Friday, October 10, 2014

The Birth

It was over two weeks ago now that I gave birth to my daughter Cecilia. It has been a blur of wonderfulness and bumps of not so wonderfulness. On Sunday, Cecilia’s two week birthday, I thought she was only one week old. The days are rolling into each other.

In a nutshell, here’s what went down: I was 8 days overdue and going to be induced the evening of the 9th day. I was aiming to do a v-back, because of that they couldn’t use drugs to induce me so they were going to insert a balloon into my cervix to dilate me and then break my water. Thankfully I finally went into labour naturally on the 8th day. Cecilia, or Cece as we call her, was ready. Initially I wasn’t totally sure that it was time. I thought it was just bad Braxton Hicks. Eventually I realized, with their frequency and increased intensity, that I was having pre-labour contractions. John and I arrived at the hospital at about 4:30pm and I was 3 centimetres dilated. An hour and a bit later I was 5 centimetres dilated which meant I was in “active labour”. Let me tell you something about active labour. It hurts. Going into this I was planning on staying at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. I didn’t last very long. I also planned to endure active labour without drugs as long as I could… that happened to not be very long. I made it until 8:30pm.

I don’t know how women give birth without drugs. I. Don’t. Know. How. They. Do. It. I have all the respect and admiration in the world for them. Where do they go inside themselves to muster up that strength and courage?! How do they not feel like they’re dying?! Good on ‘em! I learned pretty quickly I am not one of those women.

As soon as I got the drugs they checked me again… I hadn’t dilated passed 5 centimetres in the two hours since they last checked me. Disappointing, but apparently common with first-timers. I was considered a first-timer because Evan was born via c-section. I was determined not to have another c-section because, 1) I wanted to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible, that was a big motivator. 2) I wanted to avoid that long recovery. I had fantasies of skipping out of the hospital to go home and play tag with my 4 year old. Sadly, that’s not how it turned out.

Cecilia was born at 7:58am. I pushed for 2 and a half hours and her head just wouldn’t come out. I used a mirror. I could see her. She was so close… I pushed as hard as I possibly could. I thought I would pop the blood vessels in my eyes, but it didn’t matter. She was stuck. The doctor said to me, “you have to get her out on the next push.” I didn’t. That’s when the scissors came out for the episiotomy. Next thing I knew she literally slid out of me. I immediately asked what we had because we didn’t find out the gender beforehand. It was a girl! It was a girl?! Totally not what I was expecting, but what my husband John said he knew all along. We had a girl. A girl. Then she was with me, on my chest and everything was wonderful. Then I pushed out the placenta, easy peasy. Then I was in stirrups and three doctors were… down below. Everything was still wonderful. I knew they were just stitching me up. I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think anything of it until they were still down there an hour later. When they were done, one of the two doctors who had been called in to do the repair work told me something like, “we did the best we could…” Everything she told me after that is a little foggy. Something about no sex for 6 weeks and sitz baths. What I kept replaying in my head was the first thing she said. ‘We did the best we could’… what the hell does that mean? Will I ever not hurt down there? Will I ever be able to go to the bathroom normally? Will I be able to have sex again? If I can, will it feel different? What is my vagina going to look like? Is it all Frankenstein down there? Do I have a Frankengina?!

Then there was the realization of the leg issue. Somewhere during the labour I lost feeling in the lower half of my right leg. After giving birth the damage became very obvious, although at the time I didn’t think it was damaged. I thought the drugs just needed to wear off. I couldn’t really feel or move my right foot. No biggie, I thought. It will come back.

My husband John, Cece and I spent that day and night in the hospital. We got out of there before noon the following day. At least that went according to plan. I could not wait to get home. Unfortunately the lower half of my leg and foot felt the same. No improvement.

