Posts Tagged "pregnancy"

Looking Back

Posted on Jan 4, 2012 in Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

Looking Back

Last year at this time I was in the middle of my third trimester of a surprise pregnancy. I wanted to spend the last week of 2010 reflecting on the previous year and anticipating the next. I wanted to choose a word of the year. But I just couldn’t get past anticipating how the new baby would change our lives. All I could think about/plan for was the upcoming birth and my fears/excitement about becoming a family of five. I felt like I had just boarded a roller coaster and well, a roller coaster isn’t the best place to write in your journal or have a strategic planning session. I let the planning and reflecting go and I sat back to enjoy the ride (or hold on/white-knuckle it as it were). This year I am again in a mental space that allows me to step back and look at the bigger picture. This year I’ve chosen a word and I’ve been able to look back at the last two years to see the themes and lessons that brought us to today. 2010 began with me seeking a clear vision of my path, and consequently, faith and trust that my dreams were achievable. It was supposed to be a year of planning and moving forward, but we got thrown a curve-ball mid-way through the year, in the form of an unplanned pregnancy. Just like that everything changed: I forgot all about my intentions and plans from January and focused on the baby we would be welcoming. Yet, looking back, I see that the year was still embodied by vision, faith and trust. I had to rewrite my vision of our family and our plans and I again found myself looking for clarity of purpose as I reconsidered my dreams. I learned to trust the process and have faith in myself and my family as I fearfully wondered whether we had the energy to welcome/care for another child. I learned to relax and believe that it would all work out. 2011 ended up being a year of being, of presence. Mindfulness is a bit of a catch word in the last decade and I wish I could say that I consciously chose to be present but the reality is that it just happened. This summer, Aaron and I made the decision that our family was complete and Aaron went in for a vasectomy which meant that 2011 was the last year I will ever be pregnant, or give birth, or hold my own newborn baby against my skin. I spent 2011 reveling in the anticipation and feeling gratitude for the childbearing phase in a woman’s life. I spent 2011 watching my baby grow and trying to soak it up, knowing now, the third time around, how very fleeting it is, knowing that I can’t slow it down, knowing that I won’t experience this first hand ever again. After all the fears and uncertainty and surprise of 2010, we were delighted to welcome Silas into our lives. He has been a wonderful ray of light and sweetness in our family. He balanced us out and healed old wounds and the first 5-6 months with him were so beautiful and—I still can’t believe it—easy. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have him. The last few months have been harder as sleep became a huge challenge and as a result, 2011 echoed 2009 in being a year of family, a year of being still and getting to know each other, a year of not taking on too much. I even went so far as to broadcast on facebook that we were struggling with sleep deprivation to the point where I was focusing only keeping my kids’ fed and clothed and as such my friends would have to forgive my lack of phone calls/visits. 2011 was about living day-to-day. 2011 was about the moment. 2011 was about now. But here we are: it is January. The days have slipped by. We have a new year. We can see Silas’ first birthday there on...

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Gratitude: the last word on my last pregnancy

