Friday, 11 January 2013

Glowing heart

Well, I've officially been lost in baby la-la land for almost 2 1/2 months now... I suppose it's time for an update!  I feel like I have so much to write about, and since I haven't emptied any of my thoughts in so long, I'm not quite sure how this will turn out... probably some baby lovin' mess of a post.

I have spent many a night/ afternoon/morning ...etc.. gazing at our little creation... thinking deep thoughts about life- or sometimes not even thinking at all. I frequently tell myself " right after she falls asleep/ is finishing feeding I'll go write on my blog"... and then that happens, and I find myself paralysed by wonder and amazement. I usually stare at her a little more while she sleeps, listen to some music, and thoroughly enjoy every little movement she makes. And then I go nowhere, and soon getting up to the computer is a lost though.
I have been indulging in some good old fashioned journaling in the journal I'm keeping for her though. All writing hasn't been lost. ;)

I think another reason the "blogging" has slowed down ( besides the obvious "free time" issues that come with the busy routines of feeding, changing, bathing, entertaining, playing, snuggling & dancing)... is that I have been spending less time reflecting and stressing about little things, and more time enjoying the moment.
I feel like Oaklee makes me sit and enjoy the moment, even when there are a dozen things going on around me. Try multitasking and breastfeeding! Its not something I want to do ;) So I get to sit and enjoy her at least every 3 hours ;) ... see!

Hmm, so now that I'm sitting here and actually doing this- what am I going to write about? I've grown so much in the last few months, I hardly even recognise myself and feel like I have the writers equivalent to verbal diarrhea. That's what happens when you spend all day spoiling your baby with snuggles and smiles...

Spoiling a baby.... interesting concept. I've thought a lot about this, mainly because its one of those things you always hear in random chit chat in the baby world.
I guess I will probably spoil my baby... if spoiling her means loving her to pieces and consoling her as much as I can... showing her that I am there for her, and she can trust me as her safe place. It really is too hard not too. Loving and taking care of her is technically my only "job" right now anyways ( thank you mat leave).  And can you really love a baby too much?
Its strange what working for a short time on paediatrics did to me as a new mother.  I probably wouldn't have half of these thoughts if I hadn't. I find my heart aching for all of the parents that had to watch their children's health fail, or...worst. I find myself slightly terrified, knowing that in an instant, lives can change and the little person you love more than anything imaginable could be taken. ( I know I shouldn't even think of that... but its hard not to).  Some bits of conversations with patients parents that seemed to be buried deep in the nursing vault, have made a reappearance in my mind as of late.  " Cherish every moment you have with them... take lots of pictures.... enjoy every stage- even the hard ones.... you can never love them too much... if only I had of known...."  * gulp... getting a little choked up here now*
I always have known that life is precious and we need to drink it all in-- don't sweat the small stuff... etc.  I guess I never really felt it until little Oaklee entered my life.  I thought I did---but not on this level. I guess that's because I love her so deeply.  If you asked me a few months ago what I love, I would ramble off a pretty good list! My man, Rob (of course)... my family, friends & my dogs... I love travelling and hooping and nice glass of wine after a long day... and lots more.
There should be a different word invented to describe the 'love' you feel for your child... because it feels so much bigger than anything you've ever known. You love them so much, sometimes it actually hurts... like your heart is growing and glowing larger and brighter than the sun. And then... just when you think your heart has expanded to its full loving capacity--- a little smile or brush of their hand against your skin--- makes you even more in "love". It truly is the best feeling in the world, maybe only fathomable to those who have experienced it themselves.
So yes--- if attempting to shower my baby with as much of this overflowing love as possible, while I am gifted the time to do so, qualifies as spoiling.... I'm sorry world.... but I have no choice in the matter.
Ahh... I've been out here a while--- after all that love talk---- I need to go check on my little pumpkin all snug in her bed and make sure she is still sleeping safe and sound.
Just joking... ;)
okay- I'm totally not joking... and just went in the room for a little peek and she is just fine ;) Guilty.

Well- as much as I would like to clear my head of more new mommy news... I think I have exhausted my thoughts for tonight.

