Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There are lots of photos and my baby announcement up at Immortality Art. Come and have a look.

Walk to Remember

This weekend our city is holding it's very first Walk to Remember. It is a special day to remember and celebrate the lives of babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and soon after birth. October is Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month and therefore many of the Walks are held in October.
The website gives a bit of history:

The first Walk to Remember was held in September 1986 in Chicago, Illinois, at the Fifth National Perinatal Bereavement Conference. Now, in the United States, tens of thousands participate in the walk, which is held various weekends throughout September and October.

Many chose October for their Walk because it is the month of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, a time of national observance proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The proclamation states: "National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems."

This movement is new in Canada, and Edmonton's Walk to Remember was spearheaded by a lovely woman who lost her baby, Lincoln, last October 10th. All the money raised from the walk will go to a local baby loss support group called Angel Whispers. (Angel Whispers site) Donations can be made online through Canada Helps.

Donations of keepsake teddy bears will also be collected at the walk, so that parents who have lost their babies can be given a teddy bear to hold on to as they grieve. I know that this was important for me. When we lost Kalila, my cousin gave me a sweet little pink teddy bear. I slept with that teddy and Kalila's blanket in my arms for month and months. When our Girly was born, 3 years later, she adopted Kalila's teddy over all her many toys as her comfort object. This has provided countless opportunities to talk about Kalila and remember her with her siblings.

I think that the Walk to Remember is a wonderful opportunity to not only celebrate our babies' lives, but to raise awareness about Infant and Pregnancy Loss. Alberta has the highest infant mortality rate in Canada, so we need to do all we can to inform ourselves and others. It is also a terrific way for friends and families of those who have lost their babies to show their love and support.

So if you are out here in Alberta, come on out to the legislature grounds this weekend and help support families who's precious children have died to soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am glad that tomorrow is Thursday.

Interesting day. I feel crappy. My whole head and face hurt, right down to my freckles. I feel weepy and overwhelmed, like I am not dealing. I really want to eat some sugar and fat. Together. Cookies, brownies, cake, oh my!

It was, in reality, a pretty good day. I finished up the kids school schedule, got it printed and all their assignments ready. (My days go so much better when they know what is expected and they have stuff to keep them busy.) They did their work and were done school by 11 am again. I did kindergarten with Monkey and Girly, pre-writing activities, matching and sorting games, reading. The big brothers played board games with the littles and took them outside to run around. After dinner, we all played a game of cranium cadoo together while Zed cried in my arms. Girly was on my team and she is great at charades!

A good day, but not one I could wholly enjoy. Their laughter and energy hurt my ears and made me feel irritable. Can I admit that I really didn't want to go downstairs and play a board game with them? I wanted to curl up in my bed and watch tv. By myself. But more than that, I wanted my kids to have a happy memory of us all playing together. I love them all to pieces. I want them to have fun and enjoy themselves. But we are all in each other's space all the time. Our house is so teensy for all the people in it. All. The. Time. I am totally praying for a house that fits our needs a bit better. I am so thankful for our home, but some space would be nice.

I need to remember a few things. I need to get out of the house every day. By myself preferably. Even a quick, 15 minute walk would do the trick. I need to remember that Zed is only 2 weeks old, and I can give myself some leeway. Some permission to feel how I do and to take it easy for a bit. I need to take naps and remember to take my iron to build my levels back up. I need to let go and enjoy hanging out with my kids, that is why I do this crazy stay-at-home mom / homeschooling thing. Because I have the most terrific kids and I want to spend time with them.

I am sure there are some things I am forgetting to remember! But that's okay. I am tired, I am allowed to forget stuff. Right?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Phew, better.

Today is already a better day.

I had a good cry last night and vented at my hubby. Then I managed to actually get some sleep in between nursings!

This morning, hubby decided to go in late and give me a hand. My dad is coming in this afternoon to stay overnight and I was totally stressing about the house. Brent got up and vacuumed as I nursed baby Zed and fell back asleep. My darling hubby also got the little kids up and fed, and the big boys up and doing their math.

