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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Photo Link up

I've decided to enter in this photo contest for the first time. I'm told it's not a photography challenge which is good because lets face it, a photographer I am NOT, but I DO love taking photos of my boy! So here it goes - My Top 5 Photo Favorites from April to June 2011

I just love the personality in this one

Just playing with the settings on my camera & of course he co-operated for some photo magic

You can't beat a genuine smile

My cat in all his napping glory

I just love how mischievous he is in this one

Okay those are my favorites for now. If you want to check out the link up and join in then click the button below!

Naptime Momtog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Change is Great

We got some new clothes on!

I put out a request for help yesterday on Twitter and within minutes I had a website for free designs and an offer of help to install it! Thank you @NapTimeMomTog for all your help.

The website she sent me was Adori Graphics where you can get codes for blog templates FOR FREE! You can also hire them to do something brand new and spiffy for you if you want which is pretty cool as well! Check them out!!

Have to keep this short and sweet so there's the info - gotta run my boy is not happy with me for trying to do this while he's awake haha - Have a great Wednesday everybody!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: I'm HERE!

This is where the journey makes a slight adjustment from "To" to "Through". With the birth of my wonderful son I'm now making my way through mommyhood. Wading through diapers, and breastfeeding, wakeful nights and everything else that happens with a baby. They are messy, loud, and incredibly draining but once you get past that you get the rewarding part. The part where a single smile melts your heart, and a baby giggle melts your soul.

This new adventure has been crazy hard for me, there's really NO preparing for it. You can't possibly know just how little sleep you can survive on, or how exhausted you can actually get, how mentally drained, or how emotional it will be just looking at your baby sleeping in your arms. But it wouldn't be much of a story if I didn't tell you how it was for me now would it?

1) Lack of Sleep:

I am a sleeper. I have always enjoyed sleep. I'm not a morning person, I hate being woken up and if I don't get 8 hours, I simply just don't function on my higher levels. I don't remember anybody warning me that the lack of sleep starts in pregnancy either! I remember lots of people saying "Sleep now while you can", like that's any help, but I do not remember anybody saying "hey, you like sleep, you maybe shouldn't have a kid cuz you aren't going to sleep through an entire night for at least a year". Would've been helpful but I probably wouldn't have listened anyways, I'm stubborn like that.

A very lucky few will end up with a baby who sleeps through the night right from the get go. I was one of these babies (told you I've always liked sleep) so I'm not sure how I deserved a kid that would wake every hour, but that's what I got. Actually at first he was pretty good. He would sleep 2-3 hours round the clock, he'd stay awake for short play times throughout the day but at night it was eat and right back to sleep. It wasn't till he was almost 5 months that the 2-3 hours became 1-2 hours (don't forget that's how long HE slept, but for me it was at least half an hour to get back to sleep each time he woke) which we almost didn't live through by the way. Then around 6 months he also decided he wanted to be awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night for no reason. I prayed that somebody would shoot me so I didn't have to keep getting up. I was a zombie if anything, barely living, not conscious, useless to anybody but my son and even then only the most basic needs were met. I begged for the 2-3 hour stretches to come back. Then it hit me one day that I hadn't slept well in easily 8 months with pregnancy added in and I just cried.

4 weeks old

I survived (barely) by keeping my eyes closed while he nursed his way back to blissful sleep, which seemed to trick my body into thinking it never woke up. I read all the time about women who get up and watch tv, or read or play on their iphones while they get their babies back to sleep, and I can't for the life of me fathom how they do it. I mean, in the early days I mastered the art of a blind diaper change just so I didn't have to turn on the light or really open my eyes! Some nights I would even bring him to bed with me, but I tried not to do this for fear of starting something that wouldn't end till he was nearing his teenage years. For the record, that won't happen, any habit can be broken with a little effort, I needn't have had so much guilt over it. When you are getting that little of sleep you take what you can get how you can get it!

2) Diapers

Nobody can prepare you for the number of diapers, or how messy they will be. They can't tell you what it's like to get peed on at 3am or how you'll burst into tears when the diaper explodes in your lap after a really really long night. The smells are indescribable, except that in the early stages it really just smells like microwave popcorn (your welcome, that stuff's no good for you anyways!).

My little guy would poop with every fart (shart) for the first 2 months. So we went through way more diapers than I could have ever imagined we would. This one time my mom was in town and convinced me that he should have diaper free time to help clear up some redness on his bum. I warned her that he tooted every 10-20 minutes and it was gonna spray but she insisted that it would be alright. Well, about 5 minutes later he gave a good ole shart right in her direction! Her mommy instincts are still in tact though so she covered him fast enough to not get a poop shower but it was pretty funny (only cuz it wasn't me).

3) Breastfeeding

Nobody can tell you what it will be like to have a baby suck on your nipple for any length of time every couple hours for months on end. You can't be fully prepared for the embarrassment of leaking in public the first time as the dark circle on your shirt grows so does the red in your cheeks. You can't know how it will feel to be engorged, have your boobs stretch to almost three sizes bigger than what you're used to, how hard they are when they are full, or how your nipple all but disappears at that point making it virtually impossible for babe to get a good latch. Nobody warns you what thrush looks or feels like so you can get it treated as soon as you suspect its presence. You can't know how drained you'll get, how hungry you'll be (worse than pregnancy) or how thirsty. I literally felt like he was draining my life force with every feeding.

Breastfeeding is a process, you just have to start, work with your baby and make adjustments every day to suit your needs at the time. It's not a set in stone sort of thing. You can't say "I'm going to breastfeed this many times a day for this long each time and I'm going to stop completely at this point". I've written about all of this already and you can click here if you are interested in reading further.

I really thought that we would breastfeed, it would be easy, my biggest problem would be feeling like a milk bag, and that we'd be done at 6 months unless he bit me. It wasn't easy. My biggest problem was undiagnosed thrush, which went on long enough to make me very very uncomfortable and almost quit several times. We didn't stop at 6 months because he refused to take formula. I mean flat out wouldn't eat, made nasty faces at it, screamed for hours, throwing the bottle further than those little arms should've had the strength to do, refused formula. He bit me more before he had teeth than he does now that he has them AND strangely enough I feel nothing when he nurses now, no pain, no discomfort, no teeth nothing. If you're struggling with breastfeeding, seek help, it DOES get better!

The Great Formula Hate-On of  2011

4) The Emotional Toll - Postpartum Depression

I thought I was prepared for this one the most! I was wrong. Even before the depression your emotions are ruled by your hormones which are so out of whack you can't control yourself and before you know it you're crying over everything from spilled milk to the look of your baby when he coos at you.

My mom, as I've said before, suffered from postpartum depression. This means that I have a higher risk of getting it. Well, I can tell you that I haven't been treated for it, but know I suffered through it. It's really a scary thing and I think there needs to be more out there to support women. I know that I had to fill out several forms at the doctor and the health nurses would ask me questions and when we went to get CBear's shots the first couple of times they check on you but if you don't seek the help it doesn't come to you. It's one of those things that people are ashamed of and don't talk about. It shouldn't be but it is so here's my honest look at Postpartum Depression.

I have been to hell and back several times now. Every time I reached a breaking point, I somehow managed to step over it and continue on. I can't tell you how many I've blown past one of these points or even how completely surprised I was that I survived each and every time. I remember saying on a few occasions that if something didn't 'give' I was going to the doctor by such and such a time.  Somehow, something 'gave' each time. I guess it must've been me that just became okay with whatever I deemed wrong at the time because I don't believe circumstances have changed much.

I remember holding CBear and crying, sobbing, for no reason other than I just didn't want to be me anymore in that moment. I remember getting angry at him for waking up AGAIN, or spitting up on me AGAIN, or pooping AGAIN (cuz you know, what else do babies do right?). I remember around 6-7 months I was exhausted and I couldn't take it anymore and I realized I understood why mothers lose it and hurt their babies. Can you believe that??? I didn't for a SECOND think about hurting my little man but for a moment I understood why others had done it, or how some women can walk out and never look back. In those moments I could feel it, the need to have a fair godmother that would twinkle her wand and take it all away. The only thing that ever brought me back was the fact that no matter what, I would never trade my boy for anything. I would look at him and know that I had to keep on swimming because he needed me and I love him more than there are words to say. 

