Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Amelia is up to these days....

1. Is sleeping wonderfully these days. (Huge sigh of relief). I, on the other hand am up at least twice a night to pee, or drink water.

2. Loves to go in the chicken pen in the mornings and chase ALL the chickens out of their pen. She howls something indecipherable and stomps her feet.

A LOT of whining..... sometimes I feel like I am going to loose my mind. Some days I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and call a time out. I'm learning that the best thing to do in those situations is to just pick her up and give her a big cuddle or twirl around the room. It must be frustrating to not be able to communicate your needs.

Is obsessed with slides and swings. She gets to the bottom of a slide in instantly beams at me and says "MORE"!!!!!!!

Is TERRIFIED of trucks, especially diesel trucks. When she hears them she screams and runs to me as fast as she can.

Is becoming fiercely independent and gets incredibly upset when she does not get what she wants.

Her new words:

"melia" (I guess she hears me calling her name ALL day long)

"no, noooooo, no nooooo" (in the cutest voice you ever heard).

"deer" (its hunting season and all Nathaniel talks about these days)

"wee" (the hammock in our basement or the swing set at the park)

"peas" (I say please at least 50 times a day in the hope that she will pick it up)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So, as most of you know by now, I am pregnant with my second child and I am roughly about 3ish months pregnant. My energy level at present suggests that I am no longer in my first trimester. (Hurray) The first three months are such a time of uncertainty and ridden with exhaustion.

When did I have suspicions that I was pregnant? Well.......Nathaniel and I were on the island for my brother's wedding and I initially thought that I was exhausted because Amelia was not sleeping well(as is often the case when we are in an unfamiliar place). I remember feeling like I was dragging my carcass around and THEN all of a sudden I started experiencing a hypersensitivity to various smells. For example: Amelia had thrown up in her car seat, (which unfortunately happens a fair bit)... and while it always smells unpleasant for a couple of days, this time I could barely tolerate it. I also found that I was crying about everything (I am not overly emotional) and I remember one particular incident where I was at my aunts and I couldn't get Amelia to take a nap. I slumped down against the wall and just sobbed my little heart out. I felt like I was falling apart and STARVING! Nathaniel came in to see how things were going, took one look at me and said "are you okay". I said " I think I am pregnant and I hope so, otherwise I think I am loosing my mind". A week after we got home I went to the red cross clinic in our community and took a pregnancy test. It was in the late afternoon and I had been drinking a lot of water but apparently those factors didn't effect the result. I was DEFINITELY pregnant!

I am no longer napping everyday, which I was initially doing out of sheer survival. I am now running 8-10 km two times a week and doing weigh lifting a couple nights a week. My body feels strong and I feel like my creativity and "normal self" are returning. Unfortunately, I already feel like I have to pee every hour, but part of that is probably due to the vast quantity of water I consume every day. I am trying to be careful about what I am eating, as I would prefer a weight gain in the range of 25 -30 rather than the 60 pounds I packed on with Amelia. Honestly though, even if I do gain a lot, I am confident that I will lose it as easily as I did the first time.

When I was pregnant with Amelia almost ALL of my questions revolved around birth. I had very few questions about being pregnant, as I knew I was healthy and didn't have much control over the little one growing inside of me. More than anything I wanted to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to bring my child into the world. Labour was something that I would be actively participating in and I wanted to be as educated about the process as possible. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to give birth to my child in water, although I can't remember where on earth I first learned about water birth. As my due date drew near I was filled with expectation, excitement and hopefulness. I didn't have a rigid birth plan, and I didn't feel that I needed one since my team (my Douala and three midwives) were very familiar with my values and goals. Fortunately Amelia's birth turned out to be an empowering, incredible experience that I will cherish forever. When I think back about my birth experience, I don't remember the pain - I remember swaying through contractions in my Doula and husband's arms, walking around the house talking to my family and drinking tea, feeling incredibly strong and calm, feeling BIG as a house compared to my tiny Douala, the warmth of the tub, reassuring my sister that I was "okay", feeling intense pressure, listening with rapt interest as my midwife coached me through the pushing stage and complete elation when my slippery daughter was placed on my chest.

I do, however, remember the pain I experienced after Amelia was born. I remember being sewn up in my bedroom, gripping Nathaniel's hands and crying because it hurt SO much (the freezing didn't work). I remember how much my nipples hurt when I was learning how to breastfeed, stamping my feet on the floor and gritting my teeth in anguish. I remember sitting on my invalid ring because it hurt too much to sit on anything else. I remember my perri bottle (just be thankful if you don't know that this is). I remember disposable underwear and thick pads and moving V.E.R.Y slowly. I remember hoping that I was not utterly destroyed "down there". I am not painting a a very nice picture am I?

All of this leads to my thoughts concerning the birth of my second child. Having a home birth, a midwife or a doula are not options for me this time (due to the fact that I live in the sticks). While this grieved my initially I have resolved to make the best of the situation. I am comforted by the fact that I have been through birth before and I have a fairly good idea of what to expect. I know my rights and my husband will be (our) biggest advocate. I will not be bullied into accepting things that will hinder me or our baby in any way. There are so many things that hospitals do that are utterly unnecessary and stressful for both mother and child.