Off to bed and feeling very thankful for where life has taken us.
Goodnight moon xox

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Halloween to Remember

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night....
When the most beautiful little miracle came crashing into our world, barrels of thunder rolling in behind her.
She had finally arrived.

I'm not sure if this will end this blog- however it is definetly the end to a wonderful pregnancy and the starting of a new life. It actually- to my surprise -doesn't feel like "my old" life has ended anymore- but that it just got better... And soooo full of love

First I'll apologize if this seems a little broken, I've been writing little pieces here and there when I get a chance.. Mostly falling asleep, or getting distracted by new mom duties everytime I try to write... But here it goes...

Monday, October 29th started out just like a regular day. Like any overdue pregnant women- I was booked in for my 41 weeks fetal assessment appointment, basically to ensure my little one was healthy and that we had a plan to schedule induction should things not progress naturally on their own.
To our delight, everything with baby appeared healthy and normal... She was just a little too comfortable and taking her time coming out.
Induction was being booked for later in the week and I was having a small meltdown to Rob over my anxiety and disappointment ( of induction) as we waited to meet with the obgyn on call.
She arrived, chatted with us about what to expect did her exam. Since I was also so anxious about induction- she offered one other option to "try"before sending me home. A membrane sweep ( basically just "roughs things up" down there- separating your amniotic sac from the cervix- in efforts to stimulate hormones which can stimulate labor) .
I believe her selling line was- it has about a 25% chance of doing something- those who don't like pain opt out ( it's a "little" uncomfortable), and those who don't want induction opt in to give it a try. Sold. Surely it couldn't hurt as much as labor/ delivery .. And that was right around the corner, so might as well toughen up and give it a try!
10 seconds later, she was finished, and we were off... With strict instructions to go home and do what brought us here in the first place ;) .... Of course we had to listen to doctors advice ( hmm, to make this parent appropriate....)
... Like I said- we enjoyed a wonderful date night night - complete with dinner, dog sitters, and a nice big hotel room suite- complete with jacuzzi tub and a few other secret weapons. Needless to say- about an hour after heading to bed for the night- we were soon headed for our first adventure to labour and delivery - with regular contractions!

But as many first time moms experience- things were not progressing very quickly, although the contractions were still quite regular. ( what the heck-I have to go home like this? )... And we were told it could last for days- and the "cramping"/ contractions were likely from the membrane sweep. I kept to myself that we had basically repeated the procedure a few hours earlier, haha. Sorry Dad.
Anyways, to make a long labor story short- I was on my way back to the hospital later that next afternoon, as my mother forbid me to stay home any longer once my contractions were about 4 minutes apart...

From the time I was wheeled upstairs, until the birth of our little girl... I couldn't have asked for a better labor. I had amazing nurses and doctors, who gave me their undivided attention, kept me informed of my options at all times, and did their best to allow me to have the birth experience I wanted (the less interventions the better).
Since I was the only patient in labor and delivery that stormy night, I was treated to 2 birthing suites. It was wonderful. One room was completely set up to get me in "the zone"... Focused and relaxed all at once... A dimly lit tub room, with a mellowed out playlist on a nearby laptop ( thanks sis), birthing ball and even a hoop. I'm sure I must have spent almost 6hrs straight in the tub, and would definetly recommend it to any laboring mom!
I also was fortunate enough to have the 2 best labor coaches by my side. Attentive and understanding, and extremely encouraging; My mom & Robby...each having a very special role, I'm so thankful for them both. They seemed to know just what to say, ( or not say), rubbed my back or swayed with me, timed my contractions for hours, and didnt get offended when i needed immediate isolation from touch and talking during each contraction.
And during those last few moments of pushing- just hearing their voices and seeing their faces, was the comfort I needed at the time.
I always knew my mother would be someone I took look to for support during that time, after all she did do it a few times herself. I wasn't quite sure how Rob would handle it ( especially since we had joked of all the unfortunate scenarios for months--- fainting, puking, being grossed out, ect)... Wow- was I ever surprised at his all-star performance - what every person hopes their partner is like in the delivery room. That night I fell even more in love with him- and i think we both got to see a new side to each other. (Mush mush mush... Sorry.. The whole thing was a little intense. Scratch that - THE most intense moments of my life without a doubt).