When I got up, I could still hear the vacuum, so I left Zed in bed and had a shower. So wonderful, I didn't even make it into the shower at all yesterday. I came downstairs and everyone was happy and fed and the boys were almost done their math! I have a terrific and understanding hubby and thankfully he has an understanding boss. Brent called in and told them that I had a rough night and needed a hand this morning and they told him to come in when he was ready. They are terrific there, really family friendly.

It is funny that when Brent was self-employed he could never do that, but now as an employee he has a bit of leeway.

So Superboy is proud of himself, all done math by 9:30, we have even done a few other subjects now. The Boy played a board game with the littles for a while and now they are happily ensconced with the tv for an hour while I work with the big boys.

Yippee!! We actually did some real school today! And it is only 11 am. I have a roast in the slow cooker for supper and now I just need to tidy up the house, fold laundry and make up the bed for my dad before leaving for the airport to get him at 2:30/3pm. Oh and dress 5 kids and get them out the door with me.

It is amazing what one good day does for my outlook, especially with clean floors and bathrooms, that my hubby made happen!

Thank you guys for your support, I am reading about your lives in my reader, but not finding much time to visit and comment right now. I am thinking of you all though.
Here is my babe in a new outfit from Auntie Shay, thanks for enjoying him with me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The terrible, rotten, no good, horrible, very bad day.

I am having one of those days. One of those days where I have been trying really hard to not burst into tears every 5 minutes and not always succeeding. One of those days where I would like to crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head and stay there for 36 hours. One of those days where I would gladly run away from home. Temporarily. Like until the kids are all grown.

Not really, I would hate to miss a single moment, except maybe this exact one.
Baby slept almost all night, he only woke up once between 10pm and 6 am. I only slept for about 1 of those hours. I have no idea why, but I spent the entire night laying there awaiting his waking, listening to his breathing, smelling his wonderful baby smell.

I am really tired.

I have been sleeping like that ever since baby Zed arrived. He, on the other hand, sleeps pretty well for an almost 2 week old baby. He only wakes once or twice a night. I have had an eye piercing headache every afternoon and evening, rendering me almost completely useless. If I manage a nap in the afternoon, I can almost keep the headache at bay.

So today, due to lack of sleep and head pain, I am not coping all that well. My Superboy is pulling his usual, spend all day avoiding actually doing anything mom asks of him. Literally going on 10 hours of not doing math. All while managing to pick at and antagonize all of his siblings. His extremely whiny and grumpy siblings. Who have been fighting all day anyway.

Girly and Monkey have been whiny and bickering all day. Every time I get baby to sleep, they come and crawl over him and knock him with their elbows or books or whatever. The screaming doesn't usually disturb him, but the constant bumping tends to make sleep difficult.

Thankfully, my 13 year old is really growing up. He keeps himself apart from all the fuss and does his work quickly and without nagging. He has been a real blessing to me, even if he is now taller than me!

On the plus side, I am physically healing quite well, I feel pretty good over all. Girly and Monkey have not come into our bed for 2 nights either. That is a major bonus! It has been pretty crowded in our bed lately with 3 kids under 5 vying for mommy cuddles.

And we had a lovely weekend. We had Superboy's birthday party on Friday night, so he was elated. On Saturday he got to go to a friends party all afternoon. Daddy took the littles to the pool with The Boy's help, and Zed and I went window shopping. Then we all went for dinner on Daddy's company. He got a dinner at the Keg as a bonus from them and we enjoyed a yummy night out. The kids behaved amazingly well, even receiving compliments from other diners. On Sunday we went to church for Zed's debut, where a new baby gets more attention than a rock star!

Hmm... no wonder I am a bit tired, that was a full weekend.

