hair. (so it would be wavy the next day) When I came out, she'd taken her pants and diaper off, put on underwear and put her p.js back on!

In other news, I was recently selected to sit on the Board of Directors for the YWCA. I've never been on a board before and I'm a bit nervous since I don't know any other board members but mostly I'm just excited. We had the AGM last night and a few other events/meetings planned over the next couple months, then we break for July & August which is great because the baby will be teeny tiny then. They even told me if I'd like to, I can bring the baby with me to the meetings as other Board members have done the same in the past. I'm thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization doing great work in the community.

And for a little pregnancy update, things are still going well. Still on the fence about home birth. Feeling mixed feelings about the pregnancy coming to an end. While I still really want to have 3-4 kids, part of me realizes that this could possibly be my last pregnancy, because you just never know. When I get emotional about it, Andino reminds me to live in the present. He's really good at that, but me? not so much.

And now for some photos of life lately:

Ever wonder what supplies are needed for a home birth?

Side view

Front view

Lola keeping the squirrels at bay

Visitng Daddy for sound check

Monday, 11 April 2016

This & That

I made it to the point in this pregnancy where I have to start meeting my midwife every 2 weeks instead of once a month. This baby is really coming soon! (I'm almost 29 weeks). I'm at the sweet spot of pregnancy. I look cute in maternity clothes, I can still sleep relatively well, the baby is big enough that I can really feel its kicks and movements (my placenta is in front this time and it took a long time to really feel strong movements). I am not one of those women who looooves being pregnant, but I do like it and I'll miss it after having the baby. Obviously it's not all easy. My hormones are all over the place, it's hard to get ready in the morning (all that bending over getting dressed etc. not to mention I'm not a morning person on the best of days) and I get very tired, but I'm happy most of the time.

28 weeks

28 weeks
Paloma is doing great. Her language is really exploding. Currently, her favourite thing to say is "need some mo!" and it's the cutest thing ever. She still prefers helping Mom & Dad do things to playing with her toys. Although she will entertain herself for short times by reading books or playing with her baby, she would prefer to help Mom bake or clean. She certainly knows what she wants and has no problem letting me know and there are days where she really test my patience, but for the most part, she's such a joy to be around and it's amazing watching her grow and discover the world.

She's been sleeping in her big girl bed for almost 6 months now and does great. If she's sick, she still comes in my bed, but generally she stays in her bed until about 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning then calls me to come in my bed for a snuggle and we keep sleeping until Andino comes and wakes us up at 6:30 to get ready for work/daycare or if it's the weekend, we'll sleep until 7:00 or 7:30. The way the new house is set up, two bedrooms were made into one huge master bedroom. My bed is on one side and hers is on the other. When baby comes, we plan to move her into the other bedroom where her crib currently is. I'll post pictures when it's all done, but currently we are working on decorating her room with a fish/mermaid theme and plan to move the bed soon. This way, the new baby will hopefully not wake her up through the night. Hopefully the move doesn't mess up her sleeping too much...

I'll leave you with some photos taken over the last few weeks...

reading to the dogs

having a treat at Cafe Francais

Still wrap her up from time to time

Enjoying a sunny day with Dad

Visiting Dad in the studio

So serious

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Life Lately

Non Mom Stuff: 

Work has been steady. I work with newcomers to Canada and as you've seen on the news, we have received a lot of newcomers lately. I recently attended a work-related conference in Toronto. I was nervous to leave Paloma, but certainly a lot less nervous than the first time. I left Wednesday morning and came back just in time to put her to sleep Saturday night. She had a great time with her Dad and I know he enjoyed the special bonding time with her. Whenever I'm home, Paloma and I are always together so it was nice for him to have a chance to get some extra snuggles and love. While in Toronto, I got to meet up with Aramis  and her little guy for lunch. It was my first time meeting a blog friend in real life and it was great! Q was such a chill baby and even let me hold him for a few minutes. It was so nice to be able to talk in person with her. 

I've been researching a new organization to support through my non-profit, Mamas 4 Mamas. It's going a little slower than I'd hoped, but I'm talking to two organizations (both in Africa) and hopefully we can finalize a partnership soon. Then I'll have to work on updating my website and organizing fundraising events throughout the year. My goal is to have most of those things done before baby comes. Fingers crossed.  


Things are going well. I had a midwife appointment on Monday and everything looked good. I'm measuring on track at 24 weeks and baby has been active. I've been mostly comfortable except for the usual discomfort from bending over and pants that are too tight. I confirmed at the last appointment that we are still planning to deliver in the hospital, although I have been thinking about a home birth. I remember last time how much I didn't want to get dressed and get in the car, drive to the hospital, get in the wheelchair, get in the bed... all I wanted to do was stay home and have the baby there. That being said, birth is messy and there is certainly a convenience factor of being at the hospital. If I had a home birth, I wouldn't have to worry about trying to get ahold of my sister in law at 4 in the morning to come over and watch Paloma. What would she think if she woke up and Mom & Dad weren't there? I know it's really not a big deal, but I can definitely see the appeal of a home birth. I need to do some more research...


I'm pretty sure I'm going to start potty training this weekend. She's almost 22 months and I was potty trained by the time I was 2. I've been doing a lot of reading up and I think she's ready. I wasn't sure if I should wait until after the baby is here because I'll be off work, but I'll still be really busy with a newborn and toddler so I figure it's better to start now. I talked to daycare about it briefly yesterday (her regular caregiver wasn't there so I'll ask her again today) and they said if I think she's ready then they'll be on board. They already sit all the kids on the potty before every diaper change anyway, but if they know I'm potty training her this Fri, Sat, Sun then they will be on board with whatever I'm doing. Wish me luck!

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