Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Affirmations for me

You may think me odd or a tad twisted (wink to Sherri), but these helped me a lot.

I haven't done it much lately, but in the past when I had trouble falling asleep, I would repeat these affirmations over and over in my head. It got so that I couldn't even get through them two or three times before falling asleep. At first glance they didn't make any sense to me, but after I paid attention to the words, I realized they were right on target.

Here are my affirmations for Virgo:

I accept that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing at all
times. I find peace in knowing that this is so.

I know that I am a good and decent person who is getting better all the
time. I allow myself to relax into this knowledge.

There is unlimited love for me which is unconditional and perfect. I
accept its presence and know that it is now revealed to me.

Follow the link to find your own affirmations. Try it for a week. It can't hurt!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Why does honesty have to be difficult?

I've always been the type of person who is careful about other people's feelings. I have also grown to be a person who knows the value of honesty. Sometimes a person just needs to know the truth, whether it hurts them or not. I hate the struggle between honesty and kindness.

Growing up, my feelings were hurt fairly often. I may not have always let it show, but I spent a lot of time feeling hurt and small. Because of that, I try to not hurt other peoples' feelings. I may not always suceed, but I try. Then again, when someone does hurt me now, I really lash out.

I never really thought so much about honesty until I got divorced. I got so sick and tired of people asking how me and my husband were doing, and lying to them, telling them what I thought they wanted to hear. It just felt so wrong. I was sad and angry and lonely and frustrated, and I felt like I couldn't let anyone in on that. Instead I comforted myself with food, to the point where I became concerned about my health. That's when I stopped the lies and let the truth come out. The best move I've ever made.

Now it's more a matter of every day relationships. We must all know people who we feel like we have to tiptoe around. We stretch the truth to keep from breaking them. Some people are so fragile (or seem to be) that we tell lies to prevent the scales from tipping. Meanwhile, they're making us crazy! The sound of their voice makes us cringe. Being in their company is so annoying it gives you a headache, and you avoid going places to stay away from them. You don't answer the phone so that you don't have to talk to them. You do what you can to prevent them from getting your email address so you don't even have to see their name. You try to pretend they don't exist. And yet they seem to be so generous and thankful to know you - but is that just their way of seeking acceptance?

Is this right?

Why can't we just say, "I don't feel comfortable with you, and I wish you'd stop trying to be my friend. I don't want to be your friend." We do have the right to pick our friends, don't we? I can't say that I am aware of knowing anyone who has done this.

In my teen years I had a few "friends" that I dropped because the relationship became too weird, or uncomfortable, and even stifling. Back then, I just cut off communications with these people, and eventually, they went away.

Should I have told them the truth straight up?

Why do you have to be so competitive? I'm tired of competing. I
just want to be your friend. I don't enjoy hanging out with the
competitive you anymore.

I find you to be weird and wacked, and honestly, I think you need some
serious, professional help. I'm outta here!

Okay, showing up at my house uninvited is one thing, but following me
around town to see who I'm hanging out with instead of you? What kind of
friend is that? I'm moving on sister!

Remember, I was a teenager, and EVERYTHING'S difficult in the teen years.

Now as an adult, and a parent, I want to know the correct way to deal with these kinds of relationships. I want my son to see and learn the correct way right from the start.

Is it being polite to coddle people at the risk of your own personal well-being, or just plain stupid?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Backup Midwife Tanya, Miles, and Barbara Posted by Hello

Choose Midwifery

I am so thankful that Barbara came into our lives. Otherwise I probably never would have been bold enough to choose to use a midwife.

I remember Barbara and Gerry talking about the birth of their first child. It was so beautiful I wanted to cry. I knew then that if I ever had the chance, I wanted my baby to be caught by a midwife, not delivered by a doctor.

The first time I became pregnant, in 2001, I called Barbara. And I called her again when I started miscarrying. Barbara came over and stayed with me, informed me, comforted me. That day was horrible enough, it would have been unbearable without Barbara and my sister there to support me. The care and concern Barbara showered on me through my miscarriage proved to me that midwifery is the way to go. Now I was 100% convinced.

