Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Midwifery Love...

Friday I took WC for our 6wk postpartum check-up.

When we left, I almost cried.

I'd been warned by my friends, that I was going to be sad at that last appointment.

I scoffed.  I may have even snorted in derision.  I'd never felt like crying when I left my doctors (except this one time... but it wasn't because I was not going to see my doc again)...

Then
Then I got pregnant with WC...
I spent 9 lovely months going to hour-long appointments. 
When it came to prenatal screening, instead of being handed requisitions... I was spoken to like the intelligent being that I am.  A discussion ensued... and decisions were made. 
I was supported. 
I painted a picture of the birth I wanted and they listened. 
I welcomed them into my home (thrice because WC is just awesome like that). 
Being respectful of the birth I wanted, they were a soothing presence in my peripheral. 
They encouraged me.
Babe was born and they didn't swoop in to check him over... they 'let' me hold my babe and marvel at his beauty.
They stayed... congratulated me.
Then, they came back (at 24hrs, 48hrs, 5 days, 10 days and 14... )

So when our 6 week appointment came, I felt a friendship was forged.  And yes, I was sad walking out that door. 

My friends were right, I'm absolutely, positively going to miss them!

(Oh and WC is an eating machine!  Born at 6lbs 9oz... at 5 wks + 3 days, he was 9lbs 2oz... that's just over 2.5lbs in 5.5 wks!!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i {HEART} baby wearing

I love baby wearing...

I love how it makes handling two exuberant boys, and a newborn, manageable (and often times a breeze)

I love how WC snuggles in and makes these soft, sweet snuffling noises

I love how C-McC still wants his mama 'nuggles

I love how we can fly out the door with one on my front and one on my back, at the last minute to catch TT's bus

I just got into wearing with TT, we had a ring sling and a mei tai.  We didn't get a lot of wearing in, but I knew I wanted more babies so I knew the carriers would go to good use. 

With C-McC I went into it knowing I was going to wear him and often... I ended up churning my stash around quite a bit... searching for the perfect shoulder and fabric.  I tested out some SSC buckle carriers and none of them floated my boat, so I had a carrier craftsman create a custom 1/2 buckle wrap-tai for me (say that 10 x fast).  I tried my hand at wrapping but being a plus-sized mama the amount of fabric required overwhelmed me!

Now with WC, we are ring sling pros (WC was popped up for his first ride at 8hrs old)... C-McC still likes being worn so we've discovered tandem wearing (one on my front, one on my back).  I love ring slings but I'm still drawn to wraps (and I want more options for tandem wearing).  A good friend of mine linked me to this YouTube tutorial... my goodness she makes it look so easy!  Gosh-darnnit... I'm going to get this figured out!  With the loan of a wrap (thank you) and this link... I've gotten WC up on my back (now I wouldn't take him for a walk around the block but he was up, his head was supported and he was pretty comfy). 

So that's my baby wearing goal, what's yours?

Check out the video if you're interested in wrapping your newborn (and check out her other tutorial's too)


Monday, November 19, 2012

MILK... it's what they're there for!

If you've been a frequenter of my blog for long enough, you'll know that one of my favourite topics of discussion is breastfeeding (hey, I try to stick with what I know... and after a combined 3yrs of nursing under my belt... I know breastfeeding).  I may have discussed it here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (and I've definitely discussed it in passing more, but these are posts where it has been the prevalent 'theme').

As I grow and mature, I find myself becoming a pretty big advocate of normalizing breastfeeding (I am sure that you have noticed this trend in my writing).  I truly believe anytime, anywhere because babies don't get hungry only when it is convenient for you.

So, when I hear about women being told that they cannot nurse here because (insert ridiculous reason, similar but certainly not limited to the following:  "What will we tell our children?", uhhhhh, maybe tell them that I am feeding my baby?.  Or "It's an intimate moment and should be done in private", No, it is a moment of child nourishment that has the potential to be 'intimate' should mom & aforementioned child deem it the right moment to do so.), anywho... it just makes me want to scream.

How on earth have we made it to 2012 and this is still an issue (and not a little issue but a fairly prevalent issue, especially in our social media)??????

Breasts are titillating, erogenous packages biologically designed for the manufacturing and deliverance of precisely balanced nourishment for our offspring. 

You may be shocked to find out that their number one biological priority is not just looking good and being something fun to play with... nope, they are biologically designed with your child in mind.

Why are we so hung up on the sexuality of breasts? 
Why when women proudly display their breasts while out on the town do we cheer but we frown at someone nursing their child?

This does nothing to encourage women to breastfeed.  Not.at.all.

I am a fairly strong-willed individual and even I hesitated about the appropriate amount of boobage to show while at the hub's Christmas Party on the weekend.  I, who have nursed pretty much everywhere, was concerned about the reaction that my husband's coworkers might have at the sight of the top of my breast... so much so, that I left the room and arranged WC in a manner that would cover as much as physically possible of my breast before coming back to the dining room. 

In retrospect, I wouldn't have felt one bit uncomfortable about the amount of boob that was showing, had a baby not been attached to it... which (to me) means that I had nothing to feel uncomfortable about. 

This attitude and pressure can absolutely sway a mother to not breastfeed!  If someone who advocates for the normalcy of breastfeeding can feel that moment of apprehension and pressure... how do you think it affects other women?  

Milk... it's what they're there for!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cozy Coffee Chat

I love my local LLL group (I may have mentioned that a time or two), it's such a lovely group of wonderful, enigmatic, inspiring women.

On Monday we sat down for our casual, mid-month meeting... the focus of the meeting was supposed to be on Biological Nurturing, and while we did get there... we discussed a slew of other things. 

Seriously, when I leave these meetings (or I suppose since I'm currently the host house, when my house clears out after meetings) I'm left with this warm, fuzzy feeling. 

There is just something wonderful about sitting down with a group of like-minded women and chatting over a coffee... it is rejuvenating.  It is validating.  It is inspiring.  It is blissful.

Thank you ladies for starting my week of right (sorry it took me only until Friday to get this post done up)


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unskilled Comforter {A Muddled Wednesday Musing}

We had our favourite photographer over to take some newbie pics of WC... as she was rocking, stroking, shushing and swaying him down (so she could grab some fantastical photographs) I was struck by the fact that I cannot do that.

Do what you say?

I cannot rock, shush, stroke or sway my wee babe to sleep (nor could I do it with my other boys).

But you have three children, you say!

Yes, I do.  But my comfort method of choice, when my children are little, was/is breastfeeding.  Honestly, it was the easiest, most simple thing for me to do.

Baby crying?  Breastfeed.  Baby gassy?  Burp, then breastfeed.  Baby overstimulated/tired/fussy/etc?  Breastfeed.

I was literally in awe of how quickly our fab photographer got WC down... because it is just so beyond me.  If I can't settle WC down with boobie, I hand him off to the hubs (so that I can regroup) and we both try again after a brief break.


As you have made your way along your parenting path, have you noticed any skills/traits in other parent's that you just don't have (possibly because of the way you have chosen to parent)?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lovin' on my newborn...

We're one day short of 3 weeks... three.freaking.weeks...

I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown!

I cannot believe I have so easily forgotten the must.nurse.all.the.damn.time. requirements of a newborn (you know those wonderful amnesia hormones that a new mother's body releases after child birth... well I swear the same hormones are released to mama's of children that no longer nurse every.other.second.of.the.day).

I cannot believe I have forgotten how consuming it can be listening to your soft, snuffly breathing.

I love how incredibly petal soft a newborn's skin is.

I love how WC has the most adorable dandelion halo of hair (thick dark hair).