To make a long story short, we are two and a half weeks post birth and I have only regained some feeling in my leg and foot. I’ve seen two specialists and have no answers. We know it’s nerve damage and we’re working to find the root cause of it. Doctors are confident that I will heal, but they can’t say if it will take weeks or months. For the most part I don’t think about it. Until I go to walk of course. I suppose I should more accurately say, I don’t let myself think about it. If I do it’s a little scary. It’s also frustrating because I was so hoping for that quick recovery and what I got was anything but.

Thankfully I delivered a healthy, very happy, beautiful baby. That is my main focus. I am eternally thankful for my little Cece and still in awe that I am now a mom of two, because most days, I still feel like I’m a twenty something playing house.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Letter To My Unborn Baby

You’re not too keen on coming out. I get it. Where you are right now is the only home you’ve ever known. It’s cozy in there. You don’t have to work for food, it’s temperature regulated – it’s good times. That being said, I want you to know something; The world outside is even better! First of all, I’m out here. I’m your mother, my name is Josie and I’m cool! I think you’ll like me. We’ve also got your loving father who is going to make you laugh. A lot. He makes me laugh every day and I know he’ll do the same for you. And there’s your soon to be doting brother Evan who is going to smother you with love and show you so many fun things. He is an incredible young man who amazes me every single day, and I can’t wait for you two to get to know each other.

The world outside has so much to offer. The most incredible scents, the most breathtaking colours. The things you will experience on the outside will make your current dwelling look like a one star. And, baby, we don’t do one stars. Four is our minimum, okay? Not to be snooty, but… well, your mother has certain standards.

So please, baby, come out. Here’s your first ‘tough love’ lesson in life: You can’t stay in there forever, one way or another you have to exit, so let it be on your terms. And let it be today. Okay?

I already love you more than you can fathom. Let’s start this beautiful life of yours on the outside. Let’s do this.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Little Nugget is ONE!

Today Evan is 365 days old and I am one proud mama, let me tell you! How can I sum up Evan’s first year? I think pictures say it best!

From this...

To this (5 months later)...


He is a beautiful human being.

I love you Evan! xoxo

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Extravaganza!

Following in his mother’s footsteps, Evan has started celebrating his birthday a week and a half early. I have been practicing the birth week, instead of the birthday, for years now. In fact, since hitting my 30’s I celebrate birth month! Why not?

We started E’s birthday celebrations with a photo shoot. Thank you Christine Tripp for taking brilliant photographs of our little guy! And for making him his first ever birthday cake! As soon as we put it in front of Evan he went for it. We had to blow out the candle quickly because he attacked that cake as if he had never eaten chocolate a day in his life. Wait, that’s the truth! He started with his hands, he soaked them in icing and started licking them like lollipops. I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous watching him chow down, thinking about what chocolate was going to do to him, but I let him have his fun. Next thing we knew Evan face planted right into the cake. See for yourself...

When he sat up he had icing so far up his nostrils he couldn’t use his nose to breathe. We got him all cleaned up, but chocolate icing was coming out of his nose for days.

Evan’s actual 1st birthday is on Thursday. It’s a milestone and a celebration for John and I as much as Evan. We’re celebrating the fact that we've kept Evan healthy and happy for an entire 12 months! Considering we didn’t know what we were doing when we had him, this is quite the accomplishment. He has become the light in our lives. When I see John look at him it absolutely melts my heart. This little guy of ours is a miracle, there is no other way to describe it. A miraculous, cake eating, smiley, curious, rambunctious, loyal, handsome, affectionate little guy… who is now officially walking by the way! Walking, just in time for his first birthday.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Never A Day Off

In the last week it has really hit me like a ton of bricks. You don’t get a day off from being a mom. An obvious statement, but knowing something is true and actually experiencing it for oneself are two different things. So what is it that’s happened in the last week that has made me truly realize that I am a full-time, 24-7, for eternity mom? I’m pretty sure Evan’s energy brought on this revelation. He’s been sick for a week. He’s had a bad cold, yet his energy has not really been affected. When I’m sick with a cold I’m usually lethargic. Not Evan. Evan just takes his cold on the go, slobbering and snotting all over the place. Snotting, yes, new word! Use it!