A year ago, when I learned I was pregnant again, I called Barbara first. She, of course, understood my fear of another miscarriage and started my visits with her early. We even did my first ultrasound a little early so that I could see my little baby living inside of me, to reassure me. Barbara always made sure I was fully informed, always told me the truth. She asked how I was feeling emotionally, how my family was handling it, how Courtney was feeling about it. A doctor wouldn't have asked those questions, so I would have kept those feelings to myself - it was nice to be able to release that. Not being married made my pregnancy a little harder to accept by some of my family, but Barbara's excitement always raised my spirits.

I was fortunate to have mostly home visits from Barbara, up until the last few weeks. Things got a little more stressful then, but I always felt that I was in loving care. Barbara was on her vacation during most of my last month of pregnancy, so my backup midwife took care of my visits. Unfortunately for me, she was so busy that my now weekly visits had to take place in the clinic. Now whether it was the normal progression of my pregnancy, or having someone new look after me, or having to be at the clinic, or the stress of the drive there, my blood pressure started to rise. When Barbara visited me at home on her own time to check my blood pressure, it was fine. At the clinic, it was not so much. As we approached my due date and my blood pressure continued to look bad in the clinic, an OB at McMaster was consulted. Oh yeah, there was a matter of dealing with a "bacteria problem" and needing to give me an IV during childbirth, which I had hoped to have at home. I almost ended up being induced on this OB's suggestion, but thanks to women being women and their love of discussion, Barbara called me the night before and said that after discussing the situation with some other midwives, I really wasn't in a position to need to be induced at this point. I decided, after consultation with Barbara, Courtney, and my parents, to allow the pregnancy to continue naturally and wait for labour to start on its own, with lots of attention given to my blood pressure and the baby's condition.

Around 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 29, 2004, I got a call from Brantford General Hospital saying they had me booked for an ultrasound that morning. Okay then! I gulped down my breakfast, told Courtney, got myself cleaned up and dressed, roused Courtney out of bed, and off we went to Brantford. I had the ultrasound and the baby was fine. Brantford General requires you to have a stress test to check on the baby when you're there for an ultrasound. So Barbara met us there and was able to set me up for the testing and obtain the results herself. While she was finishing up her paperwork to discharge me, I took a bathroom break. I wiped and wiped and wiped but I just couldn't seem to end up without a soaked wad of toilet paper. When I got back into the room I asked Barbara how one would know if their water broke while they were on the toilet. She just looked at me and asked what happened. So I sat on the bed and told her and we discussed possibilities. When I got up to leave, I just stood still for a moment to let it register that my jeans were now quite wet and I could feel the water running down my legs. Barbara was surprised and said this was a first - she's never had a client who's water broke in a public place. Gosh, and I thought it would never happen to me! So then she had to check me out and assess the situation before letting me go home. She sent me packing with instructions to take castor oil (again), and some homeopathic herbs, and I can't remember what else. Because of how the castor oil works, I'm not really sure when the contractions began, but I know I was having them at dinner time, 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. After dinner I laid in my bed and started keeping track of the contractions. After a while I called Barbara to let her know the contractions had started and were now 10 to 12 minutes apart. She asked me a few questions and we decided I'd call her again when they got closer together. I got a little restless lying there, so I went down to the family room where my mother and sister-in-law were with my nephew. While there (not a really long space of time) I realized my contractions were happening a lot more often. I went back to my room to count. I found my mom again and told her they seem to be coming every couple of minutes now. We contemplated for a few minutes, then mom decided to call Barbara herself - Mom had inconsistent contractions herself, and she was concerned things were going to happen quicker than we had anticipated. Barbara came over after she talked to me, checked me out again, and we decided to head to the hospital before the ride there would become unbearable (approx. a 45 minute drive). Courtney and I piled into my car, Barbara followed us, and Mom & Dad weren't too far behind us. I believe it was around 10:30 p.m. when we got to the hospital. Barbara got right down to business, but, along with our student midwife Michelle, they always made sure I was doing alright. When the contractions started getting pretty painful, Barbara suggested trying a shower. She had Courtney spray nice, hot water on my back to ease the pain a little. Ease it a little it did, a very little, but that hot water did feel good. From there I think we decided to try the bath. I was nervous about getting in and out of the bath, but knew we'd find a way to do it. The urge to push happened shortly after getting into the bath, and that made it feel a little awkward. They scented the water with lavender essential oil, and Mom even came in and helped pour water over me to help with the pain. When we got back into the room after the bath, things seemed to happen pretty quick. I was zoned out by this time, totally focused on having the baby, so I probably don't have all of the events sequenced properly. I know at some point Barbara suggested to Courtney to squeeze my hips when I was having a contraction, and I remember that helping immensely. Oh, and I remember pushing while sitting on the toilet too. Having contractions earlier on the toilet were quite painful, so I remember Barbara prefacing this request by saying, "I know you're going to hate me for saying this, but I think you should try it" I think it was a trick to try to prevent too much tearing or something. Anyhow, I don't remember much of the final moments, just suddenly there was release and then a beautiful baby boy lying on my tummy. Barbara told me just recently that Michelle should have been the one to catch the baby, as part of her training I think, but that Michelle had pulled her aside before the birth and told Barbara that she wanted her to do it, us being related and all. Wasn't that so sweet of Michelle?!?! There's a picture of Barbara shortly after Miles was born where she looks just about as radiant and over the moon as I was. About 10 minutes after Miles was born, I delivered the placenta. Barbara had placed the metal pan between my legs in anticipation, looked away for a minute, and BLOP! the placenta landed squarely in the pan all by itself! Another first for her, she said. I think we all had a good chuckle about that move. After a nice, long, hot shower and completing paperwork etc., we left the hospital and were back home around 8:00 a.m. I remember my brother saying something like, "We were just going to bed when you left last night, now we're just getting up and here you are with the baby!" I have to say I was feeling pretty good and happy to be able to recover at home.