So, really we are doing pretty well, even if I am completely overwhelmed at the moment. We will all find our stride I guess. I think tomorrow I will try and give the littles some extra attention and let Daddy deal with school. I will hand out the assignments and offer assistance, then let Daddy make sure it gets done.

And tonight, I am just praying I get some sleep. Then I can cope with anything.
And I will snuggle with his royal cuteness...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Firsts

Unfortunately I missed the photo of his first time pooping all over me and the bed. fun!

First trip to the park.
















First bath.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Settling in...


Our baby son is now 1 week old and we are starting to get into a groove together. My body is healing, I can actually sit for an hour or so now! Baby Zed is even starting to sleep a bit. Last night he went 5 or 6 hours after we all went to bed before rousing for a feed. I haven't been getting up and changing him or turning on lights with him at night. I just move him and roll over to nurse on the other side and try to go back to sleep. Apparently this is working well.

After his long sleep, he was wet through and I had to change him, but he settled back down nicely. Monkey boy had awoken and tucked in beside us. The second time Zed awoke, Girly was trying to crawl into bed with us too. Daddy took Monkey boy back to bed and laid with him for a while and I tried to get Girly and Zed back to sleep. So Zed is sleeping fine, but the rest of us are kinda losing out.

Monkey boy and Girly are having a hard time adjusting. Girly has had meltdowns each day since Baby Zed's arrival. Usually because I can't do something for her immediately or someone has told her no. Monkey is just as emotional and being obstinate about most everything. I am trying to reassure them by keeping our traditions like making sure I am the one to sing lullabies every night, no matter what. I encourage them to come and cuddle when I am nursing and ask them to bring stories, but Monkey mostly wants to stay away until I put Zed down.

Once in a while he laments, "Why is Baby still nursing?" He wants baby away from Mommy for a little while, and Monkey would really like to be able to feed Zed. Monkey keeps asking me if he can feed his food to Baby. yikes.

Girly, on the other hand, can't leave Zed alone. She wants to smother him with mothering. She has to touch him and name all his parts. In the hospital, she would tell anyone who would listen that, "That is MY baby!", "I am a big sister!", and my favourite, "MY baby has a PENIS!"
It is fun that she adores him so much, but I definitely have to be on watch all the time. If I put Zed down to shower or something, I have to lock Girly out of the room. She isn't always so gentle.

The big boys are doing well, they have been super helpful and love to cuddle their baby brother. Superboy has surprised me with his adeptness at handling Zed. He can pick baby up and adjust his hold like an old pro. He is not nervous at all and doesn't tire of cuddling baby. This is a huge change since the last 2 babies we brought home. The Boy is a bit more unsure, even though he is older. But loving just the same.

Thank you all for your prayers and congratulations, I have treasured each and every comment. I have enjoyed cocooning at home with my babies, taking little treks out in the sun. I don't imagine I will have a lot of computer time in the near future, but am trying to check in with you guys here and there.
Oops, poopy sounds coming from Zed's direction, gotta run, til next time...

credit: Emily Power, New Life

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby Zed


Born at 8:16 pm on September 9th, 2008.
8lb 12 ounces and 20 inches tall, built like a linebacker!
Perfect and beloved by all.
Thank you all for your love and prayers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

One of a Kind

Having girl children is much different than having boy children. As Girly and I were cuddling the other day I realized yet another way that this has proven to be true.
When we cuddle, Girly does things like stroke my face and pat me. She squeezes me tight when hugging and always gives as many kisses as she gets. She is giving with her affection and I always feel loved and cared for when we snuggle.
My boys love to cuddle too. But it is different. They are far less nurturing, far more demanding. Their cuddles take. They want me to tickle their backs and scratch their itches. They want me to hug and kiss them, but often there is little reciprocation. When I am tired and drained at the end of the day, sometimes the boys pleas for affection kindle a teensy bit of exasperation and a feeling of being put upon.
Don't get me wrong. I love to cuddle my boys, it is my favourite way to spend my time. They are loving and affectionate kids and I love them to pieces. But my girl has a bit of mother in her I think. Her loving gives as much as it takes, if not far more. The boys seem to be needier in a way, it takes more of me to satisfy their need for affection. I am happy to meet that need in all of them. What more could a mother want than to be needed, adored and loved and have a passel of kids to slather with her mother love?

