Parenthood

Teaching About Consent

feb 2

I shared a blog post on my Facebook Timeline that was written by someone else just  before Christmas titled “Reminder: she doesn’t owe anyone a hug.  Not even at the holidays.”  We were just coming up on the steady stream of family get-togethers and I was reminiscing on family get-togethers of my childhood.  I was a hugging kind of child and didn’t think twice about hugging family.  I’m a different person now.

Sure, Baby K is too young to think about this himself.  Right now the only way we’d see Baby K think about this is if someone picks him up and he starts to cry and maybe reaches for someone he recognizes.  I don’t say “no” to anyone we know holding him at this age, but I am ready to take him back when he gets upset.

When I shared that article that I linked above.  I got the question of “When did hugs become a bad thing?”  They’re not, I’m not saying they are at all.  I could only theorize that the person who asked didn’t even read the article because they would’ve understood had they read it.  Personally speaking, I don’t ask for hugs from the little kids in my family.  I know some of them don’t know me well and I hope to save them from some embarrassment of wanting to say “no” to giving me a hug.

I also think this applies to more than just giving other hugs during family get-togethers.  We are trying to teach our children that their bodies are their own and they are in charge when it comes to their bodies.  Over the holidays something else made me think about other ways to teach children about consent.  How many of you started see the stream of parents posting their “hilarious” pictures of their children sitting with Santa while crying hysterically?  I never thought much about these pictures before becoming a parent but with my tendency to over think things, once I was standing in the line-up waiting for pictures with Santa I started to wonder.  Were parents making their terrified children sit with Santa against their wills?  Were these terrified children still wanting to sit with Santa because they wanting to tell him what they wanted for Christmas?

I didn’t see any kids having this issue when we were there, at least, not loudly.  I was more worried about whether Baby K would start crying while we were there.  He thankfully did not, and we managed to get a little smile out of him for the picture.  As we were leaving I started thinking about next year though.  Would Baby K be at the age that he starts acting strange with people?  Will he be nervous around people he hasn’t seen before or hasn’t seen much?  Will he cry at the sight of Santa?

On my Facebook Timeline, there are only a couple of pictures of Baby K.  The reasoning for this is because it is my Facebook, not his Facebook.  I’m not saying this because of selfishness, I’m doing it because he didn’t sign up to display his life over the internet.  I sometimes wonder about the parents who post millions of pictures of their children online.  As soon as something is online it basically becomes public property.  Would they have consented to this when they are older?

Another time I think the concept of consent could apply is while tickling another person.  How many times have you continued tickling someone while they begged you through their laughter to stop?  As an adult, I hate being tickled, but it was a common occurence to tickle other people when I was a kid.  I remember being so out of breath from laughter while begging for the tickler to stop.  As a parent, now, all I can think of is that someone was tickling me and ignored me when I asked them to stop, all because it looked like I was having fun.

I’m not a psychologist, so I’m not going to go and say that this is going to break your child for years to come because I really don’t know if any of these situations would harm a child for years to come.  Maybe you agree with me, or maybe you are thinking “wow, you really do over think this stuff.”  I would like to think of these situations as teaching opportunities for my son, and any other children I might have.  To teach him that “no” means “no”.

What do you think?  Have you encountered similar situations that you used/or could use to teach your child about consent?

Until next time!

SPark

 

 

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Health, Parenthood

Baby K’s Heart Health Check

january 30, 2019

Ever since that second line appeared on the test stick I have had my fingers crossed that Baby K wouldn’t have the same heart problems that spring up on my side of the family.  I have lived with my own heart murmur all of my life and it doesn’t often come to mind until I’m partaking in an activity that makes my heart work harder and thus makes me tire quicker.  Even though I know how to live with this, I hope Baby K never has to.

My case has been followed by specialists all my life and when I got pregnant with Baby K, I was refered to a specialist that works with pregnant women who have heart problems.  This is what led to my entire pregnancy being followed in Toronto, despite living in the Niagara Region.

