Little Bee

Updates… and VLOGS! What Fun!

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Things have been pretty quiet here on the ol’ bloggeroo lately.

It’s summer, Bee is home Mondays and Fridays, and I’ve been spending as much time soaking up these Littles as I can before I head back to work {*SOB*} in the fall.

So for that, my writing has taken a bit of a hit.  And that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything noteworthy happening around here!  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but for now, here are the bullet points:

– Bubs is nearly 10-months old and crawling around like a wee speed demon.  Well actually, he’s more butt-scooting than crawling.  He pushes himself on his bum while pulling himself forward with his legs and supporting his chubby upper-bod with one arm.  One arm, so he can hold something in his other hand.  Natch.

– He’s also still not sleeping through the night.  Which means no one is sleeping through the night.  Except for Bee, actually.  She sleeps like a dream, thank God.  But at nearly a year old, I’m still getting up with him around three times a night.  Ugh.  We’ve tried “sleep training” him, but you know what?  I really hate the sound of my baby screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.  It feels wrong to me, so we threw the whole Cry It Out business, OUT the window.  Call me crazy, but I’ll probably keep going to him until he just one day, MIRACULOUSLY, starts sleeping through the night.  And perhaps it’s just my sleep-deprived, exhausted brain talking here, but for now, I’m sticking to that statement.

– Despite the sleepless nights, he is one of the chattiest, happiest little babies I’ve ever met.  He has dimples for days and shows them off to anyone who looks his way.  His blonde hair is fluffy and growing into one badass mullet, it’s pretty spectacular.  Those two, nasty bottom teeth have finally poked through, and now we just await… the rest.  Sigh.  Teething SUCKS.  But thank goodness for hacks like THIS 😉

– Bee has entered the dawn of the Threenager, and a few months early at that.  Hooray.  “What is a Threenager,” you ask?  What, you don’t know?  You poor fool!  A Threenager is a JOY to have around!  Um, not.  A Threenager is a toddler who is prone to being moody, judgemental, and stubborn as hell.  The power struggle is real, and it’s CRAZY.  I am definitely revisiting my mantra a LOT these days, and constantly having to remind myself that, “she’s two.  She’s two.  She is only TWO.  And you are the Mama.  You Are The Mama.  What YOU say, goes.  Jeebuz…..”

– Yes, Bee can be a challenge.  A perplexing puzzle of a little human.  But she really is, at the end of the day, the greatest achievement in my life.  She is remarkable – brilliant, funny, polite and kind, and I know I totally sound like one of “those” parents, but if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll see I’m not full of sh*t.  She is the light in our lives, and manages to charm everyone who crosses her blazing path.  I’m loving every second watching her become the person she’s meant to be, and consider it a privilege to be her Mama.  *SOB*

– I’ve launched my newest podcast series through my iTunes channel!  Well, I’ve published the intro to the series.  You can check out what’s to come HERE.  Make sure you subscribe so you get the updates as they happen 🙂

Although the writing has been thin, I’ve been spending more time vlogging for my YouTube channel.  Head on over to check out the latest, but for your immediate viewing pleasure, please have a laugh at two of my recent contributions to the internets!

So there you have it!  This is what we’ve been up to lately around these parts.  I’m going to be a bit more diligent with the writing – I can feel I’m a bit rusty and would like to get my “voice” back. Until then, I’m gonna keep up with the vlogging and podcasting so you can join me in any way that suits you best.

Don’t be a stranger!

What I Know & What I Don’t Know Since Becoming a Parent

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Happy Monday, everyone!  And welcome to my first instalment of:

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I’m calling it my first instalment because I imagine this is the sort of list that I’ll be building on constantly.  Kids are kind of amazing creatures; I’m finding myself learning something new and being baffled by them every day.

This particular list started last week when I watched Bee for the very first time climb the ladder to the big slide and actually go down, all by herself.  The big, yellow, twisty slide usually reserved for bigger kids; kids with a little more courage than she has shown in the past.  Bee’s always been very thoughtful in the playground – not exactly a risk-taker – and preferred to be pushed contentedly on the swing while seemingly contemplating the bigger picture of the universe, as evidenced by this recent photo:

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But, back to the slide.  As I watched this mini-human, all wild hair and bare feet (she also suddenly decided that shoes are for chumps?) climb the ladder and spin down with a look on her face I can only describe as hysterical joy, I wondered to myself, “where does this courage come from?!  What is it that makes a kid say to herself one day, ‘yes.  Today is the day I’m going to do this slide!’??”

