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!




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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,




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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!



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