I was sent to the Hospital for Sick Children to have a Fetal Echo done at 19 weeks.  It was basically just an ultrasound on my baby, but they blow up the image of the heart to take pictures.  After the pictures were analyzed, we were seen by a pediatric cardiologist that told us that he didn’t see any major signs that something was going on in Baby K’s heart, but that another echo should be done once Baby K was born.  At that time, the heart is tiny enough that you can’t always see if anything is going on.

Fast forward to Baby K’s birth, nothing was said about this second echo for him.  We weren’t seen by any of our regular doctors while we were at the hospital.  A pediatric doctor did come in, but only to do a standard check up, which I think they do with every baby at the hospital.

After leaving the hospital, we still didn’t hear anything about this second echo.  I asked our family doctor every time she listened to his heart if she heard anything out of the ordinary, which she said she didn’t so I didn’t pursue it further.

It wasn’t until my follow-up appointment with the cardiologist in December that followed me during my pregnancy when the subject came up again.  Baby K was just past the 4 months old mark.  The doctor told me that they always refer the babies born of the mothers they follow to see a pediatric cardiologist.  I was vaguely told the name of a doctor, but I was being ushered from room to room to get my own ECG and Echo done that I wasn’t told that I needed to get in contact with the doctor or if someone would contact me.  I hoped that someone would contact me since I left without contact information.

It was just last week that I got a call from the receptionist of a pediatric cardiologist to book the appointment.  I was also told at that time that a requisition was sent to McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton to get an ECG done.  They couldn’t do it all in the same place because of the scanners not being sensitive enough, or something like that.  I was also told that most new bookings were going into May, so, you know, try not to cancel.

The appointment was for the next day, so the next morning we drove to McMaster to get the ECG done.  Baby K was a champ and just laid there smiling at the tech.  We were still to early for the Echo at the doctor’s office in Burlington, so we went home for a little while.

Getting the Echo ended up not going well.  Baby K was too upset and moving too much at this point to get all of the pictures of his heart.  The doctor told me that usually the referrals come when the babies are born.  I told her that a cardiologist didn’t see us until December, which explained why Baby K hadn’t been referred to her earlier.  Basically, the best window to give a baby an Echo is before 2 months old.  They get wrapped up, which usually puts them to sleep and then the Echo can be done.  After that point, they are just too squirmy and wiggily to get a conclusive Echo done and you have to wait until you can convince them to lay still and maybe watch a cartoon on a tablet.

In then end, there was nothing that would suggest that further testing would be needed immediately.  Which would’ve resulted in sedating Baby K so that he would be still for the Echo.  We were told to book again when he was 3.5 to 4 years old and he would be checked again.

In the end, I probably should’ve pushed for it when Baby K was born.  He seems okay right now though, but next baby, I’ll remember to get on that earlier.

Anyone been in any similar situations?  I want to hear your stories!  Leave me a note below or send me a link to a post if you’ve posted about it!

Until next time,

SPark

 

 

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Parenthood

Top Ten Items – 0-3 Months

jan 23

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog, or welcome to my blog if this is your first time here!

I’ve decided that since my last post featured my top five times – prenatal that I should also tell you my top ten items during Baby K’s 0-3 months.  Baby K is constantly changing and growing that sometimes items or strategies that worked at one point didn’t work again later.

1. The bouncer

I didn’t even think about where I was going to put Baby K when I was planing my baby registry. so good thing I was given a bouncer at my shower.  This became the item I used the most.  Even when we were going out to visit family, we took the bouncer with us because it was so light and portable and Baby K would sleep in it for hours.  We moved it all through the house to keep Baby K near if we got busy trying to complete other tasks.  It was also great for after feeding and burping him because it would keep him sitting up for a while if we needed our hands free.

2. Breast pump

When my milk came in right after I got home from the hospital I was in agony.  I pumped often during the first couple months after Baby K was born.  I could feed him, and then pump enough to fill two milk freezer bags afterwards.  Eventually, my milk regulated and I didn’t need to pump as much, but it’s still great to have if I need to leave Baby K to go somewhere.  I usually pump a bottle before I go out without Baby K.  HubBee and I attended a wedding early in October and while I pumped before I left, I needed to take my pump with me as we were gone for hours.  My pump could be adjusted to be a single pump and I could also put batteries in it to take it on the go.  When it was a regular feeding time, I went out to the car, pumped, and dumped the milk (which was really sad but I couldn’t do anything with it at the time).

