Monday, May 31, 2010

My New Reality

I’ve been a mother for 12 days now and I have to say things are going really well. Evan is a beautiful baby. He tells us when he needs something, whether it be food, or a diaper change, or just to be held close. Today is an especially good day because he slept so well last night. Before last night… well let’s just say we were calling him “teen wolf” because as soon as the sun went down his eyes popped open and he would start to howl. I’m not kidding myself, I know the teen wolf could be back tonight, we’ll just wait and see.

John and I still look at each other every once in a while in disbelief. We can’t believe we created this little human being, and we can’t believe this is our new reality. I still personally have moments of panic when I realize this is permanent. Evan isn’t just visiting us to test our patience and love, Evan is part of our family now and will be until the very end. It’s quite the adjustment to go from a family of two where you have all the freedom in the world to do whatever, whenever to having your world ruled by a mini-person you can carry in one hand.

As far as being at home I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I think about work, but I know everyone there is surviving without me (somehow… ha ha ha!). I still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do around here, but once again, I’m not the one in charge. When my daily to-do list gets interrupted by my stirring baby I have to say to myself that it’s okay if the clean laundry doesn’t get put away for another day and that it’s not the end of the world if there is a pile of mail I haven’t sorted through yet.

I’ll end this post with some more pictures. I am definitely more camera happy than I ever have been, but these gems are care of my dear friend Melissa.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Where Do I Begin?

Wednesday, May 19th was one of the best, most amazing, most shocking days of my life. At 9:24am my son was born by c-section. In the days leading up to the 19th I was filled with nerves, the worst nerves I had experienced throughout my entire pregnancy. I wasn’t so nervous about the c-section, I was more nervous about what came after the operation. I was nervous that I was going to be responsible for another human life. A life that I knew I would love more than my own. That’s more reasonability than I’ve ever had obviously, and while I was experiencing those nerves, quite frankly, I was doubting I even wanted it.

Then by some miracle as John and I were driving to the hospital at 5:30am I was completely calm. Serenity took over me and as hokey as it sounds I truly believe my guardian angels were with me. I felt that good… only a higher power of some kind could have made me so serene the morning of the birth of my first born.

Once we got to the hospital there was poking and prodding. I got my IV in, blood work was done, and the nursing team as well as the two doctors who were going to cut me open and the anesthesiologist all came in to introduce themselves to John and me. They were all so lovely, I felt like I was in good hands.

At about ten to nine it was time to head to the operating room. John was given scrubs and was asked to wait until I was frozen and ready to go. I walked into the operating room with the nurse and I’ve got to tell you, it was just like in the movies. All very sterile and white, with those horrendous, unflattering lights! Still, I felt totally calm. They put the needle in my back and within moments I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body, from about mid-chest down. It was such a bizarre sensation. Once I was prepped and ready to go they brought John in. He sat by my head and stroked my face and looked into my eyes and told me he loved me.

Minutes later John peered over the curtain that was separating my head from the action going on below and said he could see the baby. I squeezed his hand. It didn’t seem real. Then next thing you know the doctor was handing our baby off to the nurse who took him across the room. There was silence for a moment, but no one seemed to be worried so I stayed calm. Then came the cry. Then came my cry. John got up and went over to him. They cleaned him up, wrapped him and put him in John’s arms. He brought him over to me and I stared in awe.

Now I have to mention that throughout the short surgery I was truly put at ease by the doctor’s banter. It was just like Grey’s Anatomy. They were talking about restaurants they had been to, and about different doctors they had worked with. I kept half listening for them to drop a swear word or something as a sign that something, anything was wrong, but they never did. In fact it was quite the opposite. Before the surgery the anesthesiologist was complementing me on my bony spine saying it was perfect to put a needle into and at the end of my surgery Dr. Vincent told me I have “juicy ovaries”. Yep, that is the exact quote from the good doctor. Apparently from beginning to end it was a text book c-section.

