Big thoughts.

Tonight has been full of emotions and thoughts. Big thoughts, big emotions. A dear friend of mine is currently away, on the road to recovery. Recovery from alcoholism. My mind and heart can’t stop thinking about him and how I wish I could be there, in person, letting him know that we’re all rooting for him; cheering him on. I’ve been keeping up with his blog, following along on his journey to recovery, self love and peace.

“Believe in yourself because I do. It will be hard, it will break you down
but it will build you back up to become YOU again. You’ve got this!”

There are few friends in my life that I feel such a connection with. The older I get, the harder it seems to make that close connection so, when someone comes along (over 15 years ago now) who seems to just click, you can’t let them go. Even when they are struggling and you don’t know the reason until they are already on their recovery path ~ and that’s ok. You support true friends; the ones who, as days, months and years pass, you spend less time with but you know that when you’re together again it will all be the same. As if nothing has changed. Although I don’t know the struggle of alcoholism, I do know what it’s like to feel isolated, alone and faking happiness. It was a very long time ago now and I’ve come back from that black hole into a place of love and true happiness.

I wish I could tell him that no one blames him for whatever wrongs he thinks he may have done. Recovery is the road on which he must travel and we are all here on the sidelines, his biggest supporters. I well up with tears when I think of how proud I am that he’s taken this step, to admit there is a problem and then taking action, doing something. I think about how our first visit/conversation will be when we reconnect and how there will be oh so many tears and laughter and hugs, big hugs. Sigh.

One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you care about
and they hug you back even tighter.

How time flies! … Reminiscing about my son’s birth

I wrote this post in February 2014 but then made a few edits after re-reading it.

Last week i decided to take a nap with my little guy instead of laying him in his crib; we went downstairs, turned on the tv and watched treehouse for about 15 minutes before he curled up with his head on my shoulder. i covered us both up with a warm, fuzzy blanket (that has a hole in it from our dog who likes to scissor it with his teeth, but that’s another story) and turned the boob-tube off. after about 5 minutes of finding the right position, he let out a big sigh and was out. as i lay there with him it reminded me of when he was only a few months old and how that used to be our daily routine. we’d get up in the morning, head downstairs and just sleep on and off on the couch all day; sometimes we’d both sleep, both of us in our jammies. as sweet memories of cuddling with him ran through my mind, it made me realize how fast this past year has gone by. on Thursday he had his first birthday, he turned 1 year old, ONE! where has the time gone? it seems like only a few months ago that he was so tiny; breastmilk his only nourishment; not eating solids, not feeding himself, definitely not talking and not crawling and definitely not walking. i remember his birth like it was only a few weeks ago instead of a year ago. i remember last year, early Februrary, my hubby and i trying all the old wives tales of how to induce labour so that our baby would be born on my husband’s birthday (which didn’t work by the way); massage, pressure points, bouncing on a birthing ball (big exercise ball), walking on the treadmill, eating spicy foods, etc etc. … little did we know the little guy wouldn’t arrive for a while yet (but hey, it was worth a shot, right?) …

this is the part where i talk about his birth; if you don’t want to read further, i’m not offended (well maybe a little haha), just wanted to give you a heads up.

my labour was long, and by long, i mean 34 hours long. thankfully i wasn’t experiencing crazy contractions that whole time, but still. i think that was the longest i’ve ever been awake and asleep at the same time.

my water broke while i was in bed on a Tuesday morning. thankfully i had a waterproof pad/blanket that i had been sleeping on for about a month (a very handy thing my mother lent to me that i plan on keeping until she asks for it back, hehe). i remember getting up to go pee around 9am and then crawled back into bed (i wanted to sleep just a little longer). about 15 minutes later i felt a trickle alongside my leg and thought, crap! i wet myself! then i felt whoooooosh! i thought, uh oh! that’s definitely not pee! i stood up as it started trickling down my leg and i ran to the washroom. i remember sitting on the toilet thinking, holy crap, this is the start of it! my hubby was at work on day shift at the time so it was just me and the hound dog at home. i calmly put on some comfy clothes, went downstairs and grabbed a glass of juice. then i thought, well, i should probably call my hubby to tell him what’s going on. i remember calling his supervisor’s cell number and saying, yeah can you please have him call me? about 10 minutes go by and the phone rings, hi. hey! so guess what happened about 15 minutes ago? uh … my water broke. holy crap, what should i do? well, i’m not having contractions so if you wanna stay until noon or whatever it’s ok by me, not much is going on. ok, i’ll see you in a bit … and 15 minutes later he was home, lol. he said he was sitting having his break with a friend of his when the supervisor came by and said, your wife needs you to call her. he said he looked at his buddy, his eyes got big and he thought, uh oh, this must be it, but tried to remain calm, haha. when he got home he looked a little anxious and i said to him, it’s all good, i haven’t had any contractions yet. i’m just running to the washroom a lot as i keep feeling my water trickling down and then a whoosh after (fun times, i know). we called my sister, as she was the other person i wanted in the room with me when our baby was born, to tell her what was happening. she sounded soooo excited! i told her, don’t rush over, we’ll keep you posted. our day went on with not a lot happening except me running to the washroom every half hour or so.