3. Stroller with a bassinet

As we opted into getting an all-in-one carseat, I wanted a stroller that I could get a bassinet to use with it.  The bassinet was great and Baby K often slept in it while he was little.  It had a large canopy that kept him shaded and a bar that I used to drape a blanket over to shield from the sun coming from behind while also leaving a large opening for airflow.  We also used it for Baby K sleeping in the living room when we stored the stroller in the house.

4. Sleep sack swaddle

These were great for bedtime.  We had three and we used them all the time until Baby K fit into his sleepers.   We used them until they didn’t fit anymore.  Baby K ended up hating having his arms pinned, but we just wrapped it under his armpits and it was perfect.  The ones we used are a jersey knit material so they weren’t too warm for the summer and fall months that we used them.

5. Baby carrier

I am glad I picked one of these up as it was handy for wearing Baby K around the house for the odd nap or for taking Aries out for a walk.  Baby K didn’t like the process of being put into it, but once he was in and I was moving around, he would drop off to sleep.  It’s sometimes difficult to put it on by myself though.

6. Muslin blankets

I love these blankets.  They are so versatile and were handy for many situations.  I used them to help block the harsh sun from Baby K’s skin, to swaddle a little, as a blanket in the carseat or in the bouncer, to sit on outside when the weather was great.  I always keep one in the diaper bag because they are great for covering up to breastfeed as well if I want a little extra privacy.  I just knot two ends together and I can drape it around my neck to hang over me.  They also get softer everytime you wash them!

7. OBall

I was planning on keeping brands names out of this but I do feel the need to mention this toy, or anything similar.  Once Baby K started to grasp objects, this was the easiest for him to hold onto.  The ball part has small pieces that are connected to one another that Baby K could hold them with his tiny fingers.

8. Flannel wipes

I handmade a bunch of wipes to use with my cloth diapers.  Some of the flannel I took to make long “burp-cloths” for Baby K’s spit up.  We usually keep one everywhere Baby K generally hangs out and they are very absorbent enough that they wipe spit up well and we can toss in laundry once we are done with them.

9. Books

It really doesn’t matter what books you read when babies are newborns.  Whatever chapter book I was reading at night I started to read out loud for Baby K to fall asleep listening to.  They don’t understand what you are saying yet and newborns can’t see very well so pictures aren’t always necessary.  I saved picture books for when Baby K started staying awake for longer periods and could see a bit better.

10. Changing Pad

The changing station is great.  Baby K loves being on the pad and I always try to keep it fun for him.  Sometimes when he’s upset, I can put him down on the pad and he will instantly be happy, knowing that fun is coming.  I have the station set up in a way the makes it easy for us to change him and it was positioned well so if we had a “poo-cannon” then there wasn’t much that he could get dirty other than the wall and diaper can, both which can be easily wiped off.

There you have it, my top ten items for months 0-3 with Baby K.  I could go on to include the more obvious items, such as diapers and wipes and clothing.  We started cloth diapering full-time when Baby K was about a month and a half.  He was so small when he was born that he wore newborn sized diapers for nearly a month and then we started cloth diapers at home during the day after that.  Once we were comfortable with that we started cloth diapering on outings as well.  Halfway through September we figured out what we needed for overnight diapering and we started doing that as well.  I’ll talk about cloth diapers more another time.

Till next time!

SPark

 

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Lifestyle, Parenthood

Top Five List – Prenatal

jan 19

Good morning everyone!

I was looking at my list trying to decide what to share next when I centered in on my top ten list for 0-3 months.  I’ve decided that first I will share my top five list for prenatal.  I didn’t go out of my way to purchase a lot for this time as I didn’t get incredibly big.  I found by the end my stomach felt tight and I could feel that Baby K was really squished, which I think was a huge factor in going into labour 11 days before my due date.  I like to think that Baby K decided that enough was enough and that he was tired of not having any room.  My boy liked to move.