I just didn’t know the answer.  Not that there is an answer to it, but all these other things started rattling though my head, things I didn’t know about children and life – and also all the stuff I realized I now do know.  Stuff that I never in my entire existence would have come to know or not know, had I not been blessed to become a Mama.

Sure there’s probably scientific or anthropological explanations for most of this stuff. But let’s just say there isn’t and go with it, k?

WHAT I KNOW

I know that not two children are alike when introducing solid food: one will choke with every mouthful you feed her, and the next will scarf with such abandon that you’ll wonder if they even have a gag reflex at all.

I know banana is incredibly difficult to get out of hair/eyebrows:

IMG_5541Yew, boy.  Poor kid.

I know Velcro is awesome.

I know that learning to share is HARD and often incredibly emotional.

I know playground politics is a real thing.

I know following through with promises and threats is crucial if you want solid parenting cred with your Littles.

I know putting a towel over your head and pretending it’s long, flowing princess hair is instinctual.

I know I can hold my pee until I forget I have to go.

I know that baby farts will always be funny, especially in completely inappropriate situations like church, or while talking to baby-less single, ultra cool people you used to be friends with until you decided to become one of “those” people who got married and had kids.  Baby farts are especially awesome in that situation.

I know that when my toddler cries, “mommy, I NEED A LOLLIPOP RIGHT NOW!!” she truly believes she needs a lollipop in that moment or else she will probably crumple and die.

I know my floors will be perpetually sticky until the kids move out of the house.

I know that a baby will be just as happy playing with a spoon and an old face cloth as it would be with a $50 toy.

I know that somehow there will always be a dirty diaper somewhere in the house at any given moment, regardless of how diligent I am with throwing them in the bin.

I know that baby socks are bullshit.  Like, seriously.  Teeny tiny pieces of fabric to cover a baby’s feet that will only end up in a gutter somewhere on the other side of the city or lost at the bottom of a purse?  Ridiculous.  I say, footed sleepers for Fall & Winter, then bare feet in Spring & Summer, or until they are able to walk and then need socks and shoes.

I know I will always, without a doubt, have some sort of food/bodily fluid substance on my shirt until the kids move out of the house.

I know that babies and kids will live and thrive just fine on non-organic food & dairy products.

I know that this parenting gig is the hardest f*cking job in the world, but I am all the better a person for it.

 WHAT I DON’T KNOW

I don’t know what makes a child love salmon one day but then gag dramatically just thinking about it the next.

I don’t know why it’s so true that you can buy a kid every damned toy in the world but all they’ll want to play with are the boxes they come in.

I don’t know why I bother to HAND WASH this $18 Old Navy dress, but I do:

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I don’t know how a child can survive for days on nothing but Cheerios and raisins.

I don’t know how I am surviving on no sleep.  Seriously.  How is this happening.

I don’t know how I would get through the week without parenting drop-in centres, public parks and the library.

I don’t know if there actually is such a thing as “too much coffee.”  Sheesh.

I don’t know where the irrational fear of pooping on the toilet comes from.

After everything I’ve gone through with two kids, I honestly do not know how people have more than two.

I don’t know where this love for my children comes from, if you can even call it love.  What’s bigger and deeper than love?  Because that’s what I feel for them.

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I’m sure I’ll be updating this list in the coming weeks.

Until then, I’d love to hear from you!

What are some things you now know or realize you don’t know, since becoming a parent?

An Open Letter to Myself, 6 Months Postpartum: 10 Things To Do Every Day

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Dearest Beth,

Hey, there.  How’s things?  I like your haircut, it’s a nice change for spring.  Could be a bit shorter, but, you know.  And can I say, I’m super glad you’ve gone back to blonde.  It takes away from the deathly dark circles around your eyes.

What, I can’t say that?  But…I’m you.  Sooo…..

Anyway.

Can you believe Bubs is 6 months old already??  Where did that time go?   Like sands through the hourglass, amiright?!

It’s crazy to think about, but half a year ago you went into labour and shot out a baby in three hours flat.

Well.  Done.  Ouch!  But, well done.

Six months.  Gone, like a puff of smoke.  You breathed in, then out, and now, here we are.

Let’s just talk a bit about Bubs for a second, before getting into the real reason I’m writing you this letter (dum, dum duuuuummm….).