Continuing on... Haha... If you don't want any more details than just skip this paragraph... Basically, after my water was broke, things progressed quickly ( in my mind- although it was possibly hours?), the contractions got stronger and much closer together, and it became clear that she was well on her way. Before I knew it- the nurses were prepping my " other room" ( the one being used for exams and such), testing equipment, turning on bright lights, and prepping for delivery. That would be the moment it became "real" to me...
I opted for some pain medication at about 7-8cm dilated ( quick acting fentanyl ) which didn't seem to do much for the pain/pressure but may have helped take the edge off. That and a little bit of laughing gas in the final moments before and in between pushes... It was just right for me.
I could still feel everything, but it helped me control my breathing and pushing. We had a bit of a scare, when we heard those dreaded words " the cord is around her neck".. ( gulp), but with direction from my doctor, was able to control when, where and how to push so that they could do the interventions they needed quickly. Talk about a brief moment of panic ( luckily it was quickly resolved).

And then came the birth of our baby girl. How can I even begin to describe those moments. It's like the biggest adrenaline rush of your life- mixed with an overwhelming feeling of love and happiness- and the sense that you have just accomplished the most important task ever, survived, and created the most beautiful being you have ever seen. But even that description doesn't do it justice. It really does seem like a miracle... A little life created and finally introduced to the world... All because of two people.

She was finally here... It seemed like forever before she cried to me, but I think that's only because it was the only thing I was waiting to hear. There she was, Perfect and healthy and worth every moment on this little journey. She was unbelievably alert- eyes wide open.. And just seemed to be taking it all in. My heart opened in a way I didn't even realize was possible (... And now I understand that parents don't just say those things because they have to... It's really true)... In that moment we became a little family, and I knew I would do my best to give her the best life I could, even with all my new mom jitters... Because that had just became my most important job in this world.

Welcome to this world little miss Oaklee Capri Munro Russell.... We love you sooo much!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

40+6 - The recluse

I have always thought of myself as a pretty open and out there type of person, however these last few weeks I have began to discover a new person inside. The recluse.
I have a new found love at the present moment for privacy, alone time, and reflection. 
I have spent a lot of time thinking and actually enjoying those moments of solitude.
My dogs love it because they seem to be getting extra attention. They cant talk or ask any questions ( other than the ones I imagine n my head).
I have been trying to use this extra time with little miss inside to prepare my body with nightly meditation and relaxing morning and evening soaks in the tub ( lukewarm- not hot ;), lots of walking and the occasional bathroom dance party. Don't judge.

I know that all of my family and friends are beyond excited to meet our little creation and it feels great to know that there is a mountain of support behind us. I just feel that I can't really participate in all of the hype at this very moment.  I need the quiet. 
Yes I'm excited, and yes I know she is coming any day now... Its the beginning of a new and beautiful life- however its also somewhat of the ending of an old one.  This quiet time is serving as an important transition period for me... calmly helping me slip from one role in my own life to another.  I'm a thinker, and not usually a "sayer," about most things.... and I think that maybe now that most of all my physical nesting symptoms have left- my emotional nesting is in high gear.  My "home" is ready... and now I'm just working on wrapping my head around it.  I bet I will really savour the alone time and bonding with her on the outside once she's here.