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 in Featured | 12 comments

Gratitude: the last word on my last pregnancy

For many years now, I have taken the last week of December and first week of January to reflect on the closing year and anticipate the coming new year. Last year, I even chose a word of the year. I had every intention of doing that again this year but alas, in my advanced stage of gestation, I found that I could not think beyond the task set for me for mid-February: birth. Between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, all I could focus on was preparing for the new baby. My blog was quiet. My life was full. And tiring. So, this year there was no word of the year. But there was a word. The word that continued to bubble up in my mind every week was gratitude. For my pregnancy. For my baby. For the fact that it was my last foray into childbearing. I was grateful for: pregnancy perks: my strong fingernails my shiny & manageable hair gaining weight (I’ve struggled with being underweight since high school) bigger boobs friends and strangers who revelled with me in the anticipation of waiting for a baby to arrive (being pregnant in the winter with bulky coats and sweaters over my belly meant that even at 9 months few people noticed that I was pregnant so I didn’t have a lot of people asking about my pregnancy). the wonder and magic of pregnancy – feeling baby’s kicks and rolls Rain’s utter delight in my pregnancy and growing belly and his excitement as the birth drew near a complication free pregnancy an informed pregnancy (knowing that I could decline diabetes screening and other tests, knowing that I could dialogue with my midwives about our hopes and expectations for the birth, knowing my body and intuitively understanding the process I was going through because I had experienced it twice before) access to midwifery care access to modern medicine like the routine 20 week ultrasound that re-affirmed that our baby was healthy, hospitals & specialists should we need them, and an ever-growing body of research about pregnancy and childbirth a healthy baby an amazing birth team and excellent prenatal care my beautiful pregnant belly Lest you think I am one of those annoying people who have perfect pregnancies with no discomforts, I did have my fair share of complaints. There was the debilitating all-day nausea that plagued me for the first 20+ weeks. There was the nasal congestion that started the first day and just got worse and worse until I was sleeping propped up on 3 pillows, spraying saline up my nose daily and wearing the oh-so-fashionable Breathe Right strips nightly (have you seen what those cost?!?). There was the middle of the night acid reflux – waking up because you have vomit at the back of your throat is not very fun, but it did give another reason for sleeping on 3 pillows. I also have to mention the restless leg syndrome, swollen cankles, bleeding gums, and unmentionables like hemorrhoids. But the worst? The worst was the awful SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) in the third trimester. SPD is caused by the hormone relaxin which softens the ligaments and causes the pelvis bones to begin widening and separating in preparation for birth. The last 10 or so weeks of my pregnancy I could barely walk as I suffered from sharp shooting and grinding pains in my pubic bone and SI joints. Rolling over in bed, getting up from the couch or out of bed (every 1.5 hours for a trip to the bathroom to pee) was agony. The muscles supporting my belly and the weight of my growing baby felt permanently strained. Essentially, I was in almost constant pain for the last trimester. Yet, I was even grateful for all of the pain and discomfort because it gave me the peace needed to accept that this is my last pregnancy. It confirmed for me that I am totally  fine (ok, maybe 90% fine) with never being pregnant again. It reminded me that I am getting older and pregnancy isn’t as easy as...

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Anticipation

Posted on Jan 8, 2011 in Birthing, Featured | 11 comments

Anticipation

I work part-time in a midwifery clinic as the office administrator. In this position, I get to see a lot women, partners and children as they go through the months leading up to the birth of their babies. I welcome them to the clinic, offer tea, tell them about the lending library, show them how to use the scale and the pee test strips. I see the couples as they wait for their appointments to start. I watch them gaze at the wall covered in baby announcements. I hear them giggle as they both try the scale. I listen as they discuss a book choice or show pictures to their toddlers. There are a lot of reasons I like my work but I must say that it’s such a privilege to be the quiet observer of this third trimester anticipation. Whether it’s a first time mom or a seasoned veteran, as she approaches her due date it seems all these couples/families slip into this otherwise unseen state. It’s a mixture of trepidation and excitement, wonder and worry. And there is nothing like it. No other life change brings anticipation like this. Not a new job. Not a move. Not even getting married. Welcoming a new (unknown) family member changes your life—for the rest of your life. It’s exciting. It’s scary. There’s no way to prepare for the emotional impact of welcoming a whole new individual permanently into your heart. It’s exciting to meet them for the first time and it’s an adventure to watch their little personalities emerge  over the coming years. But there is also apprehension about how your life will change, how your family will adjust, and about who this little one will be. To me, that sense of anticipation is the epitome of the magic of pregnancy. Maybe it’s the glow people talk about. Last year, when I didn’t know if we’d ever have any other kids, I would watch the mamas and envy them. I’d been there twice before so I recognized well that look of joyful expectancy. The funny thing is when I was in the middle of it, living it, I ended up taking that feeling for granted…until it was gone and life went back to normal and then I recognized it for the first time. Now, every time I see a pregnant woman, I see that anticipation just oozing out of them. Even the calmest and most nonchalant of midwifery clients, even the quick glance of a stranger on the street, reveals a woman waiting for a life changing event. And here I am now, just about 34 weeks pregnant with my last baby, sore and uncomfortable and tired, and full and round and heavy with the weight of all that anticipation. Only this time, I’m aware of it, I’m honouring it, I’m reveling in it because I know there’s nothing else that compares to this and I know that this is my last chance to live it completely. How about you? Do remember that feeling from your...