Wearing a bitty newborn WC is like wearing a cloud... so easy-breezy compared to C-McC

I love how WC is growing with leaps & bounds... (by day 4 he was back up to his birth weight, 2 days later he had surpassed it and by 12 days he was 1/2 a pound over his birth weight... mama's milk is good).


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What REALLY Got Used at WC's {HOME BIRTH}

What I actually used at my home birth – since I've now birthed mylovely WC... I thought I'd go back over my Home Birth List and edit what I found useful (and what did not get used).

General Stuff
New (small) bottle of olive oil – WC has wicked dry skin (not even remotely surprised, TT, C-McC and I all have dry skin), we have actually switched to coconut oil because the olive oil was just making WC smell like antipasto.
DIY 'Tucks pads' – I kept putting off making these (because I excel at procrastination), so I never ended up actually making them. They are supposed to be wonderful for sore, swollen tissue... so I might still get some made up.
Chux pads – my midwives supplied these, so I actually didn't have to have them on hand (yay!)
Heating pad or hot water bottle – had it on hand, but never even took it out of it's package... we had the fire place going so our birthing room was toasty warm!
2 Large bowls - for the placenta and in case of vomiting (did I mention that birth is messy?) These definitely came in handy, while I didn't harf during child birth... I definitely felt queasy afterwards!
2 Large laundry baskets/garbage bins lined with black garbage bags - 1 for laundry and 1 for garbage
Bright lamp + extension cord – no stitches required :)
Big maxi pads/mama cloth – These are vital!
Thermometer - self explanatory
Cookie sheet or tray – I don't think this was used... it however was a necessity, if babe needed to be resuscitated the mw's needed a firm surface to work on.
Vinyl table cloth/tarps/etc – these were used everywhere... on the family room couch, under the birthing pool, and on the spare bed
Tylenol – and Advil. After pains are a bitch (and they lack the satisfactory conclusion of child birth – you know, the child)
Crockpot – didn't even pull it out of the cupboard
Bucket – labour went quickly enough (once it actually got going) that we didn't need to bail any water...

For mama
Fan – I was actually cold this time around... we had the fire place going...
Music – silence... I just wanted quiet & solitude, so that I could get my birth on
Snacks – snacked like crazy after the birth
Fluids – didn't drink a tonne during labour but I was thirsty after
Phone list - people to call, 'nuff said
Adult 'sippy cups'/straws – just a regular ol' cup worked for me
Pot of soup/stew – this didn't happen... but I had some wonderful family members that fed us (seriously, I didn't cook for a week... I lurve my family)

For babe
Sleepers – had a few soft & snuggly sleepers on hand (I'd purchased a girl sleeper... so we'll have to share that with someone else... )
Receiving blankets – I think we used maybe one or two receiving blanket(s)... WC was mainly snuggled against me (skin-to-skin) and covered with a towel & blankets
Hat – a good friend of mine whipped up a couple adorable hats... so they graced his noggin' (and still do... especially the 'Dr. Suess' hat... très adorable!)



Diapers – we started off with 'sposies... actually we've been gifted a couple bags, so I've yet to seriously use my cloth dipes...

Linen
2 fitted sheets – WC & I cuddled up in the spare bed after the birth... the double set of sheets (plus the waterproof mattress cover) was a definite nessecity!
Pillow cases – ditto to the sheets
Towels – I had a small laundry basket full of towels... one was placed on WC after he was born (and we were still in the pool) a dry one when he went to the hubs for a moment, I needed a towel to dry off and WC may have peed on a towel... so all in all, I think I had 6 towels and we used most of them!
Wash clothes – didn't really use the wash cloths (I believe we used 3... and only because I may have thrown up on one)
Blankets/flannel sheets – just used one flannel sheet under the birthing pool (so I wouldn't be stepping out onto a slippery surface)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Wild Card is Born!

You may have surmised from this particular blog title, that I have indeed birthed my wee Wild Card, and just as I suspected... WC was going to be unlike any child I had birthed before (oh how I make it into a grand adventure, such a wordsmith I am... you would think I had a dozen or more babies stacked up somewhere).

True to the feeling I've had since day one WC threw me.for.a.loop.  Prodromal labour started Wednesday evening (I've never experienced prodromal labour with either of my births before), I was so sure that it was time... we called my mama, we called the midwives and we gave our photographer a heads up.  I mean, I was having contractions, I have gone through this whole birth schpeal twice... obviously I was in labour (and not so much... ). 

What should have tipped me off that this wasn't the real deal?  If I sat, my contractions slowed down.  If I hopped in the bath, my contractions slowed down.  If I lay down, my contractions stopped.

So, Thursday, we get up and things get going again.  After a discussion with our primary, we decide to try some natural methods of labour induction - which ended up really ramping up my contractions... to the point where I was starting to have a problem visualizing my way through them.  After what felt like an eternity, we checked and dilation-wise, I was no further than the night before (changes were occurring, just not as quickly as I had anticipated... ).

Feeling absolutely defeated, I retreated to sleep... at which point all activity ceased.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday I contracted on and off... I was called, messaged and questioned about how I was feeling and it was starting to make me neurotic.  I was second guessing every.last.twinge.and.cramp.  Was this the start of a contraction?

My biggest fear surrounding home birth, was the prospect of a UC (unassisted childbirth).  The hubs and I had a good talk about it Sunday night and we were both in agreement that chances were if the contractions continued as they had been... we wouldn't have a damn clue until I hit transition.  When all was said and done, we both were in a zen-like state regarding a UC, it wouldn't be a part of our ideal birth plan... but if that was the way babe was meant to be born.  That was the way it would be.

Monday the hubs went back to work... I took my boys to their respective schools.  I puttered around the house... I read up on UC's and mentally went through how it could/would go down.  I relaxed and enjoyed my last moments of pregnancy.

The hubs came home and we decided that we needed something spicy for supper (curry & butter chicken... yum!), he set up a fishing date for the next morning and the house was dark by 9pm (exceedingly rare in this Muddled Household).

At around 3am I was jolted out of a dead sleep by a contraction... I tossed and turned, trying to sleep through them.  At 3:30am, I had to get out of bed... I grabbed my laptop and cellphone (to time the contractions) and went off to join the Muddled Dog in the family room.

For an hour I rocked, swayed and breathed my way through contractions... finally at 4:30am I woke the hubs up and asked him to help me draw a bath... I wanted to make sure that these damn contractions were going to  continue before I made a fool of myself and called my midwives again (part of me hoped they would slow down... I thought my primary didn't go on call until 8am and I really wanted her there for the birth). 

After 30 minutes in the tub, it became clear that the contractions were not slowing down (in fact, they increased in intensity)... so I paged my primary (and was ridiculously happy to hear that she was indeed on call).  I sent the hubs to set up the birthing tub... and I just zoned out in the bath while I waited to get in the birthing tub.

The moment that I could hop in the birthing tub, I did.  It was glorious.  Absolutely glorious

Labour was definitely progressing... my primary arrived... and I was vocalizing my way through contractions.  The water felt wonderful, the buoyancy was amazing!  I could rock, sway... lean, bend (and I did... I moved around trying several positions searching for the one that felt just right).  The hubs called my mama and our photographer... telling them both to get on their way.

I was so in the zone... I didn't notice as people were coming in the house.  Our photographer, my mama... the secondary midwife.  I just know, I looked up and they were there.

The atmosphere was amazing... I had my eyes closed and I just chanted (in my head, I think) relax relax relaxopen open opendown down down.  That was my mantra.

It was such a surreal feeling to be alone in the water and yet completely surrounded and supported.  Hearing the strong, encouraging words of my midwife... looking up and seeing my mom there (our photographer captured this beautifully... I was hit with a contraction where I believe the words I uttered were this fucking hurts and my mom is crouched in front of me... the look on her face is pure and absolute belief in me... ).