Li’l Bubs.  Li’l dimply, chubby Bubs.  His joyfulness is contagious.  He enchants anyone who glances his way.  He squeaks and smiles his squinty smile at strangers, but don’t be fooled:  the boy knows how to crrrrrrrry.  Especially when you’re out of the room for longer than he can blink.  Or sneeze.  Or fart (he does a lot of that).  He sits up without support, is thisclose to rolling over, and will only go to sleep on his belly, which scared the CRAP out of you those first few nights you left him that way (now, that’s to say he sleeps on his belly when he sleeps.  Which, let’s be honest, isn’t a lot.  And is  a whole other monologue onto itself.  Sigh.)  His favourite toy is any spoon he can reach, and his favourite activity is observing intently as he carefully drops it to the floor.  He loves watching his sister RUN, and squeals with delight when she dances.  His little mullet is growing by the day, such a random and hilarious thing… you better not cut it.  EVER.  He is a joy and a delight, and he completes your family in the most perfect way.

You have two beautiful, healthy children and a hottie of a husband who, for some reason, loves the living shit out of you.  You have a new house and a bunch of fun projects in the works, spring is finally springing – everything is coming up ROSES for you.

You are an incredibly fortunate woman.

Which now brings me to that real reason I’m writing you this letter:

It’s time to get.  Your shit.  Together.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh.  But let me explain.

Yes, you are currently a SAHM with two little kids.  And yes, your main priority day-to-day is keeping your littles alive and helping your family thrive.  But GIRL, all that “looking after other people” nonsense doesn’t mean you get to completely ignore the fact that YOU ARE A PERSON, TOO and let yourself fall apart and turn into that bowl full of mush that, let’s be honest, every kid in the world says “yuck” to in Goodnight Moon.

So, I’ve compiled a list:  Ten Things you must do every day to achieve “Regular Person Like Everybody Else” status, which will in turn help you get back to being YOU.

These are not huge tasks; I’m not asking you to paint the Sistine Chapel.  But after so long of not doing them (read: the last 6 months), these basic things may seem tedious and time consuming and every day you will no doubt think, “meh, this one’s no biggie.  I can skip it today.”

But listen, I am 100% sure that after a few weeks it’ll all come back to you, and not only will you begin to feel like a Regular Person Like Everybody Else again, but – most importantly – you will feel like YOU.  The YOU before babies and diapers and worrying about healthy meals and snacks and mountains of laundry that pile on top of themselves.  Before scraped knees and teething and sleep training and daily battles between your toddler and the hairbrush.  Before sharing became an issue, and tiny talons and scratched up faces, and food sensitivities and transitioning from your bed to their crib to their bed.  Before sweatpants became the uniform and braless-ness an acceptable state in which to be…. before all that – and oh, so much more – you were YOU.

But guess what?  You still are.  And these Ten Things are gonna get you back there.

Trust me.  I’m you.  Soooo, I know.

And now, I present to you:

Ten Things You Have To Do Every Day, Without Fail:

    • Brush your teeth, TWO times.  Bee is starting to brush hers regularly, so set a good example.  Not a smelly, gross coffee-breathed one.  Maybe you don’t have an obvious chunk of spinach between your front teeth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something more sinister lurking between your molars.
    • Put on deodorant (down, boys).  This literally takes 2 seconds.  Just because you may spend a few days not coming into close contact with anyone other than Bubs – and when you do you’re wearing a huge winter coat and layer upon layer of “clothes” (see above re: sweat pants & braless-ness) – doesn’t mean it’s okay to skip this crucial hygienic step.
    • Shower.  Okay, you can make this one every other day.  And hair washing only needs to be done twice a week, so you can use your judgement whilst showering to decide if that day is the day… and by “use your judgement” I mean determining if there’s enough time before Bubs wakes up screaming bloody murder for your boob.
    • Wash your face.  Remember a while back when you talked to the ladies at the Freeze Clinic about how you wanted to start washing your face again, every day?  Remember that??  And remember how you did it for a while and it felt sooooooo good but then you let the ball drop and stopped because you got pregnant and lazy?!  Yeah.  Let’s pick that back up again, shall we?  Those pores aren’t closing themselves.
    • Reach out to a friend.  Your friends are awesome.  You are incredibly lucky to have such amazing people who actually want to hear from you and be around you, and who offer support and words of wisdom in times of need.  So you need to be better at maintaining those relationships.  It doesn’t have to be an hour-long phone call or a hand-written letter (though, those are really nice) – just a little text or email can do great things.  Plus, it’ll be nice to engage with someone other than a 6-month old.  And to have someone answer you back!  With actual WORDS!!  Can you IMAGINE?!
    • Write.  Even if it’s on the notepad on the fridge, it’s time to get those squeaky wheels turning.  You love to write.  It challenges you and makes you happy.  So do it.
    • Take 5 deep breaths.  Preferably first thing in the morning, before the chaos of the day begins.  Centre yourself so you don’t fall off the edge when Bee is screaming in your face that she doesn’t want to wear a shirt to school.
    • Attempt a 30 minute workout.  The walk to and from daycare doesn’t count.  Get your heart rate up.  If you can’t squeeze in one of your 21 Day Fix videos (which, dude, you can) then throw Bubs in the stroller and tackle some of the hills in your new ‘hood while running errands.
    • Look your husband in the eyes and tell him you love him.  Because you absolutely do, and he deserves to hear it.
    • Be kind to yourself.  Probably the most important step.  You are doing the best you can, Mama.  Sure, most days aren’t perfect, and you can feel like you’re failing an awful lot of the time.  But listen to me:  you’re not failing.  And despite the daily challenges of raising a head-strong toddler with the imagination of Peter Jackson, a sleep-deprived baby who clings to you day and night, and keeping your insanely gorgeous husband in love with you, despite ALL THAT: you’re doing alright.