Speaking of my Girly, she must need a girlfriend to play with. Every day, at least once, she brings me some dolls or something to play with her. To play in a 'girly' way, away from the boys. She leads our little games; we make up stories, or dress and groom our babies, have tea parties and chat. I get to be her girl playmate. It is totally fun, but I feel sad that she is a bit left out in our house.
All the boys do boy stuff together, and though they often include her, they are not interested in playing her way. Even Monkey, who is usually her playmate, balks at the dolls and barbies now. He wants to be big and 'cool' like the big brothers.
Girly is also very social and asks daily to go and play with girlfriends she has. Ones we only see at most once a month and often less. I need to make an effort to get her together with other girls far more often. At three, her femininity and her personality in general are very well developed and I need to be aware of her needs and try to help fill them too. It is all to easy for her to get lost in the shuffle of this big, testosterone filled family.

I hope as you read this that I am labouring for my new baby boy. Keep an eye on my twitters on the side bar, I will try to post updates from my phone.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Still here.

Well, my body doesn't seem to be that anxious to let go of baby. I have been having little bouts of contractions since Saturday night, but to no avail it seems. 3 or 4 contractions about 10 minutes apart and then nothing for a few hours. What is up with that???

Our church had a kick off carnival on Saturday and everyone was harassing me:) about the baby. I found out that the first time mom who was due the day before me, actually had her baby on her due date. Over a week ago. ugh.

My best friend from college was also due the day before me, and her little guy came on August 19th! She was teasing me that her baby will be walking by the time Baby Zed makes his appearance. What can I say, my babies are comfy in my womb. In fact, most of them spent much of their first couple years trying to claw their way through my chest back inside. That is what their Daddy always said when he would watch them cuddling with me, never being able to get close enough to me.

But I am hanging in here, hoping against hope to go in before tomorrow. I am quite uncomfortable trying to get around, but in general I feel fine. I can't wait for my pelvis to knit itself back together after baby comes and I can once again roll over in bed, or lift my leg to towel it off after bathing.

Oh! I can't wait to show you pictures of my little boys' room after all the trim is painted. It looks so awesome. Brent finished re-painting after Girly's painting help and it is amazing. I can't wait to get it all decorated and move my boys in there.

My dad is here for the next day or so, I really would like him to be able to hold baby Zed before he goes back to work, I am gonna spend the day hangout out with him and maybe jumping on the trampoline. Do you think that might do the trick?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yum.

MMMM....... I am still thinking about dinner last night. When I talked to Superboy about what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he said he wanted to make butter chicken and naan bread. I had to ask if he would let me help him! My boy loves to cook, and this has really increased his 'foods he will eat' repetoire. So in the afternoon we made up the naan bread dough, he learned to clarify butter and made his first yeast bread.
While the dough was rising and the rice was soaking, he and I went for coffee and waited for Dad's carpool to drop him off at the Second Cup. We got home just in time for Superboy to roll out the bread and throw it in the oven.
We had no chicken, so I made coconut curried shrimp. The sauce was so very yummy, the whole house smelled amazing. I am a throw a bunch of stuff together and see what happens kind of cook. So I sauteed some onions, a bit of garlic and ginger in butter, added 2c. of coconut cream, curry, five spice powder, a broken cinnamon stick and the shrimp to simmer.
I have to say that it was one of the best meals I have made in months. I don't even like shrimp. And Superboy's naan bread was delicious. Even my pickiest eater asked if we could have the same meal again tonight. For dessert we had my family's traditional black forest cake, yum-MY!

I am so hungry all of a sudden, time to scrounge up some breakfast. Too bad there aren't any leftovers...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday Superboy!