Once I was stapled they wheeled me into recovery and that’s when I got to hold my son for the first time. It was strange and wonderful. It still didn’t feel real, but it felt right. I was in recovery for a couple of hours as the numbing wore off. At one point I felt very nauseous, but it passed. Then they put the baby in my arms and took me down the long hospital hallway to my room. It was honestly such a long hallway, and we were being wheeled by all sorts of people. I felt like I was in some kind of parade, problem was, for once in my life I didn’t feel like being the center of anyone’s attention. It was such a vulnerable and special time, it felt weird to see so many strangers in that moment. I was relieved when we got to our room, just the three of us.

The next few days in the hospital were tough. In the first couple of days I said to myself, ‘nobody told me it would be so hard’. Actually I was trying to fool even myself and use words like “challenging”, but truth be told it was hard. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s frustrating, and stressful, and worrisome. Dealing with the pain of a c-section is also very hard and frustrating and tiring. And then there are the hormones which made me cry for all sorts of reasons. Thankfully the incredible nursing staff got us through those first days. They helped me to get our little guy to latch. They shared tricks of the breastfeeding trade. They showed us how to bathe him. They talked to me about everything I was going to feel before I felt it, they kept me hydrated, and they answered all the questions we posed to them. I can’t imagine a better care team. We are so fortunate in this country to have access to that.

On Friday the source of my worry and tears was the name. We still hadn’t named our little guy and we were being discharged the next day. Now legally you have up to 30 days to name your child, but obviously John and I didn’t want to wait that long. John giggled at me when I said to him through tears, “he deserves a name”, admitingly a funny thing to say, but I was very serious at the time. Here was my roadblock; the name we both agreed upon is also the name of my cousin and I wanted to talk to him first and get his blessing before I really felt comfortable with it. I got a hold of him Saturday morning and of course he was incredibly sweet and flattered and gave us his blessing. That’s when our “little guy” became Evan Fenech.

It’s Monday now and we’ve been home since Saturday. Since getting home all has seemed right in the world. Evan is eating well, pooping really well and peeing well. He comes alive at night and sleeps through the day, but John and I are still managing to get our sleep when we can.

I am really in love with him, something which did take a couple of days. It’s hard to explain, but some of you might relate. I loved him before he even came into this world of course, but I didn’t really connect with him during the first couple of days in the hospital. I think I was too shell shocked. It was difficult seeing John fall so hard and so fast. I was perhaps even dealing selfishly with the realization that I had just become second fiddle to Evan in my partner’s eyes. I feel much better now. There is more love in this family than I could ever ask for; plenty to go around!

Before I take off I figure I should probably share my first funny poo story with you. It happened yesterday. I was nursing Evan in my bra and underwear in bed. John came up to check on us and was there to witness Evan’s explosive fart which happened to be linked to explosive poop… out the side of his diaper. Problem was he was feeding as he was pooping and I’ll be damned if I was going to unlatch him. When he was done with the right breast I could tell he still wanted more. I transferred him to the left breast and that’s when he dropped the second bomb. This time it went all over the pillow, the blanket I had wrapped his diaper with to protect me from the first explosion and all over my underwear. I was determined not to let the mess interfere with his feeding so I kept at it. When he was done I very carefully removed myself from the bed and changed him. Like every good mother I took care of myself last. I didn’t realize that would entail walking around with poop on me, but now I know.

Dancing with the IV...

John, ready to rock!

Our first family photo...

Me and my baby...

Evan and his very proud, very handsome father...

The cuteness that is Evan Fenech...

First car ride!

Home sweet home!

Guess who took this shot?

Resting peacefully...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So Excited!

May 13th, 2010

As I type this I have butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited for this baby to arrive!

Tomorrow is my last day at work! Unbelievable!

John is equally excited! We can’t believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone. We can’t believe we’re going to be holding our child in our arms so soon… We can’t believe we’re going to be parents. We can’t believe we’re starting an entirely new chapter in our lives. Of course it’s the unknowns in our future that make me nervous as well as excited. What will our baby’s temperament be like? Will I be able to breastfeed okay? Will we adjust to the lack of sleep? Oh, and the big question… What are we going to name him?! That’s right, we still don’t have a name. During yoga last night I meditated, asking for a name to come to me. I’ve asked my grandmother, Bertie and my Opa who have both passed to send me a sign. It will come to us… It WILL come to us.