Trust me.  I know.  I’m you.

Okay, good talk.  Let’s do it more often.  Until next time, take care.

Sincerely,
Beth

August & Everything After

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Oh, hey there.

It’s really good to see you.

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve last hung out.  But, you know, it happens.

Everyone gets busy, and most of us have to unplug occasionally.  To check out from time-to-time and reset…

…and for the scary New Post button on your blog to become less cumbersome that it has been over the last 5 months.

FIVE MONTHS.

Over the last 5 months, my Life has filled-up with everything.  Overloaded with an abundance of good news (my sister, her husband and baby boy are moving home from the UK in July), exciting things (we bought a house…. AAAAAA!), nerve-wracking moments (…um, buying a HOUSE) and devastating heartache (saying goodbye to our beloved family dog of 14 years).

Of course, the first, and probably the most important thing, was the much anticipated arrival of our son, Li’l Bubs (formerly known as Pelé).  He roared into our lives in the early morning of September 17th, and has completed our family in the most amazing way.

I knew I had a small handful of people eagerly awaiting his birth, almost as much as me.  But as soon as we got home from the hospital something kind of shifted, I guess.  I decided that this time, these immediate moments that were directly in front of me, one after the other, happening at lightening speed yet slow as molasses, needed to be savoured.  I wanted to protect them and coddle them and hold them lovingly in my arms – from Bee meeting Bubs for the first time, to the first diaper change, the first (of many) sleepless nights, adjusting to a new body taking up space in our bed and home… all of these things, I decided needed to be just for me.  Just for us.  Our family.

I didn’t unplug completely, mind you.  I popped up on Instagram and the Facebook now and again.

But I did make a conscious decision to step away from the blog for a while.

And now?  Here I am.

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Full disclosure:  I’ve been working on this post for a few days now, writing and re-writing everything.  Thinking, “maybe it’s too flowery.”  “Should I elaborate on this?”  “Perhaps a bit about the birth?”  “Is anyone going to care about that??”  “WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!”   So I apologize if it feels a bit all over the map.

I had such a nice little rhythm going with this blog all those months ago.  I was having so much fun with it.  But then, over the last 5 months, the notion of “getting back to it” weighed on my mind – I found it starting to feel like a chore I had to get done.  Just the thought of having to sit down and plunk out my thoughts, when it was just so much easier to nurse Bubs on the couch while watching Vanderpump Rules The Bachelor Canada The Great Interior Design Challenge reading.  I had a million-and-one excuses to leave it be.

Now, though.  I don’t know exactly why I chose today of all the days, to clean it up and hit publish.  To dust it off and send it back out into the world.

There’s nothing particularly special or different about today.  The kitchen is a pig-hole mess from hell, there’s a mountain of laundry to do, there are boxes everywhere because, even though we bought the house, we have yet to move.

Maybe it’s because of Bubs.  Day in and day out, he is proving to be the sweetest, most jovial, dimply baby, excited to be a part of it all.  He has a shock of fuzzy blonde fluff on his cradle-capped head (which was a shock because Bee was born with a mass of BLACKBLACKBLACK hair), chubby thighs and the happiest demeanour I could ask for.  Maybe today because he’s growing faster than I can handle. Maybe today because I’m finally ready to shout out to the world that he’s here, he’s wonderful, look at him go.  To start recording all the awesomeness, as I tried to do with Bee.

