Friday, November 28, 2008

Of No Fixed Address

The time has come. Today is my last day of life in this house that I call home. Officially that would actually be tomorrow, but I don't count moving day as a normal day of life. I'll be honest - I'm emotional about it. Perhaps more than I would otherwise be because I'm bone weary.

The thing is that my darling son does not sleep. He just naps. This week his average is 1.5 hr stretches. That mean that I haven't slept longer than an hour at a time in days. Most of the time he wakes up, eats, and falls right back asleep. But one night this week he cried, screamed, for 45 minutes. I woke my husband up for help, the baby and I both in tears. Yesterday I took him to a walk-in clinic thinking that perhaps he has an ear infection. Nope. Thus, I am so tired that I think the wind could blow me over.

Tonight is the last night we sleep in our house. This evening will be Bentley's last walk in the park and his last scamper in the front yard with his buddy Oscar. Those two will miss each other. Our cable has been disconnected. Boxes abound in every room. I don't even feel comfortable in my own house. Mail has already arrived for the new owners. I will miss our next door neighbors more than words can express. I know, I know, I can always come visit. But I'm afraid the quality of our relationship will change. She has become one of my best friends. My fish tank is empty. Some fish are being cared for by a friend. Others I just gave away. It's sad, seeing it so lifeless.

Tomorrow we work. We move and we clean. Isaiah will be watched by the grandmas so that I can focus. I'm just afraid that I'll be too tired to be effective. I know I can do this, I just feel like I can't. So I have to pick my head up, wipe the tears from my eyes, and put emotions aside. This is a good thing. I wanted to move. And one day I will sleep again.

But what I really wish for is this - A day at the spa, without my child, without my husband. With no work in front of me. With no moving to do. I wish it could all happen without me and that I could just show up at the end of the day, at my parents place (where we are moving temporarily until our house is done) with all the work done and all the goodbyes said.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday 21

I started off doing a Thursday 13, but it turns out that I have a lot to say!

1. My baby had his first immunizations yesterday. Although he screamed, I think he handled it better than I did. This morning he has a fever and is feeling crummy.

2. I don't like my joints touching when I sleep. It's why I slept with a Teddy for so long. Now I use a more adult-ish small pillow between my elbows.

3. Not only do I not make contact with the seat of a public toilet, I also always flush with my foot.

4. I do a lot of reading and writing in the bathtub. Including most of my studying in University. The new house will have a jaccuzi. I shall reside there.

5. Moving day is 9 days away. I don't even feel at home in my home right now. I'm surrounded by boxes. I'm excited to be leaving the city, but incredibly sad to be leaving my neighborhood. The builders are a couple of weeks behind schedule, so we'll be moving in with my parents for a while. I have mixed feelings about this.

6. I'm trying to sell my 55 Gallon fish tank. There are 7 cichlids left. The other 6 are being fish-sat by one of my dearest friends.

7. The majority of the people I admire most are directly related to me.

8. I have been waiting 2.5 years to see a spinal surgeon. My back is worse than it used to be pre-baby, but better than I expected it would be. Low weight and strong muscle tone helps. I hate being crooked. I like symmetry.

9. I worry about getting to the gym once we live in the country with one car. I believe exercise is a powerful anti-depressant for me.

10. Thanks to those who commented/emailed me regarding my last post. You had some great suggestions and the support felt good. It's just neat to hear from other mums who have had similar situations.

11. Isolation and loneliness are my biggest struggles as a mom. I make an effort to get out to groups, but they are usually in the morning when we are recovering from our bad nights. Also, it just takes a while to feel like part of a group and make connections outside of it.

12. I still miss Ingrid like crazy.

13. I worry constantly lately. Hopefully that subsides once our major upheaval is over.

14. My dad is no longer a pig farmer. This week he emptied his barns. I'm kind of sad about that.

15. It amazes me how much the Husband loves me. And how much of an effort it is for him to display his affection for me. He keeps reminding me that we are a team and that despite my nightmares, he won't cheat on or leave me.

16. I wish I was the kind of person who always took time to do my toenails, read a book, or do some kind of needlework. I'm afraid I'm not patient enough to succeed at these things.

17. I'm afraid of starting a new job in April. I secretly think that I'm not smart or organized and that I made it through 4 years of University on luck, or multiple choice test taking skills alone.

18. I think the Church is it's own worst enemy. Church politics make my stomach twirl. Too bad something Holy has to be maintained by flawed Human Beings.

19. I love storms in winter. Not so much the summer variety.

20. I often wish I could pause life. I want my baby to stay a baby. In fact, I already miss his littleness more than I probably should. I want my parents and in-laws to stay young and healthy. I would give up a lot to keep my Grandparents around. But if I could change one thing, I would bring my brother and his family home, because I know this is where they long to be. And because I miss him. Our hearts speak the same language.

21. Being called lazy is the worst insult anyone could give me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My son has decided that he has more important things to do than eat. It has been getting progressively worse. Now he refuses to nurse unless he is either almost asleep or just waking up. At night he wakes up every 2-3 hours and nurses while in a half-sleep kind of state.

He always latches on and works for a minute or two before figuring that he must be missing out on something. He sits up and looks for his Dad, the dog, or a sunbeam. If I don't help him sit up he complains. Loudly. Usually as soon as the milk comes down he is on to other more exciting things.

This evening I tried again with no success. I decided to make a bottle with formula and see how that would go. To my great surprise, he was thrilled and inhaled the two ounces I had prepared. He used to gag on formula...

Anyway, I'm just not sure what to do. Should I continue to try to nurse him? Am I trying to nurse him too often (every 3-4 hours)? Should I just pump and give him a bottle?

Advice welcome.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Since my last post, the first tooth has made an appearance! He's also mastering the sippy cup. Changing so fast!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

6 Months Old

Today my baby is 6 months old. I can't believe that I've been a parent for half a year already.

Here is what Isaiah is up to:

- Weighs 16 lb 4 oz
- Loves anything with lights
- Can communicate what he wants without words. Clearly.
- Prefers to be put down and have his back patted when he is ready for a nap. No cuddles please.
- Likes sleeping on his left side or his tummy
- Loves trying new foods
- Enjoys touching faces of people he loves
- Sits confidently
- Moves around the floor quickly. It's not quite coordinated enough to call it a crawl - more like a scootch. Sort of like an inch worm. It gets faster every day.
- Is easily distracted and wants part of any action
- Laughs at the dog more than anything else
- Has light colored grey/green/brown eyes. They are still deciding.
- Has one blond hair in the midst of the browns
- Is still working on his first teeth
- Loves keyboards, remotes, and cell phones
- Reaches for the person he wants to hold him
- Likes to chew on his soother and occasionally sucks his thumb when napping
- Doesn't know what to make of other babies. They kind of freak him out. It's not his fault - we don't hang out with any other young mums and babies. I'm working on this.

