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?