Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Things are moving

I had a wonderful appointment today. Apparently those contractions I've been feeling for a week are actually accomplishing something - I'm 1 cm and 40% effaced, and the Dr was touching the baby's head - all very good signs!

So now I'm getting anxious to meet this little one. I know, it could still be two or more weeks, but I really feel baby will be here before my EDD (July 18th).

So, help me guess. I set up a poll, just click here

and guess gender, date and size of baby.

This pregnancy has been SO different from Hana's, but she was also breech the whole time, so it's hard to say if that's what is making the difference or not. I'm still carrying on the high side (even tho baby is engaged), but that's mostly because I'm short. Baby's heart rate is always over 140, usually around 145 (resting). Hana was 6lbs14oz and was born at 39wks, but she was scheduled. I was just as sick each time, but in less pain this time around. Don't know if any of that info helps with the guessing, but there it is.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


God designed my body for birth, all I need to do is trust and it will happen.

My baby knows when to come into the world.

Pressure I feel at my incision is not a reason to worry, just a reminder that I am a mother.

I can birth my baby.

I can breastfeed my baby.

I am strong and powerful, I can do this.

Right now my body is getting ready for birth, I will trust and listen to it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


As I get close and closer to the birth of my second child, I'm feeling compelled to reflect on Hana's birth.

It's something I haven't talked about with many people, mostly because many people don't understand. And those who do understand wish that they didn't.

Hana's birth, according to most, was perfect. She was breech through the whole pregnancy and so a cesarean section was scheduled for 39 weeks. I was prepared for the surgery - the IV, the spinal, the incision and what recovery would be like. Aside from being delayed over an hour, everything went according to plan. There was a bit of tearing to my abdominal muscles, and the anesthetic numbed me to my collarbones, but otherwise it was textbook. Recovery was fairly easy - I had no morphine as was able to control the pain with extra strength Tylenol. It was a successful surgery.

And that is exactly what it felt like - a surgery. I had gone in for surgery and came home recovering from surgery, and the by-product of that was this tiny little human that they had taken from my womb. In some ways it felt like I was bringing home my appendix in a glass jar.

Yes, I know, be thankful for medical technology, at least we were both healthy, that's all that mattered, right?

Except it wasn't all that mattered. I suddenly had this child that I was not emotionally, physically or hormonally prepared for. Don't get me wrong, I loved her from the first moment I saw her. I adored her and thought she was beautiful. But I wasn't connected to her.

For the first few days I tried to hide it, ignore it, anxiously awaiting that moment when I'd feel she was mine. As we struggled with nursing it got worse, to the point where she would start crying and I would just hand her to Ben. My inability to feed her just confirmed the feelings that she wasn't my baby.

For weeks I would casually remark to Ben that it felt like at any moment someone would come to the door to pick her up. Like she was just on loan to me and her real mother was somewhere else. Again, I loved her, cared for her, thought she was beautiful and wonderful, but wasn't attached to her.

I missed the first 12 weeks or so of Hana's life. I was present for it, but I don't really feel I was part of it. It wasn't post-pardum depression - it only involved her, and I wasn't really unhappy. we just had attachment issues.

I had used a sling every now and then from the time we got home from the hospital, but as I realized the feelings weren't going away, I started using it more. We also started bringing Hana in bed with us, and I would nap with her during the day. Most days, she spent at least 20 hours either in the wrap or sleeping beside me. I could smell her. She could feel my breath and hear my heart. I got to know every movement, every face, every noise she made.

That's when it happened. That's when it clicked for us. I was her mama, and she was my baby, and everything was finally right in the world. We spent months attached like that - even when she was 6 months old she was still in a carrier for 4-8 hours a day. She took at least one nap either beside me in bed or in the sling until she was 9 months old. Even now, at almost 20 months and 36 wks pregnant I will still lay down with her, hold her, or put her in a carrier when we're feeling disconnected. We have such a strong bond, such a wonderful connection. She's so secure, so independent, but when she needs it she knows she can always go to her mama for a snuggle.

This is probably the biggest reason I am doing things differently this time around. I don't want to miss that precious newborn time. I don't want to feel like a failure from my first moments as a mother with this child. I want to know, to prove, that my body, my heart and my spirit know how to bring a child into this world and connect with it. I want to know for sure that it wasn't because of me - some lack of compassion or whatever on my part - that we had such problems in the beginning, but that we were victims of misinformation and circumstances.

Monday, June 16, 2008

To my Unborn Child

First of all, know that you are loved. You were loved since the moment of your conception, and before that, we loved the idea of you. We planned for you, hoped for you, prayed for you, and were thrilled to hear of your pending arrival. All day long I feel you moving, I usually have a hand over you, anxiously awaiting when I can hold you with my arms instead of my womb. Your father falls asleep nightly with his arms around us both, keeping us safe and secure. Your sister cuddles and kisses you every chance she gets. If nothing else in life, know that you are loved and wanted.