I had my moments, where I lost faith in my body... it felt like I had been in there for hours and I still hadn't felt (what had been my previous experiences) the mind-numbing pain of transition... I was afraid that I was in for the long haul... my primary asked if I wanted her to check dilation.  I waffled.  Did I?  Did I want to know?  Did I want to find out that I wasn't nearly as far along as I thought?  No... no.I.did.not.

So, I reached down and I felt... and holy crap, there was a head.  Seriously!  Right.freaking.there!

With the next contraction I pushed (and I vocalized way more than I did at either of my hospital births... thank goodness my boys are sound sleepers!).  With the next contraction I pushed again... I could feel the head coming out into my hands.  Honestly, words cannot describe how amazing a feeling that is... to birth my own child into my own hands!  Someone (maybe everyone) said that the head was out and in my head I thought no fucking shit people... I felt the head come out... into my fucking hands

The next contraction and out came the shoulders and babe.  It took me a moment to reach down and pull my baby up... I was shaking.  But up to my chest I pulled them... and I finally opened my eyes.  

I looked down and... BOY.  I was shocked!  WC had thrown me for another loop!  I had spent my whole pregnancy preparing for a little girl... heck, the hubs & I didn't even have a serious boy name picked out! 

Was I disappointed?  Hells no!  I was amazed.  I was in awe.  I was shocked and I was in absolute love.

We let the cord finish pulsing and my mama cut it.  Babe was handed out and I went about the business of birthing the placenta (and even though my birth plan called for an unmanaged third stage of labour, I will admit I was asking for 'the shot' to help things along... luckily for me my midwife told me to just wait a moment... ). 

Off to the spare room we went... I was a shaking mess at this point (with both my boys I had a wicked case of the shakes after they were born).  WC was handed back to me and he immediately went for the breast (he is one Boob Master Supreme). 

It (the birth) was exactly as I had pictured it in my head.  In the water.  In front of the fire place.  With the people I love (and the moment being captured). 

My boys came downstairs and met their newest baby brother... I can quite confidently say that we are all smitten (that's not to say that two adorable boys aren't a little out of joint over the newest addition... they are, but they are also showering him with love and kisses).


Monday, October 8, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

The other day TT wanted to bake... with blueberries... so we (I) searched high & low on the interwebs for a blueberry muffin recipe that piqued my interest...

I came across How to make the best muffins (Scroll down to, One-Bowl Oatmeal Muffins: Basic Recipe) and was intrigued by the soaking of the oats.

Now, I didn't have a whole cuppa milk... but I did have some vanilla coffee cream.  So I substituted that in place of the milk (I've made a couple batches since, and I honestly don't think I'd even bother trying the milk... the coffee cream, while obviously more fattening, is.to.die.for... gives such a lovely, subtle vanilla flavour).  I also added a whole pint of blueberries (obviously, otherwise they would have just been oatmeal muffins). 

I wish I had a picture to share but the boys squawk for their muffins the moment I pull them out of the oven... so there are never any left when I have time to find the camera... just know that they are delicious.

Try them.  I double dog dare you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

M-312 {Defeated}

MP Stephen Woodworth put forth the motion to redefine when being 'human' (and therefore human rights) begins, as it currently stands in Canada a child becomes a human being when:


To which those who supported this motion exclaimed that one could potentially abort their unborn child while in labour, even with one little toe left in the birth canal.  To which I must wonder, do you know anything about child birth?  No really, do you?

Ask any women who has vaginally delivered a child to contemplate for a moment if it is even remotely possible to completely birth a child with the exception of one little toe.  Now, you - even with just prime time television knowledge of birth - seriously, stop & ponder this.

Is it possible for a woman to completely, vaginally birth a child with the exception of one toe?  I am sure it is hypothetically possible and the only likely scenario that I (and I'm obviously not a medical professional - so take my opinion for what it's worth... a grain of salt) see this as an even remote possibility would be a Frank breech birth - where the bum and torso were delivered but the head and toes still remained in the birth canal.

Illustration to show how the difference between an occiput anterior position ("normal" position) versus a Frank breech.
http://www.webmd.com/baby/breech-position
Now consider for a moment - a woman goes through 40 weeks of pregnancy (and all the aches, pain & discomfort that can come with it... but also the joys: that first moment where you hear the heartbeat, where you see your baby on the ultrasound screen, where you feel that first movement... so on & so forth).  This woman goes into active labour... she goes to the hospital and spends hours working through her contractions.  Walking, swaying, and rocking through each contraction.  Holding on to the nurse, the bed... the wall.  Finally, she feels the urge to push and bears down... it could be minutes or hours later, but she births the head.  With the next push, babe is out... all but for a toe.  

Now, please, seriously contemplate this - what woman in.her.right.mind would put her mind, body and soul through this - to at this point decide to abort her unborn child?

It seems a bit ridiculous, doesn't it?  This whole premise that a woman would wait until, literally, the last possible second to abort an unborn child?  What does that say about societies views on women?  Really, what does it say?

Now, the absurdity of that scenario aside - Could someone please explain to me how two beings sharing the same body (one the host and one, for all intents and purposes, the guest) have the same rights? 

This honestly baffles me - women had to fight to be legally considered a person.  We had to fight to have all of our rights.  How on earth can we share our rights?  

I, for one, am very happy that this motion was denied (I am incredibly disappointed that my MP voted for the motion... and trust me, he's heard about it).  

Edited to add... my point:

This motion was put forth under the guise of altruistically redefining human life, so that a fetus/unborn child would have rights & freedoms too.  It was worded as such, to tug at our heartstrings and so that we wouldn't pause, much, and think about the ramifications & potential fall-out that would result from this new definition. 

To give a fetus/unborn child equal rights to born children, means taking rights away from mother's.  Two being cannot share the same body and have 100% equal rights... this is mathematically & physically impossible. 

I cannot support a motion that denies women their rights

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Should women breastfeed in public?

The Katie Couric Show sparked a scintillating discussion regarding nursing in public (or for those of us 'in the know' NIP).

Should women breastfeed in public? What is your opinion?

That is exactly how the discussion was prefaced (not at all biased, right?), can you imagine if you switched "breastfeed" with "talk", "wear pants", "dance", "show their wrists/legs/ears/neck"...

Should women talk in public?  How disturbingly archaic!  Can you imagine if this were a public opinion poll posted on a popular talk show hosts website, it.would.be.career.suicide. (and rightly so).

Here is the thing about opinions (and your right to freedom of expression), they end at.my.body.  Meaning?  Your right to express an opinion is a lovely & wonderful thing that in no way shape or form may be foist upon my person.

Nursing in public make you feel uncomfortable?  Avert your eyes and walk on.

Seriously

Just because the sight of me nourishing my child causes you discomfort (or your opinion towards breastfeeding is negative) does not in any way shape or form mean that you can request that I move my person, and my child to an alternate location to continue breastfeeding. In fact, where I am from (Ontario - for the record), my right to nourish my child where ever children are welcome is legally protected (that means in public too... honest). 

What's my point?  I think that this "poll" (what a farce) could have been substantially less leading towards "nursing is icky" and more towards "nursing is normal, so why the hang-ups?"





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where's MY Gold Star?

I wish I could link this video directly to my blog, unfortunately I have been unable to find it on YouTube... so have a quick view and come back to view my take on this lovely tidbit...

What to Know Before: An Epidural

 
So, are you back?  What did you think? 

Suppose for a minute that you're me, can you guess my gut reaction to that segment?