How can you not want to spend your life with this guy?

I was lucky - I know this to be true and I appreciate God, or the Universe or whatever it was that got me through, because I was LUCKY. If you are suffering from depression and you are at the end of your rope PICK UP THE PHONE. Call your mother, your sister, your friend, your doctor ANYBODY that will HELP you. I should have and I didn't and things could have gotten a lot worse for me but I was lucky. I wasn't stronger, or better or smarter than you I was LUCKY. Get help. And after you've done that if you want somebody to talk to, pop me a message on here or find me on Twitter @Cbearsmamma anytime!

5) The Change in Relationships

I was prepared for a new element in my relationship with my husband but I wasn't prepared for how drastically it would change, or how my other relationships would change as well!

Friends that don't have kids might distance themselves - I didn't have this particular problem but I don't have a ton of friends where I live now. As I mentioned before, my husband and I moved pretty far away from 'home' to start our life together. Most of my friends here have kids and the ones that don't are people I work with so they're not going anywhere either. I have noticed that I don't have patience for the kinds of friend 'drama' that come up from time to time. I have far too much to focus on with my little man learning things and running around and sapping every ounce of energy from my body to worry about how my not calling may have hurt your feelings (not a real life example just something I heard recently from somebody else's life). That sucks I know but it is what it is right now.

Family is HUGE to me now. I've always felt really close to my family but now even more so. I somehow DO have the energy to make sure I send out pictures and answer emails and keep in contact with our families. I feel it's really important since we aren't around every day for them to watch CBear grow. I have a new appreciation for what our mother's went through and what they must feel now watching us start our own family. It gets me all wishy washy when I think about it.

The big doozy has been my relationship with my husband. It has definitely changed a LOT. Things that never used to bother me too much are now these HUGE cracks in the foundation that we've built our life on. They say that you realize these things when you get married. We've been together 12 years this year and married for 3, it was having a kid that made the cracks apparent more than anything. They say that more marriages end in the first year after having a baby. I can see how that would be true! There are so many things to stress about: Finances, Exhaustion, Who's on Baby Duty, Who's on Housework Detail. There are probably a bajillion more things than that too.

I'm the kind of person that worries about bills and money and I don't want to be in debt if I can help it. My husband doesn't care about debt, he knows the bills will be paid 'somehow' (maybe a magic elf I'm not aware of), and he wants to enjoy 'things' with the time he has here. "You can't take the money with you" is his way of describing this to me. My response is "You leave the ones you love saddled with your debt when you go".

I'm not the kind of girl that will ask for help or anything really. I feel like the help should just be mandatory and a request is therefore not necessary. My husband, on the other hand, well he doesn't do anything that isn't for himself unless he is asked to do it. Granted it's not always obvious what I need at any given moment and I'm well aware of the lack of mind reading capabilities (how cool would it be to be able to read the baby's mind??).

I feel like "Baby Duty" is a shared position and we should put in equal time doing the 'dirty' work. D feels like when he's not working he should be playing and I think maybe he thinks I do a better job than he does but I hesitate to put words in his mouth so we'll call that a guess. I have really probably added to this issue because I tend to like to have things done the way I do them. Silly me I know, take what you can get when you can right? Well I buggered that one up and apparently there's no going back! SO word to the wise, if your man is helping and he's not in danger of dropping the baby on it's head, SHUT UP, do NOT correct them, do not tell them how they can do it better, let them figure it out on their own!

I hate chores. I always have, I'm not a dirty person but I don't like cleaning. I would procrastinate until I turned into a Smurf if I thought it would help me find somebody else to do the cleaning. That being said I will do it, eventually. The problem here is that my husband has turned into a clutterbug over the years, and while he tends to keep it in one area, that area just grows and grows until I'm scared it will eat us in our sleep. He also figures he should do the outside and I do the inside. I've agreed to this in the past because he's a hell of a damn fine chef and he feeds me well, but the fact is I got the short end of the stick on that arrangement, and there have been no adjustments since the little Mr came into the world. It really is hard to get anything done when you're running around after a toddler that has one goal - Get into EVERYTHING. He only naps for a couple hours and I find that's just not enough time to clean and enjoy ME time (which I have to have or we end up with crazy Shelly as in #4). I don't anticipate this getting any better once I go back to work so I'm thinking these arguments aren't going to end anytime soon.

I honestly don't think it's one person's fault or the other. I think we are both to blame for the state we find ourselves in now. I DO think that it's a good thing we made it out of that 'marriage-ender' known as Baby's First Year. I also think it's going to take a lot of effort to repair the damage we've done to each other over the last year. Nobody could have prepared me for that.

So that's it, I'm a mommy. My life isn't glamorous. I'm just an exhausted shell of the woman I once was but I'm hoping with time I will be able to return to being me. I've enjoyed writing this series and getting words on paper once again. Who knows, maybe now that I've proven to myself I can do it, I'll keep blogging and maybe even get back to that book I started once upon a time. Baby steps though right?

Stay tuned for more exciting mommyhood stories as my son turns 1 and I venture back into the work force!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: So What's the Big Deal?

So what's the big deal? You had a BABY! Women do it everyday, why do you think your story is so special??

This is pretty much what I asked myself every day. For months. It was also the question I was afraid somebody was actually going to ask me. What on earth would I say? Well, I was in labor. It was hard. It hurt. My Dr was a jerk. I was alone (at least I felt that way, maybe it was the drugs). BIG DEAL! I had a baby, he was healthy, we both survived, I got to go home within two days - Happy story right? So why did I feel so WRONG about it all?

I figure there's three types of child baring women in this world.

1) The kind that drops their birth story at every chance like "Hey, nice to meet you I'm so-n-so, I was in labor for this long and it sucked this bad and blahblahblah" Nobody is listening at this point because they are in shock! This is called 'overshare' if this is you please stop now, everybody will appreciate it.

2) The kind that will wait for you to bring it up, but once you do (because you desperately need to get something off your chest) you can't get a word in edgewise and all you hear is "Oh yeah, that's bad but you should hear MY story". Thanks I was looking to hear your story. Again, if this is you, stop, it's okay to converse about it, but don't forget you have ears.

3) The kind that don't talk about it unless somebody asks them because asking would indicate some level of interest in the details, but they try to be all vague so you don't go into panic mode with all the ick factor that is childbirth.

I did NOT want to be #1 or #2 I knew that for sure! So #3 it was. Only, guess what? Nobody ASKS you "How was your labor" after you have a baby. They ask about the BABY when you have a baby! People who do ask "how everything went" don't want the details, they are just trying to make you feel like the world hasn't forgotten about you as they bask in the glory of your creation. I pretty much lived in fear of that 'overshare' moment when everybody feels uncomfortable, so I never went into details.

So I went about my life, caring for my baby, trying to survive the first months of breastfeeding and stay-at-home mommyhood. I pretty much went nuts several times and then I found TWITTER. Yes, that's right, I said Twitter! That place that everybody talks about nowadays and lots of people think is a waste of time. Well guess what fellow mommies! There are about a bajillion mommies on there just waiting for another mommy to talk to! All of a sudden I found people who not only were speaking my mommy language but could answer questions, and help me through those days when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore.

I thought I had hit the 'support' jackpot but little did I know the best was yet to come! I was introduced to @NurturedChild by one of my mommy friends. She is a Lactation Consultant and I was having some issues with breastfeeding at the time. She really helped me through that rough spot and things were great. Then one day she posted this:

Making peace with your experience: via

So I followed the link and read the blog. Before I was even halfway through it I found myself bawling my eyes out. I knew I was effected by how things went down bringing CBear into this world, but I honestly thought I was being a WUSS! I mean really, we are ALL here because some woman somewhere gave birth! We were all inside a uterus somewhere and had to get out somehow, it happens ALL the time!