I have male doctor from South Africa. He seems like a nice enough man, but he is far cry from my midwives Lydia, Sylvia and Denise. I am an hour and 15 minutes from the nearest hospital and I still have no idea who is going to take care of Amelia while I am giving birth. We plan to drive to Williams lake and check into a hotel once I start feeling contractions and then stay there as long as possible. I want to be able to eat, shower, walk, and breath through contractions with Nathaniel until I am at least 8 centimeters dilated.

Honestly though, I need to be prepared for things to go very differently than I am expecting. The drive to Williams Lake could be very stressful, as well as being apart from my daughter. I strongly dislike hospitals and I am a little worried that I stop progressing once I arrive. Truthful though, things could go wrong and I could end up with an emergency C-section. The reality is that true "emergency" C- sections are incredibly rare. There are some situations that require it for the survival of the child and/ or mother, but they are not the norm. Most C- sections these days are the result of unnecessary interventions on the doctors part that cause the birthing mother excessive pain and stress. The most common reason are fetal heart monitors which are known to give incorrect readings of babies heartbeats. More sadly, they are often requested by doctors because C- sections are faster then waiting for a labouring mother to give birth in her own time. Also, more and more women are opting for C- sections for convince and ease. I am tot tally okay with the last reason (as I think women should be able to make choices about their bodies, but the other reasons infuriate me.

Okay, enough of a rant. *Breath* There is one aspect of being in a hospital that I am looking forward to. GASP :0) If I tear, (I don't even want to think about that possibility, there is a better chance that the freezing will work). Honestly, that is about the only positive thing I can think of. I hope that nursing will easier this time around. I console myself with the knowledge that I have been doing it for the past 18 months and I think I have it figured out. I hope. I think the ongoing trend is that I am not afraid of birth I am afraid of the "after" and its implications.

So, this is where I conclude this incredibly long post with some pages from my favorite scrapbook of Amelia's birth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A glimpse of my day

On my kitchen floor (a lot of fresh, aromatic mint from my garden)

On my counter (the ingredients for romesco sauce waiting to get pureed)

On my plate for dinner (note the delicious heap of finished romesco sauce)

On my back deck

On my window sill (just some of the many cherry tomatoes that refuse to ripen on the vine)

On a cookie sheet in the sun

On my husband's strong palm (a pumpkin shaped squash or sorts)

On the writing desk my father made me (it is now being used as a change table of sorts.... or in this case, a place to read a good book)

On the rocking chair were I once nursed and rocked my daughter for what felt like an eternity.

On top of my fridge (a big pile of ornamental gourds)

A little mini book

The other day I needed to remind myself why I love my daughter (we were having a particularly challenging day) so I decided to doing something crafty while she took her much needed nap. This was the result. I apologize for the photos that are sideways - I could not get them to rotate.

When I showed it to my husband later that night he actually teared up. Now I think I should do a mini album of just her and I. I'll save that for another day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good things.....

A few good things that brought a smile to my face today.....

- Whirling around my living room with my daughter in my arms ....tears streaming down my face..... lost in worship... filled with gratitude.

- This adorable cupcake. Now all I need is a little boy to make this for. Step by step instructions here:

- Discovering new artists that uplift and encourage me. Today I listened to music by Meredith Andrews and Kristene Mueller.

- The anticipation of a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Our family has plans to spend the weekend in Prince George and I am looking forward to visiting "civilization" (ie. chapters, Costco, and a swimming pool)

- The stack of McLean's and Martha Stewart magazines I discovered at our local library when I took Amelia to strong start.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Things I have been interested in......

Lately I have been interested in and preoccupied by...........

1. Discovering more about Islam: I just finished an incredible biography called "Infidel" by a woman named Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It was an incredible read and tremendously eye opening.

2. Learning about England's Renaissance dynasty under King Henry VIII. I want to know more about church history and how the protestant church gained popularity. The picture below is a photo of the 95 accusations Martin Luther made against the Catholic church in his day.

3. Cooking and baking new things: I really want to learn how to make romesco sauce, brownies, chili and curried pumpkin soup.

4. Tossing things I no longer need or want. It feels SO good purge. All of these items are headed to the free store at our local church. (Please ignore the horrendous state of our truck - it is impossible to keep clean)

5. Working out like a mad women. I've started doing Jari Love videos with a couple of the other RCMP wives and my muscles are screaming for mercy. I REALLY hate weight lifting and crunches and those two things seem to be her speciality.

3. Making a new budget. I realize that we have been overspending since we moved and our Visa is testament to that. Time to start figuring out where we are spending all our money. Just this past month we spent over 1,389.00 on groceries alone. That seems really high to me.

4. Watching "The Mentalist" with Nathaniel in the evenings via the Internet.

5. Being pregnant. I'm not feeling nauseous anymore, but I find that I need A LOT more sleep. I love this precious card my mom sent me the other day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall has arrived.....

There is a particular chill in the air these mornings that I love. I had already dug out my scarves and hats and have started wearing orange. I am excited about making pumpkin spice muffins, picking out a pumpking (hopefully from our garden), dressing Amelia up in her giraffe costume and taking runs in the crisp air. Here are a few pictures that inspired me the past couple of days. Enjoy......

If you could only pick one thing, what is your favorite aspect of fall?