my sis came over mid-afternoon, she was pretty excited when i told her what was going on! after she arrived we figured we should call the midwife to let her know what was going on. she told me she’d come by around 6/6:30 to see how i was doing and we could figure things out from there. she and our student midwife arrived, took my temperature asked me some questions and told me just to relax and wait until my contractions started. very nice and mellow 🙂 … they said if things weren’t really progressing over night then we’d plan to meet at the hospital at 7am.

my contractions started about an hour after the midwives left, about 20-30 mins apart and very mild. i was sitting on our exercise ball (or birth ball, since they’re pretty much the same thing) bouncing around hoping to get things going as i was already tired (i usually would have an afternoon nap but with all the excitement of labour having started i couldn’t really rest). i tried walking on the treadmill to get things going but that didn’t really do much either, lol. my sister went home after a few more hours (to try to snooze). i told her we’d call her to keep her updated. the contractions slowly progressed but i figured we should try to get some sleep considering we’d likely have a big day ahead of us! my hubby had downloaded a contraction timer app for the iPad so he gave it to me so i could hit the start button when i had one, and then stop when it ended. i didn’t sleep much that night as they kept progressing. around 2/2:30am they were 10 minutes apart and about 1-2 minutes long. they felt like achey period cramps, not fun, but tolerable. i basically slept in 10 minute bouts, between contractions. around 5am i called the midwife to let her know what was going on and ask if we should still plan for 7am or if we should head to the hospital sooner. she said if things stayed the same to still meet at 7, but if they changed to call her back. we ended up just meeting her and my sister at 7am. my sis looked like she’d slept about as little as i had, lol.

we checked into our birthing room, the midwives checked me and i was only 1cm dilated but fully effaced! talk about frustrating! LOL … they told us to walk around the hospital for about 3 hours and just relax and then they’d check me again. my sis, hubby and i made our rounds, took breaks, had a few snacks and then made our way back to the room. around 10:30am they checked me again and i was only at 2-3cm, grr!
because my water had been broke for over 24 hours the midwives said they needed to speed things up (as the chance of infection increases the longer your water has broke, especially if things aren’t progressing, which they clearly weren’t) … they started me on pitocin which i really didn’t want because it causes contractions to be SO much more intense than they naturally would be (BOOOOO!) … the dose was increased every hour; my contractions starting getting more intense and they checked me again 3 hours after that and i was only at 4cm! talk about frustrating. i think i needed to relax more at the point, but with it being so long since things had started and with it being our first child it was hard to do just that.

they waited another 3 hours and checked me again and i was still only at 4cm. i pretty much sat on a birth ball with my hands on the edge of the hospital bed the entire time i was having contractions as it was the only position that was somewhat comfortable to handle them. as they increased the levels of pitocin, my nausea increased and i became ill with every contraction. i don’t think i’ve ever thrown up that much in such a short time frame. i am so thankful for my hubby and sister being there, holding the garbage can, rubbing my back, doing whatever was needed.

… around 4:30/5pm my midwife came over to talk to me, she knew i really didn’t want to have an epidural or c-section and that i wanted to go as natural as i could but since things weren’t progressing and since my water had broke so long ago, she suggested me having an epidural … she said that i likely would be able to rest for a few hours and that since i’d been up since 9am the day before i needed to have as much energy as possible for when it was time to push. i was so against having one as i didn’t want to numb my body and basically throw away feeling the experience of birthing a baby.