I messaged @NurturedChild to thank her for making me realize I wasn't the only one that felt this way and we had a conversation in which she said this to me:

"It's OK to love your baby and hate the way they came into the world."

It was like getting a big squishy hug from my mom! Wow. Just wow. I read those words now and I still get all wishy washy. It IS okay. I mean, I was beating myself up because I couldn't look at him and regret having gone through it but at the very same time I DID regret it, I wished I could have got him any other way but that way - I mean, where is the damn stork when you need it?

So what was SO wrong about MY birth story? Well I could go into gory details about unexpected catheters and how they actually get the vacuum on the babies head but I'll spare you. If I think about it now, in my much less hormonally imbalanced brain, I can understand that it was just not how I thought it would be. Simple as that. Lots of things in life are not how we think they are going to be and it's little more than disappointing or frustrating. But the birth of your child is supposed to be the most amazing thing in your whole life! People use words like "Miraculous" and "Beautiful" but the first word that pops into my head is "horrific".

Emotionally I think I had the worst time trying to reconcile the intense love I had for my sweet boy and the fact that I thought of the experience of bringing him here as horrific. I mean, how do the two even belong in the same thought sequence. Love and horror don't mix. I felt like that somehow made me a bad mother for a long time and I really did get angry at the situation and myself for feeling the way I did.

The thing I needed to realize is that each labor in the history of mankind (and there's been a LOT of them) has been unique. No two labors are ever the same because each woman will experience it differently. Just because my experience wasn't great didn't mean I can't love the crap outta my little man!

And in the end? Loving that little man is ALL that matters!

My Journey to Mommyhood: I'm Here!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: The Birth (Warning: No Detail spared)

I was talking to a lady (@NurturedChild) on Twitter a few months back and she suggested that writing my 'Birth Story' would be a good way to deal with the emotional angst I had towards the experience. I have been thinking about doing so ever since but I couldn't figure out where to start. Then I realized I needed to start at the beginning so here we are. See My Journey to Mommyhood: Trying to Conceive , My Journey to Mommyhood: The Test I Had to Pass and My Journey to Mommyhood: Pregnancy to read from the start.

This is where it's going to get really hard for me. I feel I should issue a disclaimer here that my husband is a very caring supportive man (in his own way, which sometimes doesn't line up with my expectations). He loves me more than even I can comprehend and this post is in NO WAY meant to demean that. I just have to be true to this process and in doing so hopefully heal some of the hurt and anger I have towards my experience. In order to do that fully I have to be completely honest about my feelings and how I felt then in those moments.

So as you know we entered the final days of my pregnancy without any hope of having our family with us. We had opted against a Doula because it hurt D's feelings and we wanted to share our experience just between the two of us. I was okay with this going in but had a lot of fear about making the wrong choice. Even so, I felt prepared and ready after having attended all of our prenatal classes and touring the hospital. I felt comfortable there in the rooms where we would welcome our baby into the world.

I should probably mention before I get started that everybody thought we were having a girl. We did a baby pool both at work and with our families and the guesses were probably 90-95% in favor of a girl! This both excited me and terrified me. I always wanted a girl, maybe because I never had a sister, but I didn`t know anything about caring for a girl baby, maybe because I never had a sister!


Everybody always asks what the "plan" is when you are having a baby. How would you like things to go if you had your choice. Well for starters I wanted a midwife, or at the very least just about any doctor that wasn't the one I ended up with. OK on to what we can control (yeah right). I knew I didn't want the epidural. I was not opposed to using drugs in general but I have a huge fear of being frozen. Going to the dentist is difficult enough for me I can't imagine not being able to feel the bottom half of my body. The mere thought of this would cause me to have an anxiety attack, and that fact is the only reason my Dr. stopped scoffing at me when I stated the no epi clause in our agreement. Yes I said "stopped" scoffing he actually did the "you don't know what you're talking about cough" when I told him I was opposed to it. I also didn't want to have other things like an episiotomy or the use of the vacuum or forceps if it was possible to avoid them. D's reaction to all this was that I was a bit crazy and he didn't think I could get through it without drugs. I reminded him that I didn't say "No Drugs" I simply didn't want the epi and if the words C-Section came up I may just pass out on the spot. (I've never had surgery or broken bones and this was to be my first hospital stay EVER) So aside from the things I wanted to avoid, I was open to just about anything because really, you can't plan this stuff, it just happens. If I had to give you a picture of what I had envisioned though, it would be like the movies where it's hard but you have somebody there holding your hand and talking you through it, you survive and everybody goes home happy.

What ACTUALLY happened:

I worked my last day on July 5, 2010 as planned. I went home as I always do. Following routine I loaded the dishwasher and checked up with my friends and family online. I also went ahead and filled out the online application for my maternity leave. By the time this was all said and done, D was home and having his afternoon nap on the couch (apparently my pregnancy made him really tired). I decided that I would go lay down too so I snuggled up with my feet on his lap, turned down the volume on the tv, and rested my head against the pillow. Then it happened. About 3.2 seconds after I closed my eyes and exactly 5 minutes to 6pm I got a shooting pain through my abdomen and my stomach tightened up. This was NOT Braxton Hicks this was the real deal. My baby was coming I just knew it! I laid there waiting, unable to close my eyes and sleep from excitement. The contractions continued every 10 minutes or so until D woke up about half an hour later. I told him something was different and that I thought we were going to meet our baby soon. He told me "No, it's not time yet". 

We went about making dinner and I began pacing and tidying things around the house. I was anxious and excited and the contractions were stronger but not hindering me at all. I had heard that you should keep moving so I tried my best but looked silly to D who kept shaking his head at me. When dinner was ready we sat down to eat and the contractions STOPPED. I was extremely frustrated. I just knew in my heart that this was IT and they stopped? I began cleaning the dishes and started pacing like a mad fiend trying to get them going again. I tried squatting I tried lunges I tried everything. They just up and disappeared and I was mad but what could I do? I was doing everything we learned in the prenatal classes. When I told D that I'd stalled out he said "Well, I told you, it's not time". It took everything in me not to smack him upside the head with a frying pan. Seriously? I'm exploding with baby and beyond ready to have this over with and you're gonna stand there all smug and say "I told you so"????

Okay I knew I needed to relax, so I suggested we watch a movie. After all it was starting to get late and I really didn't want to be up all night so I told myself it was for the best that I didn't have to do that and could get a good night sleep instead. I should have known I would be back asswards as far as how things are supposed to go and how things were going to go (story of my life much?). 

The contractions started back up and by the time we were ready for bed they were every 5-7 minutes but mostly every 5, so I insisted we go to the hospital to be sure. It was around 10pm I think and D was not pleased because "It's not time yet" and he thought I was being silly. I wasn't trying to be silly, I was in a lot of pain and I knew I couldn't sleep through it and who knows how fast I could go from this to pushing? I was scared of having it at home on the floor with no professionals around. First time mom here! It's not like I know what's going on.

He brought me to the hospital and we had to walk all the way down the block from where we finally found parking. Okay, I waddled, he walked. I couldn't keep up, I felt silly waddling along behind him. We got to L&D and they put me in a room. They came and checked me and called the doctor to make the judgment call on if I should stay. I was excited to be there, I didn't think for a second that they'd send me home, I was in so much pain and definitely in labor they had to keep me. WRONG. We were told that I was only 1cm (same as I was days before at the doctors office) and that they did think I was in labor but there wasn't much they could do for me at that point. They offered to get me something for the pain but I didn't want to be drugged up before it was even time yet. When the nurse left I looked at D with exasperation and wanted to cry and he said "See, not time yet" proudly, while I fought back my tears. He was kind enough to go get the truck and pick me up at the door, maybe because they had confirmed I was in fact in labor? Or maybe he was just having a "nice guy" moment. While he was gone one of the ambulance attendants talked to me about it and she told me I'd 'know' when it was time and that it would be okay. I wanted to scream.