For some reason- a certain experience I had while working on paediatrics keeps on sticking out in my head- and makes me a little teary and excited when I think about it.  Occasionally ( much to frequently actually), we would get children as patients that were more social admissions... failing to thrive for various reasons- whether it be circumstance, neglect or an undiagnosed medical issue.  One little boy ( close to a year old- but looking and behaving like an infant), always seemed to fall under my care, and as much as I knew I should not form too much of a strong bond with him, after multiple weeks of seeing his sweet face it was impossible not to. I'm sure I loved him, and I definitely loved caring for him and being his nurse. He needed a lot of cuddling and consoling, sometimes it seemed like you were holding him for hours while still trying to care for the rest of the ward.  One night I had him swaddled trying to console him to sleep ( this was still in my days of boycotting having children of my own ever)... there I was walking around the room, rocking and swaying and humming.... when I caught a glimpse of myself in the bedside mirror.  It was such a strange moment with myself.  I stayed in front of the mirror and continued to soothe him to sleep- swaying back and forth... while imagining myself as a mother with my own child... wondering if I looked funny with a baby in my arms. Feeling not so horrible about  maybe bringing a child into the world someday... but feeling love and feeling important to be able to care for this person who needed comfort and protection. I really loved my job at that moment- even though it was such an easy moment- it was one that apparently I will never forget.  I remember feeling so happy inside when he finally fell asleep in my arms, and as I placed him in his heart melted and I think a little part of me changed.  I keep thinking about that moment, and feeling reassured that I will really love being a mother, because surely that feeling has to be intensified times a million when it is a being you carried for 40+ weeks and brought into this world.
I wonder why these moments didn't pop into my head during the early ( terrified) stage of pregnancy...?
Everything in its own time I guess.

Anyways-- now that I am feeling thoroughly mushy again... I have a couple minor confessions to make.

Confession number one: I have been cheating on my blog. Yes- that's correct. I have been cheating on my blog with a journal ( real life- pen and paper journal).  Interesting eh.  Maybe you remember the post I wrote about writing a letter to my "unborn child"? Well, I did that, and then, having the word vomit that I do when I start writing; that letter turned into a fairly regular journal of documented emotions, facts about her parents, life, ect ect.  A bit of turning away from me and speaking directly to her. It sounds silly probably, but it has really helped me prepare to meet her ( especially finding a peaceful place to read it aloud to my belly).  She knows I am ready whenever she decides to make her grand entrance. 

Confession number two:  We had some beautiful maternity pictures done before I left the island ( around 38 weeks).  Some are appropriate for everyone to see and some are a little more private ( as in no pants- private).  I love them, and when I look at them they make me smile.  But I (we) haven't shared them. Is that strange? We will probably frame them and they will be scattered all throughout our house and given to close friends and family, but we are selfishly keeping them to ourselves-- little pieces of personal moments shared between two soon-to-be new parents- embarking on a new stage in a relationship and in life.  I might post a few on here soon- since I seem to post most of my private moments here, but I have had no interest ( even maybe a bit of an uneasy feeling) to post them for all of the facebook world to see.

Confession number 3: This post has been mostly written and not posted for a couple days--- partly due to confession number 1... so please excuse if some dates are messed up, and it seems a little broken.

So now that I have gotten those off my chest- I guess I owe a little bit of an update since I am officially past due. I'm currently 40 weeks and 6 days along. Almost a week overdue- which the doctors ( and many moms with labor stories) have told me is quite normal with a first baby. The first of the week, I will go for another doctors appointment where they will make sure ( with fetal monitoring, ultrasound, ect) that the baby is still healthy, and more than likely book some sort of induction date in case she still the hasn't made an appearance by the end of the week.
This makes me a little sad, because I was hoping not to need an induction ( I'm sure you've heard me rant about not wanting pitocin at some point, and all the controversy that goes with it)..... but in the end-- I have to do what is safest for baby. You know, do the whole-- risks vs benefits-- thing.
They haven't offered to "start me" so far..
.... and I still have faith that she will come on her own before we get to that point.....
........ fingers and toes are crossed.... but I still feel pretty good about it even though we are getting close.
Mother's intuition perhaps?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nursery pictures update

A few updated pictures of the baby's room... Some of the decor might change-- but this is it for now..
A little girly nautical theme going on I guess...

I'm pretty proud because most of the art and decorations are all homemade crafts, repainted fixtures, framed cards ect.... Except for that one old Gustav Klimt picture from my old apartment --which Robby may have hidden on me by the time I get home haha...Its called "the virgin"... But we're going with mermaids for now ( I had it.. And the wall was empty) ;)

We love how the floors turned our too! They are really easy to clean and look great in the room! Thanks again pinterest!