Things I have learned:

- I am much more selfish and much less patient than I had previously imagined myself to be
- Go with whatever works.
- Don't listen too much to everyone else's advice. And don't let other people's judgements make or break your day.
- Time to my self is important
- Time alone with the husband is important
- It doesn't matter if the bed doesn't get made
- It does matter if I don't nap and eat properly
- Almost any job can be accomplished in day if it's broken down into small pieces
- My son's laughter can erase any hard feelings about the long, hard night that I'd felt only moments earlier.

He touches my face and makes soft sounds, looking at me in awe. It's amazing to feel so loved and so loving towards a tiny being. Sometimes I imagine expanding our family, and I think it must be impossible to love another as much as this one. Last night, I held him as he slept and stroked his soft head.

Don't grow up so fast, my boy. There is no rush.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bargain Hunting

When we sold our house, we included the appliances. This means that we need new appliances for our house that is being built. The thing about new appliances is that they are expensive! With some smart budgeting (I manage the budget in this house) we could do it. But why buy new when we might be able to save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars with something slightly used. The husband and I agreed - our appliances must be less than 5 years old. He wanted stainless steel though. I mentioned that our children would lick their fingers and then open the fridge, leaving prints that are almost impossible to wipe off all over the place. White shows the least. The clean argument won him over.

So I took to the 'net, searching the pages of classified sites. A few weeks ago I found a fridge. It's a beauty with 2 doors. 1 side is fridge, the other side freezer. It has a water dispenser and an ice maker. Not essentials for me, but convenient none-the-less. It was used a few months before it's owner had to move into a senior's complex. At $1400 brand new, I got it for $625.

After buying one appliance, the Husband got the itch. "Let's just go buy new," he said. He likes to accomplish things - check them off his list. And appliances were on the list. I refused, stating that we could buy a stove any time before moving and that we were in no big rush. If we couldn't find anything till shortly before the move, we'd consider new.

Then on Saturday I found it. A flat top Frigidaire, 3 years old and barely used. It was immaculate. We purchased it for $325. I was so excited! Did we ever luck out.

We can wait for the dishwasher. We can do dishes by hand for a year or so. We're not even looking for this one.

Yesterday we also purchased all of the lights for the house. We picked our paint colors. Now all we need to do is sit back and wait. Oh, and pack this house in our spare time. We move in just over two weeks. It's starting to feel real.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Sleep Blues

I am so frustrated. I'm waking up 3 or 4, sometimes more, times a night for my baby. I wish I knew what to do. Is he hungry? Teething? Or in a bad habit? Yesterday I started a bedtime routine. Till now I've always just waited till he seemed tired, then fed him and put him down. Now we've added a nightly bath and story to the mix.

Yesterday night he woke up at 2 AM. I fed him. He woke again at 3 AM. I figured he couldn't possibly be hungry, so I patted his back for 15 minutes and he fell asleep. For fifteen minutes. I asked the husband to put him back to sleep. It didn't work. I dragged myself out of bed and fed the boy. He settled and fell back asleep.

At 4 AM he cried. And so did I. I told my husband that I would go feed him, and then put him up for adoption in the morning.

This morning he was up at 930. He nursed twice and had a big bowl of cereal in a two hour period before going down for his nap. Why is he so hungry??

I have a headache, the grumps, and a massage this afternoon. My patience is thin. My back hurts. My head is groggy. And I'm feeling sorry for myself. I know I'm not the only Mum who has gone through this, and I know it's just a phase. Eventually he'll sleep again. But in the meantime, I reserve the right to feel a bit cantankerous.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Week's Challenge

I love going to the gym. It gives me a break from my baby. When I'm doing cardio or lifting weights, all I'm thinking about is working out. It's a time to be selfish. A time to focus on myself. I'm convinced that exercise is a powerful anti-depressant.

I hate going to the gym. The more I go, the more I think about my body. I can't walk past a scale without stepping on it. I look at my tummy and see the outline of where my baby used to live. It's round. It used to be flat.

So I have this love-hate relationship with the gym. Truth is, I can get a bit obsessed about going. This week the Husband issued me a challenge. Should I accept and conquer the challenge, a prize awaits me. Take one week off from the gym. Get my eating and sleeping on track. Take naps. Record my diet. Consume a balanced diet, high in calories. Focus on my health. Then resume exercising.

I'm going to do it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We are preparing to move. Boxes have emerged and pictures have been taken off the walls. It comes up in conversations every day. The house. The move. It's coming. We've got to get ready.

I don't claim to need as much order in my life as the Husband does. He's near diagnosable Obsessive Compulsive. But I already feel like things are out of place. The pressure is on. Next week the people who bought our bedroom set are taking it away. Where will I store my clothes? Laundry baskets, perhaps. I'm amazed at the clutter a mere two years in a place can accumulate. My new rule - If we haven't used it in two years, donate it!

The questions consume my mind. Is the U-Haul rented? Have we recruited enough help? What can we pack now? When can we move it over? When will the house be done? How long will we live with my parents in the meantime? Will we like it there? Oh, and what color do we want the kitchen walls?

I've been outside a lot lately, enjoying the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Most of the leaves are off the trees now and I noticed a thin layer of ice on the edges of the lake the other day. Everything is dying for winter. I talk to people in the park, watch my dog run down the leaf covered path, and enjoy feeling comfortable in my surroundings. It feels like grief to have to leave this place.

And I worry. What if my neighbors are terrible? What if nobody likes me? What if small town church politics affect our potential relationships? When people see me, will they remember the awkward girl I was in high school? Will they whisper about the girl they heard had been in a mental health facility? Or will I have a clean slate to start off with? I'm afraid of spending a whole winter inside, alone with my baby. I start to contemplate my return to work.