Or maybe… no.  Okay.  Not maybe.

I think, actually, it is because of Bee.

Excuse me while I sob for a minute.

Bee.  My Bee.

Our wonderful, intelligent, caring, sensitive, outgoing, introverted, thoughtful, excitable, wondrous, curious, imaginative, inquisitive bundle of everything that is good and Holy in this crazy, scary, amazing world.  She is 2 years and 3 months old, but when I look at her, I see the big girl/young woman/lady she is to become.

And she is perfect.

In every which way.

She loves her brother with such… fury.  If that makes sense.  She squeals with glee when he wakes up in the morning, “HI, my little monkey!”  She bounces and crouches and reaches for him whenever he’s around.  She consoles him when he cries, “It’s okay, my little monkey!  It’s okay!  I’m here!  Your big sister!  You so BWAVE!”  And I can see in her big, twinkling eyes when she smiles at him that she is secretly counting the days until he is big enough to play with her.   He’s already smiling at her silly faces, as is everyone else.

Because, she is silly.  And sneaky.  And temperamental.  And loving.  And so smart.  And oh, so, so beautiful.

And my heart fills up with so much pridelovehappinessworrydoubtexcitement when I look at her or even think about her that I feel like it’s going to explode all over the walls.

Which, would be bad.  Because, this place is a rental.  So….

ANYWAY.

I could wax on for a thousand more words about how amazing my kids are.  About how they have changed me for the better.  But I don’t want to be THAT parent.

But I do want to start writing again.  I do want to start blogging again, to get back to sharing my stories, and maybe even shooting off a vlog or two.  The wheels are turning, the routine is slowly falling into place, despite being perilously close to falling off the tracks in the shadow of this big, crazy move (which happens in a WEEK, by the way).

So I’ve dusted it off, shined it up, given it a new look to boot.  I’ve re-plugged, if that’s even a word.  I’m glad to be back, and I hope you all come along for all the new adventures to come.

And for now, I get back to packing.  Bubs is sleeping, the radio is crooning, and I’m feeling good about just jumping, all over again.

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For Five Glorious Minutes.

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For five glorious minutes this morning, my daughter let me hold her.

My daughter Bee, the busiest toddler I know, usually a blur of activity, always on the move, decided for five glorious minutes that she wanted to be held by her Mommy.

She crawled into my lap, snuggled up against my bump, and rested her soft head against my chest.

She let me wrap my arms around her and rock her slowly as Bob Dylan warbled in the background.

She let me inhale the gentle scent of her hair.  She let me hold her little hands.  Stroke her soft cheek.

And for five glorious minutes, it was just the two of us in the whole wide world.

I soaked them in, those five glorious minutes.  Moments like these are already few and far between, with her being oh, so busy.  But soon, when the baby comes, they will be even rarer still.

And so, for five glorious minutes, I melted into the couch with my daughter.  I felt her weight sinking into me as we disappeared into the sheer bliss of it all, lost in each other.

For Five Glorious Minutes, I’ve never felt more love.

 

 

Can He Get Much Bigger?: 32 Weeks Pregnant

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How far along?  32 weeks!  8 weeks to go… unless he decides to come early like his sister did.

It’s weird though, with Bee I just knew in my bones that she was going to come early – I prepared for it and made sure everything was in order a few weeks leading up to my due date.  Sure enough, she arrived 8 days early.

This time?  I have no feeling.  I have no clue when this guy is planning on showing up!  Which… worries me a little – it makes me think he’s going to be late.  Which means that means he’s going to continue to grow inside of me.  Get even BIGGER.

Oh, man.  Early – but not too early – labour thoughts everyone, please.

Baby’s size:  According to BabyCenter.com, this growth spurt that happening is only going to continue:

“By now, your baby weighs 3 3/4 pounds (about the size of a large jicama [what the deuce is a jicama?]) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks.”

Gulp.

Total weight gain:  I have officially surpassed the total weight I gained throughout my entire pregnancy with Bee.  I have gained 24.5 pounds and, if BabyCenter is to be trusted, will gain approximately another 8 before Pelé arrives.

MAN, I plan on making those a fun 8 pounds.

Maternity clothes?  Yes.  The most worn items have switched from leggings to skirts & dresses, since they’re much roomier and mumu-esque.  The one problem with those however, is the “thigh rub” situation.  Meaning, my thighs rub together when I wear them. (down, boys).  Which, as all you who have this issue know, isn’t that comfortable.  BUT, I’d rather have chafed inner thighs than battle with PANTS, thankyouverymuch.  