It’s hard to explain how I really felt about my weight gain as it wasn’t till late in my pregnancy that it became really obvious that I was pregnant.  I remember a coworker asking to see my belly when I returned to work in the spring (as I work seasonally) and I was already 5 months along by then and i proudly showed off my bump and her immediate reaction was that I didn’t look that pregnant, or something along those lines.  It made me feel sad when I heard her response because I had this tiny voice telling me during my pregnancy that I wasn’t gaining enough weight so Baby K must not be gaining enough.  I was feeling very nauseous at the beginning of my pregnancy that I actually lost weight, not a huge amount, something like 5-7 lbs.  I think when I finished my pregnancy I had gained 12 lbs from my starting weight.

Prenatal pillows were also a common item I used daily but the majority of pregnant women take some form of prenatal supplement, which is why I did not include them as part of my list.

Getting on with my list:

1. My Favourite Jeans

As I mentioned above, I didn’t have a huge weight gain so my jeans, which were a size too big to start with actually still fit me and they weren’t uncomfortable so I still wore them regularly.  My jeans are like a security blanket and they always helped me feel better about myself.  While I feeling out of my depth with my first baby belly, and my centre of balance has changed, it was nice to be able to wear my jeans.

2. Long Tank Tops

These were great once my regular shirts became too short to go right down to my pants.  I would wear them by themselves on hot days or under another t-shirt to fill in the gap between the bottom of my shirt and the top of my pants.  They were stretchy so they grew with my belly and they are grew now for breastfeeding because I can pull the top down to feed my baby.  If I’m going out in public and anticipating feeding my baby, I wear another shirt over top so I’m keeping myself covered.

3. Diclectin

This is an anti-nausea pill.  I mentioned above that I lost weight at the beginning of my pregnancy and that was because of nausea coupled with food aversion.  I banned some foods from being prepared/consumed in the house during my pregnancy because the mere smell of them would send me flying to the bathroom to throw up.  I was scared to take it in the beginning because of something that the pharmacist said when I picked it up but once I talked to other health professionals I felt comfortable again and started taking it.  I would take it before I went to bed at night, then again in the morning which I found was enough in the beginning.  I found I could eat again and finally started to gain weight.  By the end of my pregnancy, I would just take it before I went to bed at night and that was enough because my nausea occurred in the morning when I first got up 99% of the time.  I had this my whole pregnancy.  Most pregnant women have this stop between 12-16 weeks though.  I was bummed that I wasn’t one of these women.

4. Extra Pillow

I felt discomfort in my hips as my pregnancy progressed.  I believe it’s due to the hips widening to be able to accommodate birth.  Using an extra pillow to put between my legs while I slept on my side helped alleviate the discomfort.  I would wake up often to readjust, which is probably why there is a pregnancy pillow on the market.  I didn’t feel the need to get a specific pillow for this as we always have lots of pillows lying around the house.  I was flipping around so often during the night that having a regular sized pillow was easier to hold in place as I moved around.

5. Datebook

Why would I need a separate datebook from the calendar on my phone?  Because I can see more information at once.  I had so many appointments with my OB by the end of my pregnancy on top of work and other obligations its was helpful to be able to just open my datebook and be able to see all of the information at once.  The calendar on my phone was nice for the reminders as the days drew closer.

There you have it.  My top five list for my pregnancy.

What was your favourite item during your pregnancy?  Let me know in the comments!

Till next time!

SPark

 

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Parenthood

What I Packed for the Hospital

january 16 header

“What do I need to pack for the hospital?” was a common question I heard pregnant mothers ask when they come up towards the end of their pregnancy.

Chances are, if you check out your hospitals’ website, it will have a list of what to bring for new moms, dads, and babies.  I delivered at Mount Sinai in Toronto and their website had this checklist.

I’m just going to say that I wasn’t completely packed to go to the hospital when I went into labour.  Baby K decided to grace the world with his presence 11 days before his due date.  I was mostly packed but was missing a few important items that were definitely missed such as:

  • Clothes for HubBee
  • Newborn diapers and wipes
  • Clothes to go home in (or better clothes than what I had)
  • Pre-installed car seat
  • A better bag to have everything packed in

I’m sure as I go on I will think of other items.  But first I will explain these first five points.