We returned home around 11pm and I tried to snuggle on the couch with D and rest. Things had slowed down since we got to the hospital and I thought I might have a chance of getting some sleep but I really needed to be close to D. I was trying to draw on his strength to get me through and relax me so I could rest. About 5 minutes after laying down the contractions were back on full force and then some. Still only about 5-7 minutes apart though, and we were told to come back when they were 3-5 minutes apart lasting a minute each. I still tried to relax and sleep. I think I did for 20 minutes or so before the contractions took over and I just couldn't stand it anymore. I began to moan and reached for D's hand. Unfortunately he'd fallen asleep and when you wake him up he's grouchy. I figured I'd be better off to let him get his rest so I went down the hall to our room where I tried to get comfy on the bed. 

I spent the next two hours moaning and rocking in bed. The sounds escaped without permission. I found that letting my tummy hang was the most comfortable so I eventually stood up and leaned over my dresser. I'm surprised there's no claw marks in it. At this point I pretty much lost touch with my surroundings. I know both the cats were in the room with me and it was dark and I could hear D snoring in the living room but each time I felt a contraction I just rocked and sobbed until it was over. I wanted to go wake D and tell him it was time but I couldn't bare it if they told us no again so I kept waiting, and rocking, and sobbing. At about 3am I had the presence of mind to realize they were getting faster and tried to time them as best I could. I think it was around 3:30 when D finally woke up and came to our room. I told him it was time to go and he said he didn't think it was but he didn't look as certain as he had the first time. I told him I didn't care I wanted to go NOW.

We left for the hospital and I tried to calm myself but all the sobbing had really done a number on me. I was dropped off at the entrance. I told him would meet him there and he went to go park. I made my way to L&D for the second time and I prayed I wouldn't be sent home. They took one look at me and put me into the room where they check you to see how far along you are. D met me in this room but he'd left all our stuff outside in the truck. He thought we were going home again. I was so frustrated but I couldn't even think about it because another contraction was coming and I was crying again. The nurses asked if I wanted some gas and I agreed to try it. One of them checked me while the other went to get the gas. I was at 3cm. They were letting me stay. I was so relieved I cried some more. The gas arrived and they showed me how to use it. Between the awful taste and the way it made my mouth numb I thought I would be sick and pushed it away. They told me to try a couple more breaths. It would get better if I gave it a chance. It didn't. Pain option one was in the toilet.

We were moved to my labor room quickly and D went out to retrieve our bags. The nurse asked if I would like to try being in the tub and I agreed. Anything to get me to dilate faster and get this over with. I was laying in the warm tub of water when D came back. The contractions got angry while I was in there. They got faster and harder. I told them I felt sick and they brought me a bucket. I laid with my face against the cold tub failing to keep the tears from streaming down my face. I felt something pop, it was just my plug. I don't have any idea how long I was in there for, but it was long enough to warm up the water twice. 

When I got out I felt better like getting out of the water helped. I had a few minutes where I could talk to D and ask him where my purse was. They asked if I wanted something to drink and I realized I was very thirsty. FYI - Orange juice is NOT a good option at this point in time even if it is your favorite. About 30 seconds after that juice hit my stomach it made the trip back out and OJ is a little too acidic for that kind of adventure. D held me up while I rid myself of that stupidity, then he helped me to the bed. He was sent to get me ice chips instead and the nurse went about preparing the room with the things they would need. By the time he got back I was clinging to the bed rail for dear life and sobbing again. They offered me a drug that would 'take the edge off'. I agreed and the IV was quickly attached and the drug was given.

I'm not sure exactly when I felt the medicine kick in. I know I was in a lot of pain and that I assumed it wasn't working. Looking back I know that it was but it made my thoughts really 'fuzzy' so I apologize but this is when it gets a little sketchy for me. 

I don't know what time it was. I know I laid on the bed with my arms wrapped around the bucket because I still felt ill and didn't want to give it up. I know D was giving me ice chips and at one point he had the cup swinging against my arm (he's a drummer so everything he does has a beat to it) and I shoved it away telling him to get it off. Apparently my incoherent requests to move it had gone unheard (understood?) and this surprised him. I know the drugs helped me rest a little but I was awake with my eyes closed the whole time. I know that I screamed and cried a LOT. 

The nurse checked me around 6:30am I think and said I was "almost there" and we just had to wait for the doctor. I sobbed some more that it wasn't going to end yet. Knowing MY doctor I'd be waiting till he took his sweet time to have his coffee before coming to my rescue. I think he arrived around 7am and decided he needed to break my water. Apparently it takes quite a while to organize this process because it wasn't until after 7:30am that he actually came in to do it. I remember thinking "No, don't it's going to hurt" and nobody told me that it wouldn't. Nobody told me what to expect it to feel like. The fear choked me when I felt the water balloon inside burst and gush out of me. I clung to the bucket in my arms like it was a teddy bear and screamed.

The next few hours went by in a blur. I guess I wasn't ready yet and we had to do some more waiting for the doctor. They told me not to push. The nurse told me to make that "Bbbb" noise when you blow air through your lips when I felt like I need to push and I tried. I did it so much that my lips were numb. Eventually somebody took my bucket away, maybe because they could see it digging into my arms and forehead where I would later have bruises. I held the bed rail instead. When a contraction would come I would gasp and try to do the 'Bbbb' noise and I found myself clawing my way up the bed, screaming that it wasn't working. Nobody was listening. Once in a while I opened my eyes and could see D sitting beside the bed and the nurse bustling around. I was alone in my head though and the contractions were so strong. I begged for them to let me push I couldn't stop myself anymore "Please", I was so tired. The only thing I heard besides my own screams was the nurse telling me to breath when the contractions started, she sounded like my mom would have if she'd been there.

I don't know what time they told me to start pushing I think it was around 11am but I can't be sure. I tried laying down, sitting up, the squat bar felt right but I was to tired to hold myself up. Nothing was working. I couldn't do it. The doctor came and asked me with his smug attitude if I thought that maybe I wasn't having any success because I was screaming with each contraction. I responded with a not so nice "probably!". Nobody told me if I held in the screaming that it would help.

My phone rang around 11:45am. It was between contractions and I was able to take a moment to laugh that my co-workers were trying to find out why I wasn't at lunch with them. I wished with every ounce of me that I had been. I didn't want to be in the hospital having a baby. I didn't want to be pushing and in pain. I didn't want to be dosed up with this drug that was making everything fuzzy and dull in my brain and doing nothing for my pain. I was exhausted and had nothing left to give, but the baby was still on the inside so as much as I wanted to be somewhere else I wwasn't and this was happening.

The doctor said something to the nurse, she then asked me if I would like to try sitting on the toilet because it might help the baby move into a better position. I got up and D helped me to the bathroom. While I was there I pushed three times on the toilet and the baby moved I felt it, we were ready. The nurse told me that she knew I was tired and that they thought they should use the vacuum to help me get the baby out. I didn't want to, I was about to say no but then she said if I couldn't get him out soon I would have to have a C-section. I didn't even think, I just told her we could use the vacuum and D helped me return to the bed.

When we got there, we saw tables of instruments and my heart started to race with fear. My fuzzy brain filled with images of a babies heads being mutilated by the suction and I was sick with guilt. Why wasn't I strong enough to push him out? I looked at D for strength, they must've stopped giving me the drugs because I could see him now, he looked worried. When he opened his mouth to speak I thought 'finally some words of encouragement lets DO this I have to DO this'. What he said was "Did you hear that? They're going to give you a C-section if you don't hurry up". Possibly not his exact words but that's what he said. Why, WHY does everybody seem to think that fear tactics are the only way to get to me? I told him of course I HEARD and to shut up! I took a deep breath and got ready to make this baby move. 

It took 20 minutes roughly to get him out. I remember when he crowned that I learned what pain really is. I remember them frantically trying to get me to HEAR them that I needed to STOP pushing when all I wanted was to be done. Sure why not just leave me stretched as far as possible and tell me to wait; no problem! I was angry and I didn't know why I should stop, but when I looked into the nurses eyes I could see it was for my baby's safety. I stopped, I waited in agony for the next contraction and the okay to go (it seemed like forever really it was probably a matter of seconds). I pushed a few more times and relief flooded my body. I lay back exhausted as a body was flopped onto me. I glanced at the top of a head and my eyes closed and I began to fade into the relaxation of my body.