Best moment this week:  There have been so many moments, really.  I know I spend a lot of time complaining about how uncomfortable I am and how I’m ready to have the baby… but at the same time, Hubs and I have been soaking up as much Bee time as we possibly can, and it has been brilliant.

Every day she’s changing and growing and learning and making us laugh.  She is turning into one of the funniest kids I’ve ever known.  She even has a joke!  Her very first joke!!

Q:  How does Thomas the Tank Engine sneeze?
A:  aaaaaAAAAH, CHOO-CHOO!

Amazing.  AMAZING.

Sigh.  This kid, I tell ya.  Every night, we marvel at how lucky we are, that she is our daughter.  That we get to keep her.  And hang out with her and be with her and watch her develop….

I don’t want to sound like one of those parents who blab on about how “perfect” their child is… but, yeah.  She’s pretty perfect. In our eyes, anyway 🙂

Miss Anything?   I will quote my answer from last week:

“If you’ve been following along you’ll know what I miss more than anything (if you’re just checking in, I’ll give you a hint: it’s BOOZE).”

Movement:  YES.  As I say in the vlog, I sometimes feel like no other baby in the history of the world has moved around as much as – or more than – this one.  It’s constant.  It’s anytime I do anything.  The only things that seem to chill him out are when I’m on a walk, or rolling around on the exercise ball.  But when I want to sit on the couch and relax?  Or try to meditate?  Or try to sleep (aka flip-flopping around in bed, uncomfortable and trying desperately to ignore my restless legs)?  He’s bodgering around like some sort of small animal burrowing a tunnel system inside of me.

Does anyone else have a baby that just LOVES to move???  I’d love to know what you do to quiet the wee beast within!  Any tips would be appreciated!

Food cravings:  Carbs.  And sushi.  And the usual “everything that’s bad for me”.  Sigh.   I just don’t know where my willpower is this pregnancy!  I honestly have no shame when it comes to what I put in my body.  I’m reeeeally hoping these cravings settle once the baby is born – or at least that I’ll be too busy to notice them!

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Randomly, shrimp.  I went for sushi the other day and seeing the floppy, flabby, sad looking ebi on my plate made my stomach turn a few times.   Yick.

Gender:  Boy.

Symptoms:  Point form seemed to work last time, so let’s do that again:

  • Swollen feet – still swollen, but not yet visually.  They just feel oh, so bloated, especially at the end of the day.
  • Lower back pain – I’ve been taking it super easy the last couple of weeks, which sadly means I’ve been picking up Bee less and less.  That’s the hardest part about having back pain: missing out on the occasional snuggle.  *SOB*
  • Swamp mouth – I’ve heard from a few other mamas that they too are dealing with swampy mouth!  This makes me feel better, that I’m not the only one!  I still have no idea what to do about it, I’ve been drinking lots of lemon water which seems to help a teeny bit.  Other than that though, I’m just staying a few feet away from everyone I talk to.  For their own good (DOWN, boys).  
  • Insomnia (formerly The Witching Hour) – It’s the cruelest symptom of all, because it’s the thing that us pregnant women need the most:  SLEEP.  But they’re all witching hours now, elusive and evading me night, after night.  All through the night.  I’m awake from the moment my head first hits the pillow to when I eventually pass out in a pool of frustrated tears around 3am.  My poor husband.  This is a common thing though, so say the many, many other pregnant women I’ve spoken to over the last few weeks.
    And my sister, who is also very pregnant, described the typical third trimester night the best: when I asked her what she does to help herself sleep, she said, “What do I do?  Well, I toss and I turn and I cry.  I try propping myself up with pillows.  I reverse the pillows, I reverse sides, I cry some more… and eventually after two hours I fall asleep.  And then I wake up again.  And I do it all over again.”
  • Restless Leg Syndrome – itchy, buggy legs, slowly burning from a small flame just beneath the surface of the skin.  AAACK!!
  • NEW THIS WEEK:  Heartburn:  Something that I managed to avoid all together with Bee, but is just starting to rear it’s ugly head.  I’ve never been one to suffer from heartburn, so this is a whole new experience for me!  I’m not even sure what brings it on, that’s how unfamiliar I am with it!  That’ll be my task for the week, to find out what I can do about it.  And of course, any advice from other mamas would be wonderful!

Belly Button in or out?