Today is my sweetheart's 11th birthday. My baby boy, with the mischievous grin is growing up - in body and in attitude as well. I will never forget the day he was born, he was due on the 26th of August and I was getting pretty impatient. Finally the doctor booked an induction for the 3rd of September, September?????? He was to be a summer baby, what was this September thing??

Well we arrived, bags in hand at the hospital fairly early that morning. By nine the doctor had done his thing and we were walking the hall of the induction ward. A few hours later the doctors thought I wasn't getting anywhere fast enough and they gave me another dose of the prostaglandin gel.

We passed the time walking (waddling) the halls, pausing for brutal contractions and playing uno (the early hours). Some time after 4 the doctor came in to check on me, I was not all that responsive to him and he thought I wasn't coping with the pain that well. He was on his way up to do a cesarean and said he would send in the anesthesiologist to drug me up. Well, that not coping thing is me in transition. I go from like 5 or 6 cm to 10 cm in minutes and then I am good to go.

With the first, I had to push for 2.5 hours, so I am sure the doctor did not think there was any hurry, even if I was in transition. This time however, my body was practiced up.

Almost as soon as the doctor left, I was really feeling stuff happening. The nurses were doing something to me and I told them my water broke. "Oh, no dear, you are just sweaty." um, yeah, okay. They soon realized that they had better move me upstairs to delivery and they stood around arguing about whether to get a gurney or just take me up in the wheelchair.

This is where the urge to push came on really strong and I started moaning. That and my getting impatient husband decided for them. Onto the gurney I went. As they lifted me, my waters gushed and the patronizing nurse said, "That, dear, was your water breaking." Okay then.

Now they are telling me to hold this baby in until we get upstairs, I am screaming in between panting to keep him inside. In their rush, no one thought to grab my IV pole, so I grabbed it and pulled it along while screaming and watching my hubby dragging my bag, the diaper bag and the video camera bag along. He looked pretty funny, even at that moment. (my husband later thought that I would want to know that he overheard the staff talking about me later, dubbing me 'the screamer'. )

As the elevator doors opened upstairs, the doctor heard me and rushed over from where he was scrubbing up for his cesarean. They rolled me into the room and moved me to the bed while I shrieked blue murder. Have you ever tried to hold in a baby who wants to come out? not pleasant. As soon as I rolled over, Superboy came shooting out. He came so fast he had a scrape on his head from the table, the doctor barely caught him.

We were all in shock at that moment, compounded when someone thought to tell us he was a boy. Boy?? My OB had been teasing me about having a girl for months. Boy! We just held him and stared into his bright blue eyes, mesmerized. We totally forgot about taking photos or video or anything. Finally the nurse asked if we wanted her to take a photo. Oh! the camera!

He was the most beautiful, roly poly boy, with just a white sheen of blond hair on his head. Our golden child, our baby for years to come. Smiling, friendly, full of humour, energy and mischief. Since Superboy has come into our lives, we have rarely had a boring moment. Before he could walk, he could climb anything. He would pull the dining room chairs to the table and then climb them to get on the table where he would stand with his arms reaching for the sky.

Until his early years I had never called poison control or taken and injured child to the emergency, he indoctrinated us in many new parenting experiences.

Even as a toddler he did things his own way. He never ate baby food, he would only eat what his big brother was eating. I even had to premasticate meat for him. Icky. He didn't use his toys in the way they were intended, he would make up his own games. At the playground, he would climb on the outside of the equipment, never what the other kids were doing.

As a preschooler, he decided that he wouldn't cheer for the same teams as Daddy and big brother, nope, Superboy cheered for the teams most hated by the rest of the family. He has always been his own man and a very deep thinker. Every night at bedtime, he would ask me the deep questions. Why are we here? Is God real? Why do people die? We had amazing discussions while we cuddled quietly. One night, he was telling me that he didn't want to go to bed because he had been having nightmares. I told him that I would pray with him and that God would take away his bad dreams. He told me that he didn't think that God could do that. If there even was God. He was 3.
I asked him to pray with me and we would see what God could do. So he did. Then I prayed really hard that God would show himself to my boy.
When Superboy awoke, he ran to me, telling me that God was real and really could take away bad dreams. I was so thankful, for both a thinking, questioning child and a God who loved my child enough to prove himself in that way.