Clothes for HubBee

All I had packed for him was pyjama pants.  I can’t remember if I packed extra boxers for him or not.  Regardless, he missed having an extra shirt.

Newborn Diapers and Wipes

I’m not sure if this is all hospitals, but sometime in the few couple years they stopped supplying the “tons of freebies” I’ve heard other mothers say they packed from their little port-a-crib’s cabinet.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I was given a doggie bag with a couple massive pads, a couple of diapers, some dried up wipes and sample sized Johnson & Johnson baby products.  The diapers lasted us till the pharmacy opened downstairs and HubBee went to get more.

The checklist told us to bring 20 newborn sized diapers and wipes.  Funny story about this though.  As we had decided to cloth diaper, I had applied for the Huggies freebie that would send a pack of newborn diapers and a sample pack of wipes.  I didn’t bother purchasing any and I was just going to throw these freebies into my bag once they arrived.  (As for the funny part, this pack didn’t arrive until September, and by then we had starting using size 1 diapers and we were getting into the cloth diapers full-time.)

Clothes to go home in (or better clothes than what I had)

I thought to save space when packing, that I would wear the same outfit home.  It wasn’t a bad idea as I only wore it for a few hours total that weekend.  My issue was now this massive pad I was wearing that bulked up my butt.  Yes, I was wearing skinny, pregnancy yoga pants.

Next time, I think I’ll try to wear my baggy sweat pants to the hospital, or try to remember to pack them at least.  I felt yucky enough walking out the hospital that I shouldn’t have had to worry about whether or not people could see my massive pad bulge through my pants.  This is just a personal thing and I kept saying to myself “I just had a baby, I don’t need to care about what other people think.”

Pre-installed Car seat

I didn’t want to install the car seat too early because I had fears that some other dumb driver would hit us and void the car seat before Baby K was even here.  My grand plan was that HubBee and I (but mostly HubBee) would install the carseat during the long weekend in August.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  The carseat needed to be installed while the car was on a flat surface and so HubBee ran into the issue of trying to install the carseat on an angle in the parking garage while I sat in the hospital with our newborn.

I don’t know when would’ve been a better time to install the car seat.  Maybe at the three weeks remaining mark as that’s when I started doing the “come out now, baby” dance.  Next time I should probably make sure it’s installed earlier.

A better bag to have everything packed in

We used a hard cased rolling bag for the hospital.  While I like that it rolled, I didn’t like that it wasn’t convenient to get stuff out of the bag.  As we were in a shared room, we had our curtained area that didn’t leave us a lot of floor space.  It would have been nice to just have a duffel bag that opened wide at the top that way it could just stay on the floor.

The Checklist

Remember the checklist I mentioned above?  I’m going to talk about that now.  I liked Mount Sinai’s checklist because it was actually something that you could check off points as you completed them.  It also had other things to think about that you may not have thought about before.

There’s the obvious things: health card, birth plan (if you have one), clothes, toiletries, hair brush, phone charger, credit card (if you want the private or semi-private room), baby clothes, etc.

There’s not so obvious things: nursing pillow, personal pillow WITH a colourful pillow case, handheld fan, snacks, water shoes, bath mat (for a water birth), pens and paper, labour support items, watch with the second-hand, and extra receiving blankets to help stabilize baby in the car seat.

And then there’s the things that other parents tell you to swipe from the hospital, but they don’t really supply you with anymore, such as: diapers, wipes, and maxi pads.

Something that wasn’t on the checklist that I’m glad I brought was my iPad.  We were able to tap into the free WiFi at the hospital and we watched movies and TV shows on it all day on the Friday that we just sat in the hospital doing nothing.  We also had an extra long charge cord (that fit both our phones and the iPad) that would reach from the wall to the bed while it was sat up.