Looking forward to:  We’re headed north for the long weekend again!  Trying to get as much time in with my in-laws before the baby comes, since we most likely now won’t see them until Christmas.  When we’ll have two kids.  In the car.  Probably screaming.  The whole 5 hour drive, which will more likely be a 7-8 hour drive depending on the weather that time of year and how often we have to stop for diaper changes/feeding/toddler tantrums/crying in truck stop washrooms….

Oh!  And I found my maternity bathing suit!  Huzzah!!  I’m just days away from floating blissfully in the pool, feeling as weightless as a feather!  Now I just have to remember to pack it….

Are you pregnant?  I’d love to know how it’s going with you!

Hospital Bag?! What Hospital Bag? – Bee’s Labour & Delivery Story

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I realize that this story comes close to 2 years late, but I came across something the other day that brought it all back to me.  So, I finally decided to share the series of events that make up the story that is, “My Labour & Delivery of Bee”.

*****

I’m 31 weeks along as of Wednesday, so I thought to ask Babycenter what Pelé is up to these days besides constantly and continuously kicking the crap out of me.  Apparently he is now the weight of a coconut and is “heading into a growth spurt” – which totally answers the question of how I can still possibly be hungry for a chocolate croissant after inhaling a large quiche.

Mmmmmm…. coconut quiche croissant….

As I scrolled to the bottom of the post I came across their suggestion for “This Week’s Activity.”  They say that, although I don’t need to pack it just yet, I might want to start making a list of things I’d like to have in my hospital bag.

And I have to say, reminiscing about how my labour and delivery with Bee went down, this list made me L-O-L.

Here is what the site actually says:

This Week’s Activity:

You don’t need to pack your bag yet, but start making a list of items to bring to the hospital. Besides a change of clothes and a toothbrush, some items to include:

  • A photograph or object to focus on during labor
  • Snacks to keep your energy up and gum or mints for bad breath
  • Cozy socks and slippers
  • Your favorite pillow
  • Some light reading material
  • A nursing nightie and nursing bra
  • A going-home outfit for your baby
  • A camera or camcorder, fresh batteries, and film, if necessary

*****

Okay.  Now, after reading this, I’m fully aware that this specific list is targeted towards women who are planning on staying in the hospital longer than it takes to push the baby out, get stitched up while said baby gets cleaned and checked, then be awkwardly dressed by their partner and placed dizzily into the backseat of the car on a giant maxi pad next to the baby who’s now screaming and strapped into it’s seat to go home where no one will ever sleep again.

Ehem.

This list is for mamas who are going to have a c-section, or have to be induced, or who just choose to stay over a night or two.  For women who want and have that option, and who will have time peruse some “light reading material” at some point over the course of their stay, however long it may be….

*****

I was not like that with Bee.

With Bee I laboured at home for as long as I could before transition happened, which was when my water broke all over the couch and I barfed into one of my favourite red bowls because oh my GOD the pain…..

My midwife “checked” me and was like, “yeah, we gotta go to the hospital.  NOW!”  So into the car I went; my husband drove us through Chinatown where along the way, between dry heaving into the red bowl, I had flashes of having to pull over to the side of the road to deliver the baby.  Hubs, realizing we couldn’t turn left where we thought we could turn left, made an illegal left – nearly running over a man sleeping on a subway grate – and got us there pretty much as safely as possible.

After wrenching into the red bowl and moaning like a large animal in heat as my husband did something at a front desk (I still to this day don’t know what ahas going on), up to the maternity ward I went!

It was Thanksgiving Monday, which apparently meant that no other women were giving birth that day because it was a holiday and why would you ruin a day off of work by having your baby!?  So, I got a “big” room!…

Which really, I couldn’t have cared less about, because now the contractions were coming one on top of the other and I was swaying around the room making guttural, unholy noises from the depths of my soul, unable to communicate with anyone – and at one point I laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of what was happening, although I’m pretty sure no one noticed because I may have just laughed internally and for some reason thought I’d LOL’d.

I remember occasionally seeing my husband through half-closed, rolled back eyes, usually as he was trying to feed me orange Gatorade – which I never enjoyed to begin with and will never ingest in my life again, thankyouverymuch.

At one point, when I thought I had reached the summit of my pain tolerance, I asked my midwife for an epidural.  But since we had talked at length leading up to this about how much I actually DID NOT want an epidural, and that I desperately wanted to do it all naturally, she stalled.  And thankfully, I quickly forgot all about it.

Besides, that summit of pain?  Yeah, turns out I had a looo-OOOng way to go.