Okay, allow me to start with the penis/bowling ball versus a vagina comparison.  This is almost so ridiculous that it doesn't even deserve me wasting words on it, but since I'm in a mood... I'm going to.  The average circumference for a newborns head is 14" (35cm).  The average circumference for 5 pin bowling ball is 15" (39.5cm).  If you are not familiar with the difference between a vagina and a penis, let's just say a vagina is an entirely different organ (no, the vagina is not the female version of a penis)... and having been biologically engineered to facilitate the birth of human offspring, the vagina is pretty damn stretchy.  One might say the need to stretch is kind of in its job description.  Do you see how this is not a fair comparison?  When was the last time a man required their penis to routinely expel something with a diameter of 15"? 

You don't get any gold stars for being in pain.  Obviously, any & every woman looking at having a natural, non-medicated child birth is a) a masochist or b) an overachiever looking for a gold star.  Seriously, could this broad be more condescending?  Having the desire for a non-medicated, natural birth has nothing to do with being praised for being an effing rockstar and everything to do with trusting your body, with wanting to be able to listen intuitively to your body... to push when your body tells you to push, to instinctively labour in positions that are best for that particular moment of your birth (because it is more comfortable, because it facilitates the movement of babe down the birth canal... because, because, because), to move around and keep labour active (hopefully without any interventions required).  This is not even taking into account the hormones (oxytocin, endorphins, and adrenaline) that are secreted during a non-medicated, natural birth... these hormones all play a special part in birth (oxytocin - stimulates contractions, endorphins - aka 'feel good hormones' calm & have a pain-relieving affect during labour, while after they facilitate mom in being alert & attentive with babe, and adrenaline - can provide mom with a rush of energy, stimulating the contractions and activating the fetal ejection reflex).

Drugs don't cross over to the placenta.  This is a nice bit of subterfuge - while the amount may (or may not) be significant, the drugs can indeed cross over to the placenta (Do epidural medications reach the baby?  Small amounts of medication can be detected in the baby since most medications do cross the placenta. These amounts are rarely sufficient to affect the baby.  Emphasis mine).  "Rarely sufficient to affect the baby... ", it cannot be known with 100% certainty whether your babe will be affected, or not.  If it is such an insignificant amount that mother need not be worried - why not just honestly say "the amount is negligible"?

[Epidural] Help with pushing - this goes against modern convention.  In fact, most hospitals have now implemented non-coached pushing because they are finding that coached pushing may cause more harm than good; "research has suggested that coached pushing may be harmful to the woman's pelvic-floor muscles and may be associated with adverse neonatal outcomes."  As a mother who had two intervention-free hospital births that resulted in two healthy boys - I cannot even fathom being told when I could push, for how long, etc.  Honestly, my body knew when it needed to push and I just let it do it's thing (and I had no tearing... none).

Epidural is actually good for the baby - Dr. Edna Ma states that "If you didn't have an epidural the stress hormones called catecholamines get into your body, those cross the placenta and make the baby stressed before the baby is born.", which makes the expectant mother come to the conclusion that a + b = epidural is good for the baby.  For the record, adrenaline is a catecholamine (see above for two benefits of the natural release/surge of adrenaline during childbirth).  What Dr. Ma fails to mention are other methods of soothing/relaxing the mother (catecholamines can be released when mom is fearful or stressed... ), simply explaining to the expectant mother what is happening may reduce stress.  Actively working with her, having her lower her pitch (so moaning/groaning instead of screaming... ), telling her to open/relax into her contractions... help her visualize what her contractions are doing (for the record, these are not tools just implemented by hippies... with the birth of both my boys, the nurses talked me through some pretty fierce contractions by getting me to visualize... reminding me to relax into the contraction and not to fight it). 

All of this to say, that was the biggest load of hogwash that I've seen on national television...

Epidurals.  Interventions.  C-sections. They all have a place

Not all births are equal.  Not all babes can be born vaginally.  Not all labours are the same. 

But for the love of god, give the mother a freaking chance!  Allow her to make an educated birth decision based on actual facts and not a pile lies and misconceptions.

And seriously... where the hell is my Gold Star?

Friday, September 14, 2012

{HAPPY BIRTHDAY} Hubs

Today is the hubs' birthday (I will not disclose his age, I wouldn't want him to reciprocate the favour); suffice to say, he isn't saying good-bye to his 20's today.

Obviously, I'm not going to share the hubs' birth story (you kinda gotta be there for that... and well, I am the younger spouse... ) but I will share some of the things that we love about him.

He is not afraid to look stupid - I realize that this does not sound like a compliment but it absolutely is.  It makes him spontaneous and absolutely gung-ho to try new things.  I sit around and think about all the ways I can look like an idiot doing something & end up chickening out.  He sits there and thinks "everyone is going to think I'm a rockstar... oh.yah!" and then he does it (sometimes he does indeed look like a rockstar but most of the time he looks like he's enjoying life).

He has a quirky sense of humour - Admittedly, I do not appreciate this trait nearly as much as I should (just ask the hubs, he'll tell you that any woman who professes to want a man with a sense of humour is a liar), so it's a good thing that our boys appreciate it much more than I do.  When we were trying to teach TT his full name, in a fit of exasperation the hubs declared that TT was Flim-Floom-the-Jim-Joom... and this is what actually got TT to acknowledge his full name.  We still giggle about it (and the look of utter disgust on TT's face as he explained to his father that no his name was not Flim-Floom-the-Jim-Joom).

He is very generous - Situations where I have to stop and ponder about whether or not we should do it; don't even occur to him.  I swear his thought process goes like this "I have it, you could use it... here you go". 

He is an excellent provider - I realize that this is a materialistic trait but let's face it; money makes the world go round.  I am not the bacon maker... he is our primary provider and he does one helluva job.  I will forever be grateful for his drive and ambition because it means that we can have the size of family that we want (and still have some room in the budget for creature comforts).

He is handsome - maybe my children don't appreciate this (I hope TT does because goshdarnnit that boy looks like his daddy) but mama certainly appreciates this; I honestly feel that there is no need to expand upon this.  My husband is hot stuff.

With all this in mind, the boys and I are making a lovely roast beast dinner (although, me + flour + browning = the three of us running out of the kitchen gagging... whoops!), garlic mashed potatoes, mixed veggies and pièce de résistance?  Homemade Chocolate cake (I've never used this recipe before and of course I altered it... just a little bit, so a Chocolate cake post might come later).  Goddamn I'm good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stalled Ambition

So, the hubs & I decided that whilst a gagillion months pregnant (me, not him) that it would be a fabulous idea to move our little family.  We also decided that doing so, would be best done right before we had to leave for an 8 day family engagement (okay, we didn't actively decide these things, that's just the way the cookie crumbled).

So here I am... almost a month in our new home, I've started maternity leave, I have 95% of the house organized and yet I cannot get the motivation going to get those last 10 boxes unpacked. 

Painting?  For-freaking-get about it... I have a couple accent walls that I would like to paint in the main areas of our house, some touch-ups to do in the family room and stripes (because I'm fucking insane) that I want to get painted in TT & C-McC's room.  With no desire to break out the brushes.

Someone give me a swift kick in the ass, please?  The sooner this is done, the sooner I can settle in and nest.

Image borrowed from here
This cat speaks to me - now to get off of my ass

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baby Update {33 + 5}

I'm 33 weeks + 5 today... just shy of 34 weeks (3 weeks + 2 and we are good for a home birth)

Had a midwife appointment on Friday - all is good in the belly (although TT & M-CcC were walking advertisements for contraception).

