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.