Maybe I could just close my eyes and sleep through the next six weeks. Besides, I'm so, so tired.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Doctor's Orders

1. Eat more. And then repeat

2. Sleep more. Take a daily nap. This is not optional. It's a necessity.

3. Lower your standards. Let the house be messier. Accomplish less. Learn to relax. Journal sometimes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I suppose it serves me right for bragging. My boy used to sleep 8, 9, 10 hours straight through the night. Enter, serious teething. The kid is up every two to three hours - like a newborn! We're exhausted. Good thing I got a good, long rest before this.

These are the greatest toys ever!

Friday, October 17, 2008


It's funny. Not in a ha-ha way. But in a "I didn't think it would affect me like this" sort of way. When I took Isaiah to see his doctor on Tuesday, she asked me "Did you hear about Dr Hellawa?" It turns out that he had a massive cardiac arrest a week ago and has not regained consciousness. A fit, healthy 50-something year old with no pre-existing conditions. He spends more than 50% of his life in a hospital setting, yet this happened outside of the hospital setting.

He has been on my mind non-stop. And I suddenly realize that I regard him as a hero. He gave us top-notch pre-natal care, was at my side while I labored, and ensured a safe delivery of my only child. No wonder I hold him in such high esteem. Last time he saw me he said I could come back "next time" and he would be happy to navigate my next pregnancy and delivery with me.

But now he stands at the threshold of life and death. And all I can do is pray.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Five Months

Mummy FINALLY figures out how HUNGRY I am!

A rare cuddle from the Anti-Cuddler

Monday, October 13, 2008

50 Things I'm Thankful For

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 50 things I'm thankful for.

1 - Being able to say "This is my family - My husband, and my Son."

2 - My parents and siblings.

3 - The In-laws

4 - The fact that my family loves to gather in the spirit of celebration. We really like each other!

5 - Faith

6 - Telephones

7 - Stable careers and reliable incomes

8 - Junk food. Sweet and salty alike

9 - Air Travel. Come home safely Mum and Dad.

10 - Autumn and the amazing colors that leaves turn

11 - The gym

12 - A good mattress

13 - My heating pad

14 - Tweezers

15 - And nail files

16 - Coffee. Shared with good company.

17 - Doctors. For the body and for the mind

18 - Parenthood. And the way it is molding my character.

19 - A Husband who comes home to me every night. And believes that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

20 - A year of Maternity leave

21 - The body I live in

22 - Washing machines and Dryers

23 - My dog Bentley
24 - The healing power of time
25 - Ball launchers for dogs
26 - Nap Time
27 - Friends who love me despite my shortcomings
28 - Disposable diapers
29 - Feta cheese
30 - Weather
31 - Random acts of kindness. There is a guy in my city who has stood on street corners and given away roses to men, women, children, homeless people, etc for 12 years straight. It made the news today.
32 - Bountiful food supplies
33 - Harvest time
34 - Cameras
35 - My conscience
36 - Talk radio
37 - Make-up
38 - Fresh coats of paint
39 - Cuddles
40 - Challenges, after the fact when I realize what I've learned
41 - Music that makes me tear
42 - A vehicle
43 - Teeth. I forgot how hard I had to work to get these. My son is still working on his first.
44 - Good neighbors
45 - A beautiful fish tank with gorgeous fish
46 - Connections
47 - A questioning mind
48 - Memories
49 - Privacy
50 - Straightening irons

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Do I Do This?

I was at the gym yesterday when I saw her walk in. From my vantage point upstairs, I watched. "Don't let her come upstairs, please don't let her come upstairs," I mumbled under my breath as I watched my heart rate jump by 10 beats per minute.

I heard someone come up the stairs and did a quick shoulder check. Drat. Busted! She swooped in on me, taking the machine beside me. I smiled as she battered me with compliments. We talked about children, building houses, and business.

"Just let me know when you're ready to come back," she said. She told me that I was missed by clients and complimented my work ethic. If I wanted a break or to make a bit of extra cash, the job was waiting for me.

I drove home from the gym considering my options. A bit of spending money would be nice. A change of pace would be nice. I miss the clients too. I could do a few hours here and there, couldn't I?

Ten months ago she shattered my fragile self esteem with a short letter explaining that I was no longer employed by her. I cried for days. My feelings were hurt. For I am a people pleaser, and I was unhappy that she was unhappy. She said that I wasn't thinking logically since I had become pregnant. This topped off 3.5 years of tip-toeing around, keenly aware of her unstable moods and unpredictability.

The Husband knocked some sense back into me after I told him of the conversation. "You are NOT going to work for her again. You can work out with her, converse with her, and have a casual friendship. But you will not work for her again." He is so right, providing the backbone that I find myself missing sometimes.

After being walked on by this woman, why would I even consider going back? Why do I want her to like me? Why do I even care? And why am I not strong enough in my own personhood to stick up for myself? Why? What is it that drives me? I just don't know.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses

This morning my doorbell rang. I was still in my PJ's when I went to answer. There stood a lovely woman and her young, maybe 7-ish, child. The child asked me if I believed in "Life in a Peaceful New World."

She was nervous, I could tell. What should I say?

"Ummm, I don't really know," I said, giving her a chance to practice.

She read me a verse from the Psalms. She looked at her Mom. And then me.

"Can you leave me with this tract?" she said, handing me a pamphlet. I took it and smiled at her. Her Mom put her arm around her shoulder and they walked down the sidewalk.


Yesterday I decided to turn the heat on in the house. Nothing. Thankfully, the weather is nice enough during the day that the house temperature maintains itself quite nicely. Fortunately I know that Manitoba Hydro will come check it out for free. So I called them this morning.

Me: "Hello. I turned on my furnace yesterday and am getting no heat."

Guy: "Is this the first time you've turned it on this fall?"

Me: "Yes."

Guy: "Did you turn the thermostat above the current temperature in the house?"

Uhhhh... do I SOUND stupid?! Would the Husband have been asked such a question? Seriously.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quad Pod Sitter

If he plants his hands on the ground beside him, he can sit. He can hold his balance for minutes at a time.

But if he turns his head to look at something (like the fish tank) or reaches for a toy...

This is the inevitable result

This bonus photo is for Dad, who loves mirror shots

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Other Uses for Breast Milk

I can't say I've ever respected People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) due to their extreme views. But this latest request cinched my distaste for their radical beliefs. How about People for the Ethical Treatment of Mothers?

Mom's Morning Out

This morning at 9AM I woke my sleeping baby and ventured out of the city, to the small town we will be moving to this winter. I swallowed my anxious feelings and put on a smile. Loneliness is my biggest complaint of parenthood. But getting out and meeting other Moms is one of my greatest fears. How can that be?