HB - around 140bpm
BP - 128/80 (considering that my BP was taken after TT & C-McC had been absolute turd buckets)
34wks fundal height (at 33 weeks + 3 I was measuring 34... so pretty much right on)

My next appointment will be the home birth appointment at 36 weeks.  We'll go over 3rd stage of labour (delivering the placenta), and do the home inspection to make sure everything is good to go for a home birth. 

Still have lots of movement from babe (although, I definitely have to sit back and consciously tune in to it).

I'm pretty darn exhausted (could be the result of waking up a bagillion times a night, a still not 100% C-McC... and uhhhhh being 34 weeks pregnant, although they want to check my hemoglobin levels because they can be depleted during pregnancy).

A bunch of our furniture came this week (new couch for the living room, and a king-sized bed for mama & the hubs).  So we're slowly starting to get this place all settled in... have about 10 more boxes (most are toy room things) to unpack and I want to get a little painting done before babe arrives...

Most importantly, right now, I want to grab a nap.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy {4th} Birthday TT!

The other day, my very wise TT pronounced that C-McC was no longer a baby.  He was a toddler. 

He's right, C-McC is no longer a baby and TT... you are no longer my sweet, chubby toddler.  You are now an independent force to be reckoned with (I mean a sweet, adorable big boy).

Yesterday we went for our interview with TT's JK teacher (I know, Junior Kindergarten already?). It went so well... I was so concerned that school was going to be this huge deal... I mean, you're four!  I have a hard time conceptualizing the fact that you are indeed ready for school (mama may need a bit of time, but I know you're going to rock the hell out of it).  I enjoyed speaking with your teacher and getting a better grasp on what it is that you will be doing 2-3 days a week (thank goodness for play-based learning... I cannot see my TT stuck at a desk being told to sit still, behave and get your work done... not yet, at least). 

As your birthday drew near and we were busy getting ready for your to start school, it hit me.  Like *POW*, you are not my baby anymore.  You are not my busy toddler.  You really & truly are a little boy!!!  To those that do not yet have kids, this may seem like the most redundant statement.  However, I believe the mom's and dad's that read my blog 'get it'. 

After we met with your teacher... we curled up on the couch.  We read.  We snuggled.  We enjoyed each other.  It was lovely and it helped me to realize that, yes... you are a little more independent.  Yes, you are not my baby or my toddler anymore.  But you do still need your mama.  You need cuddles and snuggles and love and hugs and everything that a mama can give you.

And that... that helped.  You are growing up but I will always be your mama.

Next week, when you hop on that bus... I'm sure I'll shed a tear (or two) but I'll be anxiously waiting for you at the end of the day to hear all about your how your first day at the big school went.

Happy birthday to my precocious, energetic, inquisitive and creative little man.

Love your Mama oxox

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

{Maternity Leave - Day 2}

I promise not to spend the next 52wks telling you exactly in great detail about how my days of freedom are going (errrrr... or preparing for the birth of my unborn child and than bonding, nurturing and nourishing said child, that's totally what I meant).

For now, I'm excited to be home with my boys.

Day 2 started with a list.

Call propane company - done
Call to book a service for car - done
Call Service Canada to change addresses - 3/4's done (trying to get a hold of E.I. is like trying to find a unicorn).
Apply for maternity/parental leave - 3/4's done (just waiting for my passcode, I may have forgotten my password from two years ago... the one I came up with while in a foggy haze after having a baby and caring for a 2y/o, I think I should be forgiven for this... anywho, I had to completely reapply and I'm hoping I don't get a narsty letter asking why I can't remember a 2y/o password)
Tidy house and prepare for playdate/visit - so didn't get this done.  In fact, I was so behind from being on hold all morning that I answered the door in my t-shirt and underoos (meh, it's another mother... I'm fairly certain she's seen more ass than just mine... at least she didn't have to wipe it).  My mother would be so proud of me *snort-snort-chuckle-chuckle*

Even though the visit started off with a bewildered moi, it was great.  We had a lovely meal (and some wickedly delicious goodies), when the kiddies weren't causing havoc we were able to get some great chatting in (apparently, there is a good way and a bad way to load ones dishwasher... whodda thunk).  The party came to an end when the two, 2y/o's needed to go down for a nap...

I'm glad we got this visit in before the hectic school year starts... it was to chat with a mama and roll our collective eyes at the drama a 2y/o can muster over the most inane things (it's great knowing you're not alone... especially when you don't remember that drama the first time around)

Oh and we discovered a mutual love for a junkety-junk-junk food:

Double bonus - we both like it on celery

Monday, September 3, 2012

{Chocolate}

I have a confession (and no, it is not that I love chocolate, that is a well-known fact)...

My confession?  I prefer my chocolate frozen... I get this from my mother's side of the family, there is just something about snapping off a piece of delicious frozen chocolate and having it melt in your mouth. 

Image borrowed from RecipeGirl
Peanut Butter cups just happen to be my favourite frozen chocolate

{Maternity Leave} - Muddled Mama Style

Yesterday was my last official shift... meaning?  I'm.on.maternity.leave (if you're doing some mental math here... no I have not had WC, no I am not due within the next week or so... yes, I did stop work 7, or so, weeks before my due date).

I must say, I am very lucky to have been born into a country that has such an excellent maternity & parental leave (17wks total of maternity leave [2wks unpaid] and 35wks of parental leave... ).  So instead of heading back to work just as mama & babe are getting into the swing of things, mama (or dad) are able to stay home with babe (this is of particular importance to breastfeeding mom's... 10-12wks often marks a growth spurt which means more nursing, so it is nice to know that you can stay home and still have your job available to you when you are ready to go back).

Our maternity leave can be taken up to 8wks before ones due date... with TT starting JK and C-McC starting pre-school I wanted that extra time at home with them to get into a routine before babe arrives.

So, you might be asking yourself... how did I start my maternity leave (if you aren't wondering, I am still going to answer)?

By sitting out in my lovely backyard, at my new patio set sipping a caramel machiatto, FB'ing... all while watching C-McC ride his 'rike.

Life.is.good.

Friday, August 31, 2012

C-McC, Happy {SECOND} Birthday!

September 1st... 

Two.years.old?

Where has the time flown?

I feel like yesterday that I was calling into work, that you were being placed in my arms, that we were going home from the hospital and that our loving (99% of the time) family of three became four.

With this being my second kick at the can, it is still shocking to see how much you have changed in 2 years time.  As TT is now fond of saying, you are not a baby anymore... you are a toddler!

You walk (errrr... run) everywhere. 

You talk up a storm (seriously, you articulate at the level of a 3-4y/o).

You are so inquisitive (even if hearing the word why for the umpteen-billionth time makes my skin crawl).

You will start pre-school next week (whaaaaaat?!?!?!)

Gosh.darnnit C-McC slow down and let mama enjoy you being little... at least for a little while.

I love you my little snuggle bug  <3

A Muddled Mama {Confession}

I have a confession to make...

I am not a stellar nighttime parent.  In fact, I pretty much suck at it.

I don't like having my sleep interrupted (and I definitely am less accomodating when I'm tired, cranky, sick & pregnant).

Since we have been back from the BFIW (that's Big-Fat-Indian-Wedding) C-McC & I have both been sick with wicked colds. 

With the hubs going on call for the next week, that leaves nighttime parenting 95% on my shoulders (now don't get me wrong... I know I have it good... I know that one or two weeks of 'on-call' out of a month is nothing compared to some households - i.e. spouses gone for month[s] at a time), so last night C-McC ended up in bed with me... and drove me nuts. 

I had a hard time being compassionate (and there may have been an instance or two where my compassion flew out the window).  He'd snuggle up to his mama & then scream because I was touching him (you know, because I snuggled up to him).  He'd roll away and scream because he didn't know where I was.  At 4am, I had enough... I took him back to his own bed... gave him his water, snuggled him in his blankets and left. 