i didn’t end up resting much, as when she checked me after another hour i was already at 9cm! YAY! … i pushed for only 40 minutes and the little man arrived safe and sound. i know there are a lot of women who wouldn’t necessarily want to go natural, especially during the last stage (where the brunt of the work takes place) but i wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. i remember feeling my whole midsection “heave” downward and i looked at my hubby and said, i didn’t do that! my body did! after that, i heard my midwife say, when you feel the urge to push, go with it, do go against it. i remember laying there with my eyes closed, holding onto the edge of the bedrail and gripping it hard each time i felt a big contraction and the urge to push. i know i pooped on the delivery table, twice. i fully admit it, i’m not embarrassed and i don’t care. it’s a good sign that you’re using all the right muscles 😉

once the baby’s head was out, it wasn’t long after that i felt the most crazy, amazing and beautiful feeling when the little body slipped out. i remember thinking, holy crap! i just pushed out a baby! they placed the baby on top of me, wrapped in a blanket and my midwife said to my husband, well is it a boy or girl? he looked under the blanket and said, it’s a boy! i remember the tears streaming down my face; a wonderful, healthy, perfect little boy. i’m welling up with tears as i type this now. i remember the overwhelming feeling of love as i looked at his tiny little features, dark hair and big, wide eyes, staring up at me. hello baby boy. my baby, my boy. my little man.

my sister took the first pics of him with her cell phone and the first short video. it’s so fantastic that we have that. i watch it all the time and it all comes back. every little moment. the laughter between contractions talking with the midwives about what kind of booze we like to drink (well, what kind i used to drink, lol), wearing my own gown for the birth, having my hubby and sister by my side throughout the whole experience. holding my little boy for the first time.

once the cord finished pulsing, my hubby cut it and we cuddled with our little man for about an hour before the rest of the family came in to meet him. my midwife said i’d be an ideal candidate for a home birth if we have another baby, so i told her i’d think about it. i’m honestly not sure if i’d go that route or not, but it’s something to think about if we decide to have another one. it’d be wonderful to be at home.   after the family gave their hugs, love and blessings. i got to have a shower! it wasn’t an amazing shower (the midwife basically hosed me down as i stood leaning agains the wall, lol) but i was wonderful none the less! after that, i got dressed, sat in the wheelchair and i was able to go home with my perfect little baby boy, only 2.5 hours after he was born. it was amazing! i remember coming home, laying down in our bed and saying to my hubby, just put him right here in my arms, and we’ll go to sleep. i didn’t move until he stirred to be fed. i nursed him and we both fell right back asleep. it was the most relaxing sleep i’d had in months. and it was even better because i had our little baby to cuddle with.

the next day when the midwife came to the house to check on us she said that basically i just had an “hour break” with the epidural … she said that normally if you have one you can’t feel anything on your lower half (waist down into your thighs), your legs are somewhat numb/wobbly etc … she said that it all worked out in the end for me with having a natural birth and that was why i was able to go home so soon after.

i loved having a midwife. i loved that she came to see us the day after the birth, 3 days after, 5 days after and 7 days after. we didn’t have to go anywhere until his first 2 week check up. (although we did go to have his hearing tested on day 5). it was so nice to have the care and attentiveness that the midwives provide; and to have it for the first 6 weeks postpartum was incredible! (i’ll post more about that another time).

our little baby boy is now a little toddler, who’s walking around at an alarming rate now. walking, talking (babbling), squealing, laughing, growing and learning more and more every day. i always wondered what it’d be like to be a mom, what it would feel like being pregnant, giving birth and caring for a baby. i no longer wonder, but now lovingly remember and cherish my experience with the pregnancy and birth, and eagerly anticipate the life ahead of my precious little boy.

the mommy truth

no one ever talks about the ugly side of parenting. sure, we all love our kids. whether you have 1, 2, 3 or 7 (or however many you decided upon) you love your children, it’s a fact. BUT there are many, many, MANY times where we don’t like them, errrr, i mean, their behaviour. it’s true and yes, i said it. being a parent isn’t always easy. i know that my husband and i have many years of parenting ahead of us (being that our little guy is still pretty young) but no one can prepare you for the roller coaster of emotions that you will feel.

when they first arrive you are elated; overcome with joy, love, fear and pure bliss for the little person you have brought into this world. you can never imagine being angry, upset or frustrated with such a perfect little being. and then they start to grow. and move. and talk. and learn. all day, every day. i love my son, more than anything i ever thought i loved before. he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. he is my greatest accomplishment, my little teacher and tester of my patience and he just turned one in February! … but i never knew what true frustration was until i became a mother. sure, friends do stupid things, partners and siblings can be annoying but nothing can make the screaming banshee come alive like being a mother with sleep deprivation. every little thing starts to annoy you. you get to the point where you are ready to scream (and just might have to) and then tear someone’s head off (which you probably shouldn’t do). another thing that causes this is being with your child 24/7. every parent needs a break. whether it’s running to the grocery store, going for a drive or hiding out at a hotel and not telling anyone where you are (wouldn’t that be nice?).