We joined a bunch of other Moms and Kids for some down time. I hesitated to give Isaiah into Roselle's arms, thinking he might be shy. But it didn't seem to bother him. She promised to find me if he was having a hard time, so I went to the gym and found myself a table.

I loaded up on desserts for breakfast and was soon joined by 3 women I had gone to school with, and my piano teacher from high school. We had some casual conversation and then listened to a speaker remind us of how important Motherhood is. My brain had a hard time engaging, fluttering with wayward thoughts and imaginary fussy Isaiah noises.

An hour and a half later, I went to get my little guy. Lo and behold, he was fast asleep in Roselle's arms. He's not a cuddle to sleep kind of guy, so I was rather surprised (and impressed!). Roselle invited us over for lunch, which of course I couldn't pass up.

Over sandwiches and coffee we talked about mental illness, characteristics of good friends, and babies. Isaiah kicked and talked on the floor till he was hungry and then interrupted my carrot cake dessert to fill his tummy. He sat in Roselle's lap, gazing at her sleepily. So I packed him up and moseyed on to check out our building project.

The first floor of our walls are up and the second floor is in progress. I took pictures from the car, feeling rather like I was spying on the workers. The neighbors are putting up a huge fence. Looks like it'll be chain-link. I soon discovered why, when the lady of the house walked by with her two GREYHOUNDS and a little Yorkie. I guess Bentley will have friends.

And now, with a napping baby, I'm doing laundry and tidying. All my eyes want to do is drift shut. This weariness is incredible. He sleeps well. I don't know why I'm so tired. The dog needs to be walked. Supper needs to be prepped. And I'm planning a workout for tonight.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Up, Up, and Away

This morning I took my Parents to the airport. My wonderful, Jenerous sister and her husband gave our Folks a trip of a lifetime for their birthdays this year.

You see, my parents are small time farmers. This has meant that they have had to be quite frugal. And tied to the business. Family vacations were short and infrequent as Dad had to get home to tend to the pigs. We would do day or weekend outings, and I remember one road trip to Blind River, Ontario. Dad runs his farm with a tight hand - he keeps close tabs on his budget and finds incredible ways to do things himself or save money some other way.

A couple of years ago my Mum saved some of the money she makes with Homecare and flew out to see my Sister in England. She enjoyed herself immensely. Dad couldn't go because he had the farm to take care of.

This year the farm has been struggling. There is no money in pigs anymore, and Dad made the decision to empty his barns. Suddenly he has a new found freedom.

So this year, for their birthdays, Jen and Paul sent them 2 all expense paid trips to see them in Berlin, Germany for two weeks.

I think Dad was flying before he ever stepped foot on the plane!

I am going to miss them. I call my Mum multiple times a day to tell her stuff about Isaiah, hear an adult voice, or grasp to keep my sanity when I'm frustrated. I threatened that Isaiah won't remember her in two weeks, but that wouldn't keep her home. I'm going to keep extra busy the next few weeks though. Tomorrow I'll head out to Mom's Morning out in the community that we'll be moving to. I'm a bit nervous as that's where I grew up, and well, you know how labels, stigmas, etc stick in your home community. Still, I want to meet people and build relationships in our neighborhood. And so, even though I'm irrationally anxious about it, I'll go. I'll probably really like it!

Also, I'll be blogging a lot more. I have a feeling people in Berlin will be checking in on my blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fevers, Dentists, and Favors

My baby spiked a fever yesterday for the second time in his short life. He felt warm during the day. Temperature was 38.3 Celsius. The latest recommendations for Tylenol use are for fevers 38.5 and higher. His nose was snuffly and he seemed a bit congested. I was pretty sure it was just a common cold, but I called his doctor's office. It was near the end of the day and I was told the doctor was off for the day but would call back this morning. I decided to try and cool him off by minimizing his clothing.

As the evening wore on, my baby got warmer and warmer. At 10 pm his temperature read 40.3 Celsius. A rash broke out on his tummy. We stopped at the drug store for infant Motrin. Just over an hour later his temperature was 38.5. He settled in for bed in his diaper and a thin blanket. He woke a few times during the night, hungry and restless. The skies lit up and thunder shook the house while I lay in bed, tired but unable to sleep. At 530AM his temperature was still 38.5, and so we gave him Tylenol.

This morning he woke without a fever. The doctor's office called with an appointment for him. Naturally it was at the same time as my dentist appointment. His Daddy is working evenings though and was able to take him in.

I had my first dentist appointment without sedation for the first time in years. It was just a standard cleaning, but I get nervous. It's kind of a long story. It went well. I think partly because my mind was on my baby and not myself. I can do it again. I don't want my fears to rub off on my kids, so I need to set a good example.

The Husband returned with a little baggie to stick around Isaiah's naughty bits. We walked around the house, plastic bag between his legs. Shortly after, a golden stream. I sealed the sample in a sterile container and the Husband whisked it away to the lab. If it's another bladder infection he'll have to be admitted to Children's for further testing. Please God, let this be a simple cold.
Days like this leave no time to walk the Dog. We cheat by throwing the ball down the street. We weren't out for more than five minutes when my neighbor, Linda, joined us with her Basset Hound. The dogs played and Linda held my son, who again had a fever of 38.2. Isaiah got fussy and we decided to head in. Motrin and a quick feed lulled him into sleep. How he needs this nap! I laid down too, my head swimming. I fell asleep quickly and awoke half an hour later. I was still in bed when I heard the doorbell.
Ding Dong - Graham, Linda's husband, delivering Pedialyte in case Isaiah's feeds continue to be poor and he continues to spit out more than he takes in.
Half an hour later:
Ding Dong - Jon, Linda's son. "Hi. My mom made you supper"
I devoured the plate of steak, sweet potatoes, carrots, and salad uninterrupted by my snoozing infant.
Half an hour later:
Ding Dong - Jon again. "Forgot to bring you dessert. And would you like us to walk Bentley for you?"
I inhaled the warm carrot cake with cream cheese icing, feeling fully satisfied.
I denied the dog walk. We'll play outside later.
My neighbor, who is in the middle of a 60 hour work week (5 12hr shifts) just made my day. And I ask myself again - Why, Why are we moving away?!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Rescue

Last night Isaiah and I were looking for distractions. He is teething like mad but copes quite well if we can keep that little brain of his busy. One of his favorite things is watching the fish swim in the tank. I took a handful of food and splashed it into the water. The fish went nuts, jumping and flipping about. Water oozed down the side of the tank, leaving a salty white residue. Isaiah talked and smiled at his friends, recognizing the fact that fish have feelings too.