I'd.had.enough.

I then got two blissful hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Was I unreasonable?  Yes, I was.
Could I have been more compassionate?  Yes, I should have.

C-McC wasn't trying to piss me off... he just didn't feel well and had no way to explain his discomfort.  I'm sure he didn't even know what he wanted.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy 7th Anniversary

A tad early, our anniversary is tomorrow... but I honestly could not wait to share my post...


People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the water's rough, but this love is ours


Seven years ago today... 

I was heading out the door to get my hair & face 'done'

I was praying that I would be able to get my vows out

I was looking forward to spending the.rest.of.my.life.with.you

Seven years later... 

I am blessed with two beautiful, intelligent and inquisitive children (with an unknown blessing on the way)

I am living the love and honesty of our vows (and sometimes working our way - together - through the rough waters of marriage)

I am still looking forward to spending the.rest.of.my.life.with.you


I have learned a lot (and sometimes, not nearly enough), marriage is not all sunshine, rainbows & unicorn farts.  It's work (sometimes it is hard work).  But when you are doing it with the one person that is your partner in the truest sense - it is worthwhile work.

Love & Marriage are hard work.

You can love someone and not always agree.

It is important to be respectful... to acknowledge that you are not seeing eye-to-eye and to make amends.  So that you may  move forward

It is important to realize that not everything is going to be handed to you on a silver platter and that sometimes, just sometimes, you will have to work hard for what your love.

A willingness to work for your love makes it that much more special.  It shows your strong desire to be with your partner and how much you cherish their love.

I hope to exemplify this for my children.  I want them to know that it is okay to not always agree with your partner and sometimes, you can even be angry with them.  But ultimately, you have to work through your disagreements and the rough patches to strengthen your relationship. 

Hubs, I love you.

I love you as much (and more) as the day we met, the day we married and each & every time we add to our wonderful family.

I love what a wonderful father you are - patiently answering the 500th 'why', when I've already lost my freaking mind and snapped out a 'just because it is... '

I love you.  I love you.  I freakin' love you.


A Muddled Mama {Birthing Children... }

Motherhood has been an absolute journey for me.

With TT I wanted as natural of a childbirth as possible (yes, that's exactly how I thought of it, as natural as possible).  I read about childbirth while I was pregnant and a lot of what I read sounded like absolute hokum (because the thought that you couldn't possibly have a natural childbirth is so pervasive in our culture, I bought it hook.line.and.sinker).  I remember reading The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts and wondering what sort of hippie actually expected childbirth (and the initial stages of child-rearing) to go like that.

So, ultimately, I went into that birth totally unprepared.  A close friend of mine had an excruciatingly long labour 6mos prior (which ended in a c-section) and my sister-in-law had gone through the same thing just 3mos prior.  I absolutely thought that it hopeless and that a natural, unmedicated birth was for the minority.  The lucky women, who were just tough as nails and created to birth children. 

I remember labouring in the tub and looking at the hubs, pleading with him to get something, anything from the nurses to knock my ass out.  He had the audacity to laugh at me (and at that moment, I realized I was a Saint for not submerging his head under the water).

I fought my contractions every.step.of.the.way... I made my birth (through my ignorance) more painful than it needed to be!  I was gassed (and hated it), I asked for an I.V. (even though I hate them) - didn't get any actual medication because TT went from unborn to born in the blink of an eye, and moments later when TT was born I seriously forgot it all.

That moment when he was in my arms, it was as if nothing had happened.  That he had just gone from womb to arms.

The longer I mothered TT, the more I realized that I needed to inform myself better.  It couldn't possibly have to be that hard, for every.single.birth and every.single.mama. 

With C-McC, I read.  Read.  Read.  Read some more.  Anything I could get my hands on, articles & blogs online that dealt with natural pain management during childbirth.

With C-McC I had a general idea of what childbirth was going to be like (and I was not silly enough to believe that all births were equal).  I had a much better handle on my contractions right from the word go.  Instead of fighting them.  I relaxed into them.  I knew that these contractions were for a reason.  They were moving babe into a birthing position, dilating my cervix and moving babe towards the birth canal.  These contractions had a purpose and if I relaxed into them, I allowed them to do their job (getting my baby out). 

My overall birth experience with C-McC was 1000% better, because I trusted my body.  I allowed my body to birth my child.

That is right, my 100% unmedicated, natural childbirth was 1000% better than my slightly gassed first birth.

I know that there are certain circumstances where medical intervention is absolutely necessary.  Where hospitals, drugs and c-sections save lives.

I also know that the majority of births do not require these interventions. 

This week, we have spent away at a family function and it became clear to me how pervasive this distrust of our bodies is.  The hubs was telling someone that we birth naturally (and that for our 3rd, and final? birth we would be having a homebirth).  This person was a bit taken aback that I had birthed without any medication. 

Anecdotal maybe, but it definitely goes to show how little trust we have in our bodies.

When did we get to the point where we lost all trust in our bodies, lost trust in their ability to do what they were designed for?

I am not a Brazilian model.  I am not a rockstar.

I am just a mama.  A mama with a passion and a desire to share what I have learned. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Breastfeeding is {NORMAL}

I may have mentioned in passing that I'm a breastfeeding mama (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here & here); so I'll be frank and say, I definitely get my panties in a knot when people get all prudish over nursing.

Allow me a moment here, nursing ones child is the biological norm for nurturing and nourishing human babies/children (see how I added 'children'; that means that you don't have to stop at 3mos, 6mos, a year, etc).  Human milk is meant for human children, it really is that simple.

So, since biologically we are hardwired to nourish our children from our breast (and biologically they are hardwired to receive nourishment from our breast) why on earth does the sharing of breastfeeding photos cause so much damn controversy (and heaven help you if you need to nurse in public... someone might see a nipple!)

A friend-of-a-friend (of-a-friend-of-a-friend, well you know how it goes) posted an photograph of her baby nursing.  It (in my oh so humble opinion) is a lovely photo.  It is no different than any other photograph that you might see of an infant receiving nourishment, except there is a breast in the picture *gasp*

This is what Facebook said to her:  "We removed the following content you posted or were the admin of because it violates Facebook's statement of Rights and Responsibilities"

A friend on her Facebook page deemed this image inappropriate and reported it to Facebook (allow a moment for that to sink in... a.friend.on.her.Facebook.reported.her.photograph).  Rather than a) avert their eyes and not look at the image, b)  remove the poster from her Facebook newsfeed or c)  remove the poster from their friend's list...

Nope, this person decided that since they felt uncomfortable (by whatever hang-ups or preconceived notions they have regarding the function of breasts) that they needed to censor the poster and report them to Facebook because heaven forbid they have boobies cluttering up their Facebook newsfeed.

 My first issue with this is their cowardly behaviour - I would hope that if I posted something that offended someone to the point of them needing.it.gone, that they would (like an adult) discuss it with me.  We may end up agreeing to disagreeing but at least we had the opportunity to discuss the situation.

My second issue is, rather than taking the measures (I mentioned above) to avoid the picture, they felt that their lack of comfort came above the comfort, nurturing and nourishment of an infant.  How incredibly grown up!

I did not start my breastfeeding journey as a lactivist, in fact, I did not start my breastfeeding journey 100% willingly (what the funk, you're thinking).

When we were expecting TT, the hubs made the point that he wanted me to try to breastfeed our unborn child.  After some serious discussions, I relented (yes, relented) but I always had the intention of formula feeding "if it didn't work out", which I was sure would happen.