i read an article today on the Huffington Post about kids and bedtime, and although my son is still young, it really hit home (read it here). one particular paragraph spoke to me, and i quote:

“One of the myriad problems with this parenting gig is that they save the hardest part for last. BEDTIME. Bedtime should be in the morning — when we’re fresh and kind and sweet — and decent parenting still seems like a very real possibility. But no, the hardest parts — dinner and baths and bedtime — arrive at the end of the day, when we have nothing left. When the truth is, we are counting the minutes. Counting the moments until no one is the boss of us anymore. Until we can sink into that couch, book, Internet or glass of wine — whatever our victory lap includes.”

OMG, this is so true! i have often said, why can’t our son be full of attitude and frustration and incessant whining during the day? why does it have to be when i’m exhausted and at my wit’s end and ready to just have a little me time? especially when my husband is on afternoon shift and the whole afternoon, evening and bedtime routine is mom-only.

more parents (new and old) need to talk about the reality of being just that, a parent. the times when you have to go into the bathroom and scream into a towel just to get the frustration out because there’s no one else to take over for you (yes, i did that today). the times when you say things you shouldn’t to your kids (whether they understand or not) and the times when you just sit and cry your eyes out because you are just SO tired. the times when you can’t imagine your life without them. when they make you prouder than you ever thought possible. when they make you feel like the most important person in the world.

no one has, or is, a perfect baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult or adult. if they say so, they’re lying. every parent has gone through hard times, they just might not admit it. we need to start talking more about what frustrates us, what we’re going through, the good, the bad and the ugly. i think if that happened, we’d all feel a little more normal. whatever that is.

sleep, what’s that again?

you know that feeling, when you’re so tired that you just want to break down and sob? yeah, me too. that’s how this week has been for us. i can honestly say that this has been the longest and most trying week i’ve had since becoming a mother. i used to think that the first few weeks were the hardest and most tiring, but now, that seems like a walk in the park. i knew why my son was waking up throughout the night, he needed to nurse. i was okay with that because i knew i could slip back into a sweet slumber once he was finished.

i guess i can say we’ve been spoiled when it comes to being parents, up until now. my son was always a great sleeper (save for the odd night of craziness). he’s been going to be around 8-ish and sleeping 11-13 hours straight since last spring, and i’m not exaggerating. whenever he’d have a growth spurt we’d know it, because he’d wake up in the night and want to nurse. i was always fine with that. this past week has been frustrating, mentally-draining, and just exhausting. it’s been almost a week now that my son’s sleep pattern has been extremely off and i don’t know why. he went to bed last Sunday, and all seemed to be well until he woke up only 2 hours later crying. we tried to console him to no avail. he’d be happy, sad, angry, then laughing; every emotion you can think of, except tired. he was wide awake. we changed his diaper and tried getting him back down around 10:30, no luck. my husband came in to try. nothing, just a very awake and crazy kid. changed him again around 1am. we tried leaving him in his crib with toys and leaving the room, that lasted 5-10 minutes before he stood up sobbing and wailing. we tried sitting in the rocking chair while he was in his crib with toys, same results. we tried just leaving the room, same. i was getting extremely frustrated and cranky (because, hey i was tired too) and i held him away from me and said, listen you need to stop it and go to sleep! mommy is very tired and so are you, this isn’t fair!! i firmly set him down in his crib and he started to sob; that scared and upset cry. i picked him up and held him close and i started crying. a lot. after about 15 minutes i set him in his crib while he played with some toys and i quietly sobbed in the rocking chair beside him. i didn’t want to wake my husband up as he had to be up at 5:30 to go to work. i ended up picking him back up and rocked with him until around 3:30am when he finally fell asleep. i’ve honestly never broke down like that. i was upset because i scared him; because i was so tired; because i couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t sleep. because everything in my heart was telling me that he was fine but it just didn’t seem like it was. sleep deprivation isn’t good for anyone, especially an already worn out mother.