I slipped in and out of consciousness from exhaustion, somehow able to, for a time, ignore the wave upon wave of contractions that washed over me….

The next couple of hours were spent on another planet, in another realm, in another universe.  It’s not pain you feel when you’re going through labour.  It’s your body going to another place, another level of existence – where it has one very earth-shattering job to do, so it morphs and contracts and expands and becomes something super human-like.  It ignores every cry for help that comes from within and continues to do what it was created to do: to get that baby out.

Eventually, I asked for the laughing gas.

Ladies, here’s the truth about laughing gas during an otherwise drug-free labour:  IT DOES NOTHING.

Okay, wait.  That’s not entirely true.

It makes you stoned.

Your voice suddenly sounds three octaves lower than it actually is and you’re finally able to be a bit more communicative with everyone in the room, so you’re asking someone every ten seconds if your voice sounds super weird but keep being told that no, it sounds perfectly normal, and you just laugh at how people don’t know anything and continue to take deep breaths from the mask.

But the contractions?  When you’re on the gas?  Yeah, they’re still there.  You can still feel them.  Maybe, possibly, the gas takes a teeny, tiny edge off, but they keep on coming, as strong as ever.

And then suddenly, out of the blue, I had to push.

I had this URGE that came from the darkness in the bowels of somewhere deep within me that took over my whole body, and I screamed through the mask, “I HAVE TO PUSH.  OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO PUSH!!!”

My midwife doubted this was possible since it’d been “too short a time” (whatever that means!  Time?  What’s TIME?)  since she’d last checked me, when I was only 8 or 9 cm dilated.  But my body was HOWLING that I HAD TO PUSH!!  I shouted it again – my midwife checked me and declared, “wow!  Okay!  It’s time to push!”

So I pushed.

And these were the moments where I thank the GODS I wasn’t on any sort of numbing medication, because I could feel exactly when the urge was coming on, and when it did by holy mother of EARTH, I PUSHED.

In just under 20 minutes, I pushed my baby out.  Hubs was right there to catch her; he was the first person to have his hands on her, to touch her skin, to lift her to her new life and place her gently on my naked chest, where she immediately looked at me and changed my whole world forever.

Just like that, the pain was gone.  And I’d had a baby.  My husband and I had a daughter.  We were a family.

And that’s when I said her name out loud, with her in the room, for the very first time.  I announced it to everyone, through exhaustion and pure, sheer joy.  Through a sort of euphoria that made every second of everything I had just been through, 100%, completely worth it.

The midwife took Bee to clean her up and check to make sure everything was in order.  She weighed a wee 6 pounds 2 ounces, which basically means she was small and I didn’t require any stitches (PHEWWWWWPH).  For about 2 hours I caught my breath, was instilled with a new sense of exhilaration, and adrenaline pumped through me like I had just jumped to earth from the moon.

I was a mom.  My husband was a dad.

He stood next to Bee the entire time she was being wiped down, measured, picked up and put down.  He hovered over her protectively with a look I had never seen before on any person’s face… a look of pride, love and wonderment, all at once.

And then, after everyone was cleaned up, we went home.

My husband helped get me and Bee dressed, took us gently down to the car, and as incredibly safely as possible, drove us home.

*****

I guess we had a hospital bag.  I suppose my husband brought something that contained some clothes and a diaper or two.  But I can guarantee, if there was anything from that list in there, aside from the going home outfits, I certainly never saw it.

There was no time for me to focus on a picture during labour, I would have torn up anything that had been put in front of me, including “light reading material” (I could barely open my eyes to focus on anything, anyway).  Mints for bad breath?!  WHO THE F*** CARES ABOUT BAD BREATH!?  Get these itchy clothes off of me and get this baby out of me!!  Slippers??  I can’t even remember if I was barefoot or had socks on… oh, and GET THAT CAMERA OUT OF MY FACE before I SMASH YOU.

Really, nothing mattered during those 7 hours.  Nothing.  No object, no article of clothing, no personal treasure…

I wanted to have my baby and get home with her and my husband, to start our new life together.

Which we did.

*****

I get it, though.  I really, truly do and I completely respect any decision each and every woman makes when it comes to their birth plan.  If they have to, or even want to stay for a few days after the birth, then I’m sure the Babycenter list is a great thing to refer to when packing that bag.

But I’m curious, if you had a natural labour and delivery like I did, did you utilize your hospital bag?  What did you have in there?  Was it useful?  I’d love to know!