Slowly, I changed my mind and I started increasing my goals (from feeding babe the first bits of colostrum, to a week, a month, 6 months) and somewhere around the 9-10 month mark, I looked at the hubs and said "I'm going to let TT self-wean".  He (the hubs) just nodded and said "I knew you would".

TT nursed until he was 14-15mos and I knew when I had my next that they would nurse as long as they desired (little did I know that babe #2 would arrive in less than a year).

With C-McC I knew that I was going to nurse, my goal was the reach 2 years... so I contacted our local LLL leader and decided that I wanted to surround myself with like-minded mama's to help me reach our goal.  We are currently on a hiatus, but if once WC arrives C-McC wishes to nurse again - he will.  That's right, I will allow (please imagine that word dripping in sarcasm) my 2 year old child to nurse while I nurse my newborn.

As I have matured as a mother, I have become much more vocal about the importance of breastfeeding - about the fact that we are setting mother's up for failure by telling them 'Breast is Best' (it isn't best it is normal) but offering them very little support to reach their nursing goals (I'm sure most mother's will attest to the fact that their doctor knows diddly-squat about breastfeeding... because unless they choose to self-educate, they're relying on their personal experience which is anecdotal 'evidence' at best) and by shaming mother's who are able to successfully breastfeed because it makes some people uncomfortable. 

The ones that should be shamed are the ones putting up all these roadblocks.
The doctor that says (without any thought, consideration) that a mother cannot breastfeed because baby is too big, baby is too small, mom does not have enough supply (insufficient supply is a serious issue... but it is not something that can be diagnosed by putting babe up against a formula feeding growth chart and certainly not without actually spending some time watching babe & mom nurse... there are other reasons for less than optimal growth and there could be an issue with babe).
Women who tell nursing mother's that it's wonderful that they can nurse but they should do so discretely, covered, segregated from everyone.
Men who tell nursing mother's that breastfeeding in public is akin to public masturbation (because they're both natural *insert eye roll*).
People who put restrictions on nursing, such as age, weight and development.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

There's so much going on in my Muddled world.  I could puke (from excitement and from holy.fuck.what.was.I.thinking.moving.while.a.gagillion.months.pregnant.!?!?!)

That's right... this country mouse is moving to town (to my city/metropolitan readers, this may not sound like much but trust me it's huge for me).

The hubs and I decided that rural living wasn't suitable for our family... the drive into work, the juggling of dropping/picking the kids up and well, everything is in town (grocery store, bank, etc).

This was a huge decision for me... I literally live less than 10km from where I grew up!  I left to go to school in the city, lived there with my fiance (well, now my hubs) for a year or so and came running home as soon as I could.

I am going to miss being this.close to my family... 

But there is one thing that I'm not going to miss; a large house yard that neither the hubs nor I have the desire to even half-ass maintain... (seriously, it's a sad, shameful state of affairs)

So, we're expanding our family... and we're moving our family (in less than 2wks... aaaaaaaahhhhhh!)

Did anyone else make life changing decisions during pregnancy?
Did they turn out as expected?

Hold my hand while I lose my mind, please?

And now for some pregnancy humour... 
Courtesy of Zazzle


Courtesy of aftertheglassslipper

Courtesy of ZlovesM:  The Blog

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Baby Bump Picture!


Excuse the grainy cell picture... but here is what A Muddled Baby #3 (aka Wild Card) looks like at 28.5wks gestation... I'm feeling a little bump-a-licious!

Home Birth Supply List

I received my supply list at my midwives appointment the other day (and I've done a little solo research, as well as being blessed with an awesome group of hippie-birthy mama's that have shared their home birth experiences with me)

So, I've compiled a list of things I think will serve me well at my home birth

General Stuff
New (small) bottle of olive oil  -  for perineal massage (also excellent for cradle cap and for schmearing on babe's bum during those oh.so.lovely.meconium.poops... I am all about multifunctional items)
DIY 'Tucks pads' - for that tender perineal area, after birth (take a couple big ol' maxi pads, pop them open and drizzle water on them & witch hazel [if you're more crunchtastic, you could certainly use your mama cloth] wrap them back up, in a curved position [to better cup your nether regions] and pop them in the freezer)
Chux pads - birth is messy, I think that is pretty self-explanatory
Heating pad or hot water bottle - to warm babe's blankets
2 Large bowls - for the placenta and in case of vomiting (did I mention that birth is messy?)
2 Large laundry baskets/garbage bins lined with black garbage bags - 1 for laundry and 1 for garbage
Bright lamp + extension cord - in case suturing is required (I've been lucky enough to come out stitches-free in my previous births)
Big maxi pads/mama cloth - the bigger the better... if it reminds you of something your mama/grandma might have worn way back in the day, well you have grabbed the right ones (skip the Always the mesh top layer can stick to your healing lady bits... and skip the scented ones)
Thermometer - self explanatory
Cookie sheet or tray - something portable, that your midwives can place their instruments on
Vinyl table cloth/tarps/etc - something to cover your labouring surfaces (and some cheap flat sheets to toss on top)
Tylenol - pretty self explanatory?
Crockpot - to keep water warm for compresses
Bucket - to bail water out of the birthing pool (so you can add additional warm water, hopefully your labour won't be too long, so you won't have to do this too many times)

For mama
Fan - birth is hot work (at least in my experience, labour has been very hot work)
Music - whatever floats your boat, something that helps you get in the zone (or conversely, silence... whichever works.best.for.you)
Snacks - easily digested, nutritiously loaded snack, your body is working overtime... fuel it!
Fluids - Gatorade (or similar), not only is birth messy, it is also hard work so you need something to keep your energy up
Phone list - people to call, 'nuff said
Adult 'sippy cups'/straws - to get the liquids into your body (duh)
Pot of soup/stew - sustenance for after the birth (something that you can just pop on and not have to worry about... something loaded with legumey/veggie goodness)

For babe
Sleepers - soft, snuggly newborn sleepers
Receiving blankets - placed under the hot water bottle/heating pad, to cuddle/snuggle/wrap babe up, about a dozen or so
Hat - babies lose most of their heat through their noggins
Diapers - cloth or 'sposies (if you're using cloth, you might want some cheap flannel inserts until you're out of the meconium poop stage)

Linen
2 fitted sheets - you'll put one on your mattress, add a mattress cover/vinyl table cloth/shower curtain/etc over top and fit the next sheet over top.  Machine wash on hot and store in a sealed (and labelled) bag in preparation of the birth
Pillow cases - same as the sheets, pre-wash and have ready for the birth
Towels - half a dozen, or so... same as sheets and pillow cases, pre-wash and have ready for the birth
Wash clothes - a dozen or so, (same as sheets, pillow cases & towels, pre-wash and have ready for birth), for perineal compresses, face/neck wiping and babe
Shower curtain/waterproof mattress protector/vinyl table cloth - to protect your mattress... additional ones may be purchased to put under the birthing pool or in any area that you think you may wish to labour in (cover with soft sheets, blankets, etc)
Blankets/flannel sheets - to spread out in the areas that you think you will be labouring in (again, and for the final time, birth.is.messy)

I know that my list might be more than I need, but I'd rather be prepared (and not use something) than to not be prepared (and need to madly hunt for something in the midst of transition).

If you've had a home birth - what did your kit include?
If you're planning a home birth - what are you planning on including in your kit?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

28 weeks (only 9-14 more to go... )

Wild Card and I had a midwives appointment today... it was the first one that the whole troop did not attend (how weird to not have my other two monkeys in tow... ).