Then three things happened simultaneously that made me come back to the room. I heard the nurse say "the doctor is going to cut the cord now" (D was supposed to cut the cord unless something went wrong), the baby was lifted off me and taken across the room, and D grabbed my hand. I looked at him and watched as his eyes darted from me to the baby and back to me several times. People were flooding into the room, we could hear them calling the NICU to come assess the baby who still wasn't crying. I had no energy to panic. My brain was racing, which in it's fuzzy state was probably more like a turtles pace, but I managed to find words. "What is it?" I asked my panic stricken husband. "I think it's a boy!" he exclaimed in an unsure whisper. I then began reassuring him it would be fine, but that if baby had to go to the NICU then he had to go with him and I would follow when I could. He refused, eyes darting back and forth from me to the babe like he was questioning who should have his loyalty. I squeezed his hand and got his attention and told him he was going and I would be fine! Almost on that command from my heart to his I heard my baby cry. It was like he was singing to us "La-Laaaa-LA".

Finally a nurse explained that he'd been breathing funny at first but that he seemed fine now and he could stay with us but they would monitor him over the next couple days to be sure. Then the Dr. came to deliver the placenta and began fixing me up. I was poked with a needle where no needle should ever go so I would be numb as the Dr. stitched up my small tear. He asked if I could feel it but when he got to the last few stitches and I told him I could feel it now and began to cry, he proceeded to stitch until he was done with no care at all that I wasn't numb in that spot. I was left alone after that. The room cleared out and I saw D carrying our little boy around. He brought him over to show me and he was so perfect. I was just too tired to enjoy him though and lay back closing my eyes. 

My little CBear 7lbs 5oz July 6, 2010 12:19pm

I didn't get any rest though, we were moved to a new room and I was hooked up to an IV to help stop the bleeding. Did you know that redheads bleed more? Wish somebody had told me that before hand, would've saved me from thinking I was dying when I witnessed massive clots coming out of me. We were left alone for awhile and D laid down to rest. I can't blame him but as I lay there holding my sweet boy and listening to D snore, I was jealous. I was also peaceful. I sat there for a long time staring at my baby, taking in every detail and setting them to memory. I couldn't get enough. I never will.

D took some pictures in the hospital, something I asked him not to do, but he insisted that he was only taking them of the room. I vowed nobody would ever see this photo and to this day only my mother has. I add it here now only because I think it is part of my healing to let go of the shame. I look like I was in battle, and I was in a way, so I guess there's no reason to hide it anymore.

Our first moments together on the outside

To continue the story: My Journey to Mommyhood: So What's the Big Deal?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: Pregnancy

I was talking to a lady (@NurturedChild) on Twitter a few months back and she suggested that writing my 'Birth Story' would be a good way to deal with the emotional angst I had towards the experience. I have been thinking about doing so ever since but I couldn't figure out where to start. Then I realized I needed to start at the beginning so here we are. See My Journey to Mommyhood: Trying to Conceive and My Journey to Mommyhood: The Test I Had to Pass to read from the start.

This is where things went down hill for me emotionally. I was pregnant. The biggest life changing thing I had ever gone through and nobody seemed to 'get' how huge this was for me. I felt alone both in a physical sense, as D and I had moved away from our home years ago to start a life together, and emotionally. I'm good at hiding things though so I don't think anybody really knew how I felt.

Going into this in the first place was hard for me. I've never been that girl who would simply DIE if I never had a baby in my arms, but after a conversation with D before the wedding I knew he wanted kids, and if I wasn't prepared to do that then we were not as well matched as he'd thought. I decided I did want to have kids with him but I still had my reservations. My baby brother is 10 years younger than me and my mom unfortunately went through a lot with postpartum and other health issues, which sort of left me in the position of growing up really fast. He was also a bit of a high needs baby, suffering from colic and just needed a lot of attention. I had a lot of the responsibilities and while I don't begrudge it now, I certainly did then, and it really did turn me off of having kids for a very long time. So being pregnant was really terrifying for me!

What if I make the same mistakes I made when I was growing up with my brother (I realize I was a child but still)? What if I can't handle it? What if I have a breakdown too? What if I hate being a mom as much as I hated being a sister in those moments when he would only sleep if you held him and the only time he wasn't screaming was when he was asleep? I was haunted by these thoughts and more the entire time I carried my baby inside me. I felt like a horrible mother before I even got a chance to start and I didn't want to admit any of this to anybody for fear that they would tell me I was right! So I did what I do best. I bottled it up and kept on swimmin' (in the famous words of Dory).

The first trimester went off without a hitch. We heard the heartbeat for the first time on December 16, 2009. It was amazing and D's eyes lit up when he heard it. Even so he still made jokes about it not being real and I still felt myself doubting the pregnancy myself. We were planning a trip home for Christmas but I was sad that our families wouldn't see my tummy in person because I hadn't "popped" yet. On our way home we were able to pick up a huge haul of supplies. My aunt had passed along all the baby things she had left over and it was almost everything we would need! Financially, I don't think we could have done this without those things and I can't ever thank her enough.

Speaking of financial things. D decided that as well as redoing the room for the baby, we should completely overhaul the kitchen while we were at it. It took over a month of listening to him try to convince me that it was a good idea to just jump into a kitchen renovation before I finally got through to him that it was not feasible to expect to finish it before the baby came, AND do the baby's room, AND pay for it all. This was a HUGE stress to me but it seemed like no matter how much I cried and told him I couldn't handle the stress, he still wanted to do it. I was utterly exhausted by the end of these negotiations; and so began my second trimester.

I decided it was time to tell everybody else that didn't already know. Everybody was excited for us. Everybody except one. The one person in my life who I knew was going to be a problem, one of the reasons I had kept it a secret until I knew for sure I wouldn't be wasting the phone call. Somebody who is supposed to be fundamental in a young girls life was more distant to me than my next door neighbor. Unfortunately, after about 20 minutes of crying, shouting, anger, and the worst anxiety attack I've ever had, I knew that my baby would not have this person in their life. I was hurt. I was angry. But, it was and still is completely out of my control though, so I had to just move on.

On February 9, 2010 we got to see our baby for the first time. I really thought that it would show up dark and empty but when she put the wand to my tummy and a little body popped up on the screen I burst into happy tears. The past months fearing that D was right and I was making it all up had gotten to me. I was relieved and happy and in awe of this perfect little babe inside me. Besides being a bit 'dramatic' this little one didn't want us to know what it was and had it's bottom wedged into my pelvis so far that the lady had to push around to get proper measurements.

Here's our little babe pulling the "Oh woes ME" hand over head move.

The third trimester was also fairly uneventful. In the grand scheme of things I had an easy pregnancy. My Dr. described it as "Gloriously Average" which I would have to agree with (one of the few things we DID agreed on). The last few weeks we got bounced around to another Dr. who was covering for ours to go on vacation. He was the sweetest man and even D really liked him. If babe had decided to come just two days sooner I wouldn't have had to have my ogre Dr. back but such is life.

Honestly I know I have nothing to complain about. There are so many women that I know that have lost their children in the womb, at birth, within the first year, and even later. I'm so lucky to have my little family now and I know that. I'm lucky I wasn't stuck in a bed for any of my pregnancy or have to change my diet for gestational diabetes or any number of other complications that could arise.

So why do I look back and cringe? Because I felt utterly alone. As I said before, family lives far away, D began to distance himself and friends are few here in our new home. We made plans for our mothers to come for the birth but as it got closer it was clearly impossible for either of them to actually make it in time to support me through labor. D wanted to be "the one" in the room with me and I wanted that too, I just didn't think he was up for the task. He's a tough guy, but I knew seeing me in that position would be hard for him and it was (we'll get to that later) & I think that's why he would joke about me faking the pregnancy and about my inability to do things like touch my toes. He would tell me I was being a wussy if I was too tired or sore to do something. No I was not the receiver of back rubs, foot rubs, or ice cream when I had an urge. Nothing really changed in the way he treated me and while I think I understand now it was because he didn't want to see me as frail or breakable, I didn't get it then and it hurt! Like I wasn't special enough to be treated the way women in the movies are treated when they're pregnant, like what I was going through didn't warrant recognition.