We saw Barbara twice more that day, and had regular visits after that for 6 weeks. She was great emotional support when it was time for Courtney to go back home, and endlessly helpful when I was having trouble breastfeeding. How would I have coped with that on my own?

I knew that having an experience this wonderful with a doctor were not so good. First off, I wouldn't have been in control - white coat syndrome, I'd have been too intimidated to take control! And then there's not knowing who's going to end up delivering your baby when the time comes. And the multitude of nurses and doctors in and out of the room. Then the stay in the hospital afterwards, and differing opinions of nurses there. Just TOO MUCH! I like things to be simple and straightforward.

I know I made the right decision for me.

Barbara is still working her tail off, bringing babies into the world, and even more so now that she's about to open up her own practice up north. Exciting times, but we'll miss her when she's gone.

So Barbara, again, thank you thank you thank you for becoming part of our family, and guiding us all through this wonderful birth experience!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

How it all vegan

My sister is a vegetarian bordering on vegan. Through her, we've had some fun exploration into the world of meatless dishes. I rather enjoy it and look forward to the new recipes that she finds and brings to the table.

This year for Mother's Day, we tried to come up with a meal we could put together without Mom having to do any work. My sister introduced us to a vegan potato salad recipe a year or two ago. I knew Mom had it here somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Mom couldn't come up with it either. When I asked my sister for it, she dropped off a cookbook with a different potato salad recipe bookmarked. She said it was really good. What the heck - I tried it! I thought it was great! Those vegetarians are so sneaky and inventive with their use of tofu!

The cookbook remained in the house after Mother's Day - my sister didn't remember to take it home with her. I perused the recipes on several occasions and only found one that didn't appeal to me. In fact, when I was asked to provide a salad for our Relay for Life team meeting this past Saturday, I ended up making two from this cookbook! I was slightly concerned about how they would be accepted by the group, but as Nanny often said, "What odds!" If they like it, they like it. If they don't, they don't! Guess what . . . they loved it! There was only a serving or two left to bring home! He he he That always makes me chuckle.

Now note that I didn't bring to anyone's attention that the salads were vegan.

Do you think it would have made a difference if I had?

The rice and bean salad was so looked beautiful, smelled awesome, and tasted fabulous. I just couldn't get over it (and couldn't believe that I hadn't realized it was one that my sister had made and brought over to the house before!)

The cookbook is How it all Vegan! by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer. Check out the website

Friday, May 13, 2005

My first born

With my son wailing in the background (at least one blog topic on its own), here I go with my first ever blog posting.

I hadn't even heard of a blog a couple of months ago. Then my brother started talking about it. Then I read his. Then my sister-in-law's. Then blogs their friends have. I'm thinking to myself, they're so smart, so worldly, so much more interesting than me. What on earth would I say if I had a blog?

So it's MY blog. It can be as smart or as stupid as I make it. You know what I'm going to say next - chances are it will be more stupid than smart.

Bear with me as I learn the ropes.

Thursday, May 12, 2005