It was a great appointment (aside from my ineptitude at putting test swabs in their container... whoodda thunk you'd need further education to figure those majiggers out); got to hear WCs heartbeat loud & clear (hovering around an excellent 150-ish beats per min), my blood pressure was good (I'm a fluffy mama, and with TT & C-McC my bp was on the high-end of normal, so this is freakin' bliss), we're measuring on... WC was head down (yay, and I am fully aware that at 28weeks there is still room for flipping... I'm hoping Wild Card behaves) and favouring mama's right side, just like their big brother's.

We discussed the home birth and I was given my sheet of supplies... I cannot even express how freakin' giddy I was to look over that list! 

We discussed transfers and my preferences...

I absolutely love that I am treated as a consenting adult (uhhhhh... because I am) and I have never felt like I need to ask for permission to have the birth that I desire.  It is not, 'I want to labour in the tub... if it is okay' but 'I want to labour in the tub' (granted, if I am ever being Queen Ass-hat... and want to do something dangerous and stupid... they [midwives] are not going to ignore that and allow me to blithely carry on my merry little way... ). 

I love that I can sit down and discuss the things about birth, breastfeeding, etc that I am passionate about and know that... they don't think I'm a kook (or if they do, they hide it really well). 

So, Wild Card and I checked out well today and I left our appointment with a smile on my face & a spring in my step...

By this week, your baby weighs nearly 2.3 pounds/ a little over 1 kilograms and may measure 14.8 inches/ 38 centimetres from top to toe. At about this time, your baby can open his eyes and turn his head in utero if he notices a continuous, bright light shining from the outside. His fat layers are forming and his fingernails appear.
From: http://www.babycenter.ca/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment/28weeks/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's in a name?

The hubs and I have pretty stringent criteria for naming our offspring...

We don't just choose names that we like we choose names that have a meaning that speaks to us, this came about when we choose TT's name because it was reminiscent of a late relative that we wanted to honour.  When we found out the meaning; well it was just too fitting not to use!

Along came pregnancy #2 and C-McC-to-be... when we found out that babe was also a boy we immediately picked a name.  A name that we referred to C-McC from 20wks until 34-35wks... when suddenly the hubs and I separately came to the conclusion that our chosen name for C-McC didn't have the same ooomph as his brother TT's name.  We realized that honouring our heritage/family wasn't our only criteria... the meaning had to be special and positive (to us). 

So with #3 on the way, we're on the hunt for the perfect name... Since this mama (and papa) feel that babe is of the female variety, we do have a girl name picked out... but a boy *sighs*... I think we may have used up the ones we love with our boys!

How do you choose names for your children?
Do you have a hard time getting your spouse/partner to agree?
Have you ever named your child in utero, only to change the name because it didn't feel right after babe was born (or as your pregnancy progressed)?


Photo courtesy of http://www.lightstalkers.org/images/show/324517

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Recipe For A Messy, Mini-Disaster

Two ~4 year olds + two ~2 year olds + 15 minutes of interrupted quiet = A Messy, Mini-Disaster

This morning (and into the afternoon because we Muddled's like to overstay our welcome) TT, C-McC and I went for a wee visit. 

The Muddled's had a lovely lunch with friends and the mama's enjoyed that the kiddies were playing so.darn.well.together.  They enjoyed it so much that they decided to throw caution (and possibly sanity) to the wind and allowed their darlings to cavort unsupervised in the play room for 15 (interrupted, because C-McC could not leave his mama for that long) blissful minutes. 

The non-Muddled Mama decided 15 minutes (interrupted or not) of silence warranted an inspection... good thing too because the darling angels decided that the play room needed a bit of redecorating. 

There was paint.  Everywhere.  On the wall.  On the floor.  On the children (and by on, I mean in their hair, on their clothes, their feet, well... basically everywhere).  Thank goodness for washable paint!

So much for enjoying a wee chat while our delightful children were quietly playing - silly mama's!

I Gotta Feeling...

and I don't mean the Black Eyed Peas song.

Since before I knew with absolute certainty that I was expecting #3 (or as I've been quietly referring to babe as - my Wild Card), I've had feelings.

I had a strong feeling that I was pregnant (before I could reasonably test)
I had a strong feeling that babe is a girl (again, before I could even test to see if I was actually expecting... I had an almost uncontrollable desire to look through baby name books and only at girl names)
I now have a strong feeling that this babe is going to throw us for an absolute loop (hence Wild Card being my affectionate term of endearment)

I have definitely noticed that this pregnancy has been different... (premonition of things to come?) and I actually have to use the Baby Center Due Date Calculator so that I can remember how far along I was (in contrast with TT I swear I knew right down to the minute, okay slight exaggeration).

If this is baby #2, 3, 4, 5, 6... have you found your pregnancies different?  Have you intuitively known babe's gender, or is that just a misplaced belief on my part?  Did you have any feelings during pregnancy that you realized were well-founded, once babe was born????

"Measuring your baby from top to toe with his legs extended, he is about 14 inches/35.6 centimetres. He weighs a little more than 1.6 pounds/ 760 grams. Your baby's eyes begin to open around now. Response to sound grows more consistent toward the end of the seventh month, when the network of nerves to the ear is complete. He also continues to take small breaths and although he's only breathing in water and not air, it's still good practice for when he's born"  Courtesy of Baby Center Canada

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{Home Birth Attire}

So, I may have mentioned a time (or more) that the plan for our third babe is to birth at home...

The midwives are chosen
I've called dibs on the birthing pool
My support team is chosen
Back-up (for my boys) is available, if needed
Photographer is booked

So, what to wear?  Since I'm planning a water birth, I'm thinking the top half of a tankini... Since I've got a wicked rack, I need something uber supportive... oh and since birth is a wee bit messy, black (and also not cost an arm & a leg).

I'm leaning towards something like this
(with a black jersey skirt over my bottom for non-pool time)

If you had (or are planning) a home birth... what was your birthing attire?  Or did you even give a damn?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birth Photography = Skeevy??? This Mama Doesn't Think So...

When I initially came across the birth picture that I included in my What Do I Want Out of a Homebirth? post, I shared it on my Facebook wall. 

I was absolutely floored at the positive remarks that were left behind by my friends (I know that I'm a bit of a hippie-dippy-trippy gal, and a lot of my friends are too... but I did figure I was in for some negativity and backlash).  So needless to say, I was shocked that all posted responses were along the same vein as my thinking (basically that the picture rocked freakin' monkey balls).

So, today when three people came up to me and commented on how they found it weird, I was a little affronted.  I knew that it would not be everyone's cup o' tea but I didn't think anyone would actually to my face say that they found it a bit much...

You know how people post pictures of cars, vacation resorts, sunsets (etc)... well that picture is my car/vacation resort/sunset.  I look at that picture and just think "holy shit, that is fucking awesome... that is what in my ideal world, birth should be about". 

When there are no interventions (necessary or otherwise), babies are born from vaginas. 

Call me weird, but I think this is pretty awesome!  I think women birthing as they feel is appropriate for themselves and their babe is awesome!  I think it's beautiful and naturalAmazing and abso-freaking-lutely empowering.  Honestly, I think it's something that should be revered not cause revulsion. 

I think that birth (much like breastfeeding) is something we should have an open dialogue about... in the days of yore women used to birth surrounded by a group of women.  What was previously accepted as the norm is now considered eccentric.  Imagine if you knew what birth could be like before you'd had your first child, it wouldn't have been nearly as scary... would it?

(Please note:  I am perfectly aware that medical science has a place in birth... there are certain situations that demand medical interventions.  There are certain situations where the life of mother or child are in danger and the ideal/natural birth is not appropriate... however, this is not true for the majority of births)

If you think birth photography is pretty damn amazing check out DFW birth photographer and Google is your friend, there are a tonne of other birth photographers online.  In my opinion, birth is beautiful.