I wanted somebody in the room that would treat me that way. I approached him with the ideal of getting a Doula. He was hurt and offended that I didn't believe in him. I didn't want him to think that, I just wanted him to have backup so I wasn't left hanging if he needed to take a break (something I wasn't going to have the luxury of). I canceled our appointment to meet with her and went back to wishing my mother's schedule would change and maybe we could somehow 'know' what day this babe would arrive so she could be there with me. I was stressed, anxious, lonely and I was about to have a baby.

And so we enter into the final days and my birth story. I just want to thank you all for reading. You aren't commenting so I don't know who you are but you've inspired me to continue through this process of healing which I thought about giving up after the first post! So thank you!

This is me on my "due date" July 4, 2010 (per ultrasound, I still stick by my original date because I know when I conceived!)

Continue the story: My Journey to Mommyhood: The Birth

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: The Test I had to Pass

I was talking to a lady (@NurturedChild) on Twitter a few months back and she suggested that writing my 'Birth Story' would be a good way to deal with the emotional angst I had towards the experience. I have been thinking about doing so ever since but I couldn't figure out where to start. Then I realized I needed to start at the beginning so here we are. See My Journey to Mommyhood: Trying to Conceive to read the story from the start.

As you read in the previous story we tried to get pregnant for 8 months. Really not a long time in the grand scheme of things. I've since met so many ladies that have been trying for years with nothing but a lot of negative pregnancy tests to show for it, and a lot of heart break and loss along the way. I'm happy to say though, that all the lovely mommies in waiting that I met are due to have little ones this year so congratulations to you all!

In any event I was frustrated with the whole process and anybody that knows me, knows I missed the day they were handing out patience! I turned to a method of ovulation prediction called temping. Essentially, you buy a thermometer and you set your alarm clock. Every morning before getting out of bed you take your temperature and mark it down on a graph or input it into a website like Fertility Friend where they do all the tracking for you and even tell you when your predicted ovulation will be! It's a great site and it's free so check it out if you haven't already (and only if you require such assistance of course).

I hate alarm clocks. I hate mornings. I hate beeping. The thermometer beeps. This has to be done everyday, not just weekdays but weekends too. Remember sleeping in when you didn't have to work? Sacrifices we make. The two months I did this was hell. Even D was irritated by the end of it and I vowed that if I wasn't pregnant this time that was it I was done 'trying'.

October 28, 2009

 My temps had been doing something funky that I just knew had to mean something but I tried to stay calm. I decided I would test on the last day of my regular cycle if my temp stayed up (an indication that your period has not started). It was up even higher than the day before which was basically as good as a positive test but I had to know for sure. I took the test. There has to be a better way to do these things! For real!! Why do we not have the technology to find out we are pregnant without risking pee on our hands? I washed up, then I went to eat my breakfast. I returned to see two lines and I started bouncing off the walls. Not literally, nobody wants to see D that early in the morning especially when you're the reason he's up! I continued getting ready and set out D's lunch for him as I always do and put the test beside it. (Yes I cleaned it first! Geeze!)

My gift was met with his token noise of surprise and "What? No way...Really?". I got a few extra hugs and kisses and of course the bouquet you saw in my last post but aside from that, not much of a reaction. That's just my man though, he's rather stoic. We decided we didn't want to live in fear and began telling people, despite the obvious concern that this could be a repeat of the first time. There were some non-local people that we didn't tell until we were sure and that was more for their sake than ours. Basically I decided I didn't want them to have to deal with a loss if there should be one.

We live in an area that doesn't have enough doctors for the population. My first call was to the Midwives, and it would be again should we ever have another, but they were all booked up for July 2010. I called everywhere looking for a doctor that would have me for my prenatal care because my doctor was on her own maternity leave at the time. I finally found one that had space for me. Unfortunately I didn't like him from the second he opened his mouth, he was abrasive at best but what choice did I have? I attended my first appointment with him alone as we didn't expect anything exciting to happen and D had to work. BAD idea. Maybe he missed the ring on my finger or maybe he's just that rude to all his patients, I'll never know.

Now if you recall, October 2009 was when the whole world was starting to freak out over the H1N1 Flu virus. I don't normally get flu shots. I was concerned if I should have one to protect me or not because some were saying only women in their 3rd trimester were safe. Of course this was one of the first things I asked my new doctor. I was fully prepared to get it or not based on what he had to say, should he give me a well thought out argument to convince me. Instead he scoffed at me and essentially told me I was an idiot if I didn't get it. So naturally I went home and did my own research and decided that the case against getting it was stronger than the case for it and opted for washing my hands regularly and keeping my fingers out of my eyes, nose and mouth. I never got sick even when nursing D back to health, and he even had a fever!

So that was the end of that. I was told to come back for the big doctor appointment, when they actually do more than make you pee in a cup and speak with the Dr. at 12 weeks. Can you imagine having miscarried at 5 weeks and being told you would not be seen until 12 weeks? I was shocked. Even after pleading with them and telling them that I had a previous miscarriage they still nonchalantly told me to return in at 12 weeks. I felt like they were saying if I didn't make it to 12 weeks then at least I wasn't wasting their time. So basically for the next 7 weeks I tried to pretend like I wasn't pregnant 'just in case' so that I wouldn't suffer too badly if something should happen. I reminded myself to be calm, eat right, take it easy and everything would be okay. Despite being pretty sure in my heart that everything would be fine I did miss a couple afternoons when the gas pains felt too reminiscent of my cramps and went home to lay down.

D was supportive of my choices even when he didn't exactly agree 100%. I think he's learned by now that if I've set my mind to something that there's not much hope of changing it. He continually tried to lighten the mood by cracking jokes about me faking it and calling me "Fatty" even though I was far from showing yet. Unfortunately all this did was make me anxious and self conscious. He didn't mean it that way, I know he didn't but it still stung every time and the doubt in my mind was interfering with the knowledge in my heart. I promise though, he really is a sweetheart underneath it all but don't tell him I told you!

Because I don't have any pictures from this particular time besides a stick I peed on I will post this more romantic photo of D and I "Trashing the Dress" the month before we got the good news!

Continue the story: My Journey to Mommyhood: Pregnancy

Canadian Couponing - FREE CHEERIOS

Today only unfortunately! We have our coupon for free cheerios and are heading out this afternoon to pick them up.

Also, I picked up a regular photo album at the dollar store the other day. The kind with the plastic pages you just slide photos into. And I grabbed some paper clips as well. Only a couple bucks and I'm ready to make a coupon binder that won't take up more space than my diaper bag!

Unfortunately the procrastinator in my blood has prevented me from getting them sorted already but I will hopefully have that ready to go for pictures next week and I can show you what I did.

I really didn't find any other great deals this week. I apologize for my slacking but I've been focused on going back to work in a couple of weeks and am trying to get organized for that. I simply didn't have the time to do real digging and calculations and the flyers were a little boring this week.

Here's hoping the postal strike doesn't last too much longer either! The coupon mini-train (I say mini because we have only two people on it haha) is unable to continue at this point. All the coupons are going to expire before they can move on at this rate! That and I can't get any of the ones I've been ordering off those wonderful sites I posted before. BOOO.

Happy Shopping and hopefully we'll have some deals to post about next week along with an organized coupon binder!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Journey to Mommyhood: Trying to conceive

I was talking to a lady (@NurturedChild) on Twitter a few months back and she suggested that writing my 'Birth Story' would be a good way to deal with the emotional angst I had towards the experience. I have been thinking about doing so ever since but I couldn't figure out where to start. Then I realized I needed to start at the beginning so here we are.

February 14, 2009.

We had been discussing our plans to have children but hadn't decided to start trying yet. My husband (D) returned home from work with a bouquet of flowers and the card said "Lets make a baby". Conveniently my last pill had been taken that morning and so I just didn't open another package. We were officially trying and I was hopefully going to get pregnant very soon!