40 weeks

Looks different every time she moves! Which is a lot!

I didn't know I was pregnant

Even though I don't quite feel as anxious as everyone else seems to be at 3 days past their due date... Every night I lay in bed feeling all the different movements, wondering if it's the start of something bigger.

I know it can happen any moment now, but in my mind it still feels so far away.
At night she is really active, and I can see little knees and feet rolling across my stomach. Every so often I even get a little jabbing sensation that feels like a fist might come right through my rear end or somewheres else close (TMI?) ... I'm sure she's just growing and growing and making things a little more cramped- which means those pokes and jabs are a lot stronger-- little one can really pack a punch!
I obviously have absolutely no idea what to expect when labour starts-because with each intensifying kick... I find myself waiting for the next one and wondering...was that the worst pain I ever felt??? Did that feel like my uterus tightening??
Everyone says you just know when it starts...but haven't you ever seen that show " I didn't know I was pregnant"? People have babies in toilets much too often for my liking....
Ok ok... I KNoW I'm pregnant and the chances of that are minimal I'm sure ( although I'd be lying if I said I have never thought about it lately when I am going through my morning.."elimination routine"... and maybe my strange and irrational fears have caused me to check to make sure there is no baby coming a few times here and there...too much info again?)
Hmm... I'm thinking of all sorts of bizarre nursey things...and think I got off track.

It's funny, you can read all the text books and information you want but it still can't fully prepare you for what something will actually feel like.
I will still lay here and analyze all the fetal movements going on inside, weird sensations, and wonder what's going on in my body... Probably right up until that unmistakable ( I hope) moment that everyone warns you about.

Nope--- just another kick...
Wish me luck!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lady in waiting

Both of my due dates have arrived ( oh the confusion of having 2 early ultrasounds predicting different dates)... Today is my official due date I suppose... But I feel absolutely no different than I have the last few weeks.
I have been filling my days at my parents house visiting with friends, galavanting around the city ( taking advantage of book stores, Starbucks, and all of the things you need to plan trips away for on the island), attending concerts, walking the dogs, bantering with my mother, reading, sleeping, bathing stretching and trying to practice different types of meditation for labour. It almost feels like a bit of a mini vacation since I am being pretty pampered around here ( not that I wasn't at home... But it's definetly different being " taken care of" by mom).

It's funny... Every morning ( and night)... I feel like I'm preparing for the biggest and most special date ever ( probably because I don't know what else to do).... ( it's kind of like a blind date in a way! )
I have gotten my hair done- my nails done, had a pedicure, been freshly waxed (ouch!) legs are shaved, outfits are picked out, eyebrows tweezed. I'm moisturized, and in make up more than ever before... And every night I make sure that I just need a quick primp should I need to rush out in the middle of the night. It's almost become a superstition... I figure if I don't do it- something unpredictable, embarrassing or horrible would happen. Crazy... I know.
It's really pretty odd behavior I suppose, but I figure that if I can arrive at the hospital looking somewhat put together- then I might feel a little bit better and look a little less like an angry demon when it's all said and done. And I don't want to scare my new baby.
That... And it will be the first time I see Rob in a while ( maybe almost 2 weeks). Haha... I know that he won't care about any of that stuff, and have much more on his mind than if my nails are chipped...
It must be all the extra time I have on my hands.... That and hormones... For the next few weeks I can still blame everything strange that I do on hormones.

Speaking of Rob... I must say... I really miss him a lot. We were used to long distance at the first of our relationship, but not so much now. I greatly overestimated my ability to jump back into that mindstate... And wish I could spend some of these " days in waiting" with him by my side. I think i was so used to seeing him everyday that I forget how much I actually love being around him. They say that time apart is good... And even though the next time we see each other will probably be nerve racking and stressful-- I'll be so relieved and comforted to have him here. I miss those manly fisherman hugs!
..... I may have even contemplated "crying wolf" just to get him away from work and on the mainland. ;) .....
Haha... But now I've " outed myself" and will just have to behave;)