Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Canada Day Eve

Trevor is working tonight and Mac is blessedly asleep. So I should be diving right into those books, right? Ha. I think I had more focus in grade nine when homework happened "just after Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
"Okay, just after Family Matters."
"Okay, I swear, just after the Much Music Top Ten...".

Le sigh. Not much has changed.

After months of rain, it's hot and muggy. Mac has just come through a rough week of chicken pox (got that, son? Yes you've had it and you were 11 months) in which we've had very little sleep. I'm tired and scattered. People are starting to post summery photos of vacations and BBQ's and G20 protest rallies and I just kind of feel... stuck. Homebound. We owe so many people invites and yet to do so would be to commit myself to a day's worth of cleaning and shopping and preparing and there's this damn Anatomy class to think about.

So I sit here, not being social, and certainly not studying. Just a melting puddle in a silent house. On the other hand, thank God it is actually silent for once. Here's to all of us getting some sleep tonight.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010


For the first time in 11-months, Mac slept through the night. He woke up at 4:20 and even went back down for another hour but I don't care. It counts. I wish I could say I also slept through the night but I didn't. I woke up several times convinced something was terribly wrong. Post traumatic stress disorder, I think they call it?

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear Mac: 11 Months

I'm so tired. I had a final today. I have a midterm - a pass-it-or-else midterm - tomorrow. I have a major assignment due Friday that I haven't even started. So tonight when you pitched a royal fit and refuse to go to bed, I was this close to losing it. And by losing it, I mean texting your father to demand that he walk faster. Luckily he was almost home anyway.

Then when he was taking you up to bed (for the third time, btw) and he said, "give mom a kiss," and I leaned in and you kissed me. He turned to take you upstairs and I waved goodnight and you waved back. And earlier today you learned to high-five. So either you've chosen to vault into Month 11 in one single day, or the two significant knocks you took to the head earlier shook loose some learnin' (re the knocks: you've started climbing and, therefore, falling).

So, what's new:

- Crawling is so last month. You walk everywhere now. You've set running as your new goal.
- You talk all of the freakin' time, but still not in words I understand.
- When you want out of your highchair, YOU WANT OUT RIGHT NOW. When I say, "no, honey, don't leave the yard," you try harder to leave the yard. When you're done checking something out, you throw it.
- In the last two days, you've also broken our space heater, the baby monitor, and two bowls, all before I could get to you.
- I turned around and you were toddling towards the dog weilding a sharp garden claw type tool. I didn't even know we had one.
- In other words, if there is something breakable or potentially dangerous, you hone in on it like you have sensors. We discussed renting you out to expectant parents to test if their houses are baby-proof. You'll have all danger scoped in about five minutes.
- You love me and your dad. You light up for Grandpa Brad, Grandpa Rick, Grandma Susan and Auntie Mari. But you ADORE your cousin Isaiah. The other day at brunch you tried to bear hug him, even growling in an ursine manner. It was endearing. Strange, but endearing.
- Eight teeth. When you get tired, you bite. Hard. In fact, I think it's how you ask for demand the boob. I've been trying to teach you sign language but it's not working. I've taken to plopping you on your butt and walking away when you bite. Your reaction is one of indignant outrage.
- You love to laugh. It's always been loads of fun zooming around the store in a shopping cart and I can usually get you going with tickles. But the joke du jour involves the hand pump for my yoga ball. I make it blow air at my face, then yell, "No! Bad pump! No blowing air at mommy!" But it does it again! Cheeky air pump! You think it's all high-larious.
- You have tried all sorts of food. You like BBQ'd chicken and ribs. You ate a good chunk of my sandwich the other day, even though it had hot mustard. I don't dare insult you with baby food anymore.
- You've started doing that leg-bop dancing thing that babies do when songs with beats come on. It's a little late to be just starting to dance, maybe, but they don't play a lot of music on CBC Radio One.
- You've really taken to the dog and when I give you a cookie, you invariable toss it at her. So she likes you lots, too. She's also got a back end shaped like an aircraft carrier, though, so we may have to lay off the cookies.
- Sleep. Well, it's no different, but it's no worse. You nurse a couple of times a night. You wake up at 4:20'ish every morning and about 50% of the time I can convince you to go back to sleep. I think it's time to cut out nighttime feedings, though. I'll miss the little snuggle, but I'm looking forward to a longer stretch of uninterrupted slumber. It's been 11 months. I've earned it, and so have you.

We love you so intensely, Doodles, our Boogs. There is so much that I can't express properly, here. Know that you're throughly entertaining. We laugh a lot, more often with you now. You are enjoying the heck out of summer (when the weather allows), and I am therefore enjoying it so much more, too.


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Saturday, June 12, 2010


My first week working on a hospital unit was such an intense experience. Whenever I closed my eyes last night, I'd get bombarded by a flood of little details in uncomfortable, overly bright, overly loud clips, like brain zaps. My instructor walking down the hallway in her black maternity scrubs. My hand smoothing the surface of a bed. Warm water running over latex gloves. A sweater with balls of wool, dentures swimming in murky water, the smell of bath day. The hum of a lift. The cry of a resident. The laugh of a fellow nursing student. The taste of cinnamon toast from the cafeteria. The smell of a leg losing the battle to diabetes.

Today is better. I'm tired but at least my brain is calming down. I know one thing: I chose correctly. I am really going to enjoy my new career and I am even considering a specific direction. I can't tell you how cool it was to watch an RN puzzle out the bandaging of a complicated wound. I'm thinking about eventually specializing in ostomy and wound care.

I think Mac did okay while I was away. He took the bottle and did fine on formula (though I gotta say, he pooped a TON more on formula. Big, messy poops, too. You know, comparatively). He got to do a lot of cool things with new people and I think that the break was healthy for both of us. I sure did miss him, though. In truth, I'm struggling with the idea of putting him in daycare this fall. So long as I'm moving towards this degree and remain a full-time student at least on paper, what's the rush? I'm enjoying being a mom and it's kind of once-in-a-lifetime, whereas this is my second degree for my second career. Maybe I can afford to slow it down a little, even if it means money's tight for a few years. It might be worth it.

I dunno. Still chewing on it.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Giving Birth

This is an odd post after weeks and weeks of nothing, but something on FB set me off and I wanted to get it down, even though I have less than 40 minutes to get into my scrubs, grab my stethoscope, kiss my kid and get out the door. Plenty of time!

So my friend posted this:

I wish that those in the birth community who insist on calling it "cesarean birth" would read the majority of the (blog) comments and see the PAIN that women suffer when others try to tell them that they gave birth, or that it's "still a birth". Clearly, for many of us, it was NOT a birth, and we didn't "give birth." Let us define our own experience. "*
I've said more than once that I didn't give birth, that I had my kid surgically removed and people have responded one of two ways, "of course you gave birth", and "well, at least everything turned out well." (said with discomfort, which I understand. What I'm saying is uncomfortable).

The problem for me is this: Did I grow a baby and become a mother? Sure. And I'm a darn good mom and I rocked pregnancy. But I STILL don't feel right saying I gave birth.

And sure, my kid is healthy and thriving, but what happened to me was a far cry from "everything turned out well." I struggled for months and months and depression knocked me flat on my ass. Some people's bodies are able to bounce back easily, mine is not one of them. I still feel the repercussions of what was major abdominal surgery. I find it hard to tell my brain to shut up and be grateful for the health of my child at the expense of my own physical health in so many ways.

Not to say that people who give birth have it any easier. The key line there is, "define our own experience." This is just mine.

*not cited to preserve anonymity and confidentiality.

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