he stayed asleep until about 10am the next day, which was fine i suppose, but then was a miserable, cranky baby most of the day because, why? you guess it, not enough sleep. he went down for a 3 hour nap (which was awesome for me) and i thought maybe that would help him. that night we did the usual routine again. and again he fell asleep, just the same as always only this time he woke up about an hour after he initially passed out. the night before repeated itself with him finally falling asleep around 3:15am. i was losing my patience throughout the night. i normally wouldn’t be frustrated with him until probably an hour or more of farting around but i was at the point where after 15 minutes i was irritated, ready to snap. it was starting to wear on me because i couldn’t figure out what was wrong. my husband brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers to cheer me up (they really are beautiful and still going strong) and told me that i was doing a great job but that i needed to take a break.  he put our son to bed that night and miraculously the wee man slept for the whole night through! with only one wake up for about 15 minutes (i’ll take it). i thought, thank you! yes!! the next evening (Thursday) we had plans to go for dinner and a comedy show with some friends and my sister was coming over to babysit. she said the little guy was great and he only woke up once before we got home. awesome. hubby and i relaxed on the couch until about 11:45 when our son woke up. surprise surprise. up we went. changed his bum and this time we were up with him until between 3-4am. my hubby was amazing. after i tried and tried he came in and told me to go get some sleep and he’d try. i felt so guilty because he had to get up to work but he kept insisting. my hubby sent me a text Friday morning to tell me that he cancelled his overtime for Saturday so that i could get some rest. he told me to go out that night, do whatever i want and not come home until whenever, or stay out all night.  what a guy. i am so thankful to have such an amazing and supportive man in my life. i did go out. i went and had my makeup done (just for fun because a friend of mine is a very talented makeup artist who works at MAC), then went out for dinner with a long-time friend to a tasty little restaurant called Ben Thanh (yummmm) and then did a little grocery shopping before getting home between 9-9:30pm. i went to bed a few hours later and the little guy didn’t wake up once. he slept 14 hours straight! holy crap! i guess he was catching up on some much needed rest.

we looked up some info on sleep regression as a friend of my husband’s suggested maybe that’s what was going on. i hope it doesn’t last 2-6 weeks like a few of the articles we found said it could. i understand that their sleep patterns/habits can get thrown off when they’re learning new things but honestly, i never expected it to be like this.

last night was another one for the record books. he slept for maybe 20 minutes and then was wide awake until 1am when he passed out in my arms. he stayed asleep until just before 6am. i changed and rocked him and he was back out by 7-ish and stayed out until 10am. he’s napping again right now (hubby just got him down).

I should’ve wrote this in the middle of the night when i was awake and frustrated and at my wit’s end. maybe it would help for the next time this happens, because i’m sure this isn’t the last.

my super man

it’s 9:25pm on saturday night and i decided to write this blog post because my son won’t go to sleep. after nursing we cuddled, as usual, for 20-30 minutes and i ended up snoozing only to find him looking up at me when i woke up (i was only out maybe 10-15 mins) … i sent my hubby a text to ask if he’d come try rocking the little guy. he was in there for probably 20 mins or so when he opened our son’s door and said, the laundry’s ready to run through a regular cycle now … when the little man saw me he reached for me so i took him and rocked him while hubby went downstairs to take care of the wash. he sent me a message saying it’s going through a cycle now, i’ll come back up and rock him. i told him it’s ok, i’ll do it. he said, i know, but you need a break. i love this man. it’s not just for tonight and doing the laundry and taking a turn rocking our son to bed (which he doesn’t do too often because of his swing shift at work) but for all the little things he does for me and our son. he works so hard, his regular hours each week and usually at least one shift of overtime on the weekend. right now i can hear our son on the monitor giggling because his dad makes him happy (despite the fact he should go to sleep, an hour ago). he does the laundry, cuts the grass, takes out the garbage. cleans up the dog poop in the yard (a task no one enjoys), helps do chores around the house (especially vacuuming!), shovels snow, rakes leaves. he gets along with my family and enjoys hanging with them, even going on vacations with them. he gets along better with my father than anyone i know (which is a pretty big thing if you know my dad). he takes care of me when i’m sick, hugs me when i’m sad and is my biggest supporter. he makes me laugh every day, and i love to laugh. he listens to my rants and raves, my loves and hates, and he actually does listen. he engages in conversation with me, regardless of the topic. he shows interest in the things that interest me. he respects me and loves me for who i am. we’ve been together for almost 7 years and i can’t imagine being with anyone else. he’s my drinking buddy, my partner in crime, my husband and my best friend. i’ll never be able to tell him how much he means to me and how much i love him.