I knew that it could take awhile and wasn't expecting it to happen right away but to our surprise it DID. I got pregnant on the first cycle. We found out on St. Patrick's Day and D made me green eggs and ham to celebrate. Life was racing at a whirlwind pace and all of a sudden our plans were kicked into high gear. We were super excited; it just didn't seem real.

Then two days later, everything came crashing down around us. I was having a miscarriage. We went to the hospital. They did an exam and told me what I already knew and didn't want to believe. I was losing the baby I'd only had for a couple of days. There was nothing we could do but wait. They ordered blood tests to ensure the HCG was decreasing as it should and sent me to my Dr for the rest of my care. I was poked in the arm three times that week and examined again by my doctor. More than anything I felt humiliated at the invasion of my body and for nothing! There would be no reward at the end of this torture.

Less than a week later, after the worst 'menstrual' cramps I've ever had, I began to feel an odd pinch on my left side. I returned to the hospital because I couldn't get into the Dr on such short notice. They examined me again. I was told that they weren't sure what it was but that they weren't too concerned. I had an ultrasound scheduled for the next day as a precaution to ensure my body had expelled everything it should have so they told me to keep that appointment and see my Dr if I had any further issues.

When you go to the ultrasound after a miscarriage, you have to drink all the water and dance around like you're going to explode as you would if you were pregnant. The only difference is they don't let you see the screen. There's nothing there to see. The nice lady actually did two different kinds of ultra sounds. The normal one you see on the movies, and an internal one which helps them see things a bit better when they are looking at nothing. And by nothing I mean an empty womb. Not sure why they make you go through the pain of a full bladder when you don't need that for the internal ultrasound which gives them more of what they need to see but hey, I'm not a professional. Let the humiliation and invasions continue! I was told to wait while the analyst checked the images.

When the lady returned she scared the ever loving snot out of me and told me to go straight to my doctor's office. Do not pass GO do not collect $200 just get your butt over to the Dr. NOW!! I went. I was told that she couldn't see me for another 2 hours could I come back then. Sure, I only have a job I've been away from all morning already and I am still recovering from the heart attack at the ultrasound but hey no worries! I returned in a couple hours to find out that she was sending me to a gynecologist.  Apparently I had a cyst on my ovary and it was pretty big (big enough I could feel it moving around and "pinching") so I might have to have it removed and it could be pretty dangerous if it was to get any bigger.

A couple days later I was in the gynecologists office with my pants down AGAIN - have you been counting? That's 5 times in a week and a half roughly? He told me what I already knew. I had a cyst. It was big. It would likely NOT go away on it's own but there was a medication I could try to reduce it, otherwise I would have to have surgery.

Awesome. So when exactly am I going to be able to get past this and get on with creating my baby? A baby who will stick around this time? OH that's right, nobody will give me a straight answer! The Dr says right away if we want to. The Gynecologist says no way for at least 3 months but he'd rather see us go 6 and even goes so far as to try to scare me by telling me horror stories of women and multiple miscarriages because they don't wait. Well thanks cuz I wasn't already scared that might happen!

I left the gynecologist feeling like he didn't really care about ME. Like I was just a case squished into a busy day of cases. Just another thing to do. I felt like he really just wanted to schedule the surgery so he could stop wasting his time with me. When I got home with my prescription, the one that's supposed to help the cyst go away, I read the pamphlet that came with it as I always do. WARNING: Do not get pregnant for at least 3 months after taking this medication, severe birth defects could occur. I then felt like he was trying to sabotage me and my baby making choices.

So I did what I always do in these circumstances. I researched. I read everything I could on cysts and the kind I had (Corpus Luteum) and learned that it is a natural part of your cycle. This cyst develops in order to nourish the egg until after it implants and the placenta is developed. OK so that part didn't happen for me because I lost the baby. My body is just confused! It has a baby, it doesn't have a baby, it's just lost. So I made a choice. I chose not to take the pills. I chose to let my body figure things out on its own and heal itself.

When I went back to the gynecologist for my follow up a month later he read me the riot act when I told him I hadn't taken them. He was actually MAD at me. I might've gotten upset or worried but I knew something he didn't. I couldn't feel that cyst anymore. He did another ultrasound and confirmed what I already knew in my heart. The cyst was gone. Completely. He lost his smug attitude right quick and wished me the best of luck as I left his office and I've never looked back.

It took 8 months in total to conceive a "sticky bean" in which time I met some amazing women through the What to Expect When You're Expecting website. It's an great place where you can ask questions and talk to other women who've been through loss, trying to conceive and everything else to do with becoming a mommy (or a daddy, they have a section for the men too).

Through everything D was there with me, holding my metaphorical hand. We tend to deal with things separately (something I wish we could change) and that might be why I talk about 'me' and 'my baby' also because this is from my perspective and I don't speak for him. We were both really excited though, when we found out we had another bun in the oven.

My husband can be a real sweetheart when he wants to be. This is the bouquet he had delivered to me at work (we hadn't told anybody yet haha OOPS) when we heard the good news the second time around. The card is a "Congratulations on your baby" card and it says "Just a Little Something".

Continue the story: My Journey to Mommyhood: The Test I Had to Pass

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Special

Dear Daddy,

Thank you for everything you do. For making my room so very special just for me. Thank you for the snuggles and kisses and bath time fun. Thank you for taking care of mommy when she's tired, so she can take care of me so well. Thank you for making yummy dinners for us and for working so hard at work so I can have nice things.

I know I'm too small now to run and play and catch a ball, but I'm growing fast and I can't wait to learn and play with you Daddy. One day you can teach me all about the big black car that makes the monster noises, and how to cook, and build things too.

I love you Daddy! Thank you for being YOU!
Happy Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well I feel all special

It seems I have a few regulars who check daily to see if I have posted anything. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So I wanted to say THANKYOU to whoever you are and tell you not to be strangers! I'd love to 'meet' you and know what brings you back each day!

I don't have any fantastic deals for you this week as the flyers seem to be a little on the dull side (at least for the things I need) but I did purchase two Febreeze on the Go's at Walmart which were $1.97 each and I had a coupon for $3 off when you buy two. Yes that's right two for $.94!! I am not a great lover of the product because the strong smells give me migraines but since my darling husband was so kind to fall asleep holding a not so empty beer can, I was in need of something to take the bar odor out of my couch.

Also an update on the telephone company and their antics. After receiving 14 calls in a single week I finally picked up the phone and let them have it! I told them to stop calling me, I wasn't interested and to leave me alone! They called back an hour later to try again. I had a mild flip out possibly burning this mans ears with the fire breathing dragon routine and haven't heard from them since.

Those are my updates for now. Thank you again for following along. Stay tuned for a Father's Day post as well as My Journey to Becoming "Mommy". I leave you now with all the hopes and dreams of Canucks fans as we cheer our boys into victory tomorrow!!! Go Canucks Go! Bring it Home!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where has the trust gone?

Remember when things were simple? When people didn't lock their doors, and kids played outside by themselves as long as they could hear mom calling them for dinner? When you paid the neighbor kid to run to the store for you and people trusted each other

Granted some of that was not in MY lifetime but I do remember stories about such things even as recently as my parents lifetimes. Things are so different now. We don't leave anything unlocked for fear or theft or home invasions. Children aren't allowed out of the front yard without supervision for fear they'll get taken or worse. You drive to the corner store before you give some random kid money to go there for you (see above: not allowed to leave front yard anyways). And nobody trusts anybody anymore because when we do put our faith in the greater good of human kind most of us get bitten and torn to pieces.

It's a sad state of affairs really. I used to be the girl that had blind faith in everyone around me. Nobody wants to hurt me, I'm kind to everybody why would anybody want to do something bad to me? Maybe it's happened enough now that I know better. Or maybe I watch too much tv, or the news. Maybe it's that I have a baby and that mother bear instinct has taken root and taken me to a place of 'protect at all costs' even when no protection is necessary. I'm wary of everything and everybody.