Suddenly I thought I saw movement underneath a rock. I took a closer look. Sure enough, there was a baby! (FYI - baby fish are called "fry") My fish are bright and colorful. They enjoy procreation. They are also mean and cannibalistic. I often see a female holding eggs in her mouth. I realize that the day they are mature enough to swim out of her mouth is the day that I don't need to feed my fish. And I'm okay with that. I don't go to great effort to remove the female to save the babies. I don't know what I would do with that many fish anyway.
BUT if I see a baby hiding in the rocks, I have to save it's life. And so I laid Isaiah on the floor, much to his chagrin. I pulled out the water vacuum and the fish net and started moving rocks. The baby zigged and zagged, not realizing that I was trying to save his life and by fleeing was putting his little puny self in danger of being gobbled up. Isaiah, understanding babyness, cried and complained as well in support of his little friends plight, I imagine. I finally scooped Fry to safety and ran to the garage to get my small tank.
I plugged it in, happy to see that the motor still worked. I put a shell in the bottom of the tank to provide a bit of security and I fed the little guy baby bits of fish food. Isaiah and I sat and admired our work. And then he zonked out in my arms for the night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doggie Drama

Animal Services has been prowling the neighborhood. Why, you ask? It would seem that a woman was walking her dog off leash at the park down the road. A grumbly old man took issue with the fact that it is not an off leash park and decided that the best way to deal with it was to approach the dog. And kick it.

The owner took issue with the abuse of her animal and kicked the old man in return. He then called the police. And now Animal Services loves our neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just Writing

I've had my Husband at home for the last two work days. His back has been giving him a lot of grief this summer, triggered by something as simple as sleeping the wrong way (specifically on his stomach). On Monday I insisted he go to a walk-in clinic as I watched him hobble around the house. He came home with a prescription for muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. For the last two days he has been flat on his back, becoming intimately acquainted with Thermophore, the heating pad from heaven. He called in sick to work and rested. Today is his first day back at work, wearing an elastic back brace. It's mine actually.

Work on our new house started today. The Parents called to give us a progress report. Now that the work has started it's starting to feel kind of exciting. They should have it ready for us to move in to by December 1/08. Fast! It's a pretty extravagant Christmas present.

The Cuz, who has lived with us for a year, is moving out. As of Oct 1, she'll have her own bachelor pad. Sharing our house has been a pretty good experience that has taught me a lot. Mostly about myself. It will be good for her to have her own place. And good for us to have our own. But I will miss her.

I'm frustrated today that I'm not getting to the gym more often. Babysitting is provided for a small fee, but that hardly helps when I don't have a car. I'd like to be in there more regularly, putting on muscle mass. I suppose putting on any kind of mass would be positive, but if I could pick I would like it to be muscle. Also, it's great selfish time where I can forget about my Baby and direct my thoughts and energy into myself. I always feel better after. I wish I was the kind of person who could feel motivated to work out at home, but I'm just not. I do the occasional abdominal workout or free weight exercises at home and I get out for a walk with the dog most days. But it's the break and the getting away from home that I really like.

Speaking of focusing on myself, I'm dying to get a new hair color and cut. I'll get it cut next week and dye it myself at home. Also, I'm going to take advantage of the pedicure gift certificate the Oncology doctors gave me at Christmas last year. I can't wait!

I'm a champion procrastinator. Things I need to get done include cleaning the fish tanks and the bathrooms in the house, completing my Continuing Education stuff for my nursing career, and printing and organizing baby pictures. Things I accomplished this week that I had been procrastinating about: Making appointments with the dentist and the head doctor.

Now that Isaiah is sleeping, perhaps I should tackle an item on my procrastination list. Fish tanks, here I come!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Wanderings

My mind feels lazy today. Bits of information float in and out of my brain. After a good sleep in (my boy slept a 10 hour night) and a strong cup of java, we went outside and enjoyed some sunlight. It's supposed to be grey and/or rainy for days to come and Isaiah just loves to sit outside.

I've been frustrated with my dog recently. He seems to think that since Isaiah has been born I'm no longer the boss. I wonder if he's holding a grudge? Seems like it to me.

This week our land should have a hole in it. A Hole that will become a House. Yes, we are moving to the country. We'll have a beautiful home on 1.5 acres just 15 minutes south of the city. And as much as I'll miss things about the city, this country girl can't wait to get out of here. My boys will have a yard big enough to throw a ball in.

Every once in a while the differences in the way we were raised come up between the Husband and I. Last night we discussed faith issues. I was raised as a pacifist Mennonite. The Husband was raised as a fighting baptist. We discuss pacifism every single year when he is asked by the church he used to attend to wear his uniform at a Rememberance Day service. It's always interesting and we always decide we want to learn more about the other's point of view. I think that's healthy. Our newest challenge is appearing to be on the same page about things even when we aren't, for the sake of our little one. We want to appear unified. Although we also believe our differences should be honored and cultivated and we want to teach Isaiah this as well. How to do this may be difficult.

This afternoon Isaiah and I went to a breastfeeding clinic. He is just shy of 4 months old and weighs 13 pounds 5 ounces. He's incredibly strong and incredibly noisy. He talks a monologue all day. His latest discovery - the shriek.

I'm becoming more efficient with my time as my son becomes less reliant on me. I'm doing most of the housekeeping, meals, walking the dog, and caring for my baby. Once in a while I even get the Husband's lunch packed. I think I'm going to take a library trip soon and give reading a go. Does anyone have any good fiction to recommend?

Isaiah and his best bud


Saturday, August 30, 2008


After almost a month of uninterrupted sleep, I feel like it's time to brag about my baby's night sleeps. The kid is a professional. I put him down usually between 9 and 11 pm and he sleeps for a solid 8, 9, 10, 11 hours. Sometimes after 11 hours I wake him up.

For those requesting the link to the Mennonese Connection for pictures, here it is:

It has also been added to my favorites on the right side of your screen.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Things I'll Miss Part 2

14. Living close to Kent and Tina

15. Flyer day. I love flyers.

16. Mosquito fogging
17. Mature trees

Thursday, August 21, 2008

13 Things I'll Miss

I haven't done a Thursday 13 in a while. This one is 13 things I'll miss about this place.