 

Packing for next time

Next time I have to pack for the hospital I would get a large duffel bag (or a bag that at least zipped on top and opened wide).  A bag with wheels is handy.  I would pack two extra outfits for both HubBee and I (something comfortable to wear at the hospital and something to go home in).  I would still pack the iPad to watch movies because that helped the day pass on Friday.  I still would bring my own pillow, as the pillows were thin and HubBee ended up with both of the pillows.  I would pack more snacks than just the pack of granola bars that I brought.  The hospital was having work done in their cafeteria/kitchen so pretty much all of my food was prepackaged and bland.  There was also no vending machine nearby that I could see so HubBee had to wander elsewhere for food for himself.

I had a birth plan and do you know where it was during my delivery?  In the bag in the car.  It wasn’t anything special, just more like who I wanted in the room and what I wanted to happen if things were to go lop-sided.  Stuff I could have easily communicated to HubBee and my mother before the delivery.  I wont bother wasting the paper next time.

My toiletries bag was far too small for what little I packed.  It is now my wipes bag for diapering on the go.  I would get a bigger one that would definitely fit two tooth brushes and a hair brush in.  Everything was spilling out so I had to fish it all out of different areas of the suitcase anyways.  I also wish I had dry shampoo too as my hair was pretty gross by the time we left the hospital.

I kept all of the baby’s things in the diaper bag, which I was glad for, but I wish that I had bit the bullet and bought the diapers and wipes needed for the hospital rather than wait for a sample pack that didn’t have a delivery date for me.  I think I mentioned before about the Huggies pack that I had applied for that didn’t arrive until September and Baby K had already outgrown the size by then.  I would also make sure to have a newborn sized sleeper.  I didn’t have much for newborn sized clothes and definitely didn’t have a newborn sized sleeper.  Baby K swam in a 0-3 month sleeper that I did bring.  I packed two muslin blankets, but next time I would pack a third.  I used two of the blankets to stabilize Baby K in his car seat (something I had learned at the discharge class if the support pillows that come with the car seats didn’t work).  I would have the third then to cover Baby K.  If its winter next time though, instead of a third muslin blanket I would pack something heavier to cover him in the car seat.  Next time I would remember to have the mirror set up on the head rest to view the carseat.  Even though I sat in the back with Baby K on the way home, HubBee kept asking if he was okay and I think being able to see him in the mirror would have helped him for the drive home.

I’m sure I’ll think of other things by the next time I’m in this position.  But these were definitely the main things I wouldn’t want to forget for the next time.

Happy packing!

SPark

Parenthood

Baby K’s Birth Story

jan 12 header

I felt like I had been pregnant forever.  Most pregnant women probably say that though.

I was still nauseous and taking Diclectin once a day, still throwing up every few days (usually after dinner).  I was constantly hot because of my tiny furnace in my belly and because of the heat in the middle of the summer.  I was tired and finding harder and harder to do my job so I announced the last day I was going to work (July 27th), which was two weeks before my due date on August 14th.

I think some people forgot I do physical labour for my job, some of the physical part involving bending and getting down on my hands and knees to pull weeds and pluck dead blossoms from flowers, then carry said weeds and dead blossoms to my vehicle to dump elsewhere.  Did I mention that it was also the middle of the summer and hot?  It’s crazy how some people judge mothers for leaving work early before the birth of their baby.

That last Sunday in July (29th) after my last day of work was also my Baby Shower.  It was so much fun and it was so amazing seeing everyone that came out!  I was definitely exhausted by the end though.

Monday the 30th was the start of my organizing and sorting.  I still had baby K’s room to set up and gifts to put away.  I sorted through the clothes, put the smallest in the hamper to wash and packing the rest up, by size, to put away until they were needed.  I also noted that I had only gotten one outfit that was newborn sized.  That didn’t concern me though as almost everyone I know told me that they never needed newborn sizes, or if they did, they used them for such a short while that it was hardly worth having them.

Tuesday the 31st, more organizing to be done.  I went to the nearest Len’s Mill Store to get fabric to make cloth wipes to go with my cloth diapers.  I then made the first 1/3 of the wipes that evening.

Wednesday, August 1st, my grandmother who was staying it us since a few days before the shower decided that I needed some more newborn sized clothing.  We went to Babies ‘R’ Us for that.  I also looked at the stroller I want to get, and asked the clerk questions about it (like if they did price match, as the stroller was around $200 cheaper on Amazon, which they did so long as it was a Canadian Store or a “.ca” website).  I was going to wait for HubBee for the stroller, but picked up three more Newborn sized onsies.  I finished the last of the cloth wipes that evening, and washed everything for the baby.