This afternoon my son and I were at the food court of our local mall enjoying a snack before we continued our walk. There was a young man there, and to be honest he caught my eye before I even sat down. He seemed to be quite upset and he was sitting alone with his face in his hands. I almost went over to him. That nurturing mother inside me wanted to give him a giant hug and tell him that everything would be okay. The other voice, the mother bear voice, told me to sit and wait first. So we did and within seconds I saw something play out in front of me that I simply couldn't walk away from without doing 'something'.

There were two little old ladies sitting at the table next to this boy. They were just getting up to leave as I was sitting down. He stopped one of them and asked the time and the other lady noticed, as I had, the red face and wet cheeks of this poor young man and asked him if he was okay. He shook his head no and thanked them for the time, rubbing his eyes to emphasize the crying (or maybe just to get the tears out?). They both sat back down and asked him again what was wrong. I couldn't hear all of the conversation but it became evident that this boy had been through the ringer and was now giving them the never ending saga of his life.

At first I thought, "oh good, somebody is going to help him", but when I heard the words 'hungry' and 'no money', I began to worry there was something else going on. He was laying it on pretty thick and all of a sudden that mother bear inside me turned on him. I suddenly wanted to wrap my arms around these sweet little grandmas and escort them away from the big bad wolf. One of the ladies got up and went off to order him something to eat leaving the other poor defenseless woman to stay there by herself. It was smart of her to purchase the food rather than to give him money, and if it had been me that's what I would have done.

Then I heard the words "get home to mom" and saw him show this lady the vast, gaping, empty hole that was his wallet. I couldn't decide what to do and didn't want to have to leave them alone to go find security. The universe was co-operating though and I saw one of the ladies that cleans the trays in the food court by the garbage cans. I stopped her quickly to ask her what she thought we should do. She informed me that she'd seen him there before and pointed out her supervisor, instructing me to talk to him about it. I did just that and he went to go check it out.

I left at that point so I have no idea how it all turned out. I told the supervisor that I was concerned that this boy may in fact actually NEED help but that I was also worried about these ladies. I had images in my head of him asking for a ride somewhere and stealing their purses and car once he got them out of the public eye (and god knows what else). 

It saddens me that I was so quick to jump to the conclusion that he was some kind of monster. He is somebody's son after all. I hope he wasn't and that he does find the help he needs. I'm not sorry for what I did though. I trusted my gut instincts and while I'll never know if they were right or wrong, I may have just saved a couple of old ladies today, and maybe I saved a young man from doing something awful or by bringing more attention to his cause.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canadian Couponing - Part 2 Organization!

Couponing requires a great deal of organizational skills! They aren't kidding when they tell you to get a binder and get sorted out. I have so man coupons right now, they are just in piles and to tell you the truth, I started avoiding them!!

Actually I am trying to start a coupon train in order to share the wealth - now I have so many coupons I can't possibly use them all and I most definitely need to pass them on because something in my head has clicked and says "NO you can't throw that out, it's MONEY". Here's the big thing about saving money that a lot of people don't GET: You are not 'saving' money by purchasing something on sale if you aren't going to use it.  That my friends is pretty much as good as burning your money or tossing it in the garbage.  So with all these coupons I now have, I really won't be able to use most of them but that doesn't mean that somebody else couldn't use them and in turn send some that I could use back to me! That's how the train works so I'm excited to get started - if only we could find more people who are interested - two people doesn't make much of a train.

Back to organization. I need to get organized. I don't like the idea of having a big huge binder so I'm thinking small scale. Perhaps a business card holder from the dollar store? Or maybe one of those cute little photo albums where you slide the pictures in. I think something small like that would work just as well and not take up quite so much space. (I do still have to haul around a diaper bag and purse after all) I'm also going to pick up some paper clips and one of those erasable note boards from the dollar store. I have a pushpin board and some sticky tabs already so I'll put those to good use. I want to use the erasable board so I can keep track of great prices on specific items so I know a great deal when I see it.

I also think that making some lists may come in handy. A list of which items my household uses all the time that don't expire so I have something I can look out for. If I get really smart I may actually start to schedule purchases like these so that I'm only needing to restock one thing at a time.

I also want to draw your attention to a couple amazing deals I've come across!

This week Walmart has Gillette shave gel on sale (20% bonus cans) for $2.46 each. I had a coupon from the most recent P&G Brandsaver where if you buy 3 Gillette products you get $5 off making it $2.38 for three or 80c each.  I went to pick them up and had to double check the flyer because on the shelf they were marked regular price. I grabbed three and went to check out. They rang up at $1.88 each!! We paid 64 cents for ALL THREE! That's 21 cents a piece!

Also, Zellers has Charmin toilet paper on sale this week. It's a pretty good price for Charmin which is usually a little on the pricey side. I believe it was $8.99 and I used a coupon to increase my savings but the kicker is that the package comes with $20 in coupons!! This is also a big thing to watch for when choosing the items you are purchasing. Watch for on product coupons! Like I told you before once you open your eyes they are everywhere!

That's it for this week - hopefully I'll have some awesome deals to tell you about next week too. If you happen to be interested in being part of the coupon train let me know! Happy Shopping!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Update: Identity Theft? I'm always so careful.

I received a phone call from a wonderful man at Telus today. He was extremely pleasant to deal with and sounded genuinely concerned about my issue.

Basically, all is well in the world. My identity is safe and the man I had dealings with before was in fact calling on behalf of Telus. I got the impression that he is contracted out (and probably has a quota to fill) so not a direct employee but legitimate all the same. I was able to voice my frustrations with being 'pushed' into something that wasn't what I had wanted and he did confirm that what I was told I was signing up for was not in fact what I was getting so I was right to look into it further. Had I not done so I would've ended up with several hundreds of dollars in charges that were not covered in the plan I was put on.

I want to say thank you very much - you made my day Mr G. from Telus.

So now what should I have done to begin with? I should've just hung up on the guy!! Seriously nobody was forcing me to stay on the phone - I know it's rude but in these cases its really just better all around to hang up! It doesn't matter that this particular situation wasn't a scam.  It was still a huge headache that could've been avoided had I had the balls to just hang up the phone when the guy started being persistent.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Identity Theft? I'm always so careful...

Below is a copy of what I have forwarded to Telus in hopes of resolving this issue and alleviating my fears that I have just been a victim of identity theft.
I'm currently on a prepaid plan. I was contacted by a gentleman at 1-866-360-1448 telling me he could put me on a monthly plan that would be a better deal than what I'm currently paying. I receive mail from Telus requesting this all the time so I listened to what he had to say. He wouldn't take no for an answer and pushed to verify my information. He essentially HAD all my info to which I answered yes to verify everything. Then he requested my pin in order to prove it was me. Then he requested my DL# and SIN # I gave the DL without thinking first (I have an infant that was babbling in my other ear at the time) and then refused to give my SIN to which he suddenly changed his tune and didn't need it. I felt weird after getting off the phone and went to my Telus dealer to verify that everything he'd said was true. It wasn't. He had somehow changed my plan but it didn't have the special deals he'd told me I would have. I requested that they change me back to Prepaid immediately and they have done that. I am to wait 3 business days to receive my previous balance back on my account. (nearly $100 because I had just purchase a new card)

I appreciate the help and service I received at my local store in Prince George BC (ABC Communications) they were very helpful and the lady even gave my son a toy to play with while I dealt with everything.

I'm VERY concerned about the information this man has about me though. I was told it wasn't Telus that was making these calls. If that is the case then how on EARTH does this man have my account information? He obviously has access to your systems somehow.  I am seriously concerned about my identity at this point and am considering closing out my account and both cell phones on it in order to prevent this happening in the future. I'd like to know if there is anything that you can do to alleviate my fears. Who was this man that called me? Does he even WORK for your company? If not then how is it that he has access to your customer information?

Thank you so much for looking into this for me. I greatly appreciate the service I have had from Telus in the past and today.
PLEASE be careful everybody - LISTEN to your gut! Even if you are distracted, it's not worth the headache when you don't.
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