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Briefly October

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 in Featured | 1 comment

Briefly October

The things I learned in October: Despite my best intentions, I can’t seem to get my butt in gear to blog as often as I’d like while also juggling a 2 year old, homeschooling a 5 year old, doing the books for our family business, re-designing the website for the family business and being pregnant. I don’t manage to stay nice Mommy when 2 year old has a melt down and doesn’t want to wear the costume that I fretted over for weeks and finally pulled together the week of Halloween. Challenge for future learning posts: Learn how to keep my own stress from infiltrating the holidays for the whole family. I really love making our own pickles. We made our first batch in August (dill pickles) and finally got to test them this month. So yummy. We also did beet pickles and pickled carrots over the weekend, bringing the total count to 19 quarts of dills (cukes), 12 quarts of pickled beets and 11 pints of pickled carrots. We also just got a canner as a gift from my in-laws and look forward to doing jams, sauces (apple, tomato, pear) and fruits & veggies (peaches, pears, tomatoes). Aaron and I have gotten into this as a joint hobby and find that it’s a nice way to spend some time together despite that it means that the kids either watch too many movies or rip the house apart jumping on every surface and spreading bedding and pillows far and wide. We drown our sorrows while cleaning the mess by eating pickles. I should mention that this is a surprise because I hated canning as a kid, partly because it was forced labour and partly because my mom would get really stressed out (file this under legitimate reasons for #2 above). Pregnancy related nausea likes to stay longer and longer with each of my pregnancies – another reason why this will be our last baby! With Rain I was feeling better by 12 weeks, with Noa it was somewhere between 14 and 16 weeks. This time, while I’m definitely over the all day sickness and exhaustion of the first trimester, nausea in the morning is still persisting at 24 weeks. Bummer! I may also have to accept that pregnancy seems to be increasing my allergies too as I sneeze my head off every day this fall (never having suffered from fall allergies before). Anticipating the births of friends’ babies and seeing the newborn photos afterward works very well as means to get me excited about our own little surprise baby—until the middle of the night when I can still be struck with intense panic at the thought of grocery shopping or bedtime with three kids. What I Learned This Month posts are inspired by Amber of Strocel.com. View this month’s link-up on her site to see what she and her participants learned in October...

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Briefly August

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 in Featured | 2 comments

Briefly August

This monthly review is inspired by Amber Strocel‘s monthly What I Learned post. Hop over to her site to catch the other participants in her link up and to read what she learned too. Here’s what happened in August: I learned that committing to a homelearning program for Rain feels surprisingly good (for now). Ask me again in a couple of months. I learned how attempted to can dill pickles. I say attempted because we have to let them sit for a couple of weeks before we try them so at this point I don’t know if it was a bust or not. However, we took the kids to a local u-pick farm and picked cukes together and then Aaron and I canned 19 quarts of pickles for the first time. Can’t wait to try them. I discovered that our local Waldorf school initiative will be starting small this year by offering a two morning a week Waldorf Kindergarten group. This means that Rain can go there and get some Waldorf education, I can get a bit of a break, and we can still try out homeschooling. I can’t tell you how happy I am about this arrangement. This is actually my ideal set up and I wish it could continue that way into the coming years. In addition to the two morning Kindy program there is also a Friday morning Waldorf circle (where parents stay) that sounds like a fun social outting too. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the families from the school over the past year and we look forward to our continued involvement with the school initiative and to developing a deeper friendship with these families. I thought a lot about what it takes to feel done having children and discovered (even before this baby is born) that I am totally done. I had always wanted three kids and yet, I also felt some very real disappointment about the positive pregnancy test. For the first time, I could see all the benefits of only having two children and it felt ok. In fact, should I have miscarried early on in the pregnancy, I’m not sure that I would have continued to pursue the idea of three kids. This was a surprise to me and put things in perspective a bit. Nevertheless, now that we’re on the road to three, I am getting excited and looking forward to February and I’m also content knowing that after the baby arrives, I won’t find myself perpetually yearning for another. I’m sure Aaron is relieved to hear that too. I celebrated as four of my friends welcomed babies this month (including one set of twins). All of the singletons (and one of the twins) were boys by the way. I reflected on the idea of wishing and whether or not I subscribe to it. In the coming days, I’ll tell you about my experiment with wishing. I started to feel moderately less sick and tired and I officially crossed over into the second trimester! What did August hold for...

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