It was this night that I realized something had changed.  My tummy was bothering me and I was up most of the night trying to figure out if I was going into labour or if I having Braxton Hicks.  I had no idea what to expect either way and the soreness wasn’t going away.

Thursday, August 2nd.  I woke up HubBee and told him I was going to go to my OB appointment early.  I hadn’t slept for any length of time all night and something was definitely going on.  HubBee had also predicted weeks ago that Baby K was going to come on August 2nd and I was starting to think this was a real possibility.

We discuss him taking the car to the job site in case I get admitted to the hospital and I told him where the pile of hospital stuff was that he would need to bring with him if that was the case.  He went off to work and I packed a bit more before leaving with my mother for Toronto to see the OB.  I could barely eat, and I was starting to pinpoint a start and an end to the soreness in my tummy, which was starting to look like what little I knew about contractions.  They were about 45 seconds long and about 4 minutes apart.

We get to my appointment and I tell the receptionist that I think I’m having contractions.  Embarrassingly enough, I’m crying at this point.  They get me in to see the OB quickly and to check and see if I’m dilating.

I’d like to point out that I don’t see my OB.  I see one of his fellows, who checks and tells me that I’m not in labour, that my body is just preparing for labour and ends the appointment with a “See you at your appointment next week.”

This does nothing to ease my discomfort, or fears, or whatever it was that I was feeling at this point.  My mom and I get back in the car and drive the hour back home.  I’m still having these contractions and they were still the same as before.  I eventually stopped keeping track of them, expecting them to just end sometime soon since the doctor told me that I wasn’t actually in labour.

I packed an organized for a little while, but I was still sore and having these contraction so I went to lay down.  I finished my mat leave application and put on a movie and tried to sleep.  I didn’t sleep at all and by the middle of the afternoon, my soreness had turned to pain and my heating pad was not comforting me anymore.

I moved to the bathtub and updated HubBee.  The hot water helped for a while, but eventually that wasn’t helping either.  HubBee got home and helped me back to bed and showered while I got ready.  He called his sister, who told him to call the hospital, which he did and they talked to the both of us and told us we needed to go to the hospital (I was moaning and groaning in pain).

HubBee packed the car and helped me in, with a bucket because we had at least an hours drive to the hospital I was delivering at in Toronto.  I think we left just before 6pm, and traffic was bad so it was nearly 7:30 before we arrived at the hospital.

I had realized that I had lost my mucus plug before arriving at the hospital.  I told the triage nurse as much (while crying, mind you).  She told me that I didn’t need to be scared.  I wasn’t scared at this point, I was in agony.  She led me to a room to check me, and told me I was only 1cm dilated.  Say what?

I declared that I wanted an epidural.  Which was something I wasn’t planning on getting at any point.  I think had they told me that I was almost there (or whatever the latest is that you can get one) then I would’ve skipped and stuck it out for the remainder.  All I had were the stories of long labours, waiting for the centimetres to grow until you were fully dilated.  I thought I was in for a long night and I just wanted relief.

The triage nurse left to get a doctor to check me so that I could be admitted.  It was well after 8pm at this point and he finally came and checked me.  I was 3-4cm dilated now and I was being moved to labour and delivery.  The anesthesiologist was there waiting for me and we were well on our way to relief.  It was after 9pm when all of that was said and done and now we were waiting.

During this time the nurses were noticing that after every contraction I had, Baby K’s heart rate would drop.  They kept moving me from side to side and it would help temporarily but then the next contraction would happen and his heart rate would drop again.

An OB came and checked me at one point and said I was already 8-9cm dilated.  Literally, 8cm on one side and 9cm on the other.  I’m not sure how that happens, but that’s what she said.  She said she was going to go and talked to the head OB, who was doing a c-section right then and she would be back.  This was before midnight, and HubBee was still holding onto the hope that he would be right and Baby K would come that day.