He was a bit shy as a toddler, but soon outgrew that to be a very friendly guy. As I have said, he makes a new best friend everywhere we go. His friend are so very important to him and he needs to hang out with them often or he gets withdrawn. He gets a bit anxious before entering new social situations, but he never lets that sideline him. He gets right in there and introduces himself and tries new things. I love that!

As he is getting older, he is becoming a very compassionate and giving young man. He has grown into a wonderful big brother, even though he was a bit reluctant to take on that role.

I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be Superboy's mom, he brings such richness to our lives. Joy and laughter, energy and more cuddles than you could imagine.

Happy Birthday Superboy, I love you more than a million sockeye.

ps. I posted the cover for his card at Immortality Art

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Night tales.

At about 1pm last night, I was just waking up to go to the bathroom, when my bedroom door opened and a naked little Monkey scampered in. He got straight into my big, warm fluffy bed and curled up. When I was coming out of the bathroom I heard another sound in the hall. I opened my door to find the other little one on her way in. Girly crawled right on up next to her brother and I had to kind of shove them both over to find a spot to lie on.

I curled around them and tried to sleep. And tried to just enjoy their presence, their lovely warm bodies and baby breath. We all managed to sleep a bit until I had to try to get up and pee again around 3. Getting in and out of bed or rolling over is a huge ordeal. I managed to wake both of them and then when I tried to get back in bed, it was soon apparent that none of us were going to sleep anymore.

I had daddy help me get them back in their beds, but they were both beside themselves, sobbing. My heart was breaking, I can't remember them ever doing that before. Girly has never gotten in bed with us before even, except for when Monkey was sick one night. I sang to them and patted them and comforted them as best I could, but every time I tried to leave, the sobbing began anew. Daddy finally got them calmed and we tried to sleep some more.

My mind kept thinking about how unsettled they must be with the baby coming. Daddy has talked with them about me going to the hospital to have him, and they don't want to leave my side now. I am not sure how best to help them through this transition. I have talked with them and reassured them, given lots of kisses and cuddles, prayed with them. I guess they just have to walk through it, like we do.

Do any of you have any advice on helping them through the next couple of weeks? I don't remember it being this hard with the others. My poor sweet babies.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Impatient Mama

Today is officially my due date, according to medical science. All my counting has been according to my menstrual calendar counting, making my due date the third and I never adjusted it after all the ultrasounds. I was sad when I went to bed last night and had not gone into labour. I had wanted to have this baby in August, because Superboy's birthday is on the third of September and he didn't really want to share.

Now he tells me that he wants baby Zed to be born on his birthday, but I think that the specialness of that would wear off pretty quickly!

I so want to go into labour on my own this week. I have had five inductions in five pregnancies, and I just want my body to do it on it's own this time. Please!

I fully expect, when I see the OB tomorrow, that she will book an induction for some time between this Friday and next Monday. So I really don't have much time to wait until I meet my sweet new babe. Cross your fingers for me that my labour will start on its own, I have been having some little chats with God about it...

I do have to say that I am probably the least impatient person about this delivery that I am in contact with. Every time I cringe or wince or use the bathroom, my hubby asks if I am starting labour. He is making me insane. Everyone I know feels the need to tease me about it hourly, and I hadn't even reached my due date. The doctors have been bugging me since before 36 weeks about my body not wanting to let go of baby. 36 weeks??? I wouldn't have wanted to go that early. But anytime now would be good.
Labouring on Labour Day sounds nice to me! Well there are still 7 hours left in the day, lots of time.

I have been working on Zed's baby book, I will post some of the layouts over at Immortality Art.