1. The quirky neighbors. She is an Emergency nurse who is efficient but not compassionate. As a neighbor she wears her heart on her sleeve. He is a science and art teacher who wears shirts that say "Bite Me" and scruffy hair. Their son with Downs Syndrome sits as close to me as possible and checks my shoes. And doesn't do anything he's not in the mood for. Their dog is a Basset Hound, best friend to Bentley.

2. Small lawn to mow.

3. The sound of trucks gearing down on the Perimeter highway at night

4. Being able to walk to "On Location" video store. We will continue to be customers to this little family operation. I'd rather not support Blockbuster or Rogers. Besides, Chuck watches every movie and gives us honest reviews.

5. Squeaky stairs

6. My phenomenal public health nurse.

7. The Transit system.

8. Pizza delivery

9. Grocery stores close by. And malls.

10. The pool table. We decided we would never try to move pool table with 1 inch of slate on it ever again. It stays behind. And although we rarely play, I'll just miss having it.

11. The Regulars at the Park. Sasha, Charlie, Reggie, Sarah, Delilah, Bella are the dogs names. I'm not sure about all of their owners names to be honest. They meet for dog walking and general gab.

12. The park. We have walked miles and miles with our dog and our growing family. At all hours of day and night, depending on our shifts. There is a man made lake that is wonderful in spring but gross in late summer. The dog likes it no matter what.

13. Having a back lane.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The sunbeam through the east facing window warmed my back. My baby was sleeping, snuggled into my chest. I remembered that one year ago he was just a dream. I had been a happy kind of jealous when my niece was born, with parenthood feeling like an unreachable dream. Little did I know that he had already, just barely, been conceived. The song on the radio urged me to sway. It was the one sang at my wedding by my brother and my Aunt. I held my baby and danced, as we glimpsed heaven together. He in his dreams and me in my Mum's kitchen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bugs and Boo Boos

On Saturday Isaiah got pinchy. He cried most of the evening. I held him as I rocked him to sleep and he would just nod off before waking with a start and crying. Still, I put him down and he slept for 8 hours. The next morning he seemed to be feeling better. But as the day went on, he got warmer and warmer. I took his temperature. Sure enough, 39 degrees.

I flipped my mom hat and my nurse hat back and forth. Should I give him Tylenol? Should I take him to Emergency? I called Health Links and discussed him with them. Take him in to be checked out, they said.

So we packed up and headed to Children's Hospital. They moved him in quickly. He was so hot and such a little guy. The doctor ordered samples of his urine and his blood. The nurse set up the catheter tray when Isaiah went silent. A split second later old faithful shot a stream and the speedy nurse moved her sterile container to make the catch. What a good boy! The blood test didn't go as smoothly. I held his soother in and stroked his head as they looked for a good spot. The first poke missed and my baby cried in pain. He locked eyes with me and asked me to make it stop while I cried because I couldn't. The second poke was successful and an IV was started. I told the Husband that I would rather go through labor and delivery than do this again. Helplessness is a terrible feeling.

His test came back positive for a Urinary Tract Infection. The counts were high but not tremendously. For an older baby they would just order oral antibiotics, the Doctor said. But because of his age they did not want to take chances. He would be admitted for IV antibiotics.

The first night I slept 1 hour as I laid on my very uncomfortable cot and listened to every sound he made. Other children were crying as well. Nurse checks were done every hour. It was a busy place. In the morning Isaiah went for a kidney ultrasound. Everything appeared normal and he slept through the test.

During the second night, our roommate got very sick. Isaiah did his best to sleep through the commotion. After enduring 2 hours of it, he woke up and decided that it must be daytime. Lights were on, people were talking. Party time! He laughed, smiled, and talked his way through the hours of 2am-5am. We were moved to another room to give the other patient privacy. And I got 2 hours of solid sleep.

Isaiah has a great disposition. He loved talking to the nurses and doctors. Everybody told him that he was handsome and he agreed with them, talking non-stop. He loved the rainbows on the wall, cooing and bubbling at them every chance he got. And he watched his toy zebra for hours, studying his patterns and tasting his feet. He has an eye for TV, which Mum doesn't like too much. He can zone out and watch it for long stretches of time. That must come from Daddy's side of the family.

The doctor wanted to keep him in till this morning. I pushed to take him home last night. He hadn't had a fever since admission and we would stay for his evening IV antibiotics. I was so tired and my milk supply was dwindling. The doctor agreed and we packed up and went to our sweet and cozy home. And we slept all night.

Thank you for the zebra Auntie Lynds and Uncle Trav

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I put my son down to sleep last night at 1130pm. It's now 8 am. He is still sleeping (and breathing). He didn't wake once last night.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Despite my best efforts to convert my son to Sootherism, the Thumb Gods keep calling his name....

Monday, July 28, 2008


I'd like to post more. I really would. But somehow my day seems to fritter away with nothing real accomplished except for the proof that my baby is growing. I'm generally not very good at looking at these four walls day after day after day. Finally Isaiah is starting to enjoy going for walks which means we can at least get out of the house. The monotony of staying at home with a Baby gets to me though. I've officially started to job hunt, having sent out one resume last week to an employer that I would love to work for.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity that makes my head spin. Family visits have been frequent. The Husband and his brothers went to work on the back yard. Now there is lush grass and a beautiful deck where there was once only gravel. Having the opportunity to sip a cup of coffee on the deck feels like a small bit of heaven. The house and the yard are beautiful. Even my flowers look good. I love this place.

Today Isaiah and I are enjoying a day at home. Too slow is bad, too fast is bad. It's been too fast lately and we need a couple of days at home to recover before we feel bored again. The morning and afternoon always pass quickly. It's the evenings that feel like forever when it's just the two of us doing what we do. Laundry happens almost every day, the majority of which is no longer the Husband's clothing. I still need to get a load going.

Isaiah is a bright boy. He loves to talk to strangers, one at a time. Too many people at once overwhelm him. He smiles and coos constantly and his fussy times are almost non-existent. Most of the time he sleeps well. Most recently he has started turning from his back to his side. He can spend hours studying a new toy and love to lay on his back and kick. He's such a pleasant kid. I'm one lucky mom.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The question is, do I really want my child to play with blocks that contain the following warning?