I know that through this pregnancy I have complained about the aches and pains, the pokes and prods, and the fact that you stand on my bladder (Which I had suspected and had proven on ultrasound). Never have any of those complaints been a sign of regret or unhappiness on my part. You'll learn through your life that sometimes I whine, but only in an attempt to share my experiences with those that I love. Feeling you move inside me brings me so much joy and excitement. I love watching my belly dance, love seeing how full of life you are. I can't wait to meet you.

I'm so anxious for that moment when I'll wrap you in my arms, close to my heart where you belong. You'll hear my heartbeat just as you have for your whole existence, and I will feel your movements just as I have these past few months. We'll look one another in the eye for the first time, but it won't be a meeting of strangers. We have always known each other.

I see your sister as the ocean - a powerful, determined force full of beauty and assurance. You I picture as a tree - strong, comforting, firm and beautiful. These are things I pray for you. I pray for you to be strong, to have a strength that comes from within, from your knowledge of who you are, of right and wrong and how the world works. I pray for you to be a comfort to those around you, to share their load without being overcome with it. I pray you will be firm in what you believe and in what you know, that the paths you take will inspire a passion in you that you could never dream of forsaking. I pray you will be beautiful in who you are, in how you treat others and in how you live your life. That you will see the beauty in all that is around you, never taking it for granted.

My precious child, through your life things will not always be perfect, they may not even always be good. There will be times when you'll be broken, or feel alone or afraid. There are times that I will be the cause of that, and I want to apologize in advance. No matter what happens, we'll find a way through it. We are never alone in this life, and there are times when it is not our responsibility to act, but to believe.

I so deeply want to instill in you a sense of spirituality, a desire to connect with the Divine, to seek Him out with all of your heart and soul and find your ultimate rest with Him. When I can not carry you, He will. When I can not comfort you, when I can not share your joys and sorrows He will be ever with you.

With all my love

Sunday, June 08, 2008

34 weeks

I can't belive how quickly this pregnancy has flown by! Winter and Spring are a blurr and now summer is coming and baby is getting ready to join us.

In some ways I feel very unprepared. We have a car seat and I've picked out my diapers and plan to order them in the next week or so. And I sorted through Hana's newborn clothes and set aside all of hte gender neutral stuff. That's it. Baby will be sleeping with us for a few months until we get Hana a bed, so no setting up a crib this time. I'm determined t make breastfeeding work this time, so no bottles to buy and wash. I already have blankets and a bouncy seat and toys. Aside from picking out a new carrier there's really nothing else to do. It's so different from when we were preparing for Hana - I hope this baby doesn't feel left out!

Things are going great - baby is head down and very low - not engaged yet, but I do feel like I'm about to lay an egg most of the time. There have been no complications at all and there is no reason I shouldn't be able to have my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian).

A couple of weeks ago Ben and I decided to hire a doula. She's wonderful - very encouraging, supportive, open. Knowing I have her support eases my mind and take away a lot of the fears I have - she knows the hospital, knows the staff, the procedures, knows what my options are and the risks associated. It's her job to inform me, support me and encourage me so that I can have a wonderful, natural birth.

I'll get Ben to take some pictures of the belly sometime soon. Anyone have any guesses as to the size and gender of this baby? I'm carrying lower than with Hana, but she was breech and had her head in my stomach the whole time, so it's hard to compare the two pregnancies. I really have no idea if it's a girl or a boy, but we have names ready either way. I do have a feeling baby will be here before 40 wks, but that could just be wishful thinking.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

19 months

Hana has a new obsession - Fraggle Rock

May was a tough month - we all were sick, Hana got her last four teeth and there wasn't much sleep had, especially when she was refusing her nap. So I resorted to Fraggle Rock to give us some down time and Hana adores it. Anytime she sees me at the computer she asks for "Fraggle". My parents brought down a couple boxes of my old books and there was a Fraggle book in the bunch. She's slept with it at least 3 times now, and first thing in the morning she asks for "Book Hana Bogo" (Hana's book with Gobo). It's adorable.

Now that the teeth are in the sleep situation has become much more bearable. Looks like we may be getting her to sleep through the night right before the new babe is born. At bedtime she climbs the stairs, climbs into bed, kisses Ben goodnight and says "nap". Did I mention she's precious?

She's asserting her independence a lot now. The other day at lunch time she was all excited to get into her seat, but didn't want me to lift her up. This could have caused a huge issue, but thankfully her seat is attached to one of our chairs, so I just took it off so she could get in herself. I love watching her learn what she can do on her own, realizing she doesn't ask for help nearly as much as she used to. She's growing so fast.

She's so happy, she gets so much enjoyment out of life. Everything excites her. Right now she's lining up her crayons in front of me and thinks it's the best thing in the world when I tell her what colour they are. I wish everyone could enjoy life as much as she does.