When she came back, she checked again and I was now 9cm on one side and fully dilated on the other.  She had been instructed to massage the side to get it dilated as well.  It was almost time to push and HubBee was finally told that Baby K would not be here until after midnight.

Friday, August 3rd.  We were joined by the head OB and it was finally time to push.  It was actually a feeling of something I needed to do.  I knew I needed to start pushing and I asked the doctor and he told me to push next time I had a contraction.  So I did.

After a few pushes the doctor said that I wasn’t to strain my heart, so they weren’t going to make me kept pushing if the delivery didn’t seem to be moving.  Basically, I would go for a c-section.  I had an “oh hell no” moment then, and I pushed.  It was only a couple of pushes later and Baby K was being held up in front of me.  He was wiped off and put on my chest to hold.  It was so amazing finally having him in my arms.

I know they delivered my placenta and I know they gave me a couple of stitches but all I could do was stare at this tiny baby that weighed nothing that was on my chest.

The labour and delivery unit must have been busy because it was after 4am before we were moved to our room in recovery.  We opted out of the private room and got the last bed in a four bed ward.  It wasn’t a big deal as Baby K slept through all of the other babies crying and the other families were discharged or moved to other floors by the middle of the day on the third.  We were not joined by anyone else until the morning of the 4th, but we were preparing to be discharged at that point.

I will do another post on what I packed for the hospital.  I don’t think hospitals give you much for freebies anymore as all I received was a little doggie bag with my peri bottle and 5 diapers and a few wipes that dried up because they weren’t in anything to keep them moist.  There was also a couple of massive pads that when with the mesh panties and a little box of sample sized Johnson & Johnson products.

Stay tuned!

SPark

 

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Parenthood

When I Met Aries

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You know that moment when you just know something was meant to be?

Think about it for a second.  How many times were you absolutely sure that something was meant to be?

To name a couple, I knew I was going to be with HubBee when I first met him, and I knew when I met my BF in college that we would always be the dynamic duo.

I also had this feeling before I met Aries that cold February evening four years and eleven months ago.

It started with a Facebook Ad, selling some puppies.  There were nine of them and they were listed as Husky Mixes and featured a couple of pictures of a few of them playing in the snow.  I wasn’t planning on getting a dog at that time.  We were going to wait until we were in a better place.  I was almost five months into a six month probation, we were living in a cottage thirty minutes from the town I worked in (an hour from the town HubBee worked in) and away from the cottage from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

I kept going back to that post, watching as it was updated showing fewer and fewer puppies remaining until there was only one puppy left.

My poor self-control lasted a week before I said to my husband (then – boyfriend) that I wanted to go see this puppy and showed him the ad.  He agreed and we made arrangements then one day after work, we made our way out to the country house where we would first meet Aries.  It was dark, and snow made it hard to find the roads.  We had to backtrack a few times because we would come to dead ends (due to roads not  being maintained during the winter).  We eventually got there and upon being greeted at the door, this tiny puppy was plunked into my arms.  Brown eyes with unique eyelashes looked at me before laying his head down on my arm and going to sleep.

It was then that I knew that this puppy was meant for me.  This tiny puppy with the crazy eyelashes had to come home with us.  We needed to make the changes in our lives to include this tiny ball of fur.

HubBee, anticipating this, had brought the funds needed for the puppy and we paid the couple before leaving.  Now we had a puppy that we were completely unprepared to have at home.

Next stop to was to the closest Walmart, which would be the only place still open that time of night so that we could get the supplies we needed.  We also called my grandmother to ask/tell her that we were temporarily moving back in until we found a place in town.

The entire drive we bounced names back and forth.  It wasn’t until we were almost at my grandmothers place before we picked our tiny puppy’s name – Aries.

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The night was long, because once we picked up everything, we had to go out to the cottage still to get clothing for the next day and anything else we needed before settling down for the night.  Which we did, on the floor because my grandmother had company that night.  Aries slept all night that night, which was great, except he proceeded to cry most of the night the next night, and then nights that came after had him waking me up three times a night to go outside and pee.

Welcome puppy parenthood!  It’s been five great years since that day and I look forward to many more!

Talk to you soon!

SPark