I was tired this last week. I was fighting off some nasty germs myself, and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch, read a magazine and sip on some tea, but that is not an option for me anymore. Not with a very active son. I have never worked so hard in my life. I put in a full day at work, then I come home and mother my butt off, then I do house work, and if I’m lucky I get that hour before I have to put myself to bed when I can watch something funny on TV or read a book… The “me time” is the hour I’m cramming into my day. Before Evan it was “me time” pretty much all the time. Good thing I took advantage of it for all those years. Luckily, in many ways, I feel very positive about how I maximize the hours in a day. I can’t believe how much I do, and my sleeping has improved. I hit that pillow and its lights out! There are those moments though when I fantasize about Mary Poppins knocking on my door offering to take Evan for a few hours so I can do whatever I want. I’m fortunate that I have family and friends to watch Evan, but you know, those are always planned “babysitting” type scenarios. It’s not very often where, as a mother, you have someone show up in a random moment of need to give you a break.

Okay, so now I’m tempted to gush about how much I love Evan and how it’s all so worth it. That’s true. My heart absolutely aches with love for him, but that doesn’t change the fact that being a mom is exhausting sometimes and that sometimes I just want a day off and knowing that it is not an option makes me even more exhausted. I’m not going to spoon full of sugar it. That’s the truth!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ever Been to Mucus Falls?

I have snot all over me. On my face, my clothes and in my hair. Evan has such a bad cold his nose is like an open faucet, I’ve never seen anything like it. Just last week I was thinking about how lucky we’ve been over the winter, John and I were in good health all season and Evan has really only suffered through a couple of small colds since he was born. Well now he’s got a doozie and it came out of nowhere. Without warning he woke up Monday morning a total sickie. He’s being needy of course, but other than that and his nose he’s actually fairing pretty well. He’s such a trooper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Damaged Goods?

Are you the type of person that looks at yourself in the mirror before jumping into the shower or do you avoid the naked glance all together? I always look. I’m curious. It’s so rare that I see myself without any clothes on, I want to know what’s going on under the layers. I have to say I’m very pleased with how my body bounced back after being pregnant. My stomach is more or less flat and I don’t have any stretch marks. My skin is stretched, in the sense that when I fold my body in half it sort of gathers in an unflattering way, but really, how often am I going to be posing like that for anyone?! I’ve already told you about my boobs, they’re smaller, but I can deal with that. My legs have always been the bane of my existence, but I’m even starting to finally embrace them. I would say the only thing I’m unhappy with is my c-section scar. I remember looking at it the day after my surgery and my first thought was, “It’s so big!” It looked way bigger than my girlfriend Emily’s. I was so alarmed that I vowed not to look at it again for at least a few days. It looked better once they took the staples out on day three, but I remember still being upset with my doctor. I actually uttered the words, “I told her to make a small incision…” to myself. Now I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking, “She’s so vain!” Well that’s fine, you can think that. Obviously the scar is worth the miracle that came out of it (my little Evan), that’s a given people, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m working on my body right now, I’m working out and I’m eating better than ever (my trainer has me doing this no carbs or sugars, including fruit, past lunch). I want to be healthy and happy, for me, for my son, for John and for bikini weather. I can feel my little love handles are fading away, my arms look stronger, but that scar, that scar and the scar tissue around it fail to disappear. If you touch the actual scar itself it’s very hard, and on either side of it I have these bumps of, either scar tissue, or fat, I don’t know. It looks gross if you ask me… It’s like a little bum. Ewwwwww. Remember that first scratch you got on your new car? Remember how it made you feel kinda sick? That’s the way I feel about my scar on bad days. I love antique furniture, and if one of my pieces gets a nick on it I don’t get upset because it just adds more character. That’s the way I look at my scar on good days. Although I wouldn’t really want anyone looking at me like an antique. I’m only 31 for goodness sakes!