"Do not throw the toy into the air. Do not use when the quality problem appears. Use under the circumstances that the acircumstances that the adult nurses. Do not allow children to put the toys into their mouth."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sad Realization

This afternoon my dog Bentley went out for a car ride and walk with the Cuz. I was in the basement when the doorbell rang. The neighbor (and her Husband, Basset Hound, and Ferret) smiled and said "Hi, we're here to take Bentley for a walk!" Sadly, he was still out with the Cuz.

My dog has a busier social life than I do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Trust me when I say, I don't have a shoe fetish. In fact, the Husband probably owns more shoes at this given moment than I have in my entire life. I like shoes to be visually appealing, but mostly practical and supportive. I can wear a pair of shoes even when the style passes, as long as they still feel good for years until they wear out.

But today the fascination returned. I saw the red high heel at the curb of the street. Alone with no partner. No feet to carry it. And my mind was full of questions. How could a person not realize that they lost one shoe? Where is it's partner? I'd love to know the story of how the shoe ended up alone and kicked to the curb, covered in dust.

I've had a secret desire for years. I'd love to photograph wayward shoes such as this one. It's not a practical hobby though as I'd often have to stop the car to take a picture and traffic just might take offense. But if I could, I'd collect photos of shoes on the street or tied together and dangling from hydro wires. With dates and locations.

I'd love to do that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


We recently enjoyed a visit from my brother and his lovely wife and kidlets. They live in Calgary, where David is pastor of a church. This was the first time that this new uncle laid eyes upon his nephew. Isaiah's cousins have officially become "the competition". I don't know any other family that makes such beautiful kids.
What lovely eyes!
Since I'm currently unemployed and on Mat leave, I had lots of time to hang with the family. I got to spend some time with my sister-in-law, getting to know her over lunch. We took the kids to Steinbach Aquatic Center and I took Ethan on the waterslide and waded with Abigail. My dog even taught Ethan how to bark. Impressive!
If I sit like a dog and bark like a dog, I am a dog.
The visit was topped off by a Baby Dedication, done by Pastor Dave and attended by our immediate families and Grandparents.
Praying for our Son

Hanging with Great Grandma

The weekend ended with a bang as Dad shot off fireworks. The grand finale consisted of a firework that tipped onto it's side, spraying colorful explosions into the trees. Maybe next time we'll secure them a bit better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

You Know You're a Parent When...

You run around the house trying to find the possessed toy that has suddenly started playing a tune all by itself and then look out the window to find the Ice Cream truck driving by.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


This morning we packed up early and hit the highway. I rudely awoke Isaiah from his sleep and quickly fed him before packing up. We drove the hour long commute to the small city of Portage. I dropped the Husband off at the Alliance Church for music practice. He plays the drums and is sometimes asked to fill in for vacant band members at various churches. What can I say? He's just that good. I used to work with Jon, who leads a band at this church.

Meanwhile, I drove over to the hospital I used to work in. It was there that I received a positive pregnancy test. It was there that I started spotting at the end of a shift and went to Emergency. It was there that I had an ultrasound done that showed a beating heart at 8 weeks gestation. And it was there that my co-workers rode the emotions of disappointment month after month with me and then got as excited as I did when I conceived. I had to show him off!

Some of the best were working today. They were on my boy in a minute, examining him and cuddling him. It felt like a homecoming. I enjoyed my job there. It was often stressful, but the people I worked with were top notch. If it wasn't for such high gas prices, I would love to go back to work there.

Shortly after, I proceeded to a friend's place for breakfast. As we caught up on life, she casually mentioned that Jos, the ward clerk from work had died. Nobody had told me this news yet and it tugged at my heart. I often saw her at Cancer Care during her treatment of lung cancer and she was always full of hugs and praise. I remember how surprised I was to find out that she liked me. I never would have thought that when I worked with her.

Church was full. I saw another girl that I used to work with. She often brought Jos in for clinic appointments. I sat with her and handed her Isaiah. She held him as she sang and I watched the tears stream down her face as she looked at him, prayed for him and I could tell that he was helping heal her heart.

We joined Jon and his family for lunch. The girls played and asked questions about the baby. We admired new pups - only 4 days old. Presents were given to Isaiah. He was very grateful. He's a good baby that way.

On the way home we checked out Marble Slab Creamery. They make their own ice cream daily. I highly recommend it, but it does come fairly pricey. Yumma!

When we got home, I took the dog out to the front yard and watered the flower bed. The neighbor lady and her Basset hound joined us and we talked shop. She's a nurse as well. The neighbor across the street came out to give Bentley his Sunday treat of T-bone bits. My dog loves that man. I'm reminded how lovely our neighborhood is. I might never want to leave it.

I spent my evening cuddling my little man. He was plumb tuckered out and just happy to be in my arms. He lays against my chest, his eyes as big as a deer's, and blinks really slowly like he caught in the headlights or perhaps I had just rescued him from some terrible fate. I put away some clothes that are too small for him and felt a twinge of sadness. I miss my 5 pound bundle.

On a side note, the Husband made a new blog that will be primarily photos of Isaiah for friends and family to peruse. It's the Mennonese Connection (A combo of Mennonite and Guyanese) and you can find it at


Monday, June 23, 2008


Last night the four of us decided to go for a walk - The Husband, The Wife, The Baby, The Dog. It may have been cut short by a screaming infant, but on our way to the park I said "Hi" to our neighbor. He spends hours, I think daily, shining his red SUV (I don't know what kind of vehicle it is. It is red. I am woman.) He jumped up and said he had saved his bones and gristle from his T-bone steaks earlier in the day for Bentley. Could he have them? He told me he's going to save the bones for my pooch every week. Every Sunday they have steak. Every Sunday Bentley shall dine on fine bones and ... gristle. Five minutes, two t-bones, and a plate of scraps later we continued on our way to the park.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

That'll Teach Me

I bragged in the last post. This evening he screamed for 4 hours with only short silences in between. He undid all the puffed up-ed-ness you may have sensed in the last entry. I'm on a severe learning curve. Have I mentioned that?


I've been thinking of what to blog. I think I'd like to be the kind of writer who doesn't only write about her baby. That the other elements of life still consume my time, energy, and thoughts. Not so. All I do is baby. Therefore, this is all you shall read.

We went for a 1 month check-up today. The little man has grown to 21.5 inches and 8 lb 10oz. I can't believe how big he's getting. I was kind of hoping for a 5 lb bundle a little longer. He loved the doctor visit - smiled and coo-ed at her and generally played Baby Jesus. I figure Baby Jesus must have been a model baby. He certainly would never have pushed his mother to the brink of temptation, would he have?