On the physical front I’m feeling pretty good this week. My joints are starting to ache a bit and my ring is starting to get tight on my finger, oh and you already know that I’m waddling… Other than that I’m pretty good. I’m sleeping well so that’s a great thing.

Now I just have to remind myself to take it moment by moment, day by day and not get ahead of myself (which is hard for me). That will be my mantra when the little guy arrives as well. Moment by moment, and soak it all in!

Monday, May 10, 2010

When It Rains It Showers

May 10th, 2010

I had another shower this weekend! I know I sound like a broken record, but I truly am so fortunate, I know I am. This shower was attended by my mom and dad’s side of the family, the Vaughan’s and the Geuer’s, and it was fantastic.

I walked into my aunt Trudy’s and was immediately showered with screams and hugs and laughter. I was overwhelmed by all of the friends of the family, the aunts, great aunts, first, second, and third cousins! It’s a big family indeed and we’re all close. Being in that room I felt like we could start our own army of women… We would catch our enemy off guard by offering them wine and cheese on platters and our singing and dancing would eventually force them to surrender and join the party.

What I really noticed while surrounded by all the women in my family was how much I’m like all of them. We’re a pretty excitable bunch. The outfits I unwrapped weren’t just “cute” they were “SO CUTE, OH MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” I felt like I was in a room full of mirrors and echoes. I am a piece of all of them and my little guy will be too.

So now the time has come to wash the new outfits, put together the remaining furniture, get the car seat ready to go and wait. I’m getting choked up writing this… thinking of how close John and I are to meeting the person inside of me. Tick tock…

Saturday, May 8, 2010


May 8th, 2010

I have a lot of sista’s! They’re my closest girlfriends and I’ve known them for most of my life. They are like family to me. We’ve been through all the ups and downs of teenage angst together, we’ve been separated by schools and have maintained close relationships from a distance. We’ve experienced grief together. We’ve been in each other’s weddings, we’ve been in each other’s hospital rooms. My sista’s are so dear to me and last night I got to have a girl’s night with a couple of them at my place. John is away so Emily came over for dinner which was so nice. It’s rare these days that we get to hang out without an agenda. Emily has a beautiful daughter who is 14 months old and she runs her own business so she is a pretty busy lady. This is my girlfriend who is all about crafting and last night she came over with a special surprise! She brought all of the material to make butterfly shadow boxes.

Here we are getting our craft on…

And here are our works of art…

When Emily had to get home to her daughter and husband Kristen showed up to spend the night with me. We chatted all about the new house she and her boyfriend just bought (so exciting) and all about the fact that I’m going to be a mom VERY soon. At around 10:30pm my eyes starting feeling weary so I asked her (nervously) if she was getting tired. She said she WAS! It was like music to me ears. Most nights with my sista’s are spent enjoying bottles of wine and talking into the wee hours of the morning. The fact that Kristen was willing to go to bed with me at 10:30pm on a Friday night made me love her even more.

I woke up this morning feeling fresh and rested! Oh, and good news on the hemorrhoid front, it’s not nearly as painful today. I got the Tucks (thank you for the suggestion Mary) and some Preparation H and I am experiencing some relief. Just wanted to let you know in case you couldn’t get my hemorrhoid off your mind. Ha ha ha!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Save the Best for Last

May 7th, 2010

Pregnancy really saves the best for last. It’s in the last 3 weeks that the swelling really kicks in (I had to buy a new pair of sandals last week that are a full size bigger than my regular size). It’s in the last three weeks that the ligaments “relax” causing that lower back pain that makes you waddle like a duck, and apparently due to the pressure of the baby your chances of getting hemorrhoids also increase in the last 3 weeks. Guess what? Looks like I’m one of the lucky ones…

It sprung on me by sneak attack! When I got up for my 2am pee I noticed some discomfort and I knew. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, how it just appeared like that I have no idea. I lay back down and it was seriously throbbing. I kept saying to myself, “Just go to sleep, maybe when you wake up it will be gone.” No such luck. I have a golf ball between my butt cheeks and it is NOT comfortable. In fact I would say it’s downright painful! Remember when I promised honesty?! Well here it is. It’s at times like this that I kind of wish I never told my colleagues about this blog. They might look at me a bit differently today. Ah well… I have no shame.