As soon as we got home, he did this:

Today was a great success. With 4 hours of sleep under my belt, I decided that the morning would be a good time for a walk. And so I took my Fussipotimus (my favorite nickname for my cranky baby) and put him in the Baby Bjorn that my sister-in-law so graciously lent to us. I put the dog on the leash and prided myself. Dog AND baby. Impressive! We waddled around the park a couple of times and chatted with my neighbor, who is an adult and much better at conversation than my 5 week old infant. It went swimmingly. I came home and marinated meat for supper. I put my sleeping Isaiah in his bouncy chair and swished through the bath before loading him up, on my own, for his appointment in the afternoon. I felt competent and capable. Maybe I WILL get the hang of this one day.

On another note, my thumbs are not green and my flowerbeds are not as lovely as they were last year. Time and hand availability seem to be a factor. I have, however, succeeded in putting a few pots together to brighten our porch. Ta-da!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

This one is for the Husband, who is turning out to be the World's Best Daddy. We love you!

Super baby!

What do you mean I don't count anymore?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The New Normal

If you would have asked me about pre-conceived ideas before the baby was born, I'd have told you what kind of Mom I would be. I would be able to let my baby cry for longer than a minute. I would be able to put him down, let him cry, and accomplish things around the house. I would be immune to lack of sleep. I've done shift work. I would be strong enough to do it all with the Husband on courses for 3 weeks of Isaiah's first 5 weeks of life. I'd do it gladly. After all, I/we wanted a baby. We would establish a routine, both caring and involved in our infant's life. I'd still socialize and keep up with my un-babied friends.

Truth is, I can't do any of those things. There is only so much I can take on a couple of hours of sleep. Sometimes I hold my baby while he's crying and I cry too. Sometimes I feel jealous that the Husband can spend his evenings out with no concern about whether or not his baby is being taken care of properly while I stay home and feed, comfort, nurture our baby. Sometimes I don't have my teeth brushed or real clothes on by 4 pm. Some days all I never get a chance to make myself a real meal. Leaving the house is a huge ordeal. He hates his carseat and barely tolerates car rides. I am NOT cut out to be a single parent.

Then some days it all works. We sleep well. He doesn't struggle with tummy aches and enjoys laying on the couch and looking at things. He sits in his bouncy chair. I accomplish things. I shower, eat, and tidy. I might even prep a meal. Things flow and I figure I've got a handle on things.

The new normal, it turns out, is no kind of normal at all.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Brain Fog

This kid thing is more than a full time job. I think he's a good baby, but he gets really uncomfortable. Mostly in the evenings. Then he grunts and complains, winces and fusses. He's pretty easy to comfort, but it takes all of my effort and both of my hands. And hours of my days and nights. God, let him grow out of this. Let him sleep for 2 hours straight. And let me sleep too.

Most of the time I'm holding him, cuddling him. Both of us are on a learning curve and I fear we aren't always patient with each other. God, don't let me mess him up.

Last week the Husband was out of town on a course. I wasn't about to attempt a week alone with a 2 week old and a 100 lb dog that needs to be exercised daily. So I high-tailed it out to the farm. If you ever decide to have kids, stick close to your families. Mum soothed him, fed him, changed him, brought him to me. Plus made snacks and meals and entertained company. I decided to try just one night at home alone with him just to say that I can do this. Thousands of women around the world do this every day. Certainly I could handle just one night. At 11 pm I heard a cough and a stuffy nose. His cold got worse for the next few hours. I would put him down and he would cough and gag. His stuffy nose didn't let him breathe well so I laid him on my chest as I reclined. Finally at 2 AM I did all I could think of - I called my Mum. And she came. Immediately. She soothed him, fed him, changed him, rocked him. And I slept.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Overcooked and Underweight

It's amazing how time ticks away when a Newborn dictates your life. All he does is eat, sleep, and mess his diaper. All I do is feed, rock, and change him. And time just slips away. I've been meaning to write about his birth.. well... since he was born. For you to read and for me to remember.

My last doctor appointment was on May 12/08. Dr Hellawa had some concerns about the Baby's weight and growth. In addition, there was only minimal amniotic fluid around him. The decision was made to get the baby out. I was scheduled for induction the following day.

The next morning we went to the hospital. The syntocinon IV was started and increased in dose every half hour. From 1130 AM till about 300 PM I felt tightenings with no pain. I was on constant monitoring - routine for an induction. At 315 PM Baby's heart rate dropped and took what felt like forever to return to baseline. A resident was called and she ruptured my membranes and attached a scalp clip to my baby's head to make sure we were getting an accurate reading. Labor increased in intensity after that and about an hour later I got an epidural. It decreased the intensity of the pain to a tolerable level, but I could still move easily and feel each and every contraction. I was glad for this as I wanted to be an active participant.

Some time later (I couldn't see a clock and lost track of time) the Baby's heart rate dipped again. A resident was called. I turned from side to side to try and ease the burden on the Baby. Eventually he recovered. At this point dilation was 6 cm. We began to talk about a c-section. The decision was made that if the heart rate were to do this again, we would head to the OR. Consent was signed and I was prepped. The syntocinon was turned completely off.

Dr Hellawa was called in to assess the situation. He arrive about a half hour later, checked and found that I was 9 cm. I continued to labor and was shortly fully dilated. Dr Hellawa stated that Baby was low down. He wanted me to push at his command, with or without a contraction. He warned me that the Baby's heart rate might drop and that if it did, he would be ready to pull the Baby out. Sure enough, Baby's heart rate dropped into the 60's. A quick cut and forceps pulled out my baby boy into the safety of the delivery room. He let out a lusty cry before being whisked away for assessment.

Shortly after he was placed on my chest, squirming and red. And we named him Isaiah Jack.

Active labor only took 7.5 hrs. I was surprised that I didn't feel an instant bond with my baby. I knew he was mine, but I didn't know him. In fact, it took a few days until I really felt "bonded" with him.

Isaiah was a bit overcooked and underweight. He struggled the first few days with keeping his blood sugars up. He would put out more energy trying to eat than he got from the feeding itself. He spent a couple of days in ICU being force fed along with breastfeeding until he got a bit stronger. They called him the "sugar Baby" and asked him to give breastfeeding lessons to the others in the NICU.

We went home after 4 days in the hospital. Our family more complete and our lives forever changed.