Sitting sucks, but I don’t know if I can get one of those donut things… I mean that’s a whole new low. Maybe I do have some shame… Thank goodness it’s Friday, I’ll be spending the weekend lying on my side.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whistle While You Sew

May 6th, 2010

My mom is amazing. She comes over every week now to help me out around the house. Mainly she cleans the bathrooms and vacuums. Can you believe that?! I am so thankful to her because honestly, just looking at the vacuum cleaner makes me hurt. It’s so clunky and heavy. One day I’ll get one of those fancy vacuum cleaners and I’ll love it so much I’ll vacuum just for fun… ya.

Anyhow, this week mom came over with her sewing machine. I told her that I bought fabric while I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago with the intention of making throw pillows for the window seat in the baby’s room so she took the liberty of bringing her Singer sewing machine over to whip them up for me. That’s right, I just stood by and watched her in action. I did make her a nice dinner though so it wasn’t exactly slave labour.

This is what she started with…

And this is the finished product! Aren’t they cute and cheerful!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


May 5th, 2010

I can’t believe it! I’m sick. I have made it through this entire pregnancy (over winter) without getting one cold and now, with 3 weeks left to go I get sick! Boo! It started with a sore throat on Monday. When I woke up yesterday my throat was throbbing and I had full on nasal congestion. I put a lemon and ginger root in a baggie and went off to work. I made it through the morning, but by lunch I had to call it quits. My last day of work is next Friday so I really don’t want to take any time off, and at the same time I know that I have to listen to my body and give into it when it needs rest, especially now. Honestly, I found it hard even walking down the hallway I was so achy. I’m sure that was partially due to the cold, but also because this baby belly is heavy my friends… and according to my reading at 37 weeks my joints and ligaments are “relaxing” which is causing my pubic bones and back to ache. So there you have it. I’ll keep up with my stretching and massages and yoga and get through the next few weeks as comfortably as I can. I took a bath last night (my first one in a while), but it actually made me feel a bit queasy. I didn’t think it was too hot, but I heated up quickly. I was probably in there for fewer than 10 minutes. It reminded me of when I first got pregnant. I was so nauseous I would sometimes take baths in the morning, but one morning I made it too hot and I nearly passed out (ya… scary!). The incredible thing about the human body, and more specifically the pregnant human body is it’s got an amazing way of warning you when either you or the baby is in jeopardy.

This morning I feel a bit better, thankfully. When I drove in I was greeted by a massive orange ball in the sky! The sun was so bright I had to put on my sun glasses… At 5:50am!!! There is no better start to the day than a bright sun in the face!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Please Forgive Me...

May 3rd, 2010

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I blame exhaustion. These days I come home from work, have a nap, make dinner and then get ready for bed again. My body is craving sleep so that’s what I’m giving it.

Other than being pooped things have been good. I’m coming off of a lovely weekend in Toronto. John’s family threw a beautiful baby shower for us. It was so nice to see all of the sweet, caring, and strong women in John’s family all in one room together. I can see from them why John is the man he is. Over the years the more I’ve gotten to know John’s family the better I’ve been able to understand my handsome man.

I do believe that everyone who comes into our lives makes an imprint on us. It makes me think of the family and friends that will mold our little guy. With all the love and support we’ve received throughout this pregnancy it’s safe to say he’s going to turn out very well.

Needless to say I’m once again feeling so much gratitude for the generous gifts given to us this weekend as well as the tight squeezes, the smiles, the words of encouragement… If